How AI is Changing the Recruitment Process Through Video Platforms

Video is just one component of the hiring experience stack that will shape the recruitment and hiring industry for years to come.

If the past year has done nothing else, it’s accelerated technologies and digital transformation strategies needed to accommodate for the new normal of remote work. Many of these new technologies, particularly in video interviewing, have kept business functioning apace in spite of a remote workforce; but they’ve also had the collateral benefit of keeping hiring and recruitment efforts on track during the pandemic.

These advances in the hiring experience stack—a layer of screening technology that sits on top of traditional applicant tracking systems (ATS)—leverage video, in addition to digital reference checking and other forms of assessment, throughout the entire recruitment process. While it’s true that many of these technologies have existed in the past, many of them functioned as standalone applicant assessment tools, and weren’t fully integrated into the hiring experience stack before 2020.

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The past year accelerated the adoption of these tools, and encouraged the development of a level of sophistication that includes artificial intelligence and machine learning—next-gen technologies that will prepare multiple industries for the new normal of remote work and the hiring boom that is set to occur in 2021 and 2022. These advances in video technology make large-scale hiring efforts possible; not only working with recruiters, but helping to ensure that there’s two-way communication with applicants, and work to guarantee that every potential candidate is evaluated and kept in the loop on their application status.

What We Mean When We Talk About Video Recruitment

At this point, it’s important to draw some distinctions within the world of video, and delineate how they’re individually deployed within the recruitment and hiring process. The first type of video, and the type with which many of us are most familiar, is synchronous, or live video. Live video has become even more essential in the past year, allowing for real-time meetings and on-camera, one-on-one interviews to occur. Synchronous video, while a great tool, is typically deployed for high-value hires, or later in the hiring process after a candidate list has been pared down to only the best. 

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For all its benefits, synchronous video is still difficult to leverage in a way that saves an organization time, which brings us into the realm of asynchronous, or pre-recorded video. The advances that have been made in pre-recorded video tools have been instrumental in large-scale hiring efforts, and have enabled the integration of forward-looking technologies such as AI and machine learning to bring a new level of efficiency and intelligence into the hiring process.

The stereotype about pre-recorded video interviews is that they’re impersonal prompts a candidate receives, and then records their response without any type of give and take. The steps made in the new generation of asynchronous video allows for a more structured two-way exchange of information. Within pre-recorded video interviews, there is now space for companies to create a realistic job preview and answer key questions about the company as well as building excitement around the position without requiring a live video interaction.

By offering an exchange of information, applicants can now get a better understanding of the job for which they’re applying, which can help them determine if it’s right for them. Likewise, when a company is able to leverage these asynchronous videos to inform an applicant about the company itself, it can help set expectations for company culture and values, which also helps an applicant assess if they think they’re a good fit.

Most importantly, however, the rise of asynchronous, pre-recorded video has also opened the recruitment and hiring experience up to advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning that can work to automate the entire process; which is a key step forward, particularly for large-scale hiring efforts that need to be scaled quickly.

The Influence of AI Within the Hiring Experience Stack

When hiring and recruitment managers begin leveraging asynchronous video on a large scale, it creates more thorough data sets, which can be used as baselines to sort candidates more effectively. This deployment of data is best suited for massive hiring efforts, because it enables hiring managers to properly evaluate hundreds or even thousands of applicants without needing to weed through each one individually to find the best fit for the position.

The way artificial intelligence works within the hiring experience stack relies on hiring managers training the system. For example, a team of hiring managers will go through and evaluate candidate video responses, often more than 500, and determine what makes a “good” answer to a prompt. These metrics can parse not just what a candidate is saying, but how they say it through natural language processing analysis. By running a large group of applicants through this initial AI, they can be sorted into Yay, Nay, or Consider groups, with the latter designation reserved for those that require further analysis.

Though this technology may seem impersonal, think of it in terms of the traditional hiring process. If a position has hundreds or thousands of applicants, a hiring manager likely doesn’t have the time or resources to go through each one individually. So, even a perfect candidate may be left on the bottom of a pile. By leveraging AI, every candidate is evaluated on some level, creating a level playing field. As far as bias is concerned, what we do, and what other hiring managers need to do, is constantly monitor the AI’s sorting results and correct any instances of bias going forward. It’s also important to remember that bias can be inherent in the traditional hiring and recruitment process, subject to the implicit preferences and favoritisms of individual hiring managers.

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It’s also important to clarify what AI doesn’t do. In recent months there have been some red flags raised about bias in AI, with candidates being evaluated on facial recognition or recorded gestures. By and large this method of AI led to very few insights—meaning it’s not much predictive, and it doesn’t account for cultural differences—and can make it unreliable or ineffective if bias is not meticulously monitored and removed. While it’s an interesting and futuristic deployment of AI, it’s not currently utilized.

Lastly, advances in AI within the recruitment process also have benefits towards candidates themselves, keeping them informed of their status within the hiring process. Sometimes the worst part of applying for a job is simply not hearing anything back. By leveraging AI, all candidates will be informed one way or another on the status of their application. And, because asynchronous video and virtual assessments don’t have to be done on a specified schedule, it puts candidates in the driver’s seat and enables them to control how and when they complete their applications.

Seeing Video as the New Normal

As Zoom became the new standard for how we conduct our day-to-day business, both synchronous and asynchronous video technology are here to stay in the hiring and recruitment process. The advances that have leaped video platforms forward, particularly in the realm of pre-recorded video, have opened new doors for AI and ML-powered efficiencies that can transform large-scale hiring efforts. These advances are also providing a new level of transparency and equitability for candidates, keeping them in the loop and ensuring that every person is given a fair shake.

Video is just one component of the hiring experience stack that will shape the recruitment and hiring industry for years to come. With more advanced assessments, integrated reference checking, and other tools tied directly to the ATS, the technologies available to hiring managers are more robust than ever before. What’s more, these steps forward are also centered on the candidate experience, enabling them to work through application steps at their own pace, and keeping them informed of their application status. While change is always difficult to manage, the new normal presents a world of possibilities that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

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