Since the pandemic began, video interviews have transformed the hiring process. And while this technology has the potential to streamline the interview process, reduce costs, and broaden the candidate pool, it is also fraught with challenges and hurdles.
In the olden days, employers would fly in top candidates for a full day of interviews. But with videoconferencing, these meetings are now scattered on different days, sometimes weeks apart. When the process is prolonged, it hampers decision making and increases the risk that A-listers will take jobs elsewhere.
In addition, trying to coordinate schedules with candidates, hiring managers, and board members can seem close to impossible. And because candidates are not traveling for an in-person interview, hiring managers are more likely to make last-minute cancellations, which creates a negative impression of the company.
Technology can also be a hindrance, as companies, departments, and candidates may be using multiple teleconferencing platforms. Slow internet connections and disconnections can ruin interviews and delay the process further.
With all of these pitfalls, is it worth the trouble to continue to use video interviewing?
The answer, of course, is yes! But it’s important to create systems and processes that minimize the pitfalls and take full advantage of the technology. Here are a few important tips for employers to follow:
Maintain scheduling integrity.
Schedule firm appointments with all members of the interviewing/hiring team. Cancellations and delays cannot be seen as an easy option. Treat video interviews with the same importance as in-person interviews.
Create a welcoming environment.
Just as you would never consider inviting a candidate into a disorganized office with dim lighting, approach your video environment the same way. Be sure the interviewers are in a well-lit space with an appropriate, professional background. Eliminate distracting noises that would interrupt the interview flow. First impressions matter, so focus on providing candidates with a professional, positive experience.
Master the technology.
Technical glitches cause delays and dampen the interview experience. Begin by ensuring the same platforms are being used throughout the company. Mixing and matching different systems complicates the process and leaves more opportunity for malfunctions. Be sure that all members of the hiring team are adequately trained in the videoconferencing technology. And before the interviewing begins, conduct a test run from both employer and candidate viewpoints.
Video interviews should not be viewed as more casual than in-person interviews. The same research must be done for video meetings prior to meeting with candidates. Showing up at the last minute with no preparation will deprive candidates of the attention and consideration they deserve.
Establish a connection.
Communicating through a computer screen can be a barrier to cultivating a productive rapport between candidates and hiring managers. Recognize that establishing a human connection is job #1. Once candidates feel at ease, they are more likely to perform well and deliver the information employers need to make an informed decision.
When used correctly, video interviews can be a valuable instrument to attract candidates, increase the efficiency of the hiring process, and create a powerful first impression in the minds of applicants.