Video Killed the Resume Star

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m old school. To me, whether the resume is dying or not as a viable candidate screening tool doesn’t matter; what matters is that resumes are still widely used in their content-driven incarnations (sometimes truthful, sometimes embellished, sometimes completely fabricated). Candidates post them, job boards list them, sourcers source them, resume screening services and ATS’s alike vacuum them up and store them in an underground vault in Iowa (right next to rolodexes from the late 90’s, and sliced bread).

But for savvy recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals, resumes are only the bottom rungs on the sourcing and screening ladder.

Enter the proliferation of online video (YouTube, for example). For me, online video initially meant knee-slappin’ comedy like my favorite landlord and Darth Vader’s lesser know brother.

But video resumes? Actually, those have been circulating much longer than the mainstream Internet has been around; back in the day folks video taped themselves in Betamax to forever trap their past experience and employer history in an unplayable format. (I think I have a friend who might have one on LaserDisc somewhere.)

Search for video resume on YouTube and you’ll get over 2,000 results of homemade videos: all sorts of folks including artists, actors, musicians (and lots of drummers, sweet!), and many different business professionals (and quite a few not so, although I’m sure he’s a very creative copywriter).

Today there are all sorts of companies offering video resume services, including the big job boards – Workblast, CareerTV, PrevYouMe, Vault, HotJobs, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. – they’re all offering some kind of video resume production and posting service.

I’m not going to argue the legalities of using video to screen candidates; I feel they’re here to stay and even the EEOC has stated that there’s nothing illegal about using video resumes, but it could open up employers to discrimination lawsuits. Same thing was said about posting resumes on the Internet.

What I will say is that video resumes by themselves aren’t very good indicators of a candidate’s past performance and experience; they can be just as “staged” and “creatively polished” as text resumes – the slicker the video production and presentation, the better (for the candidate). Video interviews are starting to become popular too, but again the questions and answers can be stacked in the candidate’s favor.

Video resumes and/or interviews should be only one component of a comprehensive sourcing and screening process. When used as screening tools in conjunction with a text resumes, assessment tests, phone screenings, reference checks and professional endorsements, social networking profiles (LinkedIn), Google searches, etc. – only then employers can get a more thorough overview of the candidate before you bring them in for the first “live” interview.

The only companies I’m aware of that offer more comprehensive “multimedia” candidate screening approach are HireVue and InterviewStudio. If you know of any other companies that offer these types of video resume/interview screen services, please let me know.

Hmmm…animated resumes – now that’s an idea…

Posted by Kevin Grossman

Labels: , , , ,