LinkedIn’s Newest Toy – Endorsements
LinkedIn rolled out a new feature recently (but not to everyone at the same time – the US, India, Australia and New Zealand got it first) called Endorsements, a one-click method of identifying what skills your contacts possess. It’s an easy-to-use function that might end up being worthwhile, and I’m inclined to play with it a bit and see if it adds some value to my LI experience.
A few thoughts:
- An Endorsement isn’t nearly as powerful as a Recommendation. It requires virtually no effort to endorse someone; I’d put a much lower value on it as an assessment tool.
- I don’t think the etiquette is exactly clear yet but it seems less likely to inspire responsiveness than Recommendations, again, due to its ease of use.
- The single biggest problem with Endorsements, to date, is the annoying popup that LinkedIn is using to drive people to the tool. By asking you to ‘endorse’ a bunch of people without requiring that you look at their entire list of self-identified skills, LI is adding a lot of randomness to the Endorsements that are getting made.
Done right, I think Endorsements could be a useful sorting screen when assessing a new contact (or a potential new hire) to see what peers think someone’s best skills are…but right now the randomness of the tool encourages people to select what’s in front of them instead of what they think the person is really best at. So, not perfect yet, but an intriguing idea that could be worthwhile eventually.