November 2015

Districts can cast a bigger recruiting net using video interviews

Many employers are looking for more efficient and effective ways to recruit new talent. The typical process for most employers, including school districts, is to post an open position, comb through paper applications to create a qualified candidate pool, and then work some serious magic to find a date and time to hold all the interviews. Depending on the size of your district, finding a time when all interviewers and interviewees can convene for first and subsequent interviews can be difficult to pull off.

All of this takes serious organizational skills, time, and money. While you may not pay for interviewees to come to your district, you are paying participating interviewers to take part in them; and while they are in interviews, they are unable to do their regular jobs. 

Some Texas school districts have found a new way to efficiently handle their interview process: video or virtual interviews. Different programs can be used to conduct video interviews, including one of the most often used, Skype. Many people use Skype personally to keep up with friends and family members, so their familiarity with it makes it a logical choice for video interviews. The process also provides districts with the option of recording interviews to be viewed at another time.

There are two types of interviews that districts typically use. The first is a two-way video interview where the interviewer and interviewee interact in much the same way as they would in an in-person interview. Both the interviewee and interviewer will need access to a computer or a smartphone, a Web camera, and the Internet in order to ask and respond to questions.

Some districts prefer to start with the second type—one-way interviews—which that can be used in addition to or instead of phone screening. A one-way interview usually consists of three or four predetermined questions that are sent to selected candidates. Each candidates is given the same amount of time to respond (usually two to four minutes) and responses are recorded. Administrators can then review the responses when they have time, score the answers, determine a finalist, and schedule a final, in-person interview with him or her.

Using one-way video interviews allows candidates to record their responses at the best time for them and allows administrators to review the interview at their convenience, making the process a bit more efficient for both parties.

To maintain compliance with minimum retention schedules, districts need to ensure that recordings are kept for the same amount of time as paper documents (i.e., two years).

Kim Caley, executive director of Human Resources at Northwest ISD, has used a third-party video vendor to conduct one-way interviews. Using the one-way interview process in Northwest ISD “[has] enhanced the quality of the applicants we invite in for a face-to-face interview,” Caley said. Their recruiters are also better able to identify candidates who have social and communication skills that are a good fit for the district.

Using video interviews allows districts to cast a larger geographical net to find the right candidates. That results in a larger applicant pool to fill district vacancies and interviewees don’t have to invest time and money to travel to the district.

It’s also convenient for administrators, because they can review multiple interviews at their convenience and hold fewer face-to-face interviews. This streamlines the hiring process and gives administrators more time to complete their core tasks.