Liz Sheffield

Should Your Company Consider Video Interviews?

Hiring is never simple, even under the best circumstances. If your business is growing quickly, your current recruitment and interview process may be difficult for your hiring teams to manage. Luckily, many companies have found a replacement for time-intensive screening options: video interviews. Video tools open up new possibilities for recruiters to find the best talent, regardless of location and in spite of limited budgets.

The one-way video interview may be a great alternative to phone screens or even first-round in-person interviews. But before incorporating this approach, you should be sure you’ve thoroughly considered your options and have the proper strategy in place. Here’s how to go about it.

Why Use a Video Interview?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), most organizations using video as part of their recruiting strategy conduct one-way video screenings. With this method, candidates reply to interview questions by recording their responses on video and submitting them for recruiters to review later. If a candidate advances to the next stage of the hiring process, organizations generally follow the first interview up with live interviews using various video platforms and web tools. Some of the benefits of this technique include the ability to:

  • Screen candidates quickly. Companies often use video to conduct intake sessions, allowing recruiters to rapidly screen candidates. If you’re hiring a lot of talent, video is an easy way to cut down on the time required to complete the recruiting cycle. SHRM reports that Hilton Hotels & Resorts used video interviewing to cut its recruiting cycle from six weeks to five days.
  • Simplify scheduling. When faced with hiring a huge batch of prospective employees, scheduling multiple interviews can become a considerable challenge for recruiters. Video screening allows the hiring manager and recruiter to create questions for numerous candidates in advance. After each applicant records their responses, recruiters can review the videos at a convenient time.
  • Expand reach to remote and passive candidates. Reaching candidates who live across the country or around the globe is difficult, but it can be expensive to arrange an in-person interview. With video, recruiters and hiring managers have the option to expand their reach to remote candidates. Using video as one of your interview techniques also increases your organization’s ability to reach passive candidates. Even candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job might be willing to entertain a hiring discussion if a convenient video option is available.

What Should You Consider Before Implementing This Interview Technique?

To determine if this approach is right for your organization, carefully think through incorporating video into your recruiting strategy. Keep your existing processes in mind, and make sure that video follows or enhances your current job interview protocol. Some questions to ask when considering if you want to implement video interviews include:

  • Will this interview technique give you access to more of the top talent you need? Before you deploy video interviews, test the waters to confirm that it would be useful across the board for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers. If it’s not going to improve the process or enhance your hiring options, you may be better off going with a different approach.
  • Do you (and your candidates) have enough access to technology to facilitate these interviews? The last thing you want is for candidates to run into issues accessing the video platform or uploading their video file when you’re trying to present your company in the best light. Test your systems — if it’s not easy for everyone involved, seek out a vendor who can help you get a good experience out of your video interviews.
  • Do you have a process in place to avoid legal issues? SHRM warns that there could be some legal implications in using video interviews and advises against using a video interview to replace a formal application. Just as with in-person interviews, be cautious about making hiring decisions that could be perceived as discriminatory based on a protected class like age, sex or race.
  • How might this be a drawback for some candidates? Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera. Keep that in mind as you go through the video portion of your candidate review process, and avoid rejecting a candidate simply because they appear nervous on screen.

Video screening can make life easier for recruiters and applicants alike — but don’t forget the benefit of building face-to-face relationships. The hiring process has to go both ways, even if video screening feels like a one-way street. At some point, it’s important to sell your organization to the candidate and give them a sense of why they should want to work at your company, and that’s something that happens most effectively in person.

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