I Was Fired For Recruiting on LinkedIn

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Recruiting on LinkedIn

The year was 2009 just a mere 3 years ago.  Social recruiting was just a baby and a number of recruiters were dabbling in hiring on Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook including myself.  Just as it is now, LinkedIn was a popular recruiting choice.  Back in those days LinkedIn Recruiter had been launched and sourcers spent time open networking within the platform to increase the reach of their LinkedIn database when searching for a candidate.

I first used social recruiting in 2001 when I recruited online for store retail positions using chat rooms, forums, and dating websites.  Back in 2001, there were really only two reasons to be on the internet, you were either viewing porn or looking for love.  I chose to recruit candidates using online matchmaking databases and leave the porn to the rest.  Interestingly enough, social media only recently overtook porn as the number one internet activity just last year.  It makes perfect sense as research has recently shown that talking about yourself which is commonly referred to as oversharing on social media stimulates the same part of your brain as sex.

Fired for Social Media

Cleaning out my email inbox last week, I came across a forwarded message from my old office having long forgot.  It was a copy of a corrective action document written for myself.  Yes, I fired for recruiting on social media and LinkedIn.

No, I wasn’t hacking, searching, or even stalking.  I simply posted a status update for my LinkedIn connections to see.  I wrote something like, “Hiring for full time account managers.  Great benefits, base + commission in Dallas. Apply <insert job ad url here>.”  Less than one hundred forty characters  led to my termination courtesy of LinkedIn.

The problem with social media is that it is easy so simple it is often too complex to understand, and when it comes to humans especially managers we often assume the worst even if that is wrong.  In HR when investigating an employee relations issue, we work hard to remain neutral, ask questions, and gather all the facts and information before jumping to conclusions.  Not all managers do the same as jumping keeps us from being ill prepared and disappointed.  We like to expect the worst.  My bosses assumed I was recruiting on the side for others using LinkedIn.  Ambushed during a boss’s visit I was quickly led to my office where me, my boss, and the SVP had ‘the talk.’  Facts were presented, but no questions asked.  Termination documents were hidden in a folder in my boss’s lap as they prepared to terminate my employment because I was recruiting for other clients on LinkedIn.  Except they were wrong.

Using SEO to Optimize and Increase Your Online Job Ad’s Reach

A common practice when writing an online job ad or posting is to slightly modify the posting adding additional searchable and SEO keywords to appeal to a larger potential audience.  Something that I did on a regular basis recruiting a large variety of professionals from different backgrounds for one of our calls centers in fundraising, outside sales, collections, and customer service including account managers.  And on LinkedIn.

So I was fired for recruiting on LinkedIn.  They had the documentation ready, and they ambushed me.  I grabbed my phone, opened LinkedIn, and clicked directly on the status update’s url to be led directly to my company’s online job posting.  So I lied, I was almost fired for recruiting on social media and LinkedIn, but still it’s quite the story none the less.  Have you ever been disciplined for using social media at work?  Please share your story.

Photo Credit.  


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  1. You should have been fired for lack of attention to detail, incoherency and poor spelling. What the fuck was this article about?

  2. Sadly, I don’t believe your story is unique. After all, HR is the last bastion of maintaining order and compliance in the corporate universe. Innovation is rarely tolerated in many corporate environments . What is accepted is what is the current meme or hype in the industry.

    The biggest problem I see is that HR has a massive skills deficiency in regards to understanding technology, basic technology infrastructure, and how this multi-level chess board we play in fits together. You would be surprised how many sharp talking, glad handing, HR execs have no clue about our space. You see, in my first career as a polymer chemist I had to pass p chem and advanced calculus to get in the door – and if that was not a good enough screen, if I was a fool at work I could blow the place up and self select out via genetic Darwinism. But what is the screen for an HR leader? You would be surprised!!!

    Now that’s an area I know a lot about…

    Ray Schreyer |
    Ray Schreyer
    • Thanks Ray. We are the keepers of policy and procedure. Sometimes we arevt rewarded for our creativity more out of fear or ignorance. I think this was one of those time working in a position that is known for procedure.

      Thanks for the comment.


  3. You might want to get someone to proofread your posts. There are typos in this piece. You’re well suited for a top HR position. Inept and clueless…

    his dat |
  4. You are really something, Jessica. You should have been watching porn! At least getting fired for that is justifiable and more pleasurable so-to-speak. Just look back and see how far you’ve come. Good blog post though!


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