Career Advice – Candidate Pestering = Networking FAIL!

Mar 3 2011 in Featured, Networking/Social Networking, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Today’s career advice is about gaining introductions without being an obnoxious pest … and therefore increasing your chances of actually getting those introductions.

I see this pest at just about every networking event – The glommer candidate.

But you don’t have to go to a party or networking event to find job seeker glommers. Today, glommer candidates can find you … online.

Today job seeking glommers are even more rampant among candidates, especially ones who are between jobs.

The online glommer takes your willingness to help a little (or a lot) too far. You can easily spot an online glommer -you’ll recognize them as someone who friends you on Linkedin (or Facebook), and then tries to connect to everyone in your company at the same time. You find out about it because 10 of your friends all ask you if you know this person who sent each of them a connection/friend request – within a week’s time span. You can bet that some of those friends will end up asking why you referred that glommer.

Linkedin can be a haven for job seekers who are online glommers, and one finds me just about each week.

Now don’t get me wrong … I’m an open networker, happy to connect people who are respectful, honest and ask politely. I view it as karma, paying-it forward, and believe “what goes around, comes around.” It’s part of the online reputation I’ve built, as someone willing to help. But while I’m happy to help those who help themselves, I don’t have the time to do research for those who aren’t my paying clients.

This glommer took it 10 steps too far.

I’m happy to help a person who asks for my help after they have researched my contacts, finds one or two people they would like to reach, explains their purpose, and sends an introduction request through Linkedin’s system. That’s not glomming because it’s reasonable, respectful, transparent, and they’ve demonstrated behavior that’s not likely to embarrass me when I refer. Plus, they’ve done their homework – to make it easy for me to help.

On the other hand, the glommer that contacted me last week first sent me a string of emails asking me to research my database for people that might help them in varying industries … rather than doing the research himself. He wasn’t asking if I could help them reach a specific person – that would have been fine. Instead, the glommer asked me to invest my own time to research my own database of 23M Linkedin contacts to see who could help him. That’s not very likely – I’m far too busy to do a candidate’s job search for them, unless they’ve contracted for my time to outsource part of their search.

I politely suggested to the glommer that he could research my network and send a few Linkedin introduction requests through their system. So I opened my big mouth, trying to be nice, and he responded by asking for 10 introductions, all within an hour. Worse yet, he didn’t send Linkedin introduction requests, he asked me to send him contact information for all 10.

I wonder how he’s planning to treat those he’s asked me to refer? He’s never going to find out, because there’s no way I’d send email/phone contact information to someone I didn’t personally know, especially someone who demonstrated the fine art of glomming.

In addition, it’s much more intrusive on the referrer to research and email contact information, rather than just forwarding a Linkedin introduction request. Yes, there are limits and costs to send introduction requests through Linkedin – but it’s less intrusive to the referrer, gives the target the choice to accept contact before releasing contact info, and it makes 2nd and 3rd level introductions possible. Therefore, the candidate has a much higher chance of the introduction request being forwarded, rather than ignored.

You’ve experienced the glommer at parties – hopefully you’re not a glommer yourself. The glommer is someone who over-capitalizes your time, who overstays his/her welcome with you, who just won’t let you talk to others no matter how politely you try to leave.

How likely are you to take a glommer’s call or return a glommer’s email after a networking event? How likely are you to refer the glommer to your friends and contacts? Would you suspect the glommer would also glom onto them?

Some glomming job seekers often don’t even realize that they’re pests – it’s usually not done on purpose. Job seekers are having a tougher time of these days … some are desperate and desperate people occasionally don’t think through their actions as clearly.

What would you do? Would you connect a pest to 10 of your friends or loose connections?

Employers and Recruiters – Please share your career advice … What impression do pests make on you? Would you refer one?


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