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Article by Rupert Sellers

Telegraph film - female candidate on iPad

With the increase of video interviews to screen candidates, here are some top tips for best practice recruitment:

Firstly, decide which method of video interviewing you want to use. Do you want to arrange ‘live’ video interviews or asynchronous interviews? More about the pros & cons of each here.

The ‘live’ video interview

1. If it’s going to be a live video (such as Skype), think about how you are going to conduct interviews in this way. Many candidates who are currently employed are not able to find the time or place to engage in a live video interview during their working day, so as the recruiter or hiring manager you might need to be flexible and be prepared to Skype candidates outside your normal working hours.

2. For a live video call, as with a phone call, make sure you have prepared your questions beforehand so that the interview is structured and decide how much time you are going to spend on each call. This helps to enable a fair process with questions that are consistent for each candidate you interview.

3. As with any live interview situation make sure you write notes either during the session or immediately after. It might be time consuming but without documentation you will struggle to remember who’s who if you are screening numerous candidates. And if the process drags on over a few weeks, the interviews will become even more of a blur.

4. Let the candidate finish speaking when answering a question before you start probing. In a face-to-face interview, it is much easier to interrupt and maintain a good conversation flow, but in a live video there can be a slight time delay and interaction can be disruptive.

5. If you are conducting the live video call with other hiring managers present, do not confer among yourselves while the candidate is still ‘on air’. It’s disconcerting for the candidate if he/she can see you but not hear what is being said.

The ‘one-way’ pre-recorded video interview

1. This is the best time-saving option as you can quickly review your candidate responses to your preset questions on your dashboard by clicking from one video to the next (Watch the short video demo here). There are no scheduling issues as you will be sending a link to your selected candidates for them to record their interview in their own time. Creating a video interview online is easy, and can take just a few minutes to implement, but it’s worth thinking about what outcomes you want from this type of interview.

2. Compact Interview gives you the opportunity to create as many questions you like with unlimited recording time for each answer, but while there is this flexibility you should bear in mind that your candidates will be talking to a camera on their desktop, laptop or mobile – they are not communicating with an actual person.

3. Make use of the time limit setting for each answer. As a general rule of thumb, one or two minutes is usually a sufficient maximum for most questions, but if you wanted to ask your candidates to give a presentation on a subject, then up to 10 minutes might be appropriate. As a simple ice-breaker to kick off the video interview, you might want to start with: ‘Please let us know your name and where you are located?’ And you can set the time limit for this answer to just 10 or 15 seconds.

4. Compact Interview gives you the option to allow your candidates to re-record an answer and you can specify the number of attempts you are willing to offer per question. We highly recommend you use it to provide the best candidate experience possible. Learn more.

5. Set an appropriate deadline date for completion of the video interviews. Your candidates can record their interview in their own time, perhaps in the evening or over the weekend, away from their work environment. Of course you want the video interviews completed as soon as possible, but if you are inviting candidates who have heavy work commitments or are located overseas in different time zones, then a minimum 48 hours notice is recommended. At least five days is preferable if you really want to include your full selection in the process.

Finally, when you review the video playbacks on your online dashboard which you can do at any time, as well as share with other hiring managers, try to make allowances for a few imperfections and ‘umms and ahhs’. This is not a BBC broadcast and we encourage candidates to be as natural as possible. However, talking to camera can feel a strange experience particularly if it’s the candidate’s first time to record a video.

The video interview is best used as a quick, convenient screening tool to gather insight – particularly soft skills which cannot be shown on a CV. From the videos, the candidate selection can be narrowed down, ready for more probing questions that can be asked towards the end of the recruitment process in a face-to-face interview environment.

As more and more candidates embrace video interviewing, it’s great to review these feedback comments which were submitted immediately after completing their online interviews:

The following are also recent feedback emails from candidates using the Compact Interview system. All are genuine and unedited:

“An easy format that makes a video interview a pleasurable (as much as it can) experience. Easy to set up, follow and complete.

Thank you
Ben”

No technical know-how required:

“Amazing innovation and simple user interface. Does not require any technical know-how to operate.

Highly commendable tool.

Cheers”

Slightly scary but…

“What a great idea. Slightly scary to start off, but with practice becomes easier. Interesting to see one’s mannerisms as one talks as well – I’ve not recorded myself before.

Thank you”

Great for candidates abroad:

“To Whom It May Concern:

First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity given. It has been my first time to record an interview and I must say it was a great experience. As I mentioned in one my answers, it is a great form of interview, especially for candidates abroad, which is my case.

I look forward to hear back from you soon, as I will be delighted to be part of (company name).

Best Regards,”

First time but would recommend again:

“I thought the video interview was very useful. It is the first time I have ever used this technique but would recommend using it again.

Many thanks”

Looking at the camera takes getting used to:

“This was a very different experience from what I am normally used to. However it was a good experience for me. One of the drawbacks which I have seen is that it is not easy to look at the camera as your eyes are naturally drawn to the screen. Otherwise from this, I think it was ok, it only needs getting used to this. Thank you.

Regards,”

If you would like to find out about Compact Interview and experience a free trial, please get in touch with us and we will be pleased to assist.

 

 

Article by Rupert Sellers

ReTraditional CVs - 8.8 seconds to reviewcruiters need better solution to screen talent than outdated text CV

A Curriculum Vitae, Latin for a “course of one’s life”, used to be a rare document and employers to whom it was sent would take their time to review every detail. This all worked pretty well when there wasn’t much movement in the jobs market. A few decades ago, jobs would become available to graduates and apprentices when employees after 30 or 40 years of service retired. A ‘job for life’ was quite normal.

Today, that approach to employment is unimaginable. Average job tenure is now 4.4 years, and most millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Thanks to the internet, employers post thousands of jobs every day via job boards, aggregators and social media, and in return they receive millions of CVs – unfortunately many of which are completely unsuitable.

With so many CVs to review, recruiters are spending less than 10 seconds on each one to decide whether or not to keep a candidate in the recruitment process. Inevitably, some hidden gems get rejected as words ‘on paper’ provide only limited insight on the candidate.

CV writer specialists are not the answer

Given the precious window of opportunity (the 10 second glance of a CV), it’s not surprising that there are hundreds of companies and ‘specialists’ offering advice on ‘how to write a CV’ – and some even charge for the service. Content in a CV has become so critical due to the sheer volume that recruiters and employers have to process, and every word written has to be considered a potential keyword a recruiter is looking for (often searched for via an applicant tracking system). But does a CV stuffed with keywords that mirror the job description mean it represents a good candidate?

Ironically, the most desirable candidates tend not to have the best CVs in terms of layout and details provided. The active job seeker who might not be remarkable is far more likely to have a CV with all the necessary content to advance to the next stage of the process.

Too much emphasis on CV for candidate selection

Organisations will of course conduct interviews for candidates that make the selection, and possibly use psychometric tests, but there is too much emphasis placed on the CV – and many good candidates could be wrongly eliminated without the chance to prove themselves in interviews and tests that would follow the CV assessment stage.

In the many years I have been a recruiter for the luxury hospitality sector I have seen some fantastic looking CVs that simply don’t match up to the person. I have also come across great candidates with underwhelming CVs. Work experience can be deceiving. If a candidate has worked for some top brands they tend to be much more attractive to an employer than a candidate who has experience with unknown company names. We assume that the brands speak for themselves and therefore associated candidates must be good. But I have come across many mediocre candidates with seemingly glowing CVs who have somehow managed to hide below the radar and progress in their career from one good brand to the next.

Looking beyond the CV with video

Recruiters have a big job to process high volumes of candidates but racing through CVs is not the solution, particularly when you are hiring for customer service positions. A quick glance at qualifications and work experience doesn’t tell you much about the person. How do you know what their ‘soft skills’ are like? Of course it is not practical to meet all your applicants in person, and conducting phone interviews could also be a lengthy process. But before you eliminate your ‘maybe’ candidates (those that you are not sure about, but you haven’t the time to include them), consider inviting your candidate selection to record a personalised pre-set video interview. You will gather much more insight and you are likely to make a better judgment on whether or not to keep a candidate in the early stage of your recruitment process.