With the announcement last week to upgrade the coronavirus (COVID-19) from epidemic to pandemic, worldwide hysteria is on the rise. From empty store shelves to the temporary closing of schools and major event cancellations, the rightful concern for social distancing is spilling over from personal life to career–and companies are taking swift action to adjust to the volatility. While some businesses are closing altogether, others are enforcing “100% work from home” policies to reduce human contact while still maintaining business as usual. In today’s technological age, this is an easy transition, but for recruiters, whose jobs lean heavily on human interaction, it begs the question: how do I interview candidates from home?

In a discussion in our DE Connect community late last week, some of our Members began sharing how their company will handle this task while working remote. The most agreed upon solution? No surprise: video interviewing. While video interviewing isn’t new to recruitment, there are many companies that have never put it into practice and are now wondering how to use this tool to optimize hiring. So, how does it work?

You have a few options here. The easiest and most budget-friendly option is to use Skype, or even Google Hangouts. Simply schedule a time with your candidate, send them your call info, and hold an interview as you would in-person. Your second option is to use a platform that was specifically designed for interviewing purposes. There are many options available and can easily be found by doing a quick Google search. With these platforms you can hold live video interviews, or may even have the option to do a one-way interview. In this instance, you send a list of questions to your potential candidate, along with a link to access your platform and they can then answer your questions on their own time­, often removing the pressure the job seeker may feel from the interview. Their responses are recorded and then sent back to view at your convenience, or share with your team for collaborative input.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of video interviewing:

  • Time Saving – Video interviews not only save time for the candidate by removing the need to commute to your office (and possibly taking time off work to do so), but they also save time for you. Video interviews are often shorter in duration with less small talk, which allows you to spend less time interviewing and get back to activities that contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  • Face-to-Face interaction – Unlike phone interviews, video interviews still allow valuable facetime in which you can see a candidate’s facial expressions, body language, and other nonverbal cues which are vital in assessing someone’s personality.
  • Reduced Time-to-Hire – Time is money! For many, the convenience of video interviewing leads to a reduced time-to-hire[1], which ultimately leads to…
  • Reduced Cost-to-Hire – Plain and simple: the longer the process, the higher the costs incurred. With reduced time-to-hire, reduced cost-to-hire will follow.
  • Better Candidate Experience – From the candidate perspective, it’s easy to understand why a video interview would be preferred over in-person. Not just for convenience sake, but also because it removes some of the pressure of walking into a face-to-face conversation. In fact, one study found that 83% of candidates are perfectly satisfied with video interviews.[2]

Of course, there are negatives to every situation and video interviewing is no exception. Some potential drawbacks: that convenient, reduced time-to-hire we mentioned earlier? Depending on your candidate’s equipment, it could be affected by technology issues such as slow internet connection or software incompatibility. This could result in an entire interview spent trying to get things to function properly, and could run over into your next interview time slot. Additionally, depending on the type of job you are hiring for, your candidates may not be tech savvy, or may not have access to the necessary equipment, i.e. internet access and a computer with a webcam. Despite the potential hiccups, video interviewing remains a plausible option in our given situation, even if for temporary use.

And, what if your company is still requiring you to be in the office? Are there additional precautions that can be put in place? Undoubtedly, but it’s still a bit of a grey area. In our aforementioned Member discussion, one of our Members in the transportation industry shared that they have instituted safety measures that require potential candidates to disclose if they are ill or have been exposed, but another Member brings up a good point–does this raise privacy concerns or impose on HIPAA? While video interviewing is most certainly a viable option, others are enacting company-wide hiring freezes until the COVID-19 situation improves.

Regardless of what practices you put in place, the key is to remain optimistic and remember that this is only temporary. As an association comprised of thousands of the best and brightest minds in Human Resources, we know our Members will adapt to the current environment and make the most of an unfortunate situation. The most important thing to do right now is ensure that we are all staying healthy and doing what we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

How is your recruitment team adapting to the State of Emergency? Sign in to your DE Connect account and join to the conversation or start a thread of your own!

[1] McLaren, Samantha. “How Hilton, Google, and More Have Dramatically Reduced Their Time to Hire”. 24 May 2018. business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/recruiting-strategy/2018/how-4-companies-reduced-time-to-hire. Accessed 13 March 2020.

 [2] “What is video recruitment (and why should you care)?” recright.com/en/video-recruitment/. Accessed 13 March 2020.


Kacie Koons
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