is LinkedIn making us lazy?

I’ve just had an interesting conversation with my brother Greg. Greg runs part of a recruitment firm. He is concerned that many of his team prefer to assess the quality of candidates using proxies for worth such as the number of recommendations the candidate has on Linkedin. The web is full of self-help articles on how to use Linkedin to bolster your personal brand in the job market but Greg is having none of it.

“Until I’ve seen the whites of a candidate’s eyes” he ranted “that candidate is going nowhere”. Clearly he adopts the same standards with his team who need to demonstrate they have met the candidate before putting him or her forward, if they are to meet with his approval.

I showed him the latest ruse by Linkedin, the endorsement system. You can endorse someone by simply clicking a button on their website but , once given, the endorsement is recorded and displayed with your Gravatar against it, in perpetuity.

I am without doubt an endorsement tart, but I’ve only just realised that when you hit the button you “endorse all” , you may know your connection as an expert omelette maker but endorse him not just for that but for his services to the monster raving loony party.

To weed out all the things you don’t want to endorse someone for takes a lot more time than just hitting the endorse button.

However, my lazy behaviour does not seem to be the norm. It appears that people are a lot more responsible than I have been so far. Looking at the endorsements I have had, I discover that I am being endorsed for certain behaviours (Being good at pensions) but not for others (being good at social media). This may be because people value my pensions knowledge more than my social media activity or it may be that they think I am genuinely better than one rather than another but the selectivity of the endorsements, surprises, encourages and shames me!

My brother Greg is absolutely right in saying that LinkedIn is , to the lazy, an excuse to do a good job badly. However, I think he underestimates how careful most people are on-line.

The point of the Pension Play Pen, the group I run, is to get people out more rather than confine their activities to the computer or phone.

Many people I know use the Play Pen, as they do my LinkedIn profile, as a means to find other people. Linkedin shows just how many “searches” you are involved in during a month – it can make uncomfortable reading. The system of “likes” and “winks” as well as “views” are all too conspicuous, your social media footprint is picked up by engines such as Klout and you can easily value your self-worth according to the spurious metrics that appear beside your name.

Many people will only know me through my on-line persona. This is not an issue but it will be if people think I only care about on-line. That’s lazy that is!

While there’s value in connecting to people and finding people through LinkedIn, when people start rating themselves according to the number of connections, or their endorsements, recommendations, friends or Klout score they are taking a dangerous short-cut. They are missing the hard bit- the face to face interactions that really count.

People do not get jobs on line, nor do they sign contracts or consummate friendships. The internet is a facilitator but anyone who thinks we can  substitute on-line for off line is an onanist.



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to is LinkedIn making us lazy?

  1. Pingback: Are you lazy? | Coachtactics

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