I was invited to join a LinkedIn group the other day. Well actually I probably get invited to join a LinkedIn group every day but this one stood out. I am not going to name the group or the recruitment company that started it, I’ll simply mention what lessons we can all learn here. In a world with 2 million LinkedIn groups you can’t afford to waste time on doing things wrong.

Here’s how NOT to run a LinkedIn group:

  • The name of the group was the same as the recruitment agency. Unless you are Apple or Google it’s going to be hard to build a community around your brand on LinkedIn, very few people will want to join a group that carries a name like Mickey Mouse Recruitment. Ideally you’d want to build the group around a topic, such as HR, Marketing or Healthcare. This is going to interest professionals in that field, ‘Joe Bloggs Staffing’ is not.
  • There were 4 posts in the group, all by the group manager and all about current vacancies that the recruitment agency are working on. So no content about the market, people or news. No real discussions between peers. Not even a question for anyone – just a direct sales channel in other words. A soon as I saw this I knew this would be another tumbleweed LinkedIn group set up by a recruiter.
  • ghost town linkedin group for recruitersI saw no reason to join this group unless you are an active jobseeker. If it’s all about jobs and recruitment, it won’t attract the 80% of LinkedIn users who are happy in their jobs – big mistake when we know that passive candidates are typically the best ones. Even when a jobseeker does join this group, as soon as they find a new job what will they do? Leave the group as soon as they find something.
  • My invite was sent way too early. Why send invites to a group that has less than 5 members? It’s a fact that people want to go where other people are, just think of that swanky night club with long queues outside. The better way of doing it would be to reach a critical mass, say 50 or 100 people before blasting it out to un-initiated users. So start with the team, then friends and family (if they oblige that is), then candidates and clients that already know you and then go public with the group.
  • I didn’t stick around long enough to gauge the group rules, moderation, any welcome emails – so don’t know if they actually did these things right. I for one won’t be going back to find out.

Any other thoughts on how not to run a LinkedIn group? Please let me know!

Related: How To Grow a LinkedIn Group to 35k+ Members [Case Study].

photo by: Ken Lund

The original Undercover Recruiter, after 7 years in tech recruiting Jorgen now runs Link Humans, a social media agency in London.