Forgive me if a silly question, however it has been coming across my desk more and more often. I have worked hard through various networking strategies to build an extensive LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. database of potential future candidates. I am being requested more and more often to become connections with fellow recruiters, and am protective of my already established connection list. I have thought of making my connections viewable only to myself, but find that somewhat defeats the networking process.
I feel sharing your contacts is OK as one have to think about the team spirit and the larger goals of the company as well.
Hell, it depends on a lot of other things such as assignment of work to you and your fellow recruiters. If you guys are working on the same skill set than you should not share your connections. Also there is no ownership when it comes to recruiting even if it is your best buddy.
Even if you share your contacts, it's for you to bring it to the attention of you management that it was your contact who's been again contacted by your fellow recruiter.
If you've built a quality list of contacts through your social networks, it's understandable to be concerned about this. If you find yourself wanting to protect these networks you have to ask yourselves a couple questions. First, are you making it any more difficult for your fellow recruiters to find the people you are trying to keep from them? Probably not. Second, are you maybe keeping a connection from happening that might be beneficial to someone in your network? For instance, if there is a contact in your network whom you may never place and a fellow recruiter has a perfect career opportunity for him I would be inclined to want to see that connection made. (BTW, this reminds me a little of what the gatekeepers are doing trying to keep you from cold calling into their employees to recruit them!!!) LinkedIn makes the decision easier because you can lock out browsing of your contacts, but your are still helping fellow recruiters to build their networks (and they yours). I think it's a win-win.
Personal preference, but I do accept connections with recruiters - just not handed over a call list to them.
I can understand your concern, and from my perspective, I would keep the list private (but this just comes from my experience as a headhunter in a cut throat environment). Not only do you run the risk of "exposing" someone that is in a job search by having them as a connection, but as a recruiter it is all about who you know. Sure, you want to help your candidates, but not at your own expense. If the individuals trying to connect with you are primarily in the same market, I would make my list private.
I don't share my contacts; they are visible only to me. I value the privacy of past candidates, potential candidates, as well as clients, and potential clients that I am connected with through LinkedIn. I have created groups specific to the niche I recruit in and other recruiters are not allowed in the group - this is a question of the work and relationships I have built. I am happy to send information to my contacts regarding recruitments or candidates they might have an interest in and have done so without expecting anything in return. That is how I give back - my work is valuable and I wouldn't steal the same type of work from anyone else -
Good luck with it all - it can be confusing at times.
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