Video First: How Interviewing at the Beginning of Your Hiring Process Increases Quality, Decreases Hiring Time, and Diminishes Bias

November 8th, 2018
Jon-Mark Sabel
Video Interviewing

How job seekers discover jobs has changed drastically over the last 50 years. Few people comb through their local Classifieds, or apply door-to-door today.

How they get those jobs has not changed. Job seekers might not shop their resumes door-to door anymore, but they put that same information into a job application. Applicants that hit the role’s preferred requirements are scheduled for a phone screen, and some are brought in for an interview with the hiring manager.

Most hiring in the 21st century is just a digitization of how it’s always been done.

With new technology, you can fundamentally reengineer it to be faster, more accurate, and more inclusive of underrepresented groups. This white paper will show you how world class recruiting departments are seeing drastic improvement in time to hire, better quality hires, and increases in new hire diversity. They’re reimagining hiring so the interview is at the beginning of the hiring process.

What Actually Predicts Job Performance?

Recruiting’s ultimate goal is identifying and hiring the best people for the job. It’s predicting who will actually be successful. You can see how well a number of common screening criteria actually do this below:

pre-hire assessments range

Because it is difficult to hold interviews on a large scale, screening at volume usually works from the least predictive screening criteria to the most predictive:

the conventional hiring process funnel

Why waste time with the least predictive screening methods if you can jump straight to the most predictive? Video first allows you to do this.

If you use on-demand video interviewing, you may have already replaced the phone screen with a video interview, but kept your process sequence as is. By reordering the process and following interview best practices, you can fundamentally change how you hire. You do this by going “video first”.

Get the Full eBook: Learn How to Reengineer Your Hiring Funnel

What Does “Video First” Mean?

“Video First” means flipping the hiring funnel so candidates interview at the beginning of the hiring process using video interviewing technology.

On-demand video interviews are asynchronous; candidates record themselves answering predetermined questions at a time that is convenient for them.

This isn’t just a pie-in-the-sky idea. Organizations across industries are leveraging this strategy to decrease time to hire, increase quality of hires, and promote diversity. We’ll show you how they’re doing it.

Two Different Ways to Put Video First

Depending on your needs, there are two different ways to push the interview to the front of the hiring process.

1) Pre-Screen Method

A short application with 3-4 qualifying questions is used to identify applicants with must-have skills and experience. Those that pass are invited to a video interview.

2) Interview First, Apply Later Method

Job seekers complete a short video introduction and explain their skills, abilities, and experience. Recruiters match interviewees with relevant open roles.

The Pre-Screen Method

Step 1: Build a Short, Powerful Application

Work with hiring managers to decide what screening factors are essential, not just preferred. For example:

  • Relevant Certifications. A role may require specific certifications before a new hire can legally start.
  • Minimum Work Experience. Distinctly different from “preferred work experience.” If a role could not feasibly be done by someone without years of relevant experience, consider this screening factor.
  • Minimum Education. If a job requires a college or high school degree, this screening factor can be used.
  • Minimum Abilities. If a job requires heavy lifting, long hours standing, or labor intensive skills, you can ask if applicants are willing to fill those duties.
  • Ability to Travel. If a job requires a lot of travel, you should ask applicants if they are willing to travel frequently.

Do not rely on screening factors with high bias potential and low job relevance. When auto-dispositioning applicants, never rely on the following:

  • Alma Mater
  • GPA
  • Location, address, and zip code
  • Name

If possible, “blind” recruiters and hiring managers to this information throughout the hiring process.

Step 2: Develop a Predictive Interview

Focus on questions that are highly relevant to the job. If you have an existing structured interview that candidates are put through, pull from that. Then you can use live interviews to ask deeper, more personalized questions.

Behavioral Questions

Past behavior is one of the best predictors of future behavior. Behavioral interview questions ask candidates to relate past experiences and difficulties and how they confronted them. Work with hiring managers to discuss what past behaviors are the most important for on-the-job success, and develop questions with those in mind.

Job Simulation Questions

Video interviews can be prefaced with a short video. While prequestion videos are a great way to introduce your company and different team members, they can also show a common problem - like a very dissatisfied customer - and ask candidates to act out how they would respond.

Skills Tests

Hard skill tests can be embedded in a video interview. Candidates can show their software development skills with custom coding assessments, and their writing skills in response to essay prompts. You can even ask them to share their screen so recruiters can evaluate their software proficiency - setting up a Pivot table in Excel, for example.

Language Proficiency Questions

For candidates who need to know a certain language, ask them questions in that language. This provides a more flexible measure of fluency than more formalized language tests, which tend to punish candidates who use colloquialisms and slang.

Step 3: Put it in Practice

The pre-screen method is great for accelerating hiring time and new hire quality for high volume roles, as well as those that require specific qualifications.

short application

It also works in tandem with the “Interview First, Apply Later” method, which we’ll explore below.

The Interview First, Apply Later Method

Step 1: Find What Matters in a Video Introduction

For the average job seeker, finding the most relevant position for their skills and experience on a career site is difficult. They don’t know your company jargon or your corporate hierarchy. Most apply for multiple jobs - many of which they are not qualified for.

Letting job seekers “interview first”—also known as a video introduction—solves this problem while saving recruiters time and giving candidates a much better experience. When video is at the very front of your process, use one or two general questions to get insight into each job seeker. Here are some examples:

  • What are your skills and experience?
  • What do you want to do for our organization?
  • Why do you want to work for our organization?

Step 2: Review and Recommend

Your recruiters know your organization’s open roles much better than job seekers. Here’s how the review process works:

1) Watch new video introductions. Set a regular cadence for recruiters to review video introductions as they come in.

2) Sort job seekers based on their stated skills and aspirations. Job seekers that are not a fit for any available roles should be informed that a role for their skills is not available at this time. Keep their videos on file for future consideration.

3) Forward videos to relevant recruiting staff. Send video introductions to recruiters in the appropriate department.

4) Give job seekers recommendations. Recruiters recommend the best-fit job openings and job seekers apply, knowing they are a good fit.

5) Review incoming applications. Recruiters review applications with the applicant’s video introduction. The hiring process is accelerated since both parties know it is a good match.

Step 3: Put It In Practice

Putting video at the very front of the process provides great material for your recruitment marketing campaigns. Instead of advertising “Apply Now,” you can offer potential candidates the much more compelling opportunity to “Interview Now.” video introduction An “interview first” program can exist alongside your existing hiring process, and provides a valuable way for job seekers to express interest in your organization.

Why Video First? Decrease Time to Hire

By moving the most powerful screening step to the front of the hiring process, you remove the need for almost everything that came before it. Think about how long it takes to schedule a phone screen, or how long it takes a candidate to complete their pre-hire assessment. Those steps add up. Try to tally the time candidates spend in these workflow steps: resume screen These three steps take weeks, if not months, to complete. The average time it takes a candidate to complete a HireVue OnDemand video interview is 2.6 days.

Why Video First? Increase Quality of Hire

Video interviews reveal the traits that really matter for job success.

Your recruiters gain a powerful strategic advantage. They can immediately forward the recorded interviews of high potential candidates to hiring managers, and the in-person interviewing process begins. Depending on the role, hiring decisions can even be made on the spot. You can hire the best candidates while your competition is still sorting resumes.

Ways OnDemand Video Interviews Uncover High Potential Candidates:

  • Structured interview
  • Software proficiency evaluation via screen share
  • Written skills test
  • Pre-hire assessment
  • Coding assessment with interview follow-up

Since your interview process starts - and your offer letters are out - before everyone else’s, you effectively take top talent off the market before your competitors know what they’re missing.

Why Video First? Diminish Bias

Generally speaking, the less predictive a screening method is the higher potential it has for bias. highest potential for bias Time spent unemployed, university choice, years of education, GPA, and work experience are all on the lower end of the predictive spectrum - and all are commonly used to make screening decisions. Yet these are the most likely to inadvertently screen out underrepresented groups.

For example:

  • Working women with children will probably have more “employment gaps” than men.
  • A recent graduate who needed to work their way through college probably won’t have the same GPA as one who had more time to study.
  • A famous study found that equivalent resumes with “white sounding names” were 50% more likely to receive a callback than those with “African American sounding names.”

These factors add up, and contribute to the structural inequality we continue to see in the workplace. By asking all job seekers the same questions, and basing your screening decisions on what really matters for job performance, you can make hiring fundamentally fairer.

Download the full eBook to learn more about how to reengineer your hiring funnel, and see how four organizations are leveraging this approach to increase quality, decrease time to hire, and diminish bias:

Get the Full eBook