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26 April 2017

Video interview: The Job interview of the future

A picture is worth a thousand words. At least that is what the traditional saying suggests. And when it comes to the first impression of a talent, traditional wisdom once again turns out to be correct. For many years, it has been accepted custom to include a profile picture on a curriculum vitae, and there are good reasons for this. However, recruiters can now gain an even better impression of candidates by using video pitches or video interviews!

Carerix is also active in the German market and works closely with commercial journalists to highlight trends within the market. This article is a translation of:
Videointerview: Das Jobinterview der Zukunft (German)

Authentic impressions of candidates using video interviews

In the past, when it came to selecting candidates, the focus lay on hard facts. Only professional skills counted. At best, characteristics shall as problem-solving ability, analytical capacity and critical faculties were tested in addition to these skills. Now, soft skills are also gaining in importance when it comes to selecting employees. Shared values between the company and talent have also become relevant. Experts refer to a high level of match as a cultural fit – something that is becoming ever more important. While previously, everyone worked through tasks on their own, today project work dominates in many areas of business. To this end, it is important that good interpersonal relationships can be established between colleagues. After all, the best certificates, references and final grades are worthless if a new colleague cannot integrate into the team.

Investigating cultural fit with video interviews

An optimal cultural fit frequently makes the difference between a good candidate and an excellent one. Consequently, this should be determined as early as possible in the recruitment process. Modern recruiting tools can help here. Key word: Video interview or video pitch. It is possible that video pitches are taking over from application photos, or at least supplementing these. Moreover, a recruiter can gain an initial personal impression of the candidate that is significantly more profound than that provided by an image on paper.

How does a video pitch work?

This is how it works: At the invitation of a recruiter, candidates create a short video to introduce themselves – this video may be just 30 seconds long. They record the whole thing and send it off. Right at the start of the recruiting process, this gives those looking for employees the opportunity to assess a talent not just on the basis of facts and CV, but also through moving images. Recruiters, personnel consultants and their clients therefore receive a first authentic impression of a candidate. This can speed up the pre-selection process significantly.

How does a video interview work?

In the next step, an invitation to a personal meeting can be extended. However, in our globalised world, a job interview in the same room is not always easy to arrange. For example, what happens if a potential talent is in permanent employment on the other side of the world? It can be expensive to fly in people in this position. Once again, video technology comes to our aid here and bridges the physical distance. This greatly simplifies matters for the candidate, saving him or her a long journey, and contributing positively to the candidate experience. There are various ways in which the talent and recruiter can get together. For example, there is the option of conducting live or automated interviews with a candidate. While the employer and candidate talk in real time via the screen of their laptops, tablets or smartphones, automated video interviews come into play, for example, if the recruiter and talent are separated not only by continents, but also by time zones.

Time-shifted video interviews

In order to ensure a relaxed and authentic discussion despite this, recruiters can ask candidates their questions by video or text. The number and length of the recordings can be configured as required. The applicant responds with a time delay, also via video technology. Afterwards, both the live meetings and the automated interviews are available as recordings in the applicant management system. This means that recruiters can not only conduct job interviews remotely at their convenience, where and whenever they wish, they can also make the videos available to colleagues who were not involved in the interview.

Practical test of video interviews and video pitches

Users attest that both formats of the video interview have future viability. “Use in recruiting helps us to present candidates to our clients more quickly, and thereby to improve our competitiveness”, says Kevin Sebel, Manager Interim Desk at the job platform EN-HR Solutions. Maikel Boksteen, co-founder of the financial consultancy company 2Trust, sees things similarly: in his opinion, the technology is enabling huge time savings and greater transparency in recruiting. “Ultimately, a CV does not tell you anything about how someone actually comes across.” In their view, video recruiting kills two birds with one stone:

  1. Employers can strengthen their brand with regard to employees (employer branding)
  2. Recruiters and personnel consultants can increase their recruitment efficiency

The result is lower advertising costs, an improvement of the time-to-hire and better candidates. The company behind the technology is Cammio, a high-performing cloud provider based in The Hague. Cammio draws together all video interview functions into an integrated, user-friendly platform in accordance with data protection legislation.

Acceptance among applicants

“The smartphone has the power to democratise video”, says CEO Walter Hueber. For him, it is anything but chance that Cammio’s first cooperation partner was Carerix. “The people who work at Carerix believe in collaboration, just as we do. They have a very good API connection and user interface, so from our point of view they were the ideal partner for a cooperation.” Carerix customers can utilise Cammio’s video interview function within the IT environment, making it extremely easy for them to get to know candidates from throughout the world, make a selection and present applicants to colleagues using video. The technology is being particularly well received among the younger generations of applications. After all, they have grown up in the era of Facebook, smartphones, always being reachable on the move and constant exchanges via Messenger, and also more and more with video.

Technology with potential for the future

Hueber can understand that older generations, who are less accustomed to these technologies, need a little more time to adapt. Fortunately, candidates and recruiters are able to practice as often as they want before sending their video presentations. In spite of the high-level performance that has already been achieved, Hueber states that the technology is still at an early stage. In particular, entirely new applications of the video process are conceivable in connection with big data. For example, a candidate’s video could be compared with that of another candidate automatically and specific conclusions about his or her personal suitability could be drawn. This may sound futuristic at present. Indeed, the idea is not yet fully developed. However, one thing is absolutely certain: the possibility of using automated video interviews and video pitches is the first clear indication of what the future will look like for job interviews and candidate selection. It will be interesting to see what other surprises this future has in store for us.