A Glimpse Into The Future – Automated Remote Video Interviews And Its Many Benefits
(Understanding asynchronous interviews)

Improve your hiring results and save hours of valuable manager time with automated video interviews.

This Emerging Interview Tool Is Right For Today’s Problems

To start off, before you even begin thinking negatively about automating anything in HR. Realize that in today’s highly competitive world of recruiting. It is essential for TA to shorten its hiring process while at the same time improving its candidate experience. We know this is necessary because one candidate survey found that 40% described their last job search as frustrating and long. 

And a similar survey revealed another troubling fact, a negative candidate experience has caused one-third of job seekers to decline an offer. Fortunately, Automated Remote Video Interviews (ARVI) can help you speed up hiring and, at the same time, improve your candidate experience!

Is It Time To Consider Asynchronous Interviews

If you are unfamiliar with this new terminology. This automated remote video interview process goes by many names. Academics call them asynchronous interviews because the presentation of the interview information and the assessment occur at different times (so they are not in sync).

However, to me, technically, the best name for them is “automated remote video interviews, (ARVI). A form of online video interviews that are completed remotely without a recruiter present. And because they are fully automated and online. They can be scheduled and completed independently by the candidate on their phone.

The ARVI process itself is quite simple. It starts after the initial resume screening has been completed. Then, all candidates who are chosen to be interviewed are sent a link to your automated interview website. Then, they are given a week to complete the automated interview at their chosen time. 

Why Are More Companies Now Using This ARVI Process?

I have been writing for years about the many benefits and how to improve remote interviews. However, since then, the incursion of automation into recruiting has been expanding to the point where the use of technology is becoming increasingly common.

One of the areas that is getting increased attention is the use of automated remote video interviews (ARVI). Their use is growing because the technology has improved, and there are now more proven vendors operating in this space. But also because more case studies covering the effectiveness of this tool are becoming public. The many advantages and benefits causing this process to become more popular are found in the next section.

The Top 10 Most Impactful Benefits… Of Automated Remote Video Interviews Without A Live Interviewer

In the following list of benefits, the most impactful ones are listed first.

Better Performing Hires – because of the design of this process. A larger percentage of top candidates will likely still be around when it’s time to make an offer. And this will increase your quality of hire because:

  • The best will be available at the end – when fewer top candidates drop out of your interview process because of frustration. You will have a larger percentage of top candidates available when you make your final candidate choice. 
  • A faster process improves quality – because top candidates are the most likely to receive another faster offer from another company. You will lose fewer finalists (to a faster offer) because this automated remote interview process may literally reduce your time to fill by weeks. 
  • More accurate screening means you will identify the best – because more teammates will review each interview. You will be able to more accurately separate the best candidates from the average. 

Improved Candidate Participation And Fewer Dropouts – When the interview process itself is frustrating to top candidates. They are more likely to drop out of your hiring process early. Alternatively, to put off scheduling them or to cancel a scheduled interview at the last minute. The automated remote video process will improve participation by: 

  • Lower stress – not having to face interviewers live will reduce candidate stress. And that will increase their participation while at the same time improving their interview performance.
  • Lower top candidate dropout rates – because top candidates have extremely high expectations. They are the most likely to drop out of your hiring process prematurely. However, they will be less likely to drop out after they have experienced just one interview round. That didn’t frustrate them because it was straightforward and objective. 
  • They can interview outside of work hours – giving the interviewee the power to self-schedule their interview when they are completely prepared and ready will be appreciated. And the 24/7 window means they can interview outside of work hours, when they may be more relaxed. 
  • No travel increases participation – Remote interviewing will broaden your distant candidate base because there is no need for remote candidates to travel to an interview. And you can avoid the weak interviews often caused by just completed travel.

More Team Participation Will Improve Screening – Having more team members participate in the candidate assessment will make the assessment more accurate. And the reasons for that include: 

  • You can have a whole team interview – by using this process, you can essentially hold a team interview without getting all of the team in the same room at the same time. 
  • Those who miss it can review the tape later – unlike standard in-person interviews. Taped interviews can be viewed later by those who wouldn’t have been available for a standard interview.
  • Review at the optimal time – This process allows team members to view the taped interviews at a convenient time and when they can fully concentrate on screening.
  • Reviewers only have to listen – because many team members avoid interviews because they dread having to make up questions and having to participate in meaningless small talk. This process will encourage more team members to watch the tapes. Knowing in advance that they can concentrate 100% on candidate assessment. 
  • Improved buy-in – having more team members participate in the interview screening will increase teammate buy-in after the final candidate is selected. 

These Process Elements Will Also Improve Candidate Assessment/Screening – After the resume screening step has been completed, interviews are the assessment step that carries the most weight. This automated interview process will improve your candidate assessment because:

  • Interviews can be viewed multiple times – this process allows the video from each interview to be viewed over and over, which makes it much more likely that the reviewer will be able to clear up fuzzy points. Or to simply verify that their earlier initial assessment was still accurate after some time has passed. 
  • Interviewing at the best time improves candidate performance – by allowing the candidate to pick the best time when they decide they are fully prepared. You will get the best interview performance out of the candidate. 
  • Job-related questions are selected – because interview questions must be approved in advance, and only job-related questions can be asked. The information gathered during the interview is more likely to be limited to job-related and objective factors.
  • Less confusion over the questions – because the interview questions are usually presented to the candidate in text format. The candidate is more likely to understand the question and to answer it directly.

Process Consistency Makes Side-By-Side Comparisons Easier – Every candidate has an equal chance of showing their best side when the interview process remains consistent across all candidates. This process does that by: 

  • Comparisons are easy –offering the same interview format to each candidate for an open job. It makes it easier for reviewers to compare the different candidate videos side-by-side. 
  • Uniform questions – asking the same job-related questions across all interviews will improve your consistency dramatically. 
  • Consistent interview length – by defining the maximum length of the interview in advance, the amount of information gathered will be consistent across all candidates. 

Faster Time To Fill – The length of the overall interview window for all candidates will be shorter. Because of these design features:

  • Scheduling time is eliminated – interview scheduling is the #1 time-consuming factor in all of hiring. And because the ARVI process relies on a self-scheduling component (which I have written about previously). This process eliminates the tedious “back-and-forth” exchanges that are necessary when both the candidate and the interviewers need to be available at the same time.
  • Manager time is saved – unlike live interviews, where the interviewer must be present for the duration. When screening video interviews, you can skip through the remaining parts after you discover a candidate knockout factor. Therefore reducing the time that a manager and their recruiter must spend on interviews.
  • You can immediately offer a second interview – because the initial interviews of each candidate for the open job are not coordinated when you view an exceptional interview. You will be able to speed up their hiring process by immediately granting them a second automated interview with more advanced questions. 
  • Defined times shorten interviews – because most recruiters choose to put a limit on the number of questions and the time allowed for each answer because this tool is frequently used just for initial interviews. Most automated remote video interviews are up to 50% shorter than traditional interviews. 

Less Discrimination And More Diversity – There are several features in this automated interview process that reduce the likelihood of discrimination during interviews. They include: 

  • Equal treatmentoffering the same consistent process and the same questions across all candidates will reduce a diverse candidate’s concern about equal treatment. 
  • No inappropriate questions – the process may produce much less anxiety in diverse candidates. Because using only pre-approved questions eliminates the possibility of any surprise or illegal interview questions. 
  • Documented – both sides are protected if there is a question about what happened during the interview. The entire interview is recorded, documented, and saved.

Lower Cost Per Hire – In organizations where reducing hiring costs are important. This process has several cost-reduction benefits, including: 

  • Low vendor cost – when you use a vendor. The cost of each individual interview is minimal compared to its benefits.
  • No travel costs – by using remote interviews exclusively. You essentially eliminate travel costs.
  • Reviews occur during slack time – a great deal of management time is saved because the taped interviews can be reviewed during a manager’s less critical hours.
  • Less administrative difficulty – with video interviews. No one will be required to expend the time or money necessary to find and secure multiple interview rooms.

Easy Process Implementation– Fortunately, it’s possible to get your automated remote video interview process up to speed quickly because of the following factors:

  • Anyone can use it – in most corporations, individual managers can use this approach without getting approval from HR.
  • Quick implementation – your process can be up and running quickly because there are multiple established vendors that offer automated interviews. Some prominent vendors in this space include HireVue and Spark Hire.

Increased Candidate Attraction – In addition to the many benefits for current candidates. You will likely find that the use of this automated process will actually attract more future candidates. That will happen when the news spreads on the Internet about:

  • Technology can impress – the word about your use of technology in hiring may by itself impress and attract more and better quality potential candidates. And the most curious candidates may apply simply for the opportunity to experience this unique approach.
  • Improved online ratings – you will improve your “interview ratings” on sites like glassdoor.com when candidates report on the objective and candidate-friendly nature of this process. Because the questions are restricted, not having to prepare for weird and discriminatory questions may also improve the ratings provided by your former candidates.
  • Easier to understand questions – candidates with weak language skills will be more likely to apply. When they learn that their interview questions will be provided in text form (so that they will be easier to understand than verbal questions). In some cases, you may attract more candidates with English as a second language. If you offer your questions in multiple languages. 
  • An instant interview opportunity can be offered – An applicant considering an entry-level job (where you interview all candidates) may instantly link to your automated remote video interview process once they see that your job posting allows it. 


Actions For Improving Interviewee Engagement

Today, almost every candidate for professional jobs is familiar with most forms of online automation and remote video conferencing. You can now expect very little candidate resistance from candidates for most positions (manager and recruiter resistance is another matter). Also, fortunately, you can avoid any imagined loss of candidate engagement that might occur with any automated or remote interviews. By proactively maximizing the connection between the candidate and their future team. You can do that by providing the interviewee with:

  • LinkedIn profiles of the hiring manager and their key team members.
  • A short introductory video that includes a welcome by the team and its manager. 
  • Answers to frequently asked questions for this job.
  • More of a two-way conversation by allowing each candidate to ask their own questions at the very end of their recorded interview. 
  • A heads-up notification that during later interview rounds. The process will utilize either live remote interviews or live face-to-face interviews to provide more two-way communication.
If you only do one thing – ask one of the many vendors in this space to give you a free trial for one of your often open jobs. And then verify the fact that your “time to complete all initial interviews” was at least 25% shorter. 

Final Thoughts

I have noted for years that most sourcers and recruiters’ jobs will eventually be partially replaced by software and robotic features. Well, in this case, the robots have already had an impact. Because there is no recruiter present during these automated interviews. However, it’s important to realize that no matter how the work gets done. Smart recruiting leaders will need to continually seek out and test faster, cheaper, and more effective interview approaches. And for the next several years, automated remote video interviews will be at the top of most “must-try lists” because they are easy to implement.

At the same time, they add great value when they improve the candidate experience, save time by speeding up hiring, and dramatically improve screening accuracy. Being the first in your industry to use them may also give your company a competitive advantage and a more global remote job recruiting capability.

And, of course, this automated remote video interview process should also be considered for internal hiring. Finally, if today, after seeing its many benefits. You are still unconvinced about the need to try this process. I assure you that you will simply have to play catch up. It will eventually become a standard practice for most initial interviews. 

Author’s Note 

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About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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