Can Employers Control Their Employees’ LinkedIn Profiles?

Employees are the cogs that keep company gears moving forward. It’s understandable that any business would want to keep those cogs well-oiled and optimized. Problems that an employee may encounter are also the company’s problems. That being said, employees are still people, and they have free will. Trying to control and manipulate them will end badly.

That point also holds true when it comes to social profiles such as LinkedIn. Companies are already attempting to dictate the content that employees publish on their social profiles. Not only do these measures often backfire on businesses, in some cases the practice can actually be a breach of first amendment rights. However, there are several ways for a company to more subtly influence how their employees’ profiles are put together.

LinkedIn Profiles Can Affect a Business

It’s certainly possible for employees to bring down your business or company through poor execution of their personal LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t just look bad on the individual when a profile misses its mark — it can also reflect poorly on their employer. That point is even more apparent once it’s understood that anything published on LinkedIn is publically visible.

Still, you can’t exactly control what an employee is publishing on their profile. You can, however, directly influence the end result by providing them the necessary tools.

Make Sure Higher Level Employees Understand the Network

Before you make any decisions regarding social media, it is imperative that you first understand all of the related ins and outs of the LinkedIn network. Don’t just explore how the medium is used; you should also take a look at how companies and employees can benefit from it. If you don’t understand how a system works, how are you supposed to explain it to others? Ensure that both you and high-level managers understand the importance of LinkedIn, and what it should be used for.

Here’s an example: an SEO company knows a whole lot more than the basics of how search engines work. They also know shortcuts and optimization methods. On top of that, they follow SEO trends and continuously update their policies, goals and strategies to ensure the tools of their trade are working for them. Because LinkedIn is constantly changing, employees should make a point to stay on top of related changes and updates to the website in the same way.

Educate Employees on Using the Network

Don’t just tell employees what changes they need to make to their profile or how to set one up in simple terms. This may imply that your employees are inept. Instead, seek to educate them. A crash course might open up new doors.

Chances are, you may have some employees who are reluctant to create a profile. Look at this as an opportunity to increase your brand’s reach. At the very least, refer these employees to a contact that can help them create a new profile, or clean up an existing one.

It’s also a great idea to offer training or workshops on how to network using LinkedIn. Just having a LinkedIn profile isn’t effective in itself anymore. Training on LinkedIn’s networking applications may offer employees vital strategies that will help them increase their options, as well as beef up their profiles.

Keep Your Company Page Current

Every time an employee lists that they work for a particular company, they have an option to choose a company page from a dropdown list. This links the employee’s profile to their workplace. It’s important that this company page is managed by someone who works for your business, particularly someone higher up in the HR department. They can ensure that all of the necessary information is up-to-date and accurate. They can also monitor new and existing employee profiles for questionable material.

Use ‘Work With Us’ Ads to Your Advantage

When employees list that they work for a particular business or company on LinkedIn, an excellent opportunity to step in arises. Work With Us ads allow you to publish information about your business on any participating employee’s profile.

They also allow you to make use of your employee’s information or account by turning it into a recruitment tool. For instance, you can browse the most relevant connections for an employee to determine who might serve as potential candidates for an open position with your company. You can also see correspondence between an existing employee and potential new hire.

Essentially, the Work With Us ads allow you to get a full glimpse at LinkedIn activities for connected employees. The best part is that said employees volunteer to participate by adding company information to their profile. You’re not forcing them to do anything. Therefore, it doesn’t look bad on your business or brand, in addition to affording you benefits.

There Are Plenty More Methods Out There

The methods talked about here are not the only ways to influence how your employees use LinkedIn, or how to help them improve their profiles. How would you go about ensuring your employees produce a profile that meets your company’s needs? What methods have you used in the past? Please share your own experiences with the community.

Views: 1182

Tags: Human Resources, LinkedIn, recruitment

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 5, 2013 at 5:08pm

Can they? Yes. Should they? No.

Next question, please.

 

Keith

Comment by Sunil Kumar on November 13, 2013 at 10:01am

Good points..

Comment

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