Before COVID-19, many organizations had vague plans to adapt to technology and remote processes … eventually. That timeline has now been drastically moved up. Organizations are reassessing their recruiting needs to reflect changing market demands while moving their entire recruiting process online. According to Gartner, 86% of organizations have adapted by replacing in-person interviews with video or other virtual calls.
This transition doesn’t have to be painful for recruiters or candidates. In fact, using video interviews can actually help you find better candidates. The first step is to make sure that recruiters and hiring managers are aligned on what they’re looking for in a candidate and who is responsible for each part of the revised process. “Finding the right talent comes way before the interviews begin,” says Dawn Burke, senior consultant at Recruiting Toolbox. “Once that alignment is achieved, then video interviewing can be very successful.”
Here are three ways to use video interviews to identify the right talent for your organization.
Creating Opportunities for More Engagement
While there are some limitations to video interviews compared to in-person ones, the convenience and ease of recording interviews create opportunities to develop a better, more engaged process that brings in a wider range of stakeholders.
Video interviews are more convenient for recruiters, which can produce a better experience — and better results. According to a recent survey, 67% of recruiters report spending anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours scheduling a single interview. Since video interviews can be recorded, they can be conducted more easily and with a smaller number of people. This minimizes the administrative burden of scheduling calls.
“Not everyone has to be present if the interview is recorded,” points out Christine Assaf, content specialist at Peridus Group. Having a smaller number of interviewers makes the experience much less daunting for the candidate on the other side of the screen. But just because fewer people are present at the live interview doesn’t mean that it can’t be seen by the right people. A recorded interview can be distributed to key decision-makers across the organization.
Since a recorded interview can be viewed by more people, unconscious bias can be minimized. Unconscious bias often manifests as a preference for people who share things in common with us. Allowing decision-makers to weigh in from across the organization provides more perspectives on each candidate so that hiring decisions are based on the candidate’s skills and interview performance rather than how well they clicked with the interviewer.
The ability to record and replay an interview also allows the interviewer to be more present. Instead of taking notes or committing responses to memory, they can become better, more engaged listeners, Assaf suggests. This in turn puts candidates at ease so they can be more authentic and organic in their responses. That glimpse of authenticity is critical to finding the right talent.
Finding Workers with Digital Competencies
Employers’ responses to COVID-19 have demonstrated that the barriers to remote work are not so insurmountable as we once thought. Even after the virus is contained, many organizations are likely to restructure work to be more remote-friendly. And that means recruiters have to identify talent that will thrive in a remote work environment.
Video interviews allow you to gauge the candidate’s remote communication skills. “The go-to soft skills most think about with video interviewing are presence and communication skills,” Burke says. “This is a good assessment method if the job requires great communications skills in a video setting.”
The visual element of video interviews allows for improved interactions between the interviewers and the candidate. “Phone interviews only let you gauge tone of voice,” Assaf says. “With video interviews you can see body language and facial expressions, too.” Good communication is more than verbal, even in a remote setting.
If you’re looking to hire a remote team leader, for example, seeing how the candidate carries themselves and interacts via video offers a good measure of their ability to motivate remote team members or lead virtual meetings.
Providing a Positive Candidate Experience
To get the best possible preview of a candidates’ skills and personality, it’s important that they feel comfortable. Video interviews have some advantages for that. “Candidates can dial in from the comfort of their own home,” Assaf says. “It adds a sense of ease they wouldn’t have in a face-to-face interview.”
Video calls are more convenient for candidates, too. “It's more efficient,” Burke says. “There is no worry about traffic, for instance, and it’s easier for the candidate to take an hour or two off of work than a whole day.” Giving candidates a positive experience helps them focus and empowers them to highlight their strengths.
But video calls also bring about new sources of stress, which should be addressed for the best candidate experience. Using new technology, for example, is stressful for many people. Schedule a brief test call or have the candidate log in a few minutes early to make sure everything is functioning. Simple technology that candidates have probably used before, such as Skype or Zoom, is easier for candidates to adapt to.
And finally, encourage organic conversation as much as possible. In-person interviews often include some small talk or casual conversation before the official process begins. Build a few extra minutes into your call to make candidates feel more comfortable through informal chat.