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Shift Happens

Crafting future jobs. Together

MA 2022
Future-proof, Value-driven, Co-create, Recruitment, Transparency, Equity

Shift Happens is a medium that co-creates future jobs with emerging talent and companies. Our main goal is to create and bring more human values into future jobs by removing the difficulties of the old-fashioned job-hunting into something more mutually respectable whilst eliminating the historical biases during the recruitment process. Making it fairer, reducing inequalities and encouraging a transparent process fit for the needs of the business in the transformation phase and emerging talents.


Throughout this project, we have been fortunate enough tohave the guidance of numerous professionals. We have been blessed with constantadvice from multiple practitioners, mostly Sanjay Kahana of Now Partners,Gurden Batrua of Dark Matter Labs. We stressed participatory design to come outwith a prospered outcome. This would not have been possible without all the collaboration between the individuals we interviewed and who participated in our design direction.


Speculative research

Some of the research was largely based on speculative methods. We took a large amount of inspiration from some of Dark Matter Labs' provocations around collaboration and the Manual of WE which gave us the foundation to build on collaborative working environments and misaligned expectations within a job role. Besides, we have utilised future signals and trend mapping with our interviews based on Xploratory's future scenarios to build up the trend tunnel for forecasting and exploring the future of work. Our strategy was to implement provocative guerrilla research to raise awareness about the problems in recruitment.

Human-centred approach

From the birth of this project, we approached this with our strong principles of clarity, participatory design and ethical rigorism. We used our personal and professional human values to conduct over 30 interviews, and prototyped with people from all across the field for a fairer, more honest outcome. We have been in contact with 5 different levels of recruitment and sizes of businesses to ensure a more unbiased creation. This is a people-first project for designing ‘with’ not ‘for’. It has impacted our design direction by truthfully understanding and realigning what organisations, recruitment and emerging talent are all neglecting.


We conducted many experiments to test the unique hiring toolkit and conduct future scenarios trend mapping with the experts and users to carry out our value of a participatory approach. Upon the soft launch of the website, we created a marketing campaign to provoke conversations. After the launch, we received encouraging feedback from users who wanted to join the community, and continued to iterate the website accordingly.


Companies are changing, jobs are changing, workers are changing


1. Companies are struggling todefine job specs, especially new job roles

The key issues revolve around defining new job roles to fill the company’s needs, as they are missing the mark on how to fill them.

2. Job specs were lost in translation between leadership, HR/recruiter and candidates

Closing the gap between the lost in translation job specs when being passed around internally in the HR department.

3. Most of the time, recruitmentis not a two-way street as claimed

The recruitment process is passiverather than active, encouraging stagnant ways of assessing a potential employee.

4. The current way of recruitmentis reinforcing historical biases

Lastly, the hiring process is dehumanising. It directly affects business, new and existing employees because this wastes time, and money for all parties involved. To craft a better working world in the future, we cannot continue with the existing systems as they have proven to not adapt well to the rapid changes we see today.


Target humans

As a conclusion of our research,we identified 2 key target groups. The first is what we call “Future Talent” –passionate, creative individuals who want to understand and shape their futureopportunities when feeling unfulfilled with their current job roles. Then we got a “Hiring Manager” – a team leader at an SME undergoing a transformation which needs to recruit new talent by clarifying what job role can best serve the need, so they can help grow the business to be future-proof.


HMW empower future talent to progress in their career by demystifying their capabilities and job roles?
HMW help hiring managers (from a transforming SME) to better understand and acquire most-needed emerging talent?


Co-creating future jobs that bridge the gap between emerging talent and transforming enterprises

SHIFT HAPPENS aims to provide a value-driven job platform to grow with the skills one has rather than fit into pre-determined criteria that no longer align with an organisation. It benefits people and organisations by supporting new found transdisciplinary skills to kill the less effective 2-dimensional recruitment process and pushing for a human purpose-driven co-created process.

Launch Website

How it works

Shift Happens opens up for two sides: for talent to co-craft their next career by joining in future job discussions, and for enterprises to hire people with the latest skills and mindset. It works with backend support from the team in collaboration with industry experts to validate and curate the crowd-sourced information.

As a talent, you can:

  • Jump into a community that is eager to reimagine current jobs
  • Collaborate with industry experts to create your own job stories
  • Get hired to the jobs that unite with your vision

As an organisation, you can:

  • Real-time job specs sourced from industry practitioners
  • Find talent with cutting-edge skills from our network of future
  • Build a future-proof business with us


Whom does Shift Happens impact? It will directly aid the emerging talent who wants to have more purposeful work and feel aligned with the work that matches their broad skill set. Correspondingly, Shift Happens will be of use to the SME's facing transformational changes and need to find suitable talent to match their niche job needs.

The Business Side

Double-sided platform

We wanted to keep our platform free for the emerging talent and our community to create their profile and discuss with enterprises to work together for this shared collective goal. The primary revenue streams will come from two critical places—a paid subscription from the enterprises to hire the emerging talent and advertising within the website.

The key stakeholders involved are the trend specialists with expertise in validating the trend forecasting for the future of work. HR departments and future talent to regularly collaborate with for the job specifications. To operate at its prime, Shift Happens adopts this network effect framework that requires the talent and company to provide from each other to drive traction and maintain the platform's relevance. This is necessary to build up the talent community and explore alongside the experts.


One of the core challenges was to specify the heart of the problem in the recruitment industry as this sector has many issues that haven't been challenged in a prolonged time. The bias we face, the misalignment in defining the jobs to be done and what society priorities and measures in terms of skill sets and ability to grow in an impactful career. We are already taking active steps to improve the value of this project. By evolving our proposition to tackle the variety of issue within the recruitment industry.


This project would have still been on a post-it notes if not for the beautiful, talented, progressive teammates & supervisors & advisors andparticipants: Nicolás Rebolledo Bustamante, for your direct advice and pushingus to make decisions; Sanjay Khanna, for your constant efforts and iterations;Gurden Batra, for realistic inputs. All persons we have interviewed gave us their precious time and skilful input. The strong SD alumni & Class of 2022 for constant support and guidance. The SD team for their behind-the-scenes contributions: Judah Armani, John Makepeace, Clive Grinyer, Carolyn Runcie,Richard Atkinson and Kam Chana.