LinkedIn signals us that without recommendations our profiles are incomplete. It tells us to add two more recommendations to make it go from 95% to 100%. There is no obvious math behind this. Why 95%? If having 2 more recommendations will make make us go to 100%, why not keep adding more? Will adding more make our profile more than complete?
Many jobs posted on LinkedIn also state that the poster wants to hear only from applicants who have recommendations. Why would they base their decision to look at applicants based on whether or not they have been recommended? Probably if someone has not convinced anyone to write a glowing recommendation for them the it could be an indication of their influencing skills? Not really.
Do recommendations signal anything at all? Since LinkedIn requires the recommended to approve the recommendation before adding to their profile, any recommendation you see is only going to be positive.
In the movie Wizard of Oz, near the end the wizard would say to Tin Man, "Remember my sentimental friend, your heart is not measured by how much you love but how much you are loved by others".
Flipping that a bit,
" Your professional status and influencing skills are not measured by how many recommendations you have but how many have sought yours"
If you are nobody and your evaluation and opinion of others does not matter and hence no one sought your recommendation, then what does that say about you?