Meet the talent business that doesn’t like CVs or job interviews. Infinity Global IO is a start-up talent recruitment, assessment and development business whose founders believe that traditional approaches to finding new staff look traditionally outdated in the modern world. In an environment where people are acquiring skills in new ways and joining fast-evolving organisations that work very differently, something different is required they argue.
“The future will be all about hiring teams of people who work well together,” argues Kanishka Misal, Infinity Global IO’s managing director. “To succeed, organisations will need a combination of well-blended skillsets.”
To meet that need, Misal works with a growing number of clients – big-name examples include Microsoft, BT, Unilever and NTT Data – to help them acquire exactly that. With a technology-enabled approach to recruitment, the business works with clients to identify a pool of candidates with the right set of characteristics to succeed and then sets about training them for the specific jobs that need filling.
This process takes place with no recourse to CVs or interviews. Instead, Infinity Global IO asks potential candidates to go through an online testing process powered by the Cambridge Code, a powerful character trait analysis tool developed by researchers at Cambridge University.
Using these tests enables recruiters to identify a pool of talent with the right attributes to accomplish particular roles and to work together effectively. Many of the candidates won’t have all the skills or experience required to do the job on day one, but Infinity Global IO works with employers to build and run a programme of tailored training and development content to get them up to speed.
Misal argues that this approach is a win-win proposition for candidates and recruiters alike. Successful candidates get paid from the moment they enrol in the training programme, he points out, and receive highly specific education based on the gaps in their skillsets. “For employers, these people become far more productive – we’re building them a pipeline of talent over time.”
One particularly interesting element of working this way is that employers have no idea who the candidates sitting the Cambridge Code tests actually are – not their age, their gender or their ethnic background, for example. With all unconscious biases eliminated, the potential talent base is far wider and more diverse.
“People shouldn’t be judged by a CV – it’s an out-of-date concept and it gives a poor representation of who the candidate is,” argues Jonathan Collins, Infinity Global IO’s director for strategic alliances and partnerships.
In particular, even honest and self-aware CVs do not give employers much idea about the characteristics that drive candidates, often causing problems for organisations who end up hiring people who are a poor fit with one another. “There’s nothing worse than employing three people who may be individually very talented but who are incapable of working together,” Collins points out.
The subtext to Infinity Global IO’s approach to talent assessment, acquisition and development is that while candidates can acquire new skills, knowledge and experience, changing their personalities is much more challenging. It follows that employers need to focus on recruiting teams of people with the right attributes to work together, rather than worrying about, say, who has two years of experience rather than only one.
“We think it is ok to identify that you’re a ‘six out of 10’ when it comes to a particular job,” argues Collins. “What you’re actually doing is identifying the four out of 10 that you need to acquire.” That can be taught, he points out.
In any case, in a country such as the UK, which is increasingly worried about skills shortages in fast-growing industries such as technology, there simply aren’t enough eights and nines out of 10 to go round. It is no coincidence that Infinity Global IO has enjoyed lots of success working with clients to identify candidates for roles in in-demand areas such as cloud engineering and data analytics.
In doing so, the company has built close working relationships with employers, which is proving vital in a new project – a Covid-19-related project to help 10,000 people into new roles. “We’re in the process of pre-selecting candidates who we will work with over the next 12 months to get them into jobs,” Misal explains. He’s persuaded a string of employers to come on board, many of them offering vital training content that will support the programme’s efforts. An initial drive for candidates, focusing on cloud and dev ops is underway.
It’s the kind of work that would not be possible without a technology-led approach to recruitment, which enables thousands of candidates to sit the test at the same time – and one competitive advantage of Infinity Global IO is that its model is highly scalable. “We’ve primarily been working with large businesses recruiting pools of candidates, but this approach can work for individual posts too,” Misal says. “It can also be scaled internationally.”
Indeed, some clients are already exploring the possibilities of repeating the success they’ve had working with Infinity Global IO in other markets. And if you accept the business’s argument that we need to think differently about talent, taking a more global approach makes perfect sense.