Will video kill the paper CV?

Will video kill the paper CV?

The Job Market / March 29th, 2016

Video content is everywhere. Ever since we all moved away from dial-up internet and onto fast broadband, the internet has become dominated by video content. Everyone can create their own video content and publish it online. Facebook (and increasingly Linkedin) timelines are full of it, corporations are using video content to create corporate branding online, budding musicians and filmmakers are uploading videos on YouTube so that their talents heard by the world. So why is the adoption of video technology still so limited in the hiring process, where it could be such a useful tool for getting across character and communication skills?

We do a lot of international recruitment for ecommerce businesses. Some of these firms have branded careers pages, sophisticated applicant tracking systems, and dedicated internal recruitment teams. They are good candidates for pushing the envelope with new technology, yet in my experience they are only using video for creating corporate identity content and Skype interviewing. Likewise, our candidate pool has some of the most digital-savvy marketing and technology professionals in Europe, yet no-one has ever sent me a video CV.

Why is this?

Chicken and egg: Job-seeker: “I’m not going to create a video CV if a potential employer doesn’t value it. Employer: “I’m not going to ask for video CVs if no-one has one.” Both sides of the recruitment process need to get on-board, and at roughly the same time, for the trend to take hold.

Lack of a killer app: One of the reasons that job seekers aren’t creating compelling video CVs is the lack of an awesome app to create one. I’ve come across one or two tools that help people create a good video CV, but nothing extraordinary. On the other hand there are some good employer-driven apps for video interviewing, such as UK company The Needle which helps companies to automate their interview process through video, but adoption seems slow.

‘Passive candidates’: It’s well-known in recruitment that the best candidates are often ‘passive’ – they are busy and doing well in their current jobs, they are not actively applying for roles. Moreover, in many (particularly digital) sectors there are more jobs than candidates, so why should applicants go to the trouble of creating their own video profile when a paper CV will do just fine.

Firewall and security concerns: Video files can be large and can be in a format that won’t get through some companies firewalls. Some companies don’t even have the hardware or software for their in-house recruiters and HR teams to view and listen to video content.

Discrimination: Companies have a legal and moral obligation (not to mention it makes good business sense) to ensure that they do not discriminate during a recruitment process. Video CVs increase the potential for employers to make discriminatory judgements against applicants, although of course this is no more true than it is of an an interview and proper processes can effectively eliminate the opportunity for this.

Bandwidth issues: This was an argument in the past, but every company either does or will soon have the bandwidth to receive and play video CVs. With super-fast 4G networks, there’s no reason why job seekers can’t create video content, upload it into company websites and share it with recruiters, all through their mobile phone.

The major disruptive change in the recruitment industry during the 21st century has been the arrival of the world’s largest, public CV database, LinkedIn. I’m convinced that the next major change will be the widespread adoption of video – both with video CVs and automated video interviewing. How quickly the industry can overcome some of the challenges highlighted above will determine not if, but when this happens.