LinkedIn but feeling left out
How LinkedIn’s 'Endorsements' harm the social platform's credibility.
February 25, 2013 1:33 by kippreport
By Sarah Rassasse
As many of you may have recently noticed, LinkedIn has introduced a relatively new feature which allows you to add your own skills in the form of short keywords and your 1st level contacts can endorse you for those skills.
When LinkedIn Endorsements were first rolled out, I genuinely added skills that I believed I exercise on a daily basis, but to my surprise, I started receiving public endorsements from contacts I have neither worked nor ever interacted with.
At first it was flattering. I’d log into LinkedIn everyday and check my notifications to see my contacts endorsing me on skills I exercise regularly; but it did not take long for that flattery to turn into frustration as it became almost like a game of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’. I started receiving messages from those same contacts with a short “hello, I have endorsed you, please endorse me too.”
In my world, if I were to endorse or recommend someone for a skill or quality they possess, it would only happen if I genuinely believed or experienced that the person actually has those qualities. Let’s not forget an important point here; when you recommend someone, your credibility is immediately on the line.
Let’s take endorsements and apply them to a real life scenario to better understand how a person’s credibility can be affected. If a friend or contact of yours wanted to go to a hair salon in Dubai and asked you personally which stylist is reliable? Would you run a quick search on Google and give them whatever ranked first or would you take the time to think about your recommendation before replying?
LinkedIn’s endorsements should not be any different. The social platform has had a clear objective and has stuck to it for many years: ‘connecting professionals’.
Let’s look briefly at how LinkedIn operates:
LinkedIn, to date, is the social platform you would visit to connect with professionals, generate leads, search for potential employees and look for a job.
Users (employees or employers) create their profile on LinkedIn which would list their education level, their work experience, interests and some background information.Most users have a basic profile; which is mainly open to the public allowing users to easily connect with each other.
Recommendations are an important feature as it would include what a person thinks of you professionally; this is very different from endorsements because you have to include where you worked with that person, what they have done for you and it links straight back to your own profile. So the amount of fluff that is included in recommendations is minimal.
If you are to endorse anyone, they should be worth that endorsement, not just because you want them to endorse you back.
When Sarah isn’t busy meeting clients and deadlines with Prototype, shes got her detective cap on and finding new social networks as well as testing out new features and spreading the word along the way. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.