LinkedIn has a new feature which they call “Endorsements.” This is a way for colleagues to recommend someone without having to write a recommendation. LinkedIn reports that almost ten million endorsements are being done every day (Wasserman, Todd. “LinkedIn’s Endorsements Have Become Meaningless.” Mashable. N.p., 03 Jan. 2013. Web. 07 Jan. 2013).
Its counterpart, the recommendations section, however, is not as common on the professional social network. How important are endorsements vs. actual recommendations when it comes to LinkedIn? What is the value of an endorsement compared to the actual value of writing a recommendation for someone?
By having a colleague take the time to validate the value of the skills and qualifications of their co-workers, there is a personal yet professional relationship that is being delivered by a concrete source. There is an emotional attachment as a colleague has to formulate, in a few sentences, how successful the company has become thanks to the actions of a person. In this place, there is room to talk about goals that have been achieved, promotions and other notable moments in the company’s history in which the colleague has made a positive impact on the company. Endorsements do not allow that.
Endorsements are a good way to show that someone exemplifies the skills they have on their profile. A colleague may agree that their co-worker has these skills and does use them but does not feel strongly enough or has experienced an event in which anything further, like a recommendation, is needed or creditable.
LinkedIn gives the option to endorse many people at once. This also goes to the credit-ability of the action. If someone is endorsing many people which they have networked with, where is the accountability? It may prove to be that the person gives endorsements so that others will feel obligated to do the same in return.
Recommendations are personal and there are no two recommendations that are exactly the same. Endorsements seem to be more of a numbers game that rise every time a person is endorsed. Endorsements are a quick way to try and build credit-ability instead of being a meaningful addition to one’s profile.
Overall, if a person feels strongly about the quality and value in which their colleague has brought to the company, then they should take the time to write a strong statement or two explaining why they feel this way. Endorsements can’t tell a future employer about the great success a person has had raising revenue, implementing a great ROI plan or how the company became a house hold name. Only write recommendations for those who have extinguished themselves from the crowd.
By Chris Kerney of http://www.WorkplaceDiversity.com