In 1997, Steven Hankin of McKinsey & Company coined the phrase “the war for talent”. Nearly 20 years later, the war continues to rage, with some interesting twists and turns. About the same time, online job boards began to mature and the first Applicant Tracking Systems were developed to weed out the massive amount of unqualified applicants that followed. Complicated application processes and 6-second resume reviews have become the norm. As few as 2% of candidates make it to the interview phase of the hiring process. 65% of candidates report never hearing from companies again after they’ve applied. Candidates fear the application process and generally view applying for a job as a mostly futile endeavor.


As my high school calculus professor proclaimed when asked why we weren’t allowed to use calculators, “They just help you get the wrong answer faster.” Often in recruiting, the results aren’t even that impressive. The costs of bad hires and prolonged position vacancies represent ever present challenges to the recruiter in 2016, much as they did in 1997. The battles continue.

Have HR technology firms automated the right processes?

With tech firms touting advancements in artificial intelligence, and more and more people moving their social lives online, is technology really ready to tell you who to hire?  We think that’s debatable.  What we do know is that there is a place for technology, and, at least in 2016, processes can be successfully automated without sacrificing quality (or sanity) if they meet three criteria:


  1. The technology replaces a process that requires little human judgment.
  2. There is a more valuable process employees can engage in with the time saved.
  3. The overall outcome results in the same or better quality of hire with less cost or time expended.

In this guide, we’ll show you what digital interviewing does, and how it can add significant efficiencies and advantages to your hiring process.

Digital Interviewing In A Nutshell

Digital interviewing platforms provide alternatives to phone screening and in-person interviews.  For screening interviews, the benefits are numerous:


  • Eliminates scheduling hassles, cutting hours or days out of the time-to-hire. Reviewers set up an interview template and invite candidates to participate.  Candidates can participate anytime without clandestine lunch interviews or after-hours interviews for recruiters.
  • Eliminates repeating the same questions numerous times. Ask the questions once, distribute the interview template, and reuse the template anytime thereafter.
  • Keeps a clear record of the interview. Recruiters don’t need to rely upon incomplete notetaking for follow-up with hiring managers.  The interviews are recorded and can easily be shared and reviewed by hiring managers.
  • Reduces bias in the interview process. By asking the same questions to all candidates, and using guided review metrics, recruiters and hiring managers can stay on point and look for the skills and traits they have pre-determined make for the best candidate.
  • Spend less time interviewing unqualified candidates. Unfortunately, even the best recruiting efforts will turn up the occasional unqualified candidate.  If the candidate quickly demonstrates they’re not right for the position, there is no need to continue with the interview.
  • Resolves time-zone issues.

For live interviews, the benefit is primarily in saving costs of in-person meetings, while still presenting the candidate in a live setting, maintaining the human element in the interview process.  If you are constantly reimbursing candidates for travel, parking, and other expenses, the cost savings can be significant.


Again, the above are significant efficiency gains which do not come at the expense of sound judgment.  Video interviewing does cut days out of the time-to-hire metric as well as saves busy recruiters hundreds of hours per year.

Leveraging Efficiencies to Create Advantages

Managing change is often difficult, but if you’re committed to improving results, it’s a requirement.  Video interviewing enables change that reaches well beyond basic time and cost savings, allowing you to take control of your recruiting and sourcing efforts, allowing you to:


  • Build or improve your employer brand
  • Improve the candidate experience
  • Become more active in sourcing candidates
  • Attract top talent to your organization
  • Measure performance of the recruiting process
  • Focus on the more interesting part of the recruiting process

Build Your Employer Brand

Employer branding has become a hot topic in the past five years, in part due to increased use of social media and the advent of third party employer review sites such as Glassdoor.  Those sites have matured in response to an increased trend in candidates’ ability and desire to research companies prior to applying.  Still, the corporate web site remains the first place most candidates will go to research a company, though 80% of applicants will also visit the employer’s social media sites as well (CareerARC: 2015 Branding Study).


Candidates are largely interested in understanding your corporate culture, values, and mission.  Millennials place more value on understanding this than prior generations, with 60% seeking a sense of purpose from prospective employers.  They’re also interested in the employer’s impact on society, how innovative the company is, and a clearly defined corporate mission (Deloitte: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey).


Many companies have implemented an employer branding strategy, beefing up the traditional “careers” pages by using it to build a community of current and potential employees, highlighting corporate values and missions, allowing employees to promote the work environment, and giving candidates a bit better insight into working there.


So how can digital interviewing help employer branding efforts?  First, it frees up valuable time for companies struggling to fit employer branding initiatives into their schedule.


Video interviewing also allows the corporate brand to be carried entirely through the hiring process, offering opportunities to communicate the employer’s brand at the most granular level – the particular position itself.  Even the best social media effort and corporate career site may not have specifics related to that particular position.


Carrying the employer brand through the interview is very difficult to accomplish with traditional phone screening interviews and is time consuming to do in live interviews.  Consider a screening interview where all candidates are presented with enthusiastic, relevant messaging – perhaps from the CEO or their potential immediate manager, describing how that position will provide value and support the corporate vision and mission.  Imagine a video introducing candidates to their potential teammates, or recorded testimonials from successful employees describing how they’ve been able to grow with the company, or a video showing candidates some cutting edge technology with which they will work.  And with video, this can be accomplished and communicated more efficiently or even in addition to later rounds of in-person interviews.


Your top candidates are interested in how they will fit in and contribute, seeking a sense of purpose.  Video interviewing allows you to communicate that to them in an efficient, convenient manner.

Improving the Candidate Experience

The “candidate experience” has also become an area of focus in recent years, as the push to build larger candidate pools has left recruiters with little time for personal interactions with individual applicants.  The candidates’ experience during the pre-employment phase is closely related and impacts your employer brand.  And after a half decade (or more) of published studies pointing out the weaknesses of current recruiting processes, this is an area that has probably seen the least improvement as applicants are surveyed year after year.


The main complaint is the lack of communication after applying, and while this falls squarely in the realm of ATS functionality, video interviewing platforms are starting to incorporate more candidate communications into the workflow.


Suffice it to say, anything that can be done to improve the candidate experience will reflect positively on an employer’s brand.  Video interviewing contributes to this effort in several ways:


  • Provides a much more convenient way of interviewing. Candidates are able to take the interview anytime and anywhere they have access to broadband internet, eliminating back and forth scheduling as well as the need to have candidates interview during their work hours or lunchtime.
  • Sets candidate expectations. With a more controlled interview, it’s possible to let the candidate know how long the interview will take with great precision.
  • Allows for more personalized communications with candidates.
  • Provides opportunity for the candidate to engage at a deeper level with the employer through the use of video.
  • Allows for the opportunity to easily survey candidates for their feedback on the process.

Become More Active In Candidate Sourcing & Selection

One of the perennial complaints from recruiters with large applicant pools is the high percentages of unqualified candidates who apply.  The use of mega-boards surrenders most of the control over who applies for a job, leaving a larger pile of resumes to sort through, meaning that in many cases, good candidates are overlooked, passive candidates are missed entirely, and time-to-hire increases.


For positions requiring specific skills or experience levels, more active approaches to sourcing candidates can make sense, and may even be critical to filling the position.


Video interviewing frees up recruiters’ time to pursue other sourcing methods, allowing time for building referral channels, networking and searching for passive candidates.  In addition to increasing the quality of hires, it can often compound into additional time savings for recruiters.


Even for positions where generating larger candidate pools makes sense, video interviewing still frees up time to build a more thorough filtering process and conduct more in-depth reviews.


ERE’s State of Talent Acquisition Survey 2016 found that while many recruiting teams rated themselves grades of A to B-, hiring managers rated the same teams a C-, with the top two concerns being quality of hire and speed to hire.


Video interviewing helps correct this disconnect by allowing recruiters to develop a closer relationship with their hiring managers.  Additionally, since the responses are recorded, the interviews can be easily shared, giving hiring managers direct and convenient insight into the candidates that may not be available without additional rounds of interviews.


Robust video interviewing platforms also allow recruiters and hiring managers to conveniently build customized scorecards for reviewing candidates.  Using candidate scorecards agreed upon by recruiters and hiring managers reduces bias from the review process and focuses reviewers on the traits that should qualify a candidate.

Measuring the Recruiting Process

For more data-oriented recruiting departments, analyzing qualitative and quantitative aspects of the recruiting process can provide valuable, objective insight into how to improve the process.


Time-to-hire is a broad measurement, and simply tracking this one metric may not provide the information necessary to pinpoint bottlenecks.  There is sourcing, screening, interviewing, and the final negotiating stages, each of which contribute to the total time-to-hire.  If your ATS isn’t granular enough to capture these times, video interviewing platforms can help fill in the data gaps, letting you know how long it took to invite candidates, collect the interviews, and have reviewers grade the responses.


Additionally, the workflows offered by video interviewing platforms allows control over the timing of these actions by setting acceptable deadlines for candidates and reviewers.

Enjoying the Recruiting Process

For busy recruiters, there’s no shortage of projects and improvements that are never made reality due to the day-to-day processes.  No matter which direction you’d like to go in improving your hiring process, video interviewing provides the time and functionality to pursue more interesting avenues for improving your hiring results.


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