Video Interview Trends in Recruiting & Hiring

Earlier this week I was invited to be part of the #RecHangout discussion panel where we tackled the topic of video in recruiting. The panel consisted of number of talent acquisition professionals, business owners, pundits and video technology founders making for a very lively discussion. I enjoyed the banter and discussion from the group because it provided me some awesome insight into the global adoption of video. I was the sole American represented in the panel.

I was first introduced to video as a form of a candidate introduction in 2007. I remember receiving a video link on a resume inviting me to get to know Jim, the eager customer service employee. This kind of engagement was unique. I was perplexed and my hiring managers worried that there was some sort of discrimination risk if they viewed the video. Thinking about this makes me laugh a bit considering all the personal data, photos and videos now broadcasts we share on the social web. And yet in 2007, we were worried about a candidate submitted video along with his resume or CV.

On the panel, leading up to and the rest of this week, I’ve been pondering video. It’s been an important part of many discussions at my employer as we think about how to leverage video beyond the traditional uses. It’s obvious from the panel conversations and in talking with peers our use of video and adoption is vast which is why I thought I would mention some new and emerging uses of video you might not have considered.

#1 – Video Tech Extends Well Beyond the Standard Video Interview

In 2009, video interviewing was the new kid on the block in the HR technology landscape. I was surprised during my interview this week on #RecHangout that the majority of the conversations surrounding technology and video was simply video interviewing. Video interviewing isn’t simple. There are many types of video interviewing options including asynchronous and two way video interviews, but video interviewing isn’t the only reason or use case for video in recruiting and talent acquisition.

Video isn’t just about interviewing. It’s about conversations, engagement and relationships. It provides opportunities for engagement that are real time, recorded and that encourages consumption. Video encourages sharing. Keep in mind that 92% of viewers of online video recordings share the video with others. It’s the most viral of all digital tools and platforms.

#2 – Machine Learning and AI Is Forever Changing the Video Tech Space

Several years ago federal law agencies reached out to a number of video interview technologies in the United States to discuss machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies that could predict lies through word selection, intonation and body language. This is the future of video technology as a form of candidate assessment similar to a background check, pre-employment assessment or psychological evaluation. I find the use of video technology this way exciting yet creepy at the same time. The technology use leads to conversations of privacy, ethics and the legality of whether the information obtained in these videos is legally authorized to be used and disclosed in the hiring and employment process.

#3 – Video is Used as a Brand, Employment and Candidate Experience Differentiator

Video has an ability to engage candidates and build relationships in a way that no other medium can. It’s the reason why employers are investing in video for employment branding and consumer brands are focuses on video in their product marketing campaigns. I see video as a way to tell stories to candidates, inject realness into company cultures and provide insights in real time not just for employment branding purposes but also for personal branding. I see video as a way to engage candidates to build personal relationships, a sort of real time email message that goes beyond the written word. Video is and will continue to be an empowering medium and technology that employers, recruiters and hiring managers can rely on to share insights in the most creative and interesting ways.

#4 – Streaming and Mobile Video Offer a More Authentic Point of View

It’s important to balance produced video produced pieces with the realness, rawness and implied trust that streamed, live and mobile video bring. These are great ways to tell stories in the moment that can reach candidates within seconds impacting the quality and quantity of candidate funnels for positions as well as the larger talent network and candidate pool.

The question is how do employers and businesses remain authentic in their video but still uphold their brand and the quality of video especially when it’s live streamed? Should we, as employers and talent acquisition leaders relax a little bit because the live video increases trust and transparency? Is it worth the risk?

The Challenge with Video

The challenge with video is that it’s expensive. Production for two three minute employment branding videos can easily cost $10,000 and it is often a soft cost meaning there’s no direct correlation with a candidate applying when I pull my monthly reports until I invest, experiment and commit to the technology. And even then it’s still a wild card because unlike a job posting, I can’t tie a candidate directly to an individual application that compelled them to apply unless that video is tied directly to the job posting itself or I have AB tested landing pages with and without video and evaluated conversations for my talent communities.

This expense makes streaming video more enticing as employers can test the waters for a minimal cost and determine if they receive benefits before making the larger investments in other types of video assets and video technology.

The recording of the #RecHangout is embedded above. Panelists included Kirstie Kelly, Darren Ledger, myself and Plamen Ivanoff. Our hosts included  Alan Whitford (RCEuro / Abtech Partnership), Louis Welcomme (Colleague Software), Mark Stephens (Smart Recruit Online) and Louise Triance (UK Recruiter).

How is video changing your recruiting and employee engagement strategies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to the conversation.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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