Ahead of this year’s Cloudex awards we caught up with Dean Sadler, CEO of applicant tracking specialist TribePad which won our ‘One to Watch’ award 12 months ago

We’re on track to grow revenues more than 25% this year and winning the Cloudex award last year has really helped awareness.

How has the business performed since last year’s awards?

Demand for our core applicant tracking software has just got stronger and stronger over the past year, and we are seeing real momentum. Our software can support organisations of any size and is increasingly recognised across many sectors. We’re on track to grow revenues more than 25% this year and winning the Cloudex award last year has really helped awareness.

What is driving the market?

In the war for talent, businesses want the best staff and they are willing to spend plenty of time and energy to find the best employees. It all comes back to efficiency and effectiveness in hiring talent. When a company is faced with thousands of applications, they have got to look hard at how they can identify the best person for the job. One of the big challenges is that the right person might not always be the most highly qualified, while another is that companies want to avoid unconscious bias in their wider recruitment approach.

How can TribePad help?

A good example is our contract with the BBC. Since 2013 we have been helping the broadcaster automate its recruitment processes. We recently released an anonymised application solution, which helps the BBC to remove unconscious bias from the entire application process, enabling recruiters to hire candidates ‘blind’, based on their skills and expertise instead of their culture, background or race. We see this as a strong growth area as companies increasingly seek to meet diversity targets in their workplaces.

Cloudex – TribePad interview Image

Tell us about your video interviewing platform?

Around half of our applicant tracking customers have adopted our new video interviewing platform, saving time and cost in the initial stages of recruitment. We believe we are ahead of the curve in terms of our video technology, and what it has also done is give us a way-in for other conversations with companies about their recruitment processes. Although there are some barriers around adoption we’re confident video interviewing will become the norm.

What other solutions do you offer?

Often it is about solving problems which are very specific to a particular company, it is not about delivering off-the-shelf solutions. So we can help well beyond the hiring phase too. Once a company has used our technology to hire someone, they can then use our talent management offering too. It is remarkable how many companies still do not have formal appraisal processes, even less the number which perform what we call ‘360 degree’ appraisals where they seek the views of other employees on a particular individual.

What we can do is give companies the software to keep an eye on their new employee, to regularly prompt them about their aspirations, to look after them. It is not just about training someone for a job, it is about looking after them at every stage of their journey so that they never want to leave the business.

Have you launched any new products over the past year?

Yes, a particularly interesting new venture is UK schools spend in the region of £100m a year on agency costs and are looking at every angle to bring their costs down. Our offering allows schools to accurately match skills with their supply needs in less than a second online. As well as enabling schools to save on fees, the platform ensures that the teachers receive all the pay they are entitled to and are not subject to the agencies taking a cut. All we ask for is a £20 subscription fee from the school.

What are your plans for entering new markets and regions?

We have built a platform that it is rebrandable, which means we will use revenues from one part of the business to start a new entity in whichever market we choose. The way we will grow is to create subsidiary businesses which can then act as standalone entities with their own business plans and their own sales and marketing teams.

So our core business will build functionality for these other businesses which will then buy the technology off us. We will also empower staff in these subsidiaries by giving them a stake in their own businesses. We are growing in the way we want to grow and having fun, and the opportunities are massive. For instance, we are looking at starting an operation in the US.

Finally, we are hearing a lot about advances in facial recognition. How does this impact your business?

This is a fascinating area. Although the likes of Apple and Google are not specifically doing personality profiling yet, the iPhone X does include facial recognition and what this does is begin to make people comfortable with the technology. We see this with our video interviewing platform where a few years ago younger candidates were definitely more comfortable with using the technology, but that is now changing fast and older people are getting used to it too. I can see the same trend happening with facial recognition platforms.

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