21 April 2017

Bringing your ‘whole self’ to work

In the first of our Synergy 60 second roundups, Rhiannon tells us how Headstart uses artificial intelligence to match students to internships and graduate roles, explore the trend of ‘bringing yourself to work’ and focuses on Google’s Aristotle project. 

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Bring Yourself To Work

Lots of our clients have been talking to us about how they want their employees to bring their ‘whole self’ to work. So, what does this mean, and where has it come from? It’s not just about having a few extra piercings or talking about your family more. It goes much deeper than that…


It’s all about the concept of psychological safety and has made waves in the last five years or so since Google commissioned Project Aristotle. This was a two-year study that interviewed over 200 Googlers and looked at over 250 attributes present in over 180 Google teams. Project Aristotle found 5 key dynamics to a successful team:

1) Psychological safety – can we take risks without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

2) Dependability – can we count on each other to do high qual work on time?

3) Structure and clarity – are roles, goals and execution plans clear?

4) Meaning of work – are we working on something that’s personally important to us?

5) Impact of work – do we fundamentally feel the work we’re doing matters?


By far, the most important was psychological safety – we are paranoid of saying or doing things that might make our colleagues or managers think less of us. How many of us have held back saying something because we were worried how others might react to it? It’s natural to want to protect ourselves from negative perceptions but it’s detrimental to teamwork. The safer we feel, the more likely we are to admit mistakes, work cohesively and be engaged. Google found that individuals with more psychological safety:

– Were less likely to leave

– More likely to admit mistakes and take on new roles

– Be better partners to their team mates

– More likely to harness innovative ideas

– Bring in more revenue

– Be rated as ‘effective’ twice as often by senior execs


Groundbreaking new recruitment app

Made all the more groundbreaking by the fact it’s been created by a 22 y/o undergraduate, Nicholas Shekerdemian and named as one of 2017’s ‘most exciting young entrepreneurs to watch’. Headstart, his app, won big in the ‘Disrupt HR’ competition at HR Tech World in Paris. It’s already being used by some massive brands.


So why’s it so good? It can bring about whole new levels of diversity by not relying on the usual work experience and qualification filters to match applicants to jobs. It creates a unique ‘fingerprint’ for each candidate, considering their interests, skills and demographics as well as the usual criteria around skills and experience.

More information on this can be found here.


  • 61% of jobseekers visit a company’s online presence which shows a 17% increase from last year
  • 64% of jobseekers say a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase from the employer
  • And whilst 91% employers agree that candidate experience can impact consumer purchasing, only 26% measure it
  • Most trusted source of information about jobs: 1) current employees 2) online reviews 3) former employees

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