I honestly had never heard this but it totally makes sense that it should work this way so I went back to Brewspace to dig around. What I found was not conclusive - it seems that endorsement weighting wasn't originally in the functionality but was added later. I also found a reference to the People tab search using Relevance as one of the filters.
So I decided to do a little test. What I found was somewhat disturbing:
I first tried it out on the People tab.
- Using the skill "strategy" I got 4 results
- According to the relevance, the person with 2 endorsements for strategy was in the first spot
- The second person had the word strategy as part of a multi-word skill and had 3 endorsements
- The 3rd person had strategy as a skill but no endorsements
Then I went to the spotlight search and searched on strategy.
- The person with strategy as part of a multi-word skill was in the first spot
- The person with only strategy but with 2 endorsements was in the second spot
- The person with only strategy but no endorsements was in the third spot
So...apparently the endorsement weighting DOES work, but it doesn't give any weight to an exact match over a partial match.
Can you test that theory out and see if it holds true in your community?
And also odd that the results wouldn't be consistent between spotlight and People tab.
Thanks so much. It is hard to test some of the nuances because I'm not completely sure still what's going on. There still seems to be a lot of weight attributed to content in a person's title, as well as their expertise and tags (self declared knowledge). So it isn't really clear and as a result, it often doesn't show the right people to tick the box of "great expertise locator", which I thought was the whole point of endorsements. Thanks for checking though!