A Q&A with Talent founder, Richard Earl
It seems unusual for a recruitment company to get involved in this space – why?
Our core business is tech and digital recruitment but we’re much more than that. We’re passionate about the start-up sector and how we can support it. You might have a great idea and you might have excellent funding but without great people you’re not going to get far. That’s where we can help and we’re delighted to have worked with so many early stage businesses. Also entrepreneurialism is very much part of our culture as we continually challenge ourselves and pursue unique initiatives. At Talent we started with nothing except a big dream so we get you guys. We also recognise the importance more than ever of brave leaders who will challenge the norm and bring about much needed change to their organisations in terms of practices and attitudes. Hence why we have 2 leadership awards.
What’s in it for Talent?
Well it’s a huge effort and an expense – just look at the amazing event we have lined up tonight in Melbourne and the one we’re staging 11hrs later at the Museum of London. Do we get a return? In the first instance I thank our amazing sponsors because their contribution goes to our foundation Talent Rise to support the fantastic work they’re doing with youth at risk and the tech sector. We are committed to helping the start-up community with their recruitment needs and have allocated funds for this purpose and have taken up residence in start-up hubs such as Tank Stream Labs and Little Tokyo. Some start-ups make it big and generally remember you. We’ve seen many past finalists and winners go onto great things and I’m delighted that we’re working with many of them right now all over the world. In addition if we can play a part in promoting progressive organisational change then we are adding incredible value to our customers. And on top of all that it’s highly satisfying to see great ideas come to fruition. And of course it’s a lot of fun!
Why are the Unleashed Awards different to other award programs?
We’re not a VC fund. We’re not looking for short term commercial opportunity. We’re not representing any particular cause. We simply do it to inspire and encourage bold ideas and brave leaders. Often the best ideas and noblest intentions sit with people who aren’t necessarily the best at promoting themselves. So in some ways Unleashed acts as a facilitator putting aspiring entrepreneurs in touch with the right people to assist them on their journey. Importantly the awards link start-ups to transformational leadership in the corporate world because you don’t always need to work in a start-up to change the world. The connection with Talent Rise is also important because over the years there has always been a strong leaning towards social enterprise related initiatives within the program.
Where are you guys going with this?
Sometimes I don’t know but we’re not short of ideas and suggestions. Unleashed seems to have a life of its own and grows year on year. With the US entering this year and strong interest from mainland Europe it has become truly global. The judges have all said that the quality of entries this year is the best ever so awareness is increasing. We’d like to expand our presence in the start-up hubs around the world and we won’t rest until every one of our 16 locations globally are supporting their local start-up eco system. We want to support progressive leadership through Virgin Unite’s 100% Human at Work which we helped launch in Australia earlier this year. We’d love to expand our network of amazing judges although how could they be any better? We want to make more introductions and create fertile networks. We want to help build real companies with the right ethos and values who will make a much needed contribution to our lives and society. The future is very exciting.
It’s time to Unleash!