It’s faster, cheaper and more convenient than a face-to-face interview—no wonder companies are increasingly turning to video conferencing to screen job candidates.
Covance, a drug development services companies based in Princeton, N.J., began experimenting with video conferencing about two years ago as it searched for job candidates at locations in more than 60 countries. With improvements in the job market, the “war for talent” has intensified, said Lisa Calicchio, head of recruiting at Covance. “It used to be we could fly people in and take out time,” she said. “We don’t have that luxury anymore. Everyone has access to instant information, jobs are getting tweeted, and candidates are getting pinged proactively. So speed in the market really has been a driver for us.”
Video conferencing has also taken hold in companies conducting multiple rounds of interviews when filling an open post, said Robert Hosking, executive director of office team, a global staffing company.
“If it takes more than a week to get everyone together in a room to meet a candidate, it’s possible that person will be off the market before that meeting can happen,” he said. “Whether it’s a Skype or other video technology, there’s definitely been an increase in our business.”
The practice has become commonplace within just a few years. In a survey of more than 500 hiring managers at companies with more than 20 employees, Office Team found that 63 percent said their company often uses videoconferencing for job interviews.
Beyond speed and cost considerations, using videoconferencing helps companies like Covance demonstrate effective use of technology and a nimble environment. “I think people appreciate the flexibility,” Calicchio said. “Not every candidate can hop on the plane and trudge halfway across the world and be out of pocket for three days.”
But with the growth of video conference interviewing, the technology’s limitations are becoming apparent.