A client of mine recently asked if she should send an invitation to a recruiter to join her LinkedIn network. After the first interview. I thought for a moment and said, “Why don’t you wait until the process is complete. If you get the job, send an invite. If you don’t get the job, still send an invite.”
To confirm the advice I gave my client was sound, I thought of asking recruiters what they thought. So I turned to the Facebook group, Recruiters Online. What I expected was a firm “nay” on candidates sending a LinkedIn invite after the first interview.
What I got was the exact opposite. In fact approximately 98% of the recruiters were in favor of candidates sending them a LinkedIn invite after the first interview. One recruiter wrote, “What’s the problem?” As if saying, “This is a dumb question.” Dumb as it may be, I was a bit taken aback.
These recruiters reminded me that what’s important in any situation is building one’s LinkedIn network. Here are just a few of the answers I received from approximately 70 recruiters who weighed in.
Kendra Saddler, “I usually sign off a promising screening call with, ‘Hey good talk, whatever happens, let’s keep in touch, I’d be honored to accept your Linked invitation.”
Michele Vincent, “If I was interviewing candidates other than skilled trades workers, I would expect [a candidate sending me an invite] and appreciate this — especially if I was interviewing for a marketing or sales position.”
Wendy Donohue Mazurk, “Obviously [I appreciate an invite] as I am interested in them or we wouldn’t be speaking. I also would send them one. Isn’t that the point of LinkedIn?”
Glenn Gutmacher, “If I’m interested in a candidate and we’ve gotten to the interview stage, that candidate wants as much insight as possible into 1) my company (e.g., see which relevant hiring managers I know) and 2) in case it doesn’t work out, [I can refer them to] outside companies who may have similar roles.
“Conversely, I’m appreciative because that candidate’s network should be chock-full of relevant talent for similar roles, and I’ll get a lot more potential candidates by perusing their network.”
Scott Axel, “Yes, and I find it professional and a good sign to indicate actual interest in the role.”
Julie Lynn, “I definitely connect with people that are interviewing with my clients whether or not they get the job.”
Steve Lowisz “Accepting a LinkedIn invite from a candidate you interview shows you are actually interested in people and not just going through the motions. If the candidate gives you the time to interview the least you can do is show some level of gratitude and accept their invitation—even if the are not the right fit. It’s a small world and people know other people.”
These are just some of the comments I received from my innocuous question, so I thought. Some of the respondents were polite in their answers, while others considered the question “crazy,” as one person wrote.
From now on when my clients ask me if they should send a LinkedIn invite to a recruiter after the first interview, I’ll confidently tell them that more than 70 recruiters I polled said to do it. What more proof do I need?