In our latest guest blog, Edward Hendrick, Founder & CEO of Sonru, reflects on the humble beginnings of Sonru 10 years ago, as well as the achievements enjoyed since the organisation was officially launched.
A lot of numbers have been knocking about Sonru over the past few weeks. Recently, we published a white paper with 1 million insights and we also celebrated our official 10th birthday. Reaching such significant milestones inevitably invites contemplation of our beginnings, our journey and the road ahead.
Back in 2007, when YouTube consumption had exploded and everyone was keeping in touch with family overseas via Skype, I founded Sonru to unleash the potential of online video to solve the pain points of the early stages of the recruitment process largely experienced by my friends and fellow graduates.
With the initial idea of building a database of video CVs to enable companies to see candidates before meeting face-to-face, I enrolled on the New Frontiers Programme in WIT and the rest they say is history. Two years of intense Research and Development, many late nights and three pivots later, we launched our beta Online Video Selection product in 2009 having changed our focus to an application that automated the first round interview.
When I think back to the morning of our launch day 10 years ago, the only word I could use to describe the mood was sheer panic. As reporters, local business people and politicians were arriving, we were putting the final pieces together on the Sonru.com public facing website. Paul Kehoe, now Minister of State at the Department of Defence was finishing off his speech notes when our “about to go live” beta app had gone down for no apparent reason. In the end, we couldn’t get the app working until that evening but the website went live. We ended up giving demos using powerpoint only. It was a crazy day but such an exciting one at the same time and the reaction we received was so positive.
When I look back and reflect on this, launching was really just the easy part. We were lucky to launch the right product at the right time but the real work was just beginning. Our ambition has always been to deliver a service that once people use it, they can not live without and that has been reflected in both the calibre of our clients and their loyalty over the years. I still get a kick out of thinking that CERN in Geneva, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research that won a Nobel Prize for the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989, is using our technology to select some of the smartest people in the world to continue their work in inventing global networks and splitting atoms. I’m so proud of our client list that includes Rolls-Royce, Volvo, Sony and Lego.
We have transitioned from an indigenous Irish start-up to a high growth international player in the video interviewing space, headquartered here in Wexford, Ireland, with operations across Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North America. Our position most recently solidified by receipt of ISO 27001:2013 certification, global recognition for how we manage the risks to the security of the information we hold, no small feat given the highly sensitive nature of interview data.
To be one of the market leaders in this space 10 years later is a great achievement and a testament to the sterling work from every team in Sonru. Here’s to the next 10 years!