Having read his post I started looking at recommendations in the Service Providers section (Service Providers used to be a main category, but is now listed under Companies). The most important thing in a recommendation is its authenticity. Truthful recommendations add value. Misleading or false recommendations subtract value. Also of equal importance is the basis for the recommendation which can be one of the following:
- Colleague: You worked together
- Service Provider: You have a pay for service or product relationship
- Business Partner: You have worked with but not while at the same company
The best recommendation is as a Service Provider. These recommendations are what gets you listed in the Service Providers directory.
As I was reviewing some of the top people and their recommendations I came across someone who was listed as the 2nd most recommended person. Here are a couple of the recommendations:
“I’ve only known XXXX for a few weeks. In that time he has referred many projects to me and offered to make some introductions to a contact of mine. In my experience it is rare to come across such an enlightened individual and even rarer for the person to be an YYYYYYYY. If XXXX treats all of his clients like he treats me then I highly recommend him to anyone in search of a great YYY professional.”
hired XXXX as a YYYYYYYY in 2008
“I’ve met with XXXX on different occasions , his professionalism and his knowledge on our matters, were always consistent. His work ethic and personality is very reliable and incomparable.”
hired XXX as a YYYYYYYYY in 2008
“XXXX was one of my students in business school. He worked on a strategic analysis project with two other students. The project was executed so well that I am still sharing this today with my current students as a benchmark of the quality, thoroughness, analysis and execution that I expect. XXXX was a great team leader and as you would expect, his analysis was excellent. I highly recommend him. He is an asset to any project.”
hired XXX as a YYYYYY in 2003
The basis for each recommendation above is as a Service Provider. Maybe I’m being picky, but none of the recommendations appear to be based on someone having provided a service. They appear to be recommendations of character which would be either as a colleague or business partner.
The classification doesn’t change the authenticity of the recommendation but the recommendations do appear to be mis-leading. They help this person appear higher than others who are relying on actual Service Provider recommendations to rank in the Service Providers section. If everyone did the same, there would be no value in looking at the Service Provider directory.
I can’t say definitively that this person was not hired by the people making the recommendations, which is why I have eliminated any personal references. Just keep in mind that when giving and accepting recommendations that you either add to the Service Providers directory value, or subtract from it.