Should You Keep Your Employees Off LinkedIn?

LinkedIn logo and LinkedIn logo with red line through it
Encourage your employees to use LinkedIn, or not?
I have been a proponent of having employees on LinkedIn. From my viewpoint, there is value associated with a network of industry invested individuals providing social network connections between their employing company and other industry related individuals. Creating and nourishing pathways for your company to be discovered is a very positive thing, right?
Surprise, Marketer, not every business owner thinks so.
CMS4i does not have a brick and mortar presence. Everybody works remotely, so we arrange to meet periodically to accomplish things better done face to face. Recently, we invited a customer to meet with us, provide some feedback on our social marketing services, and allow us to generally interrogate him (not  really) in an effort to learn something valuable. One of the striking points made by our esteemed customer concerned his desire to avoid having employees active on LinkedIn. Of course, this is near heresy to a social media marketer and, after regaining my composure, I queried as to his reasoning.
Workforce protection.
My customer viewed LinkedIn as a human resource market, where his competitors or other industry related companies could find his trained and experienced employees, then target them for recruitment. True, LinkedIn certainly is a go-to venue for both hiring managers and job seekers. The business owner seemed to have a valid point.

Surely, there was some analysis that could be done, some balance to be struck? Not in this case. The business owner valued the human assets represented by his well trained technicians far in excess of any marketing sizzle that could be delivered by extending his LinkedIn reach. As a marketer, I needed to recognize that there may have been other strategic or tactical goals than mine. There was more to a business than just getting business.

The takeaway here is to remember that, as a marketer, we view and participate in only a small slice of the businesses we serve. We need to be flexible and accommodative with other facets of the business in our pursuit of growth.

Follow, comment, contact me with your questions. I can be contacted directly at CMS4i by putting @TomO in the message section. At CMS4i, we help small companies build their brand and web presence, so contact us anytime.