Continuing the presentation of our various teams, this week we hear from the Cambridge Startup Recruitment Team on their function in BfE, their impressions from the team, and their plans for the future!
How many members does the Startup Recruitment team have, and who are they?
The team in Cambridge is comprised of 5 members; Thea, Heng, Alex, Alessandro and Tabitha. Further afield, we have also recently welcomed Anne from Germany onto the team.
What is the role of the SR team within BfE?
Startup Recruitment is responsible for the entire application process to BfE. From reaching out to incubators and accelerators, creating and editing the application forms, creating interview shortlists, to the interviews themselves- the SR team are the very first point of call for a startup seeking to get involved with BfE. This means we have to make a lot of judgement calls, so we work really closely as a team; everyone’s input and perspective is extremely valuable when it comes to making decisions.
What have been some of last year’s highlights for the team?
Last year was an exciting year for our team. We shifted the application deadlines from set dates to all year rolling applications, which has had fantastic results in increasing the number of startups applying; we’ve got to screen and interview a far greater range of entrepreneurs, and it has enabled us to spread the workload out across the terms, rather than in concentrated periods. We also ran a BfE-wide focus group on judging social impact, where we identified and discussed key issues the team encounters in the screening process- such as, ‘does employment alone count as social impact?’ or ‘can we accept for-profit startups that have a non-profit arm?’. This was a really productive and fascinating workshop, with some brilliant insights from all departments of BfE. It’s helped us to move forward as a team and it was great to involve the whole organisation in our process.
What do you enjoy about being part of BfE in general, and the SR team in particular?
Thea: I love finding out about the incredible work that people all over the world are doing to try and make the world a better place- even just reading the applications I find inspirational. With so much negativity in the media, it’s easy to forget how many people are out there pouring time and energy and resources into trying to help their fellow human beings. I feel extremely privileged to have first-hand access to a huge range of examples where individuals and groups are trying to enact social change. It brings me a great deal of hope and makes me aspire to do better in my own life- thinking beyond the problems of the Cambridge bubble.
Heng: I feel BfE is a very mature society in Cambridge, with a very strong and focused goal: making a social impact through the effort of students and professionals. It makes me realise that I can achieve much more than just "doing extra-curricular things". It allows me to see a feasible alternative for our world to achieve a better equilibrium through sustainable and scalable means -- empowering social enterprises. During the past year, I met lots of like-minded friends in the team (which is the most important chapter in BfE; no SR - no Clients). It is really fun to interact with the founders/ CEOs of different startups around the world and to see their local social problems through their lenses. In addition, the key takeaway in the SR team is really about how to quantify things that are not practically quantifiable, which in our case will be the social impact of the organisations. The idea is to come up with a model based on our samples and past-experience which could only give us a rough estimation. However, as BfE and our team further grow, I believe that this estimation will be steadily improved. Changes are happening – this, I think, is why being a part of the SR team and BfE in general is so exciting.
What are the plans of the SR team for the coming months?
Currently, during Michaelmas, we focus mainly on outreach. We will be contacting incubators and accelerators to boost our applications, and then get down to business training the new members in the art of the interview! We are also hoping to increase communication between ourselves and the consulting team in order to streamline the early stages for startups within BfE.