Candidate Camera | Staffing Industry Review August 2012

In the early 1980s, Mus·lc 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 re ruiting side,” Thomas says. And clients have started to embrace the idea of a first­ round  video interview, he says. In addition, Recruit Co. Ltd., one of the world’s largest staffing firms, recently  invested  in \Vowzer, a Sunny­ vale, 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 resumes·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  prod­ ucts, 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 Hire· Vue’s service allows recruiters to ask programmer candidates to vaite 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 resumes 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.

This article was featured in Staffing Industry Review in August 2012. Meador believes it was an important article to share with all readers.

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