What’s it all about?
With FaceTime and Skype having made remote working a reality for years, it’s long seemed obvious that recruitment should be ripe for adopting the same sort of technology. Video interviews aren’t new, but they have come of age recently, and have begun to banish worries some recruiters had about discrimination, visual bias and the ability to determine true performance from afar.
A new breed of tech providers (they include Sonru, Capterra, Tazio and Vieple) are challenging assumptions. Most notably, HireVue last year merged with MindX – the platform which says it uses games to identify potential in applicants regardless of experience or background – to combine the best of video analysis (everything from ‘emotion recognition’, expression data, eye contact and friendliness) with scientifically validated psychometric game-based assessment and AI.
What’s in it for HR?
HR professionals typically spend an average of 28 days a year recruiting people, according to Robert Half. Of this, around five are spent sifting CVs; more than four doing actual interviews, and a further four on candidate testing. But as well as technology eliminating huge amounts of this time by siphoning large applicant bases into manageable cohorts to interview in person, it is claimed better video recruitment technology can now ‘improve’ selection decisions.
“A good schmoozer will be able to take interviewers off into tangents,” says Clemens Aichholzer, SVP of HireVue. “A scripted interview, combining psychometric questions and games, ensures a standardised interview, while games-based assessment is an extremely reliable indicator of cognitive ability. This in turn is the biggest predictor of future potential and success in a role.”
Is this fact or fantasy?
What video technology can do (it is capable of assessing up 20,000 variables in the blink of an eye – everything from emotional recognition to vocal pitch, smile frequency, word groupings and even the choice of words used – almost sounds too good to be true. The claim is that background algorithms can then cross-reference against what individual organisations have defined as good in a particular role, to create highly accurate suitability matching scores. What’s less clear is the extent to which this truly eliminates bias – studies so far have been inconclusive.
Who’s doing it?
Large tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook and Google have already integrated video into their recruitment strategies. Royal Mail has been using it since 2014 (to cut 20,000 applicants per year to around 1,400 to interview face to face). And businesses including Hilton say it reduces time-to-hire. In a recent survey of 506 companies, 47 per cent of respondents said they used video interviewing to reduce the time it took to hire, while 22 per cent said they would use it to help them reach candidates from other geographic regions. With a Harvard study suggesting 80 per cent of employee turnover is linked to faults in the hiring process, those who do embrace it may have people that fit roles better, and stay longer.
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