Gary Robinson

Aug 28, 2019

The Honest Truth About Video Interviewing & Diversity


I’ve got a small confession to make. I may love the power of video interviewing, such as its speed and ability to identify cultural fit early on, but I always secretly wondered whether it hinders diversity.

At our recent summer conference, Cast 2.0: Think Differently, the CEO of Odro (the top video interviewing software for recruiters) Ryan McCabe and Recruitment NED & Business Mentor Alison Humphries were on the hot seat.

So I posed the question: Does it hinder diversity?

In a word: No, it doesn’t. But why? Read on for the question and responses (and a few other reasons I’ve since discovered).

Video interviewing and diversity: the tricky question

“Do you think that the rise of video interviewing will lead to diversity issues? Not just from a discriminatory perspective, but even from a culturally diverse one? For example, what if someone who is painfully shy is overlooked because they hate videos?”

Ryan McCabe, CEO of Odro, had this to say:

“Using video interviewing in the right way can actually help ensure fairness and transparency. Video analytics are an important part of ensuring that all candidates have had a fair and equal representation at each stage of the process. You can make sure that each candidate is asked the same questions and the recordings can be viewed by anyone at any time, widening the feedback pool. Unconscious bias is a difficult cycle to break, and as much as video cannot stop this from the person having prejudiced views, it can certainly spot the trend in the interview process much quicker and more accurately than traditional methods.

Our software can also provide reports on how long someone watched a video for. So if someone clicked on a video for just a few seconds, it can raise alarm bells. All of this is reportable, so it can help identify any bias - conscious or unconscious - on behalf of the interviewer so you can rectify this going forward.”

Alison Humphries also agreed and offered another perspective:

“I believe we’re in an age where CVs as the default recruitment method is dying, giving way for more behaviourally focused tools. Millennials have grown up with phones and videos. They're used to taking selfies and posting it to social media, so video will become the new norm for applications and interviews. All candidates will have to become comfortable with it.

There will be some shyer applicants but I don’t believe that they will be at a disadvantage. Nor will older candidates, as interviewers are fully aware that younger people are more comfortable with video.

If you’re recruiting for a sales position then you will look for people who are good in front of the camera as social selling and video are key. However, it’s a very different premise from recruiting, for example, an engineer where presentation skills are a lower priority.

It’s certainly much more advantageous to people than first-stage telephone interviews, where it’s hard to build a rapport.”

And three more reasons video interviewing helps - not hinders - diversity

1) Video interviews reduce obstacles for applicants

Part-time working Mums (or those returning to work without childcare already in place), college graduates, shift workers...these are just some of the candidates that may find it more difficult to interview during normal office hours. Video interviewing removes this barrier and opens up opportunities.

2) Video interviewing helps for candidates with disabilities

Interviewing can take up a lot of time. By the time a candidate has done a travel trial run and commuted there and back, they’ve probably spent a few hours travelling. For candidates with disabilities that can be even tougher. Aside from being a potential deterrent to applying, such candidates may be at a disadvantage at a face-to-face interview as they’re more likely to be exhausted after travel.

3) Video interviewing opens up the position to candidates around the globe

We’re all aware of the skills gap and how it is only likely to widen following Brexit. Video interviewing means your talent pool reach is limitless. The ability to establish whether there is a good culture fit (or culture ‘add’) early on increases the chances that both you and candidates may be open to new options.

For example, one of our consultants just received this feedback from a candidate:

“Although primarily looking in Scotland and the North, Jack felt that as Cast UK had a strong relationship with the client it would be worth us making contact and sending over my CV and video interview with a view to ‘creating’ a role as I had quite a number of National and Midlands contacts.

Jack’s passion and enthusiasm were first-rate and after a month of negotiating with the client and demonstrating that having somebody Midlands based could be beneficial, yesterday we finally received an offer.”

Richard Gorman
Business Development Manager, CCS Logistics

Interested in hiring for cultural fit and diversity?

Why not watch our webinar replay, Expert advice on interviewing candidates for cultural fit (that will add diverse ideas and perspectives to improve your bottom line) where Eva Adam shares her top cultural fit interviewing tips, drawing on her CIPD Learning and Development qualification and previous experience of interviewing over 2000 candidates applying for cultural exchange programmes?

Video Interviewing


title of article

We’re here to help

Whether you are a client or a candidate, getting to know you helps us to understand and anticipate your needs. Why not get in touch and see just what we can do for you today?

Contact Us