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High-tech hiring a boon for employers, benefits jobseekers as well

Social media recruitment trends are getting headlines, but video interviewing is a well-established practice


Predefined, reliable scoring criteria are baked right into the video interviewing process, which helps ensure that all candidates are evaluated objectively. (insta_photos/Adobe Stock)

Not too long ago, word got out that TikTok was testing a new functionality for jobseekers, which would enable users to upload video resumes to the popular app and allow brands to use it as a recruitment channel. One recent article even claimed that TikTok is becoming “a LinkedIn of sorts” for younger jobseekers.

If nothing else, this shows that people are looking to evolve recruitment practices, and digital hiring solutions are here to stay. In the case of structured video interviews, that’s a good thing for everyone.

Video interviews are nothing new — recruiters have been using them to screen candidates for about 20 years — but adoption of the practice really accelerated last year, for reasons that no one could have foreseen.

During the COVID-19 era, video interviews became part of our “new normal,” and we can expect them to be around long after the pandemic has faded.

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What is video interviewing?

There are two basic types of video interviews — real-time virtual meetings similar to the Zoom and Skype calls we have all become so accustomed to — and pre-recorded ones.

While the live meetings mirror in-person interviews in many ways, the pre-recorded type is a new experience for some job applicants. During these online interviews, they are asked to record their answers to a series of questions, with their responses reviewed by the hiring team after the fact.

The benefits to recruiters are many.

For one thing, they give hiring teams deeper insight into job applicants than resumes or phone interviews ever could. Because they transcend geographical limitations, they can open doors to a larger candidate pool, allowing recruiters to seek out top talent anywhere in the world.

How to land a job when many have shifted to virtual hiring

Benefits for recruitment

Video interviews also have a number of benefits for jobseekers, especially when they are conducted in the structured-interview format.

As in traditional hiring best practices, structured interviews present all applicants with the same questions in the same order. Predefined, reliable scoring criteria are baked right into the process, which helps ensure that all candidates are evaluated objectively.

The structured-interview format can also benefit candidates by helping to remove bias from the process; for example, by making it less likely that an interviewer will ask off-topic questions that have nothing to do with the job but which might reinforce the interviewer’s personal prejudices.

Recorded video interviews also provide a permanent record of an employer’s hiring history.

This data trail enables the organization to identify if interviewers are consistently making biased hiring decisions. Armed with this knowledge, the organization can take measures to eliminate that bias.

How much will COVID-19 affect recruitment?

No robot recruiters

It’s true that high-tech recruitment methods sometimes get a bad rap.

Some jobseekers worry about the encroachment of artificial intelligence into the hiring process. They don’t like the idea that they are being assessed by an algorithm.

The truth is that artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, and as such, should not be relied upon for hiring efforts. In fact, the type of structured digital interviews we’re talking about don’t use AI at all.

Candidates can rest assured that their interview responses are being evaluated by human beings, not by a central processing unit. I like to call it keeping the human in human resources.

Toward that end, it’s important that hiring teams understand exactly what sort of technology their video-recruitment solution provider uses so they can be transparent with applicants at every stage of the process.

This can set the jobseeker’s mind at ease, which is another benefit of high-tech hiring. Whether pre-recorded or live, most video interviews take place in the comfort of the applicant’s home.

In the case of pre-recorded interviews, candidates can record their answers to interview questions whenever it’s convenient, day or night.

With its benefits for both human-resources professionals and jobseekers, it’s pretty clear that video recruiting is no trend — it’s one hiring practice that’s here to stay.

Sean Fahey is the CEO of VidCruiter, a Canadian company in Moncton, N.B., that helps HR teams around the world modernize their recruiting efforts by providing video recruitment and online hiring solutions.