Why Virtual Interviews Are Now a Critical First Step in Inclusive Hiring

Why Virtual Interviews Are Now a Critical First Step in Inclusive Hiring

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Covid-19 has created recruitment challenges for companies all over the world. It caused a shift in the hiring landscape which will extend well beyond the end of the pandemic. With social distancing measures and travel restrictions in place, face-to-face hiring has not necessarily been an option. As a result, many companies chose to ramp up the adoption of virtual hiring tools.

While accelerated by the current environment, much of this digital transformation is a natural next step for talent acquisition. With several hiring departments already ahead of time, some career experts are predicting that 80% of recruiting will be virtual for the foreseeable future. Since the recent shift, 41% of hiring leaders in the US are now saying that they plan to use a combination of in-person and virtual interviews. 23% plan to move solely to virtual interviewing.

So with virtual interviews not looking to be going away anytime soon, what are the pros and cons and how can companies best utilise this technology? Plus, what other AI-powered tools can be used alongside video interviews to make sure talent acquisition is fair and inclusive, while ensuring hires of the highest calibre?

Some major benefits of video interviews

  • Accelerates the interview process
  • Reduces bias of the interviewer
  • Lower cost
  • Scheduling flexibility and availability
  • More inclusive and accessible for all candidates
  • Easily scalable for volume recruiting
  • Access to wider pool of talent, including remote applicants
  • No need to find office space for interviews
  • Standardised one-way interviews for more objective insights

What are the downsides?

  • Nothing is quite like the personal touch of a face-to-face interview
  • Can be harder to read someone via video
  • Can be more difficult or overwhelming for those less IT savvy (seniors etc.)
  • Engagement can be harder to build with candidates
  • Quality dependent on internet connection

How to make best use of video interviews with AI

While it is hard to replace the intimacy of an in-person interview, there are many extremely powerful advantages of AI solutions for virtual interviewing and screening.

One or two-way virtual interviews?

One-way interviews allow candidates to record their answers to specific, standardised questions on screen with timed responses. Some platforms also allow candidates the ability to retake multiple times to ensure they are happy with their answers and give themselves the best chance to impress. AI can then step in to assess responses through fair video and predictive analytics. This allows for an objective first step, before passing the analysis and responses of all candidates to the hiring managers, who can evaluate in their own time at their convenience. Multiple hiring managers are also able to review simultaneously or independently.

One-way interviews are therefore a fast and powerful screening option for employers. This process assesses large volumes of candidates at once. These assessments can be personalised by interviewers, and then enhanced with AI and analytics. It reduces the number of human biases that can occur in an in-person interview.

Two-way interviews are similar to an in-person interview; taking place through a video call between the hiring manager/recruiter and the candidate. These usually took place as an initial interview before a face-to-face interview is scheduled. However, in recent times, two-way video interviews have had to replace face-to-face interviews in many cases.

Take a skills-based approach with hybrid assessments

One way to truly level the playing field and greatly enhance the quality of hires is to measure candidates’ skills alongside video responses.  Hybrid assessments are a mixture of AI-enabled video interviews and skills assessments. The benefits of this method are that candidates are assessed fairly across multiple dimensions and criteria through a mix of video, text, essay, and multiple choice type questions. By combining skills-based tests with live-recorded answers to questions and scenarios, intelligent solutions are able to pull more precise and meaningful insights on candidates.

Unlike many other virtual platforms, X0PA ROOM gives employers the chance to make one-way interviews and assessments feel more authentic. Recruiters can personally engage with intro and exit videos, and even ask candidates questions themselves via audio or video. X0PA’s patented AI then transcripts video and draw cognitive insights on the content and tone of responses. This is then coupled with analytics that provide emotion and language insights. Employers receive these insights and are then able to rate video responses with standardised scores to ensure consistent evaluations across multiple reviewers, meaning a much fairer process for candidates and employers. The assessment of all written and video responses uses uniform grading, automated scoring and pass/fail metrics to quickly evaluate candidates objectively.

How can virtual interviewing be more inclusive?

Mask-up! No this isn’t a Covid thing. Masking is a way to ensure employers don’t actually see candidates at the beginning of the hiring process. It reduces biases based on an applicant’s appearance. Sophisticated AI and Machine Learning platforms, such as X0PA ROOM, can mask the video and voice of the applicant in one-way video responses. This way, employers only see anonymous responses from candidates.

This dramatically reduces subjective influences that could creep in due to a candidate’s appearance, voice, gender, race and many other areas known to elicit unconscious bias. Meanwhile, insights are drawn by the AI algorithm based on standardised analytics to ensure a level playing field. Employers receive independent results and analysis without ever seeing visuals or profiles of candidates. This ensures a truly equitable hiring process, allowing recruiters to go even further to achieve more diverse and inclusive workforces.

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X0PA ROOM – the most inclusive hybrid video interview and assessment platform on the market

Let X0PA ROOM help to dramatically improve your hiring strategy and save you time and money, while empowering you to get the perfect candidates through the most inclusive and ethical AI hiring solution available today.


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