CleverYak is born!

Team photoAndrei, Theo, Julien and Jakub, the co-founders of CleverYak.

On the 30th of August 2019, all four of us handed in our badges and walked out the doors of the Microsoft office in Luxembourg for the last time. We’d spent many happy years working on Skype and the Microsoft Teams products, but now it was time to start something new, and we’d decided to do it together.

The very next Monday, CleverYak was born.

We knew that Skype was frequently used by recruiters and hiring managers for interviewing candidates online, and we knew that the number of companies using online meeting solutions to meet with candidates was increasing. We wanted to build an online interviewing tool designed especially for recruitment.

We focused the product on three main areas; Easy Setup, Powerful Calls and a Clever Summary. Over the following few weeks, we defined exactly what features the first version of CleverYak would have in each of these areas.

Easy setup

Interviews are stressful enough, so our first thoughts were around ensuring that CleverYak interviews are as simple to join as possible, both for the candidate and the interviewer.

From invite to in-call in less than 15 seconds. No downloads or sign-ups.

Powerful Calls

We wanted our in-call experience to be interview-focused. Most importantly the user interface needed to be as simple as possible, so that candidates and interviewers seeing it for the first time would be confidently able to make everything work.

We included a screensharing feature (so that presentations or other documents can be shared on-screen during the call), and the ability to send instant messages and share files.

A shared whiteboard and collaborative code editor allow CleverYak to be used for technical interviews where the candidate can demonstrate their coding ability across a range of programming languages live on the call.

And then there’s call recording. Many of the recruiters and hiring managers we spoke with interview dozens of candidates each week. Despite taking notes, they don’t always find it easy to remember which candidate said what. Sometimes it would be useful for them to review a specific part of an interview, or to share it with a colleague for their input.

Powerful CallsCleverYak has been designed to be simple to use with no training.

Clever Summary

We decided ordinary call recording wasn’t good enough to solve the problems that interviewers have reviewing candidate performance, so we came up with the idea for a “Clever Summary”, which is available to the interviewer after the interview ends. This summary includes:

  • A Timeline showing everything that happened during the call
  • Bookmarks which the interviewer added during the call appear in the summary so the reviewer can jump straight to that part of the recording.
  • A Searchable Transcript is automatically produced from the spoken text, helping the interviewer search for the precise part of the interview they want to watch.
  • Keywords and Topics relating to the interview content provide an at-a-glance view of the areas covered during the conversation.
  • The Interview Explorer - Any snapshots from the whiteboard or code editor screens, files shared during the interview and the interview recording are available to view or download.
  • Share the whole summary with other managers, allowing them to review and feedback on the candidate.
Clever SummaryForget watching an interview recording from start to end. The Clever Summary lets you find the exact parts you need to review.

We’re really excited about what we’ve built so far, and we’re bursting with ideas for what’s coming next.

CleverYak is now in preview with some friendly customers who get to use the product for free in return for providing us with feedback that will help us improve the product. If you’d like to join us, visit www.cleveryak.com and tap the ‘Free Preview’ option.

One question we often get asked is where the ‘CleverYak’ name came from? The verb ‘Yak’ of course means ‘to chat’, and as a noun is the large shaggy wild-ox found in the Tibetan highlands. Combined with the word ‘Clever’, we felt would help us create an approachable brand with personality, where both the product and the interviews which result from using it are … ‘Clever’.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to talking to you soon.

Andrei, Jakub, Julien and Theo