Video interviewing helps but is no solution for recruitment

Video interviews often simply replicate the questions asked during a face-to-face discussion. (Rawpixel pic)

It’s become clear that while the adoption of online interviewing is growing, video interviewing as a category is in decline.

Version 8.0 of the talent acquisition ecosystem published by Talent Tech Labs has video interviewing with its own bubble because many vendors’ sole offering is to provide one-way video interview software to help companies hire online. Most recruiters are now aware of the concept.

Video interviewing owes its existence to innovation in technology, not innovation in recruiting. Once streaming became reliable and affordable, it made sense to start recording interactions online. This led to the concept of asynchronous interviewing.

But the selection method itself did not change because recruiters simply take the questions they would normally ask in person and use them online.

The only difference is that candidates can record the answers in their own time and recruiters can review them later on. Technology has made it possible to interview people asynchronously and without being constrained by geography.

Recruiters are always looking for ways to save time, so this is a category that should have taken off. But it hasn’t.

Instead, most dedicated providers of video interviewing services have struggled and the category – such as it is – has fractured. Very few independent vendors have survived.

Recording responses over and over again can be tiring and intimidating for some candidates. (Rawpixel pic)

Video is only part of the product

The demand for one-way interviewing solutions is very real. But asking candidates to record their responses to interview questions using video is a feature, not a hiring solution in and of itself.

Most video interviewing involves taking offline interview questions and replicating them online. But it is already known that traditional, unstructured interviews are not very predictive of job performance. So, video interviews largely make an already-flawed hiring process more efficient.

Most candidates do not enjoy recording themselves over and over, least of all engineers. It is intimidating and tiring to record yourself over video and, frankly, it is unnecessary because most questions can be answered using other formats.

Most video interviewing solutions require recruiters or hiring managers to manually review all the responses, which is exhausting and time-consuming.

Video as a medium is valuable when used in moderation as part of a broader assessment, and when responses can be automatically graded.

One great way to use video is to ask candidates to explain their work immediately after completing a job-related task online. Another is to ask them to talk about why they are excited about the role they have applied for.

It is really helpful to see how someone communicates and lets the passion come across. The problems start when candidates have to record more than one or two video responses. It gets tiring.

That is why video is a feature in a broader solution, not the solution itself. It explains why existing assessment vendors are adding video interviewing capabilities and offering them for free or close to free.

Modern talent acquisition teams are increasingly demanding candidate evaluation methods that predict performance, reduce employee turnover and save time.

Incremental improvements to traditional hiring methods are not enough. Video will continue to play a big role in hiring and adoption will increase. But it will not be through solutions dedicated to video interviewing.

Rather, video will appear as a feature within broader, more predictive and more efficient candidate selection solutions.

Here’s the good news. If a company is using video interviewing, that is already a giant step forward because it has moved online. From here, it only gets better and better.

This article first appeared in Vervoe. At Vervoe, their mission is to fundamentally transform the hiring process from mediocracy to meritocracy.