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Rolls-Royce is a global company, providing integrated power solutions to the aerospace and marine/industrial power systems markets. Their vision is to deliver “better power for a changing world.” Rolls-Royce employs over 50,000 people in more than 40 countries around the world and is best known for making engines for the world’s biggest airliners and advanced military aircraft.

Recruitment Context and Process
Rolls Royce in the UK have been using video interviewing to remotely recruit and hire candidates for a new engineering center in Bangalore. The positions consist of a broad range of engineering roles from design, materials specialists, combustion thermal specialists, project managers, stress, data analytics to software and mechanical engineering roles.

Typically, candidates enter the process via Rolls-Royce’s Taleo ATS (applicant tracking system) where their applications are assessed by a team in Manila.

The shortlist is then presented to the hiring managers for review and they decide which applicants are brought to the next stage of the recruitment process. Prior to their adoption of video interviewing, successful applicants were invited to an Assessment Center directly from the application stage. Video interviewing is now being used as an essential second stage of their remote hiring process.

The hiring managers decide who is invited to the Assessment Centers and ultimately who is hired.

Up to 30 Times Faster with Video Interviewing

When only one or two offers were made from 20 candidates attending an Assessment Center in Bangalore, Lindsey Gamble, Rolls-Royce’s Global Resourcing Manager – Engineering, Supply Chain & CHQ: “very quickly realized this method was going to take too long for the number of staff we needed to hire. One of our divisions in Singapore had been using Sonru so we thought it might be the solution to our problem. There’s a massive time saving when you compare a 10-15 minute video interview with a 90 minute personal interview.”

Selection Method Application Form Only  Application Form & Video Interview  
# Invited to Video Interview n/a 10-15
# Invited to Assessment Center  20  8
Hiring Managers’ Time to Interview 90 minutes per candidate 15 minutes per candidate
% Offered Position 5-10% 30-50%
Average Interview Time per Hire up to 30 hours up to 1 hour

Hiring Manager Involvement and Flexibility

Video interviewing has enabled the hiring managers to be more involved in the recruitment process. Previously, shortlisting of applications was carried out by the non-technical recruitment team. According to Lindsey: “Our hiring managers love it as they’re not wasting time. They wouldn’t have been able to handle that many phone interviews but were getting the shortlist from non-technical people so now they have more control. Also we have to remember that they have a day job and recruitment is just a small part of their role so it fits with their schedule.” 

“Sonru can be watched in one’s own time.” – Chief of Thermal and Fluid Systems

“More efficient use of the interviewer’s time.” – Chief of Turbine Aerothermal

“Reduced face-to-face interview burden.” – Team Lead – Thermofluids

“Helps to avoid long interviews with unsuitable candidates.” – Team Lead – Systems Engineering and Development

More Accurate Reflection of Candidates

Gamble maintains the video interviews provide added validation and verification to their recruitment process.

The randomization of interviews and questions makes collusion and information sharing harder while detailed system reporting makes insincere reset requests easier to identify, adding:

“We were originally inviting candidates to the Assessment Centers on the back of their application forms. From very early on in this process, it was pretty clear that the calibre of the written applications were at odds to the people we were meeting in person. We are definitely seeing a much better calibre of candidate coming through to the Assessment Centers than we would have without that step. The managers can judge the candidates’ body language and how they approach the question – the nonverbal aspects you cannot assess over the phone for example if there is someone in the room with them.”

“Provides a good interim step to validate the contents of applicants’ CVs prior to meeting.” – Chief of System Engineering & Programmes Management

“Very efficient way to sift out candidates who do not live up to the expectations of their CV.” – Team Lead – Systems Engineering and Development

“Significantly helped to remove poor candidates who had embellished their CVs or could not think on their feet.” – Design Engineer

Low Cost, Low Risk Inclusion of Borderline Candidates

Video interviewing has also enabled the Rolls-Royce hiring managers to take a gamble on borderline applications that they wouldn’t do with face-to-face interviews.

Depending on the number of applications, a typical manager would look at 10-15 Sonru interviews where they would probably only see between 3 and 5 candidates in person.   

“Sonru has given us a low cost, low risk means of assessing borderline candidates where we can see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. We’ve had quite a few cases of hiring managers saying ‘I would have rejected this guy if not for Sonru and he’s really good’. They have been pleasantly surprised by the responses and quality of the responses.” – Lindsey Gamble, Global Resourcing Manager  

Feedback from Candidates

“It is a completely new thing for me. I feel it is a time saving process for both candidate and employer.”

“Video Interview was good and easy to complete whenever we have free time. Thanks for this new concept.”

“Well designed and structured. The introduction video on the overview is good and self explaining. The practice interviews help a lot in preparing for the real interview.”


With an average response rate of 89%, several points above the global system average, the Rolls-Royce experience of video interviewing has been hugely positive.

Despite initial cultural reservations, the hiring managers’ opinions have turned full circle. With further expansion planned across India over the coming years, video interviewing has proved an integral part of Rolls-Royce’s recruitment efforts.

“Video interviewing has done everything we wanted it to do and more, we’ve never looked back. It’s really hard to pinpoint a favorite benefit as there are so many good points but on balance I think just the ease of use, the simplicity of it.” concludes Gamble.