We video interviewed before video interviewing was cool!
Video-Interviewing is one of the hottest trends (or should I say coolest) in corporate recruiting. In short, video-interviewing allows hiring managers and HR professionals to screen or interview job candidates over the Internet using a webcam. The process cuts down on the costs associated with hiring and saves the hiring team tremendous time. It also provides better insight earlier in the hiring cycle, resulting in better decisions.
Though this initiative may seem new and cutting edge to you, we have actually been engaged in video interviewing since 1987! Do you remember the late eighties? Dirty Dancing was popular in the theaters, Michael Jackson was still moon walking across MTV, and families were recording precious memories on camcorders the size of small boom boxes. With these technological artifacts, which seemed advanced at the time, our recruiting firm sat down and interviewed job candidates for our clients and video recorded the interview. Once all the interviews were completed, we met with the hiring manager and reviewed the candidate’s video interviews. This process saved the hiring manager time by allowing them to quickly eliminate from the process the candidates that were not a good fit for their organization. It meant that they could meet with only the candidates in whom they had a great deal of interest.
In the eighties and for most of the nineties, we interviewed candidates in person by traveling to their location. This cost of travel we passed onto the client which they were happy to pay because they saved a lot of time. This process was great for the era, but with the invention of the Internet (thanks Mr. Gore!) we experimented with ways to take our process online to reduce the need to travel. With webcams and high speed internet connections, we could interview candidates in other states and countries without incurring the costs of travel. Our solution was now improved but not perfected. While we could record our interviews, these videos could not be easily shared with our clients without meeting with them in person. We needed a way to distribute the lengthy candidate interview to them over the web. Furthermore, interviewing candidates in foreign countries and differing time zones created scheduling problems, which required us to either interview them late at night or early in the morning. Eventually we threw our hands in the air and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could give the candidates the questions and they could somehow interview themselves?”
So that is exactly what we did. We developed a tool whereby a candidate could log in to a secure portal, and with their webcam, interview themselves. This “virtual” interview was recorded and upon completion could easily be reviewed by us and shared with the hiring manager via a link to our secure video server. No more scheduling hassles and sharing problems. Our clients could easily screen through the candidate’s interview and decide quickly which candidates they wanted to bring in for a face-to-face interview.
We didn’t stop with our virtual tool. Because we knew virtual interviewing was still alien to some, we created our live two-way interviewing tool to connect the candidate and hiring manager together. Like the virtual tool, the two-way interview is recorded and indexed by question so that the reviewer can easily jump to the relevant parts of the interview.
Through our more than 20 years of experience in the video interviewing business, we have nearly refined the video-interviewing process….for now at least. Even cooler things are on the way.