HR managers and recruiters have some concerns over video interviewing – let’s look at a few of them and see whether their fears are justified.
It’s no secret that every recruiter wants their hiring process to produce quality employees and a solid ROI. What is up for debate is the increasingly popular claim that the flaws of video interviewing technology can jeopardise these goals.
The reality is this couldn’t be farther from the truth: at the end of the day, video interviewing, like so many other tools of business, is what you make of it. It’s a flexible technology, effective to the extent that recruiters utilise its cost- and work-saving potential.
According to Oasis HR, people fear that video interviewing is another opportunity for hiring managers to see the candidate and – consciously or unconsciously – judge them for their appearance, rather than their character and qualifications. This is undoubtedly a major concern. Discrimination harms individuals directly, while also threatening to lower the overall quality of your workforce and cause legal problems.
However, no recruitment effort is complete without a face-to-face meeting. This sort of issue isn’t a problem that’s inherent in video interviewing specifically, but in the recruitment process as a whole. If a recruiter is using video interviews to discriminate against potential employees, it points to a problem with the recruiter, not the technology.
In a previous post on this topic, we explained how, by allowing each candidate the same amount of time to answer each question, recruiters can reduce the chances that a candidate might feel discriminated against by being cut-off early or made to speak for long stretches at a time. Additionally, video interviews create a record of the interview process, accessible for review in order to keep recruiters – and candidates – accountable.
Tech & Connectivity Issues
Some experts worry that candidates might not have access to the right toolset for conducting a video interview, such as a webcam and a decent internet connection. Fortunately, this issue has become less and less of a problem as time has gone on.
The global visibility and accessibility of technology increases every day, as we see with a camera in every smartphone, webcams on offer for a few quid, and Facebook launching internet drones over remote locations.
The question is: is it harder for the candidate to get their hands on the right tools than to clear their schedule and travel to your office? In the vast majority of cases, video interviewing presents the simpler, cheaper option.
Other industry commentators suggest that employer brands might suffer from reduced communication between recruiters and candidates. But many video interviewing platforms enable recruiters to customise the interface to match their company’s image, meaning that the experience could theoretically be even more on-brand than their actual office.
Still other employers suggest that a video interview would prevent candidates from having a chance to ask their own questions and learn more about the company. As I said earlier, though, video interviewing is what you make it – recruiters can merely set one of their prompts to read: “Do you have any questions for us?”
Of course, it’s then up to the recruiter to get back to the candidate, and the most responsible ones will be able to further build the employer brand in the process of doing so.
Problems or Solutions?
As you can see, what are often touted as video interviewing’s disadvantages are actually strengths. When used correctly, it’s a force against discrimination and the associated talent loss and litigation.
Video interviewing also offers another chance to increase ROI, as remote candidates who would otherwise have to be shipped in at a high cost to the company or left out of the talent pool entirely are now made immediately accessible.
Moreover, that awkward point in the interview where candidates ask about the company can be seamlessly incorporated as an official part of the process, scheduled and standardised to assuage candidate concerns and make for a more enjoyable interviewing experience.
So ultimately, saying that video interviewing will cost money or cause problems is a bit like saying the same thing about computers – sure they can, but only if you use them incorrectly. Solid video interviewing needs a solid recruiter. It can’t make a bad recruiter worse, but it can make a good recruiter better.