A recent Gallup poll of Americans showed that 56% of smokers believe they are at least occasionally discriminated against in public or employment life with 13% of them claiming that they are discriminated against daily. Smokers report the most common forms of discrimination come in the forms of bans at places such as beaches and parks. In addition, smokers face higher insurance rates and smokers claim they are discriminated against in the hiring process.
My posts generally revolve around hiring so I will neglect the challenges smokers face at the beach and in Yellowstone and focus on their hiring dilemmas. Yes, smokers do face discrimination during the hiring process and may be turned down for employment solely because of their habit. Reasons for this are smokers have higher health care costs and absenteeism from work. Co-workers are also likely to grow annoyed with the frequent smoke breaks that smokers take. For instance my son, a non-smoker, frequently complained about having to leave work late because the individual who was assigned to take over his register first wanted to have a cigarette before coming on duty.
A few states protect smokers from job discrimination but is this reasonable? If an employee or job applicant is engaged in a habit that is scientifically proven to be detrimental to themselves, to those around them and increases company expenses, why would that individual not expect some sort of negative reaction? An employee sneaking off for five minutes every hour to look at pornography on their mobile device would expect a rightful reprimand even if their behavior in no way affected their co-workers or cost the company an increase in expenses. Why then are smokers miffed?
I used to smoke back when smoking wasn’t so out of vogue. I sympathize with the cravings smokers have but I also worked and never smoked until I departed work. Not smoking is possible for long stretches of time. A smoker cannot expect their fellow co-workers not to grow perturbed by their frequent cigarette breaks especially if the non-smokers must pick up the slack in their co-worker’s absence.
Wikipedia defines addiction as “a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.” If an individual is not truly addicted to smoking then their best course of action is to quit or at the very least, refrain from stepping outside every hour. However, if they claim to be addicted, then by definition they must expect adverse consequences. These adverse consequences may manifest as discrimination in the hiring process. I take issue with using the word “discrimination” though. Not hiring an employee engaged in a bad habit that causes them to work less and costs the company more in healthcare costs sounds more like plain common sense than prejudice.
Do you agree or disagree?
I read recently an article on Forbes.com entitled, “A New Recruiting Abomination: One-Way Video Interviews” by Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace. Obviously as the title suggests, she is not impressed by this growing recruiting technology. Here are a few quotes.
“It is disheartening to me as a long-time HR person to see how badly some HR and Staffing folks damage and degrade the recruiting function by building in talent-repelling processes like one-way video interviewing.”
“The emergence of one-way video job interviews in recruiting speaks to incompetence at a high level…”
“Great candidates will not stick around to be treated like dirt — nor should they!”
“Making your job applicants sit in front of their laptops smiling at the camera and answering questions asked by a machine is the loudest possible sign that your company does not value talent in the least.”
“There is no better way to signal to talented candidates ‘You mean nothing to us’ than by assigning them to sit through an oral exam led by a piece of code…”
I’m going out on a limb to suggest that Ms. Ryan sees little if any value in one-way video interviews. Before I begin my defense I want to make known that I work for a video interviewing vendor and as a former search consultant have used with great success one-way video interviews in the past. Here are a few experiences I would like to share where video interviews have helped candidates.
An individual applied to a position and he was rejected by the employer because his resume indicated he was in a particular age bracket. The search consultant had the candidate complete a recorded one-way interview which he then sent to the hiring manager. The candidate was brought in for an interview after the hiring manager saw the candidate’s charisma and energy level.
An unemployed college student completed a mock interview and emailed it to employers. She received an offer without even going in for a face to face interview.
A candidate working on an oil rig in the North Sea was able to get an interview with a company operating in Romania after I (sitting in Virginia) forwarded a link of the candidate’s recorded interview to the VP of HR in Romania. This happened because the video interview allowed everyone to work on their own schedule when convenient for them.
I sat in a board room with a company President and VP of HR. On their monitor we were reviewing the video interviews of five candidates. The fifth candidate, who had conducted his interview at 1 a.m, the only time convenient for him, so dazzled the president that the president called him on the spot and offered him a job!
As a video interviewing provider we in no way advocate using automated interviews to replace the face-to-face interview. Rather we suggest using video interviewing as a screening measure, superior to phone screening, which allows recruiters to better evaluate candidates with a structured interviewing process that better eliminates subconscious biases which creep into unstructured live interviews. The candidate is better served, not only because they may complete the interview at their convenience, but also their recorded interview can be evaluated repeatedly and shared with decision makers so a more informed evaluation can be given. Candidates, especially top talent, are severely inconvenienced by a phone screening process that relies upon note taking and which provides an inadequate device to make a true apples to apples comparison between subjects.
Not too surprisingly the Aberdeen Group’s research into video interviewing shows that among best-in-class companies which employ such technology, hiring manager satisfaction has improved while time to hire and cost to fill has decreased.
In short, video interviewing was not designed to be abominable to candidates but rather to free them from inconvenience and discrimination.
As the client relationship manager for a video interviewing provider, I have spoken with many candidates over the years prior to their interviews. Most candidates are un-fazed they have been asked by one of our customers to complete a video interview, however a few cannot hide their anxiety and some openly state how nervous they are. Candidates who are camera shy or technologically unsophisticated prefer phone screens or face-to-face interviews versus logging into a website or conducting an interview using a mobile app on their phone. Many, unfamiliar with video interviewing technology, question the point of it.
Quickly I will explain for job candidates reading this why video interviews have gained in popularity. Recruiters and HR personnel are pressed for time. Scheduling a phone screen takes much longer than inviting a candidate to complete a video interview. Conducting a phone screen obviously takes longer as well. If a recruiter has five phone screens scheduled in a day and commits twenty minutes of their time per screen, they have invested more than an hour and a half. This time is not consumed when candidates complete a virtual interview. At the completion of the phone screens the recruiter must adequately present to a hiring manager the notes taken during your phone screen and sufficiently compare them with the responses given by other candidates. This task is more easily accomplished with recorded video interviews. Overall, video interviewing saves a tremendous amount of time and effort but also provides you, the candidate, an opportunity to show off your personality and charisma.
Saving time for recruiters also means that they can screen more candidates. Your chances of being seen are higher if the recruiter is using video interviews to screen candidates.
Despite the benefits to you and employers, concerns still pop up here and there. Here are a few of the common fears.
Video interviewing is difficult: Those who would rather pick up a phone than turn on a computer may worry they are not tech savvy enough to even start the interview. Not to worry. Most providers have a simple process in place that will test your camera and microphone to ensure they are working backed up by technical support teams that can walk you through it if you get stuck. Beyond the setup process, your video interview is simple. Your questions will appear on the screen, you will read them and then provide your responses into the camera. Upon completion the recruiter or hiring manager will be notified. Also, you can complete the interview day or night at a time convenient to you.
Your interview will be shared on social networks: Most providers store your interview on a secure server. Downloads to a local machine by the hiring company are not permitted. Therefore your interview will not appear on YouTube.
Your phone or tablet is a poor device to use: Many candidates who own perfectly good smart devices are hesitant to use them for a video interview. Truth be told, candidates who use the mobile app often run into less technical problems with their cameras and microphones than those using a pc or laptop. Additionally, the camera built into a phone or tablet provides greater quality than a webcam and the touch screen interface with the app is often easier to navigate for less savvy users.
You worry you look terrible: If you have been invited to take a video interview, you have time to prepare yourself and your background. You are conducting this interview on your turf in your comfort zone. Take advantage of that! Relax, smile and provide the interviewer with the enthusiasm you can’t show over the phone.
Remember, video interviews are not trying to take anything from you, they are trying to give something to you; time, convenience and an opportunity to put your best foot forward.
You have heard all about video interviewing and its potential benefits to your hiring process. You may have read blog posts and reviewed the websites of several vendors trying to get a better sense of what to expect but still are a bit confused. Here is where I break it down for you.
As a user of a video interviewing product you will be given access to a portal from where you can access a number of functionalities. Within most vendor portals you should be able to do the following:
- Access candidate interviews.
- Invite candidates to take live or automated interviews.
- Create custom questions which your candidates will answer.
- Share completed candidate interviews with colleagues or clients.
Eighty percent of your portal usage will either be in setting up candidates or in reviewing and sharing candidate interviews. Video interviewing vendors will each offer their own bells and whistles but the majority, if not all, will offer the basic functionality listed above. Other common features are scoring candidates and the ability to compare interviews of a set of candidates side-by-side.
Inviting candidates to complete a video interview generally takes less than a minute. When you share a completed interview with a colleague or client, they will receive a link to that candidate’s interview. In most cases, videos cannot be downloaded and stored locally. They are hosted in a secure environment on your vendor’s servers.
Vendors are required by U.S. law to store your video interviews for a period of up to one year (and 2 years in California). Even if you cancel your subscription, those interviews should still be available to you.
Job candidates for the most part will receive an email invitation from you to complete a video interview. You may set the expiration date by which it must be completed. Candidates may log in on a computer or on a compatible mobile device. Most vendors provide apps with versions for Android and iOS devices (ipads/iphones).
After logging in, your job candidates will be provided with basic instructions and then will be taken through a brief process that tests your candidate’s camera, speakers and microphone to ensure they are working properly.
Once your candidate begins the interview, the questions generally will appear one at a time on the screen and your candidates will have one chance to answer them before moving to the next question. The length of time your candidates have to respond will depend on the parameters you established when you first setup the interview. Response time may vary from sixty seconds to an unlimited amount. Some vendors provide options that allow candidates to re-answer the question. Once a candidate completes the interview they can log out.
If a candidate is taking part in a live interview with you, they will log in and meet with you online through your vendor’s interface. Once you have concluded asking questions, you and the candidate may exit the interview. Some providers offer the option to record or not record the live interview.
If you have any further questions please ask us. Hire-Intelligence has been a pioneer in the world of video interviewing. We are happy to assist you with your needs.
What, if anything, could a hiring manager say negatively about a job candidate that was exceptionally achieving? How about a candidate exhibiting high levels of conscientiousness or sociability? Surely no objections could be made about a cooperative or accommodating candidate!
In their quest to find culturally fitting job candidates, recruiters and hiring managers often yield to the results of behavioral assessments which paint either a positive or negative picture about the candidates’ potentials. Of course specific traits are more favorable for certain roles than others. For example, a quiet, unsociable candidate may not be suited for a sales or customer service role but may be perfectly suited for a role such a programming. Some traits, however, are considered so universally positive that hiring managers may ignore the negative aspects of such traits that could manifest in their candidates after they are hired.
Achieving, for example, is a personality trait that suggests few drawbacks. High achievers are often sought after for being dedicated, ambitious, and dynamic. Yet, have you considered that an exceptionally achieving worker may also be unscrupulous, self-seeking and ruthless in their pursuit of their personal goals? A candidate who already likes to bend the rules and also exhibits the dark aspects of achieving could potentially be an organizational problem.
Candidates who are sociable/outgoing with warm, friendly demeanors may not often be turned away in favor of quiet, less sociable candidates, but every trait has a dark side. These candidates may be excessively talkative, boisterous, or even uninhibited to the point that they are disruptive and tactless.
Here are a few more outwardly positive personality characteristics and their dark alter egos.
· Confident – Arrogant, smug, patronizing
· Bold – Reckless, unprepared, brash
· Assertive – Overbearing, blunt, dominating, forceful. Combine this with confidence and boldness and you are liable to hire a Wolf of Wall Street type.
· Accommodating – Submissive, passive, pushover
· Tenacious – Obstinate, inflexible,
· Disciplined – Fussy, obsessive, dictatorial
· Decisive – Opinionated, impetuous, trigger happy
As shown above with assertive, many of these negative characteristics, when coupled with corresponding traits, may be amplified. A person with a high level of confidence and moderate levels of assertiveness and or boldness may not be an issue, however high levels of each may produce a toxic performer. My earlier post on this subject showed that parting ways with toxic employees, even if ranked in the top 1% for productivity, saved a company more in expense than what the company earned from the superstar’s production.
So, when you are looking to hire your next Jedi, be careful whether you are hiring an individual who wants to destroy the Death Star or who wants to build a Death Star. You may end up with a bold, confident Vader over a bold, confident Luke!
Calling Interview4 video interviewing “a life changer”, a large retailer finds the service not only reduces turnover, but also saves time and money by allowing the screening of more candidates in the same amount of time that used to be devoted to phone screening. Eliminating the agony of the phone interview has resulted in happier teams and a better corporate culture.
The quality of job candidates brought in for live interviews increased markedly. Each candidate who took a video interview could be evaluated easily in just ten to twelve minutes, putting more time into each recruiter’s day.
Before Interview4, picking candidates to be advanced in the hiring process was hotly contested because only one person actually spoke to each candidate via phone. Everyone else just saw the written summaries of the calls.
Now, the recorded video interviews can easily be shared with team leaders, program managers, and other decision makers. They can review, grade and comment on each candidate.Virtual video interviews are also convenient to schedule for both the employer and the candidates.
Finally, the Interview4 team got high marks for their customer focus and willingness to cater to customers’ needs.
Job seekers will get rejected for many things. Their lack of skills, their lack of experience, their height, weight, gender, race and so on. I have blogged on these items extensively but here are a few items not often considered that affect a job candidate’s chances. Some are within their control while others are not.
The time of your interview – When scheduling an interview avoid the lunch hour. A pre-lunch interview could be cut short while a post lunch interview could delay you as you wait for your interviewer to return. Also the last interview of the day is not a prime choice as your interviewer may be distracted by their evening plans.
Rainy days – If you can change the weather patterns try interviewing on a sunny day. You may be rated more favorably.
Early, on time or late – Showing up late for an interviewer is obviously a negative and you can never go wrong with being on time but showing up early isn’t necessarily a plus. Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert says that arriving too early can make you appear too anxious and put pressure on the interviewer.
How you treat staff – Be good to those around you! The CEO of Panera bread once rejected a candidate because they were rude to a worker cleaning nearby tables. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, will ask the airport shuttle driver if his job candidates were rude or impolite. “If our shuttle driver wasn’t treated well, then we won’t hire that person,” Hsieh remarked.
Sitting too early – Stand until your interviewer sits or offers you a seat!
Looking at your cell phone or watch – The hiring manager deserves your attention! Don’t be rude!
Where you grew up – Interviewers are often sub-consciously biased but sometimes in a positive way. If the job seeker shares similarities with the interviewer such as in where they both grew up, this may benefit the candidate. The similarity attraction hypothesis suggests that people are drawn to those who are similar to them in some aspect.
Smiling – Smiling people are more engaging and approachable but according to one study, excessive smiling does not benefit all professions. Most notably manager candidates were less likely to get the job.
A foreign accent – Another item about which candidates have no control is a foreign accent and for executive positions employers are seemingly biased against it. According to research, employers believe foreign speaking candidates have less political skill.
Obesity – A study found that candidates were rated as less competent when photos of their non-obese bodies were compared with digitally altered photos that made them look obese. Is this discrimination? Of course it is and unless you live in Michigan, there is no law to protect you.
Your handshake – This one is perhaps more spoken of than the others but an issue people may commonly neglect. Strong handshakes usually indicate confidence while weak handshakes, according to one study, indicate shyness and neuroticism.
As a job seeker, if you can eliminate all the potential resume pitfalls, and get past the computer gatekeeper, your chances will improve drastically if you heed the data above.
Last year the national average for filling an open position reached 29 days which was a record. Believing that recruiters are simply dragging their feet and waiting for a purple squirrel is a common assumption and true to some extent. To be fair though to recruiters and hiring managers, the number of measures that must be taken the moment a position becomes vacant needs to be considered.
- Advertise the position
- Identify acceptable candidates
- Conduct interviews
- Complete background and reference checks
- Extend an offer
- Wait for the candidate to accept the offer
When you consider all of this, 29 days doesn’t seem so long but it is! According to some statistics, top talent remains on the market for only 10 days! Additionally, during that 29 days, as the position remains open, productivity, revenue and morale drops among your employees. The solution seems simple. Speed up the hiring process! Weed out candidates with an ATS. Conduct more interviews in less time with video interviewing! Even with those measures in place, is ten days to fill a realistic goal?
Recruiting in the business world isn’t like recruiting in the sports or entertainment industry. My team has an open position at quarterback and Cam Newton is available? You’d better believe we are going after him! He’s a proven star! Carmello Anthony is a free agent and I need a forward? My VP of People Operations is calling up Carmello’s agent. My movie’s director just dropped out? Let’s see, is Scorsese Spielberg or Christopher Nolan available? No? What about Alejandro Inarritu? He’s been nominated twice in the last two years.
Within these fields top talent can easily be identified. Right from the start a short list of stars to fill the open position is formed. In the corporate world unless you are poaching executives at the “C” level from high profile companies such as Amazon, Apple or Google, most top talent is relatively unknown. You don’t know that you have a potential Steph Curry, Odell Beckham Jr., or Cate Blanchett applying for your open position. At least not from the start.
Though your job candidate’s resume may scream success up front, you certainly want more than a few days to determine the validity of their credentials. Assuming an organization is lucky enough to find their dream candidate within seven days of posting a job, recruiters are left with only three days to interview the candidate, verify references and negotiate an offer before the candidate accepts another. Careerbuilder released a survey a few years ago and the results showed that 41% of employers believed a bad hiring decision cost them upwards of $25,000 and 43% of them blamed their bad hires on a rushed hiring decision.
Organizations face a problem. Move too quickly during the hiring process and they risk hiring the wrong candidate. Move too slowly and they risk a great candidate getting away. Move slower still, 29 days slow, and they risk losing not only the good candidates but all of the rest. Hiring managers can ill afford to hold out and wait for a Steph Curry or an Adrian Peterson. As Dr. John Sullivan points out, “…it’s mostly luck if the most desirable candidates decide to enter the job market precisely when you coincidentally have a job opening.”
So can you hire a great candidate in ten days? Yes, but only if luck is on your side. Generally you shouldn’t try because your rushed hiring decision could produce a bad hire. However if you drag your feet too long waiting for the perfect candidate, your luck will turn to misfortune. That is if you believe losing revenue is unfortunate.
Looking for a new job can be a daunting, draining, soul crushing experience. However if you establish realistic expectations you can approach the rejection and struggle philosophically rather than personally and hopefully not succumb to depression.
Please consider the following before you start pounding the pavement so that you don’t start pounding your head against it.
You might suffer through a long application process – So you’ve just found a great job online you feel is perfect for you? You apply and find that you’ve entered an arduous process that little helps your job seeking fatigue. Fifty-four percent of HR professionals report that their organization’s application process takes over 20 minutes to complete! Keep in mind that on average every online job posting receives about 200 resumes. Before you enter into 20 minutes of online hell and compete with 200 other blokes, ask yourself, “Do I really want this job?” and “Am I really qualified for this job?” If you can’t answer “yes” to either of those, then don’t waste your time.
You probably won’t find a job online – The majority of open positions aren’t advertised online and according to a 2014 survey by CareerXroads, only 15 percent of jobs were filled through job boards. Most candidates are sourced from within or from referrals. Networking therefore may be a better use of your time.
You probably won’t hear back from the employer – A Careerbuilder survey suggests that three-fourths of job candidates never hear back from the employer after applying or they receive no more than an automated response after hitting “submit”. Yes, though this lack of employer action may be unprofessional, you should not take it personally. If you are holding your breath with crossed fingers and refreshing your inbox repeatedly, you will be disappointed if not frustrated.
You weren’t rejected because of who you are – Automated systems often filter out about 75% of the candidates who apply through them and much of this rejection is based solely on the lack of keywords in your resume. If a company shows no interest in your online application, don’t take it personally. Chances are a human never saw your resume to begin with and even if they did, they spent on average only six seconds getting to know it.
You may not have been rejected for lack of skill – You may have all the skills in the world but today, as unfair as this sounds, cultural fit is given more consideration during the hiring process. A study of 500 organizations found that 82% felt cultural fit was an important measure in the hiring process while seventy-five percent of respondents believed cultural fit was a good predictor of success. Understand though that fit is a two-way street. If they don’t feel you are a fit for them, they may not be a fit for you either. Learning that up front is perhaps best for your career.
Hiring managers barely look at your resume – Hiring managers and recruiters look at your resume, as mentioned above, for a mere six seconds. During that time they only look at your name, current position, previous position and education. Make sure your resume is formatted in such a way that this information can be accessed quickly to best maximize the time they spend on you.
You may be requested to take a video interview – Dozens of video interviewing providers now litter the hiring landscape as employers seek to hire more efficiently and effectively. If you are invited to take a video interview, do not panic and certainly do not feel slighted you weren’t immediately invited into the office. You have been invited because your resume interests them. You have passed the skills audition and the video interview is your chance to let your personality shine. Read, “4 Reasons Why Job Candidates Should be All Over Video Interviewing.”
A job search is more a marathon than a sprint. Understand these six points and you just may have the endurance to make it to the finish line.
The possibility of hiring people online has changed the recruitment market immensely. Almost every bigger company uses online recruiting methods in one way or another. There are just so many possibilities.
Social recruitment is one of those. It means using social networks to reach and pick out potential employees. Freelancing websites are another one. They are a great way to find and contact a lot of external talents. Last but not least, a lot of companies use online as an easy way to support their offline recruitment methods. For example by posting their offer on their website.
But why are companies so crazy about online recruitment? All the ways described above have their specific advantages and disadvantages. But recruiting online is inherently different than previous methods. In this article, we’ve put together the 4 main benefits of finding new employees or external experts online.
- Faster recruiting process
To start it off with an obvious one, recruiting online yields results much quicker than traditional methods. Here’s what it takes to make an offline job ad – contact newspaper to insert ad, get it approved, wait for print, wait for delivery, wait for candidate response. You’ll notice the word wait three times at the end there. Here’s the online process – post on platform of your own choosing, wait for candidate response.
These examples are a bit oversimplified, but you get the idea. Candidates can view your online job offer right away, 24 hours a day and response as quickly as they can. Waiting for CVs or other documents to physically reach you is simply inefficient when compared to online alternatives. A faster recruitment process means your company gets the workforce it needs sooner.
- Reduced costs
It costs less. Not only is it cheaper in general, in some cases it comes with no additional financial costs, e.g. social recruitment via Facebook or LinkedIn. Professional online recruiting platforms will cost more than your Facebook page, but the bottom line should still come out in your favor.
And it’s not just monetary savings either. Online recruitment also saves your HR department time. This means they have more time to optimize working processes, train your employees and pick out the best prospects for that job opening. Another online specific advantage is the fact that you can always change your ad or posting relatively easily compared to offline methods.
- No geographical barriers
It doesn’t matter where you are anymore. Your target audience doesn’t have to be in a specific region to get the TV ad, the newspaper, see a poster or pick up a flyer. They just have to be using certain online services. This means you can access a global market of experts. You all know the advantages of outsourcing – it can be cheaper and bring very valuable talent and experience that maybe just isn’t there in your region.
- Filtering possibilities
A larger pool of candidates to pick from might seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Statistically, the more people you reach, the more likely it is that the people you are looking for are among them. If you use external services, for example, you will be able to look for people who work in a specific niche or have plenty of experience in the field you want. You can filter by region, language, and sometimes even expected pay. This won’t be the case if you’re using other forms of online recruitment. However, with the emergence of trends like Big Data, more companies are using their databases to help determine which employees are most likely to be hired.
Of course, offline recruitment can still be useful in some cases. But if you’re not using any online channel or platform for finding candidates in 2016, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Viktor Marinov is the voice behind the freelancer magazine at http://www.freelancermap.com. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, check out his freelancer tips!