Recruit Talent Fast
What if you could prescreen interviewees for your company when it was convenient for you, like when you’re sitting on the couch during commercial breaks or in the 30-minutes over coffee before you start your day? If you don’t have a human resources person who does nothing but screen applicants for your company, chances are that looking at resumes eats up hours of your time every year. That’s hours of time you could be doing something else, like planning the world domination of your industry or niche, or playing fantasy football, right?
The “get a job and retire at it 50 years later,” is no longer the norm. And, the economy isn’t what anyone would call golden. There are a lot of people looking for jobs, for a lot of reasons. Some people change jobs more often than they change their socks. Well, maybe not that often, but you get the idea. A survey by Monster TRAK, one of the largest online job search sites, says 60% of all college graduates expect to stay two years or less at their first job. That’s a lot of churn and more resumes than Minnesota has mosquitoes. Heck, Southwest Airlines alone received over 90,000 resumes in 2009.
Depending on how many employees you have to hire, it means you could potentially spend one week to one month a year looking at resumes, interviewing, training and dealing with employees! Holy cow! Whether you are receiving 100 resumes or ten times that many, you want the best talent you can find. And that’s going to mean sifting through that stack of resumes and then finding time to meet face to face with the best candidates.
When you hire people, face-to-face interviews reveal a lot more than a simple paper resume ever can. A resume shows a list of skills (many of which are artificially bloated – I’m just saying). But being able to get face-to-face with someone gives you a good sense of their professionalism and energy, and even their thinking (as well as any strange quirks or habits).
Cutting To The Chase
A video cover letter will give you an opportunity much like meeting in person, only for just a couple of minutes (long enough to gain a good first impression). Think of video cover letters like a sort of reality show. You like what you see; the person gets a go at round two. You don’t like what you see, you hit the delete button. You never have to suffer through the handshake, the tour of the office, or a long painful lunch with someone who looks awesome on paper, but who you recognize as a train wreck the minute you meet them in person. With a video interview you’ll be able to see quickly how the person conducts themselves, whether they can articulate and answer the questions you pose, and whether they project a professional image. Yes, you can get all that from a one-to-two-minute video! It sure beats the phone call, scheduling a time to come in, remembering to wear a tie and clear your calendar for half a day routine eh?
Setting It Up
Requiring a video cover letter is much easier than you may think. Here is how to go about having people submit one:
1. In your advertisement or job listing, provide a link to a dedicated page on your website that specifies the job parameters.
2. Make it clear that the applicants need to respond with a video cover letter if they even want the slightest chance at being considered. If they can’t follow directions to apply, they can’t follow them once hired. Let them know what you want to see – such as having them state their name, the job they are applying for, and an overview of their qualifications – and then have them answer two or three questions that you have specifically listed.
3. Be sure you ask questions that will allow them to answer quickly. Ideally, you will want to keep the videos to no more than two minutes total. (You can even state this as a requirement, in your initial ad). If the videos are too long, you could spend all day watching them. (Just imagine 100 videos at 5 or 6 minutes each!)
4. Put a video of yourself on the page that contains the request for the video cover letter. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Plus, this will give them a sense of who they are submitting their video to. After all, they get a chance to hit the “delete this turkey” and not wasted my time moment too.
5. You will need to provide an ‘out.’ Although most people have access to cameras, there are still some people who do not. You have two options here. Tell them video quality is not a criterion for judging and let them use their cell phone. If you have a candidate who has neither a cell phone nor a friend with a cell phone with video capability, are they really going to fit into your organization? But if you want to cover all your bases, then let people know that, if they absolutely, positively cannot submit a video, they will need to send a traditional cover letter. But ask that they state in the cover letter that they could not make the video, and still require that they respond to the questions you posed. That way, you can weed out the people who are praying and spraying their resumes to everyone with an email address. You want people who are truly applying for your opportunity, versus people who are just sending out blanket responses.
This process can save you a lot of time. Heck, you may turn some of those two-minute videos off at the 30-second mark – a luxury that you don’t have in a live interview. But there are other benefits, as well, such as the fact that the videos may be posted to YouTube, or wherever they submit them, and others may see those videos and want to know more about all the hype it generates about your company.
That means more (potentially very talented) people getting interested in your job opening. And that is a good thing!