by Kristen Lamoreaux

Hiring Managers Say Online Video Speeds Up the Interview Process

Jan 30, 20144 mins
CareersIT Jobs

Pre-recorded interview questions—and the resulting answers—can give hiring managers a head start on selecting job candidates

If you’re tired of being buried in inappropriate resumes from HR (oh yes, I did just write that), there’s a new wave to catch: pre-recorded video interviewing. We know that companies have been incorporating Skype, Oovoo and FaceTime into their interview processes for years, but each of those tools requires one thing: You, the hiring manager. The new wave removes you from the equation, at least initially.

Dave Sinclair is the corporate recruiting manager for Henkels and McCoy, a large, privately held engineering, network-development and construction firm with more than 80 offices in North America. Sinclair is piloting a tool called InterviewStream that offers online, pre-recorded video interview questions. Candidates can launch their interview process the moment they apply for a job. “This is a breakthrough for the company,” Sinclair says. “We recruit people from around the world and others who are road warriors. Coordination of interviews can take months, but with a tool like this, we can kick off the interview process 24/7, regardless of geography.”

Individual hiring managers can select questions from extensive video libraries of pre-recorded questions (asked by actors or actresses) or they can record their own pre-screening questions. Upon applying for a job, candidates are asked, “Would you like to complete a pre-screen interview now?”

The video questions can replace a general phone screen or focus on ensuring candidates have depth in a particular skill set. “We’re using video screening for high-demand roles and critical roles,” Sinclair says. “We find it works best for technical recruiting, engineering, project management and college recruiting.”

Instead of the usual process–reviewing applicant resumes, setting up a phone screen and typing up notes–Sinclair can view a few minutes of video and forward the link with comments to hiring managers. The system notifies Sinclair when the hiring manager views the link, so he knows to follow up for feedback and next steps.

In addition to the time savings of 24/7 video recruitment, Sinclair says the tool helps hiring managers maintain the company culture. “We’re a very culturally driven company, and it’s harder to gauge cultural fit by paper,” he says.

Sinclair also thinks those candidates who agree to the video pre-screen will have better odds of being interviewed. “Unless a candidate has an awesome resume, the hiring manager will have a better chance of developing a connection with a video candidate. It’s just human nature.”

Easier Scheduling

The video technology can “greatly improve the hiring process, which historically has been very frustrating to hiring managers,” says Rick Fabrizio, CIO of AmeriGas, the nation’s largest provider of propane. “Scheduling multiple candidates to meet with multiple managers has always been challenging. Now the process becomes very flexible for us.”

With over 800 locations in 50 states, Fabrizio likes how HR can simply forward a pre-screen video link to interviewers. “It’s really a win-win for all parties involved: It lowers costs for HR, it saves time for the candidates, and reduces travel time. But what really excites me is that it enhances the selection process.”

Fabrizio is a fan of the pre-recorded interview questions. “It shortens the hiring cycle since it weeds out the candidates that look good on paper but are a bust in person.”

Yes, there are security and network bandwidth issues to consider with these online interviewing systems. But here’s some food for thought: I contacted over a dozen companies using or considering these types of interviewing tools. All were very excited about the speed-to-hire improvements and ease of use. But in many cases, the CIOs of those companies were completely unaware that HR had already gone out and secured the service.

Kristen Lamoreaux is president and CEO of Lamoreaux Search, which finds IT professionals for hiring managers.