Perhaps it was growing up in the hinterlands of Northern Ontario, Canada, that sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in Mark Newman. In the region, sparsely populated with locals and miners who came to the area hoping to strike gold, Newman learned to be a self-starter whether he was "walking around the bush having fun" or, years later in Utah, finishing his undergraduate degree.
In 2004, as a student at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Newman and a friend got the idea to develop a digital platform for video job interviews.
His friend worked as a hiring manager during college and was frustrated by the amount of time he spent sifting through résumés to find candidates. "He would say, 'I interview 10 people and only remember the last one, and on the candidate side there's no real way to tell your story.' Your résumé just can't do that."
HireVue Inc. allows job seekers to create their own interview by recording themselves responding to a prepared set of questions without a live person on the other end. Candidates pick when they do the interview, and hiring managers watch at their convenience. This saves companies time and money, especially when considering candidates from far away, he says.
By 2006 his company had its first big customers—Google Inc. and Oracle Corp., Newman says—and it was on its way to becoming a leading developer of one-way video interview platforms.
Newman co-created HireVue when he was just 20 years old. At first, people were taken aback by his age, says Newman, now 28. There were jokes, "Like, is this part of your science project?" he says. And his parents, although supportive and extremely proud of his success, still don't quite understand what he does. "My family is like, 'Oh, you're a recruiter?' "
Whatever the title, he says he's having fun. "You want to choose your own adventure in life. There's so much going on with HR tech companies. It's a great era in HR tech."
Rita Pyrillis is Workforce's senior writer. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workforce Management, December 2012, p. 27 -- Subscribe Now!