Wednesday, May 23, 2012

LinkedIn Recommendations: An Advertising Studio Manager's Insight

By Ernie Arias 

"Credit to the fullest the good qualities to be found in others, even though they may far outshine your own." William M. Peck

A LinkedIn recommendation has more value than just a Like, sharing or commenting on any of the other social networks. As a matter of fact, if you think about this, it's the equivalent of all three social media metric markers in one single post. Let me explain, when you recommend someone it's always a positive comment about an individual's performance (like and comment) and when you post it, you're actually sharing it to all your contacts (share). Not to mention that once you post a recommendation and the recipient approves, it gets embedded on both of your profiles permanently (of course, unless you withdraw it). So we're talking about a triple combo of a share, a like and a comment with no expiration date!! Get the idea!

Motivation Through Recognition

The other great value of a recommendation via LinkedIn is that it's by far the cheapest, and one of the most appreciated, ways of performance recognition. Unfortunately, it's also so underrated and underutilized because of the misconception of identifying salary raises as the only way to recognize employees, and perhaps some more traditional individuals are just concerned about using the mainstream media and going public with it. But you can't imagine how good it feels to get a simple word of praise, compliment, pat-on-the-back or a LinkedIn recommendation (BTW, it's free). It's such a great motivation knowing that your effort has been recognized by your boss, your peers or anyone within your working environment. It works like fuel, igniting you to accomplish more and greater things within your company.

The True Essence of a Recommendation

Recommendations have been traditionally requested by individuals, either when quitting a job, or when being laid off for reasons not related to performance. It's usually called a recommendation or reference letter, depending on to whom the letter is addressed. These type of references are also requested by Human Resources departments and managers at any level involved in the hiring process. As a studio manager, I've both received and requested references about job candidates, and I've observed there's something in common: There is a non-written code between managers about the trustworthiness of these references and recommendations. Your professional reputation and integrity are simply on the line if you're ever caught lying about an employee's past performance.

We can clearly see three very distinctive aspects in a LinkedIn recommendation, starting with how it's perceived from a social media point of view; the amazing motivational power it has, which can be utilized by managers and HR in their reward programs; and the qualitative value of being trustworthy by adhering to its true essence.

Tips From The Experts

Most social media experts advise that before you ask for something you first have to give something, and the same principle applies to LinkedIn recommendations. Many following this tip are trading or swapping recommendations with fellow professionals. The truth of the matter is, regardless how you get a recommendation, it better be trustworthy. Having several recommendations could make any LinkedIn profile look good. However, you need to keep in mind that what really counts—it's not a social media metric algorithm (Klout, Peerindex, Kred, etc.) scrawling your profile. Instead, it's a pair of human eyes reading and assessing the content that will enable you to land the job. Quality over quantity!!


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Ernie Arias