Hidden targets unconscious bias in the creative industries with ‘in-house talent partner’ recruitment model

Hidden co-founders Richard Bloom and Ross Taylor.

Newly-formed talent model Hidden has revealed its unique business proposition, which the company’s founders believe has the potential to drive “social and cultural change” within the creative industries.

Hidden places dedicated ‘talent partners’ inside client organisations for a quarterly subscription fee, for unlimited hiring. In addition, as part of the subscription, Hidden provides a technological solution that completely removes unconscious bias from the initial stages of the hiring process, potentially helping clients to increase the diversity of their teams.

Hidden’s co-founder Ross Taylor explained: “The recruitment industry hasn’t always had the best reputation. Many recruitment businesses make their decisions around what works for them, what works for their commission or for hitting their targets, but not what works best for the client and the candidate. We wanted to launch a different type of recruitment business: a client-centred solution that also drives social and cultural change in the creative industries.

“Our quarterly subscription business model completely removes the influence of sales and commission from the relationship we have with clients. Our onsite talent partners can absorb the organisation’s culture and better understand and meet the needs of the client team.”

Discussing the Hidden app, co-founder Richard Bloom added: “Everyone wants to do build more diverse teams, but many are finding it difficult to deliver in practice, in part, due to unconscious bias. In response, we’ve built a piece of technology and created a method of handling applications that totally removes the key bias points in recruitment – name, age, gender and education - from the front part of the process. The app presents employers with a candidate’s skills and work first, so that an initial decision to interview can be made without bias.”

Hidden’s founders believe that the ‘unlimited hiring’ element of their subscription package will create substantial savings for high-volume substantial savings for high volume recruitment, which can be then re-invested in their clients’ people strategies. Hidden has created an ecosystem of partners with expertise in Inclusion, Learning and Development, Leadership Coaching and Apprenticeships. Taylor and Bloom will also be driving their own initiatives, such as support to bring working parents back into the creative industry.

Eric Fulwiler, managing director of Hidden client VaynerMedia UK, said: "We've grown rapidly since opening in London in 2016, but have always struggled to find good people quickly. The recruiter market is tough - lots of volume, churn, and models that treat talent like a commodity. Talent is by far the most important factor in our business, and we needed to find a partner that could help us build a strong, strategic model to find and retain the right people for the long-term."

Based in London, Hidden also works with clients including RS Components, Splash Worldwide, Aesop Agency, Dentsu Aegis and Wunderman.

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