This post was written by our Co-Founder Juliet Eccleston

(aka how to give clients access to recommended candidates from a truly diverse talent pool)

It’s claimed that we’re moving away from a world where people trust institutions, to one where trust is distributed amongst people. So is the ultimate destination a de-institutionalised Airbnb’d, Uberised, blockchain economy, where people trust strangers rather than brands, where trust is earned, where you’re personally accountable for your own reputation and where blind faith becomes obsolete? Hang on a minute, that sounds pretty good to me.

There are some great papers out there on the topic. In particular I’m a fan of the research done by Rachel Botsman, a recognised expert on how collaboration and trust enabled by digital technologies will change the way we live, work, bank and consume. The very possibility of a new era of trust, of transparency, inclusivity and accountability completely inspired me and was a significant influence in the creation of our new way to find talent here at AnyGood?

Just as Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace that relies on recommendations and places accountability with individuals for their own reputation, so do we. The AnyGood? community is a network of members who are known for their experience in their field of work. They recommend candidates they know personally who would be great for a specific role and are held personally accountable as clients rate the quality of all recommendations. Even though our members are strangers to a client, the model of reputation and accountability enables trust to be earned.

The AnyGood? model is not that dissimilar to an employee referral system, where reputation and trust are built in to the process through the nature of the relationship between employee and employer. Referral systems are commonly known as the most effective way to source great talent at the lowest cost. All the stats show this. The one problem with employee referrals is that it’s really hard to grow a diverse organisation whilst there’s a natural correlation of traits in referrer – referree relationships (or homophily if you want to impress your friends). It’s just something you can’t get away from, so if you really are committed to diversity you have to dig deeper. My digging resulted in considering social integration and how AnyGood? might be in a unique position to support the broader cause and have a much bigger impact on diversity than originally thought possible.

It’s only through looking at how we move from a socially segregated community to a more integrated one that we can begin to lay the foundations for diversity to be truly embedded in the new world vision. Jon Yates does a much better job than me in explaining ‘Why Your Friends are just like you and Why it Really Matters’ in his TEDx talk. Seriously, watch it, some of the examples are incredibly interesting in terms of people’s natural tendency, even when in massively diverse groups and communities, to prove the proverb ‘birds of a feather flock together’.

So, how do we move to a more integrated society which supports better diversification of candidates being recommended for roles? Let’s say we proactively ensure our curated network of experts is diverse. Not only this, but we work with our community to further enhance integration opportunities between members. This would provide organisations with recommendations from talent pools which have previously been inaccessible and ensures continued growth of diversity within the network. As well as being brilliant for an individual, the knock on impact to organisations of bringing in diverse talent is significant and then at an economic level it’s huge.

The Social Integration Commission recently published a report called Kingdom United? – Thirteen steps to tackle social segregation. One of the key principles from this is that business and public sector leaders should recognise the benefits of social mixing and look to recruit from diverse talent pools. As an ethical company driven by the principles that reputation matters, that there’s strength in community and in access of ownership, we’re committed to proactively creating a diverse network which closes the gap for organisations so they really do have access to the best talent.

So, this is how we’re looking to support diversity. I’d love to hear from those who are interested in the same challenges and as eager as us to find a better way.

What?… I missed out Bubbles? … You’ve not watched Jon Yates’s video have you?