Does Video Create Bias in Your Talent Acquisition Strategy?

Our first conference, IAMPHENOM, was a huge success and I was given the opportunity to present on a “not normal hiring and onboarding experience at Phenom People”. I think we can all agree video is here to stay and a large majority of companies are utilizing video in their talent acquisition strategy.  We consume video in our lives daily, whether it be on YouTube to learn a new recipe or Facebook posts of your best friend’s child hitting a homerun, we can’t seem to get enough of video!

“Video killed the radio star.” -The Buggles

Cell phones have made it super convenient to send video text rather than typing. I think we can agree that sending a video to our kids to remind them to clean their room gets the point across better than a text!

 

I started using video job postings back in 2011 in my recruiting consulting business. I did not have any editing software or any special lighting, just a cell phone and a desk. Today there are many options available for recruiters to utilize video platforms; companies such as HireView, which offers a video interviewing platform, and a newer called VideoMyJob which offers easy-to-use video editing software.

 

Bias can be eliminated with video

 

Recruiters have numerous options and are incorporating video into many segments of the hiring process. But can video create bias in the hiring process and how much of the hiring decision is based on data, not on the resume?

 

The majority of hiring decisions goes well beyond the resume or the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Assessing culture fit is generally a soft skill set recruiters can screen for in the hiring process. A candidate assessment on skills such as motivation, collaboration, enthusiasm, and curiosity can only be evaluated in an interview. Or can it?

 

Soft skills and job relevant experience make for a compelling candidate, therefore a video  interview or a video introduction can perform in much the same manner as a face-to-face interview.

 

Here are the steps to think about to avoid bias in the video hiring process:

 

  1. Follow a process. Have an initial screening from a recruiter and then follow through with a video introduction video. Assure that the guidelines are consistent for each applicant.  At Phenom People, we ask applicants to select a core value that resonates with them and provide a short video on which core value speaks to them most and why.
  2. Rework video job descriptions. Rephrase them to assure you are using language that is gender-neutral. When deciding on word choice, create a balance between masculine and feminine verbs and adjectives. Software such as Textio can assist you in gender-neutral word choice for your video job descriptions.
  3. Involve multiple screeners. Evaluate the selection criteria and discuss in advance the process of gauging candidates. Hiring managers, recruiters and management should evaluate the video responses so that the team judgment is less vulnerable to bias.

 

In closing, hiring managers are human and although reviewing a video of an applicant could possess judgement, the same can hold true after an in-person interview. More often than not, hiring managers also review the candidate’s LinkedIn profile, which often includes pictures and video. According to Carol R. Miaskoff, Assistant Legal Counsel of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a letter stating that virtual or video interviews are not inherently discriminatory. 

 

Join me and Brad Goldoor this Thursday for our webinar, Tactics for Creating a Not Normal Candidate & Employee Experience and we'll explore video and other methods to best engage your talent!

Keca is the Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition at Phenom People, where she leads global recruitment and embraces Phenom's "not normal' culture.

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