Open Letter from CandidateX
Thank you to all our followers and well-wishers for your patience.
It was never our intention to leave it this long before communicating all the exciting news that has been going on at CandidateX, so for that please, please, please accept our apologies.
We are fast approaching our 1-year anniversary, although our friends and family will tell you that the CandidateX journey has been years in the making.
They have certainly been patient with us whilst we have spoken so enthusiastically and passionately about this compelling vision for the future, quietly (or not in some cases!) wondering when we would just get on with making it happen!
Truthfully, being fixated on launching a product-led business to solve the myriad of complexities within Diversity and Inclusion has been tortuous, and we certainly will not be taking this opportunity to bore you with recapping the debates on the many now shelved product ideas and service offerings… zzzzzzz
So last February, still not having found the perfect solution we finally took the bold step of putting the building blocks of CandidateX into public view, with our brand launch and equality movement. We figured if not now, then when.
Our goal was to promote our vision to other like-minded people, to have a wider sounding board to collect feedback, validate our ideas, quietly try to refine our products and services, and avoid making too much noise until we felt ready.
Quietly was always going to be a challenge particularly with the resounding amplification of the equality message soon after our launch with the spark that was ignited by the murder of George Floyd. We have worked hard to strengthen our voice through this period with thought-provoking content and ensuring a prominence within D&I discussions across platforms and via our own podcast series.
We now have almost 1,500 sign ups and follows with so many wonderfully encouraging messages supporting our mission to accelerate inclusion in the workplace. It has certainly kept us going during these trying times.
We are so grateful for all the feedback, both good and bad. And to all our new acquaintances who have reached out to us – Had we have maintained staying in the shadows in a perpetual state of perfecting we would never have met!
So with all that said, we wanted to share with you our latest going’s on, our plans for the future and how we are going to grow CandidateX.
So what does 2021 look like for CandidateX
We finally have a product! Well almost!
Our last 9 months has been spent working with Digital Product experts, Development teams and D&I advisors to hone our platform concept.
The result is the world’s first fully anonymised talent engagement and insights platform, removing bias from the application process, whilst enhancing the jobseeking experience for underrepresented candidate groups.
Sounds great right, but what does it actually mean? Well it means as a jobseeker you have access to genuine and authentic inclusion-minded organisations who want to engage with you. It means you can ask the questions you have always wanted, “what is it really like to work at your organisation, for someone like me?”
It means being empowered through access to market data like never before. It means a true step towards applying for roles without bias, where your voice is elevated through understanding your feedback and sentiment on your job search experience, ensuring organisations are constantly learning about their candidate experience and raising their inclusion awareness.
Knowing that talk is cheap, we cobbled together all the pennies we could muster to build a functioning prototype, and off we went on a virtual roadshow to demo the product to a variety of organisations large and scale-up. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with ‘intentions to purchase’ from a number of businesses across a range sectors, and securing a signed distribution agreement with one of the world’s largest RPO businesses to put CandidateX into 120 global accounts under their management.
Exciting stuff, and a huge validation that we are finally on the right path.
Without the requisite technology skills as a founding team we have no alternative than to commence a fundraising round to make the platform a reality, and we will shortly be launching these activities with Angel networks and a market-leading Crowd platform. We will be releasing our campaign video next week, which we are super proud of, so watch this space!
You are all very welcome to pre-register your interest here https://www.candidatex.co/an-invitation-to-create-an-inclusive-future/
We’d love to have you all as shareholders, as an added incentive to support our journey as we scale.
Platform build aside, this month sees CandidateX launch its ‘DIscovery’ workshop offering, in recognition that every organisation is at a different stage of their Inclusion journey. Through our workshops we focus on three core pillars to;
1) Establish their D&I heartbeat
2) Curate tailored Inclusion strategies
3) Embed Inclusion into the fabric of their organisation
Whether an organisation needs a complete gap analysis with a roadmap, defined measurable targets, community focus groups, talent attraction inspiration, speakers for an event, recruitment process re-engineering, content creation, or just ongoing critical friend advice we aim to support their journey.
The aim is to solve D&I problems by knitting together the tech enablement of our platform with advisory services to produce a complete and tangible solution at a structural and systemic level.
During this period we have been actively extending our network of D&I practitioners, and by harnessing the collective experiences of many brilliant inclusion-minded experts we are able to provide an educated opinion and form a crafted solution.
Our doors are open to any inclusion specialists who would like to join the CX advisor network.
Pop us over a message and say hi!
We are very proud to say that February also sees the release of our first research paper ‘So how diverse is the UK Fintech and Challenger Bank sector’.
This is the first study of its kind in this sector, and we plan to expand our brand recognition through further thought leadership and research pieces. We aim to increase awareness and drive organisational accountability for their D&I efforts.
Download the report here https://www.candidatex.co/research/
We have so many ideas for future studies, and we welcome your inputs!
We are very excited to be shortly formalising a team of advisors who have been indispensable to us during these formative months as sounding boards and confidantes.
Whilst we recognise our abilities and skills as a founding team, we are also acutely aware of the need for experienced support to supercharge our growth plans. We will shortly be announcing our advisory team in an official capacity!
So next steps….Creating a human company.
Achieving equitable workplaces and a fairer society is a worthy challenge, but last year has shown we have a long way to go. If we are to make a positive impact it will be because our users share our belief that we must empower underrepresented groups.
By understanding how our community identify as humans, our users take control of their own futures. No more elephant in the room, and no more hiding. We want our community to be proud about their authentic selves.
Much of the success of our mission relies on the authenticity and transparency of our brand, and as our platform gets to market the complete trust of all our users is paramount.
We will be looking to for willing participants in our user testing and early adopters programmes, to shape a candidate-centric experience which everyone will love – unlike any other job platform out there.
And as our funding activities ramp up, so will our comms, and over the coming months we will be updating regularly via podcasts and social platforms. We hope to involve as many of you in this process as we can – your collective opinions haven’t steered us wrong yet, and we hope that some of you may go beyond ‘champions of our cause’ and become partners through our funding round.
We have accepted that we may never have the answer to every question, but 2020 taught us to be vulnerable and ask our community for support.
We feel supremely confident in our direction of travel, and we are hugely thankful to have this opportunity to build CandidateX.
We are only just beginning, and to all our followers and well-wishers, together we can.
Jon, Man, & Sunil