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Journal of ASPR - Fall 2012 - Video Interviewing: The New Frontier
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Video Interviewing: The New Frontier

By Michele Ellner, Montage Talent,

Video interviewing is the new frontier of hiring, and organizations that embrace its capabilities are more likely to succeed in engaging today’s top talent than those that don’t. It’s catching on with top companies nationwide but there is still a long way to go to educate likely buyers and users. This article will discuss and define what video interviewing is, some common misperceptions, and ideas on how to get started.

The Aberdeen Group, a research and analysis firm, found 10 percent of companies used video as part of the hiring process in 2010, but saw that number jump to 42 percent for senior executives, management and entry level job functions in its 2011 talent acquisition survey. Why the huge jump in just one year? The bottom line: ROI. The technology and comfort level of users has grown tremendously, giving video interviewing a solid backbone of users from which to grow and changing the landscape of talent acquisition. What used to take half an hour to produce a vague sense of candidate fit and qualifications can now be completed in a fraction of the time. Seasoned recruiters know that half the battle is getting the right person into the right place at one time to meet and get to know one another. Eliminating scheduling conflicts is worth investigating.

What Can Video Interviewing Do?

Different vendors offer different nuances and services within their video interviewing solution, but in general, video interviewing is secure, safe, branded and complementary to applicant tracking systems. Done right, video interviewing is an end-to-end solution that is download-free, scalable and configurable to the existing hiring workflow. It offers distinct capabilities and advantages that usually include:

  • Panel interviewing to pull many people together, to make hiring decisions move along faster. When recruiters, candidates, and decision makers are geographically dispersed, this option creates instant ROI as clients see travel budgets get re-purposed for more strategic investments.
  • One-on-one interviewing for the primary decision maker and candidate to enjoy an in-depth interview with each other. This may not replace the final face-to-face, in-person interview, but it certainly does minimize surprises and wasted time.
  • “On demand” screening which entails setting up job-specific questions, sending them to shortlisted candidates, and inviting them to respond on their own time.

When done well, video interviewing:

  • Is completed on a schedule dictated by the candidate — not the employer — recognizing the importance of candidates who are deeply entrenched in their work day.
  • Enables employers to insert welcome videos to engage candidates and set the stage for their responses and their consideration of this potential future employer.
  • Offers choices — both the on-demand pre-recorded feature and the live interview, either one-on-one or panel style. Hiring is complicated and these choices — or using both — fit into the most common workflow needs of top employers.
  • Puts candidates at ease. Within the on-demand pre-recorded service, letting candidates review and re-record is essential. They can refine their response and submit their best answer. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of opportunity through the live interview to see how they react on the fly.
  • Offers recording options. On-demand is obviously always recorded and easily shared with interested decision makers. The interview itself should be recorded, too. This creates another layer of ease when scheduling conflicts come up, allowing a link to be shared with those that missed the live date. It also helps the team surface talent for upcoming or new requisitions without a fresh recruitment effort.

Ultimately, video interviewing drives higher quality hires and enhances your brand while reducing costs.

Why Not Just Use Video Chat?

Video interviewing is far more than the well-known video chat tools. While both only require a webcam and an Internet connection, video chat requires 80 percent more bandwidth than video interviewing, making it accessible to less than half of the Internet-using public. While both can bring two people face-to-face, only video interviewing can be used with an unlimited number of participants for an unlimited duration. Both can facilitate an interview, but only video interviewing offers 24x7 support to ensure a seamless experience.

Remember, video chat or video conferencing tools were built for chatting and conferencing. Human Resources and talent acquisition has its own set of rules, requirements and expectations. The top vendors within video interviewing came from within that industry and built to suit the HR world.

Common Misperceptions

Misperception 1: Video introduces heightened discrimination potential.

The EEOC has given its opinion and has approved the practice of video interviewing. It views video in the same light as an in-person interview. As an employer, once you make the decision to fill a position, you’re not incurring any more risk by video interviewing than you are by interviewing candidates face-to-face.

Misperception 2: Video interviewing is just the same as using Skype or Webex.

We covered this misperception pretty well above, but to rehash the highlights: video chat and conferencing are great tools for chat and conferencing, not the rigors of HR and talent acquisition. They require more bandwidth — 80 to 100 percent more. You cannot record or save them securely. You cannot integrate them with applicant tracking systems. For an occasional online meeting, they work. But for a sustained program that integrates with your workflow, you need to investigate video interviewing solutions designed and built by experts in the field.

Misperception 3: Video interviewing is for the younger job seekers — the fresh-from-college group.

This misperception emerges, likely, from the technology of the webcam involved. Certainly statistics will support that our peers in the college-age crowd are digital natives who have grown up with this technology. The client support teams in place and available through video interviewing companies are key here. Not only are they present to handle any technical issues users can throw at them, but they are also in place to coach and guide newbies through the online experience in the video interviewing application. No matter the age of the user.

Misperception 4: Video interviewing is cold and impersonal.

If done improperly, this is a definite risk. But with the right partner in video interviewing, one who puts the candidate experience at the forefront of the solution, this will never be the case. In fact, the employer can employ some of the most engaging methods to greet the candidates through a job-specific video of their own. They can create a warm, inviting entryway offering up great information for the candidate to get to know the potential new employer. Those companies realize hiring is a true two-way street, and both parties end up getting to know each other better, faster. The result will be a smarter, faster decision for all involved.


Journal of ASPR - Fall 2012

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