From February, 2012

What Do the Oscars and Video Interviewing Have in Common?

If you’re into movies as I am, you eagerly anticipate every year not only who will win an Oscar but even who gets nominated.  The Oscars, much like your interview process, is all about choosing the best of the best and we enjoy identifying that person.  Each actor, much like a job applicant, is trying to win you over with their superior acting skills and every year we clearly see some performances are better than others.

The Academy, the group of men and women who whittle down the year’s hundreds of performances to a select five in each category, have an advantage most hiring managers do not.  They get to see and hear the actors in advance via video!  Now in many instances voters have already seen the movie in which the actor performed.  However, to ensure that each actor gets fair consideration the Academy sends out a DVD of each nominated performance and asks the Academy voters to choose who is best.  This ensures that on some level each performance has an equal chance not only to be watched but to be evaluated repeatedly so a well informed decision can be made on who deserves the golden statue.

So what does video interviewing have in common with the Oscars?  Well if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know that video interviewing is a means to interview candidates over the web via a two-way live solution or a one-way automated solution which allows candidates to interview themselves.  Video interviewing provides many benefits, one of which is the ability to see the candidate in advance to determine if they are good enough to bring in for a face to face interview.  A recorded video interviewing solution allows you to screen through the candidate’s responses and compare those of other candidates, much in the same fashion that Academy voters can compare performances.  Video interviewing allows you to choose the best of the best!

Narrow down your candidate search, then review each candidate’s video interview (performance), compare with other candidates’ video interviews, then decide who gets the interview.  We’ve observed this process play out for years with the Academy Awards and yet why have organizations not thought to apply it to their own hiring processes?  How easy is it to identify the top performers in each category and even choose who gets the Oscar when we can watch their performance as we always have with video?  Couldn’t choosing job candidates the same way be just as effective?

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Why use Video Interviewing? Reasons May Vary.

Video Interviewing provides many hiring advantages, but determining who can best benefit from which advantage may not be readily apparent.  Here are two cases showing first why a Human Resources professional and, second, why a hiring manager should use video interviewing. 

If you are in HR one of your assigned tasks is to find quality candidates with an often limited budget.  Scheduling candidate interviews into your already busy day is stressful enough, but often times the person you interview on the phone is very dissimilar to the candidate who walks through the door.  Your challenge is to streamline your hiring process while more effectively screening talent.   

In this case, video interviews just make sense.  They are more revealing, easier to schedule and more cost effective than phone screening.  Many video interviewing tools provide an automated interview feature that allows candidates to interview themselves after-hours at their convenience.  Upon completion the HR professional can deliver the candidate’s completed interview right to the hiring manager’s in-box for his or her review.   

In addition, the candidate interviews are stored for a period of one year or more, allowing the HR Professional to re-examine previously rejected candidates for future job openings.  Because each candidate answers the same questions, HR will have created a standard non-discriminatory interview process with a video record of their non-discriminatory practices. 

The case for hiring managers to use video interviewing may be even more compelling. Hiring managers can often determine in the first five minutes of an in-person interview if a candidate is a poor fit for their organization, but at great cost of time and money. .  Video interviewing allows hiring managers to quickly pre-screen candidates before committing to a face-to-face interview.  If the candidate is questionable, video interviewing allows the hiring manager to share and collaborate with colleagues, comparing candidate responses to one another so that a more informed hiring decision can be made.  Video interviewing tools such as Interview4 enable the hiring manager to upload job-specific questions for the candidate to answer.  This allows the managers to determine if the candidate has both the skills and cultural fit to succeed. 

For managers hiring globally, video interviewing allows them to review and screen top talent outside of their geographic region at a fraction of the cost their organization would spend to bring in candidates.  Either the Live two-way or Automated one-way solution provides managers with the flexibility to affordably interview international candidates. 

Screening candidates with video interviewing reduces the need for candidate travel resulting in less environmental impact.  This is significant to hiring managers whose companies support a green initiative. 

Whether you’re an HR professional or a hiring manager, a case can be made for effective, cost efficient video interviewing, while offering somewhat different advantages to each over traditional methods.

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Who’s responsible for Job Fit, the Job Candidate or the Company?

Recently I read a post entitled “What Do You Get from a Job besides a Paycheck?” which discussed various questions a candidate should consider before taking a job.  Here’s a quick list of the author’s suggested considerations. 

  •       Does this role provide the opportunity to develop my career?
  •       Are the company’s values and philosophy in line with mine?
  •       Am I going to be challenged?
  •       Were the people who interviewed me happy?
  •       Will the work/life balance be in line with my lifestyle demands? 

These are all great points. In an ideal world where unemployment is low and a job candidate has numerous job offers from which to choose, perhaps they can take the time to carefully investigate and consider these concerns before taking the job.  Most job candidates, however, don’t have the good fortune to weigh all their options before accepting a job offer.  Moreover, is it even possible for a candidate to develop accurate answers to these job fit questions?  At best, with limited time and information, a candidate may only be able to develop a very general sense of how well a new job will work out. 

Consider this scenario.  John has been out of work for three months, his bills are piling up, his daughter is starting college in four weeks and the dentist just told him his son needs braces.  Fortunately, after sending his resume out to thirty-two different employers and having been to eight different interviews, he has finally received an offer from a company operating within his industry.  At this point can John seriously consider evaluating the points above prior to taking this job offer?  Does he care if he’s going to be challenged or if the company’s philosophy is in line with his?  No, at this point John is concerned about paying his daughter’s tuition, ensuring his son doesn’t end up with buck teeth, and finally getting off the couch and out of the house.  This job will at least pay the bills until something better comes along. 

This is a scenario too many job seekers are finding themselves in these days and one in which companies should give careful consideration.  Job dissatisfaction and employee disengagement are a major concern for companies today.  The problem is exacerbated when companies hire candidates who accept their offer merely as a means to survive this down economy.  If a candidate’s philosophies and passions are not in line with the company’s then soon the candidate’s levels of enthusiasm and engagement are going to drop which results in a loss of productivity for the company.  Because jobs are scarce many candidates have no choice but to accept a job not in sync with their strengths and passions which in turn hurts the hiring company. 

The burden to find and hire candidates that fit culturally must be placed on the hiring company and not on the candidate.  Don’t assume a candidate applying for your open position really wants to work for your company.  Chances are their cabinets are stocked with Ramen noodles and they have nothing but ketchup packets in their refrigerator.  In other words they may be desperate to pay the bills and your opportunity will keep them afloat until something better comes their way.  Hiring companies are in a better position to determine who best fits their organization by screening the vast ocean of job seekers using behavioral tools to test for cultural fit or video interviewing tools to assess enthusiasm, energy, experience and overall “likeability.”  Don’t let the candidate who needs a job determine if they are passionate enough for your company.  You make the decision!