WHEN the pandemic hit, Euan Cameron had already been developing his video interview business for a number of years and was able to hit the ground running.

Launching in 2020, Willo has grown its turnover 300 per cent each year since, driven by the widescale adoption of video during Covid 19, and is expected to reach £1 million in January.

Of the 30,000 interviews Glasgow-founded Willo facilitated in November, 17,000 have been offered jobs, across areas such as aviation, healthcare, retail and technology.

One of its biggest customers, airport services giant ABM Industries, conducts around 8,000 interviews a month and will hire up to half of those candidates without going to a face-to-face or live video interview. o the process has to be robust.

For a customer wishing to recruit a candidate into the country, Willo does a right-to-work screen, while for many, the candidate will be hired to work in situ. Mr Cameron’s 12-strong team operates across time zones to offer a near-24-hour service, with staff ranging from Ukraine, now relocated to places including Italy and the UK – “part of this year was horrible” – to from North America and the Philippines.

Mr Cameron started developing Willo in 2014. “What I was doing back then was asking people for videos rather than a CV, and I was offering people [positions] off the back of these videos.

“That was the moment that I realised there was something in this. If I could, from watching a video a candidate’s done that lasts three minutes to getting them in the office the next week, then there is something here that we need to explore.”

Now, he said, “rather than interviewing you for a job, I can interview ten of you at the same time with the same set of questions in the same order, all virtually and remotely, and you can do that in your own time".

"They can rerecord their answers, they can practise their answers as often as they like and when they are happy with those answers they submit them to their employer and then the employer can review those answers.

"They can be video, text, or audio answers, or a combination of all three.”

HeraldScotland: University of Pennsylvania is a US customerUniversity of Pennsylvania is a US customer (Image: Getty)

He said: "If you allow people to do things in their own time, you are typically opening up your pool of candidates.

"A lot of candidates, for example, will already be working in jobs, and having the flexibility to interview for another job outside traditional working hours is hugely advantageous for them.

“To give you an idea what it means from a customer perspective, an average customer is saving at the moment 35 hours per month.

“That is like a week, basically, they have managed to save, just by using Willo.”

Although a UK business, the majority of its revenue comes from overseas, with 65% coming from the US.

Customers range from Glasgow Airport owner IAG to Littlewoods, Coinbase, boohoo, Brakes and higher education hubs including University of Pennsylvania.

He continued: “From a general overview of the time over the past two-and-a-half years, three years now, have been really advantageous for the company. The biggest reason for that is the adoption of video technology.”

There is no longer anxiety around the process, he said, and investors have backed the firm with £1m.

“The massive normalisation of video has been amazing for us.

“The other big change that we’ve seen that we’ve been pushing for a number of years now is the global talent workforce.

“You can hire anywhere in the world. Progress has been made because of Covid, it has really opened things up.

“Even if they just hired one or two people that were overseas or a different town or city, it was their first step into this, and for a lot of companies it has been successful because they have had a broader talent pool, which means more diversity. There is a huge amount of talent overseas that is completely untapped.”


'Goodbye CV and job application form': The Glasgow firm transforming recruitment


Yet, he is considering quitting the UK. “I’ve been quite concerned for a long time about the direction of the UK in general.

“Brexit was one piece of it," he said. “But it was 12 years ago there was the announcement of austerity. We’ve had a slow decline in investment of the key things that make the country successful, like education, healthcare, the general economy, higher education, those kind of things, in my opinion, have been under-invested in. That time is all lost.

“I’m quite concerned about the future for the country, just getting by with the bare minimum that we need. It should have happened 12 years ago, but there needs to be investment in areas that make people want to live here, stay here and invest here.

“I’ve done a lot of travelling and the countries that do things well are always thinking about how do we get more people here, how do we get them to stay and to invest here.

"All of those things need to be at the top of the agenda.

“I would be looking to move to Spain in the next few years. I’ve got a daughter that is three and I don’t really want her growing up here. I just don’t see huge amounts of positive investment in the things that she would be using and needing.

“Even in the '90s when I grew up there was a lot more being done, developed, built, just good stuff, and there is nothing here that I can see her benefitting from.”

In the short-term, more growth is targeted, with an expanded and refined offering for mid-market customers who are more resilient in recessionary times. It means over the next 12 months Willo will be able double-down on “not only acquiring more customers, but giving customers more ways of assessing candidates”.

He said: “We are making a lot of ground.”


Q&A


What countries have you most enjoyed travelling to, for business or leisure, and why? 

Singapore – it’s such an incredible example of how to build a sustainable, successful, and beautiful city/country. 

Contrastingly, I spent a lot of time in Pisco, Peru which was destroyed by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in 2007. I was responsible for rebuilding basic houses for families and did the project management, electrics, and plumbing work. I had never experienced how resilient and adaptable people can be.

When you were a child, what was your ideal job? Why did it appeal?  

I always wanted to be a property developer as I enjoyed DIY for my family and neighbours (starting with gardening aged ten). I loved making people’s lives better by improving their homes. I still hope to get into property development.

What was your biggest break in business?

Receiving our first round of investment for £250K in 2020. I could just not believe far more experienced and sophisticated business leaders were willing to give us that kind of money for what was at the time a tiny MVP [minimum viable product] of a business.

What was your worst moment in business?  

With five of our colleagues in Ukraine at the beginning of 2022, the outbreak of war was by far the worst moment in my business career. One day we are talking about work and the next there are air raid sirens and bombs in the distance. Thankfully, our team is safe but had to leave the country, friends, and relatives behind. They have been incredible throughout, and apart from a few weeks at the start of the war, they have worked full days and delivered the same high-quality work. 

Who do you most admire and why?  

My mum. She had started two businesses by 30 and now successfully runs her third, an online Scottish antique store. Each was self-funded and self-taught, and I love how she can turn her hand to anything – still finding time for her community and her family. The world needs more resilient, self-starters like her.

What book are you reading, what was the last film you saw and what music are you listening to?

I am patiently waiting for the updated version of the autobiography Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson.

I enjoy documentaries and the latest was Inside South Sudan's Capital City by Indigo Traveller on YouTube.