From the Sourcer’s Desk…those endorsements? They’re a good thing!

So you probably think I’m going to write about LinkedIn endorsements, it’s a topic that seems to be polarizing the social media and recruiting digerati.  And to be quite honest, they amuse me.   I have a very jaded view of them, especially as I receive endorsements from people I’ve never met or worked for.  And they really get people like Gerry Crispin going, he is not fond of them at all, but is now aware that some people, like this guy, like to go on and just gleefully endorse people for random skills.

But I am keen on LinkedIn endorsements because quite often they pull keywords and skills into a person’s online profile that they have not submitted.  And since we rely on those keywords and phrases when we search the site, whether from LinkedIn’s search feature or a Search Engine X-Ray (site:), I think they become an asset.

I recently spoke with Brad of LinkedIn and got some great insight into Endorsements.  Here are things you should know,

  • Since implementing endorsements in Q4, there have been over 500 million endorsements logged.
  • Typically 10 million endorsements are averaged per day.
  • The “tool” has increased a user’s “time on site”…and we all know stickability is a key metric for all social media sites.  They want their users to engage…Endorsements is making that happen.
  • It offers your network of peers, mentors and managers to supplement your profile with skills that you may have neglected to include in your profile.

Really, really hate endorsements? You can hide them.  Just click on edit profile, go to the end to the section detailing “Skills & Expertise”, click on the pencil icon and then select “hide endorsements”.  Bam…they’re gone.

And you can decline endorsements as well… RE: you’re always in control of your profile.

But before you go that far, realize these endorsements are making you findable.  Especially if you have a bare bones LinkedIn profile.

I use the LinkedIn Skills and Expertise section (located under the More menu) daily.  Typically when I’m strategizing a search, the keywords I’ll use in a string, assessment of locations where my candidates might be and groups they will belong to.  I find it to be a nice free resource to jump start my strategy and help me kick off a search.  For example – I do a lot of work in the nonprofit realm, and have recently needed a database analyst, preferably with experience like iMis.  Often when I do an initial intake session on a req, I’ll get some of the terms related to iMis…but not all.  I really like that this tool assists in building that out.    And that this content is user generated, not the result of some data goob entering information into drop down boxes, forcing people into skill descriptions they don’t necessarily have.

I’m also quite intrigued by the Location assessment of where my iMis professionals are.  I expect to see “Washington DC Metro area”, but not a breakdown as specific as referring to Alexandria or Arlington.  Now Alexandria and Arlington absolutely make sense if you’re familiar with DC and where many of the nonprofits set up shop, but if you’re familiar with LinkedIn and the structure of locations, you may not expect this level of detail.  It will certainly impact the string you create on n an external search engine with the site: command.

So love ’em or hate ’em….just leave ’em be…it’ll let your next opportunity come knocking…just see.

FOT Background Check

Kelly Dingee
Kelly Dingee is a Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition for Marriott International. She has extensive sourcing experience having worked for Staffing Advisors (retained search), AIRS (training!) and Thales Communications, Inc., (cleared/telecom) and got her start in the profession while a full life cycle recruiter at Acterna (now known as Viavi). Lucky for Kelly, she had a boss who could see the potential of sourcing candidates from the web, and in 1998, she stepped into a newly created sourcing role. No truth to the rumor that she has a side business to help you push your resume to the top of Google search results…


  1. Travis Pearl says:

    Good points on findability Kelly. Individuals rarely identify all the key words and even key skills they’ve developed throughout their career. While there are flaws around how ‘genuine’ endorsements are on LinkedIn, over time the volume of endorsements will let an individual stand out for their most skilled traits. Having one or two endorsements for a given skill will work for keyword matching, but having 10+ endorsements will act as a guide that those skills are actually legit – as voted by their peers. Would be really interesting to see the endorsement data validated by those you have worked with at the same company vs. those validated by general connections on LinkedIn.

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