Who Are You On LinkedIn?


By Adam Turteltaub

I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. Sometimes it falls to me to approve (or reject) requests to join the HCCA and SCCE groups. I also have a fair share of requests for connections. Plus, there are often good stories to read about business and the world of ethics and compliance.

What has struck me is how people describe themselves. Everyone, of course, is a leader:  sales leader, marketing leader, compliance leader, and so forth. A disproportionate number of people claim to be thought leaders, making me wonder if there are any thought followers left. Also, a huge number claim to be a keynote speaker, so much so that I’ve thought of changing my description to “Keynote Listener.” It’s both glib and true since working for the association means I listen to a lot of keynote sessions.

What I don’t think I have ever seen is someone describe him or herself as a “values-based decision maker” or “ethically aware businessperson” or “sales rep who embraces compliance.” There are no bragging rights, it seems, in being ethical and compliant. People don’t see that as a way to get hired.

I’m not surprised, but we all know that while being compliant and ethical may not get you hired, not being ethical or compliance-oriented is often a good way to get fired.

One other thing became clear to me as I pondered this situation: those who are responsible for hiring, don’t seem to be looking for people who talk about their ability to achieve goals and do so in the right way.

That needs to change.

One place it should start is with job descriptions. Typically, job descriptions list roles and responsibilities, the day-to-day tasks of the job, maybe some sales goals, and generally what the person is supposed to do. Rarely does it spell out the compliance obligations.

Maybe it’s time to make that change and start including language such as, “able to achieve financial goals while respecting and complying with government billing practices” or “The successful candidate will embrace the company’s commitment to operating consistently and whole heartedly with anticorruption laws.” Another line to consider, “To work in a way which reflects the company’s values and commitment to doing the right thing, no matter how difficult it may be.”

Changing job descriptions would be a meaningful way to introduce people to the compliance program before they even start the job and begin the compliance training process. It would also be useful for helping weed out those who see the rules as just so many worthless words on paper.

And, maybe, we would see more people on LinkedIn willing to stake a claim to being integrity leaders.