Video interviewing software is more and more common these days – reports show that as many as 60 percent of companies use them in their hiring processes.
But we have something to break to you: they aren’t the answer. They just aren’t. There are better solutions out there.
It isn’t two-way video interviews (think Skype) that aren’t the solution; those are useful in the final stages of the hiring process. Instead, it is the one-way video interviews, allegedly good for initial screenings, which are not the answer.
Why? Well, here are four big reasons:
1. The Focus Isn’t Always On The True Strength Of The Candidate
Studies show that many hiring managers make a decision on if they are going to hire a person or not within 90 seconds of meeting them or seeing their video. Based off of what? Those studies show things like eye contact and how they dress.
Lou Adler, a popular blogger and recruiting thought leader, has written countless articles about why this is a terrible practice and logic agrees with him. Say you’re hiring a programmer or an engineer or an accountant or a dozen other jobs: does it really matter if the person makes good eye contact? Or how the present on video?
Maybe, but more importantly, it is about can they do the job and move your company forward.
Contrast that with the interview transcripts provided by many digital interviewing companies. They force you to focus solely on the content of the answers and see if this person is truly right for you.
2. Lousy Candidate Experience
Yes, video interviewing can make it easier for the hiring manager (although not as easy as it could be). But it is not so great for the candidate.
They have to videotape themselves, something nobody ever likes. They have to worry about where they are looking. How they are dressed. How to use video in the first place.
More than that though, the interviews are often constrained to a few questions and candidates get a set amount of time to respond. Is that really fair? People should get time to explain themselves, and, frankly, how much time a candidate takes to answer a question often provides valuable insight into their skill level and personality.
Compare that to an automated phone-screening interview. There is no software to download, they don’t have to be wearing the right outfit or be in-front of the right background, they don’t have to download software. They just have to call in, answer the questions and they are done.
3. There Is Plenty Of Room For Biases
Along the lines of the first point, biases – even subconscious biases – play into assessing video interviews. That could be anything from race and gender to how attractive they are. On top of that, video downloading requires access to technology, so one could argue it discriminates against poor people.
Some startups, however, allow you to go as far as to blind candidate names and deafen their audio responses from their interview transcripts, so can you can just focus in on finding the best person. This is a great way to eliminate bias from the hiring process.
4. Video Interviews Don’t Save As Much Time As Other Alternatives
Many video-interviewing software companies market about how time they save hiring managers on screening candidates. They do save some time: people can do it all at one time and there isn’t the hassle of trying to catch someone on the phone. But they don’t save as much time as other alternatives.
When you get a video interview, you still have to watch the video – unless you want to make a 90-second decision, which we agreed on earlier is the wrong way to go. So, if you have 30 candidates (a small applicant pool), and even if the interviews are just 10 minutes long, that’s five hours of video! Nearly a full day of work just to watch them all!
Again, contrast that to the transcripts many solution providers offer. You can scan through transcripts in a tenth of the time as watching a video. If you had 30 transcripts for 30 candidates, you could easily scan through those in less than an hour and have a more meaningful assessment process.