Many of those who know me well will be aware of how I came to co-found AnyGood? For those less familiar with our story, I wanted to explain why this platform has truly been built out of a need for change.
During my career in programme management I found the process for finding great people for roles a struggle. In particular, it was difficult to build great teams of professionals with not just the right technical skills, but also the ability to challenge the norm – an attribute that was really hard to assess for without getting to know someone a bit more and something that few intermediaries could provide an insight on.
I started to notice that the most successful hires were those which originated through a personal recommendation from another professional. I realised that the traditional method of recruitment – typically, using an agency or trawling through lots of fairly similar CVs – wasn’t really working for me as it didn’t give me the insight into these professionals that I needed. I was sure that I wasn’t the only one feeling this frustration, so I decided to take action.
Before taking any drastic steps, I wanted to first examine just why current hiring processes weren’t working – focusing on the question of whether or not recruitment as we know it is ready for disruption. As I mentioned at a recent Rip It Up, Start Again event, there are five main limitations of the conventional hiring process that needed to be challenged in order to create a better, fairer way of hiring for both clients and candidates:
Recruitment agencies often provide limited, filtered data on candidates, with many withholding the full details from their clients until the very final stages of the hiring process. However, as a prospective employer, it was frustrating because I wanted to have a full picture of the potential recruits to better gauge who to bring in for interviews.
Having an agency recruiter acting as a go-between for the candidate and the client didn’t work for me either. As a hirer I wanted to be able to directly connect with candidates. And as a freelancer, I often found that there were entire layers of intermediaries between me and the employer, each of which took a margin on a daily basis, that added up to a significant sum of money with little value add, particularly when I was working on long-term programmes with a duration of four or five years.
Having agency involvement means that the hiring process naturally becomes more complex as it includes multiple people. I found that this often led to the stipulation of additional terms and conditions, which could be quite significant. For example, some agencies effectively ‘owned’ talent and wanted exclusivity agreements, while others would only offer candidates certain roles or allow them to speak to particular people.
Having repeatedly hired successfully as a direct result of personal recommendations, it struck me that so much of the valuable knowledge that individuals were building of their peers was going to waste because nobody was really tapping into this prime source of potential candidates on a large scale.
Finally, it takes a significant amount of trust to allow an intermediary to work on your behalf and represent you. Any high stake exchange, from buying a house to securing a job, is something which demands an open, fair, and efficient process for all parties involved. Yet my personal experience was that this wasn’t always true of the recruitment industry and, as a result, there needed to be more transparency and integrity.
These limitations of the traditional recruitment process made it clear to me that the industry was indeed ready for disruption – one which really worked while meeting the needs of candidates and clients. This is where AnyGood? comes in to its own.
The platform provides clients with direct, unrestricted access to consenting candidates and their information. It’s a simplified process with no intermediary: two contacts can just come together in direct conversation. It enables professionals who know where to find the best candidates to connect with people who are looking for those individuals. And, importantly, those using the platform are using their own reputations as currency by recommending people for roles in a collaborative community, which fosters trust.
One further benefit of the platform is that it brings more fairness to the search for talent. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, the diversity of the network – which AnyGood? helps to broaden by working with organisations which are actively committed to inclusion – means that the candidate pool better represents society as a whole. This, in turn, creates a more level playing field for everyone, giving a much-needed boost to many underrepresented groups.
The time has come to shake up the recruitment industry as we know it and disrupt the norm by putting the power back in the hands of professionals themselves.
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