Are Video CVs Going To Replace Traditional CVs?

by Russell White

In the world of recruitment the use of video to introduce candidates to clients has been gaining traction amongst some sectors. Several platforms have been developed to support recruiters to utilise video to provide a better service for clients.

The main USP and basic premise, is that a client can see the candidates who have been put on a shortlist and based on their answers to a number of questions, will select candidates based in the video and their CV.

As communication over video becomes more prevalent in our day to day lives, this approach is seen as the next iteration in the world of recruitment, but is it the right approach and why has it not become the preferred approach and pushed traditional CVs to the annals of history?

Personal video over devices is a relatively new phenomenon. It was only 25 years ago that the first 3G video enabled mobile phones became available. A year earlier, I was privileged to be selected by the first major mobile carrier to test video calls over their network – calling one of the other 20 people who had been selected at certain times of the day and reporting on the quality of the call. 25 years later there are online sites, with billions of users, dedicated to providing users with the ability to create short form videos. I first encountered video CVs about 15 years ago which then were described as the ‘next big thing’ in recruitment that will confine the traditional CV to history. Clearly this has not happened, and the question is why not?

One of the main selling points of video CVs is that the client can see a candidate before agreeing to meet them. This, in my view, can create issues – for instance, it ‘allows’ bias, unconscious or otherwise, to enter the recruitment process. Equally, the platforms do not address issues for neuro-diverse applicants who in many instances would struggle to answer some of the questions that might be posed. A written CV allows the reader to swiftly see whether the applicant has the relevant experience, whereas with a video CV you must wait until you get to a question that may be salient and see how they answer it. Of course, the applicant’s CV is sent with the video but as mentioned, these videos are often prepared in advance, are not spontaneous and can introduce bias into the process. Another issue is that the process adds another layer to the interview process. As video CVs are not universally used then when a client is seeking individuals with sought after skills, they are in competition with companies who do not use them and therefore clients could lose out on talent.

Having said all that, there are recruiters and clients who are using video successfully as part of their recruitment process. Generally, this approach has been successful, once the recruiter has conducted first stage interviews, created a shortlist and the questions posed relate directly to the role and its responsibilities.

In conclusion, I believe the traditional CV will be around for a very long time and whilst video will have a role to play in hiring processes, I do believe the approach needs refinement to avoid unconscious bias, make allowances for certain individuals and only used at certain stages of the recruitment process.

What is your experience of video interviews? Would you not pursue a role if asked to answer a number of questions over video as part of the selection process? If you are hiring for a role do you see a role for video CVs?