In several earlier posts and white papers on social media, we’ve explored the extent to which social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn are now used by recruiters. Indeed, well over 90% of recruiters report that they rely on some form of social media in their recruitment process. Whether they use social media to actively advertise openings and/or find potential job candidates or rely on these platforms to verify the identity and claims of applicants, every sign points to the fact that social media platforms now play an integral role in most recruitment efforts. With the emergence of Traity—a platform that provides individuals with a “reputation passport” based on data obtained from their broader digital footprint—the role of social media in recruitment is likely to expand.

Building a Reputation Online

Building a Reputation Online

Unlike the real world, social media platforms have, to date, operated as isolated silos. A seller or buyer on eBay may have a great reputation that dates back over a decade but if they decide to join Airbnb as a host or guest, they will need to start building up their reputation from scratch. Likewise, someone with six years of outstanding hosting experience on Airbnb who wants to launch a project on Kickstarter can’t transport their great host status across these platforms. In short, unlike the real world, where one’s reputation as a decent, honest and reliable human being typically travels from place to place, online, one’s reputation often remains restricted to each social media platform or sharing economy site.

Economists and media theorists alike emphasize that among other things, one of the driving forces of sharing economy platforms, like Airbnb, is trust. After all, while one can rent a room or apartment on Craigslist or similar sites, there is no guarantee the room or apartment will be there when you get off the plane and no guarantee that you can trust the person from whom you are renting. Sharing economy platforms like Airbnb have taken off in part because trust is built into the platform (e.g., in order to use the platform, one must verify their identity and more importantly, over time, both hosts and guests accumulate trust by gaining positive reviews).

Traity: Solving the Digital Reputation Dilemma

With the arrival of Traity, it is now possible for individuals to begin accumulating trust across social media platforms. For recruiters, this means that it will be increasingly possible to evaluate job candidates’ digital reputations without digging through multiple digital archives.

In short, Traity brings together four sources of data to build individuals’ digital profiles. First, like other social media sites, Traity verifies individual users’ identities. Second, it mines users’ reviews from sharing economy platforms (e.g., eBay, Airbnb, Elance and Etsy). Third, Traity mines users’ social media analytics from sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. From this, one can evaluate users’ social networks and their behavior on these networks. Finally, Traity uses something called “vouches,” which may be best described as the digital equivalent to Girl Guide or Boy Scout badges (e.g., Artist, Chef, Blood Donor or Best Host), to create a more comprehensive profile of the platforms’ users.

Using Traity as a Job Search and/or Recruitment Tool

For people on the job market, Traity offers a way to both curate one’s digital identity and most importantly, to capitalize off of their already established digital reputations. Particularly for candidates with well-established and positive online reputations, Traity holds great potential to be deployed as a landing page that provides insight into one’s professional and personal identities. For recruiters, Traity offers one-stop shopping, so to speak, to verify candidates’ identities, gain a snapshot of their social behaviors (e.g., their interests, passions and talents), and evaluate specific traits (e.g., Is the candidate reliable, friendly and/or honest?). Whether or not Traity becomes popular with job seekers or recruiters, it seems likely that moving forward either Traity or a similar platform or platforms will increasingly become the norm for curating and evaluating our online reputations. For recruiters, this is evidently good news. For job candidates, however, sites like Traity may represent a double-edged sword. After all, it means that more than ever before, it will be important to manage one’s online identity at all times. After all, with platforms like Traity, leaving a sink full of unwashed dishes in an Airbnb apartment now holds the potential to impact one’s professional profile as well.