Original Post by Kristen Rich
According to ManpowerGroup’s 2014 Talent Shortage Survey, 36 percent of global employers reported talent gaps last year, the highest percentage in seven years. This is great news for recent grads, who are entering one of the most optimistic job markets in decades.
Young job hunters want efficient ways to explore career options and connect with potential employers. Human resource departments want to target qualified candidates faster and are casting wider nets to find the best candidates.
Traditional job applications and phone interviews don’t do much to fulfill either group’s wishes. As a result, businesses are embracing video and virtual conferencing technologies to create a smoother recruitment ride for everyone involved.
The power of video recruiting & virtual career fairs for businesses
A typical hiring cycle could last anywhere from weeks to months, including the time to screen initial applicants and conduct interview rounds. Using video conferencing for early stage interviews helps businesses evaluate more candidates faster, before narrowing down a short list for in-person meetings.
Unlike phone interviews, video provides the benefits and intimacy of a face-to-face conversation without the travel time or expense. Recruiters get a strong sense of a candidate’s professionalism and demeanor that can be hard to gauge when you can’t see the other person.
For HR departments with multiple positions to fill, video conferencing frees them from geographic restraints. Employers can attract a broader range of qualified prospects, from graduating seniors at out-of-state schools to experienced professionals looking to relocate.
More employers are also opting to host and participate in virtual career fairs. In these online environments, businesses get exposure to a wide group of candidates at one time. They’re also a cost-effective way to reach job seekers across the country, without having HR boots on the ground at every in-person college career day.
By partnering with schools or academic programs, businesses can target a virtual fair to candidates with specific skills or technical expertise. Consider doing this before a career day as a way to pre-screen candidates and assure that quality interviews occur when sending a company recruiter to a campus event.
How candidates can fine-tune their video interview skills
For job seekers, there’s an undeniable sense of comfort in knowing that you can conduct an interview from your living room. Despite the convenience of video conferencing and virtual career fairs, interviewees still need to put in ample preparation to make the right impression on potential employers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before and during a video interview:
- Do an IT dress rehearsal: Don’t assume that whatever conferencing program or webcam you’re using for the interview will work on the appointed day. Plan a dry run with a friend or family member before your meeting to avoid last minute surprises.
- Share back-up contact information: In the event that your (or the interviewer’s) connection drops, establish an alternative way to restart the conversation quickly.
- Download necessary software: If the employer uses an enterprise conferencing system, you’ll probably need to download a new application or plug-in to join the interview. Install these a day early, leaving enough time to clarify any troubleshooting questions you may have.
- Choose your device wisely: To avoid shaky camera syndrome, use a desktop, laptop or propped-up tablet rather than a smartphone that you’ll need to hold throughout the conversation.
- Dress as if this were an in-person meeting: Even if you’re dialing from a dorm room, it’s important to look the part of a qualified candidate. Do wear pants (even if the camera only shows you from the waist up) and keep in mind what attire won’t “photograph” well (e.g., busy patterns, flashy jewelry).
- Mind your environment: Even on a small screen, interviewers can still see plenty of background. Make sure the room you’re in is clean, quiet and well lit. Your expertise should be the focal point of the conversation, not a visible pile of laundry or dirty dishes.
- Stay conscious of body language: On camera, it’s even more critical to hold eye contact with the interviewer, speak clearly and avoid slouching. Keep hand gestures to a minimum so you don’t distract the interviewer or block your face from the camera.