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We all know the modern human has the attention span of a goldfish. According to a study done by Microsoft, the human attention span is a cool 8 seconds long. With more technology and social media, our will to pay attention continues to evaporate. Even reading this sentence may be too exhausting for our video-loving brain—well, ahem, cat video-loving brain. Ironically in a culture with less patience and less eye contact, we lose our ability for the details; we may weaken our skill in giving people adequate time to show us who they are.

We like Twitter, where a “micro blog” has to be aggressively to the point to make an online connection. Our modern world is teaching us to be masters of the “one liner”. A potential employer may not see that as a bad thing, especially in an interview. Global organizations are making speed a priority.  Amazon, the billion dollar company, hosts standing meetings. We can have an in-person interview within minutes due to video. Job interviews themselves can move quickly from online post to sitting in a chair.

But here’s the thing: the faster and the more efficient we are, the more “data points” we’re overlooking. 

In fact, our brain is wired to ignore things

University of Sheffield Psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos, explains that ”when you're writing, you're trying to convey meaning. It's a very high level task”. He tells Wired magazine that other high level tasks, our brains prefer to simplify the complex, much like in writing our aim to turn letters on a page into useful words which must be used to create meaningful sentences, when are meant to explain complex ideas. Whew. 

With this kind of system, we’re bound to make a few mistakes. "We're not like computers or NSA databases," said Stafford. "Rather, we take in sensory information and combine it with what we expect”. Our ability to make tough decisions arrives from this kind of loop: our ability to take in sensory information and couple it with our own experiences. 

He continues that the system is still in place—even as a writer proof-reading your own work. When we view other people’s work, our minds don’t expect to have a pre-conceived idea of what the piece is supposed to mean. We read it as a third-party, per se. Authors on the other hand may have a more challenging time to edit their own material. They expect the meaning to be there, because it exists already in their heads. 

In other words, a massive gap exists between expectation and reality. This kind of phenomenon translates into other parts of our lives: like dating a person—who you think they are and who they turn out to be; or the amount of shoes you packed for holiday and the ones you actually use; or the body language you sensed in a potential employer, but they turned out to be a different kind of person. Our brains, unsure of what exactly the climate will be in a new holiday spot or how the new person will exactly fit into a team, are complex tasks. Checking the weather forecast and ascertaining a candidate fit may not be the same type of complexity, but we tend to lean on learned processes. 

For choosing holiday-appropriate clothing and shoes, we may read a few blogs, ask a question in a travel forum on Reddit, check the weather forecast, and ask a friend who’s holidayed there before. A process that more or less works. When it comes to identifying and hiring the best individuals for a company, a number of traditional processes are already established: create a job description, post on LinkedIn, use an ATS and multiple keywords to sift through candidates, and hold an interview to see whether there’s a match. Maybe it's an in-person, video interview. Because the beauty of an internet connection and technology is pretty innovative.

Experienced hiring managers possess the magic in honing in on their intuition. They have the capability to come up with quick conclusions based on their past experiences. But often intuition has to be cultivated and set in the right context to thrive and be accurate. New research shows how intuition can support us in the complex decisions we make everyday. Intuition is the concept that individuals can make accurate decisions without a large amount of analytical thinking. Researchers at the University of New South Wales were intrigued with quantifying intuition. How does our unconscious intuition inform, improve, or mislead our decision-making? Their findings: When we’re more aware of an emotional situation—or we become more attuned that a strong emotion is occurring, our brains make faster and more accurate decisions. The researchers also found that over time intuition could be improved, thus improving decision making overall. In the workplace, we need to create conditions that support this kind of intuitive hiring, creating more interview data points to work with. 

Why more data points are needed in interview questions

Data-driven recruiting empowers hiring managers with hands-on facts and numbers so they can make the best decisions after an interview. It enables a more powerful hiring plan, opportunity for a broader hiring tunnel, and to improve who they bring on board. 71 percent of CEOs view human capital as the top factor for sustainable economic value, according to a Harvard Business Review report. Data analysis is the third foot to create a multi-dimensional decision process. With more data points, it's much easier for recruiters to delve deeper into what an individual brings in hiring and employment; it also tells companies what kinds of people they should be looking for. Scanning resumes for keywords alone can’t provide sufficient success metrics. There’s got to be to more opportunities to learn more about a candidate. Cue the video interview.

Technology provides a helpful strategy in learning more about an applicant. A video interview uses metrics such as industry, past job titles, former companies, certifications, online courses, experience, and other kinds of activities to achieve a multi-faceted person, rather than a keyword checker. This has the highest probability of success in a candidate-company fit. Paul Nelson, Innovation Lead at Accenture’s Search Technologies, recommends this kind of approach “speed(s) up the hiring process and boost(s) fill rates”. Which is convenient and necessary in the mad grab for talent. Companies are in a race to find the best talent, make a bid, and snatch them before their competition realizes what happened. Video interviewing can be one way for companies to impress candidates.

Hiring and recruiting software have come a long way in hiring the best talent, which is only a fraction of the entire talent management cycle. A video interview is one way to humanize a candidate, sensing their own body language, facial expressions, how the speak to the camera, or make eye contact. Traditional software expanded candidate search and job databases; it’s been a pretty useful tool for internally tracking how an applicant moves through a company’s system. However its goals were never to provide sufficient success metrics on a potential candidate; traditional software architected how an applicant moved through a series of steps. For companies needing to stay competitive, this approach simply cannot endure. Interviewing videos raises recruitment to the next level.

It’s not unusual for employees to go through an annual review of successes and points of improvement. A manager is looking how an employee is thriving (or otherwise) in their role. There’s specific metrics to observe and discuss, like technical review or how your team communication style needs improvement. Why not the same with a video interview?  Technology can address serious blindspots managers face.

Why do recruiters have blindspots?

The peculiarities of the  human brain may be one reason managers have blindspots; the modern workplace may be another. A company’s size, the number of applicants, a workforce that’s both globalized and demanding a convenient and efficient application process are a few reasons why it’s a more complex task than a couple decades ago. 

Growing size

Companies are moving quickly, aiming to grow fast and hire several kinds of skillsets. Google started with less than 17,000 full-time employees in 2007. By the end of 2018, Google has nearly 100,000 full-time employees. With the rate of technology helping companies move fast—and their competition faster—HR is often charged to hire for several positions across several different departments. This leads to operational bottlenecks as they try to coordinate video interviews, in-person interviews, and gain feedback from them all.  It puts hiring managers at a disadvantage in taking time to externally or internally source a candidate. 

Increasing number of applicants

When an organization puts out a job advertisement, they’re putting it on the Internet which means it goes beyond the local community. Applicants now have the ease to apply to positions across the world, if they feel they fit the requirements. While the Internet has broadened the candidate pool, it's brought additional challenges. It may be similar to what retailers call the “hug of death”. A celebrity may mention they love a specific product and fans immediately order the product from a business that was not set up for massive amounts of orders. The organization becomes overwhelmed, unable to complete orders, creates a long line of unhappy customers, and shuts down. With more applicants in a system, a recruiting department may not technological nor operational team to go through and sift out applications. 

Sourcing a globalized team

More and more companies are relying on global knowledge to keep their competitive edge. Cross-functional teams bring the best of worlds: deep, local knowledge and a multi-national network. Talent professionals are up to a challenge when finding local talent for a global organization. The challenges of culture, communication style, and examining functional backgrounds are a few. Recruiters must have knowledge of the local culture and their working style. This is another variable to consider when making international hires.

Expecting a better candidate experience 

We’ve got fast food, fast fashion, and fast news at our fingertips. In a few clicks, we order our dinners, our clothes, and can learn what’s happening in the world in near real-time. The ease, simplicity, and speed of receiving all this has its cost: applicants expect the same when applying for a new and going through the entire interview process. In the competition for talent, organizations must leverage every opportunity to capture an applicant’s confidence. With multiple applicants to one position, this kind of priority may fall down the list of priorities, which would be a huge mistake. Richard Branson’s Virgin Media found they lost $5 million per year due to poor candidate experience. Organizations simply can’t afford to not fix this.

How Does AI help?

Artificial intelligence (AI) can support hiring managers by tracking and analyzing multiple data points. The AI is the tool doing the juggling, the manager is the one simply receiving and facilitating the input and output. AI can take on many forms, but the one we recommend is the AI video interview.  The Internet has brought video to a casual degree in its usage. The next step: video as par to the interview process.

Good candidate experience, good company perception

For candidates, an AI video interview means they’ll be able to schedule an interview any time that’s convenient for them. This means they can do it from their comfort of their home or they won’t be dreading the 1pm interview time, where they know the interviewer is probably thinking more about lunch. A video interview process demonstrates to applicants how a potential employer values ease and is people-centric. When organizations are focused on employees, it becomes a place of high employee satisfaction and low employee turnover. This also fuels in establishing a healthy work-life balance: in a 2014 survey found that 89.4% of employees enjoy a healthy balance. A workplace that prioritizes fairness and respect for employees' lives outside work means employee loyalty.

Video interviews saves time

With the help of an AI model, recruiters can quickly sort the candidates according to their search criteria. It’s outsourcing the technical sifting through an individual interview to find the gems. That saves serious time. Identifying candidates takes manual effort, so having a tool that will allow a talented professional to find a relevant candidate means a goldmine. It allows recruiters to contact potential hires faster and move through hundreds of applicants within minutes. 

Creating specific parameters is also another time saver. With a video AI model interview, a recruiter can use the details of the candidate to perform a search on an applicant pool. They can look for particular skill sets or geographical locations. Setting these parameters and sorting through them can happen in real time. This matches the recruiter’s requirement with a candidate. 

Humanizes a process

Retorio's AI video interview, for example, enables hiring recruiters to view their applicants through the dimension of personality. Measured along the 5 dimensions of personality of introversion—-extroversion, openness, emotional stability, consciousness, and agreeableness—recruiters gain a more humanized snapshot of a person. It’s not simply skillsets, employer names, or where they went to school. This kind of technology is aimed to showcase the individual, the person that the manager will be working alongside a daily basis.

This answers the three essential questions any interview, video interviews or otherwise are:

“Is this person someone I would enjoy working?”

“Are they a willing student?”

“Are they a self-starter?”

Interview videos create a strong baseline and mindset as a recruiter begins working with with. An AI video interview can support them in answering these 3 important questions faster while still offering the dignity of unlocking the unique identity of the individual. Even in the midst of the busyness of job interviews, a video interview creates an opportunity to focus on the details of the candidate.

Companies like BMW and Lufthansa, leverage Retorio's AI to support their own talent management teams. Our video-based AI was featured in TechCrunch and Süddeutsche Zeitung .

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Elizabeth T.

Written by Elizabeth T.

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