Today it seems that everyone has an \u201conline persona\u201d that they\u2019re 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. \n\nWebsites are bringing the concept to life by organizing the user\u2019s 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. RELATED LINKS \nVideo Resumes: The Pros and Cons for Job-Seekers\nSeven Tips for Creating an Effective Video ResumeIt\u2019s 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\u2019s bottom line.First, let\u2019s begin by defining what a \u201cvideo r\u00e9sum\u00e9\u201d is in today\u2019s world, and why that term is often misunderstood. When some HR professionals hear the term \u201cvideo r\u00e9sum\u00e9,\u201d it sends shivers down their spines because it conjures of images of long, drawn-out, unprofessional, personal sagas that don\u2019t create value in the minds of employers. Contrary to its name, a video r\u00e9sum\u00e9 is no longer an applicant reading his r\u00e9sum\u00e9 aloud on tape or disc and then sending it snail-mail-style to your office door. Today, video r\u00e9sum\u00e9s act as an informative supplement to other features, like the candidate\u2019s text r\u00e9sum\u00e9 and an organized summary of skills and experiences. The video itself is viewable on-demand right on the user\u2019s computer screen, and it plays instantly without downloading any additional programs or plug-ins. Think of the video r\u00e9sum\u00e9 of today as an overview of each applicant that is immediately accessible to you after you have reviewed the text r\u00e9sum\u00e9 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 r\u00e9sum\u00e9s, 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\u2019 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\u2019s schedule. Time is money, and in no industry is that more true than in human resources.\n \nMany 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 \u201chigh value\u201d 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\u2019s video onsite at the company\u2019s office or other facility. However, WorkBlast.com [the author\u2019s company] does not charge for this feature. \n \nAre 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 \u201cvery interested\u201d in viewing video r\u00e9sum\u00e9s. Major companies like Macy\u2019s, Exxon Mobil, UPS and IKEA, as well as countless small to midsize businesses that don\u2019t have an HR department, have already begun using video r\u00e9sum\u00e9s to screen candidates for some of their positions. \n \nHowever, some companies are taking longer to embrace the trend, mostly due to some common misconceptions about the \u201clegality\u201d of video r\u00e9sum\u00e9s. Not so long ago, some hiring managers were trained to throw out any r\u00e9sum\u00e9 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 r\u00e9sum\u00e9 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\u2019s text r\u00e9sum\u00e9 and experience, the manager is interested in learning more, he simply clicks, and is immediately directed to the applicant\u2019s video overview. This video clip includes the applicant\u2019s unique selling proposition\u2014the applicant telling the decision maker exactly why she\u2019s the candidate who deserves more of the manager\u2019s time before a hiring decision is made.\n \nBy 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.\n \nIf your company decides that utilizing video overviews as a supplement will aid in your screening and interviewing process, here are some tips to consider:\n\nBe sure that the website you choose includes a copy of a traditional text r\u00e9sum\u00e9 so that you are learning as much as possible about the candidate\u2019s experience and past. The video element will help you gauge intangible qualities, readiness and potential for your organization.\n\nEncourage 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.\n\nLook for the candidate\u2019s unique selling proposition. If the applicant can\u2019t tell you why he\u2019d be the best fit for your position in a brief, organized and concise manner, he may not be what you\u2019re looking for.\n\nKeep up with the trend and stay informed. Video r\u00e9sum\u00e9s aren\u2019t going away. They will continue to pop up in your inbox, and it\u2019s critical that you and your company understand the use of this new medium and put its value to good use.\n\nDon\u2019t snub valuable information simply because it\u2019s in a video format. Usually, even the worst video r\u00e9sum\u00e9 sheds far more light on the actual potential of a candidate than the best text r\u00e9sum\u00e9 ever could. Use this information when it\u2019s 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 r\u00e9sum\u00e9 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.