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Everyone speaks of social networking and building your net image these days. I have written of LinkedIn from time to time- having joined it way back in 2005. I am not one bit surprised to see that India has emerged as the fastest growing market for LinkedIn as per their CEO, Jeff Weiner.

Out of some 48 million users world wide, India has nearly 3 million members this year- the number having tripled in the last year alone. I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. India has tremendous potential for a site like LinkedIn.

The challenge will be to sift the wheat from the chaff. I visualize that before long every man and his uncle will be on LinkedIn.

There is nothing wrong in this per se, but organizations which plan to use LinkedIn as a source of information about potential candidates will need to use their discretion and be willing to spend more time as there will be far too many to choose from.

Recruiters can make use of LinkedIn to get primary data. I see the biggest challenge for recruiters in being able to get the right information out of people by asking the best questions. Time is at a premium for all and no one has the time and energy to answer a battery of questions- more so when they know your reason for asking. The ability to ask pointed questions and read between the lines is a skill today’s recruiter simply cannot afford not to have.

I have two rules for LinkedIn which have served me well.

  1. LinkedIn represents the “professional” me. I use other sites like Facebook for the personal side- though admittedly of late, the distinction is getting a bit blurred- not on my LinkedIn page but certainly on my Facebook one.
  2. I connect only with those I really know. I am not one of those who add “connections” indiscriminately. If some one were to ask me about one of my connections, I should be able to speak about them- not say that I actually don’t know them well enough to make a comment!

I see a terrific future for LinkedIn in India for the organisation as well as for you and I- its users.