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If you’re a member of Linked:HR, you are among more than 940,000 HR professionals networking in the largest LinkedIn group for professionals—and you may recognize the name Pamela Harding, SPHR.
That’s because as Next Dimension Media’s (NDM’s) chief human resource officer and director of corporate operations, Harding brings together 1.5 million professionals as they network within more than 100 groups and subgroups on LinkedIn. She is community chair of Linked:HR, one of the four largest among 2 million groups on LinkedIn.
In her role as NDM’s top HR executive, Harding is responsible for corporate services that support business-to-business marketing for the organization’s Fortune 500 clients. She also manages all of NDM’s business operations and is manager in a number of the businesses’ LinkedIn groups.
Harding has some advice for HR professionals who want to get the most out of LinkedIn:
Observe first. “Understand what the group roles are [and] what the group norms are,” she said. “See what kinds of discussions are coming out.” She advises first observing and then participating by adding opinions, asking questions or starting a discussion. Your level of engagement should be “whatever is right for you.”
Be consistent. People are looking at your LinkedIn profile whether you are a passive or active job seeker, she said, so make it count. She also noted that it is important for people’s profiles to be consistent across different social media platforms; recruiters should be assessing this when they’re looking for talent.
Engage. “Don’t be afraid to jump in and make a comment,” she said. “If you’re just receiving, you’re not having a dialogue.”
Group discussions are seen only by group members, and membership in Linked:HR is open only to individuals working in HR. Sixty percent of the group’s members are outside the United States. HR professionals concerned about confidentiality can reply privately to someone who has made a comment within a group discussion.
Say “cheese.” “Have a good photo,” Harding advised. “With social media, you need to have that picture. People relate to that a lot better.”
Update regularly. While LinkedIn is a great recruitment tool for HR professionals to use in hiring, they should also be mindful of their own career development. “It is imperative that they keep their profiles up-to-date and network on the site,” she said.
Put more into your job summary than just your job title, and refresh your profile regularly. “So often, you’ll put something in there and walk away and two years later you’ll still have the same thing.”
Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM and the author of A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn . . . and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites (SHRM, 2013).
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