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How to use video to improve IT recruiting

Sharon Florentine | July 14, 2015
Sure, video killed the radio star, but the technology is breathing new life into inefficient, time-consuming and stale recruiting practices and allowing organizations to cut time-to-hire while increasing talent quality.

To that end, try to be as platform-agnostic as possible, says Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, managing partner and head of venture capital practice at, an international executive search firm that uses video to augment many of their recruiting tasks. "For millennials, especially, find out what platform your candidate prefers and use that. Talk with your CIO, your IT department, your security team and make sure it's secure, of course, but try and familiarize yourself with as many available tools as possible.. This can actually give you a competitive advantage when sourcing talent, because candidates will feel you're willing to meet them on their own terms and that you're savvy enough to do so," she says.

Video's also an absolute must for start-ups that don't have a budget for travel to interview candidates, and are pressed for time, as well as, obviously, for candidates looking for work in a video-intensive field, says Chatfield-Taylor.

"Any emerging tech company should be using video nowadays. And, of course, if firms are in the video or content delivery space, or in broadcasting or any other field like that, video's not optional. Candidates should be prepared to send a cover letter or a portfolio of their work using video. It's also something I advise clients to use if they're trying to shake up an older, more traditional market and attract young, innovative talent," Chatfield-Taylor says.

Right people, right place, right time

Using video can also help ensure that the most appropriate person is handling the interview -- for example, the supervisor to whom the candidate would report, says Brown. "We've found that interviews, especially for IT operations positions, can be extremely tricky because IT ops is such a busy department. Maybe the best person to talk to a candidate is handling a tech emergency and can't make it, or maybe they're off-site at a colocation facility that day. Using video means you don't just have to settle for whoever's available that day," Brown says. Video also enables a group of hiring managers to easily collaborate to make hiring decisions quickly.

Video technology can also make skills assessment easier, says Brown. "Because we can streamline the interview process and eliminate a lot of the small talk and shooting the breeze that tends to happen when candidates are on-site, that leaves more time to delve into their skills and technical knowledge," he says.

Not to mention being able to quickly weed out candidates whose skills don't make the cut, Chatfield-Taylor points out, "If you're hiring for an engineer and they can't even get Skype downloaded, fired up and functioning, then maybe they're not the right person for the job."


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