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CIPD logoCIPD Report: Commenting on the Labour Market Statistics for February to April 2014 released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Gerwyn Davies, the CIPD’s Labour Market Adviser, said:

“A quarterly increase of almost 200,000 full-time jobs shows that employers are becoming more optimistic about the future.  Young people seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of this increase, which may be fuelled in part by the growth in formal training schemes and the appetite shown by an increasing number of employers to invest in their future talent pipeline.

“Meanwhile, the latest statistics also show that the number of public sector jobs fell only very slightly by 11,000, which aligns with our survey of employers. We are now seeing the education and health sectors making some new hires and replacing leavers. But we should not assume this is the end of public sector job cuts. The medium term outlook for the public finances suggests further job losses are likely in the next few years.”

Davies continues: “However, despite this positive picture, recruitment difficulties are yet to feed through to employers, which may partly explain why the pay trajectory appears to be moving in the opposite direction.  The government’s welfare reforms, the availability of EU migrants and the latent supply from the under-employed are just some of the reasons why employers are still yet to report difficulty filling vacancies.  However, the CIPD is urging employers in all sectors to start planning ahead to mitigate the risk of more widespread difficulties in the longer term.

“The fall in the rate of earnings growth also reflects the unwinding of events a year ago when some employers delayed bonus payments and pay rises to take advantage of the reduction in the top tax rate. Businesses may be expecting to invest more but this has still to show up in higher productivity growth and, until this happens, there is little leeway for higher earnings growth.”

Source: CIPD published 11 June 2014

Article by Rupert Sellers

TRACC - Candidate recording interview - photo 2

As video interviewing becomes increasingly popular, many employers still relate the concept to Skype video calls. But a professional talent screening system can offer many more benefits.

A recent survey of 194 companies in the UK revealed that 92% of their HR teams were familiar with ‘video interviewing’. However, when these people were asked what they understood about the concept, only 23% were aware of asynchronous (one-way) recorded video interviews. The vast majority associated video interviewing with Skype or other live video platforms.

Demystifying the term ‘video interviewing’

There are two types of video interviews:

Live video calls: Using Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts the employer schedules calls with the candidates and then has a conversation, typically for 20 to 40 minutes, with each candidate. The video call is generally instead of a phone screen.

Asynchronous video recordings: The employer creates the ‘interview’ online, adding questions that are appropriate for the job vacancy, and then sends a unique web link to the candidate selection. Candidates record answers to the questions in their own time, which are then reviewed by the employer.

What’s wrong with face-to-face interviews, you might ask

Of course, nothing beats face-to-face interviewing, but in most cases it is not practical or necessary until candidates have been screened. Relying on the CV alone is not best practice. While some candidates clearly don’t have the skills and experience to meet the job requirement, there are often many others that could be suitable but don’t make the initial selection. Research conducted by The Ladders showed that recruiters only spend an average of 6.25 seconds looking at a candidate’s CV before deciding whether he or she is a fit for a job. Video interviews can be a useful filter in the initial screening to provide insight and identify soft qualities such as ‘smile’, ‘warmth’ and intonation. The process helps employers to select the most appropriate candidates for face-to-face interviews.

The benefits and shortfalls of live video and pre-recorded video

The benefit for both the live video and asynchronous video models is that they can overcome geographic boundaries. Interviewing via video makes a lot of sense if a candidate is located miles from the employer’s office or is located overseas, but there are some practical issues if the interview is ‘live’.

If there are a number of hiring managers involved in the live video conference, everyone’s diaries need to be coordinated so that they are in sync. But the bigger issue is scheduling candidates to engage in a video call during their working day. Many candidates can only hook up to a video outside of working hours, which is then inconvenient for the hiring managers.

One of the great benefits of asynchronous interviewing is the significant saving of time, and the convenience for both employer and candidate. At Compact Interview, we feel the tool is most effective when only 4 or 5 questions are set with time limits for answers of no more than one minute per question. With this ‘360’ snapshot on candidates, there is no need to set up telephone screens or Skype calls – and in many cases there is no need for ‘first round’ interviews. Another benefit is that the candidate videos are saved and can be reviewed by all the relevant stakeholders in the hiring process before deciding on which candidates to meet in person.

One disadvantage with the ‘one-way’ model is that the employer is unable to ask probing questions, but we feel that behavioral interview questioning is better suited to a face-to-face environment, when only the shortlisted candidates are being interviewed.

Asynchronous interviews are best used during the early stages of the recruitment process, and a high volume of applicants can be video interviewed with ease. This model ensures fairness and provides consistency. All candidates in the process answer the same questions for a particular job and have the same time allocated for their responses which provides a uniform, structured approach to select the most appropriate candidates for face-to-face interviews.