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7 Ways to Nail Video Hiring in Retail

Date Published: February 16, 2021 | Last Updated: September 15, 2023 | By Hugo Britt

Video hiring is a modern reality that can’t be ignored.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for the rapid digitalization of countless workplace processes, and recruitment has been no exception. HR teams all over the globe faced a steep learning curve as they navigated what (for many) was an unfamiliar world of new technology with an entirely new set of challenges.

What’s more, it is looking increasingly likely that video hiring is here to stay. So long as organizations continue to embrace remote work-practices, remote hiring will need to keep pace.

The good news is that remote hiring brings several benefits including lower costs for employers, shortened time-to-hire, and access to geographically distant candidates (and a subsequently expanded talent pool).

But there are also plenty of challenges. Scheduling problems, platform reliability concerns, and the difficulty in assessing retail-specific soft skills and body language can all make video hiring a challenge, particularly for old-school hiring managers who have had little experience with digital tools before being forced into an online environment.

Here are seven tips for getting video interviewing right in retail.

1. Be professional

Most online advice about video hiring is aimed at the candidate: dress well, be prepared, check your internet connection, and so on. But it’s important to remember that the candidate is assessing the business at the same time the hiring manager is assessing them.

The shift to video hiring is no excuse for a slip in professionalism and standards. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Be considerate in terms of communication: give plenty of advance warning for meetings, and (if possible) avoid last-minute cancellations. Post-meeting, let candidates know what the next steps are and be sure to keep them updated.

Never “ghost” a candidate. In a high-turnover industry such as retail, it may be worth exploring automated messaging solutions.

Interviewers should take care to be presentable. Candidates who go to the effort of making sure they look their best for the video call will be put off if they find themselves being interviewed by someone wearing athleisure gear in a dimly-lit room. Interviewers should have a neat, well-lit, and distraction-free background, ensure their head and shoulders are in the frame, and dress appropriately (from the waist-up, anyway).

Lessen the risk of technological mishaps by testing your video hiring technology before every call. Check that access links work, test audio and video quality, and have a plan B (such as a phone number) in case things go wrong.

If things do go wrong, treat it as an opportunity to assess the candidate’s reaction. Were they flustered by the mishap, or did they take it in their stride? How adept did they seem with using the video technology?

2. Choose video interviewing software with care

There are several key considerations you should consider when choosing video interviewing software. These include:

  • Stability: Is the platform reliable? How likely is it to crash during a video interview?
  • Ease of use: Can candidates use the platform with zero training? Is it intuitive?
  • Cost: What is the pricing structure? Is the platform part of a wider software package/ERP?
  • Branding: Can we make the video hiring experience an extension of our brand? This may include logos, fonts, colors, and more.
  • Experience: Does the software provide a positive user experience (UX) for candidates and hiring managers?
  • Collaboration: Is it easy to communicate and schedule meetings through the platform?

There are two main routes to go down when choosing interviewing software: using generic video meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, or using a solution that has been built specifically for video interviewing such as SparkHire, Interviewstream, and Breezy.

Some solutions are stand-alone products to be integrated into your HR Tech stack, while others are included as a feature or module within an end-to-end HR system.

3. Use an online skills assessment

The candidate with the best-written resume will not necessarily make the best hire. Similarly, candidates who interview well may not end up being top performers.

That’s why it’s important to incorporate an online skills assessment into your remote hiring process to get some real data behind your shortlisting and hiring decisions.

Skills assessment solutions such as Vervoe can be used to build customizable tests for candidates to complete remotely. Retail businesses may choose to test for retail-specific skill sets including:

  • Communication
  • Selling
  • Customer service
  • Commercial acumen

4. Tailor your video hiring questions

Use the interview itself to assess the candidate’s skills in areas that are difficult to test without having a conversation.

In retail, this may include roleplaying to assess customer-service or selling skills or asking how the candidate would handle hypothetical stressful situations. Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as the candidate’s facial expressions.

If the role itself is likely to be remote, it may be a good idea to explore the candidate’s readiness for remote work by asking:

  • How do you handle distractions and stay motivated when working from home?
  • How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
  • How experienced are you in using remote collaboration tools?

Create a level-playing field for candidates by asking the same set of questions in every interview, and don’t forget that the interview is also an opportunity to sell the benefits of your organization to the candidate, such as the team culture, values, and perks for on-site and remote workers.

5. Consider using asynchronous interviewing

Live interviews are not the only option for video hiring, “Asynchronous” video interviewing is particularly useful if you wish to avoid scheduling challenges.

Asynchronous interviewing often takes the form of a one-way interview, wherein a candidate records their answers to pre-arranged questions and uploads the video for the hiring manager to review at their convenience.

Video cover letters are also gaining popularity and are a great opportunity for candidates to showcase their personalities.

6. Incorporate video throughout the hiring process

The remote interview needn’t be the only time video is used in your hiring process. Explore other options such as incorporating videos in your job ads (which reportedly boosts engagement by up to 800%), or filming video introductions to be used in your onboarding software.

7. Do your due diligence

We know that rapid digitization and the shift to remote work due to COVID-19 has led to an increase in cyber risk, which is why HR teams must increase their diligence when hiring. This includes conducting thorough background checks, criminal checks, and establishing the candidate’s identity. To speed up processes and improve the remote candidate experience, explore the option of going paperless rather than mailing compliance forms back and forth.

Learn more about Accurate’s screening solutions for the retail industry here.