Corporate Eye

Do Video Applications Work?


The video application has been a stalwart in some industries for some time. Media, marketing and creative  industries depend upon employing those with a flair for film-making and artistic talent, and in the 2013 graduate run we saw giants M&C Saatchi switch to a video application system. While it’s a quirky and interesting way of seeing whether a candidate’s face fits, do video applications really do the business for online recruiters?

Splitting the Market

The great problem with a video application is that it will turn away some candidates without question. Some won’t have access to the requisite video hardware, some will fear being outdone by those graduates with degrees in editing or film-making and others just won’t want to appear on camera.

Having said this, if you’re in creative media then perhaps a video interview is exactly the right way to reduce the pile of applications on your desk. However, unless your grads are going to be producing videos or adverts on a regular basis, it’s going to turn away plenty of very good candidates.

Seeking out Skills

In many ways a video application works just like an interview, except the candidate has some time to script and construct their answers and determine how they come across in advance. It’s fantastic for finding the face that fits, but you’ll need to test those other skills – business writing, numerical competency and verbal reasoning – elsewhere.

You also need to make sure your application page is extremely specific about what you’re looking for. Your corporate web capital needs to state whether you’ll be ranking candidates on their production abilities, their creativity or their general mannerisms. Different candidates will be attracted by different challenges.

Equal Opportunities and Discrimination

It’s very easy to standardise an application form and to ensure that all of your interviewees are given a fair opportunity and it’s unlikely you’ll be challenged on grounds of discrimination. With a video application, however, this is a serious concern and you need to be explicit about your criteria.

You also need to ensure there is adequate space on your website dedicated to your equal opportunities policy. In particular, you may want to formulate an alternative application for disabled candidates. Whatever your policy is, you need to make sure it’s not compromised by requiring graduates to send in a video.

Video applications are something which we’re sure to see more of in the coming years, even if now the old-fashioned application form still makes up the bulk of graduate applications. The video is a powerful tool, but don’t overestimate your candidates’ abilities and remember that it’s essential to give extra dedication to equal opportunities. It’s just not as simple as calling for tapes!

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Tom Goodsir

Tom started his career early; taking on an associate role at Deloitte just a few days after his eighteenth birthday, working in a technical role but with a focus on identifying and recruiting talented undergraduates. He is now entering his final year at Exeter University and he continues to work with the recruitment side of the firm and remains an active brand ambassador on campus. Over the last few years, Tom has spent time building up a reputation as a freelance writer and has developed both a strong client base and good knowledge of social media along the way. Though there’s still plenty to learn, experience working in both the smallest and the largest of businesses has served him well and given him a feel for balancing strong corporate ideas with a personal tone. As a student, Tom is able to offer a valuable insight into the way graduate recruitment works from the other side and how students and interns react to particular styles of marketing and recruitment. Eventually he hopes to take off his copywriting business before embarking on an MA in philosophy.