Should Recruitment Business Owners Use Video Interviews?

Some recruitment business owners used to think we were crazy.

They had this notion that asking candidates to do video interviews would scare them away.

And that was understandable. A decade ago, when we first started asking candidates to create video introductions, the technology was new and, unlike now, we didn’t live in a world where millions of people documented every detail of their lives and threw it up onto social media.

But the cynics were wrong then, and the few recruitment business owners that are still suspicious of video interviewing tech are wrong now.

I’ll get into the WHY in a moment, but first just a quick reminder about what this article series is about and why these things matter…

Are Recruitment Business Owners Wasting Their Time?

If you don’t want to go back and read the first article in this series, the short version is that recruitment business owners are under pressure to keep up with new rec-tech and new marketing strategies.

But how do you know which ones are genuinely beneficial and which ones are just gimmicks that will be dead and buried in a few years? 

The answer is to focus on the Return on Investment (ROI). If the tech or the strategy can produce a measurable improvement in your bottom line, sufficient to pay for itself and more, it’s worthy of attention. 

If not, then it’s just a drain on your resources. 

This article series is only focusing on those elements that DO provide a genuine ROI, so obviously we’ve already crunched the numbers and we can already confidently say that video interviewing fits the bill. 

After all, we’ve been using video interviewing for 10 years… 

How Do Recruitment Business Owners Use Video Interviewing?

For the purposes of this article we’re talking, not about face-to-face interviews carried over Zoom, but rather videos that the candidates record and then submit as part of their application package.

In a typical example, a recruiter gives the candidates a list of questions and asks them to record a video of themselves answering those questions.

Some video interviewing tech can be pre-loaded with questions so the candidates get little or no time to prepare a polished answer, allowing hopefully for responses that are more informative and demonstrate whether the candidate is good at thinking on their feet.

Why Should Recruitment Business Owners Use Video Interviews?

First and foremost, video interviewing gives you information that you can’t obtain through any other medium. Even if your candidates are the reincarnation of Hemingway (in other words, totally unemployable) there are things you will learn from watching a video of a person talking to camera that you just can’t learn through the written medium. 

At the very least, video interviews allow you to put a face and a voice to the candidate, allowing you and the employer to get a better sense of who the person is. 

This isn’t a small thing. This is about how humans store memories and connect them to faces. 

If an employer is reviewing a shortlist of five candidates and all they have are CVs, behavioural assessments, competency questionnaires, and the like, it’s very easy for information to blur together. 

Even worse, the decision-makers can start mixing up key information with the wrong candidate.

However, if the employer can watch a video of the candidate BEFORE they start reviewing their profile, the information in the application will attach itself to the visual image of that person, making it easier to keep the candidates distinct. 

Of less importance, but still worthy of note, is the fact that, like it or not, there is increased expectation among employers that their recruiters will use video interviewing, especially for senior roles. 

Using tech because it’s expected is not something we would generally recommend, but it can’t be denied that video is so ubiquitous in every element of the online world, we’re rapidly reaching the point where NOT using video interviewing will make your recruitment firm look quaint. 

Fine if you’re hiring horologists to fix grandfather clocks. Everyone else… not so much.

Is There a Wrong Way to Use Video Interviewing?

The most common misstep in using video interviewing is to ask the wrong questions. 

Or even the right question in the wrong way. 

You want to get answers from the candidates that demonstrate their understanding of their specialist field, but what you don’t want is for every candidate to give more or less the same answer. Otherwise the exercise becomes mostly redundant. 

The key is to ask questions that are more open-ended and that allow the candidates to express their personal views on subjects relating to the role.

What’s the most Effective Way to Use Video Interviewing?

Use video interviews early as part of the candidate’s application package so the decision-makers can clearly differentiate between the people on the shortlist.

Build your video interview question list around competencies. Treat this as an opportunity to learn how the candidate prefers to carry out their duties so the employer can get a sense of what it will actually be like to work with this person.

How Else Can Recruiters Use Video Interviews?

At i-intro®, over the years, we’ve expanded the video interviewing technology we provide to recruiters. But our original video strategy – that is still a cornerstone of the i-intro® method – is something that is more accurately called the video introduction. 

The principle is the same in that we ask each candidate to record a video, but the key difference is that we give very little guidance. We simply ask the candidate to record a 2-3 minute video introducing themselves and explaining a little bit about what they’d bring to the role. 

It’s deliberately a bit vague because the purpose is to see how the candidate handles the assignment. Almost by default, each candidate shares the elements of their skills and experience that THEY believe are most important. The amount of effort and the level of enthusiasm they show can also be very revealing (although levels of comfort in front of a camera vary, so this should always be considered). 

The second benefit of asking candidates to create a video introduction is that it separates the people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the role from those people who are throwing their CV into the mix on a whim. 

Even if the candidate does 2-3 takes to create a video they’re happy with, the exercise should take no more than half an hour. So, if someone says they’re too busy to create a video introduction (or if they imply that it’s beneath them), this also teaches you something very valuable about the candidate and their commitment to the process. 

Have you ever taken a very promising candidate through the process only for them to drop about right before the interview stage? This almost never happens to candidates that have demonstrated their commitment to the process by creating a video introduction. 

Does Video Interviewing Provide a True Return on Investment?

Yes. It’s a little harder to draw a straight line from the tech to the profit in the way that you can, for example, with Behavioural Assessments. But there are two clear wins from using video interviewing.

  • It enhances and adds value to your recruitment service, helping you close more business and justifying higher than average fees.
  • It speeds up the creation of your shortlist and reduces wasted time on tire-kickers by weeding out half-hearted candidates early in the process.

Are you considering adding Video Interviewing to your recruitment service?

If so, you’ll be pleased to know that the i-intro® system includes flexible, easy-to-use video interviewing software. 

And because it’s built right into our system, you don’t need to worry about finding a third-party and figuring out the integration. 

Plus, we provide comprehensive training on how to use video interviewing as part of your process and to improve your ability to win new business. 

If you’re a recruitment business owner and you’d like a free demonstration of the i-intro® system, including the video interviewing feature, CLICK HERE and make an appointment with one of our specialists.

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