Forget the suit, tie, arriving ten minutes early, and chatting up the secretary. All those staples of your standard in-person job interview may soon be endangered species in the job search ecosystem as the video recruiting space continues to heat up.
Today Ovia, a venture-backed video interviewing platform based in Sunnyvale, California, is announcing both a significant investment by and partnership with Tokyo-based Recruit, one of the largest global players in recruiting, and a name change to Wowzer.
Wowzer is a online video recruiting system that is designed to speed up and improve the screening and interviewing process. The company’s goal is as much to improve the candidate experience as the recruiting companies processes, and Wowzer serves global clients such as Adidas, Deloitte, and Intel.
The entire job search process is undergoing simultaneous massive technological shift and intense competition. In an interview with VentureBeat, Wowzer CEO Rodrigo Martinez said that recruitment has already gone through three major phases: paper to electronic, outbound to inbound (from recruiters going to find people to recruiters sorting through stacks of resumes), and social networking.
Each technological shift created new niches: the job search sites such as Monster, the social networks based on career development like LinkedIn and BranchOut, and now the new recruiting technology companies such as Wowzer. Which, according to Martinez, represent the fourth phase of technological shift: video.
Video recruiting is a hot category. Last week I wrote about enRecruit using video to speed up the candidate shortlisting process. This week Wowzer re-launches with a comprehensive approach to using video throughout the job-filling process. Other players in the space include consumer-focused services such as VisualCV, Spark Hire, and InnovateCV, and more business-focused solutions such as Take the Interview and Get Hired. And those companies are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Video vastly improves the quality of interaction,” said Martinez. In addition, Wowzer says that video helps reduce job fill times by half and cuts costs by 50-80 percent. But, Martinez cautions, it needs to be done right. “We need to be very careful to use video the right way. People think it’s a very easy thing to do, but it’s very hard to do it well.”
It’s no accident that Recruit is the company investing in Wowzer. It’s a Japanese company with major inroads in Asia, plus aggressive investments in North America and Europe. Similarly, Wowzer is an international company: Rodrigo was born in Mexico, educated in an American school in Europe, and worked in India, where he found his CTO and VP of customer success. The product is global as well: localized in five languages, with more coming.
The size of the investment that Recruit made was not made public, but Martinez says the deal was about much more than money. As the first video interviewing company with backing from a major global recruiting player, “this opens our doors to completely different markets.”
Wowzer works with both large recruitment agencies and individual companies, with a dual focus on high-growth clients and Fortune 1000 companies. The service charges on a per-seat basis: $250 per recruiter per month.
Wowzer was founded (as Ovia) in 2010 and received venture backing from DCM.
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