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Madelyn Flannagan

Virtual Hiring 101 -

Why It's Important and When to Use It


To quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changing,” indeed. 

How does a company effectively compete in an ever-evolving workforce and workplace? Trends show a rise in telecommuting and interim workers. As the job market increases, unemployment rates have dropped, making this a competitive job market where companies are fighting for talent. Your agency has access to the most diverse hiring pool in history, yet so does everyone else. 

In order to wade through potential candidates to find the right fit, streamline your recruiting process with virtual interviews. Granted, the method has both benefits and drawbacks. Yet online screening in the first stage of the hiring process proves to be a time- and cost-effective strategy. While it should not replace face-to-face interviews, it allows an employer to assess initial candidate potential and hone in on the top recruits.

The reason it shouldn’t replace in-person interviews? 

Both interviewers and candidates rated each other less favorably than their in-person counterparts in a study conducted at McMaster University’s Degroote School of Business. Candidates interviewed over video were less likely to be hired, while they evaluated their interviewers as less trustworthy and competent. The researchers themselves noted that video interviews should be used only as a preliminary screening tool.

However, the advantages to scheduling an interview that can take place anytime and anywhere speak for themselves. Speedy scheduling saves time, while the virtual medium is less expensive for both parties. Talk about an efficient method to vet candidates! Interviewers can assess and interact with a larger candidate pool. As opposed to a phone screen, video enables hiring managers to evaluate body language and nonverbal cues otherwise inaccessible over the phone. Lastly, information gathered in standardized video interviews can be used to tailor in-person interviews.

Before diving in, choose a method and develop a strategy for your video interviews. Will the interview be a live two-way conversation, or a pre-recorded set of questions prompting answers? (Maintain a consistent line of questioning at this stage to keep your process fair and unbiased.)

Also, determine what you want to learn from the interviews — beyond evaluating basic competency for the position. Several candidates may possess the skills and experience, but do they have other attributes necessary to fulfill the job requirements? For example, a relatively inexperienced hire should be willing to learn, receptive to criticism and have a good work ethic. A remote worker should be autonomous, communicative and results-oriented.

So long as you devise a quick strategy, video interviewing can be another tool at your disposal to hiring your dream employee for your agency. 

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