Montage Talent provides high-tech edge for hiring process


Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:05 pm

Montage Talent Inc.
Innovation: Large enterprise video interviewing for talent acquisition

The hiring experience has changed a lot in the past eight years. With an ever-tightening labor market shifting control toward job candidates, Delafield-based Montage Talent Inc. is aiming to transform how large enterprises go about recruiting top talent.

The company, founded in 2010, already counts some of the world’s largest companies – including The Walt Disney Co., Samsung Group, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and Siemens AG – among its clients. Large enterprises with more than 3,000 employees make up one part of Montage’s target market. The company also is going after business in the health care industry and at large staffing firms.

Regardless of the venue, Kurt Heikkinen, Montage president and chief executive officer, said candidates are looking for a hiring process that is fair, transparent, high-tech and high-touch. The shift to a job seeker favorable labor market puts greater emphasis on the candidate experience. When the first Montage prototypes were built in 2008, mobile technology was barely a concern. Now it is standard, he said.


“The candidate convenience and the candidate insight (are) extremely important,” Heikkinen said. “Leading employers that take on a more innovative approach are the ones that are winning this war for talent.”

Montage’s offering for employers is a software-as-a-service product providing voice and video interviewing, along with tools to manage the hiring process, from finding potential candidates to bringing new hires on board. Heikkinen said the product is designed to allow for different configurations across job type, company and country, adding that it is “purpose built” for hiring. At the heart of the product’s capabilities is the use of video and voice, allowing candidates to engage with potential employers in an on-demand setting, where they can record answers to be reviewed later or in a live, real-time interview.

Employers can configure the questions that candidates answer to be in the form of text, voice or video. Restrictions can be placed on when a question comes up, the amount of time to record a response and the ability to record a response.

The software also helps in scheduling interviews, screening candidates and introducing new hires to the team.

The goal for Montage is to transform the hiring experience, Heikkinen said, noting that most hiring is still done through traditional use of resumes and telephone or in-person interviews.

“There’s tremendous, tremendous potential to transform the industry,” he said.

The original designs for what is now the Montage product focused on creating better ways for candidates to present themselves. Today, the product is as much about allowing companies to present their brand in a positive light as it is for candidates to get noticed.

Heikkinen said maintaining the brand during the hiring process is important because the company is interacting not only with potential employees, but also with potential customers. If candidates have a bad experience, it can have an effect beyond the hiring process.

“Now you’re not only losing out on the candidate, now you’re impacting your consumer brand,” Heikkinen said.

Montage created a virtual foyer where companies can incorporate their brand and provide videos for candidates to learn about the culture and hiring process.
Montage created a virtual foyer where companies can incorporate their brand and provide videos for candidates to learn about the culture and hiring process.

He said Montage has helped employers improve efficiency in hiring by 20 to 30 percent, cut travel costs by 50 percent or reduce the time to fill a position by two to three weeks. Candidates also benefit, as they can interview from home at the time of their choosing, eliminating the need to take off from work.

The approach is working for Montage. The company recently won a Wisconsin Innovation Award and has raised almost $17 million through equity offerings. It counts Milwaukee-based Baird Capital and Michigan-based private equity firm Beringea LLC among its backers. Heikkinen said he has 15 potential investors interested in the next phase of growth for the company.

“These are investors from across the globe that are now calling us, in Delafield, saying that they want to invest in our business,” he said.

The company has more than 70 employees and is running out of space in its downtown Delafield offices. Heikkinen, who had just received an accepted offer from a candidate before speaking with BizTimes Milwaukee and had another interview planned afterward, said the total would surpass 80 by the end of the year.

“It’s important to me that we’re successful,” he said. “It’s important to me that we’re successful in Wisconsin and that we become a showcase for others that it can be done and that venture capital funding can get a great return by investing in Wisconsin.”

Growing 60 percent each year in a $2 billion industry related to hiring software, Heikkinen said the biggest challenge is managing Montage’s growth.

“Any time you’re growing that fast, you have to be very disciplined in marking sure you’re not growing too fast and leaving your clients behind,” he said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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