Sonru User Group launched by James Purvis of CERN at StandOut15

The Sonru User Group was launched formally by James Purvis, Head of Talent Acquisition at CERN in Geneva, at StandOut15 – Sonru’s first user conference in London earlier today. In his opening address, Purvis reminded the attendees why they had made the journey from the four corners of the world to attend StandOut15 – to celebrate and attend the first official in-person meeting of the Sonru User Group – and urged all clients to join the Sonru User Group on LinkedIn to continue the conversation online.

The LinkedIn Sonru User Group is a platform for Sonru clients to promote discussion and allow the sharing of ideas on best practice for the use of video interviews in recruitment, employee development and talent management. The private peer-to-peer group is only open to Sonru clients where, upon acceptance, members can learn and network with other Sonru users. Sonru client CERN will chair the user group for the first year and it is envisaged that a new Sonru client will take the chair each year. Anne Capodici, Recruitment and Sourcing Specialist at CERN will be the main point of contact for the first year.


Sonru User Group Welcome Address from James Purvis. Head of Talent Acquisition, CERN


On behalf of CERN’s recruitment unit, I would like to extend our warmest welcome to this Members-Only group here on LinkedIn. We’re particularly pleased that CERN was invited to be the inaugural Chair of the Sonru User Group, a moveable feast in which each year a new Sonru client will coordinate and represent the views of Sonru users worldwide.

CERN has been using Sonru’s asynchronous video interviewing tool since early 2011 and we consider ourselves more of a partner than a client. Over those years we have collaborated extensively with both the Sonru development team and other Sonru users with the goal of advancing both the product and expertise in the use of Video Interviewing.

As a User Group, there is no specific agenda but just one simple rule to be a member: you must be a Sonru user. There will be some Sonru staff on hand to answer queries or to gather feedback for the product road-map but primarily the group is our group for mutual support, ideas and suggestions – a place where we can feel free to speak our minds.

We see this group achieving at least two key 2 objectives:
Firstly, it will be a “best practice” forum where we can share our experience, advice and suggestions to advance our knowledge of Video Interviewing – what works, what doesn’t, how we’ve overcome challenges, success stories as well as failures.
Secondly, as the voice of “many”, together we can pool ideas and suggestions on the product itself – a wish list of features and functionality and assembling feedback, good and bad, which will provide impetus towards ensuring Sonru’s product development is aligned to meet our evolving needs.

That’s just what we think but we are just one client and there are many of us out there – so lets get together and see what happens. We look forward to the journey together with you.

Take part!

James Purvis. Head of Talent Acquisition, CERN

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.