The rise and rise of the video interview

The rise and rise of the video interview

While the traditional two-page CV has not yet been consigned to the wastepaper basket, video interviews are increasingly playing a major role in the recruitment process. At a time when there are some 85 applicants for every graduate post a video can help candidates stand out from the pack. They can bring a factual CV to life showing characteristics such as personality, presentation and confidence, which as we know are all-important qualities in the estate agency business.

“In my experience, sometimes a candidate can look good on paper but glaring shortcomings can be exposed in even a short video clip,” says Joshua Rayner, managing director of Rayner Personnel. “Conversely, a candidate’s CV may look nothing special yet when that individual appears on video they have a certain spark that makes them worth a second look.”

While videos for recruitment purposes have been around for a while, they were predominantly seen as the preserve of the technology sector and have only relatively recently become mainstream across the recruitment industry as a whole. The benefits are obvious. Video interviewing can help firms reach out to potential recruits more quickly than face-to-face interviews, with all the difficulties of tying up diaries and overcoming the practical hurdles of meeting a candidate some distance away.

Then there are the considerable cost-savings, which can run into thousands if your company has a policy of reimbursing candidates’ travel expenses. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the time and cost savings mean video interviews are particularly popular among volume recruiters like Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Paddy Power and UK Power Networks but the practice is catching on in the property business too.

One reason is that the flexibility of video interviews is valued by recruiters and candidates alike. This is particularly relevant for those estate agency firms seeking to attract top performers who are typically time-pressured.

It could also be argued that the standardised nature of a structured video interview makes the recruitment process fairer and more consistent and enables comparisons to be made. It can also be handy to have a record of the interview when seeking colleagues’ opinions on the suitability of a prospective employee.

Innovative estate agency recruiter Estate Agency All-Stars is one company that has harnessed the power of video to the extent that a video presentation is an integral part of the company’s business model, alongside more conventional CV screening, psychometric testing and phone interviews.

Anita Pashley of leading Essex independent Hilbery Chaplin, which employed several All-Stars during 2013, finds the use of video ““a very useful tool in the interviewing process. It’s no substitute for meeting a candidate face-to-face but it is definitely a good addition to a plain CV. It brings out an individual’s personality, which doesn’t tend to come across on paper.”

Paul Gillespie of leading regional firm Gibbs Gillespie, which has offices in Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire, says, “I would never rely on video alone but first impressions count when dealing with the public day in and day out so a short video can help me weed out completely unsuitable candidates, saving both of us time.”

The rise and rise of the video interview