CEO Interview : Veremark - Better referencing through intelligent automation
New Success Stories - Veremark
DANIEL CALLAGHAN, CEO
Please share with us briefly what you do.
Veremark is a digital background screening company that adds simplicity and confidence to companies hiring process by helping them check the professional credentials and work history of prospective employees.
It is unfortunate that around 53% of people embellish their CV whilst 26% will make up false employment histories and 33% enhance academic credentials.
This is very costly to the company when the hire underperforms or goes wrong. We offer a very affordable means for companies of all sizes to get the best in class screening service delivered through a modern digital platform.
What were you doing before this?
Whilst in Singapore, I was running the digital innovation and investments arm across APAC for Adecco Group, the world’s largest recruitment company and before that, I founded a global VC backed marketplace for top tier independent consultants that we scaled internationally and still serves many of the world’s leading private equity funds and management consultancies.
Describe your product. How does it work?
It is super simple.
1. Companies who are hiring go to https://app.veremark.com/signup. They register for a free account
2. If they have set questions they like to ask references then they can set this up in “questionnaires” or use our templates. If they have certain checks they want to perform they can do this in “criteria”
3. Then all they do is click new request and enter the candidate’s contact details – we take care of the rest
4. Following this, they will then receive clear and trustworthy insights into the professional credentials and work history of the prospective candidate. It can all be done on desktop or mobile and on averages delivers references within 1.4 days.
What are the key benefits?
Other than the immediate benefit of being able to get complete confidence in the credibility of your candidates, we save HR teams huge amounts of time and effort.
Think just how much time is lost if every character reference takes about 40mins to schedule, complete and then write up the report as well as several days of waiting for the referee to be available for a call.
We eliminate all of that and make it as simple as clicking a button with all the follow-up and chasing taken care of by Veremark.
We also have access to a wide range of tools and checks that most HR teams do not have access to deliver clearer insights.
Who are your closest competitors?
There are a couple of businesses in Australia that also focus on automating reference checks as well as big global players that do a broader range of checks.
None, however, are really able to match the level of ease and simplicity of use as Veremark.
They are also often very manual in the way they deliver the checks.
Who is your first customer and how did that happen? What were they using before this, and why did they switch?
Our first client was a large innovative telco in Singapore. Before us, they were doing checks manually and losing a lot of time in the process. They believed in the power of automation and knew there was a better way to do it which is why they signed up for Veremark
What motivated you to start this business?
Having built an international freelancing business before and seen the inner workings of a huge recruitment company – I knew how hard it is to hire the right people.
Often people don’t have time to check the backgrounds of potential hires or just think it is too difficult. That is often a mistake that comes back to cost them and the people in the organization.
We wanted to make sure this wasn’t the case and make the best in class service available to businesses of all sizes so they could hire and grow with confidence.
What is your biggest sacrifice to make this work?
The only sacrifice that really matters is the time not spent with your loved ones because of the focus and time needed to build the best background screening business in the world.
The rest are just momentary inconveniences.
How did you get funded?
We have been backed by a couple of leading early-stage vc funds and fortunate to win the early belief of a number of hr tech experts within the region who also invested in the business.
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We have been delighted by the level of referrals that we have been getting. As people have been using the system and saving themselves lots of time as well as getting great candidate feedback on how much easier it is, we have seen lots of hr team members introduce us to their colleagues in different countries or companies.
On average the product gets 5 stars out of 5 stars feedback which is very encouraging and definitely something we want to keep improving on.
Describe a typical workday
My role is simple really and involves setting the vision of the company going forward and making sure that is understood by all, to hire the best people and ensure we have the financial firepower to achieve the above.
We are aiming to have a million profiles verified by 2022 so if it doesn’t help us to do that, then I don’t do it.
Who has been the greatest influence in your business and why?
Our customers have been the greatest influence.
Everything we do and build is for them and has come from their feedback either about what is wrong with the existing services they were using before or what they would like to see Veremark deliver.
What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?
It is less of a single moment but rather an ongoing sense of pride in the team we have built and the focus on customers that we are embedding in the organization.
What is your favourite business failure (and what did you learn from it)?
I don’t have favourite failures although they all bring useful lessons.
The most valuable lesson though is about having the patience to hire the right people and the difference that makes. Getting it wrong is so painful and can make or break a business.
For all founders and early-stage businesses, there is this impending desire to make progress as fast as possible. However, within your team, the moment you settle for mediocrity is the moment your company starts to become mediocre.
It is much better to wait for the right person than fill it with someone who isn’t just to avoid having the gap in the team.
If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him/her?
Don’t do a French degree – it’s a lot of fun but not much use.
What’s one productivity hack you can’t live without?
Going to bed a decent hour and ensuring you get enough sleep – all productivity stems from that I think.
More about Daniel :
Someone you admire – Anyone in the arena marred by dust and sweat
Favorite book – Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch
Favorite Film – Rocky 2
For more information :
Email Daniel Callaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org.