When the world shut down, so did everything we've ever known about work and jobs. We went remotely, and not only at work but also when hiring new workers.
Employers have had to pivot their practices to make it easier and faster to hire, not only to satisfy their pressing personnel needs but also to help applicants get back to paychecks as quickly as possible. Because remote hiring relies heavily on technology, not all hourly workers have the equipment or know-how to engage in quick hiring methods, which leaves some employers trying to manage a hybrid application process.
This hybrid approach extends to interviews: Depending on tech capabilities, employers may use asynchronous videos to interview candidates, while others may prefer or only have the capability for in-person interviews. When presented with the option of either/or, which tends to be the more successful technique to get the best hires?
Below, we cover the pros and cons of both in-person interviews and asynchronous video interviews and recommend best practices for each to help you establish the most effective high volume hiring strategy.
In the past, hiring hourly workers usually began with a paper application followed by in-person events like interviews, site tours, and onboarding. But convention has had to step aside in favor of speed, ease, and accessibility, especially for high-volume hiring.
However, not all companies and HR teams are equipped with the technology to replace manual processes, and some may still find merit in the old-fashioned in-person interview. For this camp, the pros and cons are as follows:
Pro No. 1: Organic conversation
Asynchronous video interviews are often built upon a series of questions for which the candidate has time to prepare answers. But during in-person interviews, recruiters can ask questions off the cuff, which tests the candidate's ability to think on their feet and allows for more natural conversation.
Pro No. 2: Human connection
Recruiters who are filling roles like customer service reps or retail team members might find in-person interviews to be more informative. Interviewers can get a sense of how the candidate would interact with customers by setting up example scenarios and asking the candidate how they would handle the situation. Body language, voice, and energy also can be analyzed when meeting in person, offering the recruiter insight into the candidate's approachability and personability.
Con No. 1: Scheduling issues
Finding the time to set up an in-person interview can be one of its main hindrances. Calendars must be clear, and the meeting must take place at a location that's convenient for both the interviewer and the candidate.
Con No. 2: Accessibility
In-person interviews require the candidate to have the means to travel to the chosen site. If this isn't possible, scheduling an interview will be considerably more difficult and time-consuming.
Asynchronous video interviews
Asynchronous video interviews come with a host of benefits, like convenience, lower costs, and less pressure to perform for both the interviewer and the candidate. But they also present a few disadvantages, such as lack of access to technology. Below, we list a few pros and cons of using video interviews to hire hourly workers.
Pro No. 1: Candidate and recruiter flexibility
Allowing candidates to record a video of themselves answering predetermined questions is ostensibly the most convenient way to replicate an in-person interview. Recruiters can set up an automatic scheduling function via their applicant tracking system and candidates can choose the time that best fits their schedule. Alternatively, recruiters can send instructions to candidates on how to record a video interview and submit it online, as well as a series of questions the candidate must answer on camera.
Pro No. 2: Faster time to hire
The more conveniently a candidate can record themselves answering interview questions and submitting video files electronically, the faster recruiters can evaluate the responses, narrow the field, and hire new workers. Removing the need for multiple schedules to align cuts time drastically and helps recruiters fill roles faster.
Con No. 1: Lack of authenticity
Providing candidates with questions to review before they click "record" gives them time to prepare the answers they think recruiters want to hear. When it comes to authenticity, in-person interviews take the lead here.
Con No. 2: Accessibility issues
Video interviews require technology and knowledge of how to use this technology, but your ideal candidate may not have the wherewithal to complete this step. In this case, in-person interviews win again.
Con No. 3: Risk of applicant drop-off
If either of the two drawbacks mentioned above is an issue, the candidate may drop out of the process completely, resulting in lost talent and maybe even a loss in talent acquisition costs.
Interview best practices for recruiters
Taking the above into consideration, there are clear benefits and drawbacks to both styles of interviewing. A meet-in-the-middle approach might involve live video interviews that allow for real-time recruiter questions and candidate responses.
Depending on your resources, your chosen method may include all three interview styles, or you may find yourself alternating and using each one for different reasons.
Your choice also will depend on the candidates you hope to attract and the resources they're likely to have at their disposal. After all, accommodating your future workers' needs before, during, and after they're hired will help you build a strong, long-lasting workforce.