Montage Adds $6M to Help Clients Interview Job Seekers by Video

6/5/14Follow @XconomyWI

Montage Talent, a Delafield, WI-based provider of video interviewing technology for businesses, has raised $6 million in a Series C round that will boost product development and accelerate its growth internationally.

The round was led by Beringea, a private equity firm based near Detroit, which invested $4 million. Participants included all the investors from Montage’s $4 million Series B round last year, Montage CEO Kurt Heikkinen said, including Baird Capital, Calumet Venture Fund, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Foley Ventures, and Gary Comer Inc.

The deal marks Beringea’s first investment in a Wisconsin company. Baird connected Montage with Beringea investors, Heikkinen said.

Montage has raised nearly $15 million since it was founded in 2007 by Mike Bonk, his brother, Andy Bonk, and Patrick Foy. (All three co-founders are still involved in the company.) Heikkinen joined Montage in 2010, when its products hit the market, he said.

The Series C money will be spent on sales and marketing initiatives, technology development (especially enhancing Montage’s mobile capabilities), growing its business partnerships, and expanding its worldwide footprint. Montage’s products are used in 140 countries, and the company plans to increase customer adoption overseas, particularly in Asia, Europe, and Africa, Heikkinen said.

“We’ve invested in the technology to support that globalization,” Heikkinen said in a phone interview today. “Now the brand development and marketing [will] expand.”

Montage employs 45 people at its Wisconsin headquarters and satellite locations around the U.S. Heikkinen said that number could grow by at least 50 percent in the next year, including putting boots on the ground in Asia and Europe.

It’s difficult to measure Montage’s market share, Heikkinen said, but he knows that the use of video interviewing technology—particularly customizable software like Montage’s—is increasing.

“Many companies may be dabbling with video interviewing by using Skype, WebEx, or some other video chat tool,” Heikkinen said. “They realize it’s not purpose-built. It’s not the right candidate experience. It doesn’t elevate their brand in way they want it to. It doesn’t integrate [with] their technology.”

Montage products do all of those things, he said.

Montage’s 150 clients—including Disney, Samsung, MetLife, and Humana—can send an e-invite to a job candidate to learn more about the potential employer before the interview. The candidate clicks a link and enters a “virtual foyer” with a screen background tied to the company’s brand, say a football field or basketball court for ESPN or a castle for ESPN parent company Disney, Heikkinen said. Before the interview starts, the candidate can watch a video of the hiring manager describing the position and read interview tips.

“We know that for candidates, in many instances they have more control and power over the hiring equation than ever,” Heikkinen said. “There’s a skilled workforce shortage. Generation Y workers expect a high-tech, high-touch experience.”

Part of the benefit for clients is better connecting job seekers with the brand, so even if they don’t get hired, they’ll have a positive impression of the company and could turn into a consumer of its products and services, Heikkinen said.

Montage has customer service staff available 24/7 for tech support, another differentiator from other Web video tools, Heikkinen said.

Other Montage products include apps for a pre-interview screening process that allow a pool of job candidates to record answers to a series of questions from the potential employer. Instead of conducting two or three phone interviews in an hour, a recruiter can watch 10 to 15 Montage interview videos, rank the best candidates, and quickly share that information wirelessly with a hiring manager who might be in a different location, Heikkinen said.

“It really shrinks that collaborative decision-making [process] by having deeper insight,” he said.

One of the challenges for Montage has been convincing recruiters to adopt its products, which requires a shift in the way they do their jobs. In response, Montage has taken an approach that allows clients to add the startup’s products in phases as they prove their usefulness, Heikkinen said.

“The great news for us is we’ve got an outstanding client base, and it’s growing every month,” Heikkinen said.

Jeff Engel is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @XconomyWI

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