As an I/O psychologist focused on hiring practices and assessments of all types, I read the January 13, 2022 Forbes article, Conducting 'One-Way' Job Interviews? 12 Considerations For This Hiring Method, with great interest. I’m particularly interested in ‘one-way’ or asynchronous video-based, pre-recorded interviews as they are now widely used in hiring scenarios and their adoption is, for good reason in my opinion, quickly gaining momentum.
The Forbes article claims to share both pros and cons to consider before making this type of assessment a part of your hiring strategy, but I only identified one pro, leaving 11 cons. This seemed a bit out of balance. I believe the reason for the authors’ (Forbes Human Resources Council) slanted perspective is that they are looking at this tool through the lens of search firms, where reliance on in-person hiring is heavy. I’d like to reexamine these 12 considerations through the lens of an enterprise organization that needs to hire at scale. That said, what follows are the “12 myths” and 1 truth presented in the original article along with my views as seen through the lens I described.
For the purposes of my response, I will use the terms asynchronous and pre-recorded interchangeably.
Truth. It Cuts Down the Time to Hire
Yes – this is quite correct. Asynchronous interviews, powered by AI, can reduce recruiter and interviewer hours by as much as 80% while indeed “adding a qualitative element to the pre-selection process by supplementing quantitative data from other assessments” as mentioned in the original article.
Myth 1. It's More Impersonal
On a fundamental level – this is untrue. By the very nature of scale hiring, very few candidates would ever even have an opportunity to interview for a role. Nothing could be more impersonal. Using pre-recorded video or audio interviews – all candidates have an opportunity to be interviewed! This is made possible using artificial intelligence that can automate the process, thus saving countless interviewing hours and providing unbiased candidate insights that are predictive of job success. I’ll elaborate on this more but suffice it to say that this technology creates opportunities for a more diverse workforce, where all candidates have a chance to showcase their strengths.
Myth 2. You May Miss Top Talent
The idea is to move the candidate through the entire selection process as efficiently as possible. In this case, technology is our savior.
The authors seem to imply that asynchronous interviews slow down the selection process and you may miss top talent because other firms are recruiting/selecting more quickly. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Candidates can, and should, be routed to the pre-recorded interview immediately upon showing interest in a role. This process should also be automated and there is no time lag. The idea is to move the candidate through the entire selection process as efficiently as possible. In this case, technology is our savior. Top talent will appreciate that the process is ‘one-and-done’ and will be impressed with your organization for making the process efficient and painless for them.
In addition, it appears the authors are not aware of some of the amazing work being done now using the science of psycholinguistics when applied to candidates’ responses on asynchronous interviews. This state-of-the-science technology lets you assess candidates’ soft skills, motivation, proficiency, and expertise in a single step, thus identifying top talent more effectively and efficiently.
Myth 3. The Process Should Stay Flexible
Asynchronous interviews allow for a flexible selection process. As indicated above, your top candidates can be quickly identified through an automated process, thus presenting you with those most likely to succeed for your final, live interviews.
Myth 4. You Risk Losing Out on First Impressions
Again, I believe that automated, asynchronous interviews shine in this space. This technology makes your recruiting process remarkably easy and gives a great first impression by letting your candidates attend video interviews on their mobile devices. This capability instantly engages potential hires with your brand through job preview videos, banners, messaging, color themes, and online assessments that get them excited about your organization from their first interaction with your selection process.
Myth 5. One-Way Hiring Equals One-Way Employees
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make sense of this Consideration. The authors incorrectly state “those poorly hired individuals make negative impacts on our teams.“ I simply do not equate using an asynchronous interview with poorly hired individuals, especially when hiring at scale. In fact, for the reasons stated above, I believe this technology breaks down barriers, allows all candidates an opportunity to show their capabilities, and leads to a more diverse workforce.
Myth 6. It May Just Be an Add-On Feature
The authors indicate that most people are not comfortable with this trend. I disagree here as well and challenge the authors to find anyone under the age of 50 that isn’t very comfortable using a mobile device. In addition, this technology should work via a cellular network, hence no Internet connection is required. Pre-recorded interviews have consistently demonstrated that they significantly cut down the time to hire and are not just an add-on feature.
Myth 7. It Removes an Opportunity for Candidates to Learn More
I refer you to my response to Myth 4 above. Asynchronous interviews can instantly engage potential hires with your organization, the role, and your brand through job preview videos.
Myth 8. Ensure Your Hiring Efforts Are Worthwhile
Certainly, you should ensure your hiring efforts are worthwhile. Pre-recorded interviews focusing on job-related competencies are as worthwhile as any other assessment in your arsenal. And as mentioned previously, the ability to use psycholinguistic analysis to derive additional candidate insights only increases the usefulness of the process.
Myth 9. Beware of Bias
Beware of unconscious human interview bias.
Ah yes – bias! Let’s talk about this. I’d like to turn this around and say beware of unconscious human interviewer bias. To think that your interviewers are not biased is sheer folly. Everyone brings their own lens, their upbringing, their experiences, their values, and yes – their biases to the interview, whether they know it or not. Machine scored, asynchronous interviews, trained to remove these biases, are a far more equitable tool and will lead to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.
Myth 10. Look at Other Avenues
Of course you should include as many valid data points as you can when making a hiring decision. Nothing about including a pre-recorded video interview precludes looking at other data points. In fact, a state-of-the-art system will automatically and instantly lead the candidate through not only the interview, but also any additional assessments that might be appropriate for a given role in your organization.
Myth 11. Consider the Impact on Your Brand
Back to #4 above. Automated, asynchronous interviews instantly engage potential hires with your brand through job preview videos, banners, messaging, color themes, and assessments that get them excited about your organization from their first interaction with your selection process.
One-Way Interviews Makes Sense for Enterprise Organizations Hiring at Scale
The Forbes article identifies 12 considerations when conducting “one-way” job interviews. All but one of the considerations appear to be arguments against using this emerging technology. By reexamining these 11 myths and 1 truth through the lens of an enterprise organization that needs to hire at scale, we have a better explanation as to why the ‘one-way’ video-based, pre-recorded interview is gaining momentum.
Learn more about Talview Interviews or share your thoughts with me in the comments.