Why One-Way Videos Work

One-way interviews are an effective way to streamline your recruitment process. But it helps to guide your candidates in this new approach.

This week I read an interesting discussion about the one-way interview on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn editor placed a vote with the interview. The tally at the moment of writing was at 5,481 votes, and still counting. The respondents didn’t all agree it was a helpful tool – and I must say, that surprised me.

 The Sentiments

The people that took the time to comment on the post used strong language. One person mentioned the ‘visceral reaction”, others mentioned the process step felt “lazy”, “unpersonal” and even “degrading”. I will come back to those comments in a bit.

There were also a few that mentioned that the process was “uncomfortable”. And that, honestly, doesn’t surprise me so much.

Where I agree with the negative comments

I agree with the comments that mention that this way of interviewing isn’t intended to replace a live, face-to-face interviews. Our tool can technically do it, and if that’s the way a company is successful, we will help them. But we see the value of sitting across from someone, whether it is on a screen or preferably, across the table. You pick up on more non-verbal cues, you can more easily establish rapport with the candidate, and because – especially now – people are used to communicating through screens, cameras and phones, it feels relatively normal.

Ideally, we see this as an extra step. The step between the flat piece of paper and the expensive, time-consuming personal interview (where you need be sure you picked correctly). That’s where this sits, and that’s where this can help.

Where I don’t agree with the comments

I have trouble accepting the labels of “lazy”, “unpersonal” and “degrading”.

Let’s assume your company implements this how we think it should be implemented: as the extra step. After the resume, and before the sit-down. How is it more lazy than having a phone interview with a recruiter going through the standard list of questions? How is this more lazy than the use of AI (13% already use, 55% say they’ll use within 5 years)? Is the word they were looking for efficient, rather than lazy?

“Unpersonal”: yes, there’s little to counter that point with. You’re talking to your camera. And a file gets uploaded. But again, it’s not like we are suddenly implementing the first-ever piece of automation into the recruitment field. AI, ATS, bots, it’s all in use already. We feel that this is just another step. You can get rejected from a role without ever talking to a human. Why would this be different?

The comments of it being “degrading” feel a bit too strong. Personally, I think we are dealing with managing change. We are changing the way we work. And the change isn’t subtle, it’s a pretty big step. Anyone who’s ever recorded themselves for a YouTube or TikTok video, knows the first few times are awkward, weird and time-consuming. But you get used to it, and you actually get good at it.

Where’s the value

There are many advantages of including the step of a one-way video on your recruitment process. For one, you ensure all candidates answer the same questions, removing bias. Secondly, You can dig a little bit deeper in certain aspects. And lastly, you can see how candidates respond to certain questions – you can focus your questions on those you feel have the biggest impact. And most importantly, you take away the need to have difficult planning and scheduling exercises. You can (literally) see more people than you otherwise would have, for a fraction of the cost, and exactly when you and your team want to.

You can easily create a shortlist based on so much more than just the resume or even a phone call.

How to make it work like it’s supposed to

But, looking at the concerns that exist in this process, we think there are a few things you can do to increase the level of success and adoption of the process in your organization.

First, you should explain the process, and ensure that the candidates know upfront this part of the process. When you do, you explain where this step sits and how this fits in the overall process. Ideally, you do this before the moment candidates apply. Yes, you may lose the odd candidate, but being upfront, helps you limit the number of potential candidates that drop out.

Use the right tool. Make sure that you use a user-friendly tool, that makes this step as friction-less as possible. Help and coach candidates by explain what’s expected, how the information will be used, and where the candidates should focus on. Tell them what not to worry about. Make them feel at easy.

When you implement it, keep the personal touch in. Follow up in person, by phone or with an email, especially if the process ends after the interview. The human touch, especially in recruitment, is important. Never forget that the recruitment process for many people is the first time candidates deeply interact with your brand, even if they’re consumers or users. If you put in the effort to make their experience as positive as possible, you will be rewarded.

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