I read recently an article on Forbes.com entitled, “A New Recruiting Abomination: One-Way Video Interviews” by Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace. Obviously as the title suggests, she is not impressed by this growing recruiting technology. Here are a few quotes.
“It is disheartening to me as a long-time HR person to see how badly some HR and Staffing folks damage and degrade the recruiting function by building in talent-repelling processes like one-way video interviewing.”
“The emergence of one-way video job interviews in recruiting speaks to incompetence at a high level…”
“Great candidates will not stick around to be treated like dirt — nor should they!”
“Making your job applicants sit in front of their laptops smiling at the camera and answering questions asked by a machine is the loudest possible sign that your company does not value talent in the least.”
“There is no better way to signal to talented candidates ‘You mean nothing to us’ than by assigning them to sit through an oral exam led by a piece of code…”
I’m going out on a limb to suggest that Ms. Ryan sees little if any value in one-way video interviews. Before I begin my defense I want to make known that I work for a video interviewing vendor and as a former search consultant have used with great success one-way video interviews in the past. Here are a few experiences I would like to share where video interviews have helped candidates.
An individual applied to a position and he was rejected by the employer because his resume indicated he was in a particular age bracket. The search consultant had the candidate complete a recorded one-way interview which he then sent to the hiring manager. The candidate was brought in for an interview after the hiring manager saw the candidate’s charisma and energy level.
An unemployed college student completed a mock interview and emailed it to employers. She received an offer without even going in for a face to face interview.
A candidate working on an oil rig in the North Sea was able to get an interview with a company operating in Romania after I (sitting in Virginia) forwarded a link of the candidate’s recorded interview to the VP of HR in Romania. This happened because the video interview allowed everyone to work on their own schedule when convenient for them.
I sat in a board room with a company President and VP of HR. On their monitor we were reviewing the video interviews of five candidates. The fifth candidate, who had conducted his interview at 1 a.m, the only time convenient for him, so dazzled the president that the president called him on the spot and offered him a job!
As a video interviewing provider we in no way advocate using automated interviews to replace the face-to-face interview. Rather we suggest using video interviewing as a screening measure, superior to phone screening, which allows recruiters to better evaluate candidates with a structured interviewing process that better eliminates subconscious biases which creep into unstructured live interviews. The candidate is better served, not only because they may complete the interview at their convenience, but also their recorded interview can be evaluated repeatedly and shared with decision makers so a more informed evaluation can be given. Candidates, especially top talent, are severely inconvenienced by a phone screening process that relies upon note taking and which provides an inadequate device to make a true apples to apples comparison between subjects.
Not too surprisingly the Aberdeen Group’s research into video interviewing shows that among best-in-class companies which employ such technology, hiring manager satisfaction has improved while time to hire and cost to fill has decreased.
In short, video interviewing was not designed to be abominable to candidates but rather to free them from inconvenience and discrimination.