The use of video conferencing technology for virtual job interviews has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, and surveys show the practice has become a part of the hiring process forever.
A recent survey of 1,100 U.S. employers conducted by Indeed found that 82 percent of respondents said they have introduced virtual interviews for candidates due to the pandemic, and almost all – 93 percent – expect to continue doing virtual interviews in the future interviews will use.
Another survey by recruiting software provider Jobvite found that 61 percent of recruiters surveyed said the hiring process in the future will be a combination of virtual and face-to-face staffing, while 22 percent said they plan to hire entirely virtually.
“You have employers who will continue to conduct video interviews because they have adopted a remote/hybrid work environment and need a solution to interview candidates remotely and grow their talent pool,” said Josh Tolan, CEO of Video Interviewing Platform Spark Hire is based in the greater Chicago area.
Employers have found several benefits of virtual interviews, including a shorter time to hire, a more streamlined hiring process, and for some, a better candidate experience because candidates have more control over when and where they interview.
Tolan pointed out the distinction between the two most common types of virtual interviews: live video interviews, used as a substitute for in-person interviews in a remote setting, and one-way video interviews, typically used earlier in the hiring process than preliminary screening- Interview not intended to replace in-person live interactions. He said the past 20 months have accelerated the adoption of this latter type of pre-taped video interview, where candidates answer questions in their own time and then submit their recorded responses.
“Not only does this standardize the preliminary interview process, with all candidates answering the same questions, but it also encourages collaborative hiring as hiring managers can contribute sooner, leading to better downstream hiring outcomes,” he said. “The candidate also benefits because the employer can interview more people, which gives the candidate more options.” He stressed that all candidates answering the same questions are on the same playing field. “And since multiple team members are evaluating their video interview, the decision as to whether they’ve progressed doesn’t depend on just one person, reducing bias.”
Virtual interviews also have a health and safety component — 84 percent of employers Indeed surveyed say they are still using video interviews to mitigate risk amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Personal experience is hard to beat
Despite all the benefits of virtual interviews, a majority of recruiters surveyed by Jobvite still believe meeting in person is a better interview, even as this distribution of preferences changes. Over three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents said an in-person interview would be preferable in 2020, compared to just 62 percent this year. And 21 percent chose video as the most effective way to conduct interviews this year, compared to 11 percent in 2020.
“I would agree that an in-person experience is better for the candidate and the hiring manager,” said Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, a talent acquisition professional and president of HRU Technical Resources, a Lansing-based engineering and design staffing firm. michigan . “When [I conduct interviews] Personally, I’m better at seeing body language and more likely to have a better experience with someone. It might not be bad over video, but I don’t think it’ll ever be better.”
Tolan agreed that when comparing live video interviews to an in-person experience, “most would agree that an in-person interview is desirable but also has its limitations.”
These limitations include impracticability or economics for employers moving to a remote location and the difficulty in aligning the schedules of interviewers and candidates who must block time for interview travel.
“While actual in-person interaction might be more desirable…there’s still a case where the flexibility, cost savings, and collaboration of live video interviews offer overall benefits for all parties,” Tolan said. “They also need to consider the changing job market and their interview preferences.”
Kerry Gilliam, Jobvite’s vice president of marketing, said, “The more you know about the likes and dislikes of the person you’re hiring, the better you can map out the ideal candidate journey and know their communication and introduction preferences. “
Amber Ferrari, marketing manager at Jobvite, agreed, saying it’s important that recruiters use their discretion when offering virtual or in-person interviews because those recruiters “should know what is most comfortable for the interviewee and what is most likely to create a connection.” with the organization.”
Gilliam suggested that virtual interviews might be best done earlier in the hiring process than screening interviews to save time and money. “Another opportunity for video is to interview multiple people at once,” she said.
“There are many important aspects to consider, including stock issues,” Sackett said. “I think if you’re going to do virtual interviews, you need to give everyone the same interviewing experience. If the first interview is virtual, all first interviews should be virtual. When you invite people to an interview, all candidates should have the opportunity to have that personal experience.”