Have you ever found yourself scrolling through LinkedIn only to wish it was more like Tinder? Well, the social network for professionals is making moves to do just that. The platform, which reached 500 million members earlier this year, has rolled out an update that aims to connect young professionals with mentors. It’s a brilliant move and one that LinkedIn has been working on for quite some time.
The service, dubbed ‘Tinder for LinkedIn,’ first rolled out to select users as a test in early July. Now, it’s available to everyone. As Fast Company reports, to access it visit the “Career Advice Hub” on your LinkedIn profile, located in the “My Dashboard” area. From there, you can fill in all of your personal and professional details and tell the platform what you’re looking for in a mentor. Then, LinkedIn’s algorithm will match you with potential mentors, who you can contact and ask for advice.
Images: Courtesy of LinkedIn
To us, this seems like an excellent idea. LinkedIn has identified a gap in the market where young professionals are eager to learn from experienced peers but want it to be easy. Perhaps they haven’t had much luck at networking events, or maybe they just haven’t met the right mentors yet. This service is opening up the doors to receive advice from people you’d likely never meet in real life. Mentees can also filter down the results they’re likely to receive by selecting location or industry. If you and your potential mentor like each other, you can match and start chatting.
LinkedIn has also found 90% of senior executives on the platform want to provide advice to younger, more inexperienced workers, according to QZ. For mentors, it’s a great chance to give back to the emerging workforce and learn something from those you are mentoring. And just like Tinder, if it’s not a good fit you can unmatch and move onto the next mentor/mentee. No hard feelings.
LinkedIn told PCMag it was a great way to receive advice in today’s no-strings-attached society when they announced the service.
“This is a lightweight way to identify and connect with other members, and it works well with the informal, casual nature of today’s changing workforce where you often need advice for certain situations such as job searching, salary negotiation or on the job questions,” LinkedIn says.
Knowing how to address these issues is so important, especially for young professionals who are interviewing for new positions.
The service is completely free, meaning mentors are doing it for the good of their heart and mentees don’t have to worry about one more thing they can’t afford.
Critics have concerns the new update sounds too good to be true. Perhaps the mentee doesn’t know what to ask or is intimidated by such close contact with a high-powered mentor. Or perhaps the mentor is too busy to respond with the care and detail a real-life mentor would.
LinkedIn’s director of product management, Hari Srinivasan, told Fast Company the service works best for “quick requests.” Say you need a great answer to a job interview question, or you want to know how to negotiate a pay rise, this is the place to do it. Srinivasan also notes the company is working on ways to make sure the communication isn’t stilted. “It’s intimidating once you get matched to have to start the conversation,” he says.
LinkedIn’s new service will experience some growing pains as it finds its footing, but we believe this could be the future of mentorship. Out with the awkward face-to-face interactions at networking events, in with the ‘swipe right.’