Coronavirus: Recruiter reports 67% spike in video interviews

The number of companies using video interviews to hire staff spiked by 67% in the past four weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to recruitment company Walters People.

The agency, which specialises in junior contract and permanent roles, said that while video interviews had been growing in popularity anyway, the recent surge has been “unprecedented”.

Candidates were keen on the idea, too – with a 150% increase in the number of candidates wanting to digitalise their CV with a video. The company found that on average, candidates that submitted a video along with their CV were 40% more likely to be shortlisted for an interview.

“Companies who were keen not to lose top talent by dragging out the recruitment process were quick to turn to digital solutions, and what’s more we saw more hires made remotely than we ever have done,” Phill Westcott, director of Walters People London.

Of the interviews conducted via the agency’s ‘live meeting rooms’, a third of these went on to make an offer to the candidate, despite having not yet met them face-to-face . This was more than triple the average rate of offers typically made via remote interviews.

Also over the past four weeks, there was a 15% drop in face-to-face client meetings, but recruiters were able to provide electronic briefs for employers to deliver shortlists. The numbers wanting to use an online testing platform rather than an on-site assessment centre also increased by 40%.

Westcott added: “In an age where so much information can be at our fingertips, allowing for just as good decisions or judgements to take place, it is positive to see that more job offers being made in a convenient manner to both the employer and employee.

“Gone are the days of the three-stage interview process, on-site psychometric tests, and assessment centres.”

With the possibility that the government could introduce stricter measures over self-isolation and social distancing in the coming weeks, Walters People urged recruiters to introduce processes such as digital registration – preventing the need for candidates to make multiple trips to the recruitment office or client site.

“In fact, the digital registration process is said to save a combined 10+hours of the employer, employee and recruiters time,” it advised.

That said, there are a number of practical precautions employers and candidates can take to ensure the process runs smoothly, including:

  • Dressing the same professional way you would for a face-to-face interview – dark colours work best on camera
  • Creating a distraction-free interview space, with a blank or neutral background
  • Avoiding reading directly from notes as this can disrupt the natural flow of conversation
  • Anticipating technical issues such as a weak connection, and testing equipment beforehand
  • Summarising the key points at the end and confirming next steps.

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