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.