Video interviews: the pros and cons

Video interviews: coming to a recruitment team near you. It’s not surprising given the popularity of the format. By 2021, video is set to make up 82% of internet traffic. And it has the highest ROI of all marketing formats.

It’s 2019 and recruitment has moved online. Job ads have given way to a focus on candidate experience and branding. This has obvious advantages, such as a steady pipeline of candidates. Plus important efficiency gains as companies look to speed up the hiring process.

If you’re active on social media (and 92% of recruiters are), video content is a logical next step. Here are a few ways video can help you get ahead.

Two-way video interviews

Also known as a live interview. Much like the traditional phone call, but with eye contact. 60% of companies already use them, usually to screen candidates or avoid travel. How about you?

One-way video interviews

Also known as a pre-recorded, asynchronous or solo interview. The candidate records their answers to a short list of screening questions. They’re popular with big recruiters of graduates, including Transport for London and financial institutions.

Video content

Video is popular with all ages and plays an important part on social networks. Solo interviews, in particular, can lack the human touch – video can restore some balance. Intro videos also provide candidates with important context about who they’re talking to. There’s no need for a highly polished production though, but some planning is a good idea.

So, what are the pros and cons of this approach?

A matter of efficiency

Video interviews are easy to schedule. In fact, solo interviews don’t have to be scheduled at all. This gives the candidate the freedom to choose a time and place that suits them. And recruiters enjoy shareable recordings, for a more collaborative approach.

Phone interviews take a lot longer than watching solo interviews, too. In fact, interviewers may be able to watch ten interviews in the same time as one phone screening. This means that precious in-person interviews can be given to the most suitable candidates.

However, video interviews can feel awkward for candidates. For solo interviews, speaking to a camera lens is particularly unnatural. To avoid this, companies need to proceed with caution.

Start with a warm intro, clear instructions, and a practice run. Clear GDPR policies are of course essential, too. Companies that get the balance right have achieved up to 98% positive candidate ratings.

The diversity question

Do video interviews increase diversity in hiring processes? Get ready for everyone’s favourite answer: it depends.

Will video interviews save enough time to allow you to target a larger number of universities or geographic locations? Then the answer is yes. Can you use recordings to get input from other recruiters? This can offset any unconscious bias in individuals, for a better result. It’s worth considering how this change can affect your company.

Candidate considerations

Love them or hate them, it looks like video interviews are here to stay. And many candidates do hate them. So what can employers do?

– Explain the purpose of the interview. Make it clear that it’s not a replacement for a face-to-face chat, but simply part of your screening process.
– Put candidates at ease with clear instructions and context. Give some guidance on what you’d like to see. There are many specialist platforms that will help you to finetune your set-up.
– Ask for feedback and refine your approach over time.

This brings us to the final question. Video resumes: yay or nay? Let us know what you think.

Photos by Štefan Štefančík, Headway and Seth Doyle on Unsplash