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Why we sometimes use a video presentation for prospective employees before offering for interview

We recently ran a job advert for an admin position. We received well over 1000 applications. As a result we decided to split them into finance and admin and hire for two positions, utilising two different processes for each position to see which worked the best for candidates. We knew that whichever process we changed would not work for everyone and we wanted to make sure we had the best overall process.

In order to find the most suitable candidate we started looking at the ways other companies are handling interviews during covid. We wanted to find the most suitable candidate, so that we could continue to offer our high customer service to our clients. To do this we needed to know whether any training would need to be offered, what skills our candidate had as well as ensuring they were able to handle the role without feeling overwhelmed. We therefore set them a little test, to submit us a video within two days time.

In times of covid we have had to look at changing some of our processes, one of the changes we made was to ask candidates to submit a video presentation of themselves to us. This enabled us to get more of a personal and comprehensive picture of a candidate, ensuring that they will also fit into our organisation and helping us to find the right person.

Understandably some candidates are not used to this request.

Some of the reasons why we have decided to do this:

~ Personality plays a key role when a person is hired for an admin position. Attitudes such as body language, communication skills and how we relate to others is now important.

~Technology is here to help us ensure we make the right decision for both sides.

~ Some suitable people are often left out of the process because their cv does not match their actual abilities

~With the introduction of a video presentation of yourself we felt this would enable us to really meet you, who you are.

~We felt that it was simply impossible in an era where a lot of the country were looking for any position due to covid that we should rely solely on cvs, and a completed job application form.

~ It enabled us to meet the person at once (given covid restrictions this was a must).

~It helped us see what the talent actually was, how it is expressed, who would be the best fit for our particular clients, what the motivation of the applicant was and how he or she might relate to a client.

~ Traditionally we would do a trial on the telephone and learn from this these skills. This is not currently possible due to social distancing and a lockdown until december. A video enables us to determine this.

~Candidates know that they are making a short presentation so will try and present their most important points.

~ A picture is worth one thousand words. A video is a fast and effective way of speeding up the process and to establish a relationship before we offer that interview. It is a more personal touch that the cv is.

~ It provides more relevant information to us in pre selection

~It enables us to see you as a person, not just a piece of paper.

It serves as an important first point of contact.

~ It gives you a chance to show us your communication skills, which given the number of applications we received was essential in choosing the right person.

~Applicants have the control of what goes in the video, making it more personal.

~ Most important for us was how you communicated with us and potential clients.

~ Finally, and probably our most important reason was that we were averaging calling 3-4 a day in order to keep on top of other admin duties, at this rate it would have taken us two weeks to call all of the ones we had shortlisted. We had committed to contacting by a certain date, and we wanted to stick to this.

Whilst we appreciated that this was not a common feature, it has been used by companies as a process for screening for many years. We think the benefits outweighed any negatives that may be perceived.

And if you are wondering what will happen to the video once we have decided - they will all be deleted in line with our recruitment process and GDPR.

An unusual blog, but one we hope will make you think about how important it is to keep up with the changes, and one example of how we are recruiting keeping everyone safe, especially as our human resource lady and Director are currently working in different locations only adding to the challenge.

What are your views?

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