Are LinkedIn endorsements killing recommendations???

The other day, a friend of mine popped up a question, which made me think for a while. Both of us were casually conversing on various topics like how mobile phones and social media are changing our way of life and we happen to discuss how third-party credibility is the biggest champion in social media sites. My friend suddenly asked: “But don’t you think endorsements are killing recommendations on LinkedIn?”

“Certainly not!” I said in a tick.  But hang on… I was not completely convinced with my reply. In a way, he is right. Ever since the endorsement thing became trendy, my number of recommendations dipped at least in some measure. Likewise I too have mostly skipped the recommendations and preferred the endorsement route for others!


LinkedIn – Showcasing one’s professional credibility…

And why not? LinkedIn endorsements are just so ‘wonderful’! After all, these are just a one-click process and so naturally people tend to give them away like candies compared to recommendations. It’s feel-good for the user as well, as he or she is publicly endorsed for specific skills or expertise –  right on the profile. The process functions pretty much like Facebook’s “Like” or Google Plus’ “+1” option and so its fun too!

However, we should keep in mind that the less effort something takes, the less likely people are to put stock in it. An endorsement might be a great way to get users to view your profile, but it only becomes handy if you get a lot of them.

LinkedIn Recommendations on the other hand is a true measure of credibility I believe. Its closer to what you would expect to find in the conventional business world. They are tailored to the individual’s professional credentials. Therefore they have much more impact on the credibility than the former. I strongly believe anything that takes more time, thought and effort will be taken more earnestly than a reflexive click-based system.

So when I had another round of discussion with that friend, I gave him a lecture on how both LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations have their own set of merits and pitfalls. “The former is easy to get, but you need to have a lot of them. The numbers matter! To make the most from endorsements, you should also return the favor. Recommendations undoubtedly are more personal and show more of personal effort on behalf of the person recommending you. So, how is it that the latter is not more valuable?”

But I am confident, both the options will coexist and one will not ‘kill’ the other in the real sense. After all, in every sphere of life, (at least in most) we are blessed with a plethora of options today. I leave it at that… would like to understand from readers whether they prefer getting endorsements or recommendations on LinkedIn and why? Votes and responses are open.


3 responses to this post.

  1. I think having both is optimal and is a very healthy balance. The endorsements definitely come ‘easier’ organically and there are less barriers when you ask for someone to endorse you… It’s a few simple clicks. Yes, I haven’t gotten many recommendations of late, but the ones that I have are very strong. Overall, I actually believe there is more value in recommendations because of endorsements!


  2. Posted by Gaurav Kumar on June 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Endorsements are lightweight means to recommend your skills. i feel they are cool. It seems a bit more easier, a lot less effort for those that are asked, it has not been easy to get coworkers to sit down and write a paragraph on my performance anyways.


  3. Posted by Rashi on June 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I feel that LinkedIn recommendations are equivalent to a written recommendation for an employer. I would prefer my recommendation contain some meat and potatoes and not just the desert at the end of the meal.


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