Video Interviews: A temporary craze or a trend to stay?

Are you one of those recruiters who already started interviewing potential candidates via video or do you think this approach is something that is never going to happen or not really needed at your company? In 2012 a survey conducted by Office Team showed that 63 % of Human Resource Managers use or have used video interviews in their hiring process. There are many more studies which show similar results and prove that digital interviewing is not just a temporary craze but a trend to stay. Let’s also not ignore the fact that there are already more than 100 companies available on the market that offer their own video interview software programs.

What does that tell you? Hiring practices have changed dramatically in the last years because more and more companies are facing larger amounts of candidates and feel forced to rely on various software programs in order to achieve their goal: to hire great talent quicker, better and cheaper. It is known that many companies start their screening process by using screening software programs (Applicant Tracking Systems, aka ‘ATS’) first, followed then by online skills assessments and last but not least video interviews. This makes us aware that global competition is getting increasingly tougher and strategies need to be applied in order to facilitate the whole process.

A Recruiter has basically two options to choose from:

1) A Live or ‘Two-way interview’: Using Skype/GoogleHangouts/FaceTime which comes at no additional cost and is being conducted live on a certain day and time.

2) A ‘One-way interview’: Using a video interview platform whose price can vary depending on the vendor you choose. Most of them come with additional benefits, such as: pre-recording your questions and watching/listening to the candidates’ questions in your own time, a branded interface, an end user support for potential questions, specific compliance factors and note tracking.

The benefits from a recruiter’s perspective to interview their potential new employees via video speak for themselves: it gives an interviewer a better understanding of a candidate’s personality (body language, behaviour, appearance, communication style), it reduces considerable travel costs (particularly if you would have to invite someone from overseas), a tremendous amount of time can be saved and thus productivity increased, re-evaluation is possible for the Hiring Manager as well as other panel interview members, a wider candidate attraction and search is possible (more passive candidates would be motivated to apply because they would not have to take time off in order to attend a face-to-face interview), better employer-branding, convenience for both parties and thus more flexibility, a better multimedia enriched experience, it is easier to organise (there will be no scheduling issues) and if you choose free software programs (e.g. Skype) it is also affordable without having to spend anything extra.

Other reasons why Hiring Managers will not ignore video interviews in the future are stated here:

  • An estimated number of laptops (79 %) have built-in cameras that make the process easier for candidates as well as hiring managers. Why not make use of it if it is already accessible to both parties?
  • Time is a scarce resource nowadays in every person’s life. According to a study conducted by Accelir ‘saving time’ has been rated as the most important factor when choosing video interviews. ‘Saving money’ was another important criteria which every company appreciates. Why would a Recruiter want to waste time and money?
  • Research has also shown that people feel more comfortable participating in a video interview than a phone or face to face interview (after having experienced their first video interview). So why talking to someone on the phone if you can actually talk, see and relate to a potential candidate in a more personal way via video?
  • In the past few years as we know the consumption of videos was mostly limited to personal entertainment. Nowadays corporations take advantage of using videos for different reasons at several stages in running their business, not just for recruitment purposes. Video Recruiting has and will become standard for many companies regardless of their size, location or type of industry. The question that companies should ask themselves is not “Video interviews in the future: yes or no?” but “How sophisticated is our company’s video hiring tool going to be in order to quickly find the right candidate?” And let’s not forget: video interviews are beneficial in many ways, however, Recruiters still want to meet a candidate in person before taking their final hiring decision. 
Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a passionate Public Speaker, eBook Author, and a freelancing Online Content Producer. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 18 years of international work experience in Italy, the UK and India.