Are Video Interviews Actually Happening?

Joseph Stubblebine
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Technology is seeping into every aspect of business, and human resources (HR) is no exception. Blazing-fast bandwidth and the widespread availability of inexpensive high-quality cameras and microphones have prompted recruiters to integrate video interviews into the hiring process. What was once considered newfangled technology has become a commonplace method to screen job candidates. Video interviews are a fact of life for HR managers juggling large hiring demands, and even applicants appreciate their convenience. As a human resources professional, this is one trend you don’t want to overlook; video has the potential to simplify candidate interviews and decrease your workload.

A number of independent video-interview companies have popped up in recent years, a testament to the growing popularity of this format. From handling the technical requirements to offering advanced features, such as mobile apps, candidate profiles, and video branding, these companies streamline and fine-tune candidate interviews for big-name clients, including Walmart, Rent-a-Car, Samsung, and the Mayo Clinic. One popular service, TalentRooster, reported an impressive 30,000 video interviews conducted by July 2012.

Numerous industry studies have noted a sharp increase in video interviews in recent years. According to an OfficeTeam survey of HR managers, 63 percent of respondents reported using video interviews in 2012, compared to a mere 14 percent in 2011. Additionally, in 2011, only 1 percent conducted interviews by video “very often.” In 2012, the number jumped to 53 percent. A similar survey by the Aberdeen Group revealed that the number of companies using video technology for hiring rose from 10 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2011.  

One-way and two-way video interviews afford hiring managers a surprising amount of flexibility. Many companies have found they help shorten the hiring process, allowing interviewers to assess candidates face to face despite time or geographic constraints. Video interviews are also a cost-effective way to screen masses of applicants without bringing them to the office. Conveniently, the equipment necessary for video interviews is readily available and widely adopted by applicants, many of whom grew up alongside the Internet. Questions of legality and concerns about technical glitches have been posed, but these matters are easily remedied or circumvented. Furthermore, the learning curve is relatively short, especially if you choose to rely on a video-interviewing service. Given its major benefits and few setbacks, video interviews make complete sense for HR managers looking to maximize departmental efficiency.

As the job market improves, businesses will need to utilize every resource at their disposal to land top talent. Corporate juggernauts, such as Dow Jones and Nike, have embraced advanced hiring technology, along with many smaller companies. From interviewing candidates half way across the world to cutting hiring costs, video interviews are a valuable asset for any human resources professional.


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