Saturday, February 12, 2011

Secret references, A feature suggestion to my Friends in Linked

LinkedIn is a wonderful social community for building your professional network, finding talents, and being contacted by tons of recruiters. One feature that is generally considered useful is "Recommendations" where your business partners, your colleagues or your manager can send a public recomendation about your experience, skills, and professional results based on their direct past work relations established with you.

This feature is useful but it's main problem is that all the references are public and people tends to coalize and quite soon they start sending multual bragging and very often exagerating their own capabilities. Therefore, it is sometime very hard to make a distinction between a good and a bad (or exagerrated) reference. How to solve this problem?

If you think about how "References" work in real life, you soon understand that we have a different mechanism in place. When I want to hire someone, I ask the candidate to provide the name of three anonymous refereers. Then, I contact the referees directly and their authoritativeness together with the secreteness of the communication will allow me to judge the quality of the candidate with no risk of listening to exaggerated bragging.

So LinkedIn, how about having a similar feature? I would pay for it. Give me a way to ask for secret refeerees and a way to communicate with them in a private manner.


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