As Chief Product Officer, I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to make our product more delightful for our clients and their candidates.
One of my favorite ways to gain product insight is to watch how children figure out its use. Their key advantage, of course, is the naivete of not knowing how awful the products they love used to be.
Take video. They record videos themselves and share them with their friends. Between Netflix, Disney+, and any of the dozens of other on-demand apps out there, my kids navigate watching video. They even watch videos of other people playing video games. You get the idea.
Unfortunately, I’m not blessed with the luxury of that same naivete.
In fact, I can recall the painful early days of video interviewing. In 2011, I remember having a room full of cheap webcams to mail to candidates before their interviews. This was before smartphones conquered the world and only a few laptops had rudimentary video cameras on them.
Now, video communication is everywhere. It’s baked into our iPhones with FaceTime, computers with Zoom, smart homes with Alexa, and almost every other device in our life. And it’s a similar story for the recruiting industry. Video, very simply, has become central to how we hire.
How can Olivia make video easier?
That’s the question we started with when we began thinking about how to bake video into Olivia’s core skills.
Frankly, we didn’t set out to build “video interviewing” software. Instead, we looked at the experiences candidates were having with Olivia and asked a simple question: Would including video as an option here make it better?
In most cases, the answer was “yes.” From there, we looked at how video could be used. The experience had to be easy and delightful — for candidates and recruiters.
For example, if candidates asked a question about a day in the life of a software engineer or a call center worker, we didn’t want to just redirect the candidate to YouTube. We wanted Olivia to be able to respond with an answer that included a video in-line with the response. And we wanted to make sure the candidate could watch that video without having to leave the conversation — just like someone might do in a text message thread with a friend.
In the hiring journey, where does video have the most impact?
For candidates, video can be a medium to express themselves in the hiring process. But it can also be intimidating. The trick, we found, was to make the experience feel like a normal conversation.
Here’s an example. Historically, video interviewing software required candidates to login to a new platform, with new credentials, and (at times) download a mobile app or a confusing or clunky UI.
We saw an easier way to do it. Rather than kicking candidates to a whole new experience, why not prompt them to record some video responses to simple screening questions directly in the conversation they’re having to apply to a job or opt-in to a talent network. Some questions won’t require video, obviously — like whether someone meets minimum age requirements or possesses necessary certifications. Others, however, are an ideal fit for video — like “Why are you passionate about our brand/industry?”; or “What inspired you to apply to a job with us?”
Having the ability to answer open-ended questions with a video response gives candidates the ability to showcase their personality — and it gives recruiters more insight and context into who a candidate is and what they’re passionate about.
On-Demand Recording & Reminders
That said, we also didn’t want the experience to feel like candidates were submitting videos that just disappeared into some void, so we made it easy to record video inside the conversation with Olivia.
And since we aren’t always camera ready (I’m writing this in sweatpants and unkempt hair), candidates can choose to record later. And Olivia can automatically prompt candidates with follow-up reminders to make jumping back into the conversation easy when they’re most confident.
"Making video easy during the screening process boosts completion rates while giving hiring managers the richness to see candidates shine.”
Along with video screening, virtual interviews have become critically important for hiring teams.
Many organizations already have the video tools they need — Zoom, Teams, WebEx, BlueJeans, Skype for Business — so we integrated with all of them. With integrations, managers can also host live 1:1 video interviews with the tools they’re comfortable with while seamlessly connecting with every interview Olivia schedules.
Alternatively, if a company doesn’t have video tools they already love, we added native video conferencing to Olivia’s set of skills — making it easy for candidates and recruiters to connect on a live video chat, without needing to download any additional software or create another log-in.
Why do we think video is so important?
Sometimes the power of video can simply enrich the experience.
In our virtual events, or any time a recruiter and candidate are chatting, they can transition that conversation into a live video chat with a single tap of a button.
Imagine a hiring manager wants to ask a clarifying question about a candidate's prior work experience, they could send a follow-up text or simply invite the candidate to a quick video call — all without the need to schedule a meeting or use any other software.
And if a candidate has a follow-up question after an interview, they can simply ask Olivia. If she doesn’t have a video response for what they need, a recruiter or hiring manager can easily record one and send it to the candidate.
Ultimately, we believe video is making recruiting conversations richer and the candidate experience better. In ways that feel natural, simple and like a conversation with a friend, video can empower our conversations with each other to make hiring more effective and a better experience for everyone.
It’s so simple my kids could figure it out in a heartbeat — and do it without ever changing out of their pajamas. Modern technology’s a beautiful thing.