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A Man Loses His Job For Using LinkedIn At Work?

Rather than write just another post this week, I wanted to instigate a discussion. So here goes:

I think most of us would agree social media is changing the way we communicate and even changing the way we do business. LinkedIn is no exception… 80 Million users worldwide and over 300,000 users in Ireland.ย  But what does the future hold for LinkedIn? Where are they generating their revenue from? When looking at LinkedIn it would appear that they are using premium paid services mainly targeted at the recruitment industry to generate profit. Talent Finder, Job Search and Paid Job Posts are three ways in which LinkedIn currently generates revenue.

So, is there a danger here? Could LinkedIn become too Recruitment focused and end up losing its appeal as a Business Professionals’ Networking site?

Could these be future headlines?

  • Man loses his job for using LinkedIn at work.
  • 62% of Companies ban LinkedIn from office.
  • LinkedIn numbers plummet as members get fed up being hounded by recruiters.
  • LinkedIn replaces as the worldโ€™s biggest Recruitment site.

Let the Debate begin

[youtube width=”325″ height=”244″][/youtube]

Greg is a Social Media trainer and workshop facilitator with the Digital Marketing Institute. He has also delivered lectures and short courses for leading organisations including SureSkills, and The Michael Smurfit Business School. Greg also works with the Ahain Group as a Social Business Consultant. He believes that in order to make social media work for your business you must have a clear business goal, a clearly defined strategy and make sure that everything you do is measureable. Specialities include: Social Media Training | Personal Branding |Social Business Consultancy | Social Strategy Workshops | Interview Techniques | Psychometric Profiling | LinkedIn Training | Facebook Training | Twitter Training | Blogging | Online Video and You Tube Training | Emerging Social Media (Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Google+ etc.) More information at: and

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  • Nice one Greg. Thanks for starting the discussion. Perfect for a Friday ๐Ÿ™‚
    I kind of had the same feeling when last week LinkedIn released a cool feature for job seeekers (only available in the US for now) to compare their profiles and salaries with other within the industry in a specific area.
    However, personally it hasn’t affected me yet. As you mentioned I also use Linkedin for business networking, connections, staying in touch and basically as my most precious business “profile/phone book”. It still serves this purpose very well. I guess Linkedin are having the same great problem as Facebook: becoming too big, too quickly. That pushes them to make faster decisions that might change perceptions…

  • I think this is a very interesting observation! The strength of LinkedIn up to now is that it has been business focused & acts in many respects as the gateway social media for business people. The reality now however is that both Twitter and lately Facebook are becoming very serious tools for business people, the big concern I would have for LinkedIn is that as regards the user’s behavior over there or in this case the behavior of recruiters, from my experience a great many LinkedIn users use it badly (don’t know how to use it) and I think recruiters are some of the worst offenders.

  • Bernard

    Hi Greg, Good stuff – nice video and really good points. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Bernard.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comments Niall,

    There are still many Facebook and Twitter skeptics out there, but they are without doubt offer some great business and branding opportunities. I agree that many LinkedIn users use the site badly and fail to get the true value from the site because of it. If LinkedIn does lose users due to their recruitment tools and aggressive recruiters. Where will they go? Maybe some of those Facebook skeptics may change their mind?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments. Glad I am not alone in my thoughts. On a separate but related note LinkedIn Signal looks interesting. –

  • Anonymous

    Great post, and video Greg. I don’t think you’re wide off the mark here. I’ve a friend from my university days that I keep in contact with, who isn’t allowed to put her LinkedIn profile on her business card. When she tried to challenge this, she was told that it probably wasn’t sending out the right message to have her CV on business cards that the company was paying for.

  • Hi Greg,

    It’s very early days with social media and we’re going to make all the mistakes along the way. It was/is the same on blogs with spammy comments.

    If recruiters abuse LK then folks will move to the next new thing.

    I was on MySpace today – remember that? – and who’d have thought 3 years ago it would collapse so fast.

    LK need to be careful. Right now it has no real competitors but it needs to get the balance right.


  • Unbelievable! Utter stupidity perpetrated by stupid people. Proof if needed of the levels of complete irrationality that continue to exist out there.

  • Honestly I am losing patience with the skeptics! How can people be skeptical of the fastest growing phenomenon in the history of mankind, critical maybe but skeptical?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comments and telling us about your friend. I think there is a massive gap between the social media savvy and traditional business man. The more recruitment driven LinkedIn becomes the more often we will hear these crazy stories.

  • Anonymous


    Appreciate your comments. You are so right about social media, it is new and we are all making the rules up as we go along. Fixing our mistakes as we go.

    Very little success is ever achieved without mistakes….the key is to make non life threatening (for your business) ones.

  • Hi Greg,

    Nice post! Social media has surpassed the ‘new, new’ stage and is maturing. Its a difficult one to define and place in a neat little box. Businesses are begining to catch on and see real potential and value in SM, but where is it positioned within the business?? Should it be just the MD of SMEs or sales staff, maybe sales and marketing for larger companies, all recruitment staff …. to what extent should it be used? Should we limit usage? Specify it for only biz at work? As it links both personal and business into a mixed social, its a tricky one.

    There will be ‘trial and error’ mistakes with it, as much as there will be success stories. Each company should research, consider and define usage based on industry, sector and fuction (my opinion anyway).
    What thoughts do others have?


  • I like this Frank, thanks for sharing! I have a long-term set of (5-10 year) goals and have based mush of my decision making during the last two years or so on continuingu00a0to put myself in a position to achieve these longer-term objectives. Turning in down projects and potential customers has now become much easier because of this, and the projects that I work on are much more focused because. Of course, there are still times when a short-term need out weights and I need to proceed but even this have become a lot less common in the last while. Short-term thinking is in my opinion very often the reason why businesses, people and countries get themselves into difficulties and continuing to think like this virtually guarantees failure.

  • Long term objectives aside, by gosh what you refer to above is more than a road map Frank. It sounds like a mountaineering exercise which involves altitude as well as distance.nnBut it fits the bill, the longer term goals definitely take us to a higher level, because it means we are valuing ourselves and interested in where our future comes from, not just allowing circumstances dictate our future.nnWe have destiny, and it’s up to us to plan it out and execute those plans. But not beat ourselves up when we hit an obstacle.nnI like the concept, reminds me of different levels of goal setting using a specific coaching model. It also reminds me of Maslow and his hiearchy of needs. We can only plan for our long term futures, when we are sustained at more basic levels.

  • Thanks Roisin, glad it provides a little insight! Keeping people and what drives them as the focus of what you do online will make a whole lot of difference in my book ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I agree, social media is about creating relationships and it is an effective means to reach out to customers and have them contact you too. Great work on the panel the other night too Niall, never got to say that to you, brilliant answers and discussions.nLorna

  • Agove

    Great read, Niall! You are definitely a thought leader in social media.u00a0

  • Too true. I find that people are still very intimidated and think your contribution to the meeting last Wednesday was great. Looking forward to ‘following’ your Tweets.

  • Thanks for the kind comment and glad you enjoyed the event ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thank you, We’re all just learning and I’m just a little further down the road ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks Lorna, you had the hardest job by far! Ryan Tubridy needs to watch out, well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Just discovered you’re the cookie lady! How’s about this for some tasty marketing folks?u00a0

  • Nice post Niall, I think the important thing is to make the connections online, but then to take them offline to cement them and where offline isn’t an option there is skype.

  • Great point Mairead, Skype is definitely one of the best tools for saying hello when you can’t meet up in person.u00a0

  • Anonymous

    Niall,nnI could hear you talking in your post! Your personality just shone through and I suppose that’s what canu00a0make someone particularly effective in social media. If you are willing to be yourself and develop relationships, you never know who you will meet or where you will end up. With the ways to use social media being adapted constantly, it’s nice to know 1 basic thing is true. It’s relationships that make it work!

  • Absolutelyu00a0Elli, For me it’s relationships and not money that makes the world go round! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I agree. It’s very hard for me to keep track of the cash I spend. It’s so much easier to see any deductions from my online banking when I’m using my debit card.

  • intouchcrm

    Thank you for the comment! Absolutely agree with you @Brad Hodson:disqus . CRM has to be simple and easy to use. Another app I would add to your list is InTouch. We are an entry-level CRM software provider targeted at small businesses. Our system is easy to use, we have banished all tech-talk and complicate terminology, we have tons of useful materials and much more. For anybody looking for a user-friendly CRM solution, I would suggest they give us a try.

  • Kara Johanson

    CRM provides a great mechanism to manage the existing customer as well as getting new ones.

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