Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday and business destination. Tourism Ireland employs approximately 165 people in key markets around the world, including Great Britain, the USA and Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, the Middle East and Australia.

Tourism Ireland has offices on the island of Ireland, in Coleraine and Dublin; and have also extended their reach to include emerging tourist markets, such as China, India and New Zealand.


Before adopting video interviewing, an application form was the only method of shortlisting. This process also meant the recruitment team had to travel overseas regularly to conduct the first-round face-to-face interviews with candidates.

“The Recruitment process was very time consuming for the HR team and Line Managers. There was a lot of travel involved, whereas, now it’s integrated and very much part of the HR role. You can do a number of things in the day as well as interviewing. We are able to add much more value now that our time is freed up.”  – Vivienne Horkan,
Head of Human Resources, Tourism Ireland  

Key Findings

  • Reduced need for International Travel
  • Time to Hire Halved
  • Team Buy-In / Employer Brand 

Some of the Highlights

With face-to-face interviews being the only form of preliminary screening, the recruitment team often found themselves in the position where the hiring managers wanted to meet up to six and seven candidates. Vivienne Horkan says, “hiring managers can do as many video interviews as they like, but we recommend that we cut face to face interviews down to 4 or 5 candidates.” Multiple first round interviews along with the amount of international travel meant that the time to hire could be as long as three months. Asynchronous Video Interviews have replaced the first-round interview and as a result, Tourism Ireland’s time to hire has now been reduced to 6 weeks.

“We are more efficient in our recruitment process [with Sonru]. Recruitment time has been cut in half and the line managers feel very much part of the process. Line managers no longer feel that they are curtailed in how many candidates they can meet initially, and they are now not spending 2 days interviewing candidates.” 
- Jennie Devlin, HR Manager, Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland give the questions to candidates in advance of the video interview. According to Vivienne Horkan: “Our questions are very detailed so we can immediately see who has done their research and prepared. You can see if people are reading a script and you can tell if they are not really strong enough. After viewing the interviews, you can see whether the person is capable of doing the job or not. If we didn’t give the questions to candidates in advance, we feel we wouldn’t get the best out of them.”  

Jennie Devlin maintains that the video interviews shows them who can do the job; “The people we are interviewing in person, at final stage interview, are very credible and capable of doing the role, so we are just delving into that further and looking at organisational fit. We’re getting the right people into the right roles in a more timely way.”

The Video Interviews have also proved useful when shortlisting. Often a manager might up-share an interview of a borderline candidate to their manager to get a second opinion.

Tourism Ireland find video interviewing particularly useful for internal recruitment as it removes that sense of entitlement among certain internal candidates who assume they will be automatically progressed to final interviews.

“With Sonru, the candidates realise a lot of work and preparation needs to go into applying for the role so they get to ask themselves if they really want the promotion or move. They also see they have to go through the same process as external candidates to get to final interview stage.” – Vivienne Horkan

Tourism Ireland found asynchronous video interviewing very useful for language skills assessment. According to Vivienne Horkan: “It is really useful for our hiring managers in whatever market. We ask them the questions in that language so the hiring team would have much better insight into their language ability.”
Tourism Ireland also use the face-to-face interviews to assess non job-related criteria such as culture fit.

“Because the questions we ask in the Video Interview are very specific to the particular role, the questions in the final round interview are even more focused. We know that the candidates who get through to final round interview are capable of doing the job but we are probing more at this stage to see if they are a good fit for the organisation and what can they bring to the organisation.” – Jennie Devlin

According to Vivienne Horkan, every part of the business has been involved in recruitment in the last year and every single manager up to director level has had to engage with Sonru with the exception of the CEO. “The hiring managers wanted to be much more involved in the recruitment process so Sonru has given them a real insight and they feel much more engaged in the process.”
Jennie Devlin agrees: “Video interviewing has granted confirmation to line managers, they are getting the best person for the role because they have visibility of more candidates.”

“It surpassed my expectations. It really saved time and gave a sense of the candidate before over-investing in a face-to-face interview because you only put forward the best candidates.” – Darren Quinton, Consumer Marketing Manager, GB

“It’s easy to use. It’s easy to pre-qualify candidates. We’re inviting less people for face-to-face interviews.”
– Kristina Gauges, Senior Marketing Executive, Germany

“Video Interviewing is particularly useful to gauge the language skills, and to get a better sense of the candidate’s personality and therefore “fit” into the team and the organisation.” 
– Barbara Wood, Manager Spain

meant I could screen while out of office / on the move so I appreciated the flexibility. It’s very effective and reflects Tourism Ireland’s way of working.” – Shane Clarke. Director of Corporate Services, Policy & Northern Ireland

The following statistics and quotes are derived from an optional survey made available to all Tourism Ireland candidates.

  • 100% found the software easy to use.
  • 95% felt sufficiently informed about what was required before completing the interview.
  • 86% satisfaction with the candidate experience.  
  • 100% would complete a video interview again.

“I think it’s an innovative and efficient way of whittling down the candidates.”

“It was really good. Everything was easy, explained perfectly and easy to use.”

“Handy for the interviewee when multiple stages to an interview process.”

“I think it’s very innovative, great for time management for the company and also very convenient for the person doing the interview.”

Tourism Ireland Candidates


“Internally, our brand has improved. Employees are happy to see HR taking on the digital aspect of the interview process and keeping up with the rest of organisation, because we are a digital marketing organisation.

Vivienne Horkan, Head of Human Resources, Tourism Ireland