Q: I recruit interns for a company. We can hire only a few, so many good candidates are unsuccessful. Lately, rejected applicants have been adding me on LinkedIn. Is connecting with them a good idea? Most I know only by name, but they seemed like suitable candidates, and it seems rude to snub them.
A: LinkedIn recommends you accept connection requests only from people you know personally and trust professionally. As a recruiter, you'd probably be wise to keep that policy; users may assume you only connect with people you endorse. (Even in a world where "Words With Friends" means "Words With Avatars of People You've Never Actually Met.")
If you want to throw these poor castaways a rope, point them to relevant LinkedIn discussion groups where they can gain knowledge and build a reputation, as well as to offline networking resources that yield more solid results — and that take more effort — than clicking a button.
Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers. Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG's Washington National Tax office. You can find her on Twitter, @KarlaAtWork