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There is no point to video interviewing. Is there?

“I only meet candidates face to face” I heard the last time I talked to a recruiter in the public sector.
Agree. You should, I said.
How many interviews do you do roughly on a monthly basis? Twenty.
Nice. You can, I said.

Indeed, not in all instances should you integrate a video interview in your recruitment process. In the end, a video interview is not meant to replace any personal contact with the best candidates. Can you accommodate to meet and talk to every candidate that applies? Great! Reality is, however, that most recruiters will not have the time or resources to meet with every single candidate. And the important question is, should you anyway?

Is it worthwhile to have a coffee with every candidate just because you can? And what about their time? Is it fair to let a candidate come to an interview only to be rejected afterwards?

Video interviewing is often seen as a new fancy way to add another tool and be more efficient on the company side. Only suitable if you receive many applications or you have a lot of vacancies to process. This view is a bit one sided as the recruitment process is not (or shouldn’t be) a one way street.

My take is that any candidate, for any position, deserves an opportunity to motivate their application in a personal manner, whether it is in an onsite interview or via video. Have you gathered enough insights into the candidate to know this person is a real potential match and spending time on a face-to-face interview will be worthwhile for both yourself and the candidate? Great, let’s go for that coffee! Are you not so sure yet? Consider adding a video interview as an extra step, allowing your candidate to motivate himself in a personal, but more accessible and less time-consuming matter.

This trend of adding one more step, a video interview, before the actual face-to-face interview in the office, will establish itself more firmly in the years to come.

Key for anyone serious about it, is to explain the process to candidates. Take the time on your website to describe to a candidate how you see and treat video interviewing. We see more and more examples of agencies and companies that understand and act based on this advice. Explain that applying with a CV upload and a video interview will supercharge your application. Didn’t we all learn to give our best at any job interview? Polish your shoes, learn about the company and its industry challenges. If they are motivated enough, they will also deliver on it.

Sure there are introvert persons, too uncomfortable in front of a webcam but good at their job. It is the responsibility of a recruiter to take this into account; for some roles skills trump the video impression but as a recruiter you want to know if having coffee with this person is worthwhile. And for the candidate. Is it fair to let her come to an interview only to be rejected afterwards? Clarity and speed in the whole process is good for both candidate and employer.

Instead of looking at video interviewing from a one sided efficiency point of view, we need to start working on building great candidate experiences with this. An opportunity to present yourself better, as you would also do at an actual interview on site. This is fair for candidate and for recruiter because in the end, no one wants to have coffee with everybody. So experiment with video interviewing and see how you can enjoy fewer but better tasting lattes with shortlisted talents!


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