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video conferencing

Video conferencing assists both me as a recruiter and candidates, making the hiring process quicker and easier for all, which in turn makes the client happy.

As things stand, the majority of recruiters seem adamant that candidates come in to their offices in order to register, and very few offer the video call as an option. That is a missed opportunity in candidate engagement as my candidates have only ever reacted positively to the suggestion of an initial meeting over Skype or Facetime.

It is important to note that we are talking about live video conferencing, not the recording and distribution of video, unless it has been agreed to by both parties.

In the ‘90s, video conferencing was deemed the next big thing for the corporate world. Video conferencing boardrooms were purposely designed with special equipment and the hype went on and on.

No Serviced Office was worth its salt unless it had state-of-the-art video conferencing, but it never quite took off, and the high flyers kept boarding planes to attend meetings.

video conference board room

Twenty years later and the use of video conferencing is still a fairly underutilised resource within the recruitment sector. However, it seems that everyone uses live video chat in a social setting, with so many options at our fingertips.

We now have Skype, Facebook Messenger, Apple Facetime, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Amazon Alexa, Imo, Just Talk, Tango, Viber, Line, WeChat, KakaoTalk, OOVOO and it goes on. Most are freeware and cross-platform instant messaging and voice over IP services which allow the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location.

So, why are we not using this technology more in our everyday corporate life?

The corporate world HAS changed; banking is changing, access to the stock market has never been easier and “white collar life” is much less stuffy than before.

Video technology is on our smartphones, ready to use anytime, anyplace. Why are recruiters still insisting that candidates come in to see us at our offices to register?

video casual

I am confident that most of our candidates, especially the ones in employment, are under extreme time pressure, not to mention trying to avoid their stealth career discussions being detected by a watchful manager.

The registration of a candidate with a recruitment agency can be quite lengthy, an hour normally, and involves meeting a candidate to discuss their career to date, plus get visual confirmation of all documents, degrees etc that verify claims of education and training, plus proof of eligibility to work within Australia.

Once you add in travel time, you can be talking about at least two hours away from the office… which is precarious at the best of times. The more senior the candidate, the less time they have to spare, especially during standard work hours.

Yes, being in contact with a recruiter requires discretion and trust, however including video conferencing as part of the process does nothing to jeopardise that confidentiality, provided the process is professionally managed and delivered.

It is important to note we offer a video call as one of two options; a face-to-face meeting at an agreed venue, usually the office of the recruiter, or a face-to-face via a video call.

video interview

We are professionals running a formal process, by way of a live video feed, nothing more or less. Use of this state of the art technology, which candidates use regularly in their private lives, in no way undermines the integrity of the process.

It does not hinder the interview structure or content, and provides enough scope to assess a candidate’s presentation and communication. In my opinion, this is enough to take the candidate forward in the process.

If video call is my first interaction with a candidate, if they are moving forward to an interview with a client, I will bring them in to confirm my initial assessment, and to assist with their interview preparation.

I have never withdrawn a candidate following the face-to-face meeting in person, which confirms the legitimacy of video conference as an appraisal tool.

The use of a video call as an option when first meeting a candidate should be the way forward, for all levels and for almost all skillsets.

I am confident in embracing innovation and putting the candidate’s interest first, which I believe Kelly Executive is doing with the use of video conferencing. It not only speeds up the hiring process but also expands our reach out from our headquarters in Sydney CBD.

Video calls are here to stay, and, in my opinion, only offer a benefit within the recruitment process.


Rob Lewis headshot Author: Rob Lewis is a Managing Consultant with Kelly Executive. 

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