Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LinkedIn Skills & Expertise Endorsement Clicks…Do Clicks Have Value?

Jeff Snyder's LinkedIn Profile
Within 24 hours or so of the time when LinkedIn added the endorsement click feature, I wrote an article on the subject. You can find The New Endorsement Feature on LinkedIn article on my Security Recruiter Blog from September 2012 if you care to read what I wrote when the feature was brand new.
A month later, Forbes Magazine caught on to the new LinkedIn feature.  I shared some additional ideas about the endorsement feature in this Blog Post from November 2012 when I wrote a blog in response to an article on the subject I read from Forbes Magazine.

Here we are 6 months later and I have a few new observations to share regarding the newest LinkedIn click endorsements.  I’d be interested to know what you think after you read my thoughts.

Can’t Hold Back Any Longer!
I’ve kept my thoughts on this subject to myself for several months but today the straw that broke the camel’s back was dropped.  I was endorsed for “Human Resources”. 

My HR Director client and friend in Los Angeles whom I refer to frequently in blog articles would be the first to tell you that nothing I do resembles human resources.  I have no human resources skills and I don’t aspire to acquire any in the future.

I have respect for my human resources friends and business partners but my job stops where their job begins.  I partner with human resource leaders but I’m not one of them.

This is not a blog about human resources. 
My point here is that I’ve been endorsed for topics such as information security, risk management, compliance, disaster recovery, business continuity and much more.  This is wrong.
The first thing I tell security professionals when I’m on an introductory call is that I don’t do what they do.  I’m a student of the people and business side of security, risk management, privacy, etc. but I’m not a security practitioner.
In fact, the value I bring to my clients is that I'm an expert on the people and business sides of security and I'm not actually a security practitioner.
Today, when I was endorsed for human resources, I knew it was time to write this blog!

My Endorsement Approach
I chose early on to only endorse people whom I know personally.  I want my endorsements on someone else’s LinkedIn profile to mean something.  I endorse people because I know they excel in the areas in which I endorsed them.

Other People’s Endorsement Approaches
While I can’t crawl into the minds of everyone who has been kind enough to click the endorsement boxes on my LinkedIn profile, I can tell you that I’ve been endorsed by many people who don’t really know me and I've been endorsed for skills I don't have and I don't plan to develop. 

If the endorsers did know me, they would know that my expertise is on the people and business sides of security, risk management, compliance, disaster recovery, business continuity and more.  They would know that I am not a practitioner of these technical subjects.
I’m pretty sure that some people are clicking on other’s endorsement boxes simply to get that person to feel compelled to click endorsements on their LinkedIn profile.  I haven’t taken this approach and I have no intentions of changing my approach.

My Endorsement Guarantee
If you see that I’ve endorsed someone for something, you can be sure that I endorsed them because I know them and I know that they have exceptional competency in the areas in which I endorsed them.

If you want to know who I really think highly of, look at who I wrote a full recommendation for.  To this day, if I really think highly of someone, I’ll take the time to write a thoughtful recommendation for the world to see. 
You want to make an impact on someone today?  Take the time to do what is seldom done anymore.  Create a written recommendation in addition to or in place of clicking on the endorsement boxes.
Endorsement Clicks vs. Written Recommendations

Think of the endorsement clicks as a visit to a fast food restaurant.  Think of a written endorsement as the equivalent to sitting down at a fine restaurant where you dress up a bit and you take your time eating a meal that should trump the visit to a fast food restaurant. 

Both visits take time but which one has more value attached?

I Like Endorsements!
If you’re inclined to click my endorsement boxes, I’m greatly appreciative.  Please don’t endorse me for things I don’t do though because I’ll quickly hit the X.

My skills and expertise are in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Recruiting, Security Recruiting, Talent Identification, Negotiating Contracts, Sales, SEO, Internet Marketing, Security Resume Writing, Executive Coaching, Career Coaching, Career Counseling, Job Coaching, Executive Search, Public Speaking, Search, Leadership Development, Magazine Article Writing…Visionary and Futuristic from my Strengthsfinder assessment and more!
Jeff Snyder’s Security Recruiter Blog's Security Recruiter Blog