In the second of our new series, we hear from Juliet Eccleston from AnyGood?, the crowdsourced talent platform where professionals recommend other professionals for roles.

“Although sharing economy platforms are becoming the norm, when we launched our pilot in 2017 there was a lot to learn about how to reward people for the value they added to a platform, without driving behaviours we’d rather not see. Of course for us, quality of candidates is imperative so our focus has been on ensuring we have a great proposition with the right measures, monitoring and levers before scaling.

On AnyGood?, clients share roles with our network of members who then think about who they know that would be great for the role, see if they’re interested and recommend them directly to a client. It’s just a one-off fee if clients find who they’re looking for – and we share both revenue and profit with our members, based on their activities.

My background is in delivering large scale change programmes in corporate environments. I was a freelance programme manager and was delivering change for 20 year before this. As I needed to build teams of high performing individuals throughout this time, I became increasingly frustrated within the recruitment industry. It seemed so far behind other industries who were already seeing this new model for an economy beginning to emerge and dominate.

My frustration pretty much collided with the rise of the sharing economy. I saw models where reputation was used as a currency, where access was prioritised over ownership and transparency was a given. These were all things I wanted from recruitment, but couldn’t seem to get. I began to follow those who were at the forefront of sharing economy research, such as Rachel Botsman and analysed models that were the most disruptive and who ignored tired old assumptions about how industries should work.

From this I developed a model for recruitment and began to test it with contacts in HR and people who had experience of the industry. When a traditional business adopts a marketplace approach, it begins to expand the idea of what’s possible. Seeing the efficiencies of a different model enable organisations to recognise other areas within the business and industry where similar principles could be applied. As these principles become the norm, this will just be the way we do business – but right now it’s pretty disruptive as it ripples through various industries.

People are already moving away from trusting institutions towards crowds and marketplaces – but in order to make a leap of faith to something new, it needs to be seen as trustworthy. New models that nail this will have the power to disrupt an industry on a significant scale.

Although the concept is new, at a certain level, my family understand what I do. My father was an excellent salesman, whereas I’m more comfortable in delivery and leading teams, so he enjoys our conversations about how to approach certain clients. I admit it, he’s my secret weapon…

Our first hire will always stay with me, especially as it was someone who was, in effect sponsored by a member of the network and would never have put herself forward for the role if it had been advertised traditionally. The client was also incredibly happy as they were about to settle for someone who wasn’t quite right.

Now AnyGood? is ready to scale. We already have 49 clients and 1.5k members without doing any paid marketing, so we’re crowdfunding via Seedrs to reach a new crowd of people and enable us to invest in member and client growth, alongside new technology features and global market growth.

I’d like to see marketplaces that combine the power of the crowd and technology that are worthy of people’s trust, so more people and organisations make better use of the underutilised assets they have – whether this be for personal, organisational or social gain. This growth could see a significant shift in not only personal, organisational and social value, but also productivity at an economy level.”