An article I recently read from Bloomberg, “Keep Job Interviews Virtual After Covid,” made some excellent points regarding the efficiency of virtual interviews. As someone involved with interview coordination at Personify, I wanted to share some additional thoughts based on my experience. Our Client Services teams scheduled thousands of interviews in the pandemic, so I know first-hand that virtual interview scheduling is more efficient than onsite, saving both time and money.
Onsite interviews present multiple challenges that virtual interviews don’t. When a candidate goes onsite, the coordination challenge of setting up back-to-back interviews is significant—we don’t want to burden candidates with multiple trips or leave them stranded with hours of downtime between interviews. Other important considerations with onsite interviews include coordinating travel arrangements, candidate arrival instructions, security badges, conference room availability, meals, and more.
Virtual interviews reduce or eliminate many of these considerations, minimizing the time and effort required to schedule interviews. Candidates and interviewers can take virtual interviews across multiple days, making them easier to schedule. With an onsite interview, one schedule change can cause a shift for everyone.
Another efficiency driver comes from reducing candidate travel. Scheduling travel for a candidate can add 2-3 days of scheduled time, elongating the hiring process. At Personify, during the pandemic, we reduced the Client Services Team’s time-to-schedule metric, leading to shorter requisition cycle times. With the advent of virtual interviews, we are also generating considerable savings in travel costs. Some clients saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in interview-related travel costs with virtual interviews.
While virtual interviews aren’t suitable for every interview, they provide significant flexibility, time, and travel cost savings in the right situations. And that’s a mix of benefits that means virtual interviews are here to stay.
Read Bloomberg’s article ‘Keep Job Interviews Virtual After Covid‘ below.
Keep Job Interviews Virtual After Covid
One of the hiring rituals among large corporations, most famously technology giants such as Google and Amazon, is the day-long marathon of back-to-back job interviews at the company’s campus.
For job candidates, it’s part comprehensive exam, part endurance test and part get-acquainted visit. For recruiting coordinators, it’s a major logistical challenge. They have to get the right busy people in the right place at the right time, all the while accommodating the recruit’s travel schedule.
The pandemic upended the practice. Campuses closed and travel was impossible. But hiring continued. Interviews went online, some employing custom-built tools, others using popular video-conferencing services like Zoom.
The virtual approach poses challenges, especially for interviewers accustomed to asking recruits to solve problems on whiteboards — which are not standard household equipment. (One manager recommends that job seekers get the lap-size version school kids use.) Lighting can be bad and accents more difficult to understand. Interviewers say they have to concentrate harder on getting the right information.
But they also cite big advantages. With virtual interviews, “We can pretty much do it over two or three days if that’s what the candidate prefers,” says one executive. “The interviewers can be picked across a much wider pool of interviewers,” based on their schedules and exact role rather than location. (Like others I talked to, he asked not to be identified because he wasn’t speaking officially for the company.) Employers can make better matches between candidates and the people who interview them.
Especially now that people in a wide range of industries have gotten comfortable with virtual meetings, more interviewing can take place online. Recruiters can replace screening phone calls with video, and final interviews can mix in-person conversations with virtual conversations. Those virtual calls don’t have to take place on the same day in an office conference room. They can be scheduled a few days before or after the visit. A three-day hybrid might not be as dramatic as an all-day marathon, but it should be able to accomplish the same results — and make everyone’s life easier.
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