Social Selling

3 LinkedIn Warning Signs Your Star Salesperson Will Walk

Christopher Tuttle

Photo by Eneas De Troya, used under the Creative Commons 2.0 license.

How many of your sales reps hope to find a new job this year?

That might seem like an odd thing to ask right now, as you’re getting ready to pursue aggressive sales goals. But the research shows that plenty of American workers are on the prowl.

According to a recent Harris Poll, the top five most common New Year’s resolutions for 2014 are:

1. Lose weight
2. Improve financial budgeting
3. Exercise more
4. Get a new/better job
5. Eat healthy

Getting a new or better job is not a surprise for a list like this. For many people, a job is what defines who they are. In the last 10 to 15 years, the American Dream has shifted from wanting peace, having freedom, and owning a home to having a good job, Gallup reports.

The talent war is real. If you think your star salespeople aren’t aware of their options, you’re kidding yourself.

So, how do you know if your best salespeople are on their way out?

You can identify your most restless reps by monitoring LinkedIn.

Many undercover job hunters are not sneaky enough, and they forget to turn off “activity broadcasts” on LinkedIn, which is located in the Privacy & Settings section. With this feature turned on, every update to an individual’s profile is broadcast to that individual’s network.

These public updates can provide a wealth of information for sales managers who don’t want to lose top talent.

Here are three common warning signs to watch for on LinkedIn:

1. Updating profile

When job hoppers start their journey, the first thing they do is update their LinkedIn profile with their latest job and a polished title. If you’re on the ball, you will recognize this warning sign and schedule a casual one-on-one to investigate.

2. Giving and receiving recommendations

When people are looking for a new job, they certainly don’t want to appear unappreciated at their current gig. So, they start requesting LinkedIn recommendations from their favorite colleagues.

Savvy LinkedIn users know the best way to get recommendations is to use the oldest trick in the book: “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine.” If you suddenly start seeing a string of new recommendations appearing on employees’ profiles, you may want to take a closer look.

3. Following companies

If a job hunter is investigating a new company, a natural first step is to follow the company on LinkedIn. This allows the job seeker to receive the latest news about that company, and it also shows hiring managers that this candidate is digitally savvy.

If you notice your reps are following companies that make you suspicious, it’s probably worthwhile to ask some questions.

LinkedIn can help you keep tabs on your sales reps. Pay attention to their activities and updates. It might save you the heartache of losing a star.

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Image credit: Eneas De Troya