Retorio founders Christoph Hohenberger, Patrick Oehler and Abdurrahman Namli (from the left)
Photo: Retorio

Retorio: Recruiting with Artificial Intelligence

Retorio analyzes applicant videos to help find the right person among the candidates for an open position. The startup combines current technologies with insights from psychology. The founding trio explains their product in our interview.

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please briefly introduce yourselves and your product!

Retorio: Retorio is a video recruiter that combines artificial intelligence and machine learning with scientific insights from psychology and organizational research. Just a short application video is enough for Retorio to reliably recognize a person’s communication behavior and important personality traits. Talents can be recognized more effectively and reliably as a result and can be compared with different job profiles.

We are a founding team composed of three people. Two of us are former doctoral students from the Technical University of Munich who have degrees in the field of psychology and management, and one is an AI specialist who studied computer science and mathematics. We all met during our studies at TUM while researching our various subjects.

“People are skeptical at first about major innovations”

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Retorio: Solutions do exist that just offer video services or build a product around a third party API. Hardly any of them know what they’re actually doing or can offer a science-based concept. Our application helps to quickly generate an assessment based on behavioral data. And it does so without a person needing to also watch the video (although it is possible).

Munich Startup: What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Retorio: As in many areas, people are skeptical at first about major innovations, which is a good thing. Take the current discussion about autonomous driving. A lot of discussions revolve around AI. The same is true for applications in other fields — such as HR. However both of the concepts that we use have existed for decades. In terms of AI, statistical approaches have been around since the 70s (or even longer). In terms of psychology, the Big 5 approach (also called OCEAN for openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) has also existed for more than forty years. Combining the two is new.

“Munich is an excellent hub”

Munich Startup: Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?

Retorio: We currently have a good pipeline and prestigious customers from the DAX. But we’re still affordable for companies of any size. Startups or SMEs could particularly benefit from our product.

Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?

Retorio: Munich is an excellent hub. You find the most highly educated individuals, a very supportive environment, investors and an exchange of information. A large number of potential customers are also located here. On a personal level, two of the three founders come from the surrounding area and grew up here. Because we founded with a university background, the proximity to the university and constant communication about new research is particularly relevant.

Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Retorio: We still have a lot planned and envision many fields of application, ideally with motivated employees and satisfied customers.

Munich Startup: Steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick) or Schweinshaxe (knuckle of pork)?

Retorio: We’re an intercultural team with many worldviews. Out of consideration for animals and the environment, we would currently lean more towards paneer masala.