More On the Video Interviewing and Discrimination Discussion

Spark Hire CEO Josh Tolan recently had a guest post featured on TheStreet.com, “4 Reasons Video Job Interviews Are Here to Stay”. Several readers commented and contributed to the discussion regarding discrimination and video interviews, which served as the inspiration for this blog post. Understandably, this is a topic that continues to surface as the technology grows in popularity so we would like to take this opportunity to touch on this topic further for our readers.

First, it should be recognized that video interviews and discrimination do not go hand-in-hand. Only people have the capability to discriminate; technology and video interviews do not. The sad reality is that a job candidate faces an equal chance of being discriminated against in a video interview as they would for an in-person interview.

Some might believe that using video interviews will make the focus less about a candidate’s job qualifications and skills and more about how comfortable he or she is in front of a camera. Additionally, some may argue that video interviews encourage employers to only hire candidates based on their looks. If these are the results of a video interview, that is not the fault of the technology, but of the people involved with hiring. Video interviewing gives all candidates the same chance at being hired for a job. Specifically, in our One-Way interview each question is presented the same way and in the same order to every candidate; therefore, one candidate does not have an advantage over another candidate in any way.

The purpose of video interviews is to increase the efficiency of a company’s hiring process and that will be achieved if video interviews are used properly. Video interviews are convenient for both employers and job seekers because it eliminates the stress of scheduling. Job seekers aren’t required to do any traveling for video interviews so companies save money from not having to spend on travel and lodging accommodations.

In 2004 and 2010, the EEOC wrote opinion letters on video interviewing stating that there is nothing illegal about it. The EEOC particularly had this to say on the subject: “Employers and recruiters [should] continue to structure their recruitment and selection processes to be nondiscriminatory and to consistently focus on the job qualifications of all job seekers, regardless of technology or of the information available by virtue of that technology.”

To reiterate an earlier point of this post, technology does not and cannot discriminate, people do. An online video interviewing platform cannot make an employer’s final hiring decision.

If the hiring practice at a company involves discriminating, stereotyping, and basing decisions on the physical appearance of a person, that is a flaw of the individuals involved and not the usage of video interviewing itself. The question a job candidate must then ask him or herself is if they want to work at a company that employs people that behave this way. If not, they can move on in their job hunt to bigger and, most likely, better opportunities.

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