What We Can Learn From the Recruiter With 77 LinkedIn Recommendations

March 31, 2016

Fred Ewing is a recruiter with 77 recommendations on his LinkedIn profile.

Now we all know quality matters more than quantity. But it’s hard to argue with 77 people all vouching for his excellence, especially when they include statements such as these:

  • linkedin recommendation
  • linkedin recommendation

What’s fascinating about Fred is that he has integrated getting recommendations into his relationship-building strategy with clients and candidates. He knows that recommendations are a validation of his skills and experience, and a strengthening of his recruiter brand. He recognizes that recommendations collectively confirm the skills and expertise that he proposes throughout the rest of his profile.

Simply put, his recommendations are proof that he is in fact a good recruiter. They also suggest he’s a very likeable guy.

“In my industry, you need a brand that is better than everyone else’s,” says Fred. “Recruiters achieve their reputations through excellent service, and then they can demonstrate those reputations through recommendations.”

Why recommendations matter for you

When all other profile sections are equal, the recruiter with five glowing recommendations is more likely to get a candidate response than the one with zero. Recommendations can be the difference between a candidate responding to your InMail – or not.

Anyone who’s ever bought something on Amazon or picked a service provider on Yelp can tell you that people’s reviews matter. Recommendations help persuade candidates to work with you. Just as you don’t want to settle for an average candidate, candidates don’t want to work with an average recruiter. Recommendations are an easy way to set yourself apart.

Whom should you ask?

Presumably you’ve placed an array of happy candidates, and most would be willing to say something meaningful and positive about you. Prioritize candidates by the quality of their experiences working with you. Think about hiring managers, HR colleagues, and senior executives too. You can also ask people outside of work, but in all cases be thoughtful. Only ask someone if he or she can objectively comment on your relevant skills and capabilities.

Fred asks every placed candidate for a recommendation, and even asks candidates he doesn’t place but whom he did a great job for. He also asks clients whom he thinks will say yes. “Candidates are usually very thankful for my service, so when they receive my congratulatory email for the role that I found them, most don’t ignore the request to put a few lines on my profile.”

What should they write?

Remind your recommenders what you did for them. Supply them with anecdotes, detailed circumstances or results achieved that you want to highlight. Perhaps include a few points about your recruiting process that differentiate you.

If you’re great at giving immediate and honest feedback, jog their memories. Stories are always better than vague empty statements. “She is a really great recruiter” isn’t nearly as meaningful as “She changed my life because she did X, Y, and Z.”

When should you ask?

Strike while it’s hot. When you successfully make a placement, immediately ask the candidate and the client/hiring manager for a quick recommendation. Asking while your work is fresh makes it easier for them to say yes.

So the next time someone thanks you for a job well done, reply: “Thanks. I’m actually trying to build out my presence on social media. It would mean a lot to me if you wrote a short recommendation on my LinkedIn profile.”

Don’t ask for 10 in one day though. Since they are dated, collect them over time so you appear authentic rather than desperate. “Recruiters should request recommendations regularly,” advises Fred, “And should ask for permission to use them beyond LinkedIn, e.g., in bid work, on their websites.”

Don’t forget your manners

Most people won’t proactively write a recommendation for you. You usually have to ask for it.

  1. Make sure you customize your requests. Write your potential recommenders simple but thoughtful messages.
  2. Thank your recommenders. It should go without saying, but always express your gratitude. You can offer to reciprocate now or in the future, but it isn’t critical to do so.

There is no limit to how many recommendations you can send or receive on LinkedIn. While you don’t need anywhere near 77, if you have zero, maybe it’s time to get one or two.

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