Building a YouTube for the recruitment market
Innovation Profile Using online video for early-stage interviews improves prospects of finding right candidate
A highly innovative solution from Irish firm Sonru. com is reducing the cost and enhancing the effectiveness of the interview process for global firms such as Nestle, Apple, Sage, Schroders, Volvo and our own Paddy Power.
Sonru’s solution involves using online video for early-stage interviews, cutting out the headaches associated with scheduling and improving the prospects of finding the right candidate.
The origins of the application go back to the experiences of Sonru founder and chief executive Ed Hendrick as a job-hunting graduate. “I was travelling from my home in Wexford to Cork and Dublin for interviews that lasted just 20 minutes. That didn’t make sense,” he recalls.
“That was around 2005 and Skype and YouTube were really taking off at that time, and people were getting record deals as a result of videos they had put up on the web. I had the idea of building a YouTube for the recruitment market.”
Pursuing his long-held ambition to start his own business, Hendrick quit his job in 2007 to develop his idea further.
“I joined the South East Enterprise Platform Programme. This is a year-long programme which helps entrepreneurs test out their business ideas and prepares them for start-up.
“As a result of this I ended up developing a one-way video interviewing application instead of a YouTube-type service.”
The application works by replicating insofar as is possible an early-stage interview. “It’s a software as a service product and the client begins by logging into their Sonru account in much the same way as they would log in to Gmail,” Hendrick says.
“Each client’s account is tailored to their identity and is unique to them with their logo and so on. The way it is branded, it looks and feels like the organisation’s own website. After that they can begin creating an interview.”
The interview creation process allows the company to put a title on it, such as the job being advertised, and to add an introductory text or video giving candidates some background on the organisation and details of the post.
It then sets a closing date for candidates and adds questions. It mirrors an actual interview by allowing the interview-setter to specify the amount of time a candidate has to read and answer each question. After that they can add candidates’ email addresses for them to be notified of how to log in for their interview and so on.
Once the candidate logs in, the application ensures they are properly prepared. “The session begins with the candidate testing their equipment, their broadband connection and the video and sound on their computer,” Hendrick says.