Connecting with job seekers at our first ‘Connect You’ InDay

October 20, 2011

Once a month, we set aside a Friday for employees to focus on investing in themselves and their community. It’s a day to spend time outside their daily task list. Check out other InDay posts here. – Ed. 

Transforming our careers and creating economic opportunity for our members is a goal we strive towards daily at LinkedIn. On October inDay, we did exactly that.

Key highlights from our October InDay

  1. In Mountain View, we kicked off the day with the Library[in] grand opening. Library[in] allows employees in our various offices to share knowledge through sharing books they’ve read or were written by our inDay speakers. Throughout the day employees were also encouraged to build their career skills by attending workshops held by their coworkers covering topics like Excel, Photoshop, Microvolunteering via, and International Relations. In our Chicago office, our employees held a school supply donation drive to support the Chicago Public schools and our offices in Europe held several activities focused on sharpening their skills.
  2. Michael Susi hosted an action packed Wimbled[in] match of the year between Steve Cadigan and Ryan Roslansky. Ryan proved to be victorious in the 3 hour duel!  Much was accomplished on October inDay.
  3. The highlight of the day was the session focused on our members. In this session, we took the idea of InDay to our members, by inviting over 30 job seekers and veterans to our campus for the purpose of turbo-charging their job search.  It was our first ever ‘Connect You’ session, aimed at equipping job seekers with the skills, tools, and strategies to find their dream job.

LinkedIn's First "Connect You" InDay with a focus on our members

LinkedIn employees contributed in two ways. First, as personal coaches, guiding the member with their particular job search challenges. Each member had a unique career twist. For example, we met Jane*, a highly qualified biomedical engineering graduate of Carnegie Mellon, who had been out of the workforce for 5 years due to personal circumstances.  Her skills are in demand, but recruiters don’t know what to make of the gap.  The coach was able to help with explaining and positioning that gap in her LinkedIn profile and highlight her recent professional activities. Second, experts from each product area operated workstations for ‘deep dives’ into specific topics:  job searching, positioning your profile, volunteering, networking and, of course, the crowd favorite, head shots for that profile picture.

Both groups felt a hugely positive vibe. Members felt they were unlocking new doors to opportunity:  “I never thought about searching for people as part of my job search.”  Many were inspired by our CEO, Jeff Weiner’s question and answer session. These were a few reactions: “that was a highlight of the day” … “He gave very specific advice to members, that means a lot.”  They were also inspired to see the people behind the website:  “You guys really care about helping members be successful… it shows.”

LinkedIn employees gained insights and felt great connecting with real members.  One coach felt that the LinkedIn attendees “radiated that ‘do good and feel good’ glow”.  Robby Kwok, Head of Business Development, rated his experience at 3 exclamation marks:  “what a fantastic InDay project!!!”.  Jimmy Wong, Senior Manager of Business Analytics, particularly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the members one on one. “The job seekers who attended were very interested in learning how to use LinkedIn to get an extra advantage in this competitive job market. The Connect You event helped them discover new ways to integrate LinkedIn into their overall job search strategies.”

With both groups of participants gaining a great deal of value from the event, we will continue to plan more events to engage job seekers in the future.

Thanks to all those who came out and contributed their energy and knowledge. Special thank you to the topic leads: Greg Brauner, Brendan Browne, Aaron Bronzan, Ryan Day, Meg Garlinghouse, Connie Chan Wang, Jeff Bank, and Hirji Delhonte, who provided their expertise during the session and Shreya Oswal, Brooke Lopez, MaryAnne Viegelmann, and Yoni Tamler, who made the day happen with logistics, email campaigns, and great planning in general.

* Name altered for privacy