Guest Blog: From Disruption to Mainstream: 1 Million Insights

Great guest blog from Joy Redmond, Sonru’s Head of Research, that was originally posted on LinkedIn where she talks about her role in Sonru’s journey from a handful of users to 43% awareness among candidates globally.

Marketing Disruption is Tricky

I’ve said before that marketing disruptive technology is far from easy. It’s hard but hard in a good way, a good challenge. If you think about it, what is involved is pitching something so new that the market does not yet exist, potential customers do not know what you’re offering, nobody is looking for it and nobody knows how it works or its impact.

I’ve been with Sonru since 2010 but was on the sidelines for a few years before having met both the CEO and CTO on an incubator course in WIT in 2007. Sonru is a textbook disruptor in that it created an entirely new stage in an age-old recruitment process.

Building the Evidence / Body of Knowledge

Information is power so from the very beginning we set about building a body of knowledge starting first with testimonials, then on to case studies and then data analysis of client usage – all playing their part in creating the ‘evidence’.

From the very beginning, Sonru’s ethos has always been candidate-centric. Every line of code in terms of the application’s development and enhancement has been in response to user feedback, which has generally been hugely positive. There’s a big difference in talking about how happy candidates are using a product and proving it to prospective customers unsure of the consequences of introducing disruptive technology.

So in the Summer of 2011, we decided to redress this by formalising our candidate research process to provide clients and potential users with evidence of the positive impact of introducing an entirely new step into their recruitment process. The deadline was the then AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters, now ISE) Summer Conference in Wales where it would be launched by Marina Aldridge, AGR Board member. Despite internal pressure to publish, I remember stalling because I wanted to wait until we had at least 100 respondents thinking I couldn’t stand over any sample size lower. We made the conference deadline, based on 139 respondents, where Ms. Aldridge commented it was ‘encouraging to see fact-based evidence underpinning the use of new technologies in the search for talent globally.

Since 2011, we have published six volumes of that white paper on the candidate experience, another two focused purely on graduate recruitment, one on mobile recruitment and one regional comparison. Each time, we want to deliver something better so we’ve become bolder and braver in the questions we ask your candidates. In fact, many of our questions started out as open-ended questions because you can’t design multiple choice response options for something that didn’t exist the year before. Today, we have more than 170,000 completed surveys, a number that’s growing daily. We have even arrived at the point of removing questions that have more than enough validation and now consider them video interviewing facts.

It’s hard to imagine such humble beginnings when this paper, our 7th volume in the series, provides an analysis of the user data of over one million interviews.  You can download our ‘1 Million Insights‘ white paper for free here.

Reaching the mainstream

We recorded 4% awareness of asynchronous video interviews back in 2011, now it’s more than ten times that at 43%. That 43% is not clients but candidates globally. We have also noticed a shift in the respondent demographic data too. In fact, this white paper shows that video interviewing is suitable for any recruitment campaign irrespective of age, gender, region, language, and job function. Anyway, there are lots of stats and graphs charting the rise of asynchronous video interviewing in the white paper. It’s been a long road getting from there to here with huge amounts of work from every team in Sonru, I merely documented the journey and it has been a pleasure.

Banner 1 million insights - candidate experience - video interviewing

Joy Redmond
Edward Hendrick
Ed holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness & Rural Development and a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.

Since founding Sonru in 2007 with the vision of introducing Video Interviewing to mainstream recruitment, Ed has established the organisation as a global leader and one of the top recruitment SaaS companies worldwide.

With numerous accolades to his name such as the Sunday Business Posts ‘Top 40 Under 40’ and IIA Net Visionary award for innovation, Ed is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in video recruitment technology and is a renowned industry speaker.

With a passion for new technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people in the real world, Ed has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of the Video Interviewing industry.
Chris Horan
CTO at Sonru
Chris graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Computer Science and went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science in Physics and Computer Science as well as a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the software engineering and computer science space, Chris has worked with leading technology companies such as Accuris, CAPE Technologies and BearingPoint.

Chris has been at the forefront of Sonru’s product development since the company’s inception in 2007.
Daniel Richard
Managing Director EMEA
Sonru’s Europe MD, Daniel Richard, graduated from Queen’s University, Canada with a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Science.

A trained Occupational Psychologist with more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience in multinational recruitment and HR services companies, Daniel leads Sonru’s sales efforts within EMEA, helping to grow its rapidly expanding customer base.

Prior to joining Sonru, Daniel spent 10 years at Oracle Taleo helping to build the company from a small regional start-up to a true industry leader. Daniel has held a variety of sales and consulting positions on various continents, including the US and Europe.
Fergal O'Byrne
Non-Executive Director
Fergal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology and is an experienced Internet industry entrepreneur.

Since founding Interactive Return in 1998, Fergal has been a member of the Board of Directors of, WINC, and CCD Limited and was a previous chair of the Project Advisory Group for Fáilte Ireland’s eBusiness Support Initiative.

A recognised influencer within the industry, Fergal has served as CEO of the Irish Internet Association and has published four books including ‘10 Online Marketing and Search Engine Essentials’ and ‘10 Technologies Every Executive Should Know’.

In 2015, Fergal was inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
George Pennock
George holds an MA in History from Oxford University and is a previous Partner and Head of Saphir UK at Saphir Capital Partners.

George spent several years with the Goldman Sachs Group as a mergers and acquisitions banker before moving into private equity where he has spent most of the past 15 years. He has served as a Senior Investment Manager and COO at Pi Capital, and worked with Botts & Company Ltd where he made private equity investments in the leisure, publishing, branded goods, retail, and technology sectors.

Having spent the past two decades working with a myriad of talented and unconventional entrepreneurs, investing in everything from online employee benefits platforms to river boats and book publishers, George is passionate about backing exceptional people and interesting businesses and believes that while a mediocre management team can ruin even a great plan, a great management team can make a success of almost any business opportunity.
John Penning
Currently, I am a Director of Sonru, the leading Online Video Interviewing company. Previous career highlights include; CEO of the Irish Internet Association, Chairman of and Founder and CEO of Interactive Return. In 2015 I was very honoured to be inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
Rodolphe Verhaegen
Non-Executive Director
Rodolphe is currently an Operational Advisor with Digital Ventures in Brussels having previously worked in Ebay, most recently as Director of Customer Innovation.

Rodolphe is an innovative and creative business leader, with a strong interest in technology and agile software development practices. He holds an Masters Degree in Business Information Management and a BA in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels.
Georges Schmit
Non-Executive Director
A native of Luxembourg, Georges graduated with degrees in Economics from the University of Louvain, Belgium (BA) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MA). Besides his native Luxembourgish, Georges is fluent in French, English and German.

Georges served the Government of Luxembourg from 1981 to 2016 and throughout most of his career he focused on innovation and technology policy, economic development and trade and investment promotion.

During his time with the Government of Luxembourg, Georges served as Secretary General of the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and was a member of several European Union high-level advisory bodies including the European Commission's "Enterprise Policy Group”. He also served as both Vice-Chairman and Executive Chairman of the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI) of Luxembourg.

Georges has served on the Board of Directors of both listed and private companies including the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global satellite operator SES, the Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Company, and the Luxembourg State and Savings Bank, among others. Most recently, he contributed to the design and launch of several major Luxembourg Government innovation policy initiatives and sits on the Luxembourg Government’s Advisory Board on Space Resources.
Daria Polunina
Non-Executive Director
A director at Saphir Capital Partners, Daria holds a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from the University of Essex as well as a MSc in Finance from Cass Business School. Daria also sits on the board of Molinare and Wine Source Group.

Patrick Sweeney
Non-Executive Director
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Accounting, Management, Human Resources, Marketing and Economics from University of Limerick as well as Masters of Education in Management, Human Resources and Training and Development from University of Sheffield.

For 25 years, Patrick held the position of Human Resources and Public Affairs Director for Aughinish Alumina where he was involved in change management, restructuring and international mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick also undertook many other leadership roles including operations management, training and development and employee relations management. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Sonru since 2011, Patrick has operated his own strategic management and human resources consultancy firm for the past 8 years.