In an era of automation and a push for business to do more with less, digital recruitment was always going to be an inevitability. As a former recruitment professional, my concern surrounding “robot recruiters” was always the fear that digital innovation would remove the “human” from Human Resources. As such I’ve always fought against moving away from traditional face to face interviews towards tech, even during the mining boom when we were recruiting over a thousand new hires per year. That’s a lot of face time.

But since then, not only has the digital technology around video interviews improved, but also candidate’s expectations have shifted. With the evolution of the internet of things, people are used to interacting and communicating online, in real time. People also expect instantaneous results, no longer willing to be bound by the tyranny of distance, which has all but been eliminated with the latest communication technology.

So how does this all relate to video interviews you say? In a myriad of ways.

I recently watched a demonstration of the latest video interview technology being used by our Clients and I was amazed by the interface, quality, and surprisingly personal nature of the system. Today I thought I’d outline a few key benefits and aspects of the functionality below.

User Experience

Primarily, it’s critical that the user experience for both the recruiter and candidate is a seamless and user friendly one. And without doubt, the interface and set up for the system I saw was both.

The system has three stages, consisting of recording, distributing, and then reviewing. Once a recruiter records the relevant questions, which can be done on a laptop or phone, the interview is then sent to shortlisted candidates to complete. Videos can be saved and duplicated for future vacancies, so there’s no need to record questions every time. There’s also opportunity to insert attachments, videos, or images for candidates to review as part of the interview process.

Each video starts with a welcome message, and then a brief explanation of what’s to come. From there, candidates are invited to record their responses to the recorded questions they preview. We generally recommend Clients include up to ten questions, but there’s no limit. Interviews can be recorded on a number of devices, including laptop, phone or tablet via a free app that candidates are invited to download.

Companies can set the timeframe in which candidates must answer each question to set an expectation for the level of response required, and candidates get opportunity to re-record answers they’re not happy with. Once recorded, the candidate simply submits their video interview and the recruiter is notified that it has been completed.

From there, the recruiter can watch the uploaded interview, choosing which answers to review first, with the ability to compare candidate responses against one another in real time.

Convenience

The most obvious benefit to an organisation managing volume recruitment is the convenience. The ability to watch candidate interviews from anywhere at any time means that conflict of schedules is no longer an issue where hiring managers wish to be involved in the interview process. It also means that site based hiring managers are no longer required to come into work on their rostered days off, which provides a real work life balance for those working in industries with rostering.

There’s also no limit to the size of your selection panel, as videos can be shared with any number of managers within an organisation to review and provide feedback.

On the flipside, the digital experience allows candidates in remote locations, working rosters or in other states to be able to participate in an interview when suitable, without having to delay the process by meeting in person. It also means candidates don’t have to take time out of their existing job to meet with you, which in circumstances where they might not turn out to be the right fit for your organisation, means there’s less burden on the candidate in participating in the recruitment process.

Efficiency

Volume recruitment is time consuming. A recruiter might find themselves conducting seven interviews in a day to fill multiple vacancies for the same role, requiring them to ask the same questions over and over to prospective candidates. With video interviewing the recruiter only has to record each question once, instantly reducing the time invested. Put plainly, video interviewing turns a two-day face to face interview process into a two-hour exercise.

When reviewing, the system allows you to jump ahead to critical technical questions to determine if the candidate possesses the necessary skills and experience to meet the expectations of the role, giving you an instant understanding of whether they’re the right fit. It’s also a fairer process for the candidate as the recruiter isn’t fatigued and there’s the ability to go back and review answers again, as opposed to face to face interviewing where it can at times be hard to remember interviews conducted days earlier.

Also, by eliminating the tyranny of distance, interviews no longer need to be delayed in order to accommodate meeting schedules, rosters, and travel, making for a much swifter process. Managers can watch interviews on the train on the way home or while travelling to expedite the process in circumstance where they might otherwise not have time. And conversely, candidates can do interviews as soon as they get the link, or delay it to when they have half an hour to spare.

Digital versus Face to Face

As an experience, digital is far more personable than I’d anticipated. Of course, there may be a desire to follow up with people in person, which is why many companies use video recruiting for efficiency purposes, and then follow up with a phone or face to face interview with their preferred candidate.

As a relatively new technology there is some requirement to familiarise your candidates with the process by way of a simple phone call, letting them know that they’re going to be sent a link inviting them to undertake the video interview. Some candidates get nervous at the prospect, but once you let them know there’s opportunity to have a practice run and re-record answers, they’re generally comfortable with the idea. And once they see the interface and realize it’s a lot like a standard interview, they quickly adapt and relax into the interview.

The verdict

With the right system, video interviewing is extremely user friendly, and time & cost efficient when compared to hiring a full-time recruitment resource.

From a recruiter’s perspective, this technology is without doubt beneficial to the recruitment process. It’s fast, effective, and the time saving is incomparable.

From an organisational perspective, the digital tech offers an exciting opportunity, especially for businesses who may have downsized after the boom and reduced their team sizes in a bid to ‘do more with less’. But the reality is that to do more with less you need the tools to facilitate it. Otherwise you’re just going to be doing more with less at a sub-standard level, which is going to impact your organisations reputation, employee work life balance, and candidate experience.

With video interview technology becoming a huge resources and time saver, it’s hard to ignore that it has a place in the new economic climate and ever-evolving digital world, making it something every organisation should at least consider when looking at how technology can help to empower their business.

If you want to learn more about video interviewing, contact Red Wind for a demonstration.