Why the Bromford Innovation Lab is only recruiting via Twitter


Imagine a future where you don’t have a CV or resume. A future where your talent and achievements are broken down into tweetable chunks. Your professional life , and a good bit of your personal too, is available online for all to see. You are scored according to your worth and the value of your followers. Your score can determine whether you get that job interview – Me , March 2013 – How Social Media Could Get You Your Next Job 

The first and only time I start a post quoting myself. Honest.

Next week marks the launch of the Bromford Innovation Lab – a new venture that we are very excited about.

What makes it different is the way it will work.

It consists of Lab sessions each lasting 12 weeks and run four times a year. During those 12 weeks we’ll be hosting a number of problems and designing multiple solutions to help solve them. And if we can’t design a solution in 12 weeks – it gets shelved. We won’t fear failure – we expect up to 75% of concepts won’t proceed at first attempt.

It’s rapid innovation for a connected age where none of our organisations can keep up with the pace of change.

The Lab is less of a new team and more of a social network formed around problem solving through creativity.

And working differently means attracting people who will thrive in that environment.

The Lab is open to anyone who wants to collaborate with us. We’ll be launching a new website and social networking links over the next few weeks.

But we also have a number of paid opportunities for people who want to work with us more closely.

So today starts a very different way of attracting that talent.

I’ve posted before on the rise of the Social CV and the ground breaking work done by the likes of Vala Afshar in attracting talent.

Social media has made the CV redundant. We are all searchable – and increasing amounts of us are sharing our knowledge online to build our networks and collaborate.

New and powerful connections are being born and the Lab aims to help us maximise the power of these relationships. We want to cast the net far and wide with the Innovation Lab – as well as giving opportunities to colleagues at Bromford.

Welcome to our first Twitter only recruitment.  

Here’s a brief guide to the Lab:

We feel we need three Lab Leads – Digital , Design and Data. These will help us grow our networks in those disciplines and work with us modelling and testing concepts in the Lab. The people profiles are published at the bottom of the post.

We are not publishing salaries for a very specific reason. People might already have another job or business that they wish to retain and just give us a couple of days a week. Or we might consider a match funding arrangement. Or you might want to work full time (the maximum we can offer right now is 12 month fixed term). We are really trying to break the mold in the diversity of talent that the Lab works with.

Obviously we have a fixed budget for these roles but we want to be flexible to what people can offer us.

So firstly we want to begin a conversation with people about whether this is something they are interested in. They might have loads of experience or are at the very early stages of their career.

  • We are not accepting CVs or application forms and will select people to talk to exclusively via Twitter. People have to provide online evidence of skills that are in the public realm.
  • Registering an interest will begin on 9th May and end on 18th May.
  • Three specifications will be posted via Twitter at the beginning of the selection period from the account of @paulbromford. These are also posted below.
  • All interested people should apply via Twitter using the account @paulbromford. Interest doesn’t have to be registered publicly and can be sent by direct message (DM). If you want to apply publicly then please use hashtag #bromfordlab
  • Direct messages should point us to sites and useful links that demonstrate your social CV
  • Experience must be demonstrated via web content – i.e. blogs, community involvement, endorsements, news articles and other searchable publications. It is acceptable to group these links together into one site as long as it is public.
  • We will use Google and/or other search engines for publicly available data.
  • We would expect interested parties to be able to demonstrate social influence within their relevant communities. Evidence of being an influencer in the digital , design,  data or social innovation communities is welcomed.
  • During the selection period, we will select people for chats via Google Hangout. In the event of high demand we will use a shortlist criteria based on the fit with the person profile as demonstrated via Social CV.
  • All people will be advised about their progress. All expressions of interest will be logged to ensure we get back to people.
  • Your expression of interest will not be shared publicly unless you make it public.
  • People who want to proceed after the Google Hangout will be given details of a second stage.
  • Although our physical Lab space is based in the Midlands we are open to discussions of remote working.

Here are the profiles:

Digital Lead Profile:


Data Lead Profile:


Design Lead Profile:

Will identifying talent in this way work? Who knows? Like everything else the Lab does it’s an experiment.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the approach


12 thoughts on “Why the Bromford Innovation Lab is only recruiting via Twitter

    1. Thanks Ruth! I agree it’s exciting. Will it work? Well it’s had a lot of buzz so far. Will that translate into enquiries – who knows!

      Thanks for supporting and sharing

  1. I know someone who is very talented with digital media. He has worked in this area for six years. He has virtually no personal online presence because he thinks it is dangerous.

  2. Reblogged this on Connecting Social Care and Social Media and commented:
    A challenge to conventional recruitment this initiative has certainly generated a lot of interest on Twitter. The responses to this very new way of recruiting will be interesting as applicants are being asked to demonstrate their skills, experience and social influence within their relevant communities through web content such as community engagement on social networks, blogs and other searchable publications.
    I wonder whether the Open Badges movement a new online standard to recognize and verify learning will become increasingly important as people are able to display their skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites and websites.
    I was struck by the concerns expressed about people being digitally excluded and Paul Taylor’s response that “the first thing @ConnectBromford do is is to let people know being offline excludes you from job market and that they provide support to help people get online”
    I believe every organisation has a responsibility to ensure that their community is digitally included and that digital engagement is seen as a core part of their business.
    The social CV is a growing trend and I am inclined to agree with Vala Afshar who pioneered this approach in the US “the future of talent acquisition is being social”

    1. Thanks Shirley for your support and a very good shout about open badges.

      After advertising the posts on slideshare we have had over 1000 views each with many more on my site.

      But what’s more important than the numbers is the conversations that have started with potential applicants and the new connections we are making.

      In a conventional recruitment in a big organisation with a HR team a manager may not know who has applied for a role until after the shortlisting stage. That’s because a lot of applications are anonymised. These procedures were put in place , quite rightly, to protect people from discrimination on grounds of race , gender , age , disability or sexuality.

      But social media has disrupted this completely. We all know much more about people than ever before.

      We have an opportunity to rebalance our organisations for the social age but it must be done carefully.

      It will be interesting to see how this recruitment unfolds…..!

  3. Looks interesting and I hope it gets the results you’re looking for.

    It may be too early, though, to say the trusty CV is redundant.

    Social provides another way to connect with people, and I’m sure is particularly relevant for the roles you’re looking for. But CVs will still be used by many companies, for many posts – and therefore isn’t redundant yet.

    Good luck with your search and let us know how you get on!

    1. Thanks Ben – you are probably right to the CV is not redundant – simply because so many companies still require it.

      The first response to hearing about someone in the job market is to google them. That , in itself , disrupts existing recruitment practices but many HR systems have failed to adapt.

      Rightly or wrongly , we make an initial judgement about a candidate based upon their digital profile. I think we have to accept that initial opinions will be formed about you online rather than face to face.

      It should be interesting to see how this pans out. Thanks for commenting

    1. Thanks Susan. To quote Jeff Bezos of Amazon “If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.”….

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