Archive for May, 2010

Blindsided by LinkedIN

May 20, 2010

There I was… happily engaged in a great position that fit exactly what I wanted and needed in my career at the time.  I was working with a great team of people that were passionate and excited about what they were doing and I felt I was part of something that made a difference.  Plus I was part of the Pittsburgh market which was a dream come true for this Pittsburgh boy.  Granted, I didn’t expect to play out the rest of my career as General Manager at LHH of Pittsburgh but I was content and looking forward to the opportunities of the new year and I certainly wasn’t looking for a new job.

However, somewhere in New York City, a job started a journey to come looking for me.  A private equity firm that was in the process of buying a firm needed a new CEO to take over the company and help to drive the company into its future.  Their CEO-candidate search vehicle of choice?  A top-shelf executive recruiter?  Nope.  The recruiting offices of the finest business schools in the country?  Nope.  Friends/Family members/Old Cronies they knew? Nope, nope… and nope.

They chose LinkedIN.

The partners thought they might move into into other search tools if needed but why not start with LinkedIN. So they began networking on LinkedIN. They used a variety of keyword searches based on competitor names, titles, geographic locations, and specific terms of the industry and pretty quickly generated a list of about a dozen or so names. Some of this list they thought might be actual candidates; others on the list they thought might be one or two networking contacts away from actual candidates. The next step was to send out emails… or rather INMails… introducing themselves and their intent. I received one of those emails and responded (no offense to LHH but I couldn’t help but be curious).

The partners commented that they most appreciated three things about my profile (1) its detail because it helped them get a better sense for my background versus others they reviewed, (2) my recommendations because they knew they were probably the same folks that they would get in a traditional ‘reference list’ so why not read what they had to say, and (3) they found it interesting that there were more than a few intersections between their original list of 12 target contacts and my recommendation contacts. From there it became a fairly traditional interview process, mostly by phone with several different contacts and one face-to-face meeting. In fairly short order, there was an offer, a negotiation, an acceptance, a transition and a start date.  It all started with LinkedIN.

The point of this story?  Well, there are several… (1) LinkedIN works, (2) LinkedIN is used to source positions at all levels, (3) LinkedIN is a great tool to have work passively to advance your career, and (4) to encourage you that your efforts with LinkedIN will not be in vain, and they will pay a dividend.  You may not be expecting it when they do but they will pay a dividend.  As I’ve stated in previous blogs and in the various “LinkedIN Presentations” I gave around town, LinkedIN is a “Career Tool”, not a “Job Search Tool”.  Networking helps your career no matter what stage of your career you are in.  In fact, LinkedIN is already (again) an integral part of my sales efforts at the new company. You just plain need to have a complete LinkedIN profile.  If you need some pointers on what constitutes a ‘complete LinkedIN profile’ check out the links below.  If there was ever a ‘Just do it’ for you in terms of career management, utilizing LinkedIN as far as you can take it, would certainly be one.

By the way, make no mistake, while you can take the boy out of Pittsburgh, you can’t take Pittsburgh out of the boy… Go Steelers!

Some Helpful LinkedIN Links:

LinkedIN Best Practices for Business

Improving Your LinkedIN Profile

LinkedIN Blog