The future of recruitment? Video interviews are here to stay

Think back two years to May 2019 and it seems almost inconceivable that the way we interact with our colleagues, hold meetings, or interview would be almost exclusively via video.

As offices emptied in March last year and video calls became the norm, you wouldn’t have been alone in longing for a return to the old ways of doing business or interviewing in person, face-to-face.

But interestingly, as we continue down the path out of lockdown, it seems from our own small piece of research, that people are backing video to stay. Indeed, we found that when asked whether they preferred the prospect of conducting meetings and interviews via video or in-person, almost two-thirds opted for video.­

What the future holds for how we interview has been a conversation we’ve been having for a while with our candidates and hiring managers. The appetite to remain virtual is certainly there and it’s a future trend which has led us to investing in better technology (Odro) to make the process easier and more engaging for both sides.

So, while people have been desperate to get back to seeing their loved ones, it would appear they’ve adapted to interviewing virtually. In speaking to our networks, there were several reasons for this that kept cropping up:

The old ways weren’t necessarily working

Video interviews represent something new and better, and while uptake from candidates took some getting used to early one, it seems the experience has been predominately positive.

The success many companies have had growing their teams during the pandemic shows how easy it can be to make lasting, positive change. Companies have worked hard to make the virtual interviewing experience a positive one, and this effort has not gone unnoticed by candidates.

There’s the opportunity to rehearse in the comfort of their own homes

A confident candidate will often lead to a better interview flow. Candidates who are calm under pressure will have an advantage during an interview, regardless of whether they are fully qualified or have all the skills needed to do the job.

Video interviews eliminate the anxiety that can come from interviewing in an unfamiliar setting, and candidates can practice and compose their thoughts in the comfort of their own homes making them feel more confident about the whole experience.

This confidence can help slightly more introverted candidates to really shine, and it gives those who perhaps aren’t the best at interviewing the opportunity to stand out through their attention to detail and preparation.

The flexibility of video interviews works well for candidates

Candidates have been able to better organise their interviews around their own work loads and schedules which has removed an element of stress from the whole process.

Likewise, not only have candidates found it beneficial to have flexibility when it comes to interviews but hiring managers have also been able to conduct interviews at times that suit them best making for better, more effective interviews.

Candidates don’t have to take time off or commute in early to interview

Gone are the days of having to make up excuses for why you’d have to leave early, take a longer lunch to travel to an interview, or even take annual leave to make sure you were able to give yourself enough time. It was uncomfortable, inconvenient and can feel dishonest.

By conducting interviews virtually, candidates have enough time to prepare, compose themselves and don’t have to race around cities during a limited timeframe.

Yes, they still need to be aware of their timings, but with our workdays much more organised in blocks of time right now, it’s easier to manage those interview conversations and wrap-up calls efficiently.

So, what does the future hold for companies who continue to conduct their interviews virtually?

We can see from the results that this is the preferred option for the majority, and candidates will look favourably on employers that continue to operate in this way.

With all the uncertainties regarding COVID-19 that remain, there’s still an understandable reluctance for people to throw themselves headfirst back into the old ways of doing things.

We reported in another article, that a hybrid work option appeared to be the go-to approach for many businesses, and so this more cautious, staggered approach when it comes to returning to work could extend to the ways companies conduct their interviews.

Candidate experience throughout the interview stage, should be of paramount importance to companies, candidates. From the conversations we’ve been having, candidates will no doubt thank you for not forcing in-person interviews on them.

Like our return-to-work policies, it could be that we turn to a hybrid approach to interviewing, depending upon the joint preferences of candidate and interviewer, but that remains to be seen.

Therefore, for the immediate future at least, video interviews are here to stay.

Get in touch with the team for more info on the video technology we use and how this could benefit your business during the hiring process ( UK / DE +44 0203 637 3331 / US +1 628 239 3600 / info@digitalrepublictalent.com)


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