Use of Video for Recruiting Continues to Grow

By Roy Maurer Aug 21, 2015
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Unable to interview a job candidate face to face? Video interviewing is the next best thing, according to 75 percent of respondents to a survey on the use of video in recruiting.

Futurestep, a Korn Ferry company specializing in recruitment process outsourcing and professional search, polled 700 executives in June 2015. Nearly three-fourths of their companies are currently using real-time video platforms to interview leading candidates and 50 percent use video interviews as a way to narrow the candidate pool, survey results revealed.

“Employers can now connect with candidates via Skype and other video interviewing platforms, which opens up national and international talent pools that were inaccessible even several years ago,” said Brin McCagg, founder and CEO of RecruitiFi, a talent acquisition technology firm. “By supplanting the need for travel, these tools are having wide-reaching effects, from a company’s bottom line to their overall carbon footprint.”

‘Impressive Results’

Video interviewing has become an integral part of the talent acquisition strategy at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NPC). “We were experiencing a significant increase in hiring volumes and needed a new approach that would help us to expedite the process, ease the time impact on hiring managers, reduce cost and improve the candidate experience,” explained Teresa Laggini Sankner, head of talent management, organizational development and talent acquisition for NPC. “That’s why we decided to pilot video interviewing.”

Despite some initial hesitation from hiring managers, NPC received positive feedback from them once they had the opportunity to try out video interviewing and see the benefits firsthand, Sankner said. “We have had some impressive results. In the past year, 2,700 video interviews have taken place with a cost-avoidance savings of $475,000 and a reduction in manager interview travel by 220 trips.”

Sankner added that candidate feedback has also been positive. “Candidates felt our use of video interviewing demonstrated that NPC is a progressive company in our use of technology,” she said.

Beyond Interviewing

Many companies are using video for more than interviewing.

There’s no question that video is a growing tool in recruiting, and one that’s here to stay, said Heidi Parsont, president of Washington, D.C.-based recruiting and staffing firm TorchLight Hire.

“Many companies successfully use video to attract the attention of job seekers, convey the culture of the company and demonstrate that the organization is tech-savvy. Likewise, job seekers increasingly incorporate video into online portfolios and LinkedIn profiles to stand out from their peers,” Parsont said.

A quarter of survey respondents said they use candidate video applications as part of their recruiting process. Candidates are able to complete video job applications at home, after work and at their own pace. “Preloaded, predetermined questions produce answers that give recruiters and hiring managers a strong understanding of which candidates would fit a specific role and organizational culture,” said Mir Ali, vice president of global technology solutions at Futurestep.

Of course, even the best advances come with potential pitfalls, Parsont cautioned. “Whether video is used to help sell the company or candidate or for conducting interviews, presentation is key. That means using high-quality equipment; having a clear, concise message; and speaking to your audience. And, just like with in-person interviews, videointerviewing means dressing professionally, making sure you are in a quiet and professional-looking location, and testing the video equipment in advance,” she said.

The Futurestep survey also found that 24 percent of respondents said their companies use recruiting-focused video, such as employee testimonials or messages from recruiting managers, on their careers websites.

“The traditional boundaries between employers and candidates are beginning to crumble,” McCagg said. “Video and other multimedia have transformed stale careers pages into virtual tours of the company’s facilities, providing a window into their culture.”

Careers site videos are an outstanding way to give both passive and active job seekers insight into what it’s like to work for an organization or in a particular role, Ali said. “Day-in-the-life videos with real employees can showcase a particular job function or office location. Also, welcome videos from the CEO or hiring managers are easy, inexpensive and effective ways to personalize the job seeker’s experience and communicate an organization’s employer brand.”

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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