Guest blogger Sean Gordon has an extensive track record recruiting, hiring, training, and unlocking the talent of people. For 20 years, Sean has been on the front lines of business across North America. He started with AT&T, where he built award-winning teams in sales and operations from coast to coast. He delivered equally stellar results for EMC, Aetna and West Corporation before becoming CEO of a technology company in need of innovation.
Sean founded HIRENAMI to take recruiting challenges from painful, inefficient, and time consuming to quick and effective, for employees and employers. Sean has created new lines of business, reinvigorated stagnant company cultures, and mentored hundreds of employees who have gone on to do great things.
Connect with Sean Gordon on LinkedIn.
When it comes to applying and interviewing for prospective jobs, things are looking a little bit different in 2018 than they did ten years ago. For one, the pool of applicants for any professional position is going to be massive. Because of the proliferation of online job boards and web postings, the average employer will devote weeks and months to listing job duties for a position listing on the company website, waiting for a torrent of hundreds of applications for a single position to come pouring in, sifting through resumes and cover letters and working with team members to sort candidates down to a small enough pool to screen.
The screening process can be just as grueling. The average employer will narrow options to roughly twenty candidates prior to screening per position, meaning that a lot of time is about to be devoted just to get candidates strong enough to be placed in an in-person interview. Talk about time-consuming! That’s as much as ten hours per position set aside just for phone screening (if the average call and scheduling takes thirty minutes).
Employers recognize that this is a burden on their HR teams and staff, so they’re taking up new tactics to circumvent this problem. Most of this centers around the use of a process known as video screening. This video-centric technology approach has greatly reduced the time that HR teams must devote towards sorting candidates and screening them, greatly relieving personnel burdens on the HR side of things across a variety of industries.
This all sounds great for companies as a means of saving both time and money, but you may be wondering how exactly video screening benefit applicants that are seeking a new position at a company? And what can you expect from a video interview that differs from the traditional phone approach?
Let’s first understand why companies are using video screening to gain some insight on how the entire process works. Then, let’s turn our attention towards what measures an applicant should take to succeed in a video screening. By the end, we should have a strong idea of how to knock that video call out of the park.
What Can I Expect from Video Screening?
Video screening can take on a few unique looks, each one utilized to deliver a greater degree of convenience to both the employer as well as the applicant. It’s developed into a more efficient way to handle the pre-interview process. In the most basic form, video screening makes use of mobile video technology and video content management platforms to completely expedite the screening process and give both employers and candidates a faster and more authentic view of what they’d be looking for in an interview.
When faced with a video screening, you can expect employers to engage with you across a variety of platforms in diverse ways. They may hold a more traditional video-in interview with multiple parties and the interview taking place at once. What you should know in this case, and in every, is that there’s a good chance the video is being recorded and shared with other team members through a video recruitment management system. It’s best to address the person or group you’re screening with as you would but keep this fact in mind as you cater responses to a potentially wider audience.
The other, more preferred format for all parties involved is a recorded question and answer session. This version provides greater flexibility for everyone and is favorable for recruits that may feel a bit nervous heading into a screening where they need to think on their toes. The benefit of these question and answer sessions for prospective employees is that it can greatly expedite the hiring process, a journey that can often times be long and frustrating.
Anyone who has ever applied to several positions at once and engaged in a job hunt knows how aggravating it can be working with human resources representatives to find a scheduling time for interviews and screenings. Getting multiple team members in on a call is not easy with a busy schedule. Through video screening, HR managers can send invite codes to you and the team members that would like to take part in the screening process. You can then log into the video content management system and find questions from different team members delivered in video or text format. Using the webcam on your phone or laptop, you can then respond accordingly at your own discretion. You can keep answers as long or as short as you’d like and in many programs, you can take the time to research and construct your answer as you see fit. The responses will begin to build up within a thread, often appearing like an online message board. You can typically enter a thread of your own and ask questions to individual team members or groups of team members about the position requirements, duties, benefits or other things like office culture.
This may seem on the service as advantageous to the employer, getting another opportunity to look you over, but it’s actually just as advantageous to the prospect. Besides having the benefit of thinking about an answer and hashing it out more before submitting, for video questions you can have the opportunity to see team members, pick up on their mannerisms, scope out the office environment in the background and know who to look for if you’re invited back for an in-person interview.
On the other end, team members will have the ability to leave comments on videos and share them with each other for insight on your performance. You can keep this in mind if you have a question that one of the team members in on the screening doesn’t have an answer for. Simply record a general question and they can pass it along.
This entire process gives the company a better idea of the candidate, all on file. It also gives the candidate a better idea of who they’ll be working for and with. But that’s not even the greatest advantage you can take away from companies that choose to video screen…
Video Screening Expands the Scope of Your Geographical Presence. The most favorable aspect of video screening for applicants is the ability to widen your own opportunities and apply for positions that are otherwise geographically challenging. What companies gain from better screening is passed along to the applicants. Companies save time and expenses on making more qualified assessments of prospective candidates by video screening, so they’re more willing to screen an applicant from three thousand miles away and pay to fly them in for an interview if all goes well. They’ll believe they have a sounder picture of you as a candidate due in large to the video screening and are surer of their commitments to invest.
Video screening lets you as candidate apply for a job across the nation or across the ocean, not having to think just five miles out but five thousand miles away. This greatly expands the scope of opportunities for those that are willing to relocate for the right opportunity. The video screening process will allow you to live in Vancouver and send video to a company in Orlando, all while feeling like you’re in the same conference room.
How to Succeed and Take Advantage of Video Screening
The most crucial factor in doing well during a video screening is to treat it as what it is: a simulation of an in-person interview or Q&A. The hiring manager and team will see everything in your video, so approach it with the utmost professionalism.
Dress appropriately as you would an interview. Clean up the area visible in the video; don’t have random clutter lying around. Don’t have anything in the picture that you wouldn’t want your boss to see. Control the environment as much as possible by limiting outside sounds that can be distracting or interrupting. Annunciate well and record a trial video to make sure your mic levels are where you’d like them.
A major consideration that often gets treated as an afterthought is to look into the webcam when speaking. There’s a tendency to instead look at yourself on the screen, which creates an awkward line of vision where it appears you’re looking down and not at the person you’re interacting with.
Consider the length of your responses as well. In a typical phone screening, the hiring manager must listen to your entire answer before moving along. With video screening, if they’re bored by your responses they can simply skip past. Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
Last, consider creating a generic ‘About Me’ video to submit whenever a video screening opportunity is included in an application. This will help you save time and if it’s voluntary, stand out from the crowd.
Video screening can seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you get a hang of it you’ll find that it’s not just beneficial to employers. Candidates can make the most out of their opportunity in front of the camera and land the job of their dreams, anywhere in the world!