image of bt building

Great guest blog from Sonru client Szabolcs Kelemen, Recruitment Lead at BT Hungary.  In the article, Szabolcs tells us all about BT Hungary’s pioneering use of video in recruitment namely the challenges they were facing and why they invested in video interviewing, the implementation, and let’s not forget some very impressive results.

About BT

BT (British Telecommunications) is a UK-based multinational telecommunications company, providing service for public, business and governmental sectors in more than 170 countries for more than 3000 customers. With more than 2,300 employees, BT has been operating in Hungary since 1997 while its Regional Operations Centre (BT ROC) based in Budapest and Debrecen was established in 2007.


Managing more than 1,000 hires per year among a relatively small Recruitment Team (6 full-time members, 1 part-time trainee and a team leader) is enormously challenging particularly given similar future recruitment forecasts and the range of roles from internship to senior management. Due to the external influences and constantly high internal demand, we identified the imperative to innovate their candidate selection process to stay competitive in the Hungarian labour market.

Specific Challenges included:

  • attracting and hiring the best possible candidates in the Hungarian market;
  • supporting the internal career progression from recruitment process’ side;
  • improving our employer brand to make BT ROC more attractive;
  • expanding the search territory to other countries and put more focus on involving foreign BT employees as candidates into the recruitment process;
  • shortening the selection process to provide a great candidate experience and also to satisfy the business needs;
  • ensuring that the recruitment costs did not increase.

The Solution

We identified the Sonru Video Interviewing application as the means of restructuring our process, the key benefits to both parties are presented below.

The Benefits of Video Interviews (internal selection)

table of benefits for candidates and businesses using Sonru video interviewing at BT Hungary


Rethinking the Recruitment Process

To avoid the situation where candidates would be facing a long and complex evaluation, we made the following modifications to our process which are illustrated in the figure below.

Comparison of Selection Processes: Before and After Sonru

table with comparison of selection processes - bt hungary

Candidate Communication is Key

Since this technology is not present in the Hungarian labour market, we had to focus on the candidate experience. We created personalized role-specific message templates for the invited candidates, put together a brochure for our strategic sourcing agencies which is describing the new selection process, some useful information and a Q&A which is answering all the questions we’ve faced during the test period. We are regularly attending on job fairs and career events countrywide, but when we started to use the SONRU video interview tool, we brought tablets with us and showed to the visitors how it works. BT in Hungary is proud of our cooperation with secondary schools and universities and keen to make their students familiar with new technologies, providing up to date knowledge in all areas. During our open days and seminars at schools, we conducted demonstration sessions and offered the opportunity to try it out at home. It was a pleasure to experience the next generation’s enthusiasm for this 21st century technology.

The Results

From a pool of 550 candidates for 52 different kinds of roles over more than six months, we have identified the following benefits:

  • Despite this technology not currently available in Hungary, the completion rate was 82%, similar to our online tests completion rate.
  • 43.75% of the candidates who passed on SONRU video interview stage were offered which demonstrates a great improvement of the pre-screening process.
  • The overall recruitment cycle time decreased by 32% thanks to a 54% reduction in the pre-screening phase’s duration.
  • The number of hours spent with recruitment activities by Hiring Managers decreased by 60% thanks to the fewer number of interviews.
  • The new screening tool gave us the flexibility to merge different team’s recruitment activities. For example, candidates’ applications can be considered for multiple vacancies and assigned to different departments depending on their skills and preferences.
  • The SONRU recorded video interview tool also brought the possibility to use it for other types of selection process, like recruiting for Graduate Programme or Internal Reskilling Programme. In these programmes we’ve also sent out 100+ invitations and abolished the geographical obstacles.
  • We have recorded a 9.52% increase in the candidate satisfaction survey as well.

Bio: Szabolcs Kelemen, Recruitment Lead at BT Hungary


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.