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Technology in Recruitment — Is It a New Abomination?

Recently I’ve come across with an article by Liz Ryan about automatic video interviews. The title was “A New Recruiting Abomination: One-Way Video Interviews”. Since I started to work for Indivizo, an automatic video interview tool provider, it’s not surprising that I was curious about it. As an evangelist of this tool you shouldn’t be surprised that I’m about to criticize that opinion.

When I started my master courses in business school I had to learn very fast that my answer to any question should be: well, it depends.

This article was an answer to the question: Is it good to add an automatic video interview tool to your recruitment process? Despite Liz’s answer was no, I say: well, it depends.

I think there’s no such a recruitment tool that is good for every business and every recruitment process. Not even CVs. Recruitment itself is a tricky part of building a company. When you want to hire a new colleague recruiters have to promote their company to attract the most suitable talents and at the same time they have to select the best one from the applicants. It’s weird, isn’t it? You have to convince a lot of people to be interested in working for you, then tell most of them that even though they’re interested in working for you, they can’t. So to ease this dissonance let’s dig deep into the different business cases.

If you’re a great place to work candidates will find you. — This is true. What do you do with them? Do you invite all of them to a face-to-face interview? Do you spend all your money on recruitment, just to give the opportunity to everyone who is interested? Of course not. You have to select those who are good fit to your company. Currently almost everyone does it with CVs and cover letters. First of all, it’s very easy to lie in a Resumé or in a Cover letter, yet almost every recruiter chooses to rely on them to a certain level. Second of all, I really doubt that people read cover letters any more. Most of the HR professionals I deal with barely have time to answer all of their e-mails. They prioritize and reading cover letters is one of the last task on their list.

If you use an automatic video-interview tool to pre-screen your applicants, you at least take a look on their appearance, way of speaking, body language and instant reaction to the question you asked them. Way more accurate than reading a CV and a cover letter that your applicant wrote after having read 10 articles on “The perfect cover letter that will get you your dream job” and having it checked with their native-English journalist friends.

Your job is to make it easy for them to reach you. — This is very true. This is why I advise to many of my clients to use the automatic video interview tool to attract more people. Telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews exclude many applicants from your funnel. When you want to headhunt someone who works full time, you won’t reach them via telephone during working hours. So unless you want to work 0/24, you’d better send them a link where they can show themselves by answering your questions and recording it. This is the same with regular video interviews. You’ll exclude many people from your recruitment process just because you can’t schedule a virtual meeting. Talented job seekers are busy and so are managers. Both of them have to make an effort to find a common gap in their calendar. Employers should engage the best talents with interesting and clever interview questions. After checking the applicants’ videos, you should decide which one you liked the most and make the effort to schedule a meeting with them. Make your priorities based on their video rather than based on the emptiness of their calendar.

Yet this technology is in use, and job-seekers are writing to complain to me about it. — That’s not really surprising, most people hate innovation. I’m a massive fan of Downton Abbey and I really laughed on the reaction of the conservative part of servants when they introduced evil innovative technologies such as: telephone, sewing machine, toaster. Some people are conservative and hate innovation. Which is completely fine because they have other wonderful qualities that are indispensable for companies. However if you want to recruit someone who you expect to be very open to new ideas and your applicant is not willing to spend 30 minutes answering your questions via an automatic video interview tool, then you’re not a match. On the other hand if you want to hire someone with 10+ years of leadership experience, who is working to your competitor and is very happy there, then forget every recruitment tool. Stalk them until you learn their favourite restaurant, take them out for a fancy dinner and try to create an offer that they can’t reject.

All in all, I advise to my clients to use our recruitment tools wisely and don’t expect that it’s going to solve all of their recruitment issues. It can save you time, attract more talents to your firm and make your recruitment process much more efficient. However you’ll still have to identify your target group, build your employer brand and educate your managers on handling new colleagues. As a professional, you’ll enjoy much more dealing with these topics than asking the same questions over and over again. If you use this tool, you’ll finally have time to actually deal with these exciting issues.


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