by Melissa Coussa-Charley CPA CA

The recruiting season has come and gone, much like the summer. 891 candidates later (record year this one has been!), the recruiting teams have each made their offers and are sitting back on their laurels now, just waiting to record a success rate and (hopefully) boast about it for the year to come. But who’s the real winner? Is it the firm that realizes the highest acceptance rate? Is it the candidate who received the most number of offers? Nah…

I recently decided that while those measures were certainly as valid as always, this year, I would measure my success by the number of LinkedIn invitations I was sent by the various candidates.

Because no matter where these students each start their careers, and no matter how much younger they are than me (sadly), someday, somehow, we may find ourselves back in the Boardroom – perhaps as colleagues on the same side of the table, as client and service providers sitting across from each other, as presenter and Board in the selection process for new accountants, heck maybe even with the tables turned as I look to change employers and they consider my perfect fit!

LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook either. I have about 350 Facebook friends I probably wouldn’t approach to say hello to in the street. And the knowledge of where they were or what they had for breakfast wouldn’t really give me the motivation to seek them out and reconnect. But every time someone’s profile changes on LinkedIn, it’s something to consider.

And so if my LinkedIn “friend” count has increased during this recruiting season, it means there are that many people who care about my career development, and that many more to keep on my radar and consider reconnecting with at any point.

As someone who met all the candidates who walked through our doors, and built a relationship based on each of their career development paths, I care about where they are and where they end up.

And I look forward to the Boardroom encounter. LinkedIn just ensures I’m not caught off guard!

So after 891 applications read, and less than 1/5 of that offers made, I am waiting to see how many of my star candidates I’ll actually get. And while that still matters, I’m comforted by the fact that even some of those who won’t start their careers with me were as interested in staying in touch as I am.

And so in my head – I win.