Since YouTube changed the game in 2005, the application of video technology to the recruitment industry has been the next big thing. It hasn’t happened. Despite its obvious utility, Video CV’s remain very much on the fringes of the debate in the big recruitment tent. Why is this? I’ve come up with three reasons

1. It’s a School Disco

School disco 2 300x185 Where ARE The Video CVs?

Remember School Disco? Actually how could anyone forget. As a teenage rite of passage, it’s as excruciating as they come, inflicted on the impressionable by the well intentioned yet horribly
misguided. The iconic moment is of course, at the very beginning, when
the music comes on and nobody wants to be first on the dance floor. Twenty years on, the embarrassment hasn’t even begun to fade.

I think the Video CV market is like a school disco. The music is on, but no one wants to go first on the dance floor. Not the employers who could be running video CV only recruitment campaigns, not the recruiters who won’t spend on tech if they don’t have to, not the job seekers who see little point when there is no overt demand from the other two. The Video
CV market is waiting for a decisive first mover, and for that mover to
be quickly followed by the market they are addressing. So far, we
haven’t seen it.

2. There is an asymmetry of production vs consumption

vitruvian man mixed 300x300 Where ARE The Video CVs?

CV’s are marketing collateral and consequently, they need to look good. So far, every attempt at video CV’s has failed in this regard. Whilst the production technology available to most home users is good enough to do a Skype call with
Grandma in Hong Kong, it’s nowhere near good enough to make it case for
it to be on your CV, much less be a replacement for your CV. It makes massive difference that we live in a media saturated age where we are inundated with HD and 3D quality video’s – we now have enormously high expectations of what a good video needs to looks like. In effect, we have an asymmetry between production and consumption – we consume a far better class of video
quality than we can produce ourselves. Can it really be any surprise
that our own speak-into-the-camera moments look so excruciatingly bad,
when our internal reference point is the latest Lady Gaga vid or HBO’s Hard Knocks?

3. You can make terrible, terrible mistakes

Aleksey Vayner 300x191 Where ARE The Video CVs?

The margin is for error is small, and yet the penalties for a mistake can be enormous. When it comes to the Video CV, one man more any other knows this is to be true: step forward Aleksey Vayner. A Yale graduate in 2006, Vayner’s Impossible Is Nothing video resume, featuring the karate chopping, tango dancing, weight lifting protagonist himself became an Internet sensation when that went viral
later that year. If you haven’t viewed this piece of Internet history,
it’s because poor Aleksey has spent the better part of the decade
tracking down and deleting the video
everywhere it has appeared online. Fortunately, I’ve tracked down a
copy on one of the remaining sites that still host it, and so for your
education, click this link.

Amazing, I’m sure you agree. To be fair to Vayner, I think he deserves credit for his give-it-a-go, pioneering attitude. That said, there’s no getting away from the fact that the video
was an unmitigated disaster when measured against his intentions.
Instead of becoming a showcase for his employability on Wall Street, it
became a viral comedy piece which was widely lampooned across the globe.
The chastened Aleksey Vayner has by all accounts since disappeared from
public view, and it wouldn’t be unkind to say that his mistake has had
significant, long lasting, career limiting impact. When a video
CV carries such a degree of risk, compared to a very low level of
reward, is it any wonder that the format hasn’t been widely adopted?
Right now, it is only for the fearless, desperate or satirical

So where does this leave us?

Leave us 300x223 Where ARE The Video CVs?

It’s not here yet, but it’s got to happen at some stage. The quality of candidate information captured through rich media is clearly more compelling than that conveyed by a two page text based document. And if Seth Godin’s right in saying that the interview is
really a 5 minute sniff test – then the savings that could be provided by a video bio would be tremendous value to job seekers, recruiters
and employers alike – potentially the elimination of some of the stages
of interview. We just need for these three obstacles to be overcome.

This post was reproduced with the permission of Wise Man Say Ltd. For original copy see:

Views: 342

Comment by Alasdair Murray on September 24, 2010 at 11:09am
I dread the day when recruitment goes showbiz to be frank. It's also not very equal opportunities because clearly, just as in real life, some people are more confident in front of a camera than others, some are self-conscious about their looks etc. Should someone be judged on a rehearsed youtube video or for their all round skills and ability? Reality tv is enough to have to bear. Do employers really have to turn themselves into Simon Cowell's freak show of auditions, for that's what it could well turn out to be if taken to its most extreme possibility.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 24, 2010 at 11:40am
Several years ago I decided something had to change in the way I introduced candidates to my clients. I looked high and low - left no stone unturned. The only "new" tools all proclaimed the benefit of video. But the only voices bestowing the vidres virtures were the vendors themselves.

I am smart enough to know what my clients want. They don't want video. Never have. Never will.

For years now I have felt that resumes themselves have not kept up with the times. They have been the same lifeless Word doc since the first one I attached to my email years and years ago.

I'll keep this short so as not to break the "no marketing rule". I love and respect this place - so please bear with me. I just get pretty excited when I talk about it.

Resumes DO need to be brought up to today's technology. Although the sourcing/recruiting world has seen generation after generation of new ways to recruit -NOT ONE SINGLE THING has been done to offer our clients a better glimpse into the person we're introducing. Nothing. All this talk of "early adoption" and "forward thinking" --- "value added" is just talk.

So after scouring the planet and not finding what I wanted - I hired a team of developers to build something for me. If I do say so myself - it's fundamentally the greatest thing that could happen to a resume. A play button on the top - giving your clients a glimpse into THE PERSON behind the resume. No awkward video shoot. No need to wait for them to put together some ill-advised career summary staring blankly into a web cam. Just the candidate - talking about their specific skills for the specific position I am introducing them for. No downloads. No passwords. No giant files attached. Just a link in the email...........

I can only tell you what my clients tell me - it's awesome.

Check it out -

(Sorry JD and MIles..........but I just had too..........)
Comment by Alasdair Murray on September 24, 2010 at 11:45am
LOL. The difference being also Jerry that I assume you offer some kind of advice and guidance to people about creating an aural CV, plus YOU are introducing them to a prospective employer, they are not going direct with something they have created themselves in order to be 'a bit different'. As I say, the mere thought of employers having to sift through the equivalent of American Idol auditions, but for jobs is actually quite scary.
Comment by on September 24, 2010 at 12:59pm
Maybe it’s just me, but I think we are all forgetting about a very important aspect to video resumes/interviews, and that is LEGAL RAMIFICATION! By no means am I a legal expert but I can just imagine all of the discrimination lawsuits that would start pouring out if candidates that use video resumes aren’t selected for interviews or jobs. Whether it race, color, gender, religion, sex, etc… Seems like a big freaking headache to me. If firms starting going to video resumes let me know so I can get my JD degree and start practicing discrimination suits!!!
Comment by Alasdair Murray on September 24, 2010 at 1:27pm
I think you're probably right Travis. Here in the UK employment law is already a minefield and any kind of discrimination whatsoever will land an employer in hot water. Choosing someone for a job via video CV is liable to be fraught with danger.
Comment by Allison on September 24, 2010 at 1:37pm
I have been recruiting for more years than I care to admit and resumes are the worst way to present a candidate to a client because a resume is a list of skills and experiences. BUT a company doesn’t hire a candidate for their skills, they higher someone to alleviate PAIN…they can’t fulfill an order because they’re understaffed, the bookkeeper can’t get invoices out because she’s overwhelmed, the phones are ringing non-stop and interrupting staff, the proposal looks terrible so they don’t get the contract….
Video CV’s don’t work because the person is selling themselves instead of a solution.
So, like Jerry, I went out in search of a way to screen and present candidates in a faster more effective way and found absolutely nothing, so I built it. Not video resumes, but video INTERVIEWS. (
Recruiters just email candidates TIMED interview questions, so not time for rehearsal. The candidate then records and uploads their answer. The recruiter is notified of a competed interview to review and share with clients or hiring managers. Simple. No scheduling conflicts. No boring “blah blah” of a candidate going on about who cares what---just answers to specific, job related questions. No wasted time on non-starter candidates.
And, to address Travis’s point on legality, now you have video evidence of an “apples-to-apples” comparison of candidates to demonstrate that the candidate you hired answered the same questions better. Allegations can always be made of discrimination, but without documentation, it comes down to he said/she said and credibility. This provides evidence that you selected the better candidate based upon merits
Comment by Colleen Aylward on September 24, 2010 at 7:52pm
Seriously guys. Can you honestly look at this and tell me you don't make faster and better decisions with tools like this? If done right, the application of technology plus data delivery condenses hiring processes by as much as 6 weeks. My clients LOVE this and want all recruiters that they deal with to send them THESE instead of resumes. IMHO it's a no-brainer.
Comment by Colleen Aylward on September 24, 2010 at 8:46pm
Allison, good for you! Looked at your product and it's cool too! Now if we can get more momentum in the HR market, right? Would love to get everyone's opinion on best practices for "ranking" candidates. 1 - 10 seems too vague, Yes/No/Maybe doesn't give enough info to store, and making hiring managers rank ONLY on job "must have"s seems to leave out a lot.
Comment by pam claughton on September 25, 2010 at 9:00am
The only video I'd consider using would be alive video interview between candidate and client. Sending anything else seems too much of a potential liability both legally for discrimination and also for time. I have to agree with what Greg Savage posted here about the short list...if you are presenting candidate resumes and not getting interviews then you have to question either how well you understand the search or how strong your client relationship is and if you have built the trust for them to see your people.
Comment by Colleen Aylward on September 25, 2010 at 12:34pm
Actually the point of using video technology (if used correctly) is to condense processes that heretofore have been iterative and time-consuming and often occur too late in the process for evaluating the total match. If you can spend just a few minutes upfront in the process assessing a person's communication skills, a bit about their personality, and thinking skills, that is time well spent.


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