Thursday, September 04, 2008

Linked In Recommendations

To what extent do you think your Linked In recommendations of others, and others' recommendations of you reflects on you?

An old colleague requests a recommendation - you kind of know him/her, but not well. Or maybe you know him/her, but don't respect his/her work. Do you recommend? An incompetent ex-colleague offers a well-articulated recommendation for you. Do you accept?

NO !

Don't do it.

Maintain a high bar for your recommendations so that they mean something. Turn down requests for recommendations for anyone who you wouldn't hire yourself - into your own department, or, better, into your own company. I think the latter is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Don't accept recommendations from people who you would not recommend yourself. The volume of recommendations is not important; it's the quality - both from how well they are articulated and from the standards of the source of the recommendation.

I was thinking at one point of asking someone for a recommendation. This person has a title that would have made for an impressive recommendation. Then I saw that she recommended a person for whom I did not have high regard. I decided against asking. Why? My recommendation would have been devalued by the other recommendation. Granted - not many others would have known or understood... but... I would have known. And others' may have learned.

I want to be recommended only by people for whom I have the highest regard and who I would have no hesitation recommending.

And I want to be recommended by folks who have recommended others who have achieved a high bar of performance.

And I insist on only recommending those who I feel I can honestly promote - based on my interactions and experience.

You too, should maintain high standards in your approach to recommendations.


eyeheartwindows said...

Agreed, however I fail to see how linked in won't degenerate into "myspace for work". It's pretty easy to not recommend someone you used to work with, it's much harder to not recommend someone you work next to every day. I wouldn't cave but I have seen many other people I have some level of respect for cave in. This makes linked in reviews only useful when they are written by people you respect and you have confirmed the review with them. At that point it's just as easy to ask someone directly what they think of the third party or if they know anyone well qualified for a task.

Adrian said...

I think you get to the heart of the matter by pointing out that asking someone directly is a good way to go. These reviews should never be consumed without validation or verification of some sort.

I guess I was trying to get to the risk here for those recommending. If you recommend someone who turns out to be less than you advertise, you've given yourself a blemish ... and you devalue the recommendations you've made for others (which may not be accurate for the others). I'd rather not be on the devalued end of that analysis.

Aside... the name: coding libertarian... nice.