The pandemic has turned even the most established and well-adopted systems on their head, and that includes hiring. Pre-crisis, the majority of organizations held interviews face-to-face, during which the candidate could get a feel of the physical workplace and managers could evaluate the interviewee according to nonverbal cues.
As we near the end of 2020, the in-person interview is a distant memory for most companies. In April of this year, Gartner reported that 86% of organizations were conducting virtual interviews. Meanwhile, a Criteria report found that video interviews have increased by 159% year over year. Yet, while remote interviews became the only option for businesses in 2020, there’s good reason to think they’re here to stay for the long term.
Virtual interviews not only speed up the process and provide more flexibility than ever before for job candidates and recruiters alike but, when powered by artificial intelligence (AI), also even reduce the bias that inevitably comes with in-person interviews. All in all, this drives the candidate experience and allows applicants to interview on their own terms, safe in the knowledge they are being judged objectively.
Interview Automation Accelerates the Hiring Funnel
Time to hire is one of applicants’ top grievances, so it’s no surprise that many recruiters are working to speed up processes with the help of virtual hiring software. Video interviews are a key part of this.
In fact, many businesses are using video interviews not only as a later-stage process for the final few applicants but also as a screening tool to narrow down the bigger pool of candidates. They can do this by conducting prerecorded interviews in which the candidate records and submits his or her answers to a standard set of questions with no human present, and recruiters can watch the interviews one after another.
Here, automation drastically reduces the time hiring managers would spend scheduling and conducting those interviews themselves—especially when candidates are in different time zones. This reduces time to hire, as each party completes the process on his or her own time and isn’t delayed by scheduling a slot that works for everyone.
End-to-end virtual recruitment solutions can also automate the processes on each side of the interview, accelerating hiring overall. For example, once a candidate has passed the skills-based test with a sufficient score, he or she can be automatically moved along to the next stage and scheduled for a video interview. In fact, 60% of recruiters say they regularly lose candidates before they’re able to schedule an interview, so automation here can help recruiters keep the best candidates interested.
Candidates Interview on Their Own Terms
In the age of remote work, flexibility is king. With people accessing tools that allow them to work, shop, and keep fit from home, the same should go for interviewing for a job. Video interviews provide this flexibility by removing the need for candidates to travel to a physical location. Interviewees can take the video call at home, with little disruption to the rest of their day—gone are the days when applicants would have to dedicate a whole morning or afternoon to a job interview.
Many candidates actually feel more comfortable conducting interviews virtually while at home or in a familiar environment. It can be nerve-wracking to visit a new space, and video interviews eliminate the anxiety-inducing time the candidate spends waiting in reception until his or her name is called. For many people, pre-interview anxiety can impact confidence levels and, ultimately, interview performance.
Location flexibility also contributes to making interviews more accessible for all. By taking out the requirement to meet face-to-face, it becomes easier for people who might have mobility issues to interview for the job. Not to mention, for people who live in different geographical locations, traveling a long way for a job interview can be a hassle. Going virtual gives companies increased access to a wider talent pool, too.
AI Helps HR Teams Not Only Replicate but also Improve Interview Processes
Many HR managers might think holding an interview face-to-face allows them to take a more objective stance. What they don’t realize is the role AI can play in reducing the biases that creep into the hiring process. While the “human connection” of a face-to-face interview might be heralded as a key part of the hiring process, independent human judgment can lead to different types of bias in recruitment decisions.
By using an AI-powered platform that objectively analyzes candidates’ behavioral attributes during the video interview, recruiters receive unbiased insights on the interviewee’s characteristics and learnability. These kinds of insights, which help interviewers evaluate interpersonal and soft skills, are especially useful for customer-facing roles such as those in retail and hospitality.
When organizations integrate AI to collect these behavioral insights during video interviews, candidates can be assured they are being judged fairly and according to objective criteria while still maintaining human contact during the interview itself.
Hiring will never be the same again. Those who cling to the idea that “face-to-face interviews are always best” will get left behind as the remote revolution proves itself to be a permanent fixture across people’s personal and professional lives.
By embracing cutting-edge video interview tools, companies can ensure they avoid plaguing candidates with even more Zoom fatigue and instead provide a seamless, convenient, and high-quality digital interview experience.
Sanjoe Jose is the Chief Executive Officer at Talview. He is a serial entrepreneur with ventures in enterprise SaaS and consumer Internet domains. Previously, he has worked with MNCs like National Instruments and L&T. He is an Engineer and has an MBA from IIT Bombay. He is passionate about using AI to solve enterprise business problems.