My employer insists that everyone's Linkedin profile list their business email address, not their personal email address. Is this typical, standard, or generally accepted practice?
As an individual who is not involved in the recruitment or hiring practices, beyond participating in phone screens and interviews, I would see this as an unreasonable request. All of my profiles, including LinkedIn, are representative of me as an individual and not as an employee of my company. If I'm not using LinkedIn for my job, I don't necessarily want it tied closely to my company.
However, if you are in an HR, recruitment, or upper level management role, this may be a more reasonable request. You may be involved in reaching out to people who are perspective employees or are candidates for a position and these people may be reaching out to you using information found in your profile. I can understand the company's desire to make sure that information that could be related to staffing not be sent to personal email addresses and exposing a personal email address could make this easier.
If your company set up a profile for you, it's their profile and their rules. If it's your profile, then they cannot force you to change anything about it.
This is what I would consider standard or accepted. However, if you live in a country and state where your employer can fire you anytime for anything he feels like, I guess the word "cannot" becomes meaningless.
If your employer wants you to have a linked-in profile using your business email then why not set one up? It isn't terribly unusual for someone to have two profiles. This would allow you to send a specific "professional page" link to clients with business contact information, and two have two different sets of contacts, which would make more sense than mixing your personal contacts with business contacts.
It is not a practice I have encountered before. Were your employer paying for your LinkedIn profile, and your work involved using LinkedIn, then I would find this appropriate.
But, based on this specific response from the poster:
His position was that you would only have your personal email address on your Linkedin account if you were looking for another job.
This seems like a very poor management practice. There are multiple reasons why someone might choose to use a personal rather than a work email. I had my work email as my LinkedIn email for a number of years, because I had no intention of leaving my employer and it was more convenient for me. I switched my email to my personal account more than a year before I departed the company (after 13 years). I was primarily motivated by privacy concerns; not just with regard to potential job offers, but other communications, such as requests for background information or referrals. I felt that it was more appropriate for me to deal with those as an individual than as a representative of the company, which using my work email implied.
With regard to your next steps, you have two choices:
If you feel that not complying puts your job at risk, or you simply don't care that much, you may choose to comply. The principal consequence, as outlined in other answers, is that all communications from LinkedIn will flow to your work email. I have no expectation of privacy in work email (or on work hardware, for that matter).
You may also choose to comply if you like your job - as I mentioned above, I spent years with my contact email routing to work, because I was using LinkedIn for professional networking and my company was part of my professional identity.
Refuse to comply
If you are comfortable taking the risk of losing your job, or of creating a confrontation with your employer, you may choose not to comply. I don't know your employer or situation, so it's hard to predict what will happen. Some things to consider:
- Is this policy in writing?
- Is it consistently enforced?
- Is it the policy of the company as a whole, or of some managers?
- Was it communicated as a condition of employment in advance?
- Have you signed something indicating that you will comply with this policy?
In most professions and locales where LinkedIn matters, your LinkedIn profile matters when you'll seek your next job. Your prospective employer will at least read your profile, and what you write there as well as your connections and endorsements may be instrumental in getting hired. However else your LinkedIn profile might be useful, including as part of your current job, it needs to be suitable for looking for your next job.
This clearly shows that your LinkedIn profile belongs to you as a person, not to your current employer. Your employer has no say as to how you present yourself to other prospective employers, so they have no say as to what you write in your LinkedIn profile, any more than they would have a say as to what you write on your private blog or in the CV that you send privately. (Subject to limits of common decency — they certainly could request that you take down material that is injurious or reveals company confidential data and take sanctions accordingly — but this isn't what this question is about.)
In particular, your employer has no right to impose that you use any particular email address.
Furthermore, you should not use an email address that your employer controls on your LinkedIn profile. You definitely don't want your next job offer to land into your work mailbox where your employer can read it, or risk missing messages send to your LinkedIn account if you're fired and lose access to your work mailbox.