It Won’t Work – Online Video Interviews

In a quest to minimise resources, increase productivity and efficiency, technology has become the tool of choice, second only to the BIG ‘R’ (Redundancy). Whether the Big R provides increased productivity or efficiency is another blog.

Over the last couple of year’s here in Australia, the concept and use of pre-recorded online video interviews has gained traction with mixed results. Suppliers I have come across include Sonru (Trialed), Montage (Demo), HireVue (Demo) and Vieple (Trialed – Aus product). I’m sure there are many others.

What is an Online Video Interview? Think Skype. Utilising your PC/Notebook/Tablet/SmartPhone hardware and software an employer invites applicants to respond to a few questions. These questions can be either in text format, or a video of the employer/hiring manager asking the questions. The applicant then records their response.

What’s the benefit to the employer? There are many;

  • Removes time barriers
  • Allows you to screen numerous applicants at once without the need for 20 – 30 minute phone screens. Imagine having to screen 10 candidates for a role, when you could simply send them a link with some priority questions to address
  • Provides consistency in interview questions and answers allowing for better applicant comparison
  • Increases recruiter capacity to handle more requisitions
  • You can see and hear applicants response, allowing for better assessment in relation to communication and presentation skills (if required).
  • Hiring Manager’s can review pre-recorded interviews at anytime

What are the benefits to applicants?

  • Ability to participate at a convenient time to them
  • Provides a level playing field to applicants

So according to various suppliers, the USA take up is circa 80 -90% completion rate for larger volumes. Fantastic stats. I’m not sure about the UK, but from experience it was a high take up for a UK campaign for Safety Professionals to work in Australia.

What about Australia?

I’m currently trialing the product with Vieple. It’s an Australian platform/product. Completion rate is below 60%. Two position’s were used as test cases, Business Development Manager and Project Manager. The BDM role provided for 2 of 7 completed, and the Project Manager role 5 of 10 (2 withdrew when I followed up).

Feedback from candidates include:

  • Great use of technology, shows the company is innovative
  • Could’t get it to work, didn’t have the right software/hardware
  • Unable to complete due to working remotely without network access
  • Convenient to participate

Whilst its great to see an Australian company in the market, its a few years behind some of the other suppliers in terms of additional capabilities. Other products can be watched and recorded on smart devices including smart phones, live interviews which can be recorded, multi choice answers, voice only interviews etc.

Maybe its the lack of NBN, Australia’s rather pathetic coverage and bandwidth, there just seems to be a hurdle in getting a larger portion of people to participate. Whilst we are one of the largest consumers of new technology, our ability to use technology for productivity and efficiency seems somewhat lacking. Perhaps Gen X and Y are more open to such use of technology.

I see other uses for the product in relation to Inductions, Safety Assessments, Corporate Communications, Internal Training etc etc.

I’m not saying this replaces the face to face interview, just another step in the pre-screening process.

At present, i’m just not convinced. I want to be, but from this recent experience it would be a hard sell to any business with such low participation rates, and which does not see the additional uses for the product.

I’ll keep you posted on where I get to with this adventure.



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