How Video Résumés Can Save Employers Time and Money When Hiring
Rather than unprofessional, personal sagas, today’s video résumés act as an informative supplement to other materials.
By Nick Murphy
Today it seems that everyone has an “online persona” that they’re eager to share with the world. By now, most HR professionals have been asked by an applicant to view his or her website to explore how he or she would be the next great employee for their company.
Websites are bringing the concept to life by organizing the user’s pertinent information and tailoring the user experience to working professionals and corporations. The video format is becoming increasingly popular, as more transitioning professionals and first-time job seekers strive to grab the attention of prospective employers and attempt to stand out from other applicants. With advances in technology, companies have made the video format a valuable tool for HR professionals. Deeper screening of applicants online can streamline the search for quality employees, saving companies a tremendous number of man-hours and a substantial amount of money in comparison to more traditional recruiting methods.
It’s important that you understand what this new medium entails and what it has to offer before deciding whether it is right for your company. When utilized correctly, incorporating a video element into your current system can add freedom and flexibility to your schedule and money to your company’s bottom line.
First, let’s begin by defining what a “video résumé” is in today’s world, and why that term is often misunderstood. When some HR professionals hear the term “video résumé,” it sends shivers down their spines because it conjures of images of long, drawn-out, unprofessional, personal sagas that don’t create value in the minds of employers. Contrary to its name, a video résumé is no longer an applicant reading his résumé aloud on tape or disc and then sending it snail-mail-style to your office door. Today, video résumés act as an informative supplement to other features, like the candidate’s text résumé and an organized summary of skills and experiences. The video itself is viewable on-demand right on the user’s computer screen, and it plays instantly without downloading any additional programs or plug-ins.
Think of the video résumé of today as an overview of each applicant that is immediately accessible to you after you have reviewed the text résumé and are ready to learn more about the individual candidate. This new technology has completely revolutionized the screening process for companies that are utilizing it correctly. In the past, hiring managers had to sort through hundreds of résumés, often electing to meet with applicants based solely on the inclusion or non-inclusion of key words. Then, hiring managers had to call each candidate they wanted to learn more about to coordinate a time that was convenient for both parties’ schedules. Finally, they had to physically meet with each and every applicant to get the same information that is now accessible via the Internet, on the hiring manager’s schedule. Time is money, and in no industry is that more true than in human resources.
Many companies are also finding it valuable to use video to post jobs to correspond with their traditional online job postings. Many companies (probably yours) are after a select market of “high value” candidates and are competing fiercely with other companies in the same industry for the best and brightest applicants. For a fee, some websites offer employers features that can include the production of the company’s video onsite at the company’s office or other facility. However, WorkBlast.com [the author’s company] does not charge for this feature.
Are companies already turning to video for recruiting and screening? The answer is a resounding yes. In a recent Career Builder survey of 2,200 hiring managers, 60 percent responded that they were “very interested” in viewing video résumés. Major companies like Macy’s, Exxon Mobil, UPS and IKEA, as well as countless small to midsize businesses that don’t have an HR department, have already begun using video résumés to screen candidates for some of their positions.
However, some companies are taking longer to embrace the trend, mostly due to some common misconceptions about the “legality” of video résumés. Not so long ago, some hiring managers were trained to throw out any résumé that had a picture attached to it for fear of being sued for discrimination. Despite this apprehension, many companies see the value in more thoroughly screening candidates online, before they spend time and money interviewing those who appear to be qualified from their text résumé alone.
To appease parties on both sides of the discrimination issue, some sites have created a way to provide hiring managers with a system to search for candidates based solely on their qualifications, before they ever see or hear that applicant. If, after reviewing the applicant’s text résumé and experience, the manager is interested in learning more, he simply clicks, and is immediately directed to the applicant’s video overview. This video clip includes the applicant’s unique selling proposition—the applicant telling the decision maker exactly why she’s the candidate who deserves more of the manager’s time before a hiring decision is made.
By utilizing video and the Internet to more thoroughly screen applicants, many companies are able to analyze more potential employees than their tight schedules would otherwise allow. With more candidates in the mix for each position, the odds of finding the right person for the job up front and reducing turnover costs increase substantially.
If your company decides that utilizing video overviews as a supplement will aid in your screening and interviewing process, here are some tips to consider:
Be sure that the website you choose includes a copy of a traditional text résumé so that you are learning as much as possible about the candidate’s experience and past. The video element will help you gauge intangible qualities, readiness and potential for your organization.
Encourage applicants to keep it short. Any video over two minutes may actually cost you time, and you will shortly lose interest in drawn-out video presentations.
Look for the candidate’s unique selling proposition. If the applicant can’t tell you why he’d be the best fit for your position in a brief, organized and concise manner, he may not be what you’re looking for.
Keep up with the trend and stay informed. Video résumés aren’t going away. They will continue to pop up in your inbox, and it’s critical that you and your company understand the use of this new medium and put its value to good use.
Don’t snub valuable information simply because it’s in a video format. Usually, even the worst video résumé sheds far more light on the actual potential of a candidate than the best text résumé ever could. Use this information when it’s presented to you. It will save you and your company time and money (and probably some frustration) down the road.
Nick Murphy is COO of WorkBlast.com, a video résumé service. Previously, he was a punter for the Philadelphia Eagles and has also played for the Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs.