How You Can (and Should) Make the Case to your Clients for Video Interviews

It’s no secret that traditional, outdated interviewing strategies end up wasting a significant amount of time on multiple fronts.

Recruiters and staffing professionals, in particular, spend too much time trying to juggle applicants’ schedules with clients’ availability. And when you finally narrow it down to a handful of job candidates, you spend hours deliberating over who’s the best fit, and often have to drag out the hiring process because it’s nearly impossible to get all of the necessary people in the same room to meet the candidate.

But today’s technology provides a solution that can enable you to streamline this process for both you and your clients — and, most importantly get open roles filled in a more efficient fashion.

Why video interviewing > traditional interviewing methods.

Though it may sound like something from The Jetsons, more and more recruiting and staffing professionals are becoming dependent on video interviewing when it comes time to fill vacant positions. In fact, a survey by OfficeTeam revealed that 63 percent of hiring professionals often use video interviewing technology to conduct employment interviews.

Where traditional interviewing falls short, video interviewing is there to pick up the slack. As an article from U.S. News & World Report explains, video interviewing enhances the experience for both the job seeker and the hiring professional, turning it into a win-win for everyone involved.

But, as with any new technology, clients may need a little convincing. Here’s how you can make the case for video interviews to your clients:

It helps to pre-qualify candidates.

Without video interviewing, recruiters and staffing pros are left to do their best guesswork about who clients should bring in for an in-person interview. They have to rely on resumes and cover letters to steer them in the right direction, but ultimately they’ll end up spending a significant chunk of time interviewing people who just aren’t qualified for the position. This becomes a drain on both the candidate and the interviewer. Plus, it bogs down the hiring process.

When video interviews are involved, recruiters and staffing professionals can interact with candidates via video or watch pre-recorded responses and get a sense of what they’re all about before recommending that person for an in-person interview. If it’s clear right off the bat that they’re not a good fit, they can move on and bring someone else in. This preserves everyone’s time and energy.

It allows you to hear from more candidates.

There are only so many hours in the day, and when a client has to block off a half hour to sit face-to-face with someone, they quickly become limited as to the number of candidates they can speak with. However, one-way video interviewing lets you and your clients quickly watch recorded responses from more candidates in a short amount of time.

If you like what you see, you can recommend your client ask the candidate to come in for further discussion. If not, you can move on to someone who might be a better fit. When the volume of candidates you hear from increases, so do your chances of finding the perfect match.

It boosts your chances of hearing from passive candidates.

If you’re trying to get a passive candidate to switch employers and work for your client, you’re going to have to do a little selling. Trying to convince them to take time off work and drive across town to come in for an interview is a tough proposition.

However, if you explain that all they have to do is a record a brief one-way video interview at a time that’s convenient for them, you have an increased chance of getting this desirable individual to participate. When less is required of the person, there’s less reason for them to decline.

It cuts down on cost.

Before video interviewing existed, if you found a great candidate who lived across the country, you or your client had to pay an arm and a leg to fly that person out for a face-to-face interview. That meant footing the bill for airfare, hotel costs, restaurant meals, and other expenses.

When all’s said and done, you could be spending hundreds or even thousands just to interview a single person. If it didn’t end up working out, that was a significant drain on you or your client’s finances.

Video interviewing has eliminated this problem. Now, you and your client can see and hear from the candidate you have your eye on, regardless of where in the world they’re situated — without the hefty price tag.

It shows you respect candidates’ time.

Job seekers only have so much time in the day to interview with companies — especially when those job seekers are passively searching.   

When you adopt video interviewing techniques, you’re showing candidates that you understand that they, too, are busy and that you respect their time. Instead of forcing them to take time off of work for interviews, you’re enabling job candidates to record a one-way video when it’s convenient for them. This drives home the point that you want to make life easier for them, and increases the likelihood that they’ll take the time to hear you out.

You’ll get a better sense of that person’s true personality.

Even the most seasoned veterans can get nervous during a job interview. As a result, you may find that a candidate you thought was highly qualified ends up blurting out an answer that you know they just don’t mean.

One-way video interviewing takes some of the stress out of the process. Candidates have time to think about the question and their desired response. If they end up inserting their foot in their mouth, they can re-record their answer. When your clients watch the video interview, you can rest assured they’re seeing the best and most polished version of the candidate.

Candidates actually prefer it.

Recruiters and staffing professionals aren’t the only ones who find that video interviewing eases stress surrounding recruiting. In fact, 47 percent of candidates with prior video interview experience, surveyed by Software Advice, say they prefer this type of interview, as well.

 

Just as you might feel that someone is not a good fit for your client’s business, a candidate might block off half their day to go do an interview, only to quickly realize that this job wasn’t what they expected. Instead of wasting precious days off (not to mention gas money) for an opportunity they may not even be interested in, they can record an interview at a time that’s convenient for them free of charge.

The unexpected perks of video interviewing.

Besides these numerous perks, video interviewing comes with additional benefits that aren’t as obvious upfront. Some clients might worry that you don’t get the full, three-dimensional look at a candidate when you’re staring at them from behind a screen. In reality, quite the opposite is true. You can gain a lot of important insight when you zero in on the details of a video interview. A few points to look out for:

Are they able to get the technology working properly?

Is the camera functioning? Is the audio OK? This shows you that the person has a basic grasp of technology, which is important in almost all business settings. It also illustrates that they took the time to test these elements out ahead of time. Therefore, they probably pay attention to detail.

What is the environment around them like?

Ideally the candidate should have a clean space that’s free of distractions as they do the interview. Take note and see if they’ve made an effort to create an appealing setting to record their responses to your questions.

What kinds of responses do they give?

The ideal candidate understands that just because they’re answering questions from the comfort of their own home, doesn’t mean that the interview has suddenly taken on a casual feel. They still take care to answer each question in a thoughtful and professional manner.

Be on the lookout for the use of profanity or answers that feel too relaxed. What is their body language like? How are they dressed? They should still approach the situation as a formal job interview, even if they’re sitting within feet of their couch.  

If they handle themselves professionally in this slightly unusual situation, they’ll probably be able to conduct themselves in a professional manner regardless of the situation they may encounter.

How to deal with objections when you introduce the concept of video interviewing.

Though it’s clear that video interviewing presents numerous benefits to both hiring professionals and their clients, you might find that some clients still have concerns when it comes to actually making video interviewing a regular part of the hiring process.

Here are some of the common objections you might face from clients regarding incorporating video interviewing into the hiring process, plus some tips on how to combat these concerns:

Fears about the ability to execute from a technical standpoint.

For those who have grown accustomed to doing face-to-face interviews, the concept of video interviewing may seem completely far-fetched and hard to process. Clients may worry that it’s simply not possible from a technical standpoint. They might be concerned about cost or ease of use. Reassure your clients that with the proper provider, it’s easy to learn how to seamlessly integrate video interviewing into the hiring process.

Concerns about legality.

Again, the right vendor has the expertise to have a conversation with your legal team to ensure that all bases are covered and that you and your clients are handling video interviewing in a totally safe and legal way.

Questions about the learning curve.

While it may take your clients a little bit of time to get accustomed to video interviewing, this process will save them tremendous amounts of time in the long-run. Instead of having to meet with candidates who simply aren’t qualified, they can quickly watch a video interview, and if it’s clear that the candidate isn’t a good fit, that they can move on.

Instead of rearranging their whole day to meet with a candidate at a time that works for them, they can watch video interviews when it’s conducive to their schedule. Look at the learning curve as a slight investment with major payoffs in the long-run.

Understand that video interviewing can serve as a complement to face-to-face conversations.

Some people believe that video interviewing forces an “all or nothing” approach. This simply isn’t true. While some businesses rely strictly on video interviewing to hire new employees, others use it as a perfect complement to traditional interviewing methods.

As the recruiter or staffing professional, you use it to bring collaboration with clients back into the hiring process and to ensure your client is only bringing in the best of the best for an in-person interview.

You use video interviewing to pre-qualify candidates and move them through the early stages of your client’s hiring process. They use it to determine who to bring into the office to meet the staff members, tour the facilities, and have a more extended conversation.

Video interviewing is totally customizable depending on a business’s resources, goals, and approach to hiring. You can use it 20 percent of the time, 100 percent of the time, or somewhere in between.

They worry about the loss of emotional connection.

Some clients might fear that they lose the emotional element when they start to rely on video screens during the interview process. However, it’s important to note that you can still infuse personal elements into the process.

While you may be watching a pre-recorded interview, you can call to invite someone to record their answers. If you and your client like their responses, you can then invite them in for a face-to-face tour of the facility. Though you may be eliminating the need to have a first round interview in person, it doesn’t mean that suddenly the process will feel totally impersonal.

Video interviewing makes filling open spots or expanding your clients’ team easier, more cost effective, and more efficient than ever before. It eliminates unnecessary back and forth with clients and ensures that you’re sending your clients candidates worthy of an in-person interview.

Video interviewing enables both parties to cut out excess steps so clients only meet with qualified candidates who are excited about the available position. And, as it turns out, video interviewing provides benefits for those doing the hiring and those seeking new employment opportunities. With the right provider, incorporating video interviewing into the hiring process can be a seamless, cost-effective way to enhance your recruiting strategy.

What are some other great reasons to use video interviews? Share in the comments below!