The digital transformation is continuing to sweep the world. Therefore, we see the rise of video interviewing platforms off the back of the pandemic and the disappearance of face-to-face interactions. While hopefully in-person interviews will see a resurgence of sorts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to subside, online video interview tools are remaining commonplace. Companies are embracing these – they can increase efficiency and make hiring decisions over long distances with the help of such tools. But there is still plenty of discussion to be had about how these tools can be improved to make the experience better for potential candidates.
Interviews Made Easy
Software from developers like iCIMS and HireVue are designed to make the process of screening and hiring candidates not only easier, but better. iCIMS offers a number of tools in this arena – for example, an applicant tracking system that allows companies to reach a wider pool of candidates, help manage and coordinate communications, and utilise video interviewing and language assessment tools. These all help streamline the process of hiring and is supposed to help make the process more manageable on both ends.
HireVue is a similar platform but goes further in how it claims to help the interview process. Using HireVue’s interview platform and interview generator is meant to help reduce bias in the hiring process. This is a crucial USP as companies across the globe look to eradicate unconscious prejudice and increase diversity within their ranks. Because a software such as HireVue allows a company to mitigate some of the processes in hiring, they are situated to find a more diversified, wider talent pool. They also use AI to help combat unconscious bias “by eliminating unreliable and inconsistent variables like selection based on CV and phone screens, letting you focus on more job-relevant criteria.”
All of this makes the prospect of digital hiring tools very attractive for firms, who are constantly looking for ways to streamline and ameliorate hiring processes. However, the candidates involved in the process may have a more nuanced opinion. Despite the supposed benefits of digital hiring tools, there remain several potential pitfalls with them as well.
Pros and Cons of Video
On one hand, digital hiring tools have a multitude of benefits for candidates as well. For example, a pre-recorded interview, where the candidate has the freedom to record their piece on their own time, can be very comforting for some. It takes the pressure off being on time to an in-person interview and may help with nerves as well. It also allows them a degree of flexibility – they can record themselves on their own time rather than needing to work around the interviewer’s schedule, as well as their own. If there are no technical issues, the whole process can go quite smoothly.
On the other hand, some candidates may not find the process as intuitive. This, of course, is highly dependent on the software being used. Furthermore, one key dissuading factor of such systems is the lack of human interaction within the hiring process. This degree of artifice makes some users feel less comfortable or even embarrassed when they use the playback function. This may lead them to re-record themselves multiple times, which ends up being more time-consuming than an in-person interview.
Another significant issue with interview recording systems is technical difficulties. Not only do these cause a significant stress factor for the candidate, but they can eliminate a candidate’s chances of progressing to the next stage by no fault of their own.
Recently, one of our consultants was set the task of placing a Senior Director level role within a major US apparel company. The candidate in question had a nuanced opinion of his experience with digital hiring tools during the process, in this instance from Hirevue. He did say that the tools were accessible and convenient, allowing him to manage his own time. Additionally, the process and technology ran smoothly. For this interview, the software flashed a question for fifteen seconds and then gave the candidate five minutes to prepare an answer, followed by a two-minute window to record and submit. The candidate noted that the questions were well-designed, clear, and concise. The candidate also said he believed the first round of interviewing in this manner can be 100% free of bias, since no human judgment is involved, and the candidate is not influenced by a person in front of them.
In a face-to-face interview, the interviewer’s body language, tone and demeanor is often highly influential and guides the interviewee’s choice of response to a particular question. In a virtual setting this bias is eliminated.
However, on the flipside, the virtual setting provides no room to clarify an ambiguous question. How the questioned is phrased and the choice of words used can lead to a very different answers from the same person.
One of our candidates who recently performed a virtual interview was faced with the following rather ambiguous question: “How would you deploy a global transformation program and what would you foresee to be the impact on your strategic partners?” His answer was quite general as he was not sure which strategic partners were being referred to i.e., Tier One suppliers, Internal Business Units, or other functions, etc.
There are some clear disadvantages with the lack of human interaction, with some candidates saying the process felt ‘weird’. It also rid them of the opportunity to ‘’read the room” and atmosphere and appropriately respond to body language due to the lack of interviewer. Additionally, despite their process going smoothly, the candidate noted that potential technical issues in the process were a serious concern.
The Future of Recruitment
If you’re looking to incorporate video hiring tools into your recruitment process, there are now numerous options available depending on your needs. This list contains a few of the best options out there for businesses of various sizes.
We look forward to keeping up with developments in this arena. As the future of work continues to evolve, will video interviewing become more commonplace, or become a relic of the pandemic-induced world of 2020?