The COVID pandemic changed how almost every organization functions. For many, this involves the extensive use of video conferencing, to the point where many who work in offices are comfortable running meetings online. It has even bled into our personal lives, where the early days of the pandemic involved getting loved ones up to speed to use technology for virtual visits.
Of course, this shift has also had an impact on hiring new employees and promoting existing ones. According to a poll by the Indeed HR platform involving 1,100 employers, 82% of respondents say they now use virtual interviews for hiring. Ninety-three percent said they would continue to do so in the future.
The benefits are clear
With widespread videoconferencing here to stay, as remote and hybrid work environments are now standard operating procedure, human resource departments have found a lot to like about it. Diversifying the talent pool has become increasingly important, and recruiters can cast a wider net to interview talent using video conferencing. Since it involves no travel, the virtual approach can also speed up the decision-making process.
Candidates may also prefer virtual job interviews. While some people will always feel more comfortable during in-person interviews, others appreciate not having to travel, which can mean taking less time out of their day, and the lower investment of time may encourage them to apply for work they might not have considered otherwise. There are also such benefits as interviewing from the comfort of their own familiar environment, and more flexibility in interview schedules.
Formalizing this new process
Employers should formalize their approach to ensure a fair process that complies with all applicable employment laws. There are typically two approaches for video interviews:
- Prerecorded: This is often used for preliminary screenings. It usually involves a consistent set of questions that provide a baseline. More than one recruiter can then review the clips to reduce the likelihood of personal bias. This approach also enables candidates to provide thoughtful answers when they are ready to record them.
- Live interview: There is no replacing in-person face-to-face interviews, but most office staff are now used to seeing their faces onscreen and feel more comfortable with it.
Reconciling the differences
Recruiters should acknowledge the differences between in-person and virtual interviews, and apply different metrics for measuring candidates accordingly. One way to address this issue would be to require all candidates to do initial interviews via video, even if they already work for the company or live nearby. The candidates who advance may have the option to interview in person. Recruiters can also be more flexible, using the candidate’s own communication preferences. These and other steps can help identify the best candidates and provide an ideal and legally compliant interview experience.