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Why did you buy that from Amazon?


So you are searching for an L&D person and you have had a welter of CVs in response. Now you go through them selecting carefully against your predetermined criteria. 

But wait!

Whilst I don’t want to insult the morality of fellow L&D specialists, it is a widely held belief that a pretty large percentage of CVs contain:-

·        some exaggerations,

·        some half truths and even

·        some outright fabrication. 

The last major survey found that around half of all CVs had a relatively minor “integrity malfunction”, but twenty per cent of CVs contained “significant” falsehoods.  On top of that nearly seventy per cent of applicants admitted to asking a friend to act as a referee in place of a genuine workplace acquaintance.

On the other hand, if you wanted to buy a book, you could look at the profile it has on-line. 

·        Amazon reports that just one customer review increases the sales of a title by 125%. 

·        Five customer reviews generally increases sales of a title by a whopping 1128%! 

·        More than one hundred reviews will increase the sales by an average of an eye-watering 11,785%.

So buyers have confidence in reviews.

Last year TripAdvisor got into trouble because they tried this model and fell foul of people placing spurious “customer” feedback. TripAdvisor allowed anyone to submit reviews, but it was proven in court that many “reviewers” weren’t genuine customers; they were either the seller’s own marketing managers ‘bigging it up’, or the seller’s competitors ‘slagging it off’.

eBay have avoided this potential problem by limiting reviews to people who actually bought from the seller on eBay

Still, these are all reviews of products, not people, and I’m fully prepared to accept that buying a book for, say £6.99, is a bit different from “buying in” a training expert for £500 a day or £45,000 a year....but wouldn’t it be nice if you could make buying decisions on people in a similar way that you can assess books or stuff on eBay?

People Per Hour, eLance and ODesk are all generic worksites that provide buyers with reviews and feedback on the freelancers.  Only genuine buyers can post feedback and the freelancers can post feedback on the buyers as well.  These sites are generic; you can get anything from a virtual assistant to a ghost writer to a web designer. Reviews are based solely on results.

TrainNation works in a similar way, but is focussed solely on Learning and Development.  L&D professionals (individuals and companies) take out membership and create a public profile.  This is supported by references at the outset but, as they fulfil projects via TrainNation, their customers provide reviews and feedback.  This allows you, as a potential client, to search for specific skills and abilities, to see recent reviews of customer satisfaction and therefore take some of the “well it looks good, but is it actually true?” out of your hiring or buying processes.

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