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CoverVideo, one of twelve RSA supported tech-for-good startups, share their vision for recruitment and outline their journey on the Dotforge Impact accelerator.

Do you know what Sir Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, Jim Carrey and Lord Sugar have in common? They are all excellent at oral communication, great problem solvers, highly successful in business - and also dyslexic.

A problem that people with dyslexia face is that they don’t always “shine” on paper or  score high in standardised tests and that can make them unattractive for a lot of employers. Did you know that in the UK’s general population 1 out of 10 people are dyslexic, but when it comes to business self-starters, it’s 1 out of 5? People with dyslexia are very good at observing and analysing and that makes them especially talented when it comes to seeing the bigger picture and formulating business strategies. Those are the people with skills you need to drive your business forward.

We at CoverVideo are working on a video based Q&A application to help to identify the out-of-box thinkers and natural problem solvers. We find traditional CV’s impersonal and cover letters time consuming and for many, difficult to read and write. Two of our co-founders are dyslexic and have experienced these pain points throughout their own lives, which in turn provided the motivation behind developing our product.  

CoverVideo was founded during StartupBus Europe 2014, a 72 hour hackathon on wheels that was driving from London to Vienna stopping at different co-working spaces in cities such as Manchester, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin. Once we arrived in Vienna, we had a working prototype, which took our team straight to the European finals.

We are now part of Dotforge Impact Accelerator, working hard to build the best product possible. We have been very lucky to receive guidance and help from so many great mentors, not only from Dotforge’s own amazing team but also from professionals such as Elaine Godley, Toby Rhodes, Kate Welch and James Garnett that the RSA has made possible for us to meet through the Fellowship.

We have identified that our video tool is especially efficient when hiring people that are required to have excellent oral communication and presentation skills that can be hard to demonstrate on paper. This includes customer service and sales personnel.

One-way video interviews give the applicants a chance to present themselves and convince the recruiter that they are suitable for the job. This gives an excellent opportunity to shortlist the candidates that are truly enthusiastic about the position and give the recruiter the opportunity to go through more applicants faster before moving to the next recruitment phase – the live interviews. Shortlisting the right candidates earlier can save the company valuable time and money as there is commonly more than one stakeholder making the hiring decisions. We have seen a huge growth in using video in different industries and we are convinced it’s time to introduce it to recruitment, as it is an excellent medium for sharing information and shortlisting the right candidates.

Hiring the wrong person for a job role isn’t only a waste of time and money for a company; according to Elaine Godley FRSA, the founder and CEO of Healthwatchers UK, hiring a person that doesn’t match the role personality wise can cause the individual a lot of health issues, especially stress related. Even if the person seems right in the beginning, the real situation becomes explicit in three to six months. In her work, Elaine uses the DISC model of behavioural profiling to match individuals with the company but there are other valuable frameworks to get closer to finding the right person.

Whilst the CoverVideo software is built with recruitment in mind, the limit to our application is only imagination. We have been pleasantly surprised about the different user cases people have managed to implement our application. This includes getting feedback on products, finding best candidates for hackathons as well as interviewing people for technical job roles such as front-end developers.

We are now half way through the Dotforge programme in Sheffield, where we’ve relocated for the three month duration of the accelerator. I’ve been so glad to witness how Tech North is growing strength by strength, and most of all, have had a chance to be part of it.

In order to keep growing and improving our product, we are reaching out to recruitment agencies (especially in the north of England) to test and try out our application. We want to build it for you, with you.

If you have any questions about our project, would like to try out our application or have new ideas how to implement it, please get in touch with us or visit our website


Keit Kollo,

Team CoverVideo


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