Government hiring processes are complex, to say the least. From the variety of stakeholders in multiple locations to the plethora of positions with variation in qualifications, on top of structure and compliance concerns, it’s enough to make one’s head spin.
As a hiring professional, it’s your job to build a concrete hiring structure, understand candidate application motivations, hiring manager requirements, and job responsibilities to understand how they all fit together best. So where do we start when hiring in the public sector? To get an in-depth read on candidates and their capabilities, one might lean towards requiring in-person interviews with every applicant, which gets tedious and time-consuming, but phone calls feel inadequate.
This is where video interviewing comes in. Not only can it create a positive interviewing environment, but it provides structure, connection, and organization to the hiring challenges within the government.
When someone says “video interviewing,” most people think of apps like Zoom or Facetime, but the best uses of video interviewing come when you use a platform purpose-built for hiring. When you use such a platform, the methods to see success expand dramatically. Here’s a look at how video interviewing goes beyond “video conferencing” and long-distance hiring and improves outcomes when hiring in the public sector:
1. Increase screening efficiency
Phone screens and initial in-person interviews take a lot of people’s power. Reviewing resumes and scheduling 30-minute interviews on the phone or 60 minutes in person for your entire candidate pool may take weeks or months to complete. And with a limited team, it feels like you can either aim for quality candidates or an efficient hiring process.
In an ideal world, you would have a standard set of interview questions to ask candidates during the traditional phone screen, and you’d know exactly which candidates were the best fit to invite for an in-person interview — ensuring no time is wasted for you or your hiring managers. Unfortunately, this is normally not the case.
However, video interviewing’s one-way interviews make this dream a reality. Since one-way video interviews allow candidates to respond to your questions anytime, anywhere, your team doesn’t spend days on end, pre-screening candidates.
One huge benefit of this type of video interview is you don’t need to be present when a one-way video interview is completed. Using this tool immediately decreases the scheduling insanity of the screening step.
Another great thing about one-way video interviews is the ability to review responses question-by-question. This means you can skip to the most important questions to qualify candidates for the next step. If a candidate doesn’t seem like the right fit after asking those key questions, you can move on without sitting on the phone for another 30 minutes.
2. More insights from a bigger talent pool
In a phone interview, you have little idea of how a candidate carries themselves, their attention to detail, and their commitment to creating the best first impression possible. The autonomy of completing a video interview when hiring in the public sector means you, like Arlington County, “get better insight into how candidates conduct themselves before bringing them into the office.”
When seriously interested in your open positions, candidates take time to present themselves in their best light, complete the interview in a timely manner, and demonstrate their ability to meet deadlines with quality work. Between these intangibles and the responsiveness of candidates, you gain deeper insights into your talent pool earlier in the process. Then, you have the opportunity to expand your talent pool, offering screening interviews to more candidates. And when you narrow down your top talent, you can spend more time on the most qualified candidates.
3. Foster better collaboration with hiring managers
Video interviews are super powerful for collaboration. Since candidate responses and interviews are recorded, the entire hiring team, like the one at the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, has the ability to watch, rewatch, comment, and rate video interviews.
With this ability, every hiring stakeholder can help ensure an unbiased hiring decision. The decision to advance a candidate is based exclusively on the assessor’s analysis of how a candidate presented themselves, rather than a colleague’s hastily-scrawled notes from a phone screen.
Compiling feedback from hiring managers, your team, and even your own thoughts builds a shortlist of the most qualified candidates to advance to in-person or live video interviews. With the improved accuracy of the screening and assessment process, your team eliminates bad late-stage interviews. As a bonus, you avoid uncomfortable conversations with hiring managers when their one-on-one interviews don’t go as planned.
4. Build a positive candidate experience
As the labor market shifts towards empowering candidates, the candidate experience becomes crucial. Candidates want to know whether quick and fair hiring decisions are being made. The time it takes to review resumes, complete all phone screens, shortlist candidates, invite, schedule, and conduct one-on-one interviews does not translate to a timely candidate experience.
With job seeker resources like a candidate boot camp to help candidates learn what is expected from them during a video interview and 24/7 technical support, even this relatively “new” experience of a video interview is easy for candidates to understand and complete.
The standard delivery of video interview questions allows all candidates a level playing field for first impressions. Completing video interviews anywhere at any time means candidates have plenty of time to practice and present their best selves in their interviews.
Collaboration tools mean the decision to advance a candidate or not isn’t dependent on a single person. And video interviews mean candidates get the interview and hiring feedback faster. Your team’s efficiency gains with video interviews mean candidates get application results faster than ever before.
5. Interviewing at a Distance
Video interviews, whether they are live or one-way, allow you to gain in-person insights on candidates without in-person time, expense, and logistic challenges. This means you get to see how a candidate thinks about your interview questions, their gestures, enthusiasm, and other non-verbal cues lost over the phone. In addition, one-way video interviews allow you and other key decision-makers to collaborate on the most crucial questions to ask candidates. Then candidates answer questions on their own time, within your deadline. And all this happens virtually, without any in-person meetings.
One video interviewing user hiring in the public sector even said, “With 24 departments to support and schedule interviews for it’s a little difficult getting all interested parties together. With video interviews, I can set up interviews that the hiring panels can watch whenever they have time to spare. No booking conference rooms, juggling schedules, worrying about no-shows, etc. Having this program allows us to get through the initial interview process much quicker!”
Video interviewing can revolutionize your hiring process. With thoughtful implementation, this way of interviewing provides easy access for hiring decision makers no matter their location, enhances early-stage impressions of candidates, expands your talent pool, and improves the candidate experience. All of these great benefits of video interviewing enable your team to better serve your community with consistent, high-quality hires.
Learn more about video interviews for government hiring today!