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Jun 26, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

LinkedIn can be an unforgiving, strict parent who will ground you or even put you in their self-governed jail if you do something they don’t like. If you don’t conform and follow the rules, you will be wiped out from existence.

Even though I’m writing this, don’t get me wrong, LinkedIn, I still need you, so please don’t ground me or worse yet, delete me from existence for writing this article! I need you because I use you every day, so I would not be able to handle being erased. In essence, how I feel about LinkedIn is like that self-help book title from the 80’s “I hate you, Don’t Leave Me.”

LinkedIn offers access to millions and millions of candidates. We hate to admit it, but we love LinkedIn and the sourcing opportunities it offers, with their wide audience of candidates who are ripe for the picking. LinkedIn knows how valuable they are and they make sure they guard their audience of LinkedIn profiles like a mama bear guarding her cubs.

How do they do this? Well, there are two kinds of punishment I know of, either being grounded for a period from certain privileges or having your LinkedIn profile either temporarily or permanently shut down. Of the two, of course, being shut down, erased and shunned is the worst punishment of all. Losing your LinkedIn profile and all of your painstaking 10,000+ connections is a gut-wrenching loss and one I hope never to experience. I hope this article helps serve as a warning, to be a good LinkedIn child, or else!


The Grounding:

When you send your allotted number of InMails through LinkedIn, using LinkedIn Recruiter, big brother LinkedIn is watching you. Oh, make no mistake, they ARE watching you! They are tracking the percentage of responses you get back. A response is either an accepted, or a declined LinkedIn message, but any InMail sent that is “pending” with no response, counts against your percentage. The minimum response rate you need is 13% or higher. If you go below that, you will be notified that your privilege of sending bulk/group InMails is revoked until you get your response percentage up. This has happened to me twice. Both times it was stressful and annoying. I decided the second time it happened, to no longer put my contact information in my LinkedIn message because I realized many people were responding to me directly instead of through LinkedIn “InMail,” so I was not getting “credit” for my InMail responses. I took my contact info off and said at the end of my message something to the effect of: “Please respond back to this message, and I will reply back with my contact info and more info about this role.” After that, I never went below 13% again, and I’ve been in father/mother LinkedIn’s good graces since then. Not sure what my status will be once this article is published, but for now, I am a good child.


LinkedIn Jail:

This, thankfully, I don’t have direct experience with yet from LinkedIn, but this is happening to many of my sourcer brothers and sisters now!  So, much so that a “Public Service Announcement” was created, so please view this in its entirety when you have time! 

Here are some excerpts from the video above:

“When you use some type of Chrome extension while searching in LinkedIn, these people are being caught and being put in LinkedIn Jail. This means their account will be at least temporarily shut off. Once they shut your account off, a couple of things happen: If someone tries to search for you, you will not be found, and the only way to turn your account back on is to send LinkedIn a copy of your driver license or passport.

A chrome extension is a little piece of software that runs inside of your browser which gives you added functionality. Some extensions grab information from somebody’s profile – that’s called a “data scraper.” Some plugins also hide all of the recruiters, so when you run a search it takes off any recruiters, so this type of extension modifies your search results. In order for you to be safe you have to disable your extensions before you search LinkedIn.”

The video also suggested to those concerned to read the LinkedIn User Agreement and especially jump down to section eight of the User Agreement to get to what you need to know. SourceCon has also featured it in two articles (here and here).

So, the bottom line is, don’t get into LinkedIn Jail. Watch the video to learn how to disable your Chrome Extensions before you search in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, I know perhaps you will not like that I wrote this article, but, hey at least, I’m helping others to comply to your rules, so uh please just keep that in mind in case you are thinking of punishing me. I need you LinkedIn. I love/hate you. Don’t leave me!


Your Sourcing child.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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