Giving your team recommendations on LinkedIn
As founder of Certum Solutions, I’ve seen several employees come and go. It’s a natural side effect of being in business for almost 15 years. With each new arrival, and departure, the inevitable request for formal reference comes into play. I’ve never had qualms about giving strong employees a reference, and every employee I’ve had the honor of working with has invariably had strengths that were worth recommending to their future employer.
LinkedIn has become a subculture on its own. My personal path with the platform has gone from early embracer to lackluster user, as it became overrun with sales pitches. Then, as COVID-19 hit, I re-engaged more heavily with the platform. Its strength as a networking tool – in the absence of something face-to-face – deserves to be recognized. As far as interacting with industry colleagues, LinkedIn is bar none.
LinkedIn added the kudos feature in 2018, which I do make use of. The emergence of public kudos and recommendations also has the potential to attract recruiters for current employees. There are some employers that hesitate to provide positive feedback in fear of backfire, but, for me, I feel that this is fear-driven thinking, which should be avoided to those in leadership.
LinkedIn is also a valuable recruiting tool. With the rise of the gig economy, employment is also a form of entrepreneurship. Whether W-9 or W-4, one’s ability to earn income is a result of hard work, dedication, and drive. As our society progresses, it becomes more and more irrelevant as to how that income is earned. There is an old folder in my office that holds formal letters of recommendation I’ve received over the years. This trend has slowly disappeared, but the rise of LinkedIn as a digital resume tool will only continue to grow. It offers validation that a recommendation has been provided and strengthens relationships between professionals.
By giving kudos and recommendations to employees, you may be attracting recruiters to them, but you also show, by example, how you value the team that works with you. This attracts potential talent to your company, and creates a positive arc that will only help growth. If an employee can grow by leaving our organization, I am fully behind that decision. While I value the time we spend together, I feel each person has helped me grow, just as I hope I have helped them. Trying to stand in the way of personal development is a modern form of indenture that I hope to never participate in. Additionally, why would one not want to proclaim to the world how amazing their team is? Ideally, by encouraging your team’s personal growth and providing positive and public recommendations, your team will grow and become brand ambassadors for your firm.
While I do not feel obligated to provide a recommendation, I do make it a point to live by the timeless golden rule, and I provide them honestly, based on the strengths I feel an employee has.