August 4, 2016

Self-promotion or peer review?

Let your recruitment strategy be inspired by services like Airbnb, GoMore, and Uber.

by Christian Høeg

Airbnb, Yelp, IMDb, GoMore, and Uber have created a unique service where the individual actor’s exposure doesn’t rely on their own self-assessment, but instead on the peers’. Thus, overall securing a more trusted service.

However, this data from peer reviews is not just superior in differentiating cab drivers, lenders of apartments, or to ensure a great experience when sharing a car. It can be the strategic advantage in your recruitment strategy when assessing future employees.

Crowdsource your applicants.

The globally known services mentioned above are all built on crowdsourcing technology. Basically, it means that they “enlist a crowd of humans to help solve a problem” defined by the system’s owners.” (The system’s owners being the companies themselves. Read more about Crowdsourcing Systems on the World-Wide Web.)

Now, you might be thinking that these commercial technology organisations don’t have anything to do with your type of business. So, why is crowdsourcing relevant to your recruitment strategy?

Peer reviews – the best feedback you can get.

By now, most of us have probably made use of Uber. After the ride, we are asked to review the trip. This information is incredibly useful to Uber, as it allows them to save a lot of resources in performance reviews, helping them maintain a high standard of drivers. Uber also reviews its customers, so no rude behaviour if you want to avoid public transportation.

The strategy is very simple: Uber does not rely on individuals’ reports on their own performance.

Not only are the incentives skewed, but people’s perceptions of their own behaviour and performance often differ significantly from those of peer reviews. By letting customers rate drivers, and drivers rate customers, Uber’s strategy is far more genuine, and the results are reliable.

Yet, most companies hire as if peer reviews only apply to service businesses such as cab drivers and restaurants. But of course, they also apply to candidates in other lines of work.

More important what other people think.

In fact, more than a third of all CVs contain significant misrepresentations. Yet, this piece of data, along with the cover letter (CL), has been the backbone of most companies’ recruitment strategies for the last 50 years. In a recruitment study including more than 150 national and international companies, more than 75% were relying on CV and CL as the primary inputs to applicant screening.  

Relying heavily on self-promotion data creates huge biases. The same approach is also what you experience in most personality tests. Though they psychometrically try to avoid biases, you still get one data input and that’s from the candidate him/herself.

In work situations, what the candidate thinks of him/herself- or how he/she believes he/she would act in a given situation – is really not relevant. Being a successful employee is often defined contrarily by how others perceive you. In other words, his/her success is usually a reflection of the extent to which his/her colleagues, customers, or boss are satisfied with her.


The best, fastest, and most inexpensive way to get peer-reviews? Among others that is the mission Praice is all about. Giving companies the smartest digital solution to efficiently collect peer reviews on an applicant’s personality.  

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