I've noticed several coworkers at a firm I recently departed who are connecting to recruiters on LinkedIn. I can only assume they're beginning their respective searches. This was a company where most employees were connected on LinkedIn, and strongly encouraged to do so.

I'm curious as to whether others make note of these activity patterns; e.g. is it unwise to connect to recruiters when your boss can clearly see your status updates?

When I was preparing to leave the company, I did pay attention to it and was a bit conservative about what I did on the site. What's the common wisdom regarding this?

  • 5
    Go under cover :) simonemccallum.com/2013/11/15/… Mar 8, 2014 at 22:51
  • @karthikbharadwaj Good recommendation. I was not aware of that.
    – ewwhite
    Mar 8, 2014 at 23:10
  • Your employer can also monitor your Stack Exchange activity. For example I once asked a question here which has bubbled up to my employer without me sharing the link with anyone.
    – Adam Arold
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:52
  • @AdamArold Uh oh. That's not good, is it?
    – ewwhite
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:53
  • In my case it was not good. Nothing bad happened but there were some frowns.
    – Adam Arold
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:54

3 Answers 3


LinkedIn, like any social network, can be monitored by your friends, family, co-workers, etc. If you don't feel comfortable sharing information at work, I wouldn't share it on any social networking site. Anyone can be watching. This includes co-workers who have nothing to do with your job (HR comes to mind here).

In the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, people have been terminated from employment over something that was said on social networking sites[1][2][3]. While this isn't likely to affect you in most cases, anything you say on the internet can become a catalyst to you being unemployed. You can't expect freedom of speech to protect your job.

I don't advocate that you completely abandon social media, but limiting what you say can prevent issues from popping up, especially if the statement casts someone in a negative manner.

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    The middle paragraph applies to a case I know from the Czech Republic. Someone has got tagged in a Facebook photo from some trip, and their friend has commented: "It was a great day, you should 'be sick' more often." Well, they got fired instantly: they have their boss in their friends on FCB :)
    – yo'
    Mar 9, 2014 at 22:13

is it unwise to connect to recruiters when your boss can clearly see your status updates?

Perhaps, if you are already in danger of being terminated at your current place of employment, connecting with recruiters won't help your case.

Other than that, if I notice that someone is becoming increasingly active on LinkedIn, it doesn't come as a surprise that they are perhaps looking for new opportunities. I think that managers realize that, and chances are the person's LinkedIn activities is just another validation of the employee's desire to look elsewhere.


Do managers monitor LinkedIn accounts? Absolutely.

I worked at a company for several years and only spoke with the HR person 2, maybe 3 times over a 3 year period. Then, when I marked my LinkedIn account as 'Open to Opportunities', I got a LinkedIn connect request from our HR manager the next day. Creepy.

I make it a point NOT to connect with my current boss/co-workers on LinkedIn. I also disable the auto update feed that sends out messages when I am active on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, this nullifies some of the networking features of LinkedIn, but it also helps protect my current job if I decide to start looking.

Also, I don't connect to many recruiters and I clean up my connections when my feed gets too 'spammy'. Be careful who you talk to in the recruiting world and make sure they know you DO NOT give them permission to talk to your current employer. I've had recruiters verify employment on me before even offering me a job. At a small company this news travels FAST.

Recently, a recruiter did that to a co-worker. Unfortunately, a sales person picked up the phone on that call and announced to the entire company (10 people in a small cube farm), "Well, I guess Jenny is looking for a job, because I just got a call from so-and-so asking about her employment."

  • Not connecting with any colleagues/managers on LinkedIn seems to defeat the entire purpose for me, and that would be looked upon very.. strangely, at least in my country.
    – cbll
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:31
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    Companies must realize that an employee should be constantly looking for new opportunities. If they can't provide incentive to stay then it's not the employees fault.
    – Snowlockk
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:54
  • That salesperson is a jerk. Some day, someone is going to do them the same favor. I'll also note that I have on occasion been interrupted with cold calls from recruiters, even as the CEO and I were having a conversation in my cubicle. The CEO had the good sense to realize that if I were looking for a job, I'd make sure that he'd be the last one to know. Given that these days, everyone has their own cell phones, I'd say that anyone who uses the company's landline as the contact number to use on their resume - that someone is singularly witless. Jan 16, 2017 at 14:12

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