Virtual Hiring: Are Video Interviews the Way Forward?

April 1st, 2013 | Hiring Resources | 1 Comment »


Video interviews are becoming more prevalent as employers adjust to the technology but is this interview format really the wave of the future?

Imo Udom, co-founder and VP of Sales and Business Development at Wowzer, was in the process of hiring a new team member. After reviewing a candidate’s resume, Imo was ready to say no and move onto the next applicant.

But his team insisted that, as a company that had created an innovative new video screening platform, they should use that very platform to screen this particular candidate first.

So Imo did. And he fell in love. Here was the perfect candidate for the job, and without that video screening, he would have been just another candidate, rejection letter in hand.

Let’s face it: Resumes get boring. Boring to write and boring to read. And yet they remain the foundational bricks of the recruitment process for the majority of companies.

Why has the resume maintained its dominance despite the massive evolution of technology? Because change is hard! Imo of Wowzer readily admits that the biggest obstacle to promoting the immense value of video screening is that people find change difficult.

Video interviewing and screening is a big buzz topic right now, and it comes with its stock of typical pros and cons.

Basic Pros & Cons

Those advocating video screening and interviewing often cite the cost and time savings that the use of video can provide. It’s also a great tool for out-of-town candidates, and simply a “greener” alternative to requiring masses of candidates to travel. Another benefit, depending on what platform is used, is the ability to record the interview for future reference and comparison.

Those against the use of video in the hiring process reason that technology isn’t always reliable enough for it to be beneficial. Plus, it’s easier for distractions on the candidate’s computer or in their environment to get in the way. Additionally, many people feel you can’t make the same connection via video; eye contact isn’t quite the same, and camera-consciousness can negatively affect body language.

Beyond the Basics

Despite these predictable pros and cons, Wowzer’s Imo insists that video screening will become the standard in the future of the recruitment process. To understand this, it’s important to point out a common misconception about video screening: It is not about replacing in-person interviewing. Rather, it replaces the initial phone screen between recruiter or hiring manager and candidate.

Imo explains that the goal of the Wowzer platform is to “leverage technology to enable higher quality interaction in the recruitment process.” Resumes have dominated the first step of the hiring process for so long that real, human interaction often gets neglected.

The most successful hiring processes are about people getting to know people. Video screening solutions such as Wowzer bring that human element to the forefront of hiring.

And solutions like Wowzer can also help combat some of the typical cons. The platform is used over your Internet browser, without any necessary downloads. Then, it allows the hiring manager or recruiter to record questions first – meaning the first candidate and the twentieth candidate get the same experience.

From there, candidates can learn more about the company before recording their responses. A completed interview can then be easily shared among the hiring team, before deciding which candidates to bring in for a face-to-face interview. This process can be adjusted depending on the position and any feedback from candidates.

Imo is particularly interested in empowering candidates to “own” the process; the better experience a candidate has in your hiring process, he explains, the more likely it is for that candidate to become a “brand ambassador,” spreading the word about your company to other potential candidates. So ultimately, using a tool like this can help your company better craft its employer brand and set you ahead of the curve.

While there is still a lot of confusion in the market around what exactly video interviewing and screening entails, the benefits are innumerable. The key when checking out vendors like Wowzer or experimenting with services like Skype or GoToMeeting is to determine exactly what you’re trying to achieve in your hiring process.

Video interviewing isn’t for every company or every position, but it is a hugely valuable tool that is gaining some impressive traction.

The Bottom Line

As Imo Udom, Wowzer’s co-founder and VP of Sales and Business Development, found out in his own hiring experiences, the traditional resume is extremely limiting.

Sometimes you’ll get resumes that are easy passes, but more often than not, the process of narrowing down exactly which candidates you’ll bring in for a face-to-face interview is complicated, presenting you with difficult and sometimes arbitrary choices to make. Video screening can help make that choice easier, while simultaneously helping your company stand out from the rest.

by Clare Saumell

One Response to “Virtual Hiring: Are Video Interviews the Way Forward?”

  1. Susan Danziger says:

    I thought you might be interested in some data that we conducted at Ziggeo which showed that interviewers can triple the number of candidates it receives from video interviewing by submitting their own interviewer videos describing the position. We release this kind of data every week. Here’s the relevant blog post:
    And you can find other Data Day releases here:
    Susan Danziger
    Founder/CEO, Ziggeo