Are LinkedIn Endorsements Meaningless When Recruiting Talent?

In September 2012 LinkedIn introduced the clever and strategic feature of allowing users to give “kudos” to their professional connections with just one click. Only six months later the number of endorsements that have been issued on the social network has well surpassed its expectations with more than one billion endorsements to date.

According to an infographic by Peter Rusev, Associate Product Manager at LinkedIn, more than 18 million professionals have been recognized for their aptitudes. This significant volume could be attributed to LinkedIn’s innovative marketing technique that encourages users to endorse others. When a user is searching through her professional network the first thing that she sees on the top of a connection’s profile is a box with suggestions reading, “Does ____ have these skills or expertise?” This online reference check for talent ranges from skills such as “Enterprise Staffing Software” to “Chemical Process Engineering.”

Since it is such an easy and simplistic way to acknowledge the abilities of your LinkedIn connections, it raises concern. Is the value of this compliment weakened due to the possible lack of thought and consideration when making an endoresment?


In her article published for, René Shimada Siegel, Founder and President of High Tech Connect, predicts that despite the popularity of LinkedIn endorsements today, they will be extinct by 2014.

“Today, I received LinkedIn endorsements of my skills from five people I’ve never met. There’s no way these people have any context for my ability to deliver the skills and expertise they endorsed. Don’t get me wrong. LinkedIn is still an invaluable tool for my business and I’ve written about it before. But I’m worried about these endorsements which feel an awful lot like a popularity contest.”

Siegel goes on to add that, “Since endorsements involve a single mouse-click, I can endorse 60 people in 10 minutes and not break a sweat. Click, click. Then the network marketing effect takes hold. The person you just endorsed will receive an email that you’ve done so and suggesting that, perhaps, he or she would want to return the favor. Why not? Above your profile LinkedIn lists a few of your connections and their many skills and specialties. And off you go: Click, click, click. “Look at me, being nice…..” I’ll go so far as to make this prediction: By the end of this calendar year, LinkedIn will drop endorsements from its site and everyone will realize all those little blue rectangles filled with words like “Cloud Computing,” “Writing,” “Product Marketing,” etc. are worth as much as the effort it took to award them to somebody: Nothing.”

In response to a LinkedIn forum started by Matthew Weaver about the value that endorsements offer, Geoff Gunner discusses the effects that the phrased testimonials have upon the staffing industry.

“As an employer, I don’t think that I’d want to hear an opinion on someone’s abilities that hadn’t been carefully thought out. What would be the point? I could end up hiring someone that could cause serious damage to my project, just because they had lots of friends who endorsed them. And so, as the feature stands, it’s really just eye-candy for LinkedIn, perhaps catching the attention of an employer but quickly fading away under detailed scrutiny. For me, I’ll only endorse the skills that I know a person possesses. To do anything else would be unprofessional, and LinkedIn is for professionals, yes?”

But as Geoff explains, if he takes the “professional” stance of only endorsing those he personally knows possess a skill, while others continue to endorse those they are simply casually acquainted with (or do not know at all), what’s the point? As a recruiter, you cannot tell the difference, and therefore, endorsements are meaningless. Maybe LinkedIn should tweak the model so that only those people that have provided a written recommendation on a person’s LinkedIn profile can endorse a skill. Yes, an argument can be made that recommendations can be misused as well, but at least there is thought that goes into writing a recommendation for an individual, and there is level of self-policing involved with recommendations that give them more legitimacy.

What do you think? Do you believe that the value of a “kudos” on a connection’s profile has diminished?

Let us know in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you!

How you should gear up for the increased pace of employer hiring

The job market is on the mend and that means employers are once again looking to make some hiring decisions in the near future. After all, many businesses have just completed their annual budgets and are poised to stimulate job growth, fill empty positions and flesh out departments.

According to Right Management Research, employers are more optimistic about the upcoming year and are planning on spending money to hire and develop talent. A global survey of more than 2,000 senior human resources executives in 14 companies found that a majority of U.S. executives believe the economy is in recovery – greater than the one-third who had the same belief for 2012.

“The prevailing caution of 2013 seems to have given way to a much more positive outlook for the year ahead,” said Gerald Purgay, Senior Vice President at Right Management. “Another shift appears to be wider recognition of the strategic need to invest in talent. We know that HR executives are tuned into senior management’s thinking and planning, and they’re saying that talent development initiatives have become a top priority as their organizations build for the future.”

And, it seems a number of companies are looking to gain new employees.

“According to our findings, a majority of U.S. employers (56 percent) see limited hiring in order to fill specific openings, and 31 percent say that hiring will increase only somewhat. Just 13 percent expect significantly more hiring prompted by strategic business needs,” said Purgay.

This survey isn’t the only indicator that the jobs market is on the road to recovery. A report from the U.S. Labor Department released the first week of February 2013 also showed noticeably stronger hiring trends. Experts are predicting the trend will continue, which is boosting employer confidence.

But complicating the need to increase hiring and invest in talent is the recognition that hiring is often a drawn-out process. Businesses are creating a number of new openings and management is looking to decrease the time and resources spent on identifying the right job candidate from a pile of resumes. What a hassle that can be! So staffing and recruiting agencies are uniquely positioned to help their clients reduce that ‘time-to-fill’ metric.

Your clients are finding themselves needing qualified workers to fill position gaps for contingent employee short-term projects, long-term contracts, as well as full-time employees. Here then are some suggestions for how you can gear up to handle more orders effectively.

First, leverage your professional expertise and cutting edge recruiting software to provide the best job candidates by establishing concise work-flows to handle job orders from first contact through client billing. This ensures a higher level of client service when your clients know that you have a dependable method for fulfilling their orders. Equally important, it reduces the time and effort you spend on filling those orders.

Second, an intuitive staffing program that is cloud-based, mobile-accessible, and secure can help your recruiting team respond faster and more effectively to both client and candidate communications. This is vital in today’s 24×7 business world.

Finally, tie everything in your staffing business together with seamless contingent employee payroll integrated into your recruiting software so that you further streamline your internal processes.

When a hiring boom is taking place, you want to make sure you’re able to appropriately handle the client shuffle and find the right candidate for the right job. Your staffing and recruiting software is an integral key to helping you achieve those goals.

Are bad hiring decisions costing you?

We already know that employee turnover is a bad thing, according to some experts, and while it’s not always as the result of bad hiring decisions, it usually is. Hiring the wrong workers can lead to a lot of headaches, stress departments and halt production. Overall, it’s a thing to be avoided. However, do you know how much those bad hiring decisions are costing you?, the popular online shoe retailer, claims that bad hiring decisions have cost them well over $100 million. reports that CEO of the company, Tony Hsieh has said that hiring a bad manager can lead to a mess of problems because that one incompetent employee can turn around and hire 5, 12 or even hundreds more people who can’t appropriately handle the job.

Because of the nature of small businesses and startups, hiring fast and firing slow is common. However, Hsieh claims that he has found the opposite mantra is true and has changed staffing practices at the company as a result.

For this, and many other reasons, staffing and recruiting companies like yours are often better positioned to help their customers achieve their hiring goals. With your expertise and specialized sourcing and recruiting software, you can offer a more-effective out-sourced hiring methodology to get the right candidate in the right job.

Bond Scoops Technical Innovation Award

On Rec Winner Framed240x190

Bond International Software, the global recruitment, HR & Payroll specialists, have been awarded the Technical Innovation Award in the supplier category at the annual Onrec Awards ceremony for the UK online recruitment industry.  Bond received the award for its specialist portfolio of recruitment applications, Bond Adapt.

The recognition was made for Bond Adapt’s V11 architecture and the continued benefits and technological advancements it brings to the global recruitment industry, including innovation, product versatility and investment in quality.  The software offers a competitive edge to global companies, both large and small, that can benefit from its multi-lingual capabilities and intuitive user interface.

Tim Richards, Managing Director, Bond International Software, comments, “We are delighted to have won the Technical Innovation Award at the Onrec Awards Ceremony.  We pride ourselves in our continued research and development and in making sure that our products are innovative and at the forefront of the market.  Through this award we have seen that the market has recognised the work which Bond is undertaking and our continued investment in the development of technology for recruiters.”

What’s your social currency?

How much you’re worth isn’t just valued in dollars and cents. In the realm of the social sphere there is such a thing as social currency. Derived from Pierre Bourdieu’s social capital theory, the term is defined as the actual and potential resources that are created by a brand or person’s presence in social networks and online communities.

According to the 2013 Social Currency Impact Study by Vivaldi Partners, Subway ranks as the number one brand in the United States in terms of social currency. Researchers measured organizations’ social currency by utility, information, conversation, advocacy, affiliation and identity. Subway achieved its coveted status because it performs high on all six social behavior dimensions and impacts customers through consideration, purchase and loyalty. According to Marketing Profs, the sandwich company not only has a large Facebook and Twitter following, but it also has high engagement levels and sells promotions without coming off as pushy. That’s all good for Subway, as it translates into increased sales and a growing number of followers, but what does this mean to you and me in the staffing industry?

Social currency isn’t just something a popular food chain can gain. You can also impact your social currency and become a thought leader within the staffing community and with current and potential clients. While the number of followers you have does impact your social currency, it’s not the only factor in play. The quality of those followers is important. For example, while Dunkin’ Donuts had 80 percent fewer Facebook and Twitter followers than its main rival Starbucks, its fans are 35 percent more likely to recommend the brand, reports Fast Company.

So, as a staffing professional, how likely are your clients and potential job candidates to recommend you in a social space? Remember that interaction, as long as it isn’t complaints, is a form of social recommendation, even if they are not directly praising you or your company. Every time your followers Retweet you or Like a Facebook post you are getting social cues that indicate your power. That person is taking the time to actively spread your message and opening your brand up to greater social currency potential.

Consider the merits of your social media strategy in terms of the value it brings to your organization. The analytic quality of the social currency formula can help you pinpoint whether or not you’re succeeding or need to alter current practices. Using your recruiting software as part of your social media strategy for job postings is also one of the more important tools at your disposal.

Two top technology upgrades for your business

How do you feel when there is a tech glitch at work? If you’re like me you probably get pretty frustrated. You don’t have time to have your laptop out of commission! You don’t have time to wait on an internet page or document to slowly load! As the popular phrase goes, time is money and technology is what allows us to do our jobs effectively, which is why malfunctioning technology can have such a negative impact.

According to a new survey from Brother International Corporation, small business owners claim that technology gone wrong is a leading cause of stress in the workplace. The study found that 75 percent of small business owners find a crashed computer more disruptive than a sick employee. Another 77 percent of survey respondents report that tech malfunctions have negatively impacted their company in the form of a missed deadline or business opportunity.

With technology playing such a crucial role in the success of a business, it’s important for all of you at temporary staffing firms and recruiting agencies to understand the technology advances, support systems and programs that will improve efficiency and decrease the likelihood of disruptions. Here are two of the technology trends you should be on the lookout for in 2013:

1) Cloud computing. Yes, yes, you’ve probably heard about how important the cloud is for your business, but let’s reiterate again – it’s important for your business! Entrepreneur Magazine reports that the cloud offers more competency measures than any business system can provide. More importantly, it can fully and reliably support your recruitment and staffing software and can give anyone working on a project access to shared documents and data. Also, let’s not forget that the cloud is accessible on any internet-connected device. If you have a sudden idea while traveling for business, you can access the cloud from your laptop, your smartphone or your tablet – it’s just that easy.

However, many businesses have expressed reluctance to integrating the cloud into their business procedures because managers don’t fully understand it. According to the Brother International Corporation survey, only 28 percent of small business owners claim to understand the concept of cloud computing. Another 42 percent of respondents report they are not using the cloud, 35 percent are only using it for data storage, 21 percent are using it for document management and 17 percent are using it for customer relations management, accounting and human resources.

Despite cloud computing being one of the top tech developments of the decade, many small- and medium-sized business owners are just not incorporating the system and, as a result, are maintaining their inefficient work practices and missing opportunities to reduce their operational and service delivery costs.

2) Gigabit Networking. How fast is your system? If you’re still working on an Ethernet speed of 100 Mbps you should consider an upgrade. According to CIO magazine, investing in Gigabit Ethernet will improve your browsing and maneuvering speed 10-fold. The system is so fast that a large file transfer that took 15 minutes to complete before at 100 Mbps will take less than two minutes when transferred in a 1,000 Mbps system, reports the source.

However, improved file transfer speed is just one benefit. Having more network speed will increase your effectiveness at work, allow you to access files, view data stored in the cloud and enable you to increase productivity and decrease stress. Skip the hassle of waiting for a document to transfer or load and invest in the right network capabilities to better leverage every system.

When taken together, these two technologies can provide your staffing or recruiting firm with a solid, highly responsive foundation for your staffing and recruiting software as well as speed you through your daily tasks. And, as I noted at the beginning of this blog, time is money. So don’t waste any of it.

Are you experiencing Degree Inflation?

Are you experiencing degree inflation? It’s a tough job market out there and the changing landscape is peppered with changes. If your clients are asking you to fill a position and request certain characteristics, you’re going to do your best to meet those standards, aren’t you? So, you will search through your staffing software to find the ideal batch of job candidates that meet the listed requirements.

However, have you ever stopped and taken a second glance at the “requirements”? Evidence of degree inflation could be present. And that means that your customers may be specifying job credentials above and beyond what the job really entails.

For most professions, a college degree has become the corner stone of getting a decent job in the United States. It’s become harder than ever to find a job and the college degree is in the process of becoming the new high school diploma because it is often viewed as the minimum requirement now for any job. Take for example, the fact that many receptionists, administrative assistants, file clerks and office runners are now required to have a four-year degree to be considered for jobs in cities that have a well-educated populace and yet are only paid $10 an hour. The New York Times reports that these metros include areas like New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Yes, degree inflation is making its mark on the American job market. Across industries and geographic areas, college graduates are finding that their degree is no longer going as far in the market.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who held a bachelor’s degree in 2012 had a median weekly income of $1,066 and an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. In contrast, workers with a high school diploma earned $652 per week and had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent. Yet despite these rosy numbers, there are long-term social impacts that are now becoming clear.

“A growing number of scholars believe that the vast expansion of higher education in the United States has been unhealthy for society and academe alike,” Noel Weyrich wrote in The Pennsylvania Gazette. “Sociologists contend that higher education has gained vast public subsidies by promising to increase workplace productivity and improve social mobility – while failing at both tasks.”

Some researchers are claiming that the nation is over-investing in education. What do you think? Are we as a nation placing too much emphasis on education and creating this “degree inflation?” And are you seeing your clients request that all workers hold a college degree, even if they are administrative assistants or file clerks?

It’s an interesting time to be in the staffing and recruiting industry. The face of the nation’s workforce is changing and we’re seeing the future develop before our very eyes. After all, is the industry now anything like it was 30 years ago?

Three reasons why it’s important to talk to your contingent workers

Do you believe it is important to regularly talk to your contingent workers? Well, I don’t know how you personally feel about the matter, but I’ll give you three reasons why I believe it’s an important part of the job. For a staffing professional like you, I know that taking the time to chat to a worker who isn’t being prepared for an interview may not always be your top priority.

First, while happiness in the workplace is largely an inside matter and not in your control, by talking with a person about his or her role at a company you can learn important information and potentially help make an individual view his or her job more positively.

Regularly calling the contingent worker that you placed will make them feel valued and boost morale. This can help a worker view his or her experience more positively and determine how you score them in your recruiting software database as a viable option for a future assignment.

Second, as a staffing professional, you can also gain valuable insight into the inner workings of an organization by regularly communicating with a worker you placed. Consider the merits of learning how a client’s organization works from the inside – you might glean details that could help you staff other positions with the right candidates.

Third, the time you spend talking to your contingent employees can also pay off in their perceptions of you and your staffing and recruiting firm. The more that you reinforce the positive nature of your relationships with them, the more likely they are to refer their friends and acquaintances to your firm. And as you well know, referrals are often the most valuable source for candidates and contingent employees.

So, spend a little time on the phone with your contingent workers, and reap the benefits.

The shift toward a contingent workforce will have a long-term impact

The job market is changing – that’s no surprise. The recession made its impact felt across nearly every sector of the workforce. However, one of the greatest alterations to the workforce accredited to the recession didn’t even begin to pick up speed in the mid-2000s. The presence of contingent professionals in the workforce has been growing since the mid-80s.

However, as we’ve all experienced, the growth in contingent staffing is definitely one of the more lasting impacts of the recession. It prompted a strong increase in the percentage of workers who claim to be part of this less-traditional workforce. CBS News reports that the increase in the number of contingent workers in the nation signifies a historic shift from the traditional, long-term employment opportunities that most individuals sought out – especially amongst the middle class.

Because of the growing presence of contingent workers amongst professionals, companies have more flexibility. CBS News reports that 40 percent of employers plan to hire temporary workers in 2013 – and out of that number, 42 percent want to turn those contingent workers into permanent, full-time employees. The contingent workforce is expected to grow to 23 million over the next five years – up from the current 17 million.

“What’s changed in the last 20 years is that there’s been an unraveling of job security in the labor market, as well as a diminishment of benefit packages and a deterioration of stable, reliable wages and promotion pathways,” Katherine Stone, a labor specialist and law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told  the news source. “There’s been a really fundamental shift in the nature of employment – it’s a sea change. Whether you’re talking about the expanded use of short-term employees, temporary workers, project workers, contractors or on-call workers, the use of workers who don’t have regular jobs has increased a lot.”

This switch has prompted a change in perception in both employees and employers. Many workers are no longer expecting to gain or keep permanent positions. However, this situation is hardly like a bad dating sequence, as employees are finding that mobility allows them to pursue the projects they wish to work on and the companies they want to work with.

“The perception has shifted,” Stone said. “You see that with younger people who are entering the workforce. There’s a change in employee expectations of what the labor market has to offer them.”

For companies, the change has created both positive and negative net results. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, human resource professionals are working hard to keep up with the changes in the makeup of the workforce. After all, unlike you staffing and recruiting agency professionals, an HR department isn’t outfitted with specialized recruiting software that has been designed to recruit, comb, grow, track and manage candidates for short or long term projects or assignments – especially at the volume that is being seen in the current marketplace.

You know how to make the strategic contingent staffing choices that will boost a client’s performance. Instead of looking at the problem with a set perspective, you’ve cast your recruiting net wide and have a variety of tools at your disposal to make your processes cost-effective and productive. You know that the average worker may not be likely to stay in a position for long, even if he or she is hired to fill a permanent position. So, you find the professionals that can come in and have a positive impact right away.

You can select the right worker for the job because you know how to effectively manage contingent professionals and can track them using staffing software as they grow and move throughout their career.

Dashboards – Are They Really The Secret To Recruitment Success?

dashboardToby Conibear, European Business Development Director, Bond International Software:

Recruitment Agencies across the globe use software for a plethora of reasons; the main being to hold all of its core information in one place to ensure that all employees are following similar, if not the same, processes. First and foremost any application should bring added value to the end user or there is simply no point in asking them to use it. Recruitment organisations and agents alike require functionality which will work specifically for them – displaying appropriate information, prompts to outstanding actions within the candidate placement process and bringing an intuitive efficiency whilst streamlining the recruitment process.

One of the most important tools in a piece of recruitment software that a recruiter has available to them is the ability to manage their to-do list. At its most basic this is a simple task list whilst being relevant to the recruiter and enabling them to access records or run workflows around them.

Historically, in a system the user would run workflow and it would, if you’re lucky, set an automatic follow-up or reminder. From this reminder the user would need to manually navigate to the corresponding record in the database and run the required workflow then navigate back to the task list and manually remove the associated task.

Up to date technology can provide a much more proactive solution creating a task management system directly linked to outstanding workflow and work in progress that is relevant to the individual user or team. Recruiters and managers should be presented with an intuitive interface which can act as a prompt to ensure that actions, and indeed fees, are not missed.

In recruitment terms a user should be able to access all information required to complete a task or reminder from a single page in the application. This page will display a comprehensive summary of the user’s work in progress. The page should update in real time as to the status of each item, and also alert the user as to which item is about to become overdue.

For a busy consultant, once a critical mass of activity and information is underway it can be extremely difficult to keep track of it. The system that the consultant is using should be profile driven – meaning that the screen which a recruiter views is different to that of an administrator, thereby making the information more engaging, completely relevant and digestible to the individual. In short it is a piece of software that works for the user.

The dashboard may seem like a relatively simple tool – but its importance and how it can work for the end user in an intuitive way is vital. Being able to view a single page which presents all the relevant information, instead of moving between multiple screens, the end user is able to filter and sort tasks while having their workload managed for them. It is time that organisations make their software work for them and ensure that they use it to the best of its ability.

The Global Recruiter