The Social Side of Professional Endorsements: #TChat Recap

The endorsement process is an evolution. What you try to do is you endorse someone that you believe in and their ideas align with yours. -Herman Cain

“It’s not what you know, it is who you know.” I’ve heard this statement throughout my college years and my career hunt. So, if everyone I know endorses me on LinkedIn, or if I email personal endorsements with my resume, will that land me the perfect job?

Recently I’ve been researching the role of social media in predicting consumer behavior. I see a connection with professional endorsements. For example, today’s technologies allow companies to track customer sentiment. According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising Report, 92% of consumers around the world say that they trust earned media (such as recommendations from friends or family) above all other forms of advertising.

If consumer reviews have such a significant influence on potential buyers, then surely professional endorsements carry tremendous weight with recruiters and job seekers.

But what about the new “skills endorsement” feature in LinkedIn profiles? What do these “thumbs up” stamps of approval really mean? How authentic are they? Are they considered credible? And how do they relate to more traditional professional recommendations?

I am not the only one with these questions. That’s why the TalentCulture community focused attention this week on the role of recommendations in today’s social workplace.

#TChat Week-in-Review

SUN 1/20
TalentCulture Founder, Meghan M. Biro set the stage in her Forbes.com post: “4 Questions to Keep Your Reputation in Check”

MON 1/21
#TChat weekly preview post “The Power of Online Endorsements”

G+ Hangout Video: As a prelude to his appearance later in the week, Mike Dwyer, discussed the value of endorsements with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald. Mike is Co-founder of QUEsocial, a social business platform that equips employees with training, content and motivation to improve their performance.

TUE 1/22
#TChat Radio Show: Our hosts continued the dialogue with Mike Dwyer – along with Marla Gottschalk PhD, an organizational psychologist, consultant, and author who focuses on advancing workplace effectiveness.

WED 1/23
#TChat on Twitter: Mike and Marla joined us again – this time on the Twitter stream – as Mike led participants through an open discussion of issues, experiences and best practices in managing professional recommendations. Representative comments are featured below…

NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “The Power of Online Endorsements” #TChat session on Twitter, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online?

Tremendously valuable, but they need to be authentic. @9INCHmarketing

Endorsements SUCK. Require no effort & too many ppl are abusing them to try to garner reciprocal endorsements. @DawnRasmussen

Are all online endorsement and related activity created equal?

I feel that referrals and recommendations weigh more than endorsements. It’s not a one click free-for all. @AshLaurenPerez

+K endorsement on klout is like Linkedin endorsement. Fast and fleeting, with no context. Written endorsements prove relevance. @bryanchaney

LinkedIn endorse. would make more sense if they had engagement portion where you could see discussion about person/brand taking place. @rezlady

How should leaders interpret online recommendations and endorsements?

Consider the source. Probably best not take at face value. ‏@TomBolt

As an initial filter it will probably speed up recruitment, but, I still prefer meeting people to make an accurate choice. @EnZzzoo

When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online?

Endorsements are nice but in prefer calling people and talking business. @levyrecruits

I have to know someone personally to endorse them and have something significant to say to recommend them. @nancyrubin

How is tech changing the nature and value of endorsements and recommendations?

Tech will increasingly become the norm. For delicate HR placements it will never replace a genuine CV and interview…I hope. @EnZzzoo

While tech makes it easier for everyone to see your endorsements, when abused it dimisses value for all. Why you need network. @tamcdonald

# # #

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

SPECIAL THANKS: A nod to Mike Dwyer and Marla Gottschalk PhD for your leadership this week. The TalentCulture community would recommend you anywhere, anytime!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about professional endorsements or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we examine “Diversity of What?” – a fresh take on diversity in the workplace. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 29, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 30, at 7pm ET. Look for more details on Monday, January 28 via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

Until then – we’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: StockImages.com

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “The Power of Online Endorsements”

 
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#TChat INSIGHTS: The Power of Online Endorsements

Storified by TalentCulture World of Work· Wed, Jan 23 2013 17:45:50

My work “world” – see you on #TChat in a few! http://pic.twitter.com/T91vlDnjMichael!
Collector’s Item! RT @rmcgahen I do! RT @DaveTheHRCzar: @nancyrubin u want 1 of these? http://twitpic.com/bxpib9 #TchatNancy Barry-Jansson
Q1: What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online, whatever the context? #TChatMike Dwyer
A1 Too many fast & frenzied endorsements going on. Wait and see which flourish and which fade away. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A1: Endorsements are a measure. It is a valid measure as long as you don’t focus on that. #tchatMarcio Saito
A1. it can help you gauge if someone has the credentials you are looking for #tchatKimPope
A1: Peer validation is important, as long as it’s accurate. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A1: I usually take them like I take movie reviews. Listen, but in the end want to make up my own mind. #TChatchrys peterson
A1: If you play “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” don’t endorse anyone. That’s not how the game is played #tchatJen Olney
A1 A recommendation via Twitter is great if you know why the person is being recommended as someone to follow #TChatHolly Chessman
A1. The most valued endorsements are from people that have not been formally asked to give one #tchatMichael Danubio
A1: An online endorsement is like the frosting on top of your career cake. It won’t stand up without real experience. #tchatBryan Chaney
A1: If the endorsement is genuine and from an authoritative source, it is meaningful. But ‘gamification’ def detracts from value. #tchatMark Salke
A1: I gave honest recommendation to someone on #LI. When she said she would endorse me back I told her not to dilute it by doing that #TChatTom Bolt
A1: I really VALUE the recommendations I have from past managers, colleagues, clients, etc. #REAL #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1. It’s a public acknowledgement of your a: existence b: professional value (if provided by a legit source) #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: I worry about that subjectivity bias that causes poor references to be worse and great references to be a tad unbelievable #TchatDan Schultz
A1: I’ve never read a recommendation for anyone on LI. It’s just like when checking references for a job – a waste of time. #tchatRob McGahen
A1. The real power of endorsements is internal, strengthens belief and passion for your vision and purpose. #BrandYou #tchatMichael Clark
A1) The most meaningful recommendations I’ve received? Those I’ve never solicited. They mean THE WORLD. #tchatExpertus
A1: Reward employees for the work they’ve done by giving them work they want and are capable of. Give them wings. #tchatBessie Rousselle
A1: Endorsements & recommendations that are REAL are social proof that U R who U say U R, do what U say U can do @Cruiter #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1 The skills endorsement was some adroit marketing by LinkedIn #Overheard on #Tchat radioDave Ryan, SPHR
A1 Endorsements on LinkedIn are not terribly useful but real recommendations are #TChatHolly Chessman
A1 Endorsements are one way we can support each other, personally & professionally #TChatClaire Crossley
A1. They are best when the come from well informed people who know you well, their credibility comes through #tchatGuy Davis
A1. #TChat Tremendously valuable, but they need to be authentic.Stan Phelps
A1 They can help define your skill set online. An important career development step. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q2: In the world of work, are all online endorsements and related activity created equal? Why or why not? #TChatMike Dwyer
A2: I find them more valuable when the endorsement comes from someone who managed the person directly #tchatWill Staney
A2 I haven’t take time to endorse all who deserve it—it’s too much. So the whole concept is too random right now. #tchatStephen Abbott
A2: Online Recommendations take more effort and carry more cred #TchatDan Schultz
A2 – or a client as well. I am also somewhat skeptical of people who endorse each other (scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours) #tchatmatthew papuchis
A2-endorsements, etc without performance examples are still nice but they’re really nothing but vacuous platitudes #tchatSteve Levy
A2 We have to start somewhere – and we have a long way to go! Endorsements are just the start. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2: What about resumes that list way too many skills? Skills endorsed have to matter and not clutter #tchatChristopher Yeh
A2: If it is on LinkedIn, the value comes from if the person knows the company/person giving the rec. = crediblity #TChatLori~TranslationLady
A2: I think one from a supervisor or someone in a “senior” position have more weight vs. a peer. Just my initial reaction. #tchatmatthew papuchis
A2 Online endorse not as valid as by client or startup whose bottom line increased via my help :-) #tchatCASUDI
A2 Endorsements are only as good as the people who give them, so not all are created equal. #TChatMike Dwyer
A2: No, endorsements are stronger when they come from credible sources. Big difference between a friend and a former manager. #tchatBright.com
A2. In the world of work? Doubtful – in the world of B2B or B2C? Probably (or can we separate the two?) #TChatSusan Avello
A2. Again, I feel the on-line recommendations are nice to have but I’ll never make a decision on those. Backdoor reference trumps. #tchatMichael Danubio
A2: Sadly, just as in the world of #leadership, we give more value to endorsements based on certain positions than others #TChatAndrew Henck
A2: It’s all about WHO provided the endorsement/recommendation. Needs to be authentic/legit/thoughout #tchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A2 Not sure, but I would think that the weight of the endorsement will heavily depend on the person recommending. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A2: The platform doesn’t matter; the person who provides the endorsement / recommendation does. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A2: In a job search, those that are from previous employers and bosses probably hold a little more water than from peers. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A2 Are you hiring someone? Are you prospecting? Are you making friends? Different recs can serve diff purposes #TChatHolly Chessman
A2: Written recommendations => read the words. Is it sincere? Push-button endorsements => too easy. Why wouldn’t they invest more? #TChatTom Bolt
A2. I feel that referrals and recommendations weigh more then endorsements. It’s not a one click free-for all #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 I always wonder if anyone looks at my Klout or Kred score. I don’t. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q3: How should leaders interpret online recommendations & endorsements? What is the value? #TChatMike Dwyer
A3. Being and doing the best #BrandYou is the most powerful endorsement. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Ldrs should look within their organization to see what type of LI footprint their “A” players have for guidance #TchatDan Schultz
A3: Online endorsements are almost the price of admission. If you want “front row seats” you’ll need a lot more than that though. #tchatmatthew papuchis
A3. Checking out a persons blog can give u insight as to how they think – don’t look at mine #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3 Endorsements & esp. recommendations show you have credibility & that others are confident in your skills, reliability & work ethic #TChatMarc Cibulka
A3: I think the only reason why employers want references, is so they can check the box. STOP CHECKING BOXES!! #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Leaders recognize them as qualitative input. To be given their due consideration as such. #tchatMark Salke
A3: UR brand-indv/otherwise is never about what u say about urself–it’s what’s being said when u leave the room that counts #TChatAngela Maiers
A3 Rather than seeing a ‘click’ I’d rather hear about the experience, from candidate, that resulted in endorsement #TChatClaire Crossley
A3. it can back up some of the things people say. you can be ANYONE you want online – it can help prove you’re legit #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 There could be value for mentors-mentees. Taking the time to write a recommendation is more valuable than simply endorsing. #TchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A3: Consider their own LI recommendations/endorsements – note the roles & weigh that against job description #TChat @CruiterNancy Barry-Jansson
A3: Online recommendations etc should be valued equal to the amount of time it takes to do. Just a click, just throw it away. #TChatAndy Phillips
A3: A very big grain of salt. Not all online endorsements ring true #tchatJen Olney
A3: Leaders interpret online recommendations: We should be aware of the tools (e.g. Klout) & their limitations. Use caution. #tchatD. Scott Smith
Do our words not hold the same weight in digital as they do out loud? Mine written words are more weighty, in fact. A3 #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A3. Verify against overall digital and social footprint to see if endorsements align w/ voice and engagement. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3: It helps to tell a subjective story about the individual they’re reviewing and who the individual is connected to. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A3 An open & creative leader new to working with an employee could use them to gain insight into ee if meaningful recent & sincere. #tchatJamieAinDC
A3) I think recommendations can be valuable on an intranet – for example – putting them to work in a context (what do you think?) #tchatnancyrubin
A3. Leaders should give endorsements a quick scan, nothing more. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 Online recommendations are a good way to see if its worth starting a conversation with someone – but it’s not the end point #TChatHolly Chessman
A3. Everything you discover should lead to a conversation where you corroborate and refine what you intuit. #tchatJustin Mass
A3: Online recs & endorsements should be taken with a grain of salt, maybe used as a starting off point for reference checks. #tchatBright.com
A3: Take it with a grain of salt #TChatAndrew Henck
A3 #tchat the vakue is in the passion and differentiation/authenyicity of the endorsement, if it strikes a chord, worth pursuingdiane mcwade
Q4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? What criteria do you use? #TChatMike Dwyer
A4. I don’t do on-line reco’s. It’s just easier to say no to everyone than yes to some and not others. It’s a cop out for sure #tchatMichael Danubio
A4 I only recommend someone I personally know well, produced top quality work with and all the while truly enjoyed the experience. #TChatMarc Cibulka
A4: Confession: I’ve ignored req. for endorsement: I hadn’t see their work…yikes, didn’t I make a reference to ostriches last week?!! #TchatLori~TranslationLady
A4: I’ve recommended a few ppl on LI. Those who inspire me and who I’ve worked (note: past tense) w/ face-to-face. #tchatBob Merberg
A4. I would like to offer each of you an endorsement for awesomeness right here and now. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: I see people in 3D. I like to cut through the “sheen” and FAST :-) Heart, Smarts and *Credibility* is what is important. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A4: I will provide an unsolicited endorsement for a colleague who I know and trust for a skill I have seen demonstrated. #tchatMark Salke
A4 only when i know the person, know that they have demonstrated the skill and know they are on the job hunt. To help them out #tchatAidan Daly
A4: I endorse only those I have worked with and believe they would represent my recommendation well. #tchatSalary School
A4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? <--Following a recent interaction (relevant & real time) #tchatD. Scott Smith
#tchat A4 when you have had enough interaction to determine their authenticity, their own knowledge, their reactions etc!MySageAdvice(TM)
A4: In Linkedin I only endorse people I’ve worked with. I believe most people do that. Trust the community. #tchatMarcio Saito
A4 I endorse when I worked directly with the person and I can evaluate his skills #tchatAhmed Abdel-Aliem
A4: if they endorse me first :) J/K – I will endorse if someone has established consistently high competence in certain area #tchatmatthew papuchis
A4. How long have I known them, what is our relationship, work, prof assoc, student emply, colleague, how do I know their skills #tchatGuy Davis
A4 On LI I only endorse people I’ve actually worked with or know well. On Twitter I recommend people I admire & connect with #TChatHolly Chessman
A4: Endorse people when I have gotten to know them and feel comfy extending my brand credibility to include them. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A4: If someone I know is looking to fill a position and I know someone that may be a good fit. #tchatRob McGahen
A4 I endorse unsolicited, and only when I really know that person is good at that skill #TchatChristopher Yeh
A4) I have to know someone personally to endorse them and have something significant to say to recommend them #tchatnancyrubin
A4 Only current associates (people can change over time). Or a service that I’ve actually experienced. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4. I make sure I endorse people for what I legitimately dealt with when working with them. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4 #tchat I never endorse folks I do not know/value and I never share with the nework as an option, what is the point? It is reputationaldiane mcwade
A4 I must have had a cocktail with someone to endorse them #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4: I only recommend when I’m asked to, and I reciprocate when I’m given one. But I haven’t dabbled in endorsements to date. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
Q5: How is tech changing the nature & value of endorsements & recommendations? #TChatMike Dwyer
A5 As many of you wonderful people have said, nothing beats the power of a recommendation / referral based on in-person experience :) #TChatMarc Cibulka
A5 whatever happened to picking up the phone and checking in with the person’s endorser? You can tell a lot from tone of voice!! #tchatAidan Daly
A5: I remember recommendations someone took the time to think about and type out on paper. Seemed more meaningful. #tchatBob Merberg
A5: Technology has put an even greater emphasis on endorsements, forcing us to look at experiences across the board #tchatAlex Theis
A5: Let’s GET CLEAR on the difference between “endorsements” and “recommendations” on #LinkedIn #Justsayin #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5: More tech gives us the ability to start to be more discriminate with who we trust and how we will wield our endorsement of others #tchatJen Olney
#tchat A5: It makes it convenient but unfortunately a lot of it can be skewed too.Mike Chuidian
A5 It’s doubled-edged. On one hand it takes less time so people can write more meaningful recommendations. On the other, saturation #tchatChristopher Yeh
A5: The easier the endorsement is to perform, the less value there is in it. Technology is making it TOO easy. #TChatLori~TranslationLady
A5. Watering them down, making them too easy, eliminating thought and discretion. #tchatMichael Danubio
A5) While tech makes it easier for everyone to see your endorsements, when abused it dimisses value for all. Why you need network. #tchatTim McDonald
A5. Some great pros I work with in prof assoc once a year, tech makes it easier for us to keep in touch and get to know their skills #tchatGuy Davis
A5. Tech can def help you find more qualified people quicker than by searching via word-of-mouth. Recmd/endorsements can back up cred #tchatKimPope
A5 – alas I fear too many online endorsements lack credibility – and it’s getting worse #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A5 A lot of the #SM stuff is turning into noise #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A5 Tech or no tech, any endorsement, recommendation, a shout-out, should be authentic! #TChatClaire Crossley
A5 when tech is foisted upon a process that is broken – without reengineering te process – the result is automated inefficiency #tchatSteve Levy
A5 makes it easier, which isn’t necessarily good. Can mean less thought goes into the endorsements/rec. Can get lazy!! #tchatAidan Daly
A5: It definitely makes it much easier to do so!! #Tchatrecruiterbox
A5 It makes you wonder what happens to those who haven’t adopted the tech to be endorsed/recommended #TchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A5: Tech has made endorsing / recommending easier but that doesn’t mean we should lower the bar! #linkedin #endorsements #tchatStacy Donovan Zapar
A5 #tchat it is destroying it, has no proper validation/risk assessment guidelines attached, needs curtailment, else true professionals diediane mcwade
A5: Tech is changing endorsements / recommendations to make them dumber (uh, easier) to do. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A5: A well thought-out composed recommendation vs. a “click” and yes we are moving on to the next person. Hmmm… #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A5 Tech makes it easier to find people but that’s where the real work begins – then u have to get to know them #TChatHolly Chessman

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