I don’t remember the exact details of recommending my first candidate to a hiring manager - but I do remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I precisely managed my day-to-day responsibilities: carving out the hours to read resumes, talking to candidates on the phone, and making sure I didn’t miss any opportunities to become a better recruiter.
The Transactional Nature of Traditional Screening
Most recruiters and hiring managers have a shorthand way of talking about candidates that develops over time. When a hiring manager and a recruiter have worked together for a time, vague responses like "This candidate was too blah" or "They weren't confident enough" relay a complex evaluation that an outsider would need need a Rosetta Stone to decipher.
The email message I sent to the Senior Manager (who had a well-earned reputation for identifying who would be successful at the firm) went something like this:
I have a great candidate for you to interview. They will be a great fit on your team. They have the right amount of experience to be effective in the job and a previous work experience that would be a real asset to your team. I attached their resume for your review. When would be a good time to bring them in for an interview?
The response was swift:
Why do you think they would be a good fit? Is their experience at the job previous to this one comparable?
Recruiters reading this know exactly what that means.
One sentence feedback emails don't mean much to others, but within the context of the hundreds of candidates forwarded for interviews, and previous conversations about how recruiting helps drive business outcomes, it's clear as day.
In the traditional phone screen and in-person interview process, these types of conversations close the feedback loop. The interaction between recruiter and hiring manager is transactional: the recruiter is an emissary (albiet one with a certain amount of decision-making power) between candidate and manager.
The Shift: No Longer a Messenger, but an Advisor
With video interviewing, I see something different happening. When recruiters and hiring mangers watch the same video of a candidate, a Rosetta Stone becomes entirely unnecessary. The bizarre dialect created exclusively through shared experience is replaced with a universal translator.
Each candidate responds to the exact same question set, and the only difference in the process is their unique response to each question. Recruiters and hiring managers see the same response from the candidate, regardless of time or place. They also have the same opportunity to apply ratings, recommendations, comments, and tags.
Each evaluation is clear feedback on a candidate, and every evaluator can refer back to it when evaluating new candidates. This effectively makes the hiring process more consistent and more connected to the business goals of leaders.
When a video interview is shared, candidates are compared to each other objectively, not in relation to two or three different interviews with different questions and settings. Clearing the noise from the interview process leads to conversations about candidates' actual skills and abilities, rather than vague comparisons.
Moving from Transactional to Strategic
When I first shared the results of an interview with a hiring manager, I knew it would have an effect on the business. But now, with the rich documentation available in the form of recorded video interviews, that conversation can go from transactional to strategic. The recruiter becomes more than a courier of interview recall.
When recruiters and hiring managers can select talent in a clearer way with more knowledge of who they are selecting and why, everyone becomes more strategic - and hiring can be more closely tied to future success.
With OnDemand interviews, the rich information shared in conversations between recruiters and hiring managers becomes even more valuable. It can be shared with HR leaders, other hiring managers, and anyone else inside the organization. It can be used to substantiate past decisions, and creates a reference guide for directing future hiring efforts on the basis of past success.
When job seekers interview before they apply, recruiters are in the strategic position to direct them to the most relevant openings.
See how Children's Mercy Hospital increased new hire diversity and deepened their talent pipeline with this "Interview First" philosophy.
About the Author:
Matthew Wavro is a Professional Services Consultant at HireVue, where he uses his previous experience as a strategic recruiter and HR operations manager to help clients adopt, implement, and excel with video interviewing. Find him on LinkedIn.