Video Interviewing usage continues to increase but still one could easily argue that we haven’t yet entered the early majority phase of adoption. Still though, all of us have at one time used video to make a hiring decision and probably didn’t even realize it. Every four years when we select the President we use video interviewing. No of course we don’t sit and chat with the candidates over Skype or use a fee-based video interviewing service. We do however essentially watch the presidential hopefuls on video being interviewed and we as a nation collaborate on which candidate is best for the job.
In 1960, 70 million Americans watched the first televised Presidential debate. Each one of those seventy million with the right to vote essentially had the role of hiring manager as they evaluated the candidates for the position of U.S. Commander in Chief. Nearly fifty-four years later, companies have the option to replicate this process and gain many of the same advantages secured by the televised debates. As I discuss these advantages below I wonder why a hiring process fit for a U.S. president hasn’t gained universal adoption more than a half century later.
Finally we can see the candidates! – After the debates concluded the media outlets at the time commented more on how the candidates appeared than how they answered. Of course they did and why not? So much of our determinations on whether a candidate can or cannot be successful are based on appearance and body language. We know recent research suggests that viewing a candidate on video can help determine their likely success on the job. Honestly would you want to hire the president based only on a voice recording you heard of him? This is why many organizations today are foregoing the traditional phone screen in favor of a more revealing video interview.
Finally we can compare candidates! – “Sennator Kennedy, how do you feel about those darn Russkies in the Kremlin?” “Vice President Nixon, same question.” Of course this question wasn’t asked but you get the point. How did candidate “K” and candidate “N” respond? Did they have enthusiasm, poise, confidence, all the attributes I want to see in a candidate? If you are a hiring manager and have chosen two resumes how do you efficiently and affordably ask the same question of both candidates and later compare their responses to one another? With video of course.
Finally we can collaborate on candidates! – Perhaps the biggest benefit of the televised debate was that the country now had the means to collaborate with one another in a way that radio and newspapers could not allow them. Clips of the televised event could be replayed for viewers and reanalyzed so that a more thorough evaluation could be conducted. So even if you were unable to view the broadcast due to a scheduling issue, you could still watch the replay. Of course today with the internet one can watch a recorded video interview online any time of day that is convenient for them. Think now about the power that video interviewing affords you especially if you are part of a decision making team. With video you can comment and collaborate on video interviews at your convenience.
Do you know how much hosting a Presidential debate costs? The minimum commitment for a university is at least $1.5M but generally runs closer to $5M. For the mere price of a nice dinner you could review four job candidates with video interviewing and still have all the benefits fit for deciding how to choose the next President. Honestly, why has your company taken over half a century to adopt this practice?