If you’re going to aim big with a recruitment start-up, why not look to the very top?
That is the view of Juliet Eccleston, CEO and co-founder of AnyGood, who wants the London-based firm to be as big as jobs site Indeed.
The company, which claims to recruit talent using the power of the crowd, has also taken inspiration from some of the biggest names in the wider tech sector.
“My background is all in delivering large-scale technology change programmes, and I became quite frustrated with the recruitment industry whilst I was doing that,” she told BusinessCloud.
“I needed to build teams, and the best way we always managed to bring people in was through recommendation – but there didn’t seem to be any way to scale that process.
“I looked at Airbnb and Uber, who were scaling things in a way that other industries hadn’t been able to do before. I started to think about the recruitment industry and why nobody had scaled recommendations as a concept.
“I then began to look at all of the best bits and the most appropriate bits from other industries and pull that together into a proposition.
“We’re a crowdsourced talent platform: a network where we have a group of professionals who recommend other professionals for roles – a bit like an employee referral platform.”
AnyGood is used by the likes of Aviva, Sony and easyJet and recently overfunded on Seedrs, raising just under £450,000 to give the company a pre-money valuation of £4 million.
It already has 1,100 members and aims to use the money for further membership acquisition, marketing campaigns and platform development.
“We want to be as big as Indeed,” continued Eccleston. “Lots of people think I’m going to say ‘we’re going to get rid of recruitment agencies’, but that’s not what we’re about.
“We’re very focused on delivering great quality candidates and introducing great quality candidates to clients but we don’t do all of the things around the edges, arranging interviews and those things that an agent might do.
“We’re part of an ecosystem and I fully expect us to slot in into that alongside other solutions.”
AnyGood charges £1,500 for any hire and a £6,500 fee, which it says is ‘well below agency rates’.
“Most people would consider that somebody that’s been recommended for a job is more qualified in terms of their experience as they’ve been validated by somebody,” continued Eccleston.
“In terms of the quality of candidates, a lot of clients would be getting high volumes of CVs from people that are applying for roles and they have to wade through all of those CVs – and they don’t really know which are the good ones because they’re just comparing people on paper.
“Whereas people being put forward by somebody who’s going to personally vouch for them and put their recommendation on the line, it certainly puts the focus on quality.
“What we also find is that people are being put forward for roles where they might not have thought they were capable of them. For example, often women tend to not go for a roles if they can only do 70 per cent of the role, whereas from research men are more likely to go for a role if they’re not able to do all of the aspects of it.
“With a recommendation platform, when someone else is thinking about what you’re capable of, they can put you forward for roles that they know you’re capable of but you might lack your own confidence in putting them forwards themselves.”
AnyGood has had 320 successful candidate referrals to date and generally fills roles with salaries around £50k and above.
It covers traditional industries such as financial services, retail, hospitality and energy, but tends to focus on roles that can transition across those industries, such as HR managers, technologists and marketing people.
“What we’re looking to do is expand out into other industries like accountancy, science, health and government, because as long as we bring in members from those areas and then advertise roles that the platform is very portable,” added Eccleston.
She advises companies using artificial intelligence to help with recruitment to proceed with caution.
“There’s a lot of AI in recruitment at the moment and it concerns me when people think ‘there’s a match between this CV and the role, so they must be great for the job’,” said Eccleston.
“You get into this fight of technology telling you what to put in your CV and then technology deciding what your worth is.
“What we’re looking to do with AI is very much maintain the human element so that we always have that human check and recommendation in there.
“But we can start to help our members by suggesting people they know that we think would be great for roles.”