MozFest Session Preview: Using Open Badges to find your next employee

The Badge List team is happy to be presenting at Mozilla’s annual MozFest conference next week. We’ll be leading two sessions, both of them exploring how Open Badges can help forge connections between employers, educators and workers. Our first session — a learning lab called How to Build a Hiring Process Around Open Badges — will approach this from the employer’s perspective. Below is a little preview of what to expect.

(Info about our second session is here: Bridging the gap between higher ed and employment.)


Badges are great at creating rallying points for networks of stakeholders in the employment market. They’re helping organizations track professional development points, organize corporate training programs, collaborate with educators and more. And the best part is that years of experimentation are finally starting to bear fruit in the form of innovative design patterns and emerging best practices.

During our session we will explore one of our favorite new models: the professional badge network (PBN for short). We will explain how PBNs work and how they can improve recruitment outcomes. Then we’ll split up into groups and actually start building a few PBNs. It should be highly valuable for anybody with a hiring pipeline that often draws from similar expertise backgrounds (especially if you’re interested in attracting millennials).

What is a professional badge network?

A PBN is a collection of badges focused on a particular area of professional expertise (for example: social media marketing or user interface design). The PBN is managed by a community of employers who regularly hire experts in that field. The PBN is joined by interested students and professionals who build topic-focused portfolios of work in order to earn each badge. A PBN can add value for each player in the ecosystem:

  • For Students and Professionals: A PBN provides a low-friction way to share their work in a format that is attractive to potential employers without making an up-front commitment. (Plus they get shiny badges.)
  • For Employers: A PBN is like a constantly-running online job fair, giving them access to more detailed information on a wider slice of potential candidates.
  • For Educators: A PBN provides a vital, measurable link between course work and the employment market.

Curious about how professional badge networks work?

We’re seeing that by building community around the parts of the hiring process which are inherently public (portfolios, achievement and peer recognition) you can provide the space for professionals to flourish. Curious if PBNs might be able to help your organization? Join us at the conference!

— The Badge List Team