Companies

Virtual job interviews on the rise across sectors, amidst lockdown

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on May 03, 2020 Published on May 01, 2020

If work from home (WFH) is the new normal for a company running its operations, virtual hiring and video interviews are fast becoming the norm for recruitment as corporates find ways to beat the lockdown. Video interviewing has been in vogue for many years, especially in the IT sector. It was predominantly used in the early stages of the hiring process. But today, it is being used for end-to-end recruitment, and this is likely to continue in the future as well, as companies have come to realise its efficacy. However, the critical issue here will be connectivity and bandwidth, considering that many of the potential candidates may live in remote places.

Take the case of Pegasystems India. “Virtual hiring became the holy grail of our current hiring process. Right from interviews to employee inductions, every on-boarding process is being conducted through the digital medium,” said Suman Reddy, MD, Pegasystems, India.

Increased uptake

Sudeep Sen, Business Head, Industrial Manufacturing and Engineering & General Staffing, TeamLease Services Ltd, a recruitment firm, said there has been more than 75 per cent increase in video interviews.

While earlier, the initial rounds or basic screening rounds would occur through video interviews, during the lockdown, to ensure social distancing and with no option to travel, further rounds of interviews are happening through Google Hangout calls, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, he added.

More interviewers are now open to video interviews, and this will be the order of the day in times to come as it ensures social distancing, which will be on cards for more than 6-8 months (minimum), said Sen.

According to Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a specialist staffing company, the general uptake for video interviewing has grown since the lockdown and has literally been the only form of interviewing, even superseding the tele-interviews. This is entirely tactical, and less strategic, at this point in time as it caters to the short-term interaction needs.

Interviewing solution

The business case of these video interviewing solutions is entirely different from the Business Continuity Plan angle that video calling and video meeting solutions like Zoom, Skype, MS Teams and Hangouts have offered now. The USPs of these solutions are in the video analytics, automated assessment and feedback report generation domains, and these needs have not changed or increased vis-à-vis prior to the lockdown.

The video calling applications also come with a huge advantage of simplicity and riding on their own backbone, as against the video interviewing solutions that largely piggyback on a third party.

However, the challenges of video interviewing includes call quality, bandwidth, device quality, lighting, ambient noise and background distractions. On the softer side, the overall assessment of stature and personality of the candidate that often drives a hiring decision is definitely absent or is a false positive in certain cases, said Karanth.

Published on May 01, 2020
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