Should a recruitment agency provide clients with videos of their candidates?
I am always keen to consider new technology that could add value to the service that we offer our clients. I had a demonstration with a really smart product last week. It basically allows a recruiter to film themselves and a candidate during a video interview. An edited version of the film is then sent to the Hiring Manager who can watch a clip of, say, 5-6 minutes and decide whether they want to bring that candidate in for a meeting.
I definitely see the benefits and why this would be a considered a useful USP for a business like ours as it could certainly add real value to the recruitment process. It is often said that a Hiring Manager will make a decision on a candidate in the first few minutes of an interview (if not the first 30 seconds). If they can avoid having to sit through 5-6 hours of interviews and focus on a couple of people that stand out from these videos, then it will save them a lot of precious time.
Clients can provide the recruiter with a handful of questions that they would like to be asked during the interview and they can see the filmed responses. Again, this would be really useful as the client can see responses to their own specific requirements rather than solely considering from a CV whether a candidate might fit with their business.
All of this is great but I am still in two minds about this. At a company that I used to work for, there was a video of yours truly on the homepage. It was filmed in who knows how many takes and it made me cringe every time I watched it. You might notice that we opted for a nice animated video clip on the Fetch Recruitment home page that is, I believe, far more appealing to look at. The point I am making is that I am not keen on being filmed and I think that this is the case for most people.
I have noticed the increasing trend on LinkedIn for people to share videos of themselves and a lot of those come across really well. Some do not come across quite so well in a video but that does not mean that they will not interview well or that they are unsuited to a specific job. This might be a useful tool to include as part of the selection process for a News Anchor. I am not sure that people who sit in front of a computer all day are likely to put their best foot forward on a 5 minute video clip.
My other concern is that as a recruiter, I tend to engage with candidates and get them to open up about what is important to them with regards to their next career steps. They are typically more honest with me than they can be with a potential future employer. I appreciate that you can have a more informal conversation before hitting the record button but a lot of useful information about someone falls out of the discussion organically during an interview. If candidates are filmed, they may not open up quite so much.
If a client does provide a list of set questions that they would like the candidates to be asked, what is the likelihood that anyone using this technology will brief the candidates before filming? I will always try and help my candidates prepare for an interview as I want them to do well. I can’t imagine for one minute that a good recruiter would not do their best to help prepare a candidate before a video interview and I expect that candidates will have sight of the questions that they will be asked beforehand.
I think that technology can really help improve how recruitment is done. I would always ask the question, are we using the technology to make our own lives easier at the risk of alienating good potential candidates? Perhaps this technology will become more accepted and it could be something that is more popular with younger generations. I am worried that it could put some candidates off applying and I don’t want to put people off engaging with a recruitment process.
The chap that was taking me through the demo was really good and gave a fantastic pitch. He highlighted that agencies that use it get more roles on an exclusive basis. We handle most of our vacancies exclusively already as we offer fees of 10% in return for being the sole agency. I am actually more interested in the value that it brings to our clients.
I would be genuinely grateful to hear what people’s thoughts are on this either from a client or candidate viewpoint? Have you used this technology? Would it put you off? Do you think that we should use it? You can contact me via email on email@example.com