There is more to video than meets the eyes

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There is more to video than meets the eyes

Whether you are a PR and Marketing Consultancy or a manufacturing company, you will at some stage in your business life get involved in recruiting new staff. If your recruitment campaign is short and you are hiring among a very narrow field of specialism you can do it the conventional way. But what if you are a large organisation, say a chain of shops, and
you are recruiting for dozens of vacancies? Chances are that your personnel department will be inundated with applications, and even shortlisting the more appealing ones will therefore become a chore.

At the EVOKE PR Network we have become involved with marketing a Dutch organisation that has devised a
really interesting solution, the knowledge of which we thought would not just be appreciated by
EVOKE PR Network members, but also by other PR professionals elsewhere.

E-recruiting is now a mature process and video screening of candidate was a natural
development for Clooks. The process they devised allows communicating with applicants by
using webcam technology, time- and place-independent as even pre-recorded interviews can be

Applicants are asked to answer a set of questions that is designed for the specific vacancy
they applied for. Their answers are recorded using a webcam and this information is sent to the
recruiter, who receives a video of the applicant next to the applicants’ résumé. This provides a
recruiter with an additional source of information, which can be used when decisions are made
on whom to invite for a face-to-face interview.

In most situations were video interviews are implemented a reduction in the number and an
increase in the quality of applications is seen. Further, recruiters seem to be able to make
better decisions on whom to invite for face-to-face interviews, with fewer and more prepared
candidates invited to attend the final selection.

The video interview side can also be integrated as part of more complex selection and recruiting
processes, including complex relational databases that a company may be running.

In addition to increased recruitment performance, even applicants gain a better experience
because the video interview can be done whenever it suits them. They don’t have to take days
off from work, and don’t have to spend time travelling for an initial face-to-face interview.

The system has already been tried and tested by organisation up to the size of Rabobank, a
leading global Dutch banking network employing just under 60,000 people and the feedback is
very encouraging.

Marketing the process has been more challenging, however, as the new method needs
to be bought in by a disparate number of stakeholders within each organisation. In some
instances there are also issues of limited IT support for video streaming that may be hampering
the approach of such procedures. But these are teething issues, and as more day to day
operational procedures are moved into the e-sphere and approaches to work change, such as
increased home-working, we are confident that in a few years this novel approach will simply be
the norm.

Though sometime PR consultants may be removed from a client’s own recruitment process, as

this is deemed an internal procedure, in effect as communication professionals we should aim
to be involved with this strategic areas too, since it is an important aspect of co-creating brand

One of the most fundamental part of the recruitment process focuses on behavioural aspects
like confidence and pride in the company. Prospective employees must take responsibility for
meeting challenges and providing innovative and creative solutions to problems and many
brand values are intangible and less obvious than those represented by assets such as
buildings or cashflow.

The new video interview method differs from the convention one of simply broadcasting a
vacancy and it offers the unique advantage of engaging with a far larger number of prospective
candidates, thus increasing the chances of obtaining the right individual for the positions in
question. As committed employees play a pivotal role in communicating a brand value, we, as
professional PR consultants should support moves aimed at creating business environments in
which greater engagement is created.

Henk Vaars


If you would like to try the system we have been allowed to set up an exclusive EVOKE PR Network members trial run here

Some of the the content of this blog is based on research from “Consequences of using Pre-Recorded
Video Interviews as a (pre-) Selection Tool”. Master Thesis Business Administration, Track: Human
Resource Management. School of Management and Governance University of Twente the Netherlands.
Written by J.A. ter Harmsel and supervised by Dr. T. Bondarouk.



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