Earlier this year I, like many people, received a thank you from LinkedIn for helping make the proposition a success. In my case I was among the top 1% of users and I am, and have been since almost the beginning, a huge fan of an invaluable way of keeping in touch with that most important of resources, human capital.
It is quite a feat that LinkedIn has grown in relevance from a site one visited once a week to enter a new business contact or to look for contact details, to one which you consult daily and now, one where the site is permanently open on your desk top or to hand on iPad thanks to it becoming a great news channel.
As LinkedIn has become a critical hunting ground for recruiters and candidates alike and, as a way of sense checking the veracity of an individual before you engage it is becoming even more vital that everything is as it seems. However there are two areas where I think improvements need to be made;
The relatively recent endorsement function where you can go in and validate a contact’s skill set seemed like a good idea at the time but now it’s been seriously devalued as people acknowledge an attribute without really knowing if that person is any good at that particular skill. There is a way around this – restrict the ability of someone to endorse a particular skill only if they themselves hold at least 5 endorsements in that skill. In other words we have experts rating experts. Another solution would be to give people a finite number of endorsement credits to deploy – thus increasing the value and perhaps making them think twice about using them.
INVITATIONS TO CONNECT
The number of random invitations has really skyrocketed recently. And by random I mean someone who you do not know, have never met and who seems wholly unconnected to your orbit. What makes it worse is they often come with no explanation. I would consider someone random approaching me if they had a tangible reason to wish to connect beyond the conclusion I reach that they just want to amp up their contact list.
There is a whole lot more good than bad about LinkedIn but perhaps some features need to be revisited.