Earlier this year, Peoplescape wrote a blog on the trends coming our way for 2016. One of these trends, as discussed by leader of talent acquisition at Amazon in Seattle, Danielle Monaghan, is clearly a reality now: mobile job application capabilities. From Indeed to Monster to Snagajob, companies are definitely moving in the direction of mobile everything! Here’s another twist…video interviews. Have you done one? Does your company use video interviews? What about cover letters? Are those still in or have you done away with these entirely?
Digital video interviews are an opportunity for candidates to reflect on how they present themselves, but literally giving them a one-way view of their side of the interview using videos, computers, and smartphones to record answers to preset questions. Candidates are usually given a chance to re-record if they are not happy with the way they answer a question, giving them time to process and handle interviews, as well as think about their responses to personality and situational questions. Video interviews also cut back on the lengthy and stressful process of first interviews, allowing for one final in-person interview for qualified candidates who have already been pre-screened digitally.
Cover letters are often a template that candidates use and copy and paste for each job, maybe changing up a word here or there, or inserting the specific job title. The video interview allows for a much more personal touch, face-to-screen interaction, a “read” on the candidate’s personality, presence, and communication skills – all things a cover letter simply cannot do. And let’s be honest; most recruiters are skimming through those cover letters, looking for a key word here or there even they bother to read it at all.
Video interviews arguably leave room for a more creative and meaningful content to emerge – something that the employer is tailoring to their needs, rather than the candidate tailoring a cover letter based on their perception. Savvy recruiters and executive search professionals, such as the ones you’ll always find on our team at Peoplescape, who truly have a knowledge of HR and the way that search works best for the candidate and the company, are always on the cutting edge of recruitment tools, and looking into engaging ways to make the recruitment process better for all parties involved.
Here’s an idea for candidates looking to get a leg up on the competition in today’s mobile world – why not record a short introductory video in place of a cover letter? You might surprise the employers who are really looking for a stand out in the crowd!