45 for the 45th

45 for the 45th is an not-for-profit organisation set up to encourage people, particularly young people, to be more actively involved in politics.

Context

This project will engage 45 young people aged 18-25 years in the positive practice of politics in the US through hands on experience in supporting the 2016 Presidential campaigns. While the successful applicants avail of a once in a lifetime opportunity, the most important

outcome is that they will bring back that learning to the UK. The programme is managed and coordinated by a small team in London, who each recognise the importance of engaging young people in the political process.

Key Findings

  • 80%+ Time Savings
  • Better than Paper Applications
  • 93% Response Rate

Some of the Highlights

Gordon Kerswell-Reid, Executive Director at 45 For The 45th maintains that, because the opportunity to be a 45er is not a job per se but an experience, “we were opening up the selection process rather than screening out like a typical recruitment drive so we wanted it to be something new. When we came across Sonru, we thought it was a fantastic idea and a really interesting use of technology.” 

The initial online application form consisted of five knock-out criteria such as demographics, eligibility to vote in the UK and eligibility for a US travel VISA etc. Applicants meeting those five criteria were then asked two qualitative questions and subsequently around 150 were selected for Video Interview. The eight assessors agreed on a 15-point marking scheme with candidates scoring 9 or above being offered a place on the programme. Generally, the video interviews were assessed by one viewer unless a second opinion was required for borderline cases.

Gordon estimates that using Video Interviews for the third stage of the selection process over written applications saved 67.5 hours of the assessors’ time. “It cut down a lot of time and the flexibility went down really well with the assessors. They could watch whenever they had a spare few minutes, they were all really pleased with the system.” 

“It was very easy, instructions were very clear and the layout made the site easy to navigate.”

“It is great how technology allows us to do amazing things like interview via the internet.”

“Worked well, was simple to use and more effective than likes of a phone interview.”

– Candidates

Conclusion

“A photo doesn’t really tell you anything. What was interesting was seeing how different candidates were on camera for example some candidates who were fantastic at writing and came across well on paper didn’t do as well on Sonru. It’s easy to use, cuts down a lot of time and you get to know applicants better than on paper, I would definitely recommend Sonru to everyone.”

Gordon Kerswell-Reid, Executive Director