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Estonian Start-Up of the Year Knows How to Win in Recruiting

Tanel Maandi ·

Estonian Start-Up of the Year Knows How to Win in Recruiting
Starting the day with a smile

Recruiting data

Recruiting with Videolind since
2018
Video interviews per role
133
Total video interviews
1198

Veriff is building the infrastructure of trust for the internet — they verify people from more than 190 countries, which they achieve by scanning identification documents in real-time using advanced photo and video analysis. Veriff employs more than 200 people and that number is growing at a blistering rate. They were chosen as the start-up of the year in 2018 with backers ranging from Transferwise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus to actor/investor Ashton Kutcher.

We interviewed Jane Ojasalu, Viktoria Pentina, Elisabeth Seepa and Kristiine Kukk from Veriff's HR department to gain insights into how they manage such skyrocketing growth.

In 2018 you recruited 100 people and you were only getting started. What methods are you using for handling such capacity of candidates?

Firstly, of course we have an amazing team of recruiters making sure that all the applications from all the candidates get the time and attention they deserve. As well as that, other in-house teams are also involved in the selection process, whether it is conducting or participating in interviews, checking test tasks, or constantly thinking of new ways how we could offer an even better candidate experience than we do today.

As the company keeps on growing and the recruitment team is handling an ever larger number of applicants, efficiency is the key word. Using the video interview format as a screening step has helped us meet a lot of interesting people while still moving forward at the speed of light.

What have been your biggest challenges with sourcing & recruiting?

Every filled vacancy is a challenge for our daily routine. We have to constantly explore, research and measure new recruiting channels, interviewing approaches and new tools to see which ones bring the best results. Networking is a must and asking recommendations from colleagues usually pays the highest dividends. You can never get bored with this type of schedule.

The challenge is that everyone is trying to find good people — there are many great companies who go the extra mile while hiring — it is an extremely competitive market. Our job is to figure out how to stand out from other companies by coming up with innovative ways for attracting talent.

Luckily, we have a great product that is making the world a better place and as a company we are at an exciting stage that offers an almost unlimited number of challenges for smart, driven and hardworking people.

Using the video interview format as a screening step has helped us to meet a lot of interesting people while still moving forward at the speed of light.

What would be the 1 or 2 tips you would give to startups that are just getting started with recruiting?

Every beginning is beautiful, but tough. As with any living thing, startups are weakest when they are born and the first months and years of their life is where they either make it or break it. This is also the time when you want to hire people who are a 100% "YES" for you. If you want to build a world class team of A players, your first hires have to be A players. The logic is simple — if you hire one B player, they could then come back with a C player and soon you see your world class team turning into something else.

Culture is often something that people cannot put into words. It is often described, vaguely, as "how do we do things here" and "what we are not okay with" or even "how/if we celebrate". Culture is what separates good companies from bad ones. Your first hires have to be your partners who share the same values when it comes to how the company is operating.

Work hard, play hard
Work hard, play hard

What have been the most recent lesson/s you have learned about sourcing & recruiting?

With candidate interviews we are learning new things on a daily basis. Everyone is different and it matters a great deal how you build a relationship with them, from the first e-mails to phone calls to face-to-face meetings. Every interview should be a base for a happy continuous relationship. The office is our second home where we expect to see people we love.

Culture is what separates a great company from an average one. Your first hires have to be your partners who share the same values when it comes to how the company is operating.

In your opinion, what will be the top 3 trends/major shifts in sourcing & recruiting in the next 3 years?

Innovation is not only driving change in engineering and product development. Innovation is bringing more and more improvements into the recruitment sector. Now that AI is capable of scheduling interviews, screening candidates and even doing phone interviews, the big question is — what is important to focus on in order to remain, well, relevant?

With innovation helping companies save time and money on admin work, recruiters are able to focus on higher-value work. The focus of any HR department should be "how can I do my job in a smarter way"?

Both HR and the recruitment sector generate a lot of data that could be used to a company's advantage. The full power of this data is yet to be discovered. With emerging new tools that simplify data analytics and empower recruiters, it creates an opportunity to leverage the underlying data, which results in smarter decisions down the line, as well as uncovering key areas to focus on.

As a method of pre-screening, Veriff is doing 100 video interviews per job opening on average. Efficiency wise, how it has changed your recruiting?

Frankly, it is hard to imagine how we would handle the number of candidates we receive without a video interview tool like Videolind. This is especially true when recruiting for roles that do not require any specific previous work experience or education. We are looking for the right mindset that is extremely difficult to grasp from the CV.

The video interview format enables us to quickly summarize a candidate's background and personality giving us an initial impression in just 5 minutes, compared to the 15-30 minutes a screening interview normally takes. This means that we can give a chance to a larger number of applicants and e-meet a much larger number of potential "diamonds", without sacrificing our own resources.

Frankly, it is hard to imagine how we would handle the number of candidates we receive without a video interview tool like Videolind.


Takeaways from Veriff

  • If you want to build a world class team of A players, you will have to hire the first people accordingly. If you hire one B player, they will come back with a C player and soon you see your world class team turning into something else.

  • Culture is what separates a great company from an average one. Your first hires have to be your partners who share the same values when it comes to how the company is operating.

  • With innovation helping companies save time and money on admin work, recruiters are able to focus on higher-value work. The focus of any HR department should be "How can I do my job in a smarter way"?

  • The video interview format enables to quickly summarize a candidate's background and personality giving an initial impression in just 5 minutes, compared to the 15-30 minutes a screening interview normally takes.

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