Will Prerecorded Video Interviews Be a Go-To Recruitment Tech Tool in 2021?

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Most of us hope 2021 will see the easing of lockdown restrictions and the return of some degree of normalcy. Regardless of how the next year plays out, however, one thing is for sure: The pandemic-driven integration of technology into workplace processes is here to stay. In the HR world, COVID19 fast-tracked the inevitable shift toward virtual recruitment as a preferred choice over traditional hiring methods in the job market.

Video communication platforms like Zoom and Google Meet have been crucial in keeping workers connected and productive while operating remotely. While these platforms have been perfect substitutes for in-person team and client meetings, are they really the most efficient tools to facilitate candidate interviews?

Not necessarily. In fact, many organizations have found that prerecorded video interviews are a far more effective than live video communication when it comes to screening candidates. Here’s why:

Prerecorded Videos vs. Live Video Interviews

Live video interviews are similar to traditional face-to-face interviews. The only real difference is that they are conducted on video-communication platforms like Zoom. Otherwise, they’re almost exactly the same as a standard interview.

Prerecord video interviews, on the other hand, are something else entirely. These are one-way video interviews, which means candidates record their answers to questions, and then recruiters review those videos asynchronously. Typically, the flow works like this: The company sets a list of questions to be answered; the candidate is directed to a landing page where they can view questions and read instructions; the candidate records a video responding to the questions and submits it.

Once the candidate has answered the questions, hiring managers can review their videos. These prerecorded videos can be helpful supplements to candidates’ resumes and other application documents, as video allows hiring managers to better glimpse a candidate’s personality, soft skills, and other less tangible qualities.

Prerecorded video interviews can offer a few benefits that traditional and live video interviews don’t, including:

1. Prerecorded Video Can Save Time and Money

There is a common belief that live video interviews are more cost- and time-effective than traditional in-person interviews. This isn’t necessarily true. Live online interviews require the exact same scheduling, manpower, and time investment as in-person interviews. And, as everyone knows, time equals money. The only real difference is that no one has to travel.

Another downside is that interviewers can often tell whether a candidate is a fit within the first few minutes of the conversation. But if a candidate isn’t a fit, you can’t just rudely end the interview. You have to proceed with the rest, spending time on an applicant you know you’re not going to hire.

On the other hand, prerecorded videos don’t require any scheduling coordination. Candidates can record videos on their time, and hiring managers can review videos on their time. Furthermore, if a hiring manager determines a candidate isn’t a fit, they can simply move on to the next video.

2. Prerecorded Video Can Facilitate More Objective Comparisons Between Candidates

If we look at recruitment like a scientific experiment, prerecorded video interviews can help minimize the variables. Each candidate is asked the same set of questions and provided with the same amount of time to answer them. That helps level the playing field by ensuring all candidates are assessed according to the same criteria. Videos can also be rewatched and shared with other members of the team for a second opinion. This allows more people to give their input, leading to a more balanced evaluation for each candidate.

3. Prerecorded Video Can Foster a Positive Candidate Experience

Employers have realized the importance of building their employer brands  as a means to attract top candidates. High-quality talent feels most drawn to companies that provide a convenient application process, and prerecorded videos can help with that.

Prerecorded video interviews provide candidates with flexibility, allowing them to complete interviews at a time and place that best suits them. This helps candidates perform their best, and the convenience of the process makes candidates feel more excited about working for your company.

4. Prerecorded Videos Can Help You Test Candidate Motivation and Other Soft Skills

Incorporating the extra step of recording a video into your application process could help deter candidates who aren’t seriously interested in the role. After all, few candidates will be motivated to record a video for a job they couldn’t care less about. In this way, prerecorded videos can help you cultivate a more consistently high-quality pipeline of candidates.

And motivation is not the only thing a prerecorded video can help you evaluate. Soft skills can be just as vital to a new hire’s success as technical skills, but it’s hard to understand a candidate’s soft skills based on their resume and cover letter alone. By watching a candidate’s video, hiring managers can get a better feel for their personality and key soft skills like emotional intelligence, charisma, and communication.

In turbulent times like these, organizations need to focus on efficiency to keep themselves above water. That means now is the perfect opportunity to streamline the recruiting process. Incorporating prerecorded video interviews into your hiring process can help you get an edge over your competitors in 2021.

Lucy Hill is a marketing specialist at MyRecruitment+.

By Lucy Hill