How Vodafone changed the way they hire grads

Find out how a tech start-up gave Vodafone a reason to change the way they hire people.

Every company wants to be innovative – and staying innovative can be the difference between taking the lead or trailing the competition. With start-ups having become synonymous with exciting innovation and fresh technology, many big businesses are looking for the perfect partner to bring new energy in-house.

Increasingly, we see corporates throw money at start-ups to acquire the innovation they need, though this brings mixed results. Taking lean, agile focused tech start-ups and plunging them into a corporate machine can do more harm than good; with stakeholders, meetings and the daily minutia of corporate life, working too closely with start-ups can dampen their creative freedom and agility.

But there’s another way. Collaborating with start-ups is a great way for both parties to retain what makes them work and get access to fresh ideas, resources and innovation.

When Bulent Bayram, Head of Global Resourcing and Employer Brand at Vodafone, and his team discovered machine learning technology company Headstart, they knew they’d found something special. The East London based start-up is changing the way businesses hire, by using AI to match candidates based on their personality, skills, interests and motivations, rather than their CVs.

“When we met Headstart, they were literally in their initial stages, but I strongly believed in the idea,” said Bulent. “It was unique and didn’t exist in the marketplace.” Bulent’s belief led the team at Vodafone to develop a lucrative working relationship with Headstart, a start-up less that two years old.

Vodafone and Headstart began their partnership by reinvigorating the graduate scheme hiring process through an automated solution, used to match candidates with available roles through a machine learning algorithm. Intelligent data, a fully branded microsite and a seamless candidate experience provided Vodafone with strong traction in the fiercely competitive market for early careers talent.

For Headstart, working with Vodafone allowed them to put their AI to work. The experience, budget, and scope of project, meant they could bring their innovation to life. “I think it was integral for our success, having a client like Vodafone. We wouldn’t be where we are [without them]”, says Nick Shekerdemian, Co-Founder and CEO of Headstart. For Vodafone, the benefit of Headstart’s cutting-edge technology brought a fresh new way of hiring for the high volumes of much sought-after early talent.

To find out more about Headstart and their journey to success, check out our ​recent interview with Co-founder and CEO Nick​.