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Are your recruiting costs killing you? Try doing it on video

August 25, 2014

By Kristin Cifolelli, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Ready for your close up?

As we are all aware, social media have forever changed how we source candidates for job openings. It was inevitable that technology would also change how we subsequently screen them. 

Companies who recruit nationally, even only occasionally, need to cut back on their cost of recruiting. Companies who need to screen large numbers of candidates quickly need to streamline their processes. Enter video interviewing.

From webcams, Skype, Facetime, GoToMeeting, WebEx and the latest—still in their infancy—mobile recruitment applications, the ability to use video has become relatively cheap, and it has never been easier to connect.

Employers who use video interviewing for pre-screening find it can provide better insights into a candidate than even an in-depth phone screen, because it allows the viewer to notice body language and key non-verbal cues. The technology has the potential to narrow the candidate pool earlier, avoid having to schedule in-person interviews early on, and finally shorten overall time-to-fill.

In a survey of more than 500 hiring managers at companies with more than 20 employees, Office Team found that 63 percent said their company often uses videoconferencing for job interviews.  These numbers will only continue to grow as the recruiting process evolves through technology and the explosion of social media.

Speed in the recruiting marketplace has become crucial, because technology makes the communication of job openings instantaneous. Recruiters need to be able to move quickly or lose out on highly sought-after candidates. Video recruiting can be an attractive recruiting tool because it shows how comfortable, creative and progressive a company is with technology. Those virtues hold great appeal for millennial-generation job candidates.

There are two types of video interviews, the one-way (asynchronous) interview or the two-way live interview. In the one-way interview, the employer provides a list of interview questions to the candidate ahead of time. The candidate then captures his or her answers on video and submits them to the employers. The process is asynchronous because the employer and candidate do not interact at this point in the process.    

The major benefit of the asynchronous interview is that it offers the candidate a significant amount of flexibility as to when to record the interview. No more having to lie to a current employer to sneak out for a job interview. Employers benefit from the same flexibility. They can view them on their own schedule, rout them to different individuals in the organization, and screen more candidates in less time.

In the two-way interview, the employer and the candidate connect face-to-face live via a webcam. Two-way video interviewing is very beneficial when companies are recruiting candidates from out of town and want to cut down on travel costs.   Options for two-way video interviewing include using free webchat programs such as Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, and Google+.  If a company wants the ability to record these interviews, a separate recording application will be needed. And, quality with these applications can be uneven and the overall process limited. For a price, employers can access more sophisticated technology with a video vendor such as GreenJobInteriew or HireVue.

As with all technology, video interviewing comes with downsides. It is a mistake to go into a video interview thinking it is no different than an in-person interview. With video, it is much more difficult to engage with people and create chemistry through a computer screen. The medium is also inherently more casual. Younger candidates comfortable with technology often make the mistake of treating the interview too casually, without the seriousness and professionalism demanded by the occasion.

Most importantly, video interviews may be difficult to use with candidates who are not actively job searching.  Such candidates may be put off by an employer not willing to discuss job opportunities in person, especially if they are happy in their current roles.

Ultimately, video interviewing is never meant to replace the old-fashioned live interview. Instead, employers should see it as a tool that can speed up the recruiting process in specific situations.  

For companies that want to get into video in the recruiting process, a great way to start is to develop video segments about the company and testimonials from employees. As these employers move to the video interview, the process will seem more natural.

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