As COVID restrictions relax and video interviewing is no longer essential, will face-to-face interviews regain popularity, or will video interviewing remain centre stage? For certain roles a face-to-face meeting will still be necessary at the final stages of the recruitment process, however the many benefits of video interviewing for both employers and candidates will ensure that it remains mainstream:
Benefits for employers:
- Even before COVID, employers were opening their eyes to the huge time and cost saving benefits of both pre-recorded and live video interviews. While the actual interview may last the same amount of time, the economies of time around scheduling video interviews mean that unsuitable applicants can be eliminated early in the process with reduced time and effort. This is particularly useful for lower skilled roles with hundreds of applicants. Rapidly evolving software such as automated scheduling systems and interview automation technologies, plus industry-specific recruitment software from places like Tenstreet have allowed some companies to double the number of applicants that they can assess in a day and rapidly pinpoint those that are suitable. This in turn allows them to focus on more on strategic aspects of their business.
- Many people agree that pre-recorded interviews are more egalitarian, allowing a broad spectrum of candidates to be assessed on the same criteria and questions, which is often not the case for face-to-face interviews involving multiple hiring managers asking different questions.
- Attendance rates for video interviews are also proven to be higher. Remote interviews are less easily cancelled or postponed due to illness or transport problems, leading to a wider selection of applicants for employers to choose from.
- These interviews, recorded with the help of Loom or similar video capturing software, can be shared with colleagues, helping make the interview process more professional and collaborative. Especially when hiring managers schedules are difficult to coordinate. Being able to involve a more diverse range of people in the selection process may also help eliminate the unconscious bias that can encroach when only a handful of people are overseeing the recruitment process.
- For highly skilled roles, live video interviewing allows for a larger pool of high-calibre candidates to be screened more quickly in search of the strongest applicant. Video interviews also make it easier to rapidly shortlist and make offers to the best applicants before they are snatched up by a competitor or leave the job market. If a final face to face interview is needed, then the previous digital stages allow the company to get to this point a lot more succinctly.
- ‘Career paths’ in general are becoming more fluid, and there is the increased possibility for people to change role and profession more regularly. This generates higher staff turnover and a more pressing need for swift, efficient, and digitalised recruitment processes. Companies that don’t buy into this philosophy and the right technologies could therefore be at a disadvantage.
- Post-pandemic and with digital recruitment and remote working now commonplace, many employers have become aware of the possibility to fill roles with employees from far flung locations. The rise of the video interview and WFH has also led organisations to look at which other aspects of their working practises and staff development can be operated remotely and therefore more flexibly.
- There is growing evidence to suggest that candidates, especially from younger generations, view companies who offer video interviews as more modern, technologically cutting edge, and therefore more flexible and innovative in their approach. This feeds into the perception that a company who offers flexibility during their interview process may also be more a more considerate and supportive organisation to work for.
- A final yet important secondary benefit of the video interview is the reduction of carbon emissions associated with no longer having to travel to an interview. Considering the evermore foreboding climate crisis, this can only be seen as a positive.
Benefits for applicants:
- Video interviews undoubtedly allow candidates more flexibility in the early recruitment stages. As well as the time and cost saving benefits of not having to commute to a first interview, video interviews mitigate the problem of having to take time off work to interview for a job which might not turn out to be worthwhile. They can be slotted in around other commitments at a convenient time and in the case of pre-recorded video interviews, carried out at any time of the day or night up until the specified deadline. Given the option, candidates are happy to be able to choose when and at from where they interview.
- Although the format may take some practise, pre-recorded video interviews are also gaining popularity for the flexibility they offer in allowing answers to be recorded multiple times. This medium may also offer a more level playing field for naturally introspective candidates who are not so comfortable performing live and under pressure. As the pre-recorded interview allows a broader spectrum of candidates to be assessed, it can also provide a platform for candidates with typically weaker CVs to prove their capabilities in person, without taking too much time out of the hiring manager’s schedule.
- Not having to commute to an interview can eliminate a good deal of stress for applicants in terms of locating the venue and eradicates the problem of inevitable traffic and transport delays. Some candidates also feel genuinely more comfortable and able to be themselves when interviewing from the comfort of their own home, which in turn offers the interviewer a better insight into the applicant.
- Although in the early days of video interviewing it may have been easy for candidates to create a negative impression due to faulty internet connections or poor sound and visuals, job seekers are becoming increasingly savvy regarding the technology, accessories and physical setting required to make a good impression at their video interview.
Given the clear benefits, if employers continue to upgrade the video interview process with up-to-date processes and technology, then pre-recorded and live video interviews should continue to enhance the recruitment experience for both employers and job seekers alike.