I get hit up to take a lot of surveys from a lot of different sources.

Sometimes vendors of various products or services lure survey respondents with offers to take a brief survey and receive a free copy of their latest white paper, special report or e-book about the “War for Talent” or some other nonsensical topic.

While I’m not particularly tempted to participate due to publication prizes at the end, I do have certain geeky curiosity about surveys in general. Being that I occasionally need to create and/or administer surveys for one reason or another, I’m always interested to see how others put together their questions and/or compile results.

When I take surveys I pay attention to the overall structure, type of questions and available choices for answers. Many times those elements reveal potential for flaws in accuracy or validity of the survey outcomes. For example, if questions are posed in such a way that “none of above” or “other” applies, yet that isn’t an available response, nor is leaving it blank, those being surveyed are likely to select any option just to move to the next question.

Earlier today I received an email from LinkedIn Research with the subject line: LinkedIn Request for Expertise. The body of the email explained that LI was inviting global Human Resource and Talent Acquisition professionals to help LI learn about the most relevant channels of information and influential figures in the profession.

So far, sounds relevant to me, my occupational interests and definitely topics that I have opinions on. The email goes on to say that the survey will begin with questions to verify if you qualify to participate. Sounds reasonable, I suppose, but wondering what LI means by "qualify." 

I clicked the survey link and answered the first question. There were three choices for answers. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture them verbatim, but to paraphrase, one option was: I work in corporate HR/TA. The next was: I work in agency HR/TA. The third was, I do not work (or am not working) in HR/TA.

Since at the present time, if taken literally, the first two didn’t reflect my actual situation, I felt the third was the most logical choice. Well, apparently that was the end of the survey for me. So what’s up with that?

Did LI do a crummy job in vetting relevant survey takers to solicit input from? Did the survey creator neglect to consider that sometimes professional “work” status doesn’t always fit into basic categories? Therefore, not "qualify"?

Or, are they jumping on the bandwagon to discriminate against or devalue the unemployed? Either way, in the case of this survey, it seems to mean: hey, sucka, you ain’t got no job and you ain’t got no expertise!

By the way... Happy 11th Birthday to LinkedIn!  


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