Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What to do When You Receive a LinkedIn InMail

How LinkedIn InMails Work
I don’t make a habit of relying on the InMail feature on LinkedIn because historically (since 2005), I’ve found that a very high percentage of InMails I’ve sent to others have not been reviewed within 7 days.  I'm more inclined to pick up the phone and directly recruit rather on behalf of my clients rather than waiting for a week to determine that my communciation effort didn't work.

When InMails are not reviewed by the recipient of the InMail within 7 days, the sender’s LinkedIn account is credited with the InMail that was used but not seen by the recipient.  I share this just in case you don’t already know how InMails work.
When InMails do occasionally work, the person who receives the InMail has options.  They can Decline the InMail and mark it is appropriate, inappropriate, etc.  I can’t remember the exact responses but whatever response the recipient chooses; it impacts the InMail sender’s InMail score.

They can alternatively accept the InMail and mark it as appropriate.  This will keep the InMail sender's score positive.  Most of the time, when I send an InMail, I'm fortunate to have sent it to someone who is courtious.  Once in a while though, I send an InMail to someone who is cranky and likely would be cranky if Publisher's Clearing House showed up at their doorstep with a $1,000,000 check.

Sending InMails
Late last week, I sent out a hand-full of InMails.  I’ve received two responses so far today from people who have received my InMails.  You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that my InMails are appropriately written and delivered to appropriately targeted people.  I'm never into wasting anyone's time.

May I suggest a couple of dos and don’ts to consider when responding to InMail. First, understand that the person who sent the InMail paid for the right to send an InMail. If the InMail you receive is entirely inappropriate and seems like spam to you, mark it as such. 
However, if the InMail you receive is tastefully written, appropriate based on who you are and/or what you do and you’re not interested, simply ignore it.  That way you’re not burning up the other person’s InMail and 7 days later, the InMail will be credited back to the sender's account. 

Don’t Burn Bridges
Another reason you might want to simply ignore the InMail that might have been appropriate but written and sent to you at the wrong time is that you might need the person who sent the InMail to you at some point down the road.  In this case, you’re not burning a bridge that you might want to cross at a later date if you simply ignore their InMail.

Keep Your Possibilities Open for the Future
Here is a response I received from someone today who received my InMail on Friday.  My message was clearly well-received by this person and his response was entirely polite and appropriate.

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for contacting me. At this time I am not interested in leaving my company since I am currently involved in an ArcSight deployment project. Should other opportunities come up, please feel free to contact me.


From my standpoint, there is no reason at all why I wouldn’t reach out to this person in the future if as a security recruiter, I had an opportunity on my desk that would represent a step forward in this individual’s career. 
As a recruiter, I have to respect that not everyone wants to hear from me at the moment when I choose to reach out to them.  This person was smart enough though to recognize that it might make sense to keep the door open to a highly specialized security recruiter since he is a highly specialized security professional. 

SecurityRecruiter.com's Security Recruiter Blog