"Why You Should Make Your New Employees Update Their LinkedIn the Day they Start!"
09/20/23 Edition Stephen Says Column


Dear Stephen,

I am an in-house HR recruiter for a large furniture manufacturer. I have a lot of different responsibilities, but my primary function is to identify candidates for my company across the country. (Yes – to avoid having to use an outside recruiter like you). I do references, background checks, salary negotiations and general on-boarding when they start.

More and more, as of late, I have noticed that once a new employee starts, they do not immediately update their #LinkedIn to have our company as their current employer. Additionally, we want them to make an “announcement” on LinkedIn that they’ve started working for our company. Our new hires updating their LinkedIn becomes part of our customer outreach, so their customers know where they’re working, and in fact, it’s an extension of our branding – when we get someone new, we want to show them off!

Part of my function as an HR pro, is to see that our communications department sends out a press release announcement to the industry trades… but we cannot control our employees LinkedIns! They own their own personal profile.

How long should I expect it to take for someone to update their profile and say that they’re working for us? Am I being unreasonable to request that the employee have it done on the day that they start?

Hiccup in Human Resources

Dear HR Hiccup,

A new employee’s LinkedIn profile should be updated the very day that they start their new job! No exceptions, no excuses! An employee can craft a new profile in creator mode and have it ready for when they start so they don’t even have to do it at work on their first day. It’s very important that this happens right away, here is why.  

It’s extremely uncomfortable for me, as a recruiter, as I’m sure it is for you as a #HR professional, to see that someone has delayed this change. Sometimes a candidate will be hesitant to tell their customers and industry colleagues that they’ve started a new job for fear that they may not like it. Therefore, they allow themselves a little breathing room before they announce to the world their new position. It makes sense on their end.  

Even worse, I’ve had clients tell me that new employees haven’t even quit their old job, sometimes working two jobs, or resigning a week later than they said they were going to, just to collect a commission or an extra paycheck! This is the type of thing you have to be very on top of when it comes to onboarding new employees.

It’s become so prevalent that I now tell my clients, as I would tell you, new employees updating their LinkedIn’s must be part of standard operating procedure when it comes to onboarding. It’s important because, as you pointed out, the employee has a right to control their own LinkedIn profile. Therefore, they literally need to be told by their new employer, that this change is expected of them from day one, similar to the way they are expected to come into work in the morning. And if they don’t want to make a change, or if they don’t make it promptly, you should wonder why.

Several years ago, people would have made the excuse that they didn’t understand how to do this on LinkedIn, or that it was complicated so they would get to it when they could… This excuse is no longer valid – it’s 2023, we all know how to post a status update! And frankly, if the candidate really doesn’t know how to do this on LinkedIn, then they really shouldn’t be working for you in the first place.

To my readers who are candidates changing jobs and understand this trick (stalling to update your LinkedIn): consider yourself outed or outdated! Either way, your boss or your HR will be catching up with you sooner rather than later.   


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