This post was written by our Co-Founder JuIiet Eccleston

There’s been so much coverage of ‘fake news’ and reports of supposedly trustworthy organisations misleading the public that it’s quite simply become increasingly hard to know what is honest and authentic.

The rise in peer-to-peer recommendation

The interesting consequence is that people are now much more inclined to trust their own peer groups, viewing them as more reliable sources of information. We’ve always done this at some level, even if it’s just telling friends about a great new local restaurant. However, our digital age is changing the way we do this. Whereas once these peer-to-peer recommendations would be largely face to face, the FT recently observed that: ‘The internet is creating another type of trust: crowd-sourced, peer-to-peer reviews among massive networks.’ Most of us have left online reviews or used the likes of Uber and Airbnb. The beauty of these platforms is that they enable us to see the comments and recommendations of people far beyond our immediate network.

I think that it’s great to see the peer-to-peer movement generating a new type of trust. And, as people find that they can rely upon this model with one transaction, such as finding a great place to have a short break, it will transfer to others. We’re even seeing dog walking services join the movement, with people rating others on their competence with canines.

Recruitment – regaining the trust

However, where this movement can really disrupt the current way of doing things for the better is recruitment. So many of us are either looking for new jobs currently, are open to a move in the future, or are the ones who are hiring.  I mentioned that trust in organisations is at a low, and the same can be said of the recruitment industry. Many hirers and job seekers use agencies, but if you type ‘recruiters are…’ into Google, the top hits right now are ‘scum’, ‘useless’, ‘parasites’, ‘a waste of time’ and ‘liars’. I’m not seeing the words ‘reliable’ or ‘trustworthy’! It seems to me that people use them because they feel there are no other alternatives, but don’t have much faith in their scruples.

When hiring, I always found that that the most successful placements were ones where the candidate was personally recommended to me by someone who had worked with them before. I knew I could trust their judgement and it gave me a much clearer picture of a candidate than their CV alone. Equally, as a job seeker, few things are better than a contact informing you of a job opening that they think you’d be perfect for, because they know both you and the business where the vacancy is. One of the things that inspired me to co-found the AnyGood? platform was the fact that there is strong demand for a new way of recruitment. One that allows people to use a peer-to-peer system of recommendation in order for professionals to put others forward for jobs that they think they’d be fantastic at, on the basis that they can vouch for their skills and capabilities. It’s so simple: someone looking for a person for a role posts it and it’s put on the AnyGood? platform and in front of the network instantly. Members consider if they personally know anyone that would be great for the role – if they do, they are advocated for the position.

So, apart from the benefits of having people personally recommended for roles, what else is great about the AnyGood? platform? Firstly, unlike some unmonitored review sites which allow unknown individuals to leave reviews, ours is a curated network of vetted experts. Only members can put people forward, so the endorsements come from people you can trust. The network is diverse and extensive: being part of the platform amplifies your own list of contacts, putting you in touch with more people and, therefore, exposing you to more opportunities. Finally, unlike with many recruitment agencies, a flat fee is charged only if someone is hired and the person who puts them forward gets a finder’s fee. If you’re already well networked, it’s a fantastic way to monetise the connections you have made.

With more people than ever before recognising the benefits of peer-to-peer recommendation, I think it’s only a matter of time before we start to see this as the logical, transparent and most honest way to recruit.

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