Faye works with a range of technology firms as an external consultant providing strategic, implementation and communications expertise. She has a strong HR network around the globe from advisors, analysts, providers and enterprise customers, and stays ahead of all the latest developments through activities such as involvement in the blog squad for HR Tech. faye.holland@cofinitive.com

As an HR Tech World blogger I interviewed Maura McElhone of Clinch to find out what their company is showing in the disruptHR startup zone, and how they’re taking candidate-employer relationships to the next level.


FAYE: Hi Maura, I had the pleasure of meeting Shane Gray at #truLondon recently so have had an overview already, but for the wide audience out there who will read this let’s start at the beginning. Who is Clinch and what do you do?

MAURA: We are Clinch, and we are a recruitment marketing platform. Our software combines the core principles of content marketing with key recruiting analytics to let companies attract, identify, nurture, and hire great candidates. We not only give companies the tools to create and distribute recruiting content, we deliver the metrics that show how well that content is working to attract, engage, and convert talent, too. Our software also facilitates the building of candidate-employer relationships to increase the rate of conversion from anonymous website visitor to candidate, and candidate to applicant. In addition to the platform itself, we’re in the process of launching Clinch Academy — an online learning resource that focuses on promoting further understanding of recruitment marketing and the development of skills in that area.

FAYE: You’re actively out and about promoting Clinch so why did you decide to take part in disruptHRTech this year?

MAURA: How candidates go about the process of sourcing information and engaging with potential employers has evolved with the introduction and continuous maturation of technology like social media and mobile apps, for example. But companies have struggled to adapt their recruiting practices to reflect these shifts in candidate behaviour. As a result, there’s a disconnect between employer and candidate that seriously impacts on a company’s ability to hire. We have built the product that bridges this and we feel that the time is right to showcase Clinch to an audience that shares our passion for innovation and improvement in the world of HR Tech.

FAYE: Who are your principal ‘buyers’ and then who are the ‘users’ – is there a profile?

MAURA: Our principal buyers are established companies with a minimum of 100 open positions at any one time — companies that truly understand the pain we are solving.

The company will have dedicated internal recruiters along with people dedicated to delivering on the corporate employer brand, improving candidate experience and employee value proposition. They will have an understanding of the importance of content but not necessarily the skills to leverage that content. The users within the organization are those tasked with the management and execution of talent acquisition, employment branding, and EVP.

FAYE: A key differentiator for Clinch is the ability to see how a candidate has interacted with the company job post – can you tell me how you then advise the clients on how to get continuously improve?

MAURA: The focus isn’t just on the job post or advertisement (which is essentially what a job post is): the focus is on the entire candidate journey and experience. Where has the candidate come from, how long has the candidate been interacting with the company, what has the candidate looked at in addition to the job advert, is this candidate interesting to us as an employer and how can we get them to apply for our open positions? All this information allows the company to understand what works and what doesn’t work in terms of getting quality candidates to convert to applicants. We use innovative techniques like content specific heat maps, dynamic rearrangement of content, and content scoring to deliver these insights.

Additionally, Clinch Academy is our online learning resource and clients will have full access to all of the courses available there. The idea behind the Academy is not only to educate talent acquisition professionals on recruitment marketing best practices, but to inform our customers as to how they can best use the Clinch platform to achieve the desired outcomes of their recruitment marketing efforts.

FAYE: How does your solution help to navigate the multi-generational issue?

MAURA: As a function of the size and experience of the companies we deal with, they have an understanding of the persona they are looking to attract for different roles within the organization. Not only do different generations speak and act differently, they have different outlooks on work, life, and what information they consider to be of value when it comes to recruiting content, too. If your content is going to perform favourably and generate candidates for your company, it must speak to the needs and expectations of the different segments within your wider audience.

Using Clinch, companies can create multiple landing pages for the same job, with each landing page targeting a different segment of the job-seeking audience. Custom text can be added, as well as images, video, employee quotes, and company benefits — each block selected to cater to the needs of a particular audience, whether that’s Generation Y candidates, baby boomers, or something else entirely. Clients can refer to the Clinch analytics to see who their content is resonating with, and which blocks in particular are most engaging.

FAYE: You very actively made the decision to focus on the sales and marketing of recruitment, so can you explain how your technology platform works and how easy is it to integrate?

MAURA: Today’s recruiters are having to think more like marketers in order to compete for the best candidates. Clinch makes it easy for a recruitment professional to create dynamic, employer-branded landed pages featuring calls-to-action that encourage a candidate to “reveal” who they are even before submitting a formal application. These pages can be scheduled and distributed across multiple social and jobs boards channels. Once the recruiter identifies a candidate of choice — based on their level of interaction with the content, for example, — they can use the Clinch platform to nurture the relationship with that candidate and ultimately convert them into an applicant. The ability to create lists and workflows means that much of that “nurture” process is automated, too. With regard to integration, we work with each client individually to develop a customised plan for integrating with their existing ATS.

FAYE: What are your plans for expansion?

MAURA: Right now, Clinch is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in New York. We’re seeing considerable interest in our offering from Australia and the Pacific regions, so that may well be the next fixed location to look at next year. We’re hiring for our Dublin office at the moment, and look forward to seeing similar growth of our team in New York in the new year.

FAYE: How will you know if 2015 has been a success?

MAURA: It’s not over yet! Joking aside, at the start of the year, it was very important for us as a business that we delivered a product that resonated in the marketplace. That aim has been met and was a significant milestone in the development of the Company. We are now working very hard to get that product out there and into the hands of as many companies as we can. We set ourselves some challenging goals with regard to revenue and profit generation and continue to be confident that we will reach, if not exceed, those goals by the close of business on December 31.

FAYE: What would you like to achieve out of participation at HR World Congress this year?

MAURA: As an opportunity to pitch our product, meet with potential buyers, and have a look at other innovative technology seeking to shake-up and shape the future of HR tech, HR World Congress is unparalleled. We’ll be looking to make new industry connections, get honest, well-considered and informed feedback on the Clinch product, and generate interest from potential clients, too. The event is a showcase of some of the best and most exciting HR tech currently available, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that offering.

To find out more

Maura McElhone heads up content for Clinch. You can find her on Twitter at @maurawrites


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