Name: Connor Haggerty.
What is your business called?
VizCareer Digital Ltd.
Where is it based?
What does it produce, what services does it offer?
VizCareer is a video platform which gives you access to all the tools to handle all recruitment requirements remotely including assessment and development centres.
To whom does it sell?
We have a number of routes to market, including recruitment companies and app marketplaces, as well as working directly with internal hiring teams and key reseller partners. It means every day is a little different, which is great fun.
How many employees?
We have nine employees currently but plan to take this to around 25 by the end of the year and 50 by the end of 2022. We also have a strong board, including Scottish Tech Army founder and global tech entrepreneur and investor Alistair Forbes as our chairman.
When was it formed?
Why did you take the plunge?
I worked in executive search for a number of years and it always felt like recruitment was quite an old-fashioned bubble. I’d often look to different industries to see how they adopted technology to improve their organisation, and it inspired me to do the same for my line of work. A video-first approach not only allowed me to maintain that human touch while interviewing candidates, but increased engagement across the board. The idea worked, and then I was running with it at a million miles an hour! Looking back, I had a baby on the way and I’d just bought a house – some would probably have called me mad. But then again all the best things are.
What were you doing before you took the plunge?
I worked in recruitment, with a focus on the energy and utilities sector. Prior to that I briefly dabbled in Digital Marketing and retail.
How did you raise the start-up funding?
We have been working closely with Scottish Enterprise from the beginning. They offered us an Innovation Grant when we were at the early stages of building the platform. In 2020 we were busy with capital raising before the pandemic put a halt to our efforts, so we decided to hit the pause button for a while. We then managed to secure funding from the Scottish Investment Bank and from Scottish Enterprise through their Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund, but other than that we have been self-funded through organic sales. That’s something I’m really proud of.
What was your biggest break?
For me, I think the work we did to land oil giant ExxonMobil as our first major client, right back in 2017. I’m still very proud to call them a client. The Scottish Investment Bank raise has also been transformational for us. It’s allowed me to take the business to the next level and we are now on track to create over 40 jobs in Scotland over the next two years.
What was your worst moment?
Running a start-up is full of tight turns and steep slopes – sometimes even on a daily basis! Although I have to say that the beginning of the pandemic certainly had its challenges. As our clients battened down the hatches and our pipeline dropped off a cliff, what was set to be our biggest year to date was slowly slipping away from us. The lockdown did, however, highlight how utilising video can allow businesses to operate in different situations, improving productivity, all while bringing an improvement to work-life balance.
In that sense, it made the VizCareer pitch to almost every household in the world while I was at home watching Tiger King and repeatedly washing my hands. I can say that now in hindsight, but at the time it was a very uncertain and scary time – personally and for the business.
What do you most enjoy about running the business?
I genuinely believe in what it is we do and what we offer. We have also created a great culture within the business, with all of the team being highly talented and driven people. Waking up each day knowing that you’re not only doing something you enjoy, but doing it with like-minded, driven people is still the best feeling.
What do you least enjoy?
I’d have to say being unable to celebrate our achievements together over the past year hasn’t been great. But now that the world slowly opens up again, hopefully we can make up for that.
What are your ambitions for the firm?
I want VizCareer to be the first thing hiring teams think of when looking to run a recruitment process, both in the UK and internationally.
We’ve already got a number of ‘blue chip’ clients and have also recently agreed deals with s1jobs and Taranata Group. We’re now the exclusive provider of all video services that s1jobs will sell on its platform, and we’ve become a strategic technology partner for Taranata, who are a prominent Scottish-based talent, recruitment and business consultancy firm.
What are your five top priorities?
To continue to grow sales; further product development; to hire the best staff to support our growth; looking at easing integration with other platforms, and raising finance to support our next stage of growth.
What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?
More access to grant funding through the development to market-ready cycle.
What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?
Focus on your market and have the tenacity to keep pushing forward despite setbacks.
How do you relax?
Spending quality time with my daughter and fiancé is something that I really cherish. I also love keeping fit and occasionally going for a blast on my motorcycle – we’ve got the best scenery in Scotland for it!