If you hadn’t heard there are a whole lot of people out of work these days (approximately 13 million) and hiring companies, especially the high profile ones, are literally overrun with job applications.
The Wall Street Journal reported that last year 7.6 million job seekers applied to the 65,000 open retail and corporate positions advertised by Starbucks. This averages to 117 applicants per position! As staggering as that sounds it pales in comparison to the 2 million candidates who applied to Google’s 7,000 openings which averages to about 285 candidates per opening! Unbelievable right? Well Procter and Gamble had it even worse as 1 million candidates applied to one of their 2,000 job openings which averages to exactly 500 candidates per each open position! How would you like to work in that HR department?
With such a glut of resumes hurtling towards them, HR departments have resorted to using dull instruments, such as Applicant Tracking Systems, to weed out candidates who don’t remotely fit the job description. According to the Corporate Executives Board, a research and advisory firm, only 35% of job applicants actually meet the basic job requirements of the job to which they had applied. So when we look at Procter and Gamble we can conclude that around 325 applicants for each position were unqualified. This of course still leaves 175 possibly qualified candidates which have to be screened further, then phone or video interviewed, and finally interviewed face-to-face.
Successfully conducting an in-person interview with the job candidate after all the screening has been done is essential. Wharton Management Professor Iwan Barankay states, “”The predictive power of interviews is low unless they are very structured, which includes asking all the candidates the same questions, and then grading and evaluating them the same way. A freeform interview where you just meander along in a conversation doesn’t reveal any important information.”
Video Interviews, specifically automated interviews that allow candidates to interview themselves, provide not only a more powerful alternative to phone interviews, not only because they are recorded, but also result in a structured interview.
Gaining in popularity, video interviewing allows the administrator to upload job specific questions to which the job candidates can respond. Each position can have its own set of questions. Candidates login with their webcams and answer the hiring manager’s questions that appear on screen. Their responses are recorded and immediately available for HR or the hiring manager to screen. What is significant is that each candidate answers the same questions so not only is there no bias in regards to age, gender or ethnicity but also the candidate’s recorded responses can be compared to one another. This allows the hiring manager to make a more informed decision about who to bring in for the face-to-face interview.
When you have 200-500 applicants applying to each of your positions, Video Interviewing provides an efficient and structured way to find that shining needle in the proverbial haystack.