Monday, July 2, 2007

Making a Career Movie

Job applicants are increasingly turning to new media formats to boost their hiring potential - including websites, Facebook profiles and video resumes in their application packages.

For companies doing a lot of college hiring or who are looking for entry-level people, the video resume may be a good way to differentiate candidates and a way to get more qualified people to apply.

Be clear on your corporate website about your position on video resumes. If you think video resumes may be a way to improve your understanding of candidates' abilities, let them know. Give them some guidelines of length and what kind of content would be useful. Perhaps show a generic example. As this is new to lots of candidates, they will appreciate tips on what is helpful to you.

Provide a list of two or three questions that you ask candidates to respond to via a video. This way you get them to show their verbal skills and creativity without the need to bring them in for an interview. By providing a consistent list of questions, you ensure that you will be comparing apples to apples as you evaluate applicants.

There are caveats to this approach, however. Cheryl Behymer, a partner at national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips, says she advises her clients to proceed with caution to be sure they're not making themselves more vulnerable to charges of discrimination. "You're seeing a physical representation of the candidate, what their race is, their national origin, their age," she says. "That potential applicant might say: The reason you didn't [interview] me is because you can tell I'm a minority.'"

The idea of first looking just at a candidate's qualifications, Behymer says, is to help prevent the filing of a failure-to-hire claim, which can arise if an employer is suspected of discriminating against an applicant who belongs to a "protected class"-a minority individual or an older person, for instance. It helps at this early stage of the hiring process, she says, to keep information about race and age, for example, separate from a candidate's skills and qualifications.

One process Behymer recommends: Have initial résumé screeners omit the video when they send along a candidate's other materials to the manager actually doing the interviewing or hiring.

Video resumes can also be detrimental for the applicants themselves. Aleksey Vayner’s video application to UBS quickly became a viral sensation passed around the internet, solidifying Vayner’s position as the laughing stock of the investment banking community.

No comments: