For businesses faced with the difficult task of hiring new employees in the time of social-distancing, lockdowns, and phased re-openings, the answer to the logistical challenges around interviewing candidates has been remote interviewing via video conference call. Tools that are now ubiquitous in the workplace of 2020, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, did not even exist a decade ago, but now serve as a vital lifeline to organizations scrambling to keep their operations humming without access to a centralized, physical office space.
As companies begin to settle into the new normal and now have time to assess where they’ve placed their operational band-aids to ensure business continuity, it’s important that they now start taking action to replace those temporary fixes with long term solutions that promote both practicality and productivity. It’s also important to keep in mind that forward-thinking organizations are taking the current opportunity to reassess each and every aspect of their operations. The anticipated results from this include a more widespread acceptance of remote work and further automation of arduous tasks.
A perfect case in point is the hiring process. There are few other modern business activities that still depended so heavily on the traditional in-person business meeting: showing up a half-hour early, firm handshake, eye contact, formal attire, and so on. However, now that showing up in-person and giving a firm handshake aren’t applicable to current times, organizations are beginning to realize just how inefficient parts of the hiring process can be. Particularly, the early stages of the hiring process where a large applicant pool needs to be reviewed and reduced down to a much smaller number of candidates who are then assessed in more detail. Having such a front-loaded hiring timeline is not only detrimental to the efficiency of recruiters, but also to the time and engagement of candidates.
While recruiters are wading through a large pool of resumes in order to determine which applicants are best suited for the open position, candidates are left without a response, and when they inevitably move onto looking for other opportunities, companies could be losing out on the most talented individuals in the career field. With unemployment figures hitting historic levels during the current pandemic, many employers will be faced with a much larger volume of applicants for every job opening, which will require more resources for their recruiting team to screen incoming candidates. A tool like on-demand interviewing, unlike video conferencing, allows recruiters to invite candidates to record their interviews on their own time and typically comes with built-in tools to score and accept candidates in a more streamlined fashion.
As a result, more businesses have been adopting innovative on-demand interviewing services in order to not only address their immediate need for remote interviewing, but also to automate the inefficient aspects that were once seen as inherent to the hiring process, leaving more time for their recruiters to spend with the strongest candidates in the applicant pool.
Video conferencing has served as a mostly-adequate stop gap once COVID-19 discouraged these types of in-person meetings, but general-purpose video conferencing tools were never designed or developed with the hiring process specifically in mind, leaving there much to be desired when used for hiring purposes. For example, since video conferencing software still requires users to connect with each other only in a live setting, it doesn’t change the fact that recruiters and candidates will still need to work out specific times that work for each other to hold an interview.
While video conference tools do allow for the two parties to meet with each other in a safe, virtual environment, they still carry over the same issues present in face-to-face interviews. With on-demand interviewing technology, however, candidates have the ability to record their interview wherever and whenever they want, and recruiters are able to review them on their own time as well, allowing for boosted candidate engagement since they’re feeling that they’re being met on their terms. This also side-steps the need for recruiters to sift through resumes since they’ll already have a completed pre-screening interview to go off of, giving them a more thorough and in-depth understanding of each candidate and if they’d be a good fit for the job.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen companies quickly implement popular video conferencing tools as a temporary fix to the sudden roadblock of social distancing. Moving forward, however, it’ll be critical for us to introduce more in-depth solutions that are tailor-made for the hiring process, such as on-demand interviewing software. While video conferencing was an adequate way to adapt to a volatile situation such as COVID-19, on-demand interviewing provides lasting results and has the potential to compress the hiring timeline as well as find the most talented candidates from an applicant pool faster.