As remote work continues to hold around the world, companies need to think more consciously about diversity and inclusion (D&I) than ever. When you aren’t in an office together, it’s easy for already-marginalised communities to end up out of sight and out of mind.
Thankfully, the concept behind remote work already creates opportunities for companies to be more inclusive since you can work from anywhere. And one of the biggest opportunities starts before you hire someone: during the interview process, in particular using video interview tools.
Shifting attitudes towards work
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed millions into remote work, and now people don’t want to go back.
A recent survey revealed that 65% of respondents want to work remotely full-time following the pandemic, and 31% are seeking a hybrid remote work environment.
This kind of flexibility is likely going to become the ‘new normal’ for employment, and companies will end up losing great talent if they impose too much rigidity. But the flexibility of remote work expands beyond the employee experience and flows into recruiting now as well. Companies are no longer solely assessing if someone can do the job but also if that person can perform well in a remote or hybrid remote work environment.
The impact of remote work on hiring is both profound and innovative. Through necessity and recognising gaps, new tools have emerged in the last year that enables thoughtful, inclusive ways to interview and engage top-tier talent.
Where purpose-built video interview tools fit into inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is the process of removing barriers that stop merit from shining through. In essence, this means finding authentic ways to make it easier to assess if someone is truly capable of doing the job versus if their circumstances make it seem like they can or can’t. There is a nuance here - it requires a deeper look and thoughtful reflection coupled with the right processes.
From a D&I perspective, relying on ad hoc tools for video interviews - like Zoom or Google Hangouts - creates an administrative and accessibility nightmare. Purpose-built tools, on the other hand, help in five key ways:
1 - Removing geographical and accessibility barriers
Sometimes, the perfect fit for your company and your team could be in another country or city. Geographical barriers could even go as far as someone in your town who does not have access to transportation to visit a physical workplace all the time. A hybrid work model already helps break down barriers in the workplace, but that doesn’t necessarily solve the accessibility question in the interview process.
Accessibility also goes beyond geography. For example, not everyone can easily engage in the same interview processes (such as navigating a building to find a specific office) that we are all used to due to physical or mental disabilities. Video interviewing tools give your candidates space to shine, free from the natural pressures and anxieties from live interviewing. This is especially true for screening or one-way video scenarios during the interview process.
2 - Recognising monetary barriers
Although companies may provide candidates with subsidised travel during the recruitment process, chances are many candidates will incur other expenses or opportunity costs that do not exist for others. For example, some people can’t afford to take time off to travel for an interview, even though it has little to do with their ability to do the job you’re hiring for.
Just like remote work helps people once they are hired, a purpose-built video interview tool (with relevant features like pre-recording) eliminates the money (and opportunity cost) question.
3 - Leveling the playing field
Recruiting faces a few key challenges that make the playing field uneven: candidates are rushed to present answers in a way that privileges people with certain backgrounds, and many hiring managers inside a company don’t know how to interview or hire properly. That’s not to say hiring managers are unqualified, just that hiring is often done off the side of some people’s desks. HR supports, but many hiring managers are left on their own.
Purpose-built video tools help fix both of these challenges. Features like pre-recording give candidates unlimited time to prepare, so they can focus on doing it well. On the other hand, having a one-stop dashboard saves admin time for HR and helps hiring managers easily implement a standardised interview process at scale. As a result, the interview process becomes more inclusive for candidates and more efficient for HR and hiring managers.
4 - Increased accountability
Any video tool will break down the virtual barrier in an interview. However, a purpose-built tool adds a layer of accountability because it’s easy to see everything in one dashboard. That way, you can more easily hold managers accountable to specific hiring practices or using the same rubric in every interview. Further, a good video interviewing tool will allow you to record video interviews and archive them as needed. Keeping to the idea of a level playing field, recorded interviews can help you keep your team accountable if there is ever a concern about bias or discrimination through the hiring process.
Note: if recording interviews, it’s vital to disclose this to the candidate in an email before the interview, not as soon as it starts.
5 - Reducing bias
We all have biases - unconscious or not. We can avoid playing into our unconscious biases during the recruiting process by focusing on the skillsets and mindsets of the role (and company) instead of hollow virtue signals from specific regions or institutions. Providing equal opportunities for those from all walks of life, areas of expertise and more is essential to creating a trustworthy D&I-focused company.
By incorporating video interviewing tools into your hiring process, you provide your candidate with a good amount of preparation time for a pre-recorded interview. That means by the time you get to a live interview, you can focus on getting to know them and talking to them, not just at them.
Finding the right purpose-built tool for you
Finding the right solution for your specific need comes with considerations. To find a purpose-built video interviewing tool that works best for your needs, check for a variety of features and credibility markers, including:
Credibility matters! Listen to what actual customers of video interview platforms say about the tool.
Options for transparency and feedback. Tools that feature recording and pre-recording ability are essential for transparency and for reducing the time to hire.
Specialised platforms: Is the platform purposefully built for recruiting and hiring conversations? Does it help you speed up your recruitment process while keeping your company's unique values and needs top of mind?
Creating More Equitable and Accessible Workplaces
While it might be tempting to send a Zoom or Hangouts link to everyone and call it a day, the reality is this won’t scale and won’t help with your D&I goals. At best, you create an administrative nightmare for yourself. At worst, you build a low-quality candidate experience that will drive away wonderful talent. Choosing a purpose-built video interviewing tool can help not only improve your talent opportunity but, above all, help you provide candidates with a thoughtful, inclusive hiring experience.