The Phone Screen Is Dead!

That’s right if you are still doing initial phone screens there is a better way. I understand that many may be questioning the reality of eliminating a phone interview. Let’s explore the typical objective of an initial phone screen? The initial phone screen is used to establish:

  • Is the candidate qualified?
  • Is the candidate potentially a fit?
  • Is the candidate whom they represented themselves during the application process?

From the candidate’s side, they are more looking to survive to the next round of the process. The candidate views the initial phone interview as a weeding out process. How many times have you started a phone screen with a candidate that didn’t know what company you were representing? Let’s face it the candidate saw the post on a job board, liked the description or the pay range and figured they would apply. In all likelihood, your job is one of several that they have applied, so they most likely have not done their homework just yet.

Phone screens are inherently flawed. The act of merely coordinating a phone call with someone you have never met (that is probably pretty busy themselves) is not a very practical means of communication. Most recruiters block off thirty to sixty minutes for an initial phone screen. How many times have you walked away from a phone call thinking “Man I am never getting that 30 minutes of my life back.” I am sure those words have been uttered by recruiters and candidates alike. With many open positions and hundreds of applicants phone screens can consume a significant portion of your work week. Not to mention, you might be missing great candidates as some candidates don’t look good on paper. Those that may be qualified but aren’t great at putting their skills and experience on paper may get overlooked entirely for the initial phone interview.

The Solution: Video Interview

A video interview is not a video meeting. A video interview also called a one-way interview, is where the recruiter can establish a few questions (mostly the items you would want to ask in the phone screen) and send those to the candidate. Then the candidate from the comfort of their home at a time that is convenient can:

  • Do further research on your company
  • Review the questions
  • Thoughtfully record responses to the questions

After the candidate has completed the video interview, the results get fed right back to the recruiter. The recruiter will:

  • Receive a notification from their Applicant Tracking System that a video interview is ready for review
  • Quickly review the responses, grade the candidate and decide next steps.
  • Share the video interview with key stakeholders

A one-way video interview can take a thirty to sixty-minute time commitment between the recruiter and the applicant and reduce it to just a couple of minutes. The recruiter has the opportunity to ask the questions they would like, and the candidate gets time to think about the questions and respond thoughtfully. Using a video interview will also allow the recruiter to include more candidates in the process. Instead of spending thirty minutes on one candidate the recruiter can review dozens of candidates while on the go in that same timeframe using video.

So what should you look for in a video interview solution?

  • One-way interview capabilities, a two-way video interview is just a phone interview
  • Candidate must have the ability to re-record their responses. Given that this is a one-sided interview it is vital that the candidate has the opportunity to cast themselves in the best light
  • Ability to customize your questions on a per job basis (you may want to ask different questions for different jobs
  • Make sure the solution works across a variety of devices (cell phones, tablets, and computers)
  • Integration capabilities with your Applicant Tracking System. An important note that some Applicant Tracking Solutions offer video interviewing standard as part of their system. In evaluating ATS providers find a company that has taken the time to build their own video interview solution that works seamlessly with the Applicant Tracking System
  • The ability to share the video interview with key stakeholders
  • Rating system so you can give high marks as you are reviewing those phone screens

It’s time to take your week back HR Professionals. The Initial Phone Screen is Dead!