Council Post: How To Hire In A Zoom World, Part Two: Building A Comprehensive And Consistent Video-Screening Strategy

By Miles Jennings, Founder and COO of Recruiter.com, a hiring platform offering on-demand recruiting solutions to employers of all sizes.

Previously, we discussed the practical aspects of video screening and interviewing, including when to use live video, when to use asynchronous video and the kinds of questions that best lend themselves to video. This time around, we’re going to take a step back and look at the big picture: How do you craft a comprehensive, video-based virtual hiring strategy that works?

The fact that virtual hiring opens companies up to a broader, nationwide talent pool isn’t just good news for employers. It’s good news for the U.S. economy overall. Millions of candidates — predominantly women — have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic. To return economic activity to its pre-pandemic levels, we’ll need to bring these workers back into the job market. Video gives us an easy and effective way to do that.

Video is a democratizing force in the labor market when we need it most. Plenty of candidates are more impressive than their resumes may make it seem. With video, these often-overlooked applicants can show employers what they bring to the table. Meanwhile, recruiters armed with video can source quality talent that goes unnoticed by other companies. As the Great Rehire gets underway, this will be a critical competitive advantage.

To reap the democratizing benefits of video, however, recruiters and employers need fully realized video-screening and interviewing strategies that deploy video in the right way and at the right moments. Here’s how to design and execute such a strategy: 

It’s An Integration, Not An Add-On: Incorporate Video Into A Broader Hiring Strategy

When trying video screening for the first time, many talent acquisition teams simply add video on top of whatever hiring process they already have in place. All this does is add a new hoop for candidates to jump through, drawing your hiring process out and potentially turning top talent away from your role.

Video is its own tool with its own set of best practices. If you want to make the most of it, you should approach video more like an integration than an add-on. Video should become a seamless part of your broader recruiting strategy.

Start with a simple question: Where does it make the most sense to add video to our recruiting process? Maybe it’s at the top of the funnel, as a replacement for phone screens. Maybe you can skip the headache of scheduling panel interviews by inviting relevant team members to review a candidate’s prerecorded video. However you choose to use video, you should aim to integrate it organically into your process. Don’t just put another obstacle in your candidates’ path.

Consistency Is Key: If You Interview One Candidate Over Video, Interview Every Candidate Over Video

Video is a great way to learn more about a candidate’s personality, thought processes, cultural compatibility and all those other intangibles a resume can’t capture. Yet research also shows that when comparing candidates interviewed via video to candidates interviewed in person, hiring managers consistently rank in-person interviewees more favorably. It’s easier to make a connection with a person when you share the same room, so the findings aren’t all that surprising.

This isn’t necessarily a problem — as long as your process is consistent. If you’re using video to hire candidates, then every candidate should use video at the same stage in the hiring process. That way, every candidate has the same opportunity to shine, and your comparisons between candidates will be based on objective criteria rather than gut feeling. It’s the same philosophy at work in the use of structured interviews, which are far more predictive of candidate success than unstructured interviews. 

Unfortunately, my company’s Recruiter Index survey found recruiters aren’t always consistent. According to our survey, only 9.1% of recruiters who use video in their hiring process require every candidate to go through video screening. If some candidates interview in person and others interview through video, the in-person candidates will have an unfair advantage. More importantly, you’ll be more likely to make the wrong hiring decision. For best results, every candidate should follow the same hiring stages.

Don’t Default To Zoom: Consider A Dedicated Video Solution

You could carry all your video interviews out through Zoom or Skype; plenty of companies do, and it more or less works for them. But these platforms aren’t designed for hiring. When you use them, you miss out on some of the quality-of-life improvements that come with a video solution built specifically for recruiting. 

For example, video-screening software often offers the option to record, store, share and manage candidate videos in one centralized location. Some let you create customized video landing pages, and some allow you to draft job ads and push them out to job boards with your video link embedded. Some video recruiting solutions let candidates record videos without downloading any new apps — unlike Zoom or Skype, which typically require installing a program for optimal performance. 

That’s not to say you can’t use Zoom if that’s what works best for your company — it’s an excellent tool that most of us use daily. Just take some time to also explore technology options that are dedicated to facilitating the hiring process.

In Conclusion

Your virtual hiring strategy rests on a foundation of video screening and interviewing, so it’s important to get video right. It’s always daunting when the recruitment landscape transforms before our very eyes, but it’s easy to reap the benefits of video-first hiring when you put the right practices in place. Be smart and consistent about how you use video, and you’ll unlock a more democratic approach to sourcing and screening candidates that leads to better hires faster.

Hiring has always changed with the times, and the pandemic-driven shift to virtual hiring is its latest evolution. It’s a Zoom world — and we’re all just recruiting in it.

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