, Singapore

Video interviewing is leading the way in Scandinavia, why not in Singapore?

By Riku Malkki

According to the most recent research, 63% of World’s Most Attractive Employers organisations leverage video interviews in their recruitment to make their process 50% more efficient, whilst increasing accuracy and gaining peace of mind in their recruitment decisions.

In Scandinavia, the method is an aspect of everyday life for recruiters, over 125,000 candidates were interviewed by more than 10,000 recruiters last year (2018) by Finnish companies alone. This lays out the question, why it hasn’t picked up in Singapore, where only a fraction of companies have even piloted the method?

I’ve heard many stories from companies in Singapore, having tried video interviewing in their recruitment. In this context, I mean one-way video interview, or pre-recorded interview, is where employer types in or records a set of questions (typically 3 to 5), and sends out the invitations to a pool of candidates who look promising based on CV.

I’ve benchmarked a couple of established video interview vendors to regional ones, and the reason is simple; they just haven’t been able to deliver a superior overall experience to recruiters. Video interviewing is there to make their work easier and more efficient. Traditional recruitment is just too time-consuming.

The breakdown below lists the major success factors why video interviews have been well received and adopted in the Nordics. Well-known organisations such as Uber, Netflix, ABB, Finnair, KONE, Jysk, KPMG, Manpower (the list goes on) will only consider incorporating a new technology if each and every one of the aspects below are well in place.

1. Robust technology, intuitive UX, and domain knowledge
In Scandinavia, video interviewing is the norm. Incumbent players understand how the industry works, otherwise there’s no way one can build a platform that doesn’t break and is loved by the users. Singapore is a tech hub currently in a nascent stage of these offerings, so there is plenty of room to grow.

2. It’s all about video
In our opinion, it’s just dumb to create a video platform, where there’s no option to ask questions on video. There are many reasons why to use video questions rather than just dull text questions; human touch, dialogue, employer brand, candidate experience, setting the example just to name a few. Besides this, like Scandinanvian, Singapore has phenomenal internet speeds - it is a shame not to take advantage of the infrastructure to boost recruitment efforts.

3. Customer, customer, customer
There’s no better roadmap than talking with your customers, learn from them and make their pain go away. Give users best practices training, not just product tours. The recruiters are not stupid, they can read what the button says and know what should happen when they press it.

Understanding the candidates, knowing their pain points and removing all obstacles from the way. If candidates first need to download an app to their mobile device, and having to sign in before even starting the interview is a huge drop out point. Another critical factor is not to put too much pressure on the candidates, one can destroy the candidate experience and dispel them by setting too strict preparation times with no option to re-record their answers.

Scandinavian countries are frequently on the list of the world’s best places with customer service. In this aspect, Singapore has plenty of catching up to do.

Finally, there is a need to educate the market. We painfully know that large masses in most regions around the globe do not have a clue about pre-recorded video interviews. This is where vendors need to step up and educate the market. Providing professional, easily digestible content designed for each phase of the customer journey helps to bring the method closer to fresh audiences. Video interviewing started becoming mainstream in Scandinavia around 5 years ago, so in due time, it can also be popular in Singapore. 

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