The Ins and Outs of Video Job Interviewing
From hiring managers to recruiters to the CFO, there are two costs of hiringthat everyone would like to curb: time and travel. So conducting interviewsvia a video conference is a very tempting proposition. But virtual face-to-face meetings are not without their caveats and drawbacks.
Here are some key perspectives on the proper role of video interviewing in your recruitment program.
Videoconferencing boosts the reach of face-to-face. It’s impractical — and very expensive — to sit down with every candidate of interest. But video can boost your “visibility” into the candidate pool. “We use video interviews toscreen candidates from campuses that we don’t visit, and for students studying abroad,” says Alexa Merschel, U.S. campus recruiting leader atPricewaterhouseCoopers.
Mid-career candidates appreciate the convenience. A key challenge with recruiting highly-qualified professionals is that they’re very busy. “With experienced candidates, video makes it logistically much easier to schedule an interview and make it happen, compared with face-to-face,” says Rod Adams, who leads PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. recruiting for those candidates. “Video conferencing respects candidates’ time and speeds up the process.”
The velocity’s the thing. It might take you weeks to schedule an interview involving travel; a video conference can probably happen tomorrow or even this evening. “Video also helps us increase speed to offer, which we often do the same day,” says Merschel.
Many interviewees have trouble setting the stage. Understandably, set design and stage lighting are absent from the skill sets of many candidates. “In most video interviews I’ve conducted, the lighting was terrible and I couldn’t see their face, or the background was inappropriate,” says Paul Bailo, author of The Essential Digital Interview Handbook.
“And you may have to give some leeway with respect to sound and video equipment quality. On the other end, if your admin sets up everything in advance, that can impress the candidate.”
Telecom technology can inhibit human communications. Videoconferencing may be “face-to-face” in a virtual recruitment sort of way, but it’s not in-person — and that can make a difference.
When mediated by video conferencing technology, communications can be stilted, says Greg Sears, associate professor of human resource management and organizational behavior at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Video or audio delays “can change the structure and complexion of interaction,” Sears says.
For example, in a video interview, people tend to talk longer — because when they switch back and forth, they fear that signal delays will cause interruptions or awkward pauses.
Video may have a downside for selling the opportunity. In their article in Management Decision, Sears and his collaborators found that when research subjects role-played candidates, their feeling was that they had less of a chance to prove themselves in a video interview, compared to face-to-face interviews. Subjects also rated their on-screen interviewers lower on personableness, trustworthiness and competence.
Some see a video generation gap. Video conferencing technology is appealing to Millennials; for some older candidates with less video experience, there can be some hesitation, say recruiting leaders from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Asynchronous video interviews can pump up the volume. Some employers are experimenting with one-way video interviewing — almost a screen test in which the applicant is an actor creating a monologue in response to basic interview questions.
“We have a volume-hiring team, and that’s where we use video interviewing for all entry-level to mid-level candidates,” says Molly Weaver, director of talent acquisition at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
“These applicants don’t always know what job to apply for, and they’re too busy to do a lot of research. So in June we started giving them the option of recording a video interview to introduce themselves to us. We follow up with a call to talk about what position might be the best fit.”
Candidates want video interviewing that’s mobile. As with any important candidate-facing mobile recruitment process, if you don’t choose a fully mobile video-interviewing solution, you’ll miss a big chunk of the opportunity.
Some 43 percent of job seekers research employers with their mobile phones, says a survey by software maker HireVue. Many of these potential candidates will expect to do any video interview on their phones.
Is it still best to close the deal in person? Not fond of surprises when it comes to new hires? Then you should consider a policy of doing a face-to-face, in-person candidate interview with one or more finalists in every search.
“We do not recommend using video interviews to discriminate among top candidates at later stages in a selection process when more nuanced distinctions must be made,” wrote Sears.
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503