Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Video Interview Secrets to Hiring The Best Young Workers

Is your company ignoring young workers? Perhaps when it’s time to schedule a video interview, you’ve gotten into the habit of avoiding those in a younger age bracket. Aside from being discriminatory, this just isn’t wise for the future of your company. Young workers are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to companies both big and small. After all, one of the richest CEOs started his company from a dorm room. That little company is now called Facebook and almost everyone you know has an account.

A recent post on Steve Boese’s HR blog discovered a fairly alarming statistic to many. The number of workers 55 and older will soon surpass the number of workers in the 25 to 34 age bracket. The reasons for this are diverse, but they tie back heavily to the recent economic recession. For instance, the new crop of college students are having an increasingly hard time finding work, especially jobs matching their credentials. Meanwhile older workers, many of whom lost huge amounts of money in the economic downturn, have been forced to stay in the workforce longer.

Bleeding young talent is bad news for most companies. The workers in the 25 to 34 bracket are the talent companies want to establish and develop. They are the next round of superstars at your company. While older workers are smart and competent, they may also come at a higher cost immediately and will be on the way out of your organization sooner.

It’s time for companies to start taking a chance on younger workers today if they want to be able to compete in the global marketplace of ideas tomorrow. The best way to hire the most talented young workers is to focus on hiring better right from the video interview. Here are some secrets on how to use video interviews to nab your next young superstar:

Focus on Skills, Not Experience
Younger workers, especially those right out of college, won’t have the same depth of experience as their older counterparts. It’s a mistake, however, to think this means they have no value to add to your company. In fact, these potential employees are eager to gain the experience they need to become a real powerhouse in your industry.

Instead of focusing on experience in the video interview, focus on skills instead. Ask relevant interview questions about the candidate’s industry-specific skills and qualifications. Do they know certain programs or software? Also make sure to ask about what they’ve done outside the classroom and their first entry-level jobs. Many candidates have taken on unpaid internships and volunteer opportunities from which they’ve learned a wide variety of useful skills they can bring to your organization.

Look for Passion
You don’t just want a candidate looking for a day job, you want a candidate ready to embark on a career path. Passionate employees are going to be more engaged and more likely to take on additional responsibilities in the office.

Young workers picked your industry for a reason, so find out what that reason is directly in the video interview. Does your candidate have a real passion for the work or are they just looking for a handsome paycheck? Ask about why they chose this career path and what they like most and least about the industry. These answers can give you a good feel for just how committed they are to your field, and how likely they’ll be to stick around. Find the candidates who truly love what they’re doing and you’ll be hiring motivated, productive employees.

Thirst for Knowledge
Training is a major concern on the part of most companies when it comes to hiring young workers. Training can often be time-consuming and expensive and many companies want to hire candidates who can hit the ground running. The benefit of hiring younger workers, however, is that they are not opposed to learning new things. They don’t have bad habits to break and they’re hungry for knowledge.

In the video interview, make sure to ask what they know and what they want to know. If your candidate has a list of things they want to learn on the job, this is a good sign. It means the candidate sees your company as a place to learn and grow, a place to become a better employee. Beware if they can’t think of anything they want to learn from your position.

Companies can’t afford to ignore emerging talent, because this talent will make up their next generation of superstar employees. It’s important, however, to assess this talent critically in the video interview. If you follow some of these video interview hiring secrets you’ll hire great young workers who will be adding value to your company for years to come.

What are some secrets you have for using video interviews to hire great young candidates? Share with us in the comments!

SOURCES: Metro, Steve Boese, Pew Research Center

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Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).