How Video Interviews Can Change Sourcing for the Better

Can I ask you a question? During a phone interview have you ever felt like you are asking, “paper or plastic” or “would you like fries with that?” Do you find yourself wandering off mentally as you ask the same set of screening questions for the fifth time? Do you ever think to yourself, “I thought sourcing was supposed to be more talking to people and less filling out forms and checking boxes?”

Or has something infinitely worse happened to you? Have you sourced a perfect candidate, qualified them, polished up their typo-ridden resume and submitted it to your hiring manager only to have them decide, for the first time in forever, to give you instant feedback and that feedback is no? What do you do now? You’ve sourced a candidate, gotten them excited and engaged and now you have to tell them you have nothing. I don’t know about you, but that takes the wind right out of my sails.

So What Is the Answer?

Well, you might not think of video interviews as sourcing technology, but I think a video interview platform can be a sourcer’s new best friend. Let’s talk about the apparent advantages to you as a sourcer first.

One obstacle is that we almost never have hands-on experience in the field we are sourcing. Very few of us have been programmers, doctors, accountants, etc. This means it is tough for us to verify hard skills. This fact limits our credibility with hiring managers. While we can build trust over time even the very best of us will have limited ability to influence a hiring manager on the actual skill of a candidate.

Advantages of Video Interviews

Video interviews can help solve two issues with one solution. First, you no longer have to send a candidate directly to a hiring manager. You can send them to a video interview. I sell a video interview this way. The next step in the process is to speak directly to the hiring manager. However, like you they are swamped, so to save time and avoid a lot of back and forth scheduling they have recorded the questions they would like to ask you. I want to give you the chance to answer their questions in your own words rather than relying on my notes.

I want to give you the chance to tell your story directly to your future supervisor. This is also an excellent time to note that there are now many video interview platforms that not only allow you to record your hiring managers pre-recorded questions, but they also can issue technical challenges. This can allow you to validate hard skills before you send a candidate to a hiring manager.

The second issue you solve is that you no longer get backed into a corner if the hiring manager rejects the candidate instantly. If they do reject the candidate, it is because they have your notes, a resume, and a video interview. That means they have enough information to make a decision and the candidate had a chance to tell their story to the person who makes the decision.

More Benefits

A few less obvious benefits for a sourcer are that it forces the hiring manager to engage. They have to take the time to at least write if not record the interview questions. This means that the hiring manager has invested real time into the interview process. It is one thing to make us a second priority when they don’t have any skin in the game so to speak, but it is something else if they have invested time in a project.

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It also gives the hiring manager what is known as a moment of pause. Once they decide to invest time in writing screening questions, it forces them to think about what they want in a candidate. It gives them a chance to update the requirements before you begin to source candidates that are not going to be a fit.

Another less obvious advantage is that it leaves a paper trail. Now you have a time stamp for when you sent a candidate into an interview and to a hiring manager. This gives you data in case you need to have a conversation about why a job is moving slow.

I think that video interviews could be the best thing to happen to sourcing since proverbial sliced bread. Instead of asking tedious screening questions twenty times in a row we get to spend our time doing what we like to do, besides talking to people who happen to be standing next to us in line at the grocery store, and that is to talk to people.

It’s All About the Candidate

Spending our time talking to candidates about their career, their plans while helping to get them excited and prepared for the interview process is more enjoyable and beneficial for everyone. Let the video interview system ask the screening questions for you. Spend your time doing more of what probably led you into this business in the first place.

Video interviews can make the process better for you, your candidate and your hiring manager. Yes, there will still be follow-ups and some candidate’s will self select out, and that is okay. Those things will always happen and are more of a reflection of the candidate’s commitment than your ability.

Mike Wolford has over 10 years of recruiting experience in staffing agency, contract and in house corporate environments. He has worked with such companies as Allstate, Capital One, and National Public Radio. Mike also published a book titled “Becoming the Silver Bullet: Recruiting Strategies for connecting with Top Talent” and How to Find and Land your Dream Job: Insider tips from a Recruiter.” He also founded Recruit Tampa, and he’s currently theStrategic Sourcing Lead at Nielsen. An active member of the recruiting community, Mike has spoken publicly in an effort to help elevate the level of professional skills. Follow him on Twitter @Mike1178, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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