A full-scale recruiting process is a bit of a beast from a logistics standpoint. The scheduling aspect alone can be tricky, and in most cases one of the initial levels of filtration required is a quick phone interview to judge whether or not it’s worth it to bring a candidate in for an in-person interview. Just-launched UK-based startup enRecruit wants to help recruiters save some time by allowing them to screen participants via a video interview, providing some of the benefits on an in-person sit-down meeting with the speed and efficiency of what essentially amounts to video-based speed dating for business.
EnRecruit allows recruiters to automate the process of collecting what are essentially audition tapes. Founder and Chairman Martin Warner said in an interview that he originally got the idea from his work on films during the casting process. Compared to his experiences dealing with screening potential candidates for corporate hires, Warner said that the video format offered a greater degree of ease, and more insight into potential candidate behavior and ability to perform under pressure.
Still, Warner believes that video can only go so far, which is why unlike with other companies, the enRecruit process is designed to be a quick-and-easy filtering process before you get down to in-person contact, not something that replaces that stage entirely. In keeping with the notion that this should be a time-saver, not a time-suck for recruiters, enRecruit limits the number of questions answered by video respondents to just three, and caps their answers at the two minute mark.
“The bit we focus on […] is all of the interview selection, so telephone screening, etc., is 60 percent of the time consumption, so we’re trying to really accelerate that conveyor belt,” Warner told us. “We think the final stage, we’re happy to see that happen in person.” While enRecruit might eventually get into closing the loop on providing video interviews in the future, Warner said, he also acknowledged that there are already companies out there doing that, and it isn’t really where they want to focus.
The company arrived at its model of how long video interview should last, and how many questions they should include, after lots of trial and error testing. Sussing out the sweet spot of time vs. value returned ratio was a key priority for the enRecruit team, since their entire goal is to save companies time and money. Companies get a dashboard that makes it easy to create emails explaining the process to candidates, view videos they upload, and also share the videos within their organization – another advantage over traditional phone screening since it means more than one company stakeholder can have a look at prospective employees.
There are obvious challenges with the video format, including the fact that it may put some candidates at a disadvantage if they’re not comfortable using or recording video. The prevalence of high quality video recording tech available on smartphones today should help lessen the impact of that downside, however. And when asked about whether enRecruit thinks other recruiting tools like LinkedIn might challenge the model, Warner said he’s optimistic that what his company does is different enough to avoid butting heads with bigger players.
“[LinkedIn is] absolutely at the front end, in terms of transparency searching for people,” he said. “I don’t see much in their toolkit going down the recruitment stream. Could they do it? Absolutely. Are they likely to spend eight or nine months doing what we’ve done? They’re probably more likely to acquire.” Acquisition by someone like LinkedIn is definitely an exit strategy enRecruit is open to, too, Warner acknowledged.
Users are becoming increasingly used to shooting and sharing online video, but will they be so comfortable doing the same thing as part of the job application process? That’s the question enRecruit is asking, and one that will only be answered once the tool has been on the market long enough to capture wider attention.