Video-conferencing is a familiar sight in many boardrooms, enabling meetings to be conducted without leaving the office, and is a crucial tool for remote workers. However, now the technology has been adopted as part of the recruitment process by businesses and recruiters alike.
Simon Corbett, managing director of public relations agency Jargon PR, says that his company brought video-conferencing technology into its recruitment process at the start of the year. He began using Skype to interview potential candidates for a position as a time-saving device.
‘When we were looking to fill a vacancy, we’d typically get 15 to 20 CVs a week. We’d try and get four or five people in for an interview per vacancy and we just found it was really time-consuming,’ explains Corbett.
See and hear
The process, he adds, was to sift through CVs, then conduct an interview over the telephone before asking candidates to a face-to-face interview. However, Corbett says that in the future, interviewing via Skype might replace a phone conversation.
‘What we found was that over the phone, people often sounded professional – it’s not hard to sell yourself. But doing the video-conferencing has been good. I think it’s made people step up and realise it’s like a face-to-face interview,’ he adds.
Marc Fels has been in the recruitment industry for about 14 years and is now a director of Meet The Real Me, a video profile database aimed at graduates and the entry-level market.
‘You really are able to see how someone comes across on a Skype call and whether that person matches the characteristics of your business,’ he explains. ‘You can never replace speaking to someone sitting opposite you, but it’s a refinement process.’ Interviews via a video link are also becoming popular where there are geographical restrictions.
Fels continues, ‘With regards to geography it allows you to interview people it might not have been possible to get in the office.’
Gina Leccacorvi is an account director at The Curve Group, which provides a recruitment service to businesses. She uses technology such as Skype to assess potential job candidates.
‘We would rather send across fewer candidates but those that we believe are right for a role than send a whole heap of CVs that might not be relevant. Therefore, we do our best to screen the applicants.’
Leccacorvi argues that videoconferencing ‘is part of business life’ and claims that candidates are equally familiar with the technology.
‘There are a lot of candidates who like being able to see the face of the person they’re talking to. It can make them feel more comfortable and that can help the interview to be more fluid.’