Video Is Changing the Picture of Talent Management

Web-based tools are transforming how HR connects with candidates and employees.

By Feb 1, 2016
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The rise of the visual Web is reinforcing the notion that every picture tells a story, prompting organizations of all sizes to transform many traditional HR functions through the use of video tools. Today, employers are adopting video to facilitate interviewing, recruiting, training, knowledge-sharing and more. The medium’s on-demand delivery feature and cost-effectiveness are among the reasons for its growing popularity.

Main Line Health, a network of hospitals and health care centers in the Philadelphia area with 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, uses video to reach multiple job applicants simultaneously. The system allows HR to perform pre-interview screening, assess an individual’s skills, and evaluate who should be invited for an in-person interview by identifying the strongest candidates based on their competencies and experience after comparing responses to a uniform set of questions.

The process saves the employer time and allows job seekers to share their stories when it’s convenient for them. “The use of video interviewing has cut down the many phone calls, messages and e-mails between the recruiter and the candidate,” says Main Line’s Manager of Recruitment Rhonda Barrison. She says the system lets applicants respond via a video link “when they have the availability and privacy to do so.”

To handle the hundreds of applications the organization receives each month for its nurse residency program, the HR team tapped video to speed up the first stage of the review process, Barrison says. Hoping to achieve even greater efficiency, Main Line is currently in the midst of integrating its Web-based digital interview software from provider RIVS with its Taleo Enterprise applicant tracking system to make it easier to share applicants’ information among staff involved in the hiring process.

Global information technology company Equinix also takes advantage of video tools by, for example, deploying HireVue to conduct digital interviews with job seekers all over the world. So far, the company has amassed an archive of more than 20,000 digital interviews.

“We can review five videos per hour, which enables us to quickly move through the candidate pool and eliminate the phone screen,” says Larry McAlister, vice president of global talent management at Equinix, in Redwood City, Calif. Now, only the names of the top five candidates for each open position are forwarded to managers.

To recruit from college campuses, the company makes a video link available to applicants, reducing the time its representatives spend traveling to different universities. After stepping up its recruitment efforts in 2015, the HR department used video to add 1,000 new employees in one year, compared to fewer than 800 the previous year. McAlister says the tools will enable his team to handle an anticipated 20 percent increase in hiring in 2016 without increasing HR staff. The quality of hires has improved as well, he adds.

Another plus is that the company has been able to make talent acquisition a mobile experience. HR staff can review candidate videos or log in to an online applicant tracking system from anywhere.

Internally, Equinix harnesses the power of video to support activities such as employee learning and development. For example, HR reviews hundreds of videos submitted by employees who apply for its high-potential leadership development program. And some managers who were early adopters of the company’s video interviewing solutions have made tutorials explaining how they apply the technology to evaluate candidates.

Tools for Small Companies

Video isn’t just for large companies. Employers with relatively small HR departments—or even departments of one—are also finding value in such tools. Brad Wilkins, former director of talent management at Alpharetta, Ga.-based Adcap Network Systems, which has fewer than 200 employees, deployed a video solution from provider Spark Hire when he was inundated with 1,000 resumes for several entry-level sales positions.

“I reviewed 1,000 candidates in the time it used to take me to deal with 100 via resume and phone,” Wilkins says. When he got down to the best candidates, he shared their videos with the company’s sales team so each member could rate the finalists.

Vendor Selection

So how can you decide which video vendor is right for your organization? Barrison recommends that HR departments find a partner that can make the vetting process more customer-friendly. For example, can the system be customized without incurring heavy costs or putting a substantial strain on the workload of internal IT staff? Is the provider willing to collaborate to develop a list of specific pre-screening questions that have been identified as top priorities, such as whether a candidate has certain certification credentials or what shifts he or she is available to work?

When it comes to features, some companies need only basic video recording capabilities while others require more-advanced functionality such as live interviewing, mobile and sharing capabilities.

Barrison recommends deciding upfront whether video tools will be used internally as well as externally. And McAlister advises prospective buyers to look beyond video interviewing to consider other applications that may be adopted in the future. Some vendors include analytics, for example, which allow customers to quantify the system’s impact on talent management and take actions that improve results.

McAlister says his company’s system automatically reviews and ranks videos based on the employer’s own parameters. “When we input data about successful hires or bad hires,” he explains, “the software adjusts its rankings accordingly.”

Those are the kinds of benefits employers everywhere want to bring into the picture.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area.

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