Monday, January 17, 2005

Social Networking for Jobs

I pointed out the other day why blogging can be a good way to build your online reputation which can trickle down in the off-line word in the form of a JOB!

Today, I have come across posts about how PeopleSoft employees are flocking to LinkedIn.

If you are not familiar with LinkedIn, let me give you a primer on social networking, the phenomenon under which LinkedIn belongs to. For everybody else, you can skip this part.

We all are connected. Call it the six degrees of seperation. How are we connected to another person? Due to a commonality between the both of us. You can call it friendship, classmate, colleague, neighbour, a particular sport, poetry, a hobby, common geography, ethinicity etc (you get the idea). These are called 'relationships'. The whole idea of social networking is to map the connections between people and understand their relationships.

What is a Social Network?
A social network is a map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds. The analysis of social networks (sometimes called network theory) has emerged as a key technique in modern sociology, anthropology and organizational studies, as well as a popular topic of speculation and study. Research in a number of academic fields have demonstrated that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.
One of the more famous applications of social network theory is the idea of Online Social Networking. The internet has made is easier to make social networking possible in myraid different ways faster than anytime before in history. These social networking sites in various different functionality, Friendship, business, dating, even marraige introductions in India.

Judith Meskill has a meta list of social networking sites available in the world. He has divided them (for now!) into 9 different categories - business; common interest; dating; face-to-face meeting facilitation; friend; MoSoSo (Mobile Social Software); pet; photo; and ‘edge’ cases or social networking ‘plus’ sites.

I would add to this list marraige networking sites like and in India.

And, hold your breath he lists some 380 sites after 56 updates. Wow!

[If you are interested to know more you can check out this piece by Danah Boyd, Friendster and Publicly Articulated Social Networking ]

LinkedIn is one of the more professional oriented social networking sites available today. Connect to me through LinkedIn. Now, coming to the peoplesoft story.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL - News) today announced that its PeopleSoft integration plan is proceeding on schedule and that it will be reducing the size of its combined workforce to 50,000, a reduction of approximately 5,000. Notifications at PeopleSoft and Oracle began today and a majority will be completed over the next ten days.
Chiara Fox reports that employees in Peoplesoft are flocking to LinkedIn.

Everyone at PeopleSoft is going a bit nuts with getting their networks up-to-date and whatnot. Not surprising since it's a little more than a month until the axe drops upon most folks here. Invitations to LinkedIn are flying around like nobody's business.

I figured since tomorrow is my last day here, I might as well join the fray and get as much info up-to-date as well. There are way more folks that I know on LinkedIn than I was aware of. So, yes, you are prolly getting a "please add me to your network" email from me. If you don't, please feel free to send me one. It is mostly likely due to my eyes blurring at the screen and just not seeing your name.

It's kinda fun (in that ego stroking way) to see how many connections you can collect.

Joi Ito picks this up and does his own small research and has a surprising finding.
If you search for PeopleSoft employees who have joined in the last 30 days, you get over 3,700 results. There are 5,500 or so employees listed in total which is around half of their employees. It probably has something to do with the fact that 6,000 PeopleSoft employees are supposed to get the axe today.
Ross Mayfield catches this and blogs that "Socialtext is looking for good people, I might add. Engineers, designers, sales and customer support. Just contact me through LinkedIn."

Not to be left behind Jeff Nolan of SAP Ventures posts on his blog that he needs some experienced IT guys.

If you are a sales or marketing executive at PeopleSoft, I want to hear from you. We have several portfolio companies that are aggressively building out their sales and marketing organizations and we need people with your experience.

I also have some companies that need senior management in services and engineering, as well as one company (manufacturing software) that I need a CEO for.

Email me and I'll make sure to connect you with an opportunity.

Brad Feld, a VC at Mobius, pitches in.

Jeff Nolan beat me to it with his “Attn PeopleSoft Employees” post, but he’s right on the mark. Given Oracle’s announcement that they are laying off 5,000 people today, a lot of experienced IT folks will be hitting the streets in the next few weeks. Like SAP Ventures, we’ve got a number of enterprise software companies that would love to talk to experienced sales, marketing, and engineering ex-PeopleSoft folks.

Email me if you are ex-PeopleSoft and are looking for a new gig and I’ll hook you up with some of our relevant companies.

If you are still with me, you would realize the importance of social networking and blogging. Are your connecting!

Update :

LinkedIn has started a new service, LinkedIn Jobs. Apart from the normal job services, it provides your relationship link to the person who posted the job. This makes it easier for job seekers to connect to the employer and the employer to find qualified candidates.

Update :

Social Networking as CRM tool from

For the test I selected 30 sales executives I wanted to interview, and using LinkedIn I asked my network members to facilitate an introduction to these people I had never met. In following up with these individuals I was able to convince 18 of them to help me with my project. It equates to a 60 percent hit rate--compared with results from cold calling, this is very impressive.

Line56 provides examples of social networking.

Ask Mike Cleland, a VP at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, who just recently was trying to get the right contact at a big semiconductor company. Cleland talked to colleagues about the issue but still couldn't find the right contact. Then he turned to Web-based software from a company called Spoke and found a way to penetrate the account.

At the time, CGE&Y was piloting a relationship networking application from Palo Alto-based Spoke with a group of 40 employees on the West Coast. The system is pretty simple. You select folders -- for example, e-mail inboxes and contact lists -- on your desktop and choose to have them made searchable by the system. In Cleland's case, he typed in the name of a potential contact at the semiconductor company and found out that a CGE&Y colleague knew the person. "Up pops this relationship with the guy in the office next to me," Cleland relates.


LinkedIn works at an earlier business development level. The idea is to establish your own social network, at LinkedIn, where you create a profile and enter contacts whom you can then choose to share with others across your network. The network itself reflects the "six degrees of separation" concept. If you have several people in your network, you can theoretically reach millions of others -- contacts of contacts to the nth degree.

However, LinkedIn's contention is that just reaching others is not enough. The site is based on the idea of referrals, in which a contact recommends you to one of their contacts in an ongoing chain. This personal touch goes some distance towards solving the one-to-many relationship problem inherent in business as well as in life.

More links from Line 56.


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