For recruiters, automated video interviewing is like a baseball cap: “one size fits all” because the adjustable strap means that it fits most heads. While this new screening tool may not be suitable for every job position, the early adopters have now built up enough experience to know that it works for a huge proportion. Like a baseball cap, it can be altered to meet different requirements: the recruiter can record an introductory video, design their questions, set the time to respond and tailor their email invitations, all within their own branded secure area. Usage is growing quarter on quarter, but there’s still a long way to go before it hits the mainstream, mainly due to a lack of widespread understanding about exactly the kind of roles it is best suited to screen. So if you’re wondering whether and why automated video interviewing might be right for you, here’s some of the questions you should be asking. Say ‘yes’ to any of them and you have your answer: automated video interviewing will speed up screening times, increase the number of applicants you screen and allow you to invest more time in your short-listed applicants, knowing that you have identified your highest potential candidates.

Are we expecting a lot of applications for this position?

The average graduate vacancy in the UK attracts 46 applicants for each post, and up to 160 applicants in the most industry popular sectors. Faced with such volumes, how many hours do you and your recruitment team spend screening these applications? How confident are you that you haven’t missed the one needle in the haystack who would be the perfect candidate? While there will be CVs that don’t meet your criteria and CVs which stand out proud from the crowd, what to do with the huge pile of ‘maybes’ which could be sheltering candidates with great potential? Using automated video interviewing, you can invite these “maybes” to record an interview, which you can screen quickly to decide whether to invest your time in the next stages. This way, you can “meet” the candidates that you can’t or don’t want to meet – at very little time or cost.

Do we need to reach a wide talent pool far from home?

What does the ideal candidate for this position look like? How likely are you to find the skill set you seek close to home? Should you be spreading your recruitment tentacles as far as possible to find the right person? Now within reach is a tool that eliminates the constraints of geography, allowing you to build up a good picture of an applicant who could be several time zones away. Minimal expense is incurred by you or your candidates until you decide to meet or call.

Is the right personality more important than the right skills for this position?

Skills can, by and large, be taught and acquired. But perhaps finding the “right fit” candidate for your culture is of equal or more importance. A CV or company application form can only ever offer a glimpse into a personality. Now add to that an automated video interview which asks a few well-composed questions designed to learn more about a candidate’s motivations, ambitions and experiences. Their answers are spontaneous and you’ll see their reactions and how well they think on the spot. “See” the person before you see them!

Are we looking for fluency in more than one language?

In the melting pot of Europe and many other parts of the world, an increasing number of jobs demand a high level of proficiency in a second or even a third language – and in English in particular. Linguistic competence is difficult to assess from paper qualifications. But add a question or two to your questionnaire in the language you need and find out with ease the extent of the candidate’s fluency. If the job description has asked for language skills, the candidate should be prepared.

Are great presentation and communication skills a priority for this position? 

Your employees are your greatest brand ambassadors and the way they communicate with your customers and suppliers can have a strong and long-lasting impact on your brand, particularly when social media allows a good or bad experience to be shared with a global audience within seconds. Use the automated video interview to see how candidates present themselves, perhaps include a scenario question to assess how they would handle a dissatisfied client and you will be able to exclude those candidates who exclude themselves through poor performance.

Does this position require a specific technical competence?

If you’re looking for a Java developer or an expert in the intricacies of European employment law, the automated video interview might not give you a deep insight into a candidate’s expertise, but it will at least help you eliminate those whose skillset is not as specific as you need it to be. While this can be a tough challenge for the candidate, at least you’ll be able to focus your time on the most qualified.

There you have it. One size fits mostly all. And just as some heads are a better fit for the baseball cap than others, some jobs or programmes stand to benefit even more than others. Entry-level positions which attract a high volume of applicants, particularly internships or graduate programmes, will achieve significant cost and quality gains by using automated video interviewing at the early screening stages. For almost every position up to the middle management tiers, the tool delivers huge value, particularly when screening for customer-facing positions where communication skills are key. Equally, there are some parts of the employment market where it isn’t appropriate. For a number of reasons, cultural, socio-economic and technological, it’s not particularly effective to screen for positions at either end of the economic spectrum. Top-tier management posts will continue to be the realm of headhunters while for lower-skilled jobs where screening is limited, the value of video interviewing is limited, and in some geographies, these applicants may still struggle to access the technology they require. But focus on the roles in between and automated video interviewing injects major cost and quality improvements into the recruitment process.

Eleanor Hammond is Communications Director for Video Recruit