SI Review: August 2012


The Buzz

Candidate Camera

Video interviews gain interest

In the early 1980s, Music Television revitalized the music industry by broadcasting videos of songs. Could video provide a similar boost to job candidates in the interviewing process?

Backers say video interviews come with a number of benefits, and many in the staffing industry also report they are seeing some interest in the process.

Nextaff, an Overland Park, Kan.based workforce strategy provider, hasn’t implemented the technology yet across its franchise system, but noticed that video interviews have gained attention, says John Thomas, Nextaff ’s vice president of partner development.

“That seems to be getting a lot of attention these days on the recruiting side,” Thomas says. And clients have started to embrace the idea of a firstround video interview, he says.

In addition, Recruit Co. Ltd., one of the world’s largest staffing firms, recently invested in Wowzer, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of video screening.

Backers of video interviews say they are quicker than in-person interviewing because recruiters can review candidates quickly. If a person isn’t a right fit, they can go to the next video.

With video interviews, recruiters can learn 80 percent of what they need to know about a candidate before even meeting the candidate in person, says David DeCapua, CEO of TalentRooster, a provider of video interviews.

It also cuts down on the number of résumés a recruiter receives from candidates whose skills are far removed from a particular job. “It requires candidates to make an effort beyond clicking send,” says DeCapua, who also has 20 years of experience in the staffing industry.

Video interviews work by sending a candidate a link to a site, where they can log on and do the interview at home via their webcam or other device such as an iPhone or iPad. Staffing firms can set up studios inside their offices for candidates.

Videos can be shared among recruiters, hiring managers and client firms, says HireVue COO Chip Luman. Each person is able to comment on the interview. Viewers can also skip to specific questions in each interview, allowing for comparison of candidates or in cases where there’s a “knockout” question that could immediately disqualify a candidate.

HireVue has a suite of several products, and it refers to the process as “digital interviews.” Among its offerings is a service that allows a person to be interviewed live online.

The live video allows interviewers to receive more information from candidates. For example, Luman says HireVue’s service allows recruiters to ask programmer candidates to write a piece of code while online. The recruiter can watch the programmer write the code, thus ensuring the candidate is the one submitting the code sample, and not someone else.

HireVue’s digital interviews can also include documents such as résumés or links to LinkedIn profiles or materials from portfolios.

Video interviews may also offer a chance to recapture revenue that could otherwise be lost, DeCapua says. Staffing firms typically don’t have jobs available for the majority of candidates who walk through their doors. With video interviews, staffing firms can place videos of candidates, for whom they don’t have a customer, onto social media sites, where a potential buyer may find them.

Some have raised concerns about potential for discrimination with video interviewing, but its supporters say those fears are unfounded.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has provided guidance that video interviews are allowed as long as they are not used for discriminatory purposes. In fact, clients can even use HireVue’s solution to defend their hiring process — showing that each candidate was asked the same questions and that they were reviewed by a panel, Luman says.

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David DeCapua08/28/2012 10:28 am

So proud that the staffing industry is waking up to the potential that video offers. Within the next couple of years every staffing firm will utilize video - the key is to be an early adopter so you can be first in your market. This is the most powerful technology offered since the advent of the job board. Hope to see you at ASA in Las Vegas!

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