Networking events for IT professionals. Award winning blog series. Weekly podcast. Meet. Read. Listen. By @echodave, @bobwaltenspiel

Sometimes The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

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Originally posted 2013-03-20 11:40:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You know how you hear/see those commercials for whatever wonder pill of the week some pharmaceutical company wants you to take to help you sleep, help you stay awake, lose weight, or whatever else they’re targeting…and then the side effects they rattle off sound worse than the symptoms that you’re currently experiencing?  Personally, I think I’d rather deal with a little sleeplessness than worry about migraines, memory loss, uncontrollable urges, and of course my latest favorite – “women that are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle this drug”.  Really?

There’s something in it *so* toxic and screwed up that any woman who comes near it risks pregnancy complications…and yet this is something that’s perfectly safe for a guy to ingest? Really?!

Anyway, the moral of the story here is that LinkedIn has “cured” the problem with the Jobs tab.  However, the way they did it…well, in my opinion anyway…is worse than the original problem…

See, now when you click “Jobs”, you don’t get presented with the jobs the recruiters in this group have posted by default. No, now you get hit with random items posted in LinkedIn’s main Jobs area…which, okay, I can understand why they’d want to do that and all…but it’s pointless.

– It’s just another random job posting from just another random recruiter.

– Sure, they say that we can go in and setup a custom feed…but the filters don’t work. There’s no way we’re going to let some firehose stream of jobs from around the country start flooding in here. So…that feature’s not turned on. Some of you QA/Testing folks might want to touch base with LinkedIn’s main customer support area, because they obviously need some help right about now.

– You have to click “Career Discussions” from the Jobs tab in our group in order to get to what I hope you’re looking for – jobs posted in this group by recruiters that participate in our events and with our group.

Update: they’ve gone and completely broken it.  You may need to take this approach to find the jobs:

The worst part of it is the “announcement” about it, and how transparent it is that they’re doing their best to spin it:

(you can read the original by clicking here)

“Group members can now more easily discover high-quality, relevant career opportunities within their groups. Group managers can improve the experience for their members by setting up a daily targeted job feed. Job posters can more easily reach the right professional audience. It’s a win for everyone.

We’re excited to bring the most relevant job opportunities to professional communities in LinkedIn Groups. It’s just one more way we hope to connect talent with opportunity.”

Ugh.  What a bunch of nonsense.  Naturally, I responded…and for some reason, my latest comment is still “awaiting moderation” on their blog…go figure:

I have played around with your “improvements”. As both the manager of a group, and a member of several others…let me lay out the basics of my thoughts with the phrase: “Please stop trying to help. Please.”

1. Group members can now more easily discover high-quality, relevant career opportunities within their groups.

No they cannot. Now when they hit the “jobs” tab within the group they get hit with jobs other than the ones that are actually posted in our group by recruiters looking to hire people from the group. You know, the “personal” connection that LinkedIn is supposed to be trying to foster? Fail. Now they have to intuitively try and figure out that “career discussions” is what they’re actually looking for.

2. Group managers can improve the experience for their members by setting up a daily targeted job feed.

No, we cannot. The “location” filter doesn’t work, and since our group is all about the metro Detroit area, we couldn’t seriously care less who’s hiring in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and everywhere else in the country that pops up in the job feed thanks to yet another poorly tested function being rolled out. Fail #2.

3. Job posters can more easily reach the right professional audience.

No, they cannot. Because the filters don’t work, and so the feeds are useless. That’s Fail #3.

4. It’s a win for everyone.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

5. We’re excited to bring the most relevant job opportunities to professional communities in LinkedIn Groups. It’s just one more way we hope to connect talent with opportunity.

Oh come ON…at least be honest about it. Just write something like “We’re excited that people that post jobs now have the opportunity to spam them into groups that aren’t interested, in the hopes that it will encourage more people to use the ‘paid’ job postings feature instead of fostering the more personal relationships that we claim to be interested in helping build by having people connect on a local, group by group level.”

Be honest, be real, and if you’re so convinced that this is the right path to take, at least roll it back until the following things can be proven out and work:

– Let the jobs posted in the groups be the default view. If someone is interested in things from outside the group, let them click into another screen/page to do so.

– Fix it. Without location-specific, industry-specific, functional filtering in place, available and working, this is worse than useless to anything other than broad-based, wide-open groups.

Come on, LinkedIn. You’re supposed to be better than this.

The sad part is that based on my earlier comment on this announcement, I’ve heard from a number of people not just here in the metro Detroit area, but quite literally from around the world that are having the same problems and general thoughts about this “upgrade”.  Some groups are getting fed up and bailing off LinkedIn for other venues, other platforms, or other sites like Facebook, Meetup and the like.

And don’t get me wrong – we all “get” it.  LinkedIn’s working hard on getting IPO-ready, which means that they’re trying to find ways to show revenue stream.  It’s understandable.  Naturally one of those ways would be to find new methods of getting those paid job postings out to as wide of an audience as possible, which means getting them out into the groups.  LinkedIn is a very valuable tool, and we all like it, use it, and refer people to it frequently.  Frequent readers here know that we’re appreciative of LinkedIn’s model and intentions and don’t like to see it abused.

But LinkedIn itself is now violating one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Networking – they’re not being honest, and then on top of that, they’re rolling out poorly tested, buggy features to stable communities that rely on their core capabilities.  The LinkedIn community is (for the most part) supposed to be comprised of professionals.  Professionals understand business drivers and business “need”.  Hell, I would actually probably be all in favor of this…if it actually worked.  If there was a way that we could manage to get more jobs posted in our group that are in the metro Detroit area and have to do with the IT industry…does anyone really think for a minute that we wouldn’t do it?  Yeah, we’d still make sure that we called out the difference between “jobs from a feed” and “jobs from the recruiters actually participating in our group directly”..but you wouldn’t hear nearly as much angst about it.

So, if you’re looking for jobs in our LinkedIn group, hit the “Jobs” tab once you’re in the group, and then you’ll see a link on the page that says “See career discussions in this group” or in the left rail that says “Career Discussions” – click one of those, and that will take you to where you want to be.  That’s where you’ll find the jobs that are being posted by the recruiters that take part in our group directly, and obviously we encourage you to work with them.

Oh…and LinkedIn?  Don’t Be That Guy.

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