The Flipside of Video Interviewing

Applicants in "Recruiting Hell" feel the tables should be turned when employers deliver an impersonal and burdensome video interview experience.

Whether or not you’re using video interviewing software as a way to screen, assess, or even actually connect with applicants or employees, you’ll have to have been living under a rock to not notice the explosion of video interviewing technology in just the last five years.

Companies around the world have found tremendous value in scheduling and administering live and asynchronous video interviews in volumes too high to collectively report. In fact, long before the pandemic restricted our ability to perform many job interviews live, employers were singing the praises of being able to knock out twice as many virtual interviews as live interviews or quickly work through, and assess, recorded responses from applicants to various questions.

When done well, and balanced with communicating expectations, insuring candidates feel they were treated fairly, and prompt follow-up is provided, video interviewing can be a positive experience for most.

But in a time when that candidate experience isn’t well managed at large and jobseekers are already stressed and desperate, a voice of animosity and anger could bubble up from the masses. Take for instance today’s post found on Reddit, the self-reported “front page of the internet”, where thousands of users are upvoting and commenting on how one candidate brazenly responded to a recruiter’s request that they complete a video screening first.

“I have come to be very thankful for recruiters who are respectful of my time and energy.” shares Reddit user, tron_mexico25. “If I come across a company who will not expend that same energy on something as informal as a quick initial phone screen to determine a candidate’s potential fit with the company, I am very disinclined to pursue that opportunity any further.”

And while some of the hundreds that responded tried to explain that the ratio of applicants to recruiters and reduced resources available to most talent acquisition teams prevent such a direct and personal touch at many organizations, it largely fell on deaf and rightfully frustrated ears.

Consider this template email crafted by user Jazzspasm, that floated to the top with various upvotes and awards (typically a good thing on Reddit).

Hi Recruitment Person’s Name

Thank you for getting in touch with your interest in me taking employment with company name.
As you can understand, I receive numerous invitations from people like yourself, and with my busy schedule it’s not possible to respond to them all.

In order to differentiate company name from others, I’m offering you the opportunity to put together a ten minute video of what it is that makes company name an employer of choice for me, personally.

To help you get started, here are a list of questions and topics I’d like you to cover during your video presentation.
list of questions and topics… (genuine ones, such as “How does company name go above and beyond all day every day to create a truly delightful employee experience?” and “Using both pay and other financially related benefits as an example, what differentiates company name from other employers hiring for people like myself?” or maybe “Excluding this video presentation, please give at least two examples of how company name can prove it’s adaptability to accommodate someone like myself and my personal requirements on a day to day basis?” Etc)

Please feel free to take your time. There’s no rush.

I’ll be especially interested to see your creativity, the extent of effort that you put into this, as well as your communication style and body language. I’ll be marking you against a criteria that unfortunately you won’t be informed of, and comparing you against others I’ll be keeping confidential also.
Once you have submitted your video presentation, I’ll consider putting time aside to get back in touch with you with the offer of an interview.

Many thanks again for expressing your interest in employing me.

With best regards

your name

Food for thought for those leaders already worried about how to attract and impress candidates in a job market where doing so with even less resources than ever is a significant concern.

⬇ We're Talking About it ⬇

Talent Community Forums "Recruiting Hell" for Video Interviewing

  • "Recruiting Hell" for Video Interviewing

     Alessia Angelica updated 4 months, 4 weeks ago 13 Members · 19 Posts
  • Chris Hoyt

    May 12, 2021 at 1:59 pm Company: CXR

    Just like anything else in recruiting, if done poorly it can have a tremendously negative impact on the candidate experience. But also like anything else, most of us are constantly challenged to do more with less – and today is no different.

    If we’re using video interviewing, I’d love to hear what’s in place to make sure we aren’t frustrating candidates like this to the point of responding sharply or blowing up forums like Reddit or Glassdoor.

    How are you setting expectations and following up with video interview prospects and candidates?

    • This discussion was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  Chris Hoyt. Reason: added the link. oops!

    The Flipside of Video Interviewing

  • Grant Clough

    May 12, 2021 at 4:31 pm Company: Free Agency

    We’re not as of yet doing asynchronous video interviewing. That said, I think a solution to level the playing field would be including a short video from the hiring manager in the job advert.

  • Curtis Dorsey

    May 12, 2021 at 8:00 pm Company: Elanco Animal Health

    This illuminates the need for us as a TA community to continue the journey of balancing the significant need to automate with the critical importance of maintaining a personal connection with our candidates. While we have not jumped into asynchronous video interviewing (Yet), this is a great cautionary tale, that deserves some thought and an intentional approach..

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  Curtis Dorsey.
  • Angela Couture

    May 12, 2021 at 9:01 pm Company: The Aerospace Corporation
    222 Points

    Yikes! We’re not doing asynchronous video interviewing and don’t foresee us going down that path.

  • Marc Cochran

    May 13, 2021 at 4:59 am Company: Trane Technologies

    We have been experimenting with HireVue for mostly early talent and some high volume, lower level roles. I agree with Curtis. It’s all to easy to just push this out transactionally, and expect candidates to do it. We need to develop more genuine, human candidate experiences (maybe that even poke some fun) with this technology. Less human resources, and more human. I’d wonder how many companies (ourselves included) had a candidate persona represented in the room when they built process around this.

  • Melissa Thompson

    May 13, 2021 at 6:46 am Company: Nielsen

    We are using Hirevue for high volume recruiting, intern hiring and select FT roles. I recently used it to hire a University Recruiting Director. While I understand the candidate’s frustration, the video interview gives the recruiter an opportunity to validate with hiring managers that the initial screen is pulling in the right candidates. My guess is that many of us still see a ton of unqualified candidates apply for roles for which they have no skills. In our process, there is a smaller subset that go through the Hirevue video assessment process which includes a video intro from either the recruiter or hiring manager.

    If the Reddit candidate thinks that a 10 min video is too much effort or too much of a short case, sorry but I would have to say…. next!

    • Nick Corcodilos

      May 19, 2021 at 10:44 am Company: Ask The Headhunter
      82 Points

      You might find some of the comments on the page below from job seekers illuminating. They’re saying, if contact from a real human at your company is too much effort, we say… next! Is it possible that you’re seeing a ton of unqualified candidates because you’re soliciting (a) in the wrong places, (b) too many inappropriate people, (c) too impersonally? Whose time is more valuable, the employer’s or the applicant’s? (That’s a trick quesion.)

      • Chris Hoyt

        May 19, 2021 at 12:52 pm Company: CXR

        The topic and candidate frustration goes allllll the way back to before 2016 and is still getting a response here and there. Video interviewing, whether live or asynchronous, is like anything else – it can be used to enhance the experience or simply contribute to something that is already broken. Everything is in the delivery and communication.

  • Joe Wollan

    May 13, 2021 at 6:49 am
    118 Points

    Polaris hasn’t started down this path yet. We like everyone else have had to leverage Teams for some video interviews but nothing like HireVue or other technologies past that.

  • Lianne Mason

    May 13, 2021 at 7:01 am Company: Otis

    Like Marc we have used HireVue for our entry level engineering apprenticeships. We did include an introductory video which included a bit about the business and the apprentice scheme as well as what candidates could expect throughout the process. We were pleasantly surprised at the take up and had a large response, feedback afterwards was that whilst the video interview was scary at first, candidates liked that they could prepare and do it in their own time. We even went as far as ringing candidates who had not completed the video interview to see why. Most of them had just found another opportunity or decided an apprenticeship wasnt for them. The couple of people who had been put off by the video were phone screened and both went through to the next stage. In the future I think we have to look at ensuring candidates know there is an alternative process available if video is just not for them. I think if used in the right way video interviews can be effective, they should never replace the human side of recruiting though.

  • Bonnie Taylor

    May 18, 2021 at 8:55 am Company: Centene
    41 Points

    We recently recognized an opportunity to improve our candidate journey within the video interview process by incorporating a more personalized, connected experience. To start, recruiters make an introductory pre-screen phone call to introduce themselves and ask important questions BEFORE moving the candidate to the video interview process. This step showed a considerable reduction in dropout rates from candidates invited to complete the video interview. The presumption is because candidates made a personal connection and felt comfortable with the employer brand as well as the role for which they are applying. Additionally, we continue to test and explore new areas to evolve the candidate experience including:

    · Testing introductory videos from recruiters who’ve contacted candidates to put a face to a name

    · Providing tips on completing a successful video interview prior to candidates starting the video interview process

    · Updating communications that candidates receive by including information on our company’s mission, values and culture to ensure we’re a good fit

    · Implementing a company preview section candidates can review prior to starting the video interview to provide a more robust experience

    · Introducing job-specific previews to show what a “day-in-the-life” looks like

    We’d love to hear what other companies are doing to evolve their employer brands to improve the candidate experience, including how video is playing a factor in your recruitment process.

  • Alessia Angelica

    May 20, 2021 at 3:12 am
    54 Points

    We recommend unsing HireVue for most roles. There are pro’s and con’s and we have pulled some stats in the past on the candidate experience. I would consider a video CV for entry level roles as a starting point, however we would need to strike the balance between standardised and customised in a value adding way. Perhaps we can poll candidates on this? I’ve recently read an article on TikTok CVs which I thought was interesting – TikTok is launching a job hiring service to help find gigs for Gen Z – Axios.

    Whilst on the topic of video interviews, I will soon be flipping the interview process to hire recruiters by having them shortlist themselves for roles within my team. Candidates know themselves the best, are experts in screening and shortlisting – why not have them conveniently choose when they want to be shortlisted. Thoughts? Not a video CV, but intstead, a video interview. Whoever is interested, I can let you know how it goes.

    • Nick Corcodilos

      May 20, 2021 at 7:43 am Company: Ask The Headhunter
      82 Points

      Thanks for posting that TikTok item. It seems the jobs service is a website, not integrated into TikTok. I wonder how/if it will be different from all the other keyword-matching services. Or is it just an opportunistic, revenue generating add-on? I’m curious: How many user-generated “job application” videos would you watch to fill one job?

      • Chris Hoyt

        May 20, 2021 at 8:05 am Company: CXR

        lol – Nick your perspective seems to be a bit pessimistic when it comes to video tech or new tech – but I don’t think anyone who’s been doing this for a while could blame you. I’ll be the first to admit that there is a bit of “shiny bauble” syndrome with things like recruiting on TikTok and Clubhouse but as I said earlier – if done in a thoughtful way, there can be some traction in the arena of branding or communication with talent.

        @alessia-angelica I’d be very interested in keeping up with what you’ve got in mind and this has me thinking that we might want to put a fun and quick benchmark survey together with our members and maybe even the industry. Up for it?

        • Alessia Angelica

          May 25, 2021 at 10:09 am
          54 Points

          Sounds good Chris, I would be up for it.

  • Cathy Henesey

    May 24, 2021 at 5:02 pm Company: AdventHealth

    Just like Melissa, we use Hirevue for high volume and specialty positions. Like Bonnie, we offer videos before and after the experience to tell them about the company and next steps. We found that Nurses will not complete the video because the “competition” doesn’t make them do it, so we stopped using it for them.
    This candidate letter is awesome but not realistic. If you were in that high demand candidate category, then you wouldn’t bother with this letter, much less watch the video. You already know who you would take a personal call from.

    We are buying Altru(now ICIMS Virtual Studios) to PUSH out more video content to show jobs and meet the leaders to entice people to apply.

    • Nick Corcodilos

      May 25, 2021 at 10:02 am Company: Ask The Headhunter
      82 Points

      With high-volume positions, how do you find time to view all the videos? Do you keep them short?

  • Shawna Beleckis

    May 25, 2021 at 9:40 am
    74 Points

    We, at Hilton, also use HireVue for on demand prescreening. We include a professionally created branded introductory video which outlines how HireVue works and what we’re looking for in an on demand interview. We also encourage our users to pre-record themselves asking the questions for video responses. We have an excellent completion rate – but it is all dependent on the state, country or culture. We also include a closing video with details on next steps and when they will hear. The key is having follow through afterwards whether that’s an email or phone call.

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Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology and others in the USA as well as iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.


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