HR & Employee Management Articles

How to Use Video Interviews to Better Engage Millennials

by Karen McCandless
Published on 23 October 2017

video interviews header "I think millennials are tired of hearing about what they do and don't like," said Jon-Mark Sabel, content strategist at recruiting software HireVue.

As a millennial used to seeing articles on a daily basis about the supposed characteristics that every single member of Generation Y shares, I'm inclined to agree.

However, as Sabel noted, it doesn't mean that millennials don't have their own unique attributes and that you can't use video interviews to widen your pool of Gen Y candidates, more that most people are using technology in the same way these days.

"In terms of video, there are just as many grandparents Facetiming their grandkids as there are grandkids Facetiming their grandparents," he said.

To address Sabel's point, in this article, we'll talk about the pros and cons of using video interviews, as well how using video recruitment technology during the recruitment process can better engage millennial candidates.

Why use video interviews?

You may have seen the movie The Intern where Robert De Niro plays a more mature intern that brings some new ideas to a hipster design firm. There are real life cases like this as well - British political magazine The Spectator hired 48-year-old Katherine Forster as its intern after favoring aptitude tests over CVs.

In an interview she addressed the issues with the traditional hiring process of resumes and application forms: " There's much talk about a skills shortage in Britain. But the real shortage is of employers' imagination. There is an untapped skills reservoir in Britain, in the form of well-educated, determined women keen to return to work."

It thus follows that using tools such as pre-employment aptitude tests and video recruiting software can help widen the talent pool, and better engage different types of candidates.

In September 2017 survey of 200 recruiters in North America, GetApp found that 46 percent of recruiters are already using pre-employment testing, however just 19.8 percent use video interviewing software.

"In today's digital age, it makes sense to go beyond the CV when assessing a candidate," said Scott Wesper, hiring manager at HR outsourcing company Arch Resources Group. "Instead of just relying on someone's work experience and education, you can get a feel for their personality and cultural fit, which can often times shed light on qualified prospects who are overlooked. By looking at the full overview of a candidate, you're able to find better matches in a more efficient way. Millennials are often seeking companies who stand out from the pack, and this is a great way to showcase that during the recruitment process."

What are the drawbacks of video interviews?

Using video interviews in isolation to entice millennials into a job, but then not offering them anything to make them stick around (or worse, lying to them about what you offer).

According to Bart Turczynski, writer and editor at Uptowork, an automated resume builder, while using video recruitment technology to connect with them is the right move, it can come off as a gimmick.

He explained: "See, millennials value cultural fit, and in their case it's not just a buzzword. They want flexible work arrangements. To be able to work from home. But they also want appropriate compensation and benefits. Paid vacation, insurance, and tuition reimbursement. Millennials want to grow. They're open to different job opportunities, so if you don't provide them with career pathing, mentorship, and a sense of purpose, they won't stick around. No matter what technology you use to seek them out."

How can video interviews engage millennials?

If you invest in video recruiting technology, then it can help you engage Generation Y in the ways mentioned below.

Gives candidates a voice

According to Sabel, one of the most common bits of feedback talent acquisition receives from rejected candidates is this: "If only someone would hear me out, I know I'd have a job."

Often recruiters are looking to fill a specific role, and discard applicants based on whether they have a certain college degree, job title, or work experience. Added to that, job adverts often feature vague job titles and a laundry list of jargon-filled skills and experience (not to mention other types of hiring bias).

This means that all job seekers -not just millennials- can end up firing an application off when they aren't sure if they are right for the role, and may get rejected by recruiters who haven't articulately expressed what they are looking for. It's like a black hole of CVs.

"It's not a matter of engaging Millennials with a "new and hip" technology. It's a matter of giving them a voice. If you want to engage Millennials - or anyone, for that matter - give them a platform where they feel they can put their best foot forward. said Sabel. "With an on demand video interview, you scale the ability to give candidates a voice."

One innovative approach to this comes from Children's Mercy Hospital (CMH) of Kansas City, which started a program called "Introduce Yourself" in 2015.

Through this program, candidates recorded a short video instead of sending in an a resume or application form. Recruiters then reviewed these videos and directed them towards the job role that would be of best fit. The benefits include:

  • Allows people to express interest in roles without having to fill out lengthy application forms;
  • Enables recruiters to match jobseekers to roles that they haven't applied for specifically, or that weren't available when they applied;
  • Helps fill jobs with confusing job titles that may have been off putting for candidates.

Shows flexibility

Using video is a cost effective, quick, and easy way of carrying out interviews for any company, but the same can be said for millennial candidates. If you're early on in your career, you might be going to several interviews, and the cost of getting there, plus the time, can be offputting.

It's an even more flexible option for millennial candidates if you pre record the questions, and allow them to record the answers whenever they want, rather than fixing a set time for a two-way interview.

Simon Hughes, CEO and co-founder of Jobatar, an on demand video interviewing solution, explained: "Millennials need the flexibility to record a video interview, anytime and anywhere. Saving on travel costs should be a good way to entire candidates to take a video interview, as they have the flexibility to record a video interview at home. Offering them the choice of recording the video interview on a mobile device such as a smartphone is a huge benefit, as the chances are they will all have a smartphone , so will not need to own a laptop. I would make sure the candidate experience is personalized, with great branding."

Immerses candidates in the culture

Using video in the interview process helps millennials feel immersed in the culture before they've been hired. But even more than the mere comfort of your talent pool, it's a way for the hiring team to determine which candidates are a best fit from a cultural perspective.

It gives the hiring manager the opportunity to choose a candidate who is engaged with the same motivators.

Matt Rivera, vice president of Marketing and Communications at talent and outsourcing company Yoh, said: "In today's employee marketplace, it's clear that finding talent is no longer just about hiring quality workers, but making them feel valued as employees through mutual trust and positive company culture. It starts with the hiring process and applies no matter how long they work for a company, what age they are or under what circumstances they were hired."

Next steps

If you'd like to invest in video recruiting technology, GetApp has some resources that can help:

This post was first published in September 2015 and has been updated.


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