Launched in 2012 and raising a total of $11 million, Take the Interview, a video recruiting tool in a sea of video recruiting tools, has expanded its offering to better resemble a marketing platform, and is now ConveyIQ. “This is an evolution of digital interviewing,” said founder and CEO Danielle Weinblatt. “Think of ConveyIQ as ‘Hubspot for recruiting.'”
Indeed, although the new company still provides video interviewing, it has much more in common with Hubspot and other marketing platforms which aim to provide a myriad of tools to better engage with customers, or candidates in this case.
“Too often I have heard candidates complain about the ‘black hole’ of submitting their resume and never hearing back or the sinking feeling of not knowing where they stand in the hiring process. It can be defeating, demoralizing, and degrading,” Weinblatt said. “It’s not fair that people can get immediate updates on their phone about where their Uber car is or when their pizza is going to get delivered, but they still can’t seem to get timely and reliable updates about their job application. It’s time for that to change.”
ConveyIQ accomplishes this by first integrating with a customer’s applicant tracking system, which currently includes iCIMS, Taleo, Kenexa, SmartRecruiters, Greenhouse, and WayUp, with an eye on developing more. Candidates are extracted and engagement is triggered automatically via email and SMS.
Speed is the focus. “We’re in the business of helping companies attract top talent and we know that the best candidates are, on average, off the market in 10 days,” said Weinblatt. “We knew that if we could help companies communicate more effectively and capture better data throughout the process, we could dramatically influence the time-to-fill positions and candidate perception about an organization.”
Here’s basically how it works. When someone applies to a job, they’re immediately sent a text and email message inviting them to learn more about the company, and take a video interview by clicking on an included link. They may then receive custom messages highlighting the company or describing the interviewing process. Interviews can be scheduled on the platform and confirmed via SMS. Throughout the process, candidates receive updates and can rate their experience with an integrated polling system.
“Recruiting has changed since we started Take The Interview,” said Weinblatt. “In the beginning, it was always about the employer and never about the candidate. But a real economic shift has occurred, as the skill gap has widened. Companies are tripping over each other to convince great people to apply for their roles and to join them. This means that a platform centered around communication, clarity, and transparency during the hiring process was inevitable.”
It was also inevitable that the company had to move away from being a video recruiting-only solution. With well-funded and well-known companies like Skype getting into the game, and smaller players getting gobbled up, the future of the business as a whole is in question. “Consumers cannot decipher the difference between one player and another,” said Weinblatt. “Without differentiation, everything gets commoditized and it becomes a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. That wasn’t a game we wanted to play.”
Industry vets may be reminded of iMomentous, which originally launched as service that mobilized career sites, but rebranded as Phenom People as ATSs eventually made their sites responsive to handhelds and tablets. It’s also similar to the pivot Jobs2Web (acquired by SAP), a solution that optimized job postings for search engines like Google, performed after ATSs began to make job postings more search engine-friendly.
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Speaking of Jobs2Web, its founder, Doug Berg, is on ConveyIQ’s board of advisors. Weinblatt mentions him by name as an inspiration to making the move from Take The Interview to ConveyIQ. “Our advisors, our Board members, specifically, Doug Berg, the founder of Jobs2Web, our customers, and our investors were all looking for innovation and a leap of faith,” said Weinblatt.
So, if the ATS marketplace has a tendency to replicate popular features at startups and crush them, is Weinblatt fearful the same thing will happen this time? “On a 10-scale, my fear that ATSs will do what we’re doing is a four,” she said. Weinblatt added that, like video interviewing, the ATS business was also in a race to the bottom, as players like Google and Indeed apply pricing pressure.
It’s a big bet, but if the lines between marketing and recruiting continue to blur, and tools automated marketing tools like ConveyIQ can be embraced and understood by the recruiting community, they should be onto something. “Recruiters are going to start becoming better marketers,” Weinblatt said. “Recruiters who don’t embrace marketing will be automated.”