It was a privilege to be invited to the first HireVue user conference at the beautiful Stein Ericsen lodge in Park City, Utah. Great to see the company embracing its location, showing off the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and treating attendees to a 100% Utah sourced welcome reception.
Here are my three top takeaways from the Day 1 Keynote:
- Very good corporate DNA – It’s always good to see when entrepreneurs make it – but when they start their company as college students and have to persevere till the technology is viable – it is even a more compelling story. In HireVue’s case Newman started in college, and struggled with the viability of personal video back then. The company used to mail webcams out to customers and candidates, with uncertain odds of successful installation on site. Luckily with more and more hardware having front facing cameras, this is no longer an issue. With Sequoia Capital and others the company has VC and investors with a very strong reputation for long term investment, something HireVue will need as it invests into product (it doubled its R&D resources) and expands abroad (it just opened the UK as a beachhead to Europe). But ultimately software is build, sold and supported by people and it was great to see a humble but energized management team, characteristics reflected and lived well by the large employee force onsite, too. So overall a very promising corporate DNA.
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- Mobile matters – It was good to see HireVue fully embracing mobile. The company showed off new tablet and smartphone support (iOS and Android) and thus providing more productivity to applicants, recruiters and interviewers. The user interfaces were clean and well designed, the next stage being a full embrace or responsive design mechanics across platforms. What ultimately matters to customers and prospects is, that neither applicants in the application process nor employees will be left without appropriate mobile support.
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- (True) Analytics – In my view this was the highlight of the keynote. Too many enterprise vendors use the term analytics too loosely and often the term gets hijacked by the marketers on a quest for a new term for BI / reporting / dashboards. Our test for true analytics is, that they either do something directly or at least propose a set of actions to a user. And we are glad to state that HireVue’s analytics pass that test, recommending more likely to succeed candidates to the recruiters. The company has choosen a wise staggered analytical model deployment approach with a default model, an enhanced companywide model and all the way to a position based model to make decision / recommendations on who to interview (and likely hire) first. The more information HireVue customers disclose – the more advanced the model at their disposal, all the way to the position based model. HireVue has gotten some key things for analytics success right – a business user driven rating of success and progressive improvement of the analytical model as more data comes to its disposal. This makes HireVue one of the first vendors to deploy (true) analytical models for day to day HCM decisions (other vendors are working on this, too – but it is still largely work in progress for them).
MyPOV – HireVue has reached a clear leading position in the fast emerging video recruiting market, other vendors have acknowledged that with numerous partnership. The company is taking the right steps in product development to maintain that lead and has proven pundits wrong that Salt Lake City cannot be a great startup location. Its global expansion poses new opportunities and challenges it needs to address and fund, but it is too early to call where that is going. HireVue is the enviable position that the implementation of its software has a positive quantitative ROI, something that does not happen often in enterprise software history. Now it comes to drive behavior change in enterprises on how they recruit talent.
In the longer run the company needs to find a second area of automation that it will invest into and excel in. Life at the top is great, but the air – like at Stein Ericsen Lodge – is dry and thin. Executives have realized that – but not shared yet what that area will be. But they have some time to tackle these strategic questions.
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