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Should LinkedIn 'recommendations' be covered by our regular reference policy?

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John Wilcox

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

We have a policy that requires all requests for employment references to go through HR; responses are limited to essential information. Managers are allowed to give personal references as long as they are not speaking as a representative of the organization. Lately managers have been asked to “recommend” staff on business-related social networking sites like LinkedIn. Since they are identified as managers of our organization on LinkedIn, wouldn’t that be a violation of our policy? We are split on this question, and I am wondering how other organizations handle this issue. — Peggie, Oakland

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

bill January 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Supervisors need to understand that when they are on social media they are representing the company. Once they indicate who they work for they are now “tied” to the company in that social media.
Another point is that once they become a supervisor they now have a greater role with the company image that does translate into their personal life.


Steven January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

We tell our supervisors not to recommend people on LinkedIn for exactly the reason you cite. But then again we don’t monitor anyone’s LinkedIn page either, so we’ll never know if they comply or not. Sad to say, it’s kind of our own version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”


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