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With $17 Million in New Investments, What’s Up WIth HireVue?

by
John Zappe
Aug 31, 2012, 3:59 pm ET

HireVue, the video interviewing company, got $22 million the other day, a combination of $17 million in new investment and $5 million in an expansion of its credit.

The announcement of the new funding says it “will be focused on strategic investments in research and development, sales and marketing, client services, and global expansion.”

The $22 million, plus $6 million HireVue raised in two previous rounds, gives the 60-person company a big chunk of change. Exactly what it will be used for wasn’t explained in the announcement, and when I asked, here’s what I was sent:

HireVue also plans to increase headcount in solution development, sales and marketing and customer success to maintain its position as the leader in the digital interviewing category.

Kevin Marasco, HireVue’s CMO, offered more detail in a conversation today. HireVue already has such global, blue-chip companies as Walmart, Starbucks, Conoco/Phillips, and Rio Tinto, so a logical step is to move into Europe and Asia/Pacific, he said, mentioning Australia, India, and China.

HireVue, though, is quickly becoming more than a provider of virtual recruiting services. Its digital platform can be used — and is by some of its clients — to deliver company and branding videos to candidates. Some are already using the digital video capabilities for internal conferencing, and candidate onboarding. Marasco explained that other “extensions of the application” for training and leadership are likely.

Video recruiting is a crowded space, with at least a couple dozen companies offering video interviewing services, which tells you that online video interviewing is growing, and not a tough field to enter. In fact, anyone with a webcam (and that’s almost everyone these days) can load Skype and conduct a live interview for free.

It wasn’t that long ago that video interviews were reserved mostly for senior positions, and arranged by search firms through remote studios at business centers. Now, digital video is available to anyone with a computer, a tablet or, in some cases, a smartphone. What companies like HireVue, Green Job Interview, and InterviewStream bring is convenience, quality, and a slew of useful and handy features.

The recession really spurred growth of this sector of the recruiting world, forcing employers to look at alternatives to expensive candidate travel. As hiring managers became comfortable with taking a first look via recorded interviews, they also came to appreciate they could do this at their convenience. Candidates, too, found the convenience a plus, allowing them to interview from home, on their schedule, without having to take time off from their current job.

So popular has video interviewing (sometimes called virtual interviews) become that the Aberdeen Group found 42 percent of the 506 respondents to its survey use it in their recruiting process. Most use two-way video, much like you would if you Skype. However, a significant proportion use the kind of features that the digital interview firms offer.

The most popular are one-way recorded interviews, in which a candidate responds to prerecorded questions. These can later be reviewed and scored by a hiring manager or team.

Aberdeen also found that the use of video interviews is only to going to grow, which explains why HireVue plans to use some of its new investment to add to its sales and marketing team and expand globally.

That much HireVue’s CEO, David Bradford, declared in the announcement:

Bringing in this diverse, world-class group of funding partners further validates the need for a solution like HireVue’s and solidly fuels the company’s aggressive plans to modernize recruiting and expand our services to a global job market.

The partners involved in the $17 million Series C funding are: Investor Growth Capital, Granite Ventures, which led HireVue’s previous round, Peterson Ventures, whic led HireVue’s A round, and new investors Rose Park Advisors, and the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati.

What I was most curious was the R&D. Some of the investment dollars, Marasco explained, will be used to fund improvements into the extended application areas. Other development will focus on improving mobile utility to make both interviewing and other uses easier on tablets and phones. Work is also being done on data collection and feedback scoring, as in the case when multiple reviewers rate job candidates.

Is an IPO in HireVue’s future? No, Marasco said, at least not anytime soon. “We see this as a marathon, not a sprint,” he said, though considering Bradford’s performance at a recent gathering, the comparison of cross-country to downhill might be just as apt.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Carol Schultz

    John: So glad you wrote this story. The video interviewing tool is one I have investigated at length. There is only one company (not mentioned in your article) that I recommend to my clients. It is reasonably priced and totally customizable. When I looked into HireVue to potentially recommend they weren’t able to meet the needs of what I recommend to my clients when it comes to effective video interviewing.

    Yes, these companies offer convenience. A one way interview, however, is IMO quite ineffective. How many actual scenarios in business require a one way conversation or interaction? These companies may be laughing all the way to the bank, but I’m not convinced that they are making a difference. I suppose that as long as companies continue to think these types of tools are going to fix their recruiting processes, then you get what you get.

    I’m aware of one company that paid over 50k to one of the companies you mention in this article. They subsequently realized they had made a serious error in judgement as to the true value of the product. I wonder why the recruiter who recommended the product and/or the person who signed off on it still have jobs?

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