Metrics and Innovation in Political Recruitment – Sylvie Légère (Candidate Pathways)

Eric Wilson
November 8, 2023
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Metrics and Innovation in Political Recruitment – Sylvie Légère (Candidate Pathways)
November 8, 2023

Metrics and Innovation in Political Recruitment – Sylvie Légère (Candidate Pathways)

"These local races, it's a dog fight in the gutter, and you need to be liked, and you need to be known, and you cannot just be a barking dog – showing up and pointing to everything that's wrong. You need to have shown that you could be a team player."

Sylvie Légère is a civic leader, social entrepreneur, and advocate for women in Leadership. She’s the founder of Candidate Pathways, a software platform to help political organizations with candidate recruitment by building, tracking, and developing a pipeline of candidates to run for office.

In our conversation we discuss the challenges of candidate recruitment, how software can help political organizations tackle the problem, and what Sylvie’s learned about the business of politics with Candidate Pathways.

Episode Transcript

The Importance of Candidate Recruitment in Local Politics

00:00 - 03:06

In this context, Sylvia Legere discusses the importance of candidate recruitment in local politics and the challenges associated with it. There are approximately 500,000 elected offices in the US, with a significant number at the local level. Local representation is crucial for effective governance, and local races play a role in driving voter turnout. Additionally, many national-level candidates have previously held elected office at the local or state level. Sylvia highlights the need for software platforms like Candidate Pathways to assist political organizations in building and tracking a pipeline of candidates for office.

The Importance of Down Ballot Races and Building a Candidate Pipeline

03:06 - 06:08

In this context, the speaker emphasizes the significance of down ballot races and the need to build a strong candidate pipeline. They highlight that local races are crucial for building future candidates and talent. The smaller the constituency, the more contentious the fights become. However, these races also provide an opportunity to build support and represent the community. The speaker mentions successful candidates who have risen through the ranks and emphasizes the importance of filling the candidate pipeline. They discuss the role of a software platform like Candidate Pathways in solving this challenge, particularly in helping women take on leadership roles and providing support for those recruited to run for office.

Revolutionizing Political Recruitment with Software Platforms

06:08 - 09:11

In this context, the speaker discusses the challenges faced by new political candidates and the need for a structured recruitment effort. Many new candidates feel overwhelmed and isolated, lacking support and guidance. The speaker emphasizes the importance of having a champion to lead the recruitment effort and a team of scouts who can identify potential candidates from outside the candidate's own circles. Additionally, the speaker highlights the role of coaches and consultants in providing expertise and support. The use of a software platform, such as Candidate Pathway, can help organize the recruitment effort, set goals, and provide resources for prospective candidates. Overall, the software platform aims to revolutionize political recruitment by providing structure and support to new candidates and creating a team-based approach to recruitment.

Overcoming Hurdles for First-Time Candidates: The Role of Software and Mentorship

09:11 - 12:17

In this context, the discussion revolves around the challenges faced by first-time political candidates and the potential solutions offered by software platforms and mentorship programs. The use of software can aid organizers in identifying candidates who are actively preparing to run for office, allowing them to determine potential endorsements and support. Additionally, software can streamline the overwhelming training process by breaking it down into manageable tasks. The importance of learning from both successful and unsuccessful campaigns is emphasized, as even unsuccessful candidates have valuable insights to offer. The culture surrounding political recruitment also needs to shift, focusing on the opportunity for candidates to represent their communities and contribute to their growth. Furthermore, a shift towards a culture of mentorship and support is necessary to combat the challenges faced by women and minorities in entering the political arena. Overall, the implementation of software platforms and mentorship programs can help first-time candidates overcome hurdles and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for political engagement.

Become a Successful Political Candidate: The Key Factors to Consider

12:17 - 15:27

Becoming a successful political candidate requires understanding the unique nature of the job and taking charge of the message. Leadership skills are crucial, and a training program can help candidates develop these skills. Building connections with the local community and influential individuals is also essential. Candidates need to be known and liked, rather than just being critical of existing issues. Additionally, it is important for candidates to have a thorough understanding of the office they are seeking and the specific district they are running in. Training programs should be customized to address these specific factors, rather than offering generic advice. Candidate Pathway aims to provide a tailored candidate training environment to help individuals prepare for their campaigns and effectively represent their constituents.

Revolutionizing Candidate Training: Building a Customized Bench

15:27 - 20:34

Candidate Pathways is a software platform designed to revolutionize candidate training by providing a customized and comprehensive training environment. Inspired by the way Major League Baseball teams build their benches, Candidate Pathways aims to create a system that helps candidates develop the necessary skills and metrics to succeed at each level of their campaign. The platform allows users to build a true bench of high impact players and focuses on relationship building, collaboration, and scalable processes. Sylvia Lager, the founder of Candidate Pathways, emphasizes the need for collaboration and infrastructure in politics and highlights the lack of scalable processes and optimization in the field. By providing a software platform that incorporates these elements, Candidate Pathways aims to elevate the recruitment and training of candidates in politics.

The Lack of Metrics and Technology Acumen in Politics

20:34 - 23:45

The lack of metrics in recruitment, specifically in terms of women recruitment, indicates a lack of intentional effort. There is a need for goals and metrics to track progress. On the other hand, there are innovative tools and initiatives in politics that aim to connect and convene innovators and effectively fundraise. However, there is a challenge in integrating and utilizing these technologies. The technology acumen of people involved in campaigns is a concern, as there is a resistance to change and a lack of willingness to embrace new technologies. It is important for individuals in politics to upskill themselves and have a better understanding of data and new tools.

How to Assess the Quality of a Political Campaign

23:45 - 28:18

In this conversation, the speaker discusses the importance of assessing the quality of a political campaign and the role of candidates in the electoral process. They emphasize the need to identify individuals who are already engaged in politics and have the potential to become candidates. The speaker mentions the importance of listening to candidates, assessing their interaction with the community, and evaluating their ability to articulate their ideas. They also highlight the significance of follow-up and action in determining the effectiveness of a campaign. Overall, the conversation underscores the importance of effective relationship management and community stewardship in political campaigns.

How to Be a Good Steward in Politics

28:18 - 31:45

In this conversation, the speaker discusses the qualities of a good political candidate and the lessons political campaigners can learn from their counterparts in business. The speaker emphasizes the importance of being active in the community, being authentic, and being a good listener. They also highlight the need for customer focus, collaboration, and using metrics to evaluate campaign performance. Overall, the conversation stresses the importance of connecting with voters, understanding their concerns, and effectively managing campaign resources.

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Eric Wilson
Political Technologist
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