Sharing #SonruSecrets in Dublin

The Sonru team has made one final stop in the jam-packed 2019 event calendar! Our final breakfast event of the year brought us home to our Irish roots, taking place in Dublin on Friday 22nd November.

Hosted in the BDO Ireland offices for a second year running, attendees heard from Sonru clients Version 1, Tourism Ireland and BDO Ireland.

In a string of fireside chats with Joy Redmond, Head of Research at Sonru, guest speakers shared their Video Interviewing experiences as attendees gathered best practice tips and advice on using the platform as part of the recruitment process.

Although the morning was full of many wonderful tales of Video Interviewing, we’ve honed in on some key highlights below.

Siobhan Byrne, HR Manager, BDO Ireland

The morning kicked off with an insight into BDO Ireland’s use of Sonru. Siobhan Byrne, HR Manager, shared information around completing her own Video Interview as part of the recruitment process for her current role, as well as team buy-in. Interesting highlights from her session include:

  • The team sometimes changing their minds about candidates after watching the Video Interview, noting inconsistencies in some areas between the CV and the video
  • Hiring manager involvement in question creation, which is particularly useful when hiring for technical roles
  • For every role, savings of at least 2-3 hours on interviewing unsuitable candidates who would have previously been brought forward to the face-to-face stage prior to Video Interviewing

Alan Reilly, Head of Talent Development, Version 1

The second session of the morning saw Alan Reilly, Head of Talent Development at Version 1, offer the organisation’s reasoning for introducing Video Interviewing, its impact on employer brand and the time and cost savings enjoyed. Some key information included:

  • Surprising positive impact on employer brand through the ability to brand the Sonru portal and include graduate success stories as part of the Video Interviewing experience
  • Screened out 34.5% of candidates who may have been invited to an assessment day prior to the implementation of Video Interviewing
  • Major time savings, taking less than a third of the time to achieve the results needed for the recruitment drive compared to previous years

Vivienne Horkan, Head of Human Resources, Tourism Ireland

For the final session of the morning, Vivienne Horkan, Head of Human Resources at Tourism Ireland, walked attendees through the impact of Video Interviewing on the HR function and on candidates, language skill assessment, using the platform for internal hiring and the impact on the department brand internally. Some interesting snippets included:

  • Detecting unsuitable candidates at an earlier stage of the recruitment process
  • Allowing hiring managers to ‘meet’ graduate candidates and assess language requirements before going to market
  • Offering a benchmarked, standardised and fair recruitment process for both external and internal applicants

During the morning, Marie O’Sullivan, Head of Marketing at Sonru, gave an overview of our biggest research piece to date, the ’360 View of Video Interviewing in Action’ report, offering an insight into the impact of Video Interviewing on every stage of the recruitment process, as told by clients using the technology. The full report is available, here.

The morning concluded with a brief Q&A session and some final idea sharing between attendees. Photos from the event, along with more insights, can be found over on Twitter: @Sonru / #SonruSecrets

Video Interviewing Demo

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.