Today, I conducted yet another interview on Skype. I routinely use videoconferencing in either Skype or Google to do business outside of domestic American borders. Like many technical things, the rest of the world is fairly well ahead of the US in communications technologies.
It happened while we weren’t looking. While there is sure to be a real mobile boom, with all sorts of interesting recruitment advertising schemes, it will be while the US catches up to the rest of the world where mobile advertising is mainstream. The same holds true with video communications (unless you are a Mac user). The rest of the world is quickly grabbing on to trans-global video communications. The range runs from Cisco’s astonishing products to the more humble laptop based chat tools.
I have not been a fan of the idea that video interview companies were going to be able to add value in the HR marketplace for a sustained period. I’ve had more than one CEO hang up in frustration when I asked, “How is this different from having a telephone?” In most cases, it isn’t. Simple bandwidth offerings, posed as something else, will be early roadkill. Video calls will be as common as telephone calls in a couple of years. The technology is already good enough.
Last week, though, I had an amazing call with Mark Newman, CEO of HireVue. The company, which grew by 800% last year, is rooted in the delivery of pain reduction for the talent acquisition process. The flagship video interviewing tool is just a gateway to a company that makes hay reducing cycle time. I’ve been peppering him with the ‘video can’t be the only thing’ query for more than a year. But, I’d never seen the product up close.
First of all, it turns out that bandwidth and real time video conferencing are only about 15% of the company’s flow. The predominant use for video interviews is time shifting. That is, recruiters can generate qualifications driven hard core interviews for a group of candidates and review them all simultaneously. The HireVue software allows some pretty interesting things.
For instance, the interviews are segmented by question. That means that a recruiter can see all of the candidates respond to a single question rather than having to watch all of the interviews all of the way through. A knockout question that will disqualify some of the interviewees makes it possible to conduct full interviews while shortening the time it takes to reject a bad fit.
You can also consume the video data at 1.5x normal speed. On top of that, you can skim through the answers so, an hour of video (in what would have been an hour long interview) becomes a half an hour of video review. Talk about a productivity boost.
Videos are built into a workflow that allows the hiring team to comment on a question by question basis across the field of candidates. Rather than hours of sequential interviews in the office, candidates can be led through structured interviews with follow up.
Of course, HireVue has developed real logistics skill. The company can get a web cam into the hands of a candidate with extreme predictability. Their support team is powerfully good at installation.
Newman’s view is that the flood of data is going to overwhelm everyone in every job. He is positioning HireVue to be the hub for the interview process. We think that’s a smart place to set up shop.
Cutting huge chunks out of the time it takes to interview means that cycle time and costs can be cut while increasing quality. It’s the right direction for the industry. to be the hub for the interview process. We think that’s a smart place to set up shop.
Cutting huge chunks out of the time it takes to interview means that cycle time and costs can be cut while increasing quality. It’s the right direction for the industry.