People keep asking me if I’m going to LinkedIn Talent Connect.

It’s complicated.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about a LinkedIn hackathon that very few people actually read. I was like, “Is today the day that I woke up looking stupid?”

Here’s the summary: LinkedIn held a recruiting event, disguised as a non-technical hackathon, that perpetuated sexist and outdated myths about human resources — a function that’s actually doing okay. LinkedIn came across as elitist and ageist. They also used marketing language for the event that insults their current buyers — those HR people and recruiters who are allegedly broken and old.

Then some dude at LinkedIn wrote an adorable and emotional response to my post, which probably wasn’t approved by his boss. His heart was in the right place; however, nobody read his post, either. Much of the comments are reactionary, uninformed and somewhat offensive.

Welcome to the internet in 2015.

Then my name showed up in forums and tweets. I received eerie messages via email and social media. It was tough to differentiate between the messages from weirdos and the messages from LinkedIn employees who were defending the company brand. (Sometimes it was one in the same.)

I’m busy, so I reached out to someone who works in LinkedIn’s HR department and asked if we could talk. Apparently, LinkedIn was going through an Outlook to Google email migration and my emails weren’t coming through. Or she didn’t want to speak to me. (Both could be true.) We finally connected on my third attempt to reach her.

We spoke on the phone, or rather, she took my call on speakerphone so she could take notes — probably with lawyers in the room, but maybe not. (That’s how I would have done it.) We also spoke in the afternoon, Pacific time, because no other time matters when you work in the tech industry. I postponed dinner to have this chat. That’s how much I wanted to resolve this weirdness.

No good deed goes unpunished. The HR lady at LinkedIn wanted to know what I wanted from her, which is a legitimate question. LinkedIn doesn’t control the internet. People write what they want to write. What’s the big deal?

I said, yeah, that’s true. But she ostensibly becomes my HR lady for a few minutes while I vent about how stupid this whole process feels.

Then I focused on solutions, something she can’t  do because she is a non-strategic HR lady (according to her hackathon).

I said — I have zero relationships with anybody at LinkedIn, unlike other large enterprise software companies. I could come to LinkedIn Talent Connect on my dime and reintroduce myself to her bosses and the leadership team. I said — we could start fresh, establish relationships and have a less combative relationship. Fantastic suggestion, right? Excellent olive branch, yes?

I haven’t heard from her since.

So my opinion of the LinkedIn business model is unchanged. LinkedIn is like the Ashley Madison of HR. The only reason you go there is to cheat on your current employer, and your data gets hacked.

And I’m probably not going to LinkedIn Talent Connect.


  1. I hadn’t thought about comparing LinkedIn to Ashley Madison before but it couldn’t be more true ….*clicks on linkedin job posting while at work* 😉

  2. Sounds familiar. I was one of the readers of the article that you did about the hackathon and agreed completely with your perspective.

    As a (paying) corporate client of LinkedIn, often we don’t hear back from the company or they launch new services without giving us any advanced notification (and these services impact our own service delivery).

    I prefer twitter for outreach and engagement with potential candidates. LinkedIn is only one tool that can be used in HR/recruitment. To attend a conference that only focuses on LinkedIn wouldn’t make sense to me or my organization.

  3. I read the posts this weekend and good for you. The tone of the guy who responded to you really bothered me. It’s a case study in mansplaining- he even called you “hostile,” just in case you didn’t get it.

    He also has no sense of awareness that his “title” is “talent systems dude.” Does that mean if he leaves, someone with a vagina wouldn’t qualified?


    My last experience with LinkedIn corporate was when someone called me trying to sell me one of their products. I do some recruitment consulting in education and a very young sounding man kept trying to sell me something as if I was in charge of a large HR department. I literally asked him if he had looked at my LinkedIn profile before he called and he admitted no, I was just on a call sheet someone had given him. Did not give me confidence in what they do to say the least.

Comments are closed.