The advance of technology has created major changes for the world of recruitment, making it easier than ever for employers to search for and connect with potential candidates and prospects around the world.
The growing use of video technology has been one of the biggest developments, giving companies a fresh new channel to communicate their brand values and conduct interviews with talent more conveniently than ever before, regardless of geography.
At a time when the world is facing major disruptions to travel and business norms, innovations like this are proving indispensable to organisations looking for the best ways to carry on regardless.
However, the benefits of video technology shouldn’t be taken for granted; as with any new technique, businesses will need to learn and get used to the specific quirks and requirements of using video for recruitment in order to get the most out of it.
Some companies have been using video interviewing methods and recruitment techniques for years, and they have proven its worth many times over, both in periods of disruption and in our day-to-day activities.
Here, we will share some of what we have learned about getting the best out of video technology in order to help you unlock all of the benefits available.
What are the advantages of video technology for recruitment?
As online video content has become increasingly common, the advantages it provides have become very clear. Video offers a flexible, immediate and highly accessible medium for corporate communication, providing much greater scope for engagement and intimacy than emails or static written content.
Recruiters are currently finding all sorts of uses for video, including:
- First-stage interviews
- Video job advertisements
- Preparation and training videos
- Candidate success stories and video case studies
- Candidate promotional videos
Of these, the ability to carry out interviews remotely has arguably had the greatest impact, providing hiring managers with a way of meeting and getting to know applicants that’s more versatile and convenient than ever before. Instead of needing to block out time to organise a face-to-face meeting, all of the parties involved can simply dial into a video conference call as soon as it’s convenient, and get straight into the process of getting to know each other.
A well-organised video interview can deliver the following benefits:
- Businesses can organise interviews with candidates working on busy schedules, including those who have existing professional commitments. This is particularly beneficial for companies looking to access top-level talent who already have jobs within their chosen market
- Recruiters and candidates can avoid the need to travel and book time away from other projects to attend the interview, creating productivity and cost saving benefits
- Employers can meet a higher number of candidates in a shorter amount of time, helping to accelerate the overall recruitment process
- Having a formalised video interview process creates a more consistent interviewing experience for candidates, putting applicants on a level playing field and helping the recruiter make decisions in close calls
- When compared to a phone interview, video-based options are a much better option, as they enable you to see a candidate’s body language, facial expressions and overall appearance. This helps you piece together a picture of how they would fit into your business
In our experience, most candidates go straight into a final interview after a successful initial video interview, highlighting the effectiveness and proven benefits of this process in the world of corporate recruitment.
What are the potential pitfalls of video interviewing?
As with any kind of technology, video interviewing comes with its own potential issues, and getting video interviewing right requires companies to be aware of these. Of course, technical hiccups can’t always be avoided, but there are certainly steps that can be taken to avoid the most common pitfalls.
For the employer or recruiter, poor planning can lead to a video interview feeling disorganised or chaotic. This may be because efforts weren’t made to create a presentable professional space to host the interview, or because your network connection cannot cope with the demands of the live video stream, resulting in a glitchy or laggy conversation. This can be disastrous for the interview, resulting in both parties being unable to hear each other, so it is vital to make sure the connection has been properly stress-tested in advance.
Meanwhile, candidates also need to be properly prepared for the specific conditions created by the video interview. Some will naturally feel nervous about looking into a camera or seeing themselves on screen, meaning they do not perform at their best, while others will find their home internet connection is not up to the task. As such, ensuring that applicants are mentally ready for the video chat – and have the equipment they need to make it happen – should be a top priority for recruiters.
How should participants prepare for a video interview?
Getting the most out of a video interview means that applicants and employers alike need to take the right steps to get ready, bearing the unique requirements of the video technology in mind.
- Making sure both parties have a strong internet connection, which may require relocation to an area with the best possible signal. This should include encouraging other people on the same network to avoid taking up too much bandwidth with other streaming programs and services during the call
- Both the candidate and the interviewers should set up an appropriate space for the meeting, with a plain, clear background, good lighting conditions, a lack of glare and shadows, and low background noise
- Any devices used during the video interview should be properly charged, or plugged in where possible, to avoid a low battery interrupting the conversation
- Participants should come up with a backup plan for any problems that arise. This may mean having a secondary device or software program on hand, just in case
In most other ways, preparing for a video interview should be basically the same as getting ready for any kind of interview, as the conversation itself won’t be too different from an in-person meeting. After all, the goal of the process – to find out about the skills, values and personality of the candidate – remains the same, so the topics of their questioning are unlikely to change.
Similarly, most of the tips offered to applicants ahead of a face-to-face interview will apply equally to a video call. No matter whether the interviewer is there in person or appearing on a screen from another country, it remains just as important for candidates to maintain eye contact, plan out structured answers, ask the right questions and provide a good sense of their natural abilities.
Essentially, video technology ultimately doesn’t change what’s most important about the interview process: namely, its value as a tool for employers and talented professionals to get to know each other. However, by properly harnessing the advantages that streaming technology can provide, you can ensure your recruitment processes are as flexible and convenient as they need to be to handle all the challenges 21st century life throws at you.
Written by Carlo Miller, Recruitment Partner at The People Pod, for Smart Recruit Online.
Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that can streamline and revolutionise your recruitment. To find out what we can to for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.