Protect your firm’s reputation on LinkedIn

One of the things I’ve noticed recently on LinkedIn is that a few of my contacts still have profiles showing they are employed by a firm they’re no longer with. Presumably their account is either inactive or they haven’t bothered to update it.

While that doesn’t reflect particularly well on them, it could have huge implications for their previous employer. In fact, a couple of clients have asked me if I know how to get their company details removed from ex-employees profiles.

I asked LinkedIn and, while it is possible for organisations to get the link from a person to their company page removed (you just need to email LinkedIn customer services at http://help.linkedin.com), LinkedIn can’t amend a user’s profile in any way, shape or form without a user’s permission.

So, what can you do? 

If you email the person’s account details and the name of the company with which they are wrongly affiliated to LinkedIn, LinkedIn will contact them to ask them to update their account details. While that is definitely the first step for anyone with this problem,  I’d recommend trying to prevent this from happening in the first place.

How can you try to prevent this from happening? 

I would include updating LinkedIn (and other relevant social media) profiles as part of your exit process. This would mean that during a person’s last week (assuming they are on LinkedIn) you would ask them to change their current position and to list you as a past, rather than current, employer.

How do they amend this information? 

To change this information, the person needs to:

  1. log into their LinkedIn account,
  2. select ‘Edit Profile’ in the drop down box under ‘Profile’,
  3. click on the ‘Edit’ button next to their current position,
  4. uncheck the tick box next to the words ‘I currently work here’,
  5. put in the month and year they left the role into the boxes that appear next to the start date
  6. push the ‘Update’ button
They should also make sure their job title disappears from their Headline. If it doesn’t then they need to: 
  1. select ‘Edit’ next to their name at the top of their profile
  2. delete the text in the ‘Professional Headline’ box
Other things you should ask them to do include: 
  1. remove your company website from their profile
  2. remove your contact information/telephone numbers/any Twitter or blog accounts etc associated with your organisation

Someone should then check their profile prior to them leaving to ensure that everything that needs to be has been removed.

What other advice would you give to firms to manage this issue? 


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4 responses to “Protect your firm’s reputation on LinkedIn

  1. This is really smart. I can imagine this topic popping up more and more. Nice post!

  2. I don’t know, Kirsten. If you’re leaving a company (especially if involuntary), you probably have other priorities. Changing a profile notifies your network. You might not be ready for everyone to know before you’ve figured out your plans and updated your resume. Overlap for a few days or weeks probably won’t cause much harm.

    PS It’s wise to use a personal email address for LinkedIn. That way you still have access to your account after you leave.

    • Hi Promod, thanks for your comment.

      Agree that it might not always be best from an individual’s perspective but I think organisations have to also consider what’s best for them. The majority of the time people will have a notice period or time on gardening leave (I’m thinking in the professional services firm space) and it could reflect badly on an organisation if their clients believe someone is still with the firm, when they aren’t. While they/the firm may have communicated the fact they aren’t, this sends a mixed message. So long as both parties are aware that updating LinkedIn and other social media profiles should at least be discussed/considered before people leave the organisation, the problem of redundant profiles being associated with a company should be eliminated.

      Good idea to at least get people to change their email address from business to personal prior to leaving. It also means if they don’t update their profiles, LinkedIn can still contact them to ask them to do so down the track!

  3. Wow! Most Important blog! I have reviewed your ” Protect your firm’s reputation on LinkedIn” blog carefully, I get a Lot of important Topic from here.
    Thanks
    Robinson
    “web reputation”

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