4 big mistakes to watch out for when using video in recruitment

Posted by Tony Hall-Turner on May 17, 2019 10:55:32 AM
Tony Hall-Turner
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Anyone who knows me will know I love the idea of video recruitment. This started when I joined a company back in 2008 where we tried to sell video recruitment systems totally forgetting we were in an age when a webcam still cost the GDP of a small country and half the nation still used dial-up so unless you lived next door to the telephone exchange any sort of online video would look something reminiscent of teletext.


By the way if you’re lucky enough to be too young to know what ‘dial-up’ or teletext were, imagine a time when physical post was sometimes quicker than email and the ‘services’ button on your TV brought up a screen that had only four colours and the pixel quality of Lego. You’re now seeing life like a child of the 90s.


Anyway, my point was we were way ahead of our time. And although the company obviously didn’t survive, we got the chance to make all the mistakes people are making - now that video recruitment is becoming more mainstream.


So, if you’re looking to introduce video to your recruitment process, or already have it and want to make it work better for you, here’s the four big mistakes to watch out for:


  1. Asking candidates to record their video at home in their own time


This has to be the biggest mistake we see people making. And I get it. We made the same one over 10 years ago. The problem is that if you speak to any ATS provider, they’ll tell you that their biggest challenge is keeping the candidate engaged. You see they have to complete forms on an ATS. Whereas a job advert simply needs you to click ‘apply’ then ‘next’ – and the application is done.


Adding additional steps into the process will always cause a drop off. When you look at analytics it’s an obvious fact.


Now consider this. We live in a time when pre-drinks before a night out for people in their twenties is no longer a few games of pool and a couple of glasses of wine at home. It’s a full photoshoot with managed lighting where hours are spent achieving and choosing the perfect shot. All this effort and time in aid of catching the dangling carrot that is Instagram likes.


Now imagine the effort needed when there’s something worthwhile up for grabs (like a job). You see the problem. In todays Insta world, where people want instant gratification and have the attention span of a goldfish, the longer your process the less candidates you’ll receive.


If you want to use video give candidates some sort of time slot/deadline.


  1. Thinking it will replace the CV


So the LinkedIn warriors like Gary V, Bridgett H and Oleg have spouted a lot of bullshit in their time. But one of the most damaging and counter productive bits of nonsense they’ve inflicted on the world goes something like this:


“I don’t ever look at CVs, I hire purely on attitude, I can train them to do anything if they have the right attitude”


It’s bollocks and nothing more than sensationalist click-bait.


The problem is though it’s led to a wave of sheep following them who think they can get everything they need to know from a video. You can’t. Use video as an ingredient that complements the CV. Not something that replaces it.

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  1. Using it in the wrong part of the process


Another big trap we fell into all those years ago. When you think of video recruitment, people immediately think it’s going to be the first step to reducing the number of candidates you’ll need to screen. And it can be.


However, like we said earlier if you use it too early, you’ll be reducing the number of CVs you receive. And in turn this’ll be a hindrance for talent pooling.


Be smart. Not everyone will record a video. And if you’re still looking to attract CVs, don’t make this the first step in the candidate journey. Only introduce it once you’ve captured their data.


  1. Using it as a reason to rule out candidates and not to rule them in


This requires a change of mind-set for some people and it’s not easy. I’ve seen lots of recruitment agencies start offering videos of candidates to their clients. And then withdrawing them when their interview numbers go down.


The mistake was they’d all promised their clients it would help them save time interviewing. Which it can do. But surely the bigger prize is making sure they don’t miss out on the very best candidate just because their CV isn’t quite as well polished as the next person.


This logic applies just as much in internal recruitment too. If you work in an internal role you’ll need to educate your hiring manager about how best to use a video and not just see it as a time saver.


If anyone has experience with Video recruitment and has any other advice they can share or doesn't agree then please drop it into the comments.

Topics: Onboarding, Candidate Attraction Campaign