Video interviews spike due to COVID-19

COVID-19 or coronavirus is having an impact on every part of life, from leisure to professional time. Recruitment, in particular, is currently experiencing a large increase in video interviewing due to the virus.

Walters People, part of the Robert Walters Group and specialises in the recruitment of temporary and permanent positions found that video interviews for prospective hires increased by 67 per cent in the last four weeks.

Phill Westcot, director of Walters People, said:

In our area of fast-paced recruitment, interviews have been growing in popularity generally. But in the last four weeks, the surge in demand for our specialist remote-tools was unprecedented. Companies who were keen not to lose top talent by dragging out the recruitment process were quick to turn to digital solutions, and what’s more we saw more hires made remotely than we ever have done.

In an age where so much information can be at our fingertips, allowing for just as good decisions or judgements to take place, it is positive to see that more job offers being made in a convenient manner to both the employer and employee. Gone are the days of the 3-stage interview process, on-site psychometric tests, and assessment centres. In anticipation of this, Walters People has been investing heavily in its technology and innovation to allow its end-to-end service to be completely remote and digitalised.

John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company believes this is not that new an idea but some caution should be taken, he said:

Although the advent of Covid-19 has forced employers to use online interviews, the idea of remote interviewing isn’t exactly new; many organisations have used telephone or online interviews for years. There is no reason why candidates should fear an online interview. They don’t need to worry about travel or other logistics, and they can be on their home turf while the interview is taking place. And there is some evidence that the remote interview is fairer for Introverts.

What can let interviewees down are environmental factors. If candidates are using Skype or another video application, it would be best to think about their surroundings. Sitting in front of your drinks collection may not be advisable. Candidates also need to think about other people (especially children) who might be around, and make sure they have a reliable connection.

Employers also need to be thinking about logistics. Testing systems before conducting interviews will increase the chances of having a fruitful conversation with potential employees. And try to use video if possible; seeing the interviewee on-screen means that it will be a lot less likely that somebody different turns up if they get the job.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.