The future of recruiting is tapping into the intelligence of human networks

Jan Baeriswyl
November 19, 2019
Human networks, not AI; from Pixabay

Primeflow is about unlocking the power of your network to find better candidates. What power, you ask?

In this short post, we’re sketching out some of the thinking that Primeflow is fundamentally built on and how it works for you.

Each and every person in your network knows a unique set of potential candidates, and everybody has different information on everybody else. From an information theory point of view, it seems obvious that a combination of all of these perspectives is more powerful than any single one of them. This HBR article explores how businesses can already use the wisdom of crowds. Crowd wisdom, when leveraged appropriately, can be a huge advantage for a business. But, how do we know which data points are valuable and which are not? Crucially, the information coming from a crowd, or network, needs to be synthesised correctly to separate signal from noise, which was one of the core design goals for Primeflow.

From Social Media andthe internet, to open office spaces — we live in an increasingly interconnected world with ever flatter hierarchies. Corporate-style hierarchies are declining and networks are becoming more and more relevant.

In the network-centric age, power is being the most well-connected node.

We believe self-organizing networks — in recruiting and in other industries — are the future of work. However, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), the dream of having entirely flat collaborative networks, remain theoretical. In the meantime, the future belongs to businesses smart enough to combine networks AND hierarchies.

Many players already get the power of networks: Google’s referral program may be the most effective channel for hiring world-class engineers. Headhunters hire almost exclusively through their personal networks. Personal networks are one of the most competitive assets in this day and age. However, without technological augmentation, the extent to which this asset can actually be put to work is limited.

What is a “strong” network?

Now that we’ve established that networks are crucial for your business success — what does it mean to have a strong network? The most obvious way to measure is having a look at your LinkedIn — how many people do you know, and how many do those know? But is this all?

Just looking at the number of connections in your network misses a key aspect: the strength of relationships. 

It’s essential how much you trust somebody, not just the fact that you know them. If an introduction comes from a well-known and trusted contact, it’s much more likely to be relevant. This relational aspect has often been overlooked in the larger domain of people analytics, which the field is now catching up to.

So how does Primeflow measure the strength of connections? Of course, the frequency of communication is important. But even more relevant in a business context is the number of successful interactions. Who is actually helping to drive your business?

In that way, we combine a range of different metrics to gain a holistic picture of your personal network, while putting an emphasis on results. These insights allow you to double down on the people that are adding the most value by entering in a genuine partnership with them.

Growing the pie together

However, merely understanding your social graph isn’t enough. To unlock its true value, the most important connections need to be motivated to collaborate in a sustainable way. Primeflow achieves this by sharing a part of the value your network creates with them. Practically, this is done through rewards that are paid out to the network after a successful match has been made.

Coffee chats don’t scale.

“Networking” and a bunch of reminder emails don’t really motivate people. Especially if they are supposed to provide actual value on a regular basis. That is why network-fatigue is the norm with purely “social” attempts. Sharing is caring — we believe genuine business partnerships are built around shared financial outcomes.

With a clear set of rules on how value is shared and the technology to carry them out automatically, a much more fluid interaction between a company and its network is possible. That’s exactly what we’re building with Primeflow.

For well-connected people, Primeflow means that they can now get paid just for knowing the right person and a few of them may even become semi-professional talent scouts.

Hiring managers and professional recruiters alike will be able to use Primeflow to increase their reach and efficiency. For them, an automated channel of high-quality passive candidates is opened up. Primeflow helps them better understand their network’s gaps and capabilities, allowing them to strengthen partnerships and create new opportunities for mutual benefit. The network can scale & onboard new members organically and the more somebody contributes, the more rewards they receive. It’s a win-win situation.

We love discussing — let us know what you think on social or shoot us an email.