With virtual interviews here to stay, best practices are needed

The use of video conferencing technology for virtual job interviews has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, and polls show the practice has become an integral part of the hiring process in earnest.

A recent poll conducted by Indeed of 1,100 U.S. employers found that 82% of respondents said they have adopted virtual interviews for candidates due to the pandemic, and nearly all, 93%, expect to continue using virtual interviews in the future.

Another survey from recruiting software provider Jobvite found that 61% of recruiters surveyed said the hiring process would be a combination of virtual and in-person going forward, while 22% said they planned to proceed with a completely virtual hiring.

“You have employers who are going to continue to do video interviews because they have adopted a remote / hybrid work environment and need the solution to interview candidates remotely, as well as to expand their talent pool,” said Josh Tolan, CEO of Video Interview. Spark Hire platform, based in the Chicago area.

Employers noted many benefits of virtual interviews, including a shorter time to hire, a more streamlined hiring process, and a better candidate experience for some, as candidates have more control over when and where to hire. ‘maintenance.

Tolan distinguished between the two most common types of virtual interviews: live video interviews, which replace face-to-face interviews in a remote environment, and one-way video interviews typically used earlier in the interview process. hiring as a preliminary screening interview, not intended to replace face-to-face and live interactions. He said the past 20 months have accelerated the adoption of the latter type of pre-recorded video interviews, in which candidates answer questions at their own pace and then submit their recorded responses.

“Not only does this standardize the pre-interview process with all candidates answering the same questions, it also strengthens collaboration in recruiting, as hiring managers are able to provide feedback earlier, which allows for ‘achieve better downstream recruitment results,’ he said. “The candidate also benefits, since the employer can interview more people, which gives candidates more opportunities.” He stressed that with all the candidates answering the same questions, they are on an equal footing. “And, with multiple team members reviewing their video interview, the decision of whether they are advanced isn’t up to one person alone, reducing bias.”

Virtual interviews also have an element of health and safety: 84% of employers surveyed by Indeed say they still use video interviews to mitigate risk in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The in-person experience is hard to beat

Even with all the benefits of virtual interviews, the majority of recruiters surveyed by Jobvite still consider a face-to-face meeting to be a better interview experience, even as this balance of preferences is changing. More than three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed said a face-to-face interview was better in 2020, down from just 62% this year. And 21% chose video as the most effective way to conduct interviews this year, up from 11% in 2020.

“I agree that an in-person experience is better for the candidate and the hiring manager,” said Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, talent acquisition expert and president of HRU Technical Resources, a company in charge of hiring. engineering and design based in Lansing, Michigan. . “When [I conduct interviews] in person I can see body language better and I am more likely to have a better experience with someone. On video it might not be bad, but I don’t think it will ever be better. “

Tolan agreed that comparing live video interviews to an in-person experience, “most would agree that in-person is desirable, but it also has its limitations.”

These limitations include the inability to be feasible or economical for employers moving to a remote environment and the difficulty of aligning interviewers and candidates’ schedules, who have to block time to get to the interview.

“So while real in-person interaction might be more desirable … there is still a case where, overall, the flexibility, cost savings, and collaboration of live video interviews have benefits for all parties. “said Tolan. “You also need to take into account the changing market for candidates and their interview preferences.”

Kerry Gilliam, Vice President of Marketing at Jobvite, said: “The more you know about the likes and dislikes of the person you are trying to recruit, the better you can describe the ideal candidate’s journey and know their career preferences. communication and maintenance. “

Amber Ferrari, Marketing Manager at Jobvite, agreed, saying it’s important for recruiters to use their discretion in deciding when to offer virtual or in-person interviews, as these recruiters “should know what will make the interviewee the best. most comfortable and most likely to connect with the organization. ”

Gilliam suggested that it would be best to conduct virtual interviews earlier in the hiring process as screening interviews, which would save time and money. “Another opportunity for the video is having to interview multiple people at the same time,” she said.

“There are a lot of moving parts to consider, including fairness issues,” Sackett said. “I think if you’re going to have virtual interviews, you have to give everyone the same interview experience. If the first interview is virtual, all the first interviews should be virtual. interview, all applicants should have the opportunity to have this experience in person. “

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