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  • kathryn Woof

Creating a culture of innovation

Updated: Oct 6, 2019


Last week we were nominated by the Global Recruiter Awards for the Best Innovation, for our Subscription recruitment product – we were absolutely thrilled!

Innovation has been on our minds for years. As well as working in industries which are at the forefront of innovation (33 works into digital/tech, data and communications), living in Singapore we are surrounded by shining examples of start-ups, accelerators and government initiatives that lead the way for the world in encouraging new innovations.

So how does a company encourage a culture of innovation?

In 33 Talent we set ourselves the challenge of being ‘thinkers’, it’s one of our brand values and we speak about it on our website, in our appraisals, at our End of Financial Year offsite and when we’re creating our vision for the future. Like all our values, it’s woven into the fabric and structure of our working year.

The next step for us is to create a hiring strategy that identifies innovative people, and we do this by asking any interviewees at 33 Talent the 7 ‘non-negotiables’. Each of these non-negotiables has to be evident in every 33er, we get to the bottom of that by asking competency interview questions to find out about the real you. Can you tell us a story about something that you innovated? Describe a time when you made a huge improvement to a product or service? Why did you do it? Who benefited? How did it make you feel when you saw the results of your work? What was the most satisfying thing for you in the whole process? Was there anything dissatisfying?

If someone’s innovation story can stand the scrutiny of a competency interview, you know you’ve got the real deal in front of you! And at that moment, they are energised and loving the focus on this area of passion where they have excelled.

Once on board at 33 we give a shout out for, and celebrate, every piece of innovative thinking that we see and we share and talk about our successes (and failures!) . We use slack to share ideas in focussed channels, some of the channels that see the most innovative ideas being shared are the ones that we run for our Subscription clients. Wouldn’t it be awesome…, What if…..? I saw the client needed X and I wondered if it would work to try Y…?

Here we get an idea off the ground, then put a team around it – Gemma, our Business & Operations manager will bring the idea to life and give us a few more thinking points to address, the Relationship Manager on the account will share the idea with the client, and as MD I help to foster ideas and help them grow, keep my mind open, and give the team the safety to try, fail, or succeed, knowing that they’ll always be championed for striving to improve the status quo.

Our culture has led to a slew of innovations over the last few years – we launched our Subscription recruitment product in 2017 (think of the SaaS model but with Recruitment-as-a-Service – each client subscribes to 33 Talent’s integrated HR offer, and creates a premium model where they have experts, tooled up with the best recruitment and HR innovations being used in the market, who provide them with a monthly service that is always-on).

In this example, we asked ourselves, what if our client had access to a premium service all year round, but just paid for the chunks of it they need? Marriot does timeshare, Netflix does subscription, why can’t the recruitment industry offer clients a premium option and split the price between all the committed customers? Better service, always-on AND cheaper than standard recruitment? Well….we made it!

The final step in the innovation journey for us, is to be recognised in the industry with events like the Global Recruiter Awards, and to stand out for having made the leap. Not because we love awards (though, we do…doesn’t anyone 😊) but because being recognised by the industry means that disruption is valued, innovation is rewarded and the clients that come on board with new ideas can see how their own leap of faith has taken a product into full service.

Ultimately, that improves the service for everyone and feeds into another value of ours – that we should all enjoy the journey that we take part in every day!

For more information on 33 Talent’s Subscription service please visit our webpage

or contact Kathryn directly at kathryn@33talent.com

For details on our Interview Training Workshop, which trains your hiring managers in the skills of competency interview training, please visit our webpage or contact Kathryn directly here


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