More than four in 10 HR directors have increased their use of video conferencing to conduct interviews in the past three years as the search for suitable candidates gets more challenging, according to new research from specialist recruitment consultancy OfficeTeam UK.
Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of 400 senior executives polled across UK businesses reported that it is at least ‘somewhat’ or ‘very challenging’ to find skilled professionals, with small (91%) and medium (90%) sized organisations finding it the most challenging.
Two hundred of the HR directors were asked about their use of video conferencing. When asked why their company increased the use of video conferencing to conduct interviews, more than a half (56%) said they now have access to better quality video conferencing tools, whilst four in ten (41%) cited an increase in the recruitment of domestic, out-of-town candidates as one of the main reasons.
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, OfficeTeam UK said: “Hiring managers are increasingly finding it difficult to source skilled local professionals and are turning towards technology to assist them in the hiring process. Video conferencing allows hiring managers to conduct a visual and verbal assessment of the candidate, which is particularly useful for those who have a long journey to navigate.”
The research also reveals that UK companies are looking even further afield than purely out-of-town, domestic candidates. A third (32%) of HR directors said that video interviews had risen in the past three years because of increased recruitment of international candidates. This mirrors the number of those looking to shortlist candidates for in-person interviews (32%) and the increased prevalence of free or low-cost tools, such as Skype (31%).
Sheridan says: “It is very important that candidates treat video interviews as they would a normal face-to-face interview. Hiring managers will still be assessing physical attributes such as non-verbal communication, professional attire and confidence when being interviewed on screen.
“Technology is continually advancing, so it only seems fitting that businesses take advantage of the ease of convenience it offers. However, video conferencing will not and should not replace traditional means of assessing and hiring a candidate, which can only be gleaned from an in-person meeting.”