From April, 2013

Are Your Candidates “Sponge Worthy”?

Last week I was engaging in a discussion on Linkedin with one of our competitors about how video interviewing screens candidates into the hiring process and she brought up a Elaine Benespoint about screening candidates that I had not given consideration.  Here is what she said.  “In my own hiring I have also found that I can be more open-minded about including candidates in the screening round even if their resumes are not strong, because recorded video interviewing is so much more efficient.”

Basically she is saying that in the past she was more selective about which candidates she considered because she did not want to waste time screening unworthy candidates.  A recent study by Sarah White Associates points out that for 35% of the companies she surveyed, just scheduling a phone screen took up to 30 minutes.  Combine that with the time it takes to actually conduct the phone screen and for some organizations screening candidates is taking nearly an hour.

This reminded me of the old “Sponge Worthy” Seinfeld episode.  We are all adults here and at the time Seinfeld was the number one show on television so I’m sure I won’t be offending anyone.  Basically Jerry’s friend Elaine learned that her favorite female contraceptive, the Sponge, was being taken off the market.  She thus ran out and stocked up on all the remaining Sponges she could find.  However, now that she had a limited supply, she was much more selective of who she invited into the bedroom.  She actually put her potential partners through a screening process to determine if they were “Sponge Worthy” because she did not want to waste her limited supply of contraceptives on just any old schmo.

Now that the hiring process has become so cumbersome for many recruiters and hiring managers, we find them being much more selective of whom they even choose to invest time in phone screening, much less who they  bring in for a tete-a-tete.

So, do you implicitly test to see if your candidates are “Phone Screen Worthy”?  More to the point are you eliminating good candidates who did not list on their resume every last qualification you have required for your job?  When considering the high costs of employee turnover, hiring good candidates is essential.  With so many candidate applications flooding corporate inboxes, trying to efficiently screen them all often leaves many qualified candidates out in the cold.  You simply can’t invest the time.  However if you can implement a more efficient process such as video interviewing to cut that time in half then you can take more risks on viewing marginal candidates you might have otherwise rejected.  In essence more candidates are now considered “sponge worthy”.

More time to screen candidates means more opportunity to find your organization’s potential soul mate.

Recruiters: How to Sell Your Job Candidates with Video Interviewing

As a search professional I am commonly asked by others in the industry, “How do you use video interviewing in your search assignments?”

Before I get to how, let me tell you why I use video interviewing in my search assignments. webcam and girl  I use it to help the hiring manager and other decision makers save time by not meeting with candidates they would otherwise reject within the first five minutes of meeting them face to face.  Saving my clients’ time and allowing them to make more informed hiring decisions repeatedly makes them happy.  Happy customers keep coming back.

So, how do I sell my candidates using video?

First, I invite the qualified candidates to take a virtual one-way video interview.  There are two versions of the one-way video interview.  The first doesn’t allow the candidates to see the questions in advance and only gives them one chance to answer the questions, much like a face-to-face interview.  The second version gives the candidates the questions in advance, and then allows them to re-do their answers until they are satisfied.  It’s no wonder this version is called “showcase”.  I almost always use the first version.

I set up the interview and send the candidate an invitation by email.  The candidate logs in and on their screen appears a series of questions related to the job to which they are applying.  I have put together the set of questions in advance, often with client input.  The candidate’s webcam and microphone record his or her responses.  I receive an email notifying me once the candidate has completed the video interview.  After reviewing the interview, I decide if I’m going to share it with the hiring manager or not. I can even decide which questions & answers I’d like to present to the client.  The easiest way to share it is to send a link to the candidate’s recorded interview to the hiring manager for review.

I may choose to use the “showcase” style video interview if I have an enthusiastic, personable, and well-qualified candidate who either just isn’t good at interviewing or is thrown off his or her  game by taking an online interview.  I have found that this strategy not only makes my candidates happy but makes me happy as well.   I can now sit down with the hiring manager, review the candidate’s interview and convince them that, although this candidate is bad at interviewing, they are certainly a skilled candidate who is likeable and knows their stuff.

Another option I use to counter the blank “deer in headlights” stare that candidates occasionally present when faced down by a web camera is to conduct a live video interview.  Similar to the one-way interview, the live two-way interview allows me to interview the candidate in real time and record the interview.  Some candidates are just more comfortable interacting with a human and in these instances live video interviewing helps them feel more at ease.

Lastly, as you know, you are on the front lines with the candidates.  You email them, you talk to them and you laugh with them.  You understand better than your client when you have a winner.  Sometimes your client might even be “overly selective”.  One really effective use of video interviewing is to save a candidate who doesn’t quite meet all the strict job requirements set by the employer.  In the past several months we have had two instances where a previously rejected candidate’s chances were revived by video.  In both instances the candidate ended up getting hired!

As you can see, video interviewing has not only enhanced my service offering but also screened in candidates my clients might have missed out on.  That’s why I roll with video interviews!

Who is Saying What about Video Interviewing?

You have heard me go on and on about Video Interviewing so maybe for a change you’d video interviewing piclike to hear from some of your peers not trying to sell you anything.  The following candid quotes were provided by recruiters, search consultants and HR professionals who participated in our 2012 survey on video interviewing.  So as the saying goes, don’t take my word for it.

“I personally find it to be a great method to save time and money on travel expenses when conducting interviews. However, for some reason, our HR management refuse to use it.” – HR Professional

“Video interviewing saves time, cost when you are abroad or not in local area. It’s better than telephonic interview because you can see expressions of the candidate.  As actions speak louder than words, video interviewing helps alot in this.” – HR Professional

“Video Interviewing is a great help in every organization wherein you can reduce cost, manage your time, scheduling hassles as well as you have enough time to choose a right candidate for the job.” – Executive Search Consultant

“I think it would be a good resource but I do not think my organization is ready for it yet.” – Executive Search Consultant

“I think this is the wave of the future, especially to help narrow down the candidate pool before bringing the finalists on-site.” – HR Professional

“Nothing can ever replace the face to face meeting in my opinion, though I do think there is a time and a place that this could be used and of value. I have just never done it before.” – Corporate Hiring manager

“Could be useful for initial interviews of candidates who are not local.” – HR Professional

“This has been extremely helpful as a cost savings measure when interviewing candidates that were not within commuting distance. I can see this as helpful as a tool in the initial selection process, but feel it is very important to meet the final candidate in person–both for the candidate and the hiring company.” – Corporate Hiring Manager

“Video conferencing may be an option if a low-cost, easily implemented, good quality solution were available.” – HR Professional

“As technologies continue to simplify, more video interviewing will be done thru laptop computers and items like smart phones or iPads with Skype or other inexpensive software. It is a plus for companies to see a person visually before flying them to a corporate or other location, especially where presentation is important, such as sales roles.” – Executive Search Consultant

“I see a value and a future in Video interviewing particularly on higher level positions where relocation is likely required.” – Executive Search Consultant

“Video interviewing will become more prevalent in the next few years.” – Corporate Recruiter

“Video interviewing is awesome and anyone who uses it will gain the respect and admiration of millions.” – Ryder Cullison, (Video Interviewing proponent and the guy who wrote this blog post.)