What is your success rate in hiring?

Most of my worst decisions have been when I have ignored my gut feeling and I’ve been under time pressure. Now I have made some sensational hires who have transformed my businesses but these have occurred less often…


They say you should hire slowly and fire quickly. It’s also said to hire for will and not skill and a person’s past experience is the clearest indicator of future success.

You may be looking to hire A players who have been promoted many times and have taken on role changes. Perhaps you are looking for an entry level graduate or apprentice. Either way, I believe first impressions count.

What I’m not saying is you should judge a book by its cover! But I have spent many hours interviewing a person whose credentials on paper looked sound only to be disappointed by the lack of fit in the first round interview.

Telephone interviews are a way to avoid getting the wrong people in for an interview but this tends to elongate the process. Scheduling interviews face to face is the same as organising a telephone screening call and takes a fair bit of administrative burden.

When the wrong person is in front of you and within the first few minutes you know it’s not a good fit you can’t just end the interview. The interviewee will have probably taken time off work and commuted a considerable distance to your office.

Each time you do this you are not only wasting your time but also theirs so the total economic impact is substantial. Probably 30 minutes of your time. More than likely half a day lost time to the interviewee not to mention the lost productivity for the interviewees’ firm.

In the spirit of failing fast, there is a better approach. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of the traditional CV. Yes, you can look for job hopping patterns, spelling mistakes and sometimes you can weed out hype by cross referencing social media. What you can’t assess is a person’s character, their emotional intelligence and their communication skills.

This is why asking all applicants to produce a video of their skills and experience is interesting. Some people will simply refuse to send a video. Others will send the video straight away. Videos will vary in duration from usually 1 to 5 minutes. Instantly, you can tell whether a person would fit your organisation.

So how much time can be saved on scheduling telephone interviews, reading CVs and face to face interviews? I think you halve your interviewing time whilst increasing candidate satisfaction. My best estimate is you can halve time taken recruiting and give all candidates personable video feedback.

I’m enjoying our new hiring process. It’s a bit like watching a new series on Netflix. A message pings and you watch and learn about a person’s career story. I make better filtering decisions through a lens of wider evidence. Videos can be shared with other hiring managers for hiring by committee.

Playing back videos can ensure you don’t miss any details and you can prepare more informed questions for candidates.

People are becoming more accustomed to sharing mobile video on apps such as WhatsApp for social purposes. YouTube is the most popular search engine after Google. Video is becoming more accepted means of communication.

There will be some candidates that are uncomfortable in creating a video. Video interviewing might not be appropriate for more technical roles. However for management, customer services, sales and other roles where people are dealing day to day with people interaction then video is an appropriate tool to take advantage of.

You can keep your recruitment personable by asking candidates to send you video messages.

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