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The LinkedIn Propaganda Machine Hits Auckland

By March 20, 20146 Comments

Hey LinkedIn, thanks for the beers and networking opportunities on Wednesday night here in Auckland.  It was really cool that you threw a party to commemorate your attainment of the quite staggering landmark of 1 Million users here is New Zealand (for a country of just 4 million I think that’s a big deal).

But I’m afraid that a clutch of hastily snatched beers and a couple of rare beef nibbles, whilst appreciated, are not going to stop me feeling compelled to ask the question:

What the hell was with the full-on propaganda offensive rammed down our throats?

The presentation was slick.  It was polished.  The features are great and the numbers impressive.  I have, over the years, honed and developed my use of LinkedIn to a fairly effective level and can thank you for providing me a platform to build networks, relationships, make placements and generate profits.  But why would you gather together a notable attendee list of Auckland’s internal and external recruitment leaders and decision-makers, to then deliver such a patronising presentation?

We all know very well what a strong employer brand Air New Zealand has managed to build through LinkedIn and fair play to them for that, so thanks for continually reminding us throughout.  But what was with the Asparona thing?  Had they actually paid to sponsor the event or something?  And as for:

“We now have 277 Million profiles globally.  For all you recruiters out there, do you know what that means?  That’s 277 Million CV’s!!!”

No sh*t?  Really?

We were then told about the amazing algorithms going on behind the scenes that LinkedIn are so passionate about, amplified even further by the acquisition of last month.  So how come, if I’m looking for Matthew Bosher on there, without realising he’s one of the cool ones with only one “t” in his name, it can’t work out that 1st degree connection of mine is the profile I’m looking for?

To wrap up we were given a two minute pitch on the upcoming “absolutely phenomenal” Talent Connect conference they’re flogging tickets for in Sydney, with an apparently “already huge contingent of kiwis” heading across the ditch to attend?  Really?  Hands up who’s going?

Perhaps I’m being churlish.  LinkedIn has certainly helped my business over the years.  But then hey, they make it clear in their prospectus that it is their intention to help companies reduce their agency spend and reliance…

I’m sure LinkedIn will continue to improve their offering whilst making more money for their shareholders and it will be a win/win for all concerned.  But stop laying it on so thick.  We’re recruiters, but we’re not idiots (a statement I know many might contend…!)  We know who you are and what you want.  We know what we are and how to make the most of your fancy bells and whistles.

One last request for LinkedIn, while I’m here.  Once you’ve finished sorting out your algorithms, can someone please do something to stop the growing epidemic of crap like this:


And this



And especially this



Hey look, thanks for the invite, and for providing a useful tool and platform.  But I think the supposed “celebration” of a quite impressive milestone was lost amidst all the hype and propaganda.  Which is a shame.

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Gareth says:

    Spot on, other than not mentioning the very nice ‘duck spoons’ but you had to stand near the kitchen to get a sniff at those.

    Is LI becoming a ‘white collar’ facebook? with math questions replacing farmville and motivation posting replacing ‘funniest clip ever, must watch’ etc . I’m also getting ‘the secret to loosing belly fat’ posts and have got invites from Nigerian businessman/Bishops wanting to transfer $125,000,000 to my back account. I think so.

  • Steven says:

    Thanks Jon, that sums it up quite nicely. I also found it quite ironic/hilarious that a number of errors on the name tags… the attendees names were generally correct, but quite a few people had the wrong employer/company. I’d have thought LinkedIn might cross-reference that information from their database?

  • Excellent points, Jon. After having seen my share of these patronising presentations I often wonder whether the bearded hipsters in the marketing departments of vendors to the recruitment industry actually know what recruiters actually do each day.

  • LinkedIn are no longer the only place to find candidates online and they have the least responsive users. Did they mention that over half of their users visit once a week? Unlikely. You are so right Jonathan, they have become a propaganda machine.

  • BoB says:

    ” If you love recruitment but don’t take yourself too seriously, then read on.”

    Sound like you guys are taking yourselves too seriously…. it is only recruitment after all… the graveyard for those who can’t get a real job…

  • Ant says:

    Sorry I missed it, I think I was getting a hair cut. And to answer your question: no Air NZ did not sponser the event and Mat is indeed one of the cool ones.