informed recruitment for people in product

video interviews - trying something new

24 August 2018

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This week we’ve been setting up some initial interviews for candidates for a couple of new roles in HR and Marketing. However, this time we are trying something new for these particular areas, ‘one-way’ video interviews.

I’ll admit that previously I had reservations about video interviewing, having trialled and experienced an early version a few years ago whilst at another company, I was worried about the quality and value it could add. All I (and the poor candidates involved in that trial) had seen previously was poor quality videos, technical issues, a clunky non–intuitive platform, lack of provider support. This resulted in a very poor user and candidate experience with a high level of drop outs, reduced conversion rates and low placement results. All in all, an expensive mistake!!

However, video interviews have really developed and improved over the past few years. The systems out there are far more flexible, easy to set up and use and give clear tutorials for all (client/recruiter and candidate). Most also provide facilities to brand your roles, give additional employer and job spec information and other content. I also feel that the candidate market is more open to this approach. We are all far more acquainted with digital and visual platforms and communication – smartphones, selfies, Instagram, Snapchat, Moments, Stories, Facebook Live – the list goes on. Many people now record a large portion of their lives and are familiar and comfortable with the various technologies.

A few months back we used one-way video interviews as part of a recruitment campaign for a number of customer and product sales roles. As I recruit for a technology company, it was also a good way of showing we are open to new tech and media to support us, as well as giving us a new channel to showcase ourselves to potential candidates. The hiring results and feedback from all involved spoke for themselves with really positive results and impressive stats.

So with Newton Blue and the hiring managers having seen the benefits within Internal Recruitment process, followed up by a face to face assessment centre and the success of the candidates hired into the business, it was time to look at where else we could introduce this. As both the HR and Marketing roles involve a high level of communication and people skills and are junior to mid- level roles these seemed like the natural next step.

What is important to consider?

  • The video interview provider and service you choose needs to fit your business and recruiting requirements
  • Are video interviews right for the role/level you are recruiting? It won’t be right for all roles
  • Fully engaging the hiring manager and candidates in this part of the process outlining benefits and providing clear instructions
  • How the video interview aligns with the other stage/s of the interview and selection process is to add value think about the number of questions – not too many! Plus they must give you the info required to enable selection and to move to next stage, without duplication
  • It doesn’t replace your face-to-face interview in most instances the video interview I’d designed was to be part of the initial screening/phone interview to enable shortlisting for final stage

What are the key benefits?

  • Effective use of time and cost reduction candidates can do the interview outside of work/study hours and where they chose so no time off or travel needed. As soon as the video is completed, a link is sent through for the hiring manager/s to review. They can respond there and then, or, if you set a deadline all videos can be reviewed in one sitting after which the next step can be scheduled more quickly.  A far better experience both internally for the recruiter and manager as well as externally for the candidates
  • Consistency and reduction of bias and discrimination  all candidates are asked the same set of key questions relevant to the role, this makes comparison and benchmarking easier.
  • Company brand and information  good video interview providers allow for tailored branding and information, including videos and pictures, to be uploaded to the role. This helps you to give your candidates useful and personalised information. Whether it’s a video from the hiring manager or someone doing the role, through to the job spec and pertinent company news, facitlities and benefits, all help with preparation and engagement of your potential future employee.
  • Personality and character phone interviews can make it harder to get a feel for your candidate’s personality and communication skills, which is particularly important in client-facing, or sales/marketing/communications roles. A video interview allows the candidate to show this more effectively, giving a more personal frank response to that of a written test, via their CV or a phone interview. Questions that usually have nothing to do with the role are best for this, allowing the candidate to relax and really get their character across.

I’m now looking forward to seeing the next batch of interviews with the hiring managers and getting the final stages confirmed!


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