10 reasons to innovate your recruitment process with video interviewing.

Here is a guest blog Joy Redmond, Sonru’s Head of Research, wrote for UK Recruiter a few days ago. It provides the reader with 10 compelling reasons to innovate your recruitment process with asynchronous video interviewing using client examples thoughout.

1. The Selection Challenge

In a recent case one of our users ran a selection process with Sonru and then another one without it, and realized the difference in the quality of the invited candidates the day of the selection board. He then got back to us saying ‘I will insist on using the video interviews for better filtering next time, it helps us so much in saving time for the members of the selection board, no more useless invitations. Agnes Jakab from CERN’s HR Recruitment Unit.

Social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, generalist and niche job boards and a vast array of recruitment apps have ensured recruiters and employers of a steady volume of inbound applications and speculative CVs. The challenge now has become less of an issue of sourcing with the focus now on selection. In their 2012 white paper entitled ‘Client Experiences of Video Interviewing, Assessment & Selection,’ Sonru found that 70% of respondents felt using Sonru had helped them to ‘bring better candidates forward to the next stage of the recruitment process.’

Specific examples include:

  • Graduate recruiters Wm Morrisons Supermarkets Plc, Sellafield Ltd. and nucgleargrads documented consistently higher pass rates and conversions from their Assessment Centres;
  • EA Games record an average 70% conversion rate of offer from face-to-face interview. A figure they're attributing to precision screening made possible via video interviewing.
  • Qatar Airways maintain the conversion rate of applicants to hire has improved five fold since using asynchronous video interviewing.

2. Time Savings

We’re a tiny recruitment team (3) so we simply do not have the time to conduct over 800 x 30 minute telephone interviews not to mention allowing for scheduling and no-shows. There are enormous efficiency gains when you compare that to just 10 minutes to video screen each candidate. Carla Murray, Graduate Manager, Wm Morrisons

Reduced time to hire features as a prominent benefit among many clients.   Replacing phone interviews with automated video emerges as a key theme in particular with respect to volume recruiting  - companies like Mercy Health and Wiley Singapore have halved their time to hire while Qatar Airways maintains they now interview more candidates in less time.

Significant time management and time savings were recorded among graduate recruiters such Wm Morrisons Supermarkets, nucleargrads and UK Power Networks - whose timelines are typically pre-defined and whose small recruitment teams must manage and select from thousands of applications.

Interestingly, a significant number of companies interviewed tend to reinvest the time savings into “more valuable work” within the recruitment cycle. This “bonus” time was used for activities such as giving more 1-2-1 feedback and following up with candidates directly.

3. Cost savings

“The main reason for using video interviews was to reduce our costs. Prior to using Sonru we were flying candidates in from all over the globe- Boston, Krakow etc. We have seen a considerable reduction in costs, reducing the number of flights and accommodation costs by nearly 75%. We have also seen a reduction in the time it take to hire and in administration. It is definitely a very efficient method of hiring. Emma Wright, Global Recruiter at BBA Reman

We know that reduced time to hire and improved conversion rates affect the bottom line in terms of HR/recruitment man hours saved.  However, Schroders maintain the introduction of video interviewing has cut the cost of administration, time to hire and the cost of inviting candidates for on-site interviews.

Here are some specific examples of direct cost savings:

  • BBA Reman record a 75% reduction in flights and accommodation costs . CERN too see a 20% reduction in the cost of flying candidates into Geneva for face-to-face interviews.
  • nucleargraduates’ usage of Sonru has enabled them to reduce their administrative costs by 80% while Sellafield Ltd. saved £14,000 in their graduate recruitment programme by using Sonru instead of contracting an external company to carry out telephone interviews.

To conclude, other clients have suggested that Sonru was ideal for “eliminating candidates who might otherwise be invited to interview at some expense.”

4. Process Gains

Before using Sonru, there was a fundamental flaw in our selection process with candidates passing earlier stages not being successful at the Assessment Centres. Sonru seems to be the missing link by replacing the phone interview. It has given us consistency in our graduate recruitment process. I’m a lot more confident now that we’ll get offers out from the Assessment Centres. Carla Murray, Graduate Manager, Wm Morrisons

  • One of the benefits of replacing phone interviews is the more thorough initial screening afforded with video interviews. Both Wiley Singapore, eircom and Paddy Power have recorded a reduction in the number of subsequent face-to-face interviews.
  • nucleargraduates contend that Sonru has enabled them to maintain the recruitment function in-house. Mike Hadfield, Design Capability leader at Sellafield agrees adding, “bringing the applicant screening back in-house [from outsourced telephone interviewing] has to be one of the key benefits of Sonru.”

5. International Recruitment

Perisher brings in some 600 new staff as part of its 1300 seasonal workforce each year, with candidates for these roles coming from all over Australia and internationally. We needed a system able to accommodate the varying times that candidates were available to interview and when managers could review them. Gavin Girling, Human Resources Manager at Perisher

Many companies adopt asynchronous video interviewing to accommodate the selection process across a large geographic area. For example, CERN invites and receives applications from all EU member states and beyond while Queen’s University Belfast used video interviewing to assess applicants from outside EU/UK. Given that the Sonru application is available in over twelve languages further enhances its international recruitment capabilities.

6. Cloud Recruitment

Many of our recruitment projects involve hiring teams sitting in different parts of the world; it’s very seldom that the hiring manager is based in the same location as the candidate. Sonru has proved an invaluable tool in accommodating our international recruitment needs. Cezary Wasiak, Manager Talent Acquisition Europe, MWV

The impact of the cloud-based nature of the application is twofold:

  • Firstly, companies such as BBA Reman and Perisher maintains that eliminating the scheduling element has enabled them to overcome the restrictions / limitations of time zones for both interviewers and candidates alike.
  • Secondly, the technology accommodates companies such as MWV, EA Games and the Mitchell Scholarship with many and diverse viewers/assessors across different regions to collaborate. Sarah Powell, from EA Games adds: “With the six hour time difference between the studio in Galway and studio in Texas, we are left with a very narrow window of 3 hours. Sonru brings the first round online so we are not as restricted and it is great that we can have that level of interaction from the hiring managers in the US.”

7. Team buy-in

It works very well. Everyone really wants to get involved because they can see the benefits. Fran Norman, Senior Recruitment and Resourcing Consultant, Certeco Limited.

Companies such as MWV, Certeco and Sellafield Ltd. maintain that inviting the relevant hiring managers to view and rate the video interviews has enabled hiring managers to be actively involved in the selection of candidates earlier in the process leading to better results.

8. Flexibility

The flexibility, being able to watch the video interviews at your leisure was excellent. I watched most of the videos from home so having this sort of flexibility meant I could concentrate on my own tasks during business hours. John Osborne, Senior Civil Engineer at CERN.

The flexibility offered in viewing the interviews in their own time has meant that the recruiters and hiring managers can fit recruitment around their own schedules. James Purvis, Head of Recruitment at CERN, agrees on the advantages of being able to view and share the video interviews by adding “everyone could fit recruitment in and around their own busy agenda.”

9. Transparency

When speaking to someone on the phone, there may be language issues, a bad connection, or the interviewer might be distracted or entering the conversation with some biases. All this risk is removed with a standardised process which is respectful and fair – all candidates are asked the same questions in the same manner - there is no difference how we treat candidates. Cezary Wasiak, Manager Talent Acquisition Europe, MWV

Asynchronous video interviewing provides a standardised, structured and transparent interview that ensues fairness of process to all candidates. nucgleargrads maintains that "Sonru has enabled us to have more consistency in our recruitment process; every interview is exactly the same," while other companies such as Paddy Power and EA Games have administered the same language and technical assessments to all candidates.

10. The Candidate Experience

I don’t understand why everyone isn’t using Sonru but the longer that continues, the better for us as it gives us a competitive advantage in the war for graduate talent. Christine Lennon, National Graduate Programme Manager, nucleargraduates

Providing a positive candidate experience may well turn a passive jobseeker into a candidate eager and hungry to join your company.  Candidates today are comfortable with online video and access many apps and services via multiple devices so by integrating innovative technology into your selection process that reduces the recruitment cycle will, without doubt, give you that extra edge in attracting and selecting the very best candidates.

Sonru have published a number of white papers relating to the candidate experience (of their video interviewing experience and also the support they received) which are available in the Sonru Knowledge Hub.

Some of the key findings are summarized below:

  • The majority of respondents recorded positive feelings when invited to complete the video interview and almost two thirds (65%) recorded positive first impressions such as being ‘Impressed’, ‘Excited’ or ‘Happy to progress to the next stage.’
  • The flexibility offered to candidates to choose the time and date of the interview emerged as the key benefit. Not having to take time off work and overall convenience were also considered advantageous.
  • More respondents would prefer an automated video interview to a telephone screening interview.
  • Sonru's first response time is more than 20 times faster than both the web applications industry and Zendesk's global benchmark.
  • 94% of candidates are satisfied with the Sonru support received, a ranking of over 10 percentage points above both the web applications industry and the global benchmark.
  • Over 60% of Sonru agents record 100% satisfaction while 88% of Sonru agents record over 90% satisfaction.