Are You Looking At Your Co-workers’ LinkedIn Profiles?

Are you on LinkedIn? If so, you might have used the
professional network to search for a co-worker, according to new data from the
company. Almost one-third of members
who use the site are viewing their co-workers’ profiles.

So, what’s going on here? Are you (and your fellow employees) just extra-snoopy?
Or, is it something else? According to Ankit Gupta on LinkedIn’s blog, the site
is being utilized more as a company directory these days. “What we’ve heard
from members is that the professional information on LinkedIn is more
comprehensive and up-to-date than most companies’ intranets, and it’s easier to
search for co-workers on LinkedIn — especially if you don’t have their first and
last name,” Gupta wrote.

If that’s true, could LinkedIn finally be seeing its
reputation change from that of Facebook’s boring big brother — and giving today’s young professional workforce, most of whom are used to networking
primarily online, a compelling reason to join?

The company probably hopes so. Milllennials have been reportedly slow to embrace LinkedIn, compared to their use of other social networks. A recent AdWeek poll showed, for instance, that
just 39% of Millennial respondents used LinkedIn, compared to 91% who used Facebook
and 73% who used Instagram. And, according to Pew Research Center, LinkedIn is the only
social-networking site that is more likely to be used by 50-to-64-year-olds
than 18-to-29-year-olds.

Using LinkedIn to connect with people you actually know, and
want to know, at your own office might open up a whole new use for the site.
Say, for instance, you want to be able to follow up with that awesome woman in
the department you’re dying to work in, whom you met at the last company happy
hour but whose last name you can't remember (and you have no Facebook friends
in common). Using LinkedIn might make sense, if she has a profile. (Or, you could just try walking over to her desk,
but, to each her own.)

On the other hand, one-third of companies prefer
to hire from within
, so when a job opens up, being online and available to those co-worker
profile clicks might be worth your while.       

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series