If you had told somebody a year ago what the 2020 workplace was going to morph into, they would’ve probably thought you were crazy. Back then, the possibilities of going fully remote would have seemed far-fetched for most companies. Yet here we are, replacing face-to-face with video conferences and getting used to every other call being temporarily crashed by somebody’s adorable four-year old invading the frame.
As has happened with pretty much all aspects of life, the pandemic has reshaped the way we relate to our work environment. And video solutions are right in the middle of the revolution. A recent report on the impact of COVID-19 on the video conferencing market explained it succinctly: “As countries were announcing a lockdown of their respective states continuously and urging enterprises to offer work from home facilities to its employees; the adoption rate of video conferencing software started to increase”, led by a usage increase of 894 percent and 677 percent for market leaders Teams and Zoom respectively.
Amid the proliferation of video conferencing software, another type of video platform has also experienced a surge: video interview platforms. These solutions have allowed recruiting teams to stay on point and continue to move talent through the funnel despite home working and social distancing protocols. They are especially useful during the initial stages of screening candidates, saving valuable time and resources, and streamlining the hiring process.
But for all its advantages, there are still a lot of misconceptions and myths around video interviews. So we’ve decided to round up some of the most common ones out there and do our part to separate fact from fiction.
Myth #1: Video Interview Will Not Be Necessary When Things Get Back to Normal.
An OfficeTeam survey from way back in 2012 suggested that by then six in ten managers used video to interview candidates already. So it’s safe to say that this is not just a recent trend, but something that has been fundamentally reshaping the way interviews are done for a while now. Truth be told, the pandemic has only accelerated the ubiquity of video interview solutions in the recruiting field.
And it’s easy to see why. Not only does video interview save travel costs, but it means that companies can truly broaden their outreach and find the right fit for any position, regardless of location. In the case of recorded on-demand interviews, the benefits are even greater. On the one hand they solve the burden of scheduling for all parties involved. On the other, it allows recruiters and hiring managers the possibility to review recordings in depth when it best suits their agendas, assuring they make informed decisions about future hires.
Myth # 2 : Video Interview Affects the Candidate Experience Negatively
The advantages of video interview software for candidates during social distancing are obvious. But there’s a case to be made for video interviewing offering a better overall candidate experience even in a post-COVID-19 reality. First of all, it presents an alternative that’s more in tune with the digital-savvy talent out there. As Dimitri Boylan, Avature founder and CEO explains: “I think that many candidates will better express themselves on video and that the younger generation will actually be eager to use video.”
Video interview also plays into candidates’ comfort level by allowing them to take part in Q&As from the convenience of their own homes, in accordance with the work-from-home reality that many jobs will face in the future. This benefit also implies that companies can save candidates from transportation headaches, a fact that may prove to be quite appealing for top talent when assessing an employer’s empathy towards their time and resources. You could even argue that video interviews lend a hand to the environment, reducing employers’ (and candidates’) carbon footprint.
The convenience can even allure passive candidates that might otherwise not be able or willing to rearrange their schedules for face-to-face meetings. This rings especially true for executive level candidates whose busy agendas make scheduling face-to-face meetings a monumental task. Video interviews provide a convenient solution that allows recruiters and hiring managers a framework to engage them.
The best video interview solutions allow companies to offer a fully-branded portal that provides a great experience to candidates. A person can not only see who will interview them but have access to additional information such as interview tips, benefits of the job, details about the office and in depth descriptions and requirements of the position to be filled. These solutions go beyond simply receiving a meetup link, they take the essence of the face- to-face approach and integrate it into video
Myth # 3: Video Interview Technology Introduces Bias Into Recruiting
One of the biggest trends in the video interview market is the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that assess employability based on speech patterns and facial movements. But the trend has faced it’s fair share of backlash from those who question the technology’s ethical and legal implications. In a recent Washington Post article, several AI researchers were asked to assess one of the main AI-driven video platforms in the market, eliciting responses ranging from “really troubling” and “worryingly imprecise” to “woefully unprepared for the vast cultural and social distinctions in how people show emotion or personality.”
There is increasing evidence that shows that Artificial Intelligence in video interviewing solutions not only performs poorly among people with regional, non-native accents and darker skin tones, but that it actually holds very little scientific value when it comes to inferring emotions and employability. Outcry for this technology has been such that the US senate is currently discussing the Algorithmic Accountability Act that would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to create regulations to check AI-decision-making tools, like those used in recruitment and hiring, for bias.
With all this in mind, there are other solutions that don’t have AI baked into their cores. In those cases, video interviews can actually reduce bias by offering exact same conditions to candidates in recorded on-demand interviews, including the same questions, the same order of questions and consistent time to answer. That way, it becomes easier for recruiters and interviewers to compare candidates based on the same criteria.
Myth # 4: Video Interview Is a Tool for Talent Acquisition and Talent Acquisition Only
While it is true that most of the discussion around video interviewing platforms evolves around talent acquisition, the truth is that these solutions can be used for all sorts of strategic HR initiatives. As Boylan explained when launching the new Avature Video: “Avature is providing the tools, the creative use of those tools still rests with our customers”. Clients might just want to introduce video into one process now, but Avature let’s them scale and incorporate it into other solutions over time.
From having video questions as part of the application process to updating the onboarding approach to a more social digital new hire experience, there are countless ways in which video interview can enrich all aspects of HR. Imagine the power of incorporating video into performance management, for example. Many managers are based in different locations to their direct reports, with or without COVID-19. Incorporating video into performance conversations might facilitate note taking and overall reporting. It can also prove beneficial in running virtual events and managing internal mobility.
Video interview is no longer an alternative in your HR strategy. It’s an essential. It’s been proven to be beneficial to candidates, recruiters and hiring managers, offering an alternative that saves both money and time, without sacrificing the human side of your approach. Sifting through the myths around it can prove to be decisive for your business right now and going forward.