LinkedIn endorsements have cracked open a new door on the digital chapter of quantifying skills in the professional world. LinkedIn endorsements allow you to ‘endorse’ a specific skill for your connections. When this feature came out, I thought “Wow, that’s really going to bring some good data to the discussion of whose skills people gravitate toward.” SmartRecruiters invited LinkedIn’s Director of Insights, James Raybould, to our San Francisco headquarters to present a SmartUp on the role of LinkedIn’s data in the recruiting industry. The crowd consisted of recruiters, human resources professionals, and recruiting technology professionals. James shared some great analytics and proved more than willing to have an open discussion. The evening really picked up in a cool discussion about LinkedIn endorsements. Frankly, I see LinkedIn’s endorsements as a mixed bag with a lot of potential. Like many numerical measurements in social media, people have, ”worked the system,” so to speak. Some people are requesting endorsements, trading endorsements, and endorsing people they barely know with the hope of landing a job or conducting some business development.