Why Recruiters Ignore Students’ LinkedIn Invitations

Andres TraslavinaAndres Traslavina, Director of Global Recruiting, Whole Foods Market
Twitter: @traslavina
LinkedIn: http:www.linkedin.com/in/traslavina

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.

Follow Andres on Twitter @traslavina or connect with him on LinkedIn (just make sure it’s personalized).


This entry was posted in career development, career services, international students, Millennials, NACE and tagged , by Andres Traslavina. Bookmark the permalink.

About Andres Traslavina

Andres is an innovative and technology-driven recruiter with comprehensive experience in both domestic and international social sourcing and recruitment. He has worked and lived in Japan, Spain, Chile, Colombia, and the United States. Currently, Andres serves as the Global Recruiter at Whole Foods Market a “100 Best Companies to Work For.” His recruiting approach is based on helping candidates discover their strengths and employers find and select top performers based on their talents and cultural fit. Among his favorite domestic speaking engagements Andres has presented at NACE, SXSW, and TalentNET. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education/psychology, both from the University of Nebraska. Andres and his wife live in Austin, Texas.

2 thoughts on “Why Recruiters Ignore Students’ LinkedIn Invitations

  1. I find that there are certain times when you go to “connect” on LInkedIn where you are not given the option to send a personalized message with your request. For example, when LinkedIn suggests “People You May Know” after you have sent or accepted a request. It makes it challenging for students to consistently send personalized messages when LinkedIn does not consistently allow them to do so. Do you agree? Or, do you have a work around that you suggest to students so that they can always send a personalized message?

  2. True. Also if you are using the mobile app people can connect by simply clicking on the + sing. My suggestion is to talk to the students about the fundamental concept and help them understand that more connections does not necessarily translate in solid connections. Do I have a work around? yes! ALWAYS click on the person’s name and go to their profile, read about the person and initiate the connection from the person’s profile. LinkedIn wants more users and suggesting “people you may know” is a way to grow their user base. Take their suggestion and research the person before asking them to connect.

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