HireVue’s $25 million investment announced this morning comes from the legendary VC firm, Sequoia Capital, and earlier investors in the video interview firm. But in a larger sense, the credit goes to broadband Internet, without which, candidates would still be traveling to in-person interviews and companies would be spending tens of thousands and more on recruiting travel.
It wasn’t that long ago that a company with a strong, but remote prospect, had two choices: Fly the candidate in; or, arrange for a video interview at a business center. Today, thanks to the ready availability of high-speed Internet service in most urban, and many rural areas, employers are saving real money and time.
Perhaps even more importantly, video interviewing expanded the field of potential candidates beyond the geographical limits imposed by budgets or candidate unavailability. Candidates who might have once had to forgo an opportunity because of work or family situations can now interview from their living room.
No wonder, then, that Sequoia lead this round of financing.
“Job market and workplace frustration is at an all-time high and organizations can no longer sustain the static, prolonged, and impersonal processes associated with recruiting and engaging people,” said Mickey Arabelovic, partner, Sequoia Capital, in the press release announcing the funding.
As useful as a video interview can be to the hiring process, HireVue wouldn’t have been the beneficiary of such a large investment if video conferencing was its only pony. This is a crowded field, mostly because the cost of entry is so low. Indeed, any company that today wants to remotely interview a candidate can do it on the cheap or for free.
What sets HireVue apart — and the current $25 million, when added to a previous $22 million, makes it the lead horse — is the breadth of its offerings. Not merely necessary features like recording and distribution, but tools for hiring managers and team members to review, evaluate, and discuss the interview.
Videos can be live, two-way interactive affairs, or a candidate may be presented with a pre-recorded interview answering the questions when it’s most convenient for them. Other companies offer at least this much as well.
However, what really sets HireVue apart is how far into the workplace it has taken video.
“While most technology of the past decade has focused on automating processes, HireVue’s Talent Interaction Platform is a true breakthrough, putting people, their voices and experiences, back in the center of business,” Arabelovic said.
What HireVue is doing with is new platform is pushing video into the social networks, connecting it with multiple ATS types, and using it for onboarding introductions before the new hire completes the HR paperwork. Some of this, especially the social networking aspect, is so new it’s hard to say how it will work out. The video resume once heralded as the future of recruiting didn’t work out primarily because it was too time consuming. But chatting with with a potential candidate you met on LinkedIn Groups? That has possibilities as does its IT candidate counterpart, CodeVue.
Video interviewing itself is practically a commodity service. HireVue, though, is innovating, pushing the boundaries of video beyond cost savings and convenience. The company says it will use the $25 million infusion to “expand its platform, services and team.”
According to the announcement of the financing, “Over the past year, the company has launched five new products, successfully completed and integrated an acquisition, more than doubled the team, and welcomed a world-class customer base including more than 20 percent of the Fortune 100. During the fiscal second quarter, the company closed, on average, more than one deal per day.”