I receive a number of daily invitations from people I don’t know, including students, who want to connect on LinkedIn.
My first reaction when I see such invitations is to ignore and delete. However, I changed my views on this a while ago based on my understanding of the fundamental differences in people’s relationship talent and circumstances.
Personalizing an invitation is one common “tip” or advice provided by recruiting and networking professionals. So why do people keep sending me impersonal invites?
Here are my theories:
- They have not received or read anything that implies this is bad practice. In addition, LinkedIn makes it easy to ignore what would, under other circumstances, be a bad practice. LinkedIn’s objective is to continue to grow their user base.
- They simply want to quickly grow their network and want to spend the least amount of time doing it.
- Success for the sender depends on building as many connections as possible.
- People’s circumstances and perspectives are very different: Active candidates, networkers, passive candidates, happy employees, sales professionals, etc.
Naturally, I am compelled to connect with those who have interests in common with me. In recruiting, this natural ability helps me discover commonalities between me, or the brand I represent and the potential job candidate.
All recruiters know how to research candidates, and often use their available social channels to accomplish this. If you truly enjoy this process, you are a natural recruiter. If you enjoy the process of “hunting” for people without necessarily feel eager to connect and you are great at it, you are a natural sourcer.
These are two different sets of talent. Can you have both? Absolutely.
My point is that for individuals like me, a non-personal invitation will not likely “push” the right button. In summary, my advice coincides with most recruiting professionals: “Personalize your invitation, it takes one minute.”
However, the next time you receive an “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” think about their circumstances and the differences in our natural abilities to connect with others.