VIDEO INTERVIEWS AND THEIR FUTURE IN RECRUITMENT

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With the introduction of Facebook Live and the constant obsession with YouTubers, the idea of being on screen isn’t that daunting for the digital generation. However, there’s a very big difference in hanging out with your mates on Snapchat and presenting a professional and composed appearance.

Video interviewing isn’t the newest idea and has been doing the rounds for some time. Despite this, it’s really only now starting to take off in earnest as recruiters begin to appreciate the benefits of being able to get a proper look at the candidate, without the hassle of organising a full interview in person.

If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into the cyber waters of video interviewing, you really need to take the plunge or else risk being left behind. Research shows that more than six out of 10 companies are already using video interviewing, with more expecting to do so in the future1.

This paper sets out to consider where video interviews are proving to be a success, the different types of technology available and their relative benefits, plus what the future holds for this type of recruitment.

VIDEO INTERVIEWING IS NOT ALL THE SAME

It’s tempting to sling all types of video interviews into the same category, but the truth is that they’re as alike as chalk and cheese. Video interviewing cannot just use different technologies, but the methods behind each recording can vary too.

You may be looking forward to having a bit of a chinwag with the candidate but with one-way videos you’ll be out of luck. Also known by the tongue-twisting term, asynchronous videos, these involve the candidate recording their responses to questions which have been usually supplied by text. There’s no interaction between the recruiter and the candidate and the questions are set in advance.

Asynchronous video interviews can involve either a series of questions or in some cases, just a single request for a video snippet. These latter types of video interviews are often used alongside the application and can be embedded online for any candidate to access.

Asynchronous videos are ideal for screening purposes when you’ve got a high volume of applicants that you need to whizz through. However, when you want to take a closer look, you’ll need to have a two-way conversation.

This is where technology steps in because you can organise this in a number of ways. There’s not many people that don’t have a Skype or Facebook account, so it might be a case of setting up a live chat using one of these services. Simple enough to access, you can interview using a computer, mobile phone or tablet so there’s no worry about excluding anyone.

With the ability to interview candidates using everyday applications you might be wondering whether there’s really any point in bothering with special software. However, recruiters that use in-house software have access to a whole host of other benefits which you won’t get on Skype. As well as integrating automatically with your current system, you will be able to make and save notes directly on the screen and special features such as language assessment provide objective statistics. Using these recruitment algorithms, you’ll discover far more about the candidates than you would have thought possible.

If you decide to use in-house technology it’s important to check whether it has a mobile application, particularly if you’re expecting your vacancy to appeal to students or less affluent applicants. 

THE BEST BITS OF VIDEO INTERVIEWING

It’s fairly obvious to most people that there’s a big advantage for the recruiter to be able to see the candidate but there’s other less subtle benefits that the process offers too.

When standardised questions are used, particularly those in asynchronous interviews, it helps eliminate unconscious bias. Every candidate gets asked the same questions regardless of race, gender or age and this helps to promote diversity.

There’s a potential time-saving, for both the candidate and the recruiter. Fitting in interviews can be difficult, particularly if the candidate is already employed so with no need to travel, video interviews can be much easier for them to squeeze in. For the recruiter, there may be times when it’s instantly obvious that the candidate isn’t right for the job.

With an interview in person, there’s an obligation to plod on through, wasting your time and theirs, when there’s zero chance of success. With asynchronous interviews, if you realise from the start that the candidate doesn’t have the necessary skills or experience, you can simply move on to the next one. Some sources suggest that it’s possible to save up to 80% on recruitment costs using video interviewing for high volume roles2.

Geographical location is no longer so important for candidates and employers, with the increase in alternative set-ups, such as remote working. There also may be university students about to graduate but currently living hundreds of miles away from home. Video interviews allow you to tap into a larger pool of talent while still being able to carry out a proper assessment of the individual.

Recruiters looking to fill executive positions may also cast their net wide, offering generous remuneration packages to relocate for the right candidate. However, before you start to shell out the cash and fly them in for an interview, it can be helpful to have an online chat first. This helps them assess whether they’re really interested in the position and will allow you to decide if you want to move forward with the interview process.

Video interviewing also provides the opportunity to reflect more objectively on each candidate and get a second opinion if you’re simply not sure. When you’re interviewing in person, it’s impossible to remember everything, or the exact words a candidate may have used. Note-taking obviously helps but unless you’re equipped with a bionic arm that operates at warp speed there’s no way to capture absolutely everything. With video interviews you can go back and compare candidates or call in key members of staff for an opinion.

FACTORS TO BE AWARE OF

By now, video interviews may be sounding so great that you’re just about ready to completely change your recruitment process but just hold your horses for a moment. Although there’s many excellent aspects to video interviewing, there’s a few drawbacks to consider.

If your position requires spontaneous, quick thinking and top-notch communication skills, video interviews may not always be ideal. Some types of video interviews, primarily asynchronous, offer candidates the chance to keep re-taking the video until they’re happy with the results. This means you won’t have the opportunity to judge how the candidates behave naturally and may mask some traits which make them unsuitable for the job.

You also need to consider technology. If the candidates are simply sending in their own videos, it’s not so much of an issue. However, if you’re talking via FaceTime or Skype and the connection drops, you could end up with a disjointed interview and broken responses which make your candidate sound like a drunk robot.

Specialist software is undeniably a real asset to the recruitment process and can even be branded. However, if you only recruit once in a blue moon it’s probably not a cost-effective investment as it’s a service you’ll need to pay for. 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Although video interviewing isn’t a new concept, the introduction of new and better technology is beginning to transform the idea. The future of recruitment is expected to include even more video interviews than are used now, but in new and exciting ways.

Smartwatches are becoming more integrated all the time and in the future, these could offer the ideal opportunity for mobile video interviews. Easy to use and simple to connect, smartwatches could be a convenient tool that revolutionises video recruitment.

It can be difficult to ascertain how authentic certain aspects of the recruitment process are, such as references. Going forward asking referees to submit a video reference could help to deter candidates from volunteering their friends to step in and give them a glowing reference, giving the recruiter much more confidence.

A skills assessment is a necessary step in certain industries, but this can be difficult to organise and long-winded. In the future, the candidate could carry out the assessment on their own computer screen at home, recording their work as they go. This will allow the recruiter to see how they approach the task and whether they have the necessary skills, without having to bring them into the office.

It’s not just candidates that will be utilising video in the future; recruiters will be stepping in front of the camera too. More jobs are expected to be advertised in video format and could even appear on platforms such as Snapchat which are expanding to include more business transactions.

Video interviewing is the future and it’s here to stay. The question is, are you ready for the next generation of recruitment?

1 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-six-in-10-companies-conduct-video-job-interviews-167973406.html

2 http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/video-interviewing-the-future-of-recruitment

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