Video interviewing may seem like a new fad for companies who want to seem modern to millennials, but the concept was first imagined 15 years ago and is currently taking the human resource industry by storm.
But before we learn where the video interview industry is going, we have to understand where it started. CEO and founder of VidCruiter, Sean Fahey, will take us through where video interviewing started, what the status of the market is now, and where it could go in the future.
After the turn of the century, two video interviewing companies started testing the market waters: HireVue and Montage. Both have become successful in the industry, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges at the time.
“In both cases, there was a problem that no one had webcams,” Fahey said. In HireVue’s case, founder Mark Newman started shipping webcams out to applicants using the product from his university dorm room. “That was the start of it. Hirevue and Montage invented pre-recorded video interviewing, where people record at home while hiring managers were doing something else.”
Pre-recorded wasn’t the only type of video hiring software being developed at the time. GreenJobInterview started its foray into the live video interview business while InterviewStream worked with universities and career counselors to help people searching for jobs practice their interview skills. Other providers at the beginning included Take The Interview, Wepow, and Sparkhire.
When Fahey started VidCruiter in 2009, he wasn’t aware of all these other businesses in the market, but was encouraged about his business idea upon learning about then and the success each was having.
“When we started the company in 2009 with two part-time staffers, HireVue already had $600,000 in revenue,” Fahey said. “They were already way bigger than we were, we weren’t even close.”
The idea for VidCruiter came from someone asking Fahey if he could hire 200 people as quickly as possible with a five-year plan. “Because I tend to accelerate everything I do, I said ‘What if we did it in 30 days?’” He thought the best way of doing that would be to have a recruiter record video questions then have applicants type their response. While that worked well, the idea to improve it with video responses came quickly after, which turned into the core of his business model.
Many more players have joined the market since it started, including RIVS and Sonru, and there has been some consolidation with a few of those original video interviewing companies. But the biggest change is how many major businesses have started realizing the value of video interviews.
Despite that, there’s still room for market growth. Fahey said he saw in a Gartner report pre-recorded video interview has a market penetration of about 7-10 percent. “There’s probably 100,000 companies that could buy,” Fahey said. “There’s still a global demand for this product, it’s just about being found and educating the market.”
Customer education is among the biggest challenges Fahey has seen in the modern age of the video interviewing market. He says a lot of companies don’t understand what exactly video interviewing software does in comparison to some free online software.
“We spend lots of time educating the market,” Fahey said, “because people assume these products are like Skype. [Potential customers] think ‘Why would I pay for something that’s like Skype or Webex or Go To Meeting?’ They don’t understand there’s actually a pre-recorded component to this where people can record at home. People don’t realize that’s where the time-saving component comes in.”
Fahey said his team educates potential clients through online articles and different analogies. Once they understand what exactly video interviewing software can do, it’s easy to see how it can work for any company.
“An analogy I use in the consumer business is that we’re more like YouTube,” he said. “With YouTube, you watch a video someone recorded at a different time. Now, imagine all those videos were phone interview questions you needed to know to see if the person has the skills pertinent to the job.”
Obviously, VidCruiter is a lot more secure and has more features than the social media website YouTube, but hearing that comparison helps people realize what exactly pre-recorded video interviewing is and why it would be useful from a hiring perspective.
Different companies are in going different directions for the future of video interviewing. For example, HireVue has been researching and implementing artificial intelligence to their video interviews. VidCruiter is going in a different direction, though. Fahey’s company has been researching and optimizing the entire recruitment process to help make every step – not just the video interviews – more accurate and easier for both applicants and recruiters.
One way of doing that is by adding structure to every part of the process. Fahey said by adding structure to video and in-person interviews lead to a more accurate evaluation of the candidate. Once you add additional features such as automated skills testing, you can get an overall score of the candidate, instead of one just for the video interviews. This can give companies an entire recruitment system, instead of cramming video interviewing into the outdated system they currently use. Once that’s accomplished then perfected, that’s when Fahey said AI can get into the game.
“The market isn’t ready to buy all that,” Fahey said. “But that’s where VidCruiter is going. The future of video interviewing is not just adding AI, it’s having that be a part of the overall recruitment cycle.”