Video interviews: putting the “screen” into recruitment

video interviews
Video interviews encourage candidates to tell their story

Video interviews have been slow to take off, but are now gaining ground thanks to a new cloud-based service, says Cath Everett. 

While it may seem a bit gimmicky and sci-fi on the surface, one cloud-based service that piqued lots of interest at the HR Tech Europe show last month was a video-interviewing tool called HireVue.

HireVue is based in the US, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it still generates the majority of its revenues. But, although it was set up in 2004, it only arrived on UK shores at the start of last year.

This puts the human back into the process.” – Jim Kleijnen, Hirevue

It has already picked up a number of high-profile customers though, including accounting firm Grant Thornton, and energy drink manufacturer Red Bull UK, which uses the product to develop a talent pool that it can search through when needed.

The idea is that, once you have screened potential candidates, rather than pick up the phone, you can just email them an invitation to make a video of themselves.

The aim is to encourage them to tell their story, so that they can answer any questions you have posed or see how they well they undertake a pertinent, job-related task.

At a university milkround, for example, you could always liven things up a bit by handing potential candidates an iPad and conducting the interviews this way, or alternatively inviting them to perform some challenging activity live in front of a panel. The possibilities are endless.

Doing things this way not only “puts the human back into the process”, according to Jim Kleijnen, regional sales manager, but it can also help save time and money.

Real-world benefits

Hilton Hotels also now uses the service to hire staff for its 42,000 or so hotels in 93 countries, which take on a whopping 70,000 new people each year, ranging from salaried property managers to receptionists hired on an hourly rate.

Its claims around the benefits gained are impressive – the chain reckons that the productivity of its recruiters has improved tenfold because so much time is saved.

Being able to complete up to 30 interviews each day means that one staff member can now do in 1.5 weeks what three used to do in a month.

Moreover, by using a variety of questions and real-world interview scenarios, recruiters can also get a much better idea of how candidates will react in certain situations, which has led to the quality of hires increasing.

This has all generated a return on investment in less than three months and a net promoter score of 72, against an industry average of 32, in terms of candidate satisfaction.

And with an “Insights” service released last year, it seems that HireVue has also moved into the world of predictive analytics.

This has led it to rebrand its product as a “Talent Interaction Platform”, according to Robert Elvidge, sales manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

This means it is now possible to compare potential candidates with the known attributes of top performers held in HireVue’s database – and potentially identify some stars of the future.

A gimmick or a vital tool in the recruiter’s arsenal? The users will decide.

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