One-Way Job Interviews, Really?

One-Way Job Interviews, Really?

One-Way Job Interviews?

Instead of speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager, some companies today are asking candidates to interview themselves. After completing a lengthy (often painful) job application, candidates are being required to record videos of themselves answering screening questions as an additional step of the application process.

“Thanks for applying. Now please awkwardly record yourself answering these questions and maybe we’ll talk to you!”

As recruiting practitioners, we spend our days advertising jobs, sourcing passive candidates, improving our employment brand, and asking for referrals. All of this work is to get the word out that we’re actively hiring and to build a diverse talent pipeline for our clients and hiring managers. When we finally get someone to bite, why would we ever add such an impersonal experience, to save a few minutes?

Terrible Candidate Experience

For anyone who has recorded application videos of themselves, it’s a painful process that requires multiple takes to get a version you can stomach, let alone something you’d share with your dream employer.

Why would companies not want to speak with candidates who have expressed interest in working for their company, instead of the competition? Interviews are a two-way street where candidates are also interviewing your organization. Adding an extra step for the candidate (to save a recruiter some time) seems like a poor strategy if you’re seeking top talent. The best candidates have options and it’s human nature to go with the path of least resistance.

Anyone with experience recruiting in hyper-competitive and candidate-driven talent markets wouldn’t dream of asking an engineer, a marketer, a financial analyst or a top seller – to interview themselves first.

Bias and Discrimination

In the United States, it’s illegal to require photos on a resume or employment application. Why would it be okay to require a video?

We often hear screening for ‘culture fit’, but this doesn’t require video, especially one-way interviews. Communication skills, personality, enthusiasm and work style – can all be heard over a convenient phone conversation. We already know there’s extensive bias in the hiring process and one-way interviews are not only inconvenient to working candidates, they simply are not fair.

If you’re on the fence or a candidate is not qualified, asking them to spend another couple of hours to complete a one-way interview is cruel. Especially, if they are quickly declined and never invited to a live, two-way, phone conversation with someone at the company.

Effective Phone Screens

Instead of outsourcing our candidate conversations to one-way interviews or external screening services, companies have a real opportunity to improve the phone interview experience and save everyone time. If your recruiters have built trust with hiring managers and can skip candidates to on-site interview after the first phone conversation – then your talent acquisition team is adding incredible value. If after the first conversation, candidates require one or two additional phone interviews before they visit the office – there is room for improvement. Timing is everything in the talent (acquisition) business.

Prior to co-founding Honeit, Nick was the director of global recruiting at TubeMogul. In 26 months, he built and scaled the talent acquisition team through hyper-growth of 60 to 360 employees through IPO ($TUBE), while concurrently attending business school at Haas. Prior to TubeMogul, Nick was the director of strategic staffing at MTV Networks (Viacom) in New York City, overseeing Global Digital Media and Interactive Technology recruitment. He has worked for two HR technology companies (Taleo, NextSource) and began his career as a technology headhunter. Nick received his MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and a BS degree in Applied Mathematics. 

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