From May, 2013

Hire-Intelligence Partners with SER National

Hire-Intelligence donates software customization and user licenses to SER National to provide job interview training for out of school youths.  The training will use the Interview4 video interviewing software, which will also provide a way for the participants to create a short introductory video that they can share with employers.

Gloucester, Virginia (PRWEB) May 30, 2013

Hire-Intelligence, a leading provider of custom web-based job candidate evaluation Interview4-Logo-NoTMsoftware and services, announces their partnership with SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. (SER National), a network of Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) that advocates for the underserved and underprivileged by developing streamlined educational, training, employment, business and economic based initiatives.  Hire-Intelligence has committed nearly $50,000 of in-kind software development and licenses to provide job interview training, as well as job candidate video introductions to potential employers, using the Interview4 online video interviewing system.

Kicking-off the first leg of this inspiring partnership, computers equipped with webcams and headsets were set up at Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas’ YouthWorks Centers in Irving and Grand Prairie, Texas.  Whitney Guest Sisler, Director of Business Development from Hire-Intelligence’s Virginia headquarters, was on-hand to introduce the program participants to the customized Interview4 video interviewing application, showing them how to complete online practice job interviews as well as create and share personal video introductions they could submit to employers.  Classroom lab-style settings provided a great opportunity for the Youth to actively engage in interview practice and coaching.

“One of the critical success factors in today’s America is the imperative to tie educational needs with career aspirations,” said Brian Marques, Assistant Director of Network Initiatives for SER National. “As a valued partner, Hire-Intelligence offers the technology and pedagogy to bridge the gap between academic instruction and hands-on, real world skill development for individuals with significant employment barriers. With the access and training provided by Hire-Intelligence in their new Interview4 hiring system, SER National is not only able to better prepare out-of-school youth for employment, but also re-engage them in the overall education process by connecting learning with useful skills.”

Damaris Flores, a YouthWorks participant who is working toward her high school diploma to secure a better job, said of the training, “It’s really fun, and you’re actually learning about interviews… you can actually see yourself, which helps a lot. This helped me to see the kinds of questions that employers ask you.  It helped me see that they want to know about you, as well as allowing me to think about how I would respond.”

Jim Robinson, President & CEO of Hire-Intelligence is a big supporter of SER National and their employment programs. “As a human resources technology company we strongly believe in doing our best to create web-based applications that bring the right employees together with the right companies.  But our philosophy goes deeper than that.  We are committed to serving the broader community by giving back.  SER National is a great example of the kind of organization we are proud to support.  SER embodies the kind of strong community awareness, sharing, education, skills training and hands on involvement that is needed to keep all our youth strong, competitive and engaged, not only for their personal benefit but also for the good of our society.”

The partnership with Hire-Intelligence is intended to enhance SER National’s employer relationships and capacity for job placement of program participants.  Hire-Intelligence has committed to expanding support to other SER programs including Fair Start Fair Park – YouthBuild South Dallas, and VetPals.

The VetPals program, to be launched this year, will aim to provide U.S. Military service members with one-on-one coaches and community resource liaisons to support those recently returning U.S. Military Veterans and their families in reaching their goals for employment, education, and public service.

ABOUT Hire-Intelligence: Hire-Intelligence is a human resources technology company that creates online productivity tools to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment and hiring process, while bringing the right employers and candidates together. The founders of Hire-Intelligence have more than 20 years of experience in the human capital management (HCM) world. This knowledge of the HCM industry informs all of the hiring software and services we offer. Our goal is to provide high-value tools and services to the HR world, delivering real, measurable ROI to our customers.

In addition to the Hire-Intelligence Communications Test Suite, the Hire-Intelligence Adaptive Behavioral assessment and the Interview4 video interviewing solutions, additional complementary hiring solutions are in development. Hire-Intelligence has home offices in Virginia and New York, and services clients throughout the U.S. and the world.

ABOUT SER National: SER National is a national network of Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) that formulates and advocates initiatives resulting in the increased development and utilization of America’s human resources, with special emphasis on the needs of Hispanics, in the areas of education, training, employment, business and economic opportunity.  SER is the Spanish verb for “to be” and also reflects the means by which their mission is accomplished – Service, Employment, and Redevelopment.

SER National aims to develop the capacity of the SER network through the provision of technical assistance, research and planning, program and policy development, and fundraising.  SER’s vision is “to enable the Hispanic community and other underserved populations, to fully participate in the socio-economic mainstream, achieving equal access and parity in all aspects of American society.”

5 Reasons Why Phone Screening is Doomed!

Phone screening is so simple isn’t it?  Once you have narrowed your pool of job candidates to say six or fewer, you simply pick up the phone and call those in whom you are interestedrotary phone to learn whether you want to bring them in for a face to face interview.  This saves the hiring manager a great deal of time by not interviewing someone they might have otherwise rejected within the first five minutes of meeting them.  So why is such a simple and beneficial process on the way out the door?

Many companies have found an even easier solution and one that is more revealing than a phone screen.  With the increased prevalence of high speed internet and webcam penetration (79% of all laptops), video interviewing is finally giving many what we have dreamed of while watching our favorite sci-fi movies: the ability to both hear and see the person we’re screening, either virtually or live.  A recent survey by Office Team showed that 63% of HR professionals often used video interviewing in their hiring process in 2012.  Here are a few reasons phone screening is on the way out.

#1 – Phone screen scheduling hassles – A recent survey by Sarah White Associates showed that for some companies, scheduling phone screens took up to 30 minutes.  Not only that, but the two parties involved must often speak at a time of day inconvenient to either one or both of them.  I once spoke to a job candidate who told me his phone screen with a particular company was scheduled, cancelled and rescheduled over a dozen times. Automated video interviewing solutions allow the user to interview themselves at a time of day convenient to them.  Additionally the hiring manager can quickly review the video interview when it best fits their schedule.

#2 – Phone screens are time consuming – When conducting phone screens, especially with candidates who might be customers, giving the candidate a full 30 or 40 minutes is necessary even if they aren’t a good fit.  As one executive at Ocean Spray who now uses video interviewing explained, “With live telephone interviews, I’d give everyone, even those we knew weren’t going to go on to the next step, the full 45 minutes.  After all we sell products and we didn’t want the candidate to stop buying them.”  With a virtual video interview one is able to review a candidate’s video interview in minutes and make a decision on whether to forward it to the hiring manager.

Additionally, because a recruiter’s time is burdened with so many applicants, they must be choosy of who they decide to phone screen.  A senior recruiter at Oregon based Adidas explains, “Because of time constraint, in the past, we had to make some very hard calls in order to pare the list to a manageable four or five.  Now we can have 10 to 15 people take the video interview and I’m sure we’ve hired some people who wouldn’t have gotten an initial interview in the past.”

#3 – Comparing phone screens is hard – Most phone screeners have to take notes during the phone screen and organize them before sending onward to the hiring manager.  Not only is this time consuming but the notes are often inaccurate and make comparing candidates more difficult.  Most video interviewing tools record the candidate’s interview which can be reviewed, compared against other candidate interviews and shared with other decision makers allowing the decision process to flow more efficiently.

#4 – Phone screens are not structured – With an automated video interviewing solution each candidate is asked the same questions regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity and so on thus reducing the chances of discrimination creeping into the initial screening process.

#5 – You can’t see the candidate over the phone – Some may argue that seeing the candidate before the face-to-face is bad but in this age of high employment turnover, the need for culturally fitting candidates is greater than ever.  Nothing helps you better determine a candidate’s enthusiasm and potential for success then by seeing them.

Weep not though for the phone my friends!  Many video interviewing providers now offer video interviews on mobile devices.  So while phone screening may be out, video interviewing on phones will soon be hotter than ever!

The Most Misguided Knock Against Video Interviewing.

Everyone who uses video interviewing does so because it can drastically reduce costs associated with hiring, speed up the hiring process and help managers make more informed decisions.  In short, video interviewing is more effective and efficient than traditional phone screening.  Aside from those late adopters so afraid of technology they still use rotary phones, you might think video interviewing is a no brainer solution for most hiring organizations.

There are those who exist however who view video interviewing as a tool that makes Stop Discriminationdiscrimination easier.  They know that, with or without video interviewing, if the hiring manager is bigoted, discrimination will still take place at some point in the process.  They understand in today’s world of social media that with or without video interviewing you can still learn the race, gender, age and often ethnicity of a candidate prior to the interview.  They understand that since corporations save more time by video interviewing than phone screening they actually have more time to review and screen in a broader range of candidates. Despite this, many opponents are determined to hold back the tidal wave of video interviewing with nothing more than a stop sign bearing the word “Discrimination”.

I’m certainly no proponent of discrimination but I’m no proponent of inefficiency either.  Let me ask you a question.  For how many of you does it take two hours or more to get to work on your horse?  Anyone?  No?  No one?  Okay then, for how many of you does it take at least one hour to get to work on your horse?  Still no one?  You mean to tell me that no one rides a horse to work?  No one drives a carriage to the grocery store? Of course you don’t.  Automobiles are much more effective and efficient in getting you to your destination and picking up the goods you need.

I’m perplexed however about something.  In 2011 over 32,000 people died in car accidents.  Each year in the U.S. over 2.9 million people suffer automobile accident related injuries.  Two weeks ago a young girl in my county was killed while driving.  July of last year my son spent three days in the hospital after the car in which he was riding was struck by another motorist.

Each day I, and probably you, are willing to risk death or dismemberment for efficiency because the benefits far outweigh the risks.  Phone screening is to video interviewing what horse travel is to automobile travel.  If we’re willing to die for the efficiency of automobile travel then can we not risk the few possible drawbacks of video interviewing for the far more numerous benefits it provides?

Video interviewing is here to stay and those crying “discrimination” should accept the technology and focus more on rehabilitating their organization’s discriminatory drunk drivers.

Is Discrimination Against the Uncool, “Ok”?

Recently the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, the trendy clothing retailer aimed at twenty somethings and younger, declared that he had no intention of designing plus sized clothesFlash Thompson because overweight teens were not part of the “cool” crowd.  In other words he doesn’t want un-cool kids, the overweight and unattractive according to Abercrombie, wearing his clothes thereby soiling his brand’s cool and sexy image.  While he has every right to design clothes for whomever he wants, he also applies the same principle to hiring.  Since he designs clothes for only cool, hip and sexy people then he also hires only cool, hip and sexy people to sell his clothes.  How is this possible?

I have written in detail about the many types of discrimination.  Just like Bubba Blue rattling off all the ways to cook shrimp in Forrest Gump I could easily with the same southern drawl ramble on about why people are rejected.  So many reasons now exist that essentially anyone is fair game.  Are you ethnic, old, female, religious, pregnant, overweight, unemployed, very attractive, short, bald, bearded, a smoker?  These are just a few reasons why you aren’t making the cut and even though some categories are protected by law you could certainly also fall into one of the others that aren’t.

Even today I’m still confused how some employers get away with discrimination while others get skewered by the EEOC.  I’m not a patron of Hooters but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen an obese waitress in their commercials.  Clearly they are discriminating against the plus sized crowd but no one cares as though we all, even the overweight, are accepting their sales gimmick.  Maybe profit is the overriding factor here.  “I may not be able to discriminate against you because you’re black but if you can’t sell my wings because you’re fat then, well, that’s a different story.”  Is this fair?  Does anyone actually care anymore?

A 2006 write up about the Abercrombie headquarters paints a picture of a corporate campus heavy on the cool kid culture and I doubt anyone not fitting that culture, despite their adequate skills, is getting a second job interview.  Is this fair?  Does anyone care as long as Abercrombie’s profits continue to climb which they are doing?

Would allowing unattractive and potentially un-cool looking kids to sell Abercrombie’s clothes hurt their image and sales?  Maybe.  Does the CEO have a case then to say that job candidates lacking a certain image cannot effectively handle the job duties given to them despite their skills?  I don’t know, does he?  Does this set a precedent to allow predominantly white companies to discriminate against skilled black candidates by suggesting that blacks would be less successful in selling to a white target audience?  Probably not but I can see many of them using this as an argument.

If we say that it is okay to discriminate against the un-cool because they would be less successful in selling to a particular target audience, then what prevents companies from applying the same principles to other protected groups?  If I am “White and Nerdy” as the Weird Al song goes, would it make sense for hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z, to hire me to sell his line of hip hop attire?  Of course not.  I don’t fit the brand’s image and I know this.  Likewise I probably wouldn’t even apply for the role in the first place.

Maybe in many instances the problem just goes away.  How many overweight women still apply to Hooters?  How many bald sales people try to sell Rogaine?  How many skinny women try to sell Lane Bryant’s line of plus sized clothing?  Many of us have learned that “long haired, hippy people need not apply” and just try to fit in elsewhere.  We don’t force ourselves into places we’re not wanted.

On May 13th clothing retailer Wet Seal agreed to pay over $5.5M to former black employees because they were discriminated against for not fitting the “white”, “blue eye”, “thin” and blond appearance the clothing line desired.  Back in 2004 Abercrombie paid $40M to African Americans for committing the same offenses.  Fairness it would seem does override profit.  In some cases at least.  Despite this the discrimination continues.  According to a survey of NY retailers, whites earned $.80 more per hour than black workers in the same position and minorities were more likely to have their hours reduced.

If even the protected classes are getting slammed what hope exists for the “un-cool”?  You can almost picture “Flash Thompson”, the “Heathers”, “Biff” and that mean blond guy from Karate Kid sitting in a glass office laughing over their hiring policies.  As an un-cool worker meanders buy they steal his Taco Bell money and pull his underwear over his head.  In the case of Abercrombie what is most uncool and unattractive is their attitude and I hope that many people will echo ignorant Biff’s words and say, “Why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here!”