For Technical Recruiters
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Video Interviews & Paired Coding: Top Recruitment Trends

Post by 
Salini Sasidharan
July 19, 2019
Video Interviews & Paired Coding: Top Recruitment Trends

In 2014, Hilton Worldwide made an important shift in their hiring procedure. They decided to use video interviews!

Rodney Moses, Hilton's then VP of global recruitment, thinks it was a great move. Video interviews reduced their hiring time by about 3-4 weeks. It also saved a handsome 6-figure sum in interview related travel costs.

This is not a rare example. In 2018, KPMG Australia scrapped their traditional screening process and introduced video interviews. Companies can beat both geographical and financial limitations using video interviews.

In a 2018 Shortlister Survey, the below question was put to 2522 participants.

“Now that you’ve completed your interview, how would you describe the experience?”

77% voted that their experience was “better” or “much better” than expected. 58% percent felt positive about video interviews. Below is the finding from a OfficeTeam survey

"6 out of 10 hiring managers used video interviews for recruitment"

The trend of video interviews had started a long time ago. However, the bubble is not going to break anytime soon. According to LinkedIn's global recruiting trends study 2018, Video Interviews is in the top 5 list of "most useful interviewing innovations".

Video Interview : Talscale Blog

Video interviews are convenient for candidates Image designed by yanalya / Freepik

Video interviews are here to stay.  More and more tech-savvy companies are embracing it.

Types of Video interviews

We can categorize video interviews into two broad categories.

  • Recorded
  • Live

Candidate Preference Video Interviews Pie Chart

Candidate survey on video interview

Recorded video interviews

In a recorded interview, a recruiter gives a set of questions to the candidate. The candidate records a video of his/her answers and submits it back to the recruiter. Pre-recorded video is a great method to do initial candidate screening.

Remember those phone screenings?

You know that the candidate isn’t suitable in the first 90 seconds. Still, you have to engage in a conversation? Recorded video interviews could save you time and energy. You can look at the video for a few seconds and skip it if the candidate isn’t suitable

Live Video interviews

This is a more common type of video interview. Here, the interviewer and candidate meet using video conferencing software. It is a great way to connect with a candidate at a different location.  It is also helpful when a candidate has a tight schedule. Video interviews help to save the time to travel up and down the company location. The candidate can still attend the interview from his office/home.

Are you looking for cost-cutting in the travel expenses? Live video interview saves your day. It is also a great tool for campus recruitment. Assume you want to hire from a college that is far away from the company. When you dont want to spend time and money on visiting the campus, video interview helps. You can do an initial screening of candidates with live video interviews.

Video resumes

Candidates look for creative and impressive ways to present themselves. They have left boring, text-based resumes. Instead, they make a short video resume. They present their skills, abilities, and experience in the video. The candidates often present their CV in a friendly manner.

Video resumes - talscale blog on video interviews

Video resumes are becoming popular. Image designed by Freepik

Video resumes are unique, creative and impressive. They also give the employer an idea about the attitude of the candidate. It helps them find out the communication skills and confidence of the candidate.

Benefits of video interviews

According to a study by LivePerson, Inc., 65% of young people communicate using digital medium than in person

Here are some clear benefits of video interviews

  1. Massive time saving for both company and candidates
  2. Cost-effectiveness – You can save the hiring cost in travel and hotel
  3. Communication has become digital – People are happy communicating digitally. They are more receptive towards a video interview
  4. Improve candidate pool – Video interviews help you talk to candidates on different geography and time zones
  5. Improve candidate experience – According to this study, video interviews provide candidates a flexible and easy chance to interview with your organization
  6. Prevent schedule issues – When the candidate's schedule is tight, video interviews can help to meet virtually
  7. Peer interaction experience – according to Lighthouse research and advisory, 58% of candidates they surveyed think peer interaction is a benefit of video interviews
  8. Improve teamwork in recruitment  – Video interviews allow you to involve your whole team in the decision making
  9. Helps with normalizing screening  – Pre-recorded video interviews help in this aspect

Video interviews are also better than normal phone interviews. In video interviews, both the interviewer and candidate get a live, visual experience. It leads to a more natural conversation. It helps to build rapport with the candidates

Pre-recorded video interviews are better in screening candidates than phone interviews. Arranging and setting up a phone call for screening could take time. It becomes worse if there are a large number of candidates

While video interviews have many benefits, it's not perfect. Let us look at some scenarios where video interviews fail to be effective

Drawbacks of video interviews

Technical difficulties

A successful video interview requires stable and fast internet connectivity. Poor video quality, disconnections, and delays could affect the chance of a worthy candidate. We can avoid the issue by ensuring that the candidate has access to high-speed internet and is not affected by external disturbances.

Camera shy candidates

Some people cannot express well in front of the camera. Cameras make them nervous and stop them from bringing out their best performances. They might perform better in a face to face interview. We can address this issue if the interviewer spends enough time to warm up the candidate and make him/her comfortable.

Lack of technical knowledge

Different companies use different applications for video interviews. A candidate must have sufficient technical knowledge to quickly adapt and use the interview software. In some cases, the candidate may not have the client-side of the software, it might lead to confusion and delays.  A recruiter can give detailed instructions about the video interview software and give enough time for the candidate to get to know the features of the software. Make sure a candidate knows the interview software well enough

Now that we have seen the pros and cons of video interviews, let us see how can you conduct an effective interview online

How to conduct a video interview?

Step 1: Preparation

A candidate and the interviewer should do technical and non-technical preparation for the interview. Some of the important things to note,

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to attend the interview from
  • Make sure internet connectivity is good. This indeed article suggests a bandwidth > 1 megabits/second
  • Do a test run of the equipment - webcam, microphone, and laptop

Step 2: Warming up the candidate

Once the video call is successfully connected, the interviewer should spend enough time to make the candidate comfortable. Some candidates might be nervous and camera shy. Look for subtle hints like nervous body language. Engage the candidate in a friendly conversation and maintain that tone throughout the interview. Prompt the candidates to talk about their accomplishments and working style. Ease the candidate into the interview.

Step 3: Make sure the interviewer is trained well

The interviewer might have good knowledge of the interview software and good at warming up the candidate. However, the interviewer should be trained well to foresee the specific incidents that can happen during the video interview. What to do if there is a disconnection? What if there is a delay and you lose synchronization? Some candidates might attempt fraud by taking external help. An interviewer should understand that video interviews are different and challenging than face to face interviews. He/she should be trained well to handle these issues

Tools and Applications for video interviews

When we hear the word 'video calling' the first thing that comes to our mind might be Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts. While these are effective tools for video communication, you need to think if they are really effective for your interview requirements.

Should I use free video calling software for interviews?

The short answer is No. Free video calling software is designed for personal use and the software is streamlined for such use. Their features might be basic and standard. It may not cater to the specific needs of your recruiting team. Video and audio quality are also a big factor. These types of software are not designed for highly synchronous conversations like an interview. These platforms also require third party software to record the interviews. They may not provide features for comparing and managing many interviews and storing interviewer feedback

Recruitment focused video interview platforms

In contrast with the free video calling applications, recruitment focused video interview platforms have many advantages

Platforms like Skype Interviews and VidCruiter provide a dedicated and enhanced video interviewing platform. Most noteworthy features of these platforms are:

  • In-browser group calls
  • Multiple parallel interviews and synchronization
  • Live code execution - for candidates to run their code and check results in real-time
  • Supports scheduled interviews, shared canvas and notes

Paired Programming - the next logical step to video interviews

Video interviews are great! However, you can take it to the next level by using paired programming software tools in your recruitment process.

A paired programming technique is where an interviewer and candidate collaborate to solve programming challenges. There are several advantages of using paired programming in recruitment.

  • First of all, it helps you simulate the real job that the candidate will be doing once hired.
  • Paired programming helps the interviewer to see the thought process of the candidate
  • Interviewer get an idea of the collaboration skills of a candidate

Paired programming is a better tool than a plain video interview because it gives the candidate an opportunity to ask questions, create tests and above all, take feedback from the interviewer and adapt. All these could be done virtually without losing all the benefits of a video interview!

Paired coding Software by Talscale

Talscale Paired coding window

Paired programming tools for recruitment

Don't you think virtual paired programming is a great way to know your candidate better? There are a number of software tools to help you achieve this

Talscale provides a great platform for paired coding interviews. So, what are the salient features of this platform?

  • Talscale platform for paired coding supports a panel for interviewers to collaborate, share notes and discuss
  • The platform provides live and automated code evaluations
  • It also has features for an interviewer to intervene in the coding process. The interviewer can give hints, and see if a candidate is improving

There are also similarly paired coding software. HackerRank - CodePair and HackerEarth - FaceCode are some of the other top players in the field.

Candidate screening as a service

According to the LinkedIn global recruitment trends, 52% of recruiters find initial screening as the toughest part of recruitment. It is time consuming, repetitive, and boring. The same study shows a job posting receives an average of 250 resumes, however, 88% of them are unqualified.

Candidate screening software - Talscale Blog

Candidate screening is a difficult step in recruitment. Image designed by Freepik

There are various methods to cut down the time for this initial candidate screening.

  • Outsourced initial screening process - there are several companies like CareerBuilder who provide experienced project managers to do the initial screening.
  • Use innovative screening tools to automate the end to end screening process.

In 2018, Unilever let go of their traditional screening process and adapted an end-to-end digital screening process. The results show that they cut down the hiring time by 57%

Key Takeaways

  • Recruitment focused video interviews is a great way to cut down hire time and expenses
  • Paired coding is an improvement over video interviews.
  • Some of the top providers of the paired coding platform are Talscale, HackerEarth, and HackerRank
  • According to Linked In recruitment trends study, new interviewing tools are one of the top 4 trends in hiring

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