COVID-19 is changing the way we recruit. Gone are the days of traditional face-to-face interviews and assessment centres. As a result, many recruiters are exploring new ways to adapt to a remote and virtual recruitment process. This includes finding new (and dare we say, better) ways to screen candidates.
If you’ve been doing your research you’ll know there are a few tools you can use to screen candidates remotely. In this blog, we compare three popular solutions: video interviews, psychometric Tests and AI phone interviews.
Video interviews, psychometric testing and voice AI tools all screen candidates in different ways. Some differences are obvious, others are more nuanced. Here’s a rundown of how each solution works.
Video interviews are essentially interviews conducted remotely using video technology. This is a very common method to conduct an interview especially if the candidate and the interviewer are in different locations. The most common tools used to conduct video interviews include Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and Microsoft teams.
If you don’t have the time to conduct hundreds of online video interviews then you can find a solution that conducts one-way interviews. Solutions that offer one-way interviews work by asking candidates to answer set questions while being recorded. Advanced solutions analyse candidate answers, body language and eye movement.
Psychometric tests use scientific methods to assess mental and behavioural traits like cognitive ability. You can use psychometric testing if you want to quickly assess whether a candidate is suitable for a role. Psychometric testing data allows you to identify the extent to which a candidate’s personality and cognitive skills match the advertised position. Testing can be done remotely and requires little to no interaction between the employer and the applicant. Testing usually comes in the form of games such as jigsaw puzzles, quick numeracy games and job simulations.
AI phone interviewers conduct phone screens for you. These tools allow you to design questions based on the candidate skills you are trying to assess (i.e. teamwork and communication). Curious Thing is an example of an AI phone interview solution. Interviews conducted by Curious Thing’s digital recruiter aim to look beyond a candidate’s resume by allowing them to demonstrate their communication skills. Data is then analysed for recruiters and delivered in an easy to navigate dashboard. This makes it easy to create candidate shortlists and listen to certain parts of the interview. In some ways, interviews with sophisticated AI like Curious Thing can be viewed as a phone-based psychometric test.
So what solution should you choose? Well, it really depends. Each solution shines in different areas. It’s therefore important to clearly identify what your business is hiring for, your budget and ability to integrate new technologies into your recruitment process.
Video interviews are best used when you want to analyse how a candidate responds and behaves when put on the spot. Consider two-way video interviews if you want to critically analyse candidate responses and ask follow up questions. For example, if you are screening for a coding position, you will want to quickly understand how a candidate thinks and thus need to ask follow up questions.
Alternatively, you can use one-way video interviews to screen large numbers of candidates and review each response in your own time. This allows you to focus on other tasks whilst also ensuring that the recruitment process stays active. The downside is that watching numerous videos can be time-consuming and you cannot easily ask follow up questions.
Psychometric testing is best used to screen large volumes of applicants quickly and in detail. You can use this when hiring for highly technical roles where you want to assess a candidate's capabilities and skill level. Psychometric testing is also commonly used as an eliminator, where candidates with scores below a certain threshold are screened out. Ideally, psychometric testing is used as a component in an integrated evaluation strategy.
AI phone interviewers are best used at the beginning of the recruitment process to quickly and accurately assess a candidate's soft skills. The process is simple and yet collects in-depth information which makes it a great solution for both high and low volume recruiting.
AI phone interviewers are perfect for recruiters who want to dive into detail without having to conduct phone screens themselves. These tools can free up recruiter’s time and they can also improve recruitment processes by boosting efficiency, removing bias and giving all candidates a chance to shine. Additionally, candidates can conduct phone screens at any time which improves their experience and allows them to choose a time where they can perform best.
The benefits of using candidate screening technology extends beyond increases in short term efficiency. Each solution has its distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Video interviews provide flexibility as they allow both parties to converse with each other without being in the same room. The interviewer is also able to quickly conduct interviews back-to-back with little delay, saving valuable time and money. Video interviews also provide the advantage of allowing the interviewer to ask follow up questions to dissect a candidate’s answer and better assess how they handle unexpected situations.
However, video interviews can be relatively time consuming and unconscious bias may occur during the interview, as the interviewer is exposed to the candidates appearance, personality and voice. Furthermore, hardware and connection issues can cause significant problems. As not all candidates have access to stable internet connection, reliable webcam and microphone, meaning all of these factors could contribute to a bad interview experience where answers are choppy, unclear and responses are delayed.
Automated video interviews provide flexibility for candidates and recruiters. However, they can cut candidates off when time limits elapse and recruiters still need to watch all footage which can be time consuming.
Psychometric testing allows for an analysis of the candidates experience and skills, meaning you can easily shortlist candidates. This solution also acts as a relatively cheap and efficient way to simulate a day on the job and to better analyse how a candidate acts, performs and interacts with others in the workplace. Psychometric testing is also available 24/7 meaning candidates can conduct the testing at their own time to ensure they are prepared and performing at their best. It also provides valuable data and information that can be used in conjunction with the rest of the recruitment process.
On the downside, psychometric testing is relatively complicated for the candidate and can negatively influence their experience if they were rejected in their application without any human interaction. Furthermore, psychometric testing can be costly, not accurately testing candidates due to their freedom to consult friends and mentors to assist them in completing the test. In addition, psychometric testing is not flexible enough to account for diversity and cultural fit, meaning your company could get the most skilled but not the best fit, which will negatively impact you in the long run.
AI phone interviewers allow you to screen large amounts of applicants at any time of day. This gives both candidates and recruiters flexibility. As well as asking standard questions, AI phone interviewers can test for soft skills and present follow-up data that makes shortlisting easier and encourages data-driven HR decisions. The best AI interviewers (like Curious Thing, cough cough) are able to register what a candidate says and ask follow-up questions which enables greater amounts of detail to be captured. They can also assess English skills and provide a performance scorecard. This is done by judging what a candidate says, not how they say, which can help limit bias during the screening process.
Giving candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their ability beyond their resume, greatly enhances their experience. A better experience means they may be more likely to engage with your company and refer family and friends to your vacancies. Furthermore, by automating tedious tasks such as phone interviews, recruiters can reclaim hours of work each week.
However, AI phone interviewers are only a singular part of the recruitment process, meaning its impact on your efficiency also depends on the rest of the process. As interviews are conducted by a robot, it may feel awkward for some candidates to speak to and adjust. Additionally, the potential problem of poor reception and connection may negatively affect the interview which can lead to unfavourable scores.
Overall, all three solutions possess distinctive advantages for different situations. It is up to your company to decide which solution is most suitable for your recruitment process. Ideally, in a remote environment like ours today, utilising all three would provide the most comprehensive analyses of a candidate’s skills. With such unique solutions available to you, it’s now simply a matter of choosing what works best for you. The ball is in your court.