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For employers, the benefit is increased efficiency. They reduce the initial manpower hours for scheduling and conducting live interviews, even over the phone, and this can greatly cut down on the time spent reviewing candidates. If an interviewee doesn’t start out great, the reviewer can just move on instead of what would have happened in a live interview — wasting the time to see it through, or giving the candidate false hope. The other plus for the employer is that the reviewer or recruiter/human resource person is not identified, so he/she will also cut down on calls from job seekers checking in.”

This assessment of pre-recorded interviews makes a couple of key mistakes. Avoid them.

1: It assumes initial interview performance is a good way to quickly predict candidate suitability. Metanalysis of candidates given good supervisor ratings and separately promotions found that interviews in general were terrible at predicting either of those things. How terrible? They were only good at predicting those things 14% & 8% of the time respectively. So why would we take a tool like interviewing, and make it even less reliable by having recruiters skim through the first few answers of an interview? If your job candidate fumbles in the initial stages of an interview, the data says that’s not compelling evidence of anything concrete.

Consider instead adding structuring to interviews to assess key skills, explore a candidate’s practical knowledge and problem-solving approaches. We can use well designed pre-written question matrixes for certain key skills and knowledge such as software. But a good recruiter who can invite a candidate to walk them through a complex problem and its solution is powerful.

2: It supposes that making communication between recruiters and job candidates harder is a good thing. Recruiters who strive to treat applicants more like customers, and help build a firm’s brand are your best HR partners. Recruiters should expect to interact regularly with their best candidates, and keep those candidates engaged and interested in exploring work opportunities with your firm. Depending on prerecorded interviews too much can put too much distance between your recruiters and the people they are supposed to be assessing. Remember, our recruiters are also brand ambassadors, we want them communicating our brand’s value to as many people as reasonably possible.

3: It assumes recruiters don’t want to be publicly known. In 2018, enterprising recruiters are building deep candidate networks on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Leveraging social media can be a powerful way to search out desirable candidates. Recruiters that don’t have a strong social footprint will often be disregarded by candidates they contact. Relying instead on candidates to come pouring in with prerecorded responses we can then quickly sift through might be a dangerously high emphasis on quantity over quality.

Prerecorded responses have a useful but limited role to play in recruitment. They can also carry serious drawbacks if our recruiters believe polish in front of the camera translates into work performance.

Author:  Taylor Bradford