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HR Pornography: Interview videos

In the October 14, 2014 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a job seeker won’t make a video:

My wife, a veteran in her field, began a search for a better job and company. In the past, she used the broken and traditional job hunting methods. After showing her the Ask The Headhunter website and purchasing the companion books — and with a little coaching from me — she landed two job interviews with hiring managers within three weeks.

watching-computerSuddenly, a personnel jockey injected himself into the ongoing discussions with the hiring manager. The recruiter insisted that my wife submit herself to a one-way, online digital video taping, answer a series of pre-selected “screening questions,” and upload it to who knows where for “further review and screening” by who knows whom.

She found the request creepy, impersonal, presumptuous, Orwellian, exploitative, voyeuristic, unprofessional, and perhaps even unethical. (I’ve attached HR’s e-mail.) She declined, instantly prompting an automated “Do Not Reply” rejection e-mail. She was not worthy because she wouldn’t subject herself to a dehumanizing “HireVue Digital Video Interview.”

This new wrinkle in HR practices seems like the most unsettling and counterproductive yet. It not only removes access to the hiring manager, but also live, human interaction. It sounds like “HR pornography,” where perverted personnel jockeys huddle around a monitor to gawk at videos of “virtual job candidates,” picking apart perceived blunders while they screen you out.

Would you please share your comments and advice on this new and bizarre interviewing phenomenon?

Nick’s Reply

This HR department cheapens itself, the employer, and everyone it subjects to automated interviews. “Talk to the camera by yourself” is not an interview. It’s stupid. Your wife is right to say no, and she’s smart to move on to a better employer.

A recent survey of 600 HR professionals by McQuaig Institute, which develops talent assessment tools, found that 65% of respondents said their company’s hiring managers are not very good interviewers. Meanwhile, HR says its job is to train managers to interview. Is it any wonder HR cuts itself and hiring managers out of interviews and farms the task out to a video company?

A 2013 ADP survey found that, “Consistently across the globe, employers have a significantly more positive impression of how they manage their workforce versus what their employees experience in the workplace.” ADP concludes that “as a whole, HR does not have a handle on the asset it is hired to manage.”

In short, HR is doing a lousy job at interviewing, and HR seems to think it knows what it’s doing — while employees disagree. HR has cornered the market on stupid.

If your wife has already decided not to “make a porn with HR,” I suggest she call the hiring manager and say something like this:

“What’s up with your HR department? I’m glad I spent time talking with you about the job and how I could help your company. But I don’t make videos. I’d be glad to come in for an interview with you. If we decide there’s a match, I’ll fill out a form for HR, but I don’t talk to imaginary interviewers on camera. I find that insulting. I leave the rest up to you.”

Of course, use whatever expressions you are comfortable with. But let the manager know you’re interested in further discussion with him, but not in solo videos for HR.

  • An alternative is to offer to do a Skype interview with the manager. HR may not realize that Skype is basically free, while video interview services can be pricey.

Managers who relinquish control of job interviews to HR likely also let their mothers vet their dates. The culprit here is HR, but the real problem is the hiring manager. Will he stand up and do what good managers do — make his own decisions? (For more about how HR’s missteps can cost you a job, see 7 Mistakes Internal Recruiters Make and The Recruiting Paradox.)

I reviewed the e-mail instructions your wife received — all boilerplate. It’s pitiful and sophomoric:

“One of our Recruiters will review your information and if there is a good match, you’ll be contacted either via e-mail or phone to schedule additional time to speak live.”

But the hiring manager has already decided to spend “additional time speaking live” with your wife. So what’s up with this? How is a “Recruiter” (capital R) going to judge whether there’s a good match better than the manager who has already been interviewing her? Stupid.

“This is a real interview! Be sure to treat this interview as you would an in-person interview.”

Bull dinky, not it’s not! It’s a fake interview with no interviewer.

  • An alternative is to offer to meet with the hiring manager again, rather than do the video. There is no need to say no if you offer a sound alternative.

If anyone fears saying no means “losing an opportunity,” the far bigger risk is having your video rejected by HR — and then having it float around the company forever — if not in some video-interview vendor’s database. (How do you know it won’t be shared with other employers?)

“Feel comfortable to be yourself. We want to see your personality.”

What they mean is, we don’t want you to see the personalities of our personnel jockeys because, face it, they’re a bunch of data diddlers that we don’t want talking to anyone. (I wonder what they’d say if you asked for a video of HR answering your questions? For more stupid HR tricks, see WTF! Inflatable Interviewer Dolls?)

If I were your wife, I’d want to talk with the manager one more time, to find out what he thinks about all this. If he tells her he has no choice, my reply would be, “I’m amazed. I left our discussions very impressed, but I’m going to be blunt with you. I’d never take a job in a company where managers don’t manage the hiring process. It says a lot about the operating philosophy at your company. I wish you the best.”

Is your wife taking a risk by talking to the manager like this? I think there is little, if anything, to lose when you are forced to the back of the line by the HR department and the manager concedes. A professional community that does not call out questionable behavior is not worth living or working in.

watching-computer-2To see the punch line in all this, you have to visit HireVue.com, the company that handles video interviews for this employer. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage, where HireVue offers a “success story” from a leading customer — Rodney Moses, VP of Global Recruitment at Hilton Hotels. But Rodney doesn’t tell his story in a video; it’s a slide show hosted not on HireVue, but on SlideShare.net. Video interviews are good enough for you, but not for HireVue’s best customers. HireVue and HR need to eat their own dog food before feeding it to job seekers.

More important, HireVue reveals the real problem employers face, in the introductory video at the top of its homepage.

HIREVUE AUDIO: “In a sea of candidates that all look the same, how do you find the ones that stand out? Since 2005 the number of applicants for any given job has increased four-fold, making it impossible to properly screen and assess each individual…”

No kidding! And what do you suppose caused that increase?

HireVue’s business model is predicated on employers blindly soliciting staggering numbers of applicants — far too many — via indiscriminate digital advertising. The results overpower any employer’s HR resources, so HR needs a video screening process to deal with a job posting process gone haywire. The real solution is to turn off the firehose and eliminate the flood of inappropriate applicants.

If HR would stop drinking from a firehose, it wouldn’t need to throttle its candidate pipeline. Besides, it’s unbecoming to do either.

A manager talks to a candidate again and again, only to have HR demand that the candidate make a video in front of an unmanned camera so HR can decide whether to continue discussions.

Just say no. But it’s the manager who should be saying no — to HR — about making inappropriate requests of job applicants.

Your wife did the right thing. Is it worth letting top management know what’s going on down in HR’s playroom? If HR is busy playing digital spin-the-bottle, HR should get out of the hiring business.

HIREVUE AUDIO: “Your best candidate could be the 100th to apply, yet you’ve only got time for the first 25.”

Ah, the promise of being able to view a hundred or more candidate videos!

How many videos can HR watch before it goes blind? How does HR explain its disrespect of hiring managers’ interview skills — and its own failure to teach them? Would you make an HR porno? :-)

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95 Comments
  1. My most ridiculous interview involved traveling to a different city expecting to interview/speak with the hiring manager in person at a company where I previously worked.(HM was new to that company/hired after I left there, but was someone I knew from meetings and numerous events)

    It started off fine…

    I arrived at the office, was greeted warmly at the front desk and made small talk with payroll woman who remembered me from a few years earlier.

    Then it went south..

    Robotic 22 year old HR lackey pulls me into an office with a Skype connection to this hiring manager (who apparently was working from his home…). It wasn’t even video- I was just looking at his icon/picture!!

    Interview was watered down with behavioral questions and less than half of the time was ‘talking shop’.

    What made things worse than just staring at an icon on a small laptop was the HR girl staring at me (without blinking)the whole time. It was quite frustrating to even pretend that this was a natural situation.

    Things get even better on the way out, as female HR bot REFUSES TO SHAKE MY HAND and hurries her way off to another meeting, leaving me in the hallway saying “You know your way out, right?”

    On my way out/in the lobby, I ended up running into another good friend/former colleague there. I was so shell-shocked from the horrifically rude treatment by this HR person.

    Of course, I don’t hear back from HR (like they always promise), so I send out an email (to HR girl and hiring manager) saying- just checking in, etc… and her response is brief(and written in the huffiest tone) “Oh, sorry. I’ve been busy and in a lot of meetings. We chose someone else.”

    I still keep in touch with two or three rank and file people from that company (I am even still in their fantasy football league, haha), but you could not pay me double to work for them again.

    What the heck? Is HR not intelligent enough to realize that a stilted process with video/technology can get in the way of natural conversation with hiring managers??

    How do HR people like this keep their jobs???

    I’ve certainly mentioned this to one of my former colleagues there, but he just shrugged his shoulders gave me the “it is what it is/ ‘you was robbed’ “

  2. PS.

    I forgot to mention the best part– next to the icon of the hiring manager on the laptop was the video of me, so essentially I was forced to watch a video of myself being watched in person and over video.

  3. Some guy, that is an amazing story!

    Does anyone else ever think about trolling these employers? What if we all applied, with outrageously fantastic qualifications, willing to work at 60% the normal salary?

  4. One word, NEVER. OK more than one word …NEVER in a million years.

    My view on this? If they want to lose real talent, serious professionals? This will do it.

  5. I am currently in the process of searching for a job, and a good company (a great one, in fact) required an interview video. I agreed as I thought it could be fun (although the mind did boggle at who’d be watching this, or which HR depository this video would end up at).

    Needless to say, the experience was awful – a totally unnatural process where indeed you do not get to review your answers after the time is up. To make matters worse, due to a technical glitch I did not know whether the video even got uploaded, so I had to email the Recruiter to ask if they got my interview. She never responded until 2 weeks later – only to advise me that my application was unsuccessful.

    I should have gone with the gut feeling, but lesson’s learnt here, no doubt.

  6. What security and confidentiality measures are behind or shall I say guaranteed to the one being interviewed regarding this type of maneuver? Who controls access to these videos once they are made?

    It is a bit too easy for things to get out of hand. Does anyone recall the story of the young man who made his own presentation video, which he submitted to a New York employer at which time it was inappropriately grabbed and uploaded online to mock and ridicule him? It did not end well. Granted it was made and submitted unsolicited of his own volition without any disclosure of privacy or security however human nature being what it is and the unknown X factor I do not know how relevant any of that is when media can be shared so easily today.

    In my opinion, as I remember that one case all too well, I feel any situation where a “video” is being made of one in which someone else holds the material even under the tightest guidelines (whatever that means or may be) just smells of the potential for misuse for any unknown circumstance.

    Again, video interview? My take is sorry no way, no how would I ever submit to such a thing.

  7. The instant impression I got from the HireVue site was that the one-way video interview process would reduce diversity in a company. By focusing on appearances and behavioral qualities–the mystical “fit” that tech companies worship–rather than skills and total potential, it seems impossible that this process would not churn out cookie-cutter employees that all look and sound alike.

    • Best comment I have read which summarizes the swirling tsunami of “WTF” relative to recorded interviews. Iora Health started out unabashedly conducting speed interviews in which they liken it to speed dating”. Clearly their demographic was centered around a particular age group to think this would attract the best talent out there.

      Perhaps companies should opt to hire & employ humanoid robots. We have already been outsourced by automation. Why stop at insulting human intelligence through video taped interviews? May as well cross the final line and as Nike says – “just do it”.

      • “There’s a talent shortage. None of the people on the videos are answering follow-up questions because we can’t ASK follow-up questions to answers to our canned questions…”

        Sheesh.

  8. I don’t know if this would do any good, but I would write a letter to the CEO of the company explaining how the company’s hiring practice insults and demeans job candidates. And then ask if this is how they treated their customers, would they be in business.

    Whether HR knows it or not, people talk. I’ve been at professional association meetings and have heard people talk about how they were treated at company X during an interview, and some of the stories are as bad as the ones mentioned above. This poisons the reputation of the company in the community. Yeah, HR knows there will be more applicants applying for jobs but at some point the quality of people will be diluted. There will not always be a steady supply of skilled, talented people walking through the front door of your company.

  9. Nick,

    Is it just the Hire-Vue process or ALL videos that you object to? Many pundits recommend that potential job seekers create a personal website strictly for the purpose of assisting the resume. The website is to be referenced on your business cards and your resume. Many folks put videos of themselves (albeit to their advantage, edited and showing themselves in their best light) so the potential employers get to see the whole package, how you present yourself, your eloquence, etc. etc.

    Do you object to such videos as well, because HR could potentially at least view these videos? (I’m sure there are geek techniques to prevent them from being downloaded and shared illegally.)

  10. Wouldn’t video “interviews” expose companies to discrimination lawsuits from some who aren’t hired? Video reveals gender and approximate age, race, marital status(if wearing a wedding ring), and any visible handicaps one might have. Even supposed sexual orientation if they draw conclusions in that area from appearance and mannerisms. One could charge that the company used information from the video to discriminate against the job candidate.

  11. @Mona While I often find myself personally disagreeing on a number of often alleged “discrimination” issues, you have brought up a number of very good points regarding this video routine for interviews, but I would think that each issue would have to be proven to be valid?

  12. Making a video is ONLY appropriate if you’re auditioning for film or TV, where your job is to be on camera. (I should know; I have experience a professional actor.) In the vast majority of jobs, however, the individual will be interacting with people in person, so that’s what HR should be facilitating. Videos must be the latest spaghetti they’re throwing on the wall to see what sticks.

    If I’m ever asked to do a video, I’ll counter by asking them to pay for a camera operator, producer, and editor, and to sign a confidentiality and copyright agreement, so if my image or video does get released/misused/etc., I can take them to court.

    P.S. The advice to “feel comfortable to be yourself” is laughable — I’ve known stage actors with dozens of shows on their résumés to quake in fear in the face of a camera lens. How is someone with no experience supposed to “feel comfortable”?

    • Absolutely agree. Excellent points.

    • Hi Carol I love your answer. I was asked to do a video interview for a receptionist position. I told HR that I do not have a web cam or a smartphone. I never heard from them again. I agree with all the comments. A good interviewer asks several different types of questions. They also let the candidate ask questions. It is called Human Resources not Machine Resources.

  13. Now Nick.

    Right in the middle of a bunch of well-made points you said, “…HR has cornered the market on stupid.”

    No it hasn’t. The supply of stupid is way too abundant for anyone to corner the market. If you ever experience a shortage, just get in touch and I’ll be happy to show you where to find more of it.

  14. Wow, how insulting, video with no human interaction. Also very unrealistic. Why would you not want to see and interact with the candidate?

    The skype situation I have had, it is weird. Although I do agree with the stat, most hiring manager are horrible at hiring. At my last company, we had to do interviews in pairs or large panels. You get to see how others feel out a candidate. Few ever read the job description or the resumes submitted. And even fewer had any idea what made a candidate a good hire before actually interviewing. How can you tell if someone is good for the job if you first don’t know what good is?!

    I would have to say, my most recently experience with an online retailer was quite something. First they did phone screenings and those were pretty typical. Then the hiring manager calls me and starts to ask some questions that seemed odd. She wanted a full assessment and diagnosis of her website, something I do on the side as a consultant. I started to press her about the questions she was asking and she said she didn’t want to hire me, but she wanted me to do an assessment for her, for free as a try before you buy. But I could tell she had no intention of hiring me. This is an SVP who should know better trying to get free services which are in high demand and cost a lot right now. I turned her down. I’ve never bought from that company and never will due to that one interaction of professionalism. What she was asking for is basically a weeks worth of free work.

  15. @Edward–That took gall to ask for an assessment of the company’s website and tell you she did not want to hire you. And, I would say there was no “interaction of professionalism” on her part. I wonder how many others she asked to do the same thing.

  16. The most valuable capital at any company is human.

    Yet, the mazes and requests of these supposed great employers are dehumanizing at best. Unfortunately, far too many individuals feel they have little option but to subject themselves to this treatment because they need gainful employment. Somehow they imagine if they get past the hiring nightmare, it will all be worth it to get a dream job. These companies, at which CEOs and upper management don’t create a culture of investing in talent by being engaged with actual humans, don’t change later. It is quite likely a small window into the work environment one will experience working there. While it certainly doesn’t mean every person working there thinks that way, the general regard and value of people is low level (despite the very likely posters espousing otherwise, the scheduled workplace assessments and many teams recruited to put together employee engagement initiatives no one is actually doing).

    Wouldn’t it ultimately be so much more effective to START at the right place focused on the right things? …but I often find myself shaking my head…

    This video topic has several distasteful and potentially hazardous concerns. One of the more bemusing parts of requiring videos from candidates is how it flies in the face of the whole supposed volume issue. If there isn’t enough time to even read resumes (much less cover letters), how are we supposed to believe anyone is really spending quality time with the stilted one-way screenings?

  17. @Some guy: It seems the McQuaig finding that managers are not good interviewers applies to HR as well. Wharton labor researcher Peter Cappelli says companies have drastically cut back on employee training and education, and the HR worker you met clearly is an example. I wonder why they didn’t just have you do the Skype from home? Maybe HR just likes to watch.

  18. @EH: I’ve often thought about organizing something along those lines…

    @Nic: Video interviews raise quite a few legal issues. I wonder what kinds of waivers, if any, a company asks the applicant to sign. More important, what kinds of written assurances do applicants ask for, to ensure their videos don’t fall into the wrong hands. We already know that 3rd party reference checking companies provide data to other employers who are their clients. Do you have any idea who’s seeing your video or when?

    @Ian: The discrimination issue is huge.

    @dlms: I agree – word gets out that an employer behaves stupidly, and it gets harder to recruit. But why should HR care? There are thousands more applicants where those came from. Not good ones? There must be a talent shortage.

  19. I am a woman who is “mature” with grey hair and a bit overweight but articulate with a professional appearance and demeanor. I was suddenly laid off just before Christmas winter –a whole other story– and have been seriously job hunting ever since. My resume shows only the last 13 years of work since I took a long time off to raise a family, making me seem as if I were in my forties.

    I have had many interviews with a variety of organizations but had no offers –that is until last week when I was offered and accepted (settled for?)a position in my field and at the salary I wanted on the basis of a one hour phone interview. Since I have been living on savings, I need to get back to work but I will continue to look for a better position.

    Whenever I had a phone screening, there was a lot of eagerness to have me come in for the full interview. The interviews were very positive but, in most cases, I would hear nothing further until some time later when the “No, thanks” e-mail would come. I cannot help thinking that many of those in-person interviews screened me out because of my age.
    The only offer has come from a place that has never seen me in person. It should be interesting when I show up for work.

    • After 2008 – what baby boomer does not share this concern? It is a reality. A fact this age group is passed over.

  20. @Hank: I’ve got no problem with videos per se. It’s how videos are used in the hiring process. If a job seeker wants to post a video of themselves, go for it. When HR requires you to do one, I’ve got a problem with that. But think twice about a video on your website. Step back and ask, what’s the point of any tool used to help you get a job? A resume is supposed to get you in the door, yet most of the time it does the opposite. Employers focus on one item that leads them to reject you – and you’re not there to defend yourself. So any such tool is actually used to reject you. Videos? My guess is a video offers 10X as many reasons to reject you as a resume does. So consider this when you post or send a video. Again, you’re not present when it’s viewed so you can defend yourself. All these tools are proxies – none are you. All are risky. That’s why most jobs are found and filled through personal contacts – they’re more trustworthy. Everything else is a reason to reject you.

    Skype is another story altogether. Done right, it’s a video phone interview that can save everyone a lot of trouble. But even then, in-person wins, hands down.

  21. @Everyone: Please check Carol’s suggestion above. It’s an excellent idea:

    “If I’m ever asked to do a video, I’ll counter by asking them to pay for a camera operator, producer, and editor, and to sign a confidentiality and copyright agreement, so if my image or video does get released/misused/etc., I can take them to court.”

    After all, employers ask people to sign waivers and agreements all the time – to protect the employer. Likewise, the employer has a “professional” assisting it to do the interview – the professional HR rep. Why wouldn’t a job seeker want professionals assisting, too?

    Why, I’ve often thought of offering my services for a fee to job seekers – I’d accompany them on interviews and handle answering the questions. The hiring manager and the actual applicant can sit in another room, and the designated hitters (HR and I) can do the interview. Isn’t that what Carol does when negotiating an acting gig? Her people (her agent) talk to their people (casting director). What’s not to like? What should I charge?

  22. @Bob Lewis: Finally, someone who will do this for me. You will get all my stupid requests, from now on. Thanks for offering. :-)

  23. @Edward: That’s abuse of power, pure and simple. She controls the job, and she wants you to do free work if you want to be considered. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Applicants will rationalize six ways from Sunday why they should do the free work… NEVER do it. The response is easy: “If you’d like to try me out without any obligation, I’d be glad to do this task for you as a consultant at a rate of $X/day. If you decide to hire me, I’ll even credit the time against my salary. In the meantime, the work gets done while you’re trying to fill the job.”

    @Jeri: You hit the nail on the head. HireVue says their videos allow employers to review many more candidates than they’d be able to otherwise – because so many people apply. How bogus is THAT? How many videos can a personnel jockey watch? One wonders how stupid the investors behind a company like this really are.

  24. @Nick I agree. This is ripe for a mess of issues from what I see even with disclosures that still does not assure anyone that their video will never fall into the wrong hands at which point who is responsible? It just smells.

    @Chris I can tell you something my business partner and I just said we would hire anyone over 55 more like 65 anytime today over someone under 50. This applies across the board for all situations but especially for a personal executive secretary. I would look at no one under 55 (and I myself am under 55 years of age.)

    My experiences over the past ten years particularly is that there is a level of professionalism and etiquette knowledge with those over 55 that most under 50 simply do not display for a number of reasons all too clear by their speech and dress.

  25. I experienced a variation of this where the hiring person insisted we have a Skype or Google hangout conversation. We had already spoken over the phone, he had sent me a LinkedIn request and had already proceeded to contact at least one of my references. I exist.

    At first I brushed off the request, but he kept asking. To be fair he was in business for himself and it could be he’s been swindled in the past. But it just made me feel very uncomfortable and it wasn’t going to end up in full-time work anyway.

  26. This is not a one way street.
    Since when did interview mean the applicant was in any way inferior to the prospective employer?

    noun: interview; plural noun: interviews
    1.
    a meeting of people face to face, especially for consultation.
    synonyms: meeting, discussion, conference, examination, interrogation;
    audience, talk, dialogue, exchange, conversation

  27. @Nic Bravo! Read and reread the comment regarding hiring 55 and over. Thank you from a 55 and over who still knows how to act, speak and spell professionally.

  28. @Lizzy tish You are welcome. I deal with very old (real) money in very powerful circles. I have to tell you I am just horrified what I encounter out there today, and it never fails the offending age group is always without question under 50 …most under 35. I have no idea how these people were raised they know nothing of etiquette, cannot speak and do not even know how to dress properly.

    I am not implying all but in my experience most under a certain age group fall into speaking like babies, acting like children and expecting everyone to jump their their every whim, being addicted to gadgets and social media while addressing strangers by first name. Men not knowing how to dress or address anyone, acting like little boys speaking like uneducated fools (even with post-graduate degrees,) and women dressing for interviews as thou their best accessory would be “a street lamp and a public defender” (Thanks to Frasier for that line.) It is out of control and in my world none of it is acceptable.

    I was always told at the turn of any century there is a strange phenomena of bizarre behaviors but since 2000 this is like something out of outer space. Many here including yourself know very well what I mean by this.

  29. I’m surprised by the backlash to the video concept. It reminds me of the backlash against a company using answering machines instead of a real person answering a business phone. Like it or not, that is the way things have gone.

    There are so many advantages at the hiring end to using video applications that it will be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. It may become a common step between a written resume and an in-person interview. Might need to get used to the idea.

    At the Employment Centre where I work, we do practice interviews that are video taped and then played back. A very insightful experience for those who do it.

  30. @Larry you mention, “I’m surprised by the backlash to the video concept. It reminds me of the backlash against a company using answering machines instead of a real person answering a business phone. Like it or not, that is the way things have gone.”

    No, as regards this video lunacy some may have gone this route, but there are plenty of us who reject it. I also disagree about the answering machine analogy for one the idea of automated answering of business calls is another issue that is out of control but that is a different thread. It is not the same as human voice-to-voice contact. Regarding the original issue, I would think there are major potential personal and legal issues involved with personal videos and how they are used, who owns the copyright, future transmission rights, who has access and not to mention potential breaches and any illegally transmitted material and by whom, due to the current state of digital technology and the access to the Internet.

    What we allow ourselves to be subjected to and what we subject others to tells much about the person’s character in my opinion.

  31. @Nick, second bravo! From someone who still knows how to bring value to any organization’s marketing and with a second strong suit in writing/editing beyond 140 characters.

    Carol is right. After a bad Skype experience (screen freezing) my policy is now that I do not do video interviews unless the company and the hiring managers are out of town and the interview (two-way) takes place in a professional teleconference meeting room setting, at their cost of course. (Rental offices like Regus, Silversuites and Corporate Suites have teleconferencing rooms). I will add the confidentiality and no-release agreement.

    One of my refusals asked me if I even knew what teleconferencing WAS–the usual non-verbal sneer that an older person would not. I then proceeded to give them chapter and verse on where I had used it (and since the late 1990s!), systems such as Avaya and Vidyo and also about what I write about in telemedicine (virtual doctor consults). I then told them that because of my technical knowledge I don’t use at home systems for interviews or presentations.

  32. @Nic, apologies for misattribution.

  33. @Dee I caught it. You are welcome. I agree with you across the board.

  34. Since my years in television have shown me that I have a face made for radio (and a voice for silent movies), I’ve long thought that were I forced to perform for a video interview, I’d be further ahead having central casting send over someone. Or maybe hire one of the baristas from Bikini Beans to sit in, since a demand for video indicates that the company is running a beauty contest instead of a hiring process.

    Seriously, the only people who need to make a video are actors and TV air talent looking for their first gig. Actors should have movie or TV clips after the first gig, and even slightly seasoned air talent should have air checks. Heck, we even sent the interns back to class with air checks.

    I’m liking the “resume on a business card” more and more every day.

  35. @L.T. I agree 100% with your perception of it all and you are correct a photo or video should be restricted to media talent as you described.

    I am one on the flip side of this face and voice bit and growing up in and around the studios of Hollywood I was constantly asked about acting or modelling jobs both of which hold no interest to me, and I am also against this 100%.

    For how long now, they claim one should never include a photo of oneself with a CV for legal reasons of potential discrimination and that doing so can disqualify a candidacy immediately upon receipt yet they are going to review a video of you!? Go figure.

  36. Regarding interview dress, you’re damned if you do or don’t. My interview outfit this summer was a simple dress under a coordinating untailored jacket worn with plain necklace and simple closed shoes. The conundrum I faced was to wear hose or not. (I did.) In the under-40 crowd, the wearing of nude hose is considered passe’ and “old lady” (Duchess Kate notwithstanding) yet going without is not an option for me. Either way, I can be pegged as old. I am glad that cold weather is approaching so I can wear my very professional pants suit again.

  37. @Chris–bare, greasy, marked up legs are so au courant–and closed shoes usually create blisters when worn without hose. I’ve also seen hairy legs… Ugh! So I stick with the plain sheer hose and the hell with the passe’.

    It’s gotten to the point where I wear trousers, white no wrinkle cotton shirt and a blazer in all weathers, accessorized with tasteful real jewelry and a good watch. Just substitute lighter blazer in the summer and shoes rather than boots. (I’m in marketing so I have a little more latitude. If the client or company is conservative, I substitute a plain black skirt.)

    Dark hose to match the skirt have fallen out of favor for now. And finding a tailored trouser suit, or a tailored suit period, is one frustrating exercise.

  38. quick summary..ugh!! for a lot of reasons.
    1st thing that jumps out, is the talent scouting supply chain is ignored. that is the purpose of a resume is to get an interview, the purpose of an interview is to get another is applicable until a decision maker and decision is on the table. The candidate & the manager were all ready connected..HR intruded adding no value. regardless of method. An interview or some artifice just to have an interview.
    Nick noted HR doesn’t know how to interview..that depends on who HR is, apparently in this case they have about zero confidence in their ability or give new meaning to the word lazy.
    But I think HR organizations really don’t get something very basic…they are one organization that is customer/public facing. as such their job is to sell the company. A job applicant is one primary avenue of public interest, technically a flattering one..someone wants to join your company.
    I have a quote pinned nearby “Even if your company doesn’t want the candidate, the candidate should want the company. A candidate who doesn’t fit will still think well of the company if they believe the company is a “class act” and they will pass along their positive comments”. (and they can quite likely become a potential customer).
    So I have a crude point of reference..is an experience a class act. This video approach is so far from it, whoever thought it up is suffering from a cranial blockage of the lower intestine.

  39. With regard to your “video interview” article, the first thought in my mind (as an attorney) is that this is a way for HR to screen candidates and observe traits they might not otherwise determine through conversation (e.g., race, gender, wedding ring, etc.). There was a predominant practice in the deep South many years ago that had individuals posting a photo to their resumes for many of those same reasons. A company that would do that is not only lazy and intrusive, but likely seeking a “legal” way to determine the answers to questions they are prohibited from asking.

    Love the blog, Nick. Keep up the good writing.

    Sincerely,

    • Spot on. These social indicators are so easy to pick out and do imply class, gender, etc

  40. @David As you are an attorney can you please describe how this is legal in the first place especially (and I agree with you) used as a way to screen race, gender, wedding ring, etc? It just seems to contradict all fair accepted laws of employment practices to me.

  41. WOW, and who has legal rights to the video and any copy, what if the person gets an acting gig who gets the agent fee? What if it is hacked to some web site etc. or their identity is stolen who is responsible to clean up everything. Sounds like the HR person is a frustrated lawyer. Furthermore ANYONE that submits to this without a clear in writing agreement is opening themselves to potential blackmail and fraud. Your answer was great but someone should go to the CEO of this company and inform them of the liability the company is exposed to.

  42. Nic, earlier you wrote: “I feel any situation where a “video” is being made of one in which someone else holds the material even under the tightest guidelines (whatever that means or may be) just smells of the potential for misuse for any unknown circumstance. ” We had the same situation in a supermarket. Some college students were filming the checkout line. I asked them nicely to not tape us. when they refused, I went to the store manager. I explained to my spouse how our privacy and the control of the content would be out of our hands.

  43. @Nic,
    It is arguably legal as are many discriminatory practices because the purported intent of the process is to ease the screening burden. However, these *purported* intent screenings usually give way to illegal considerations. For example, HR can’t ask your age in an interview, but have you ever noticed how intent they are regarding when you graduated from high school? college? Do I want to find out if you’re married, or have kids? *would you have any concerns with relocation on short notice*?

    Unfortunately, for every prohibited area of exploration, a skilled interviewer can maneuver around it. There are lots of ways to get people to talk about sexual orientation, marriage, kids, etc. Fortunately, maybe unfortunately, there are not a lot of skilled employment interviewers.

    What I like about this site is that you learn ways to take over an interview, and by doing so you can steer the interviewer away from things that don’t relate to the job. If companies want to try and play the edges of discriminatory practices by doing these sorts of things none of us really wants to work for them anyway.

  44. @Jim Great example.

    @David Thank you, precisely what I was thinking but I wanted your point of view on the matter to see if I was indeed on the right track.

    Also, I agree with you regarding this site 100%. It is one of the online rarities in my opinion.

  45. First, shameless self-promotional plug:

    http://davidhuntpe.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/to-picture-or-not-to-picture-that-is-the-question/

    I can see video that you provide access to; e.g., short presentations where you are strutting your stuff. The trick is to only provide a window of time to access it, and prevent downloading.

    I’m tempted to start a company, “Curmudgeon Consultants” composed entirely of people over 50.

  46. @Don Harkness: You hit on a key point. A company’s professional peers walk in and out of the HR department all day long. The question is, what do they say to others after they leave? Corporate PR departments fail to realize that they may have a massive “leak” in their company’s image in the HR department. An image PR spends loads of money to build and maintain.

    One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. And the HR hand is often clueless about its impact outside the company’s walls. This is an enormous, costly mistake.

  47. @Carol,
    20 years ago my daughter acted professionally in NY – ads, and TV. No one made videos. Professionals know the difficulty and skill in making someone look good on camera, and casting directors are quite competent to do initial screenings without the time and expense required. Final round for big projects, sure.
    Not to mention that looking at headshots and notes is a lot faster.
    @Larry – practice videos make a lot of sense in some cases. But they are to help the candidate, right? We may use answering machines, but we don’t have any systems where a candidate calls a number, hears a prerecorded question, and gives the answer. It is technically feasible, but it is stupid.

    In Europe, base on my German son-in-laws experience, Skype interviews are common. Maybe they are not here because of discrimination issues?

    When I interview someone, either on phone or in person, I follow up on certain answers to get more depth. You can’t do that on a video interview. I’d bet the questions are from the usual stock of garbage questions also.

  48. I notice that a lot of HireVue’s clients are customer service organizations like Carnival and Hilton. Here are some quotes off their expensively produced website:

    Their new tweak:
    Introducing HireVue Insights™
    World’s first candidate and interviewer recommendation engine
    HireVue Insight’s harnesses the power of big data examining over 15,000 digital interview attributes to predict which candidates are most likely to be top performers and identify which interviewers make the best hiring decisions.

    The illustration depicts
    *Interactive Candidate comparison on a scatter chart: axes are rating and recommendation (?)
    *Image score
    *Language analysis: Engagement, Motivation, D(unreadable)
    *Motivation
    *Alignment and accuracy scores

    My 2 cents: this accentuates the ‘group think’ aspect of hiring to Lowest Common Denominator and the Most Conventional. It’s also a justification machine and a whip to make sure that no interviewer strays off the reservation in their hiring decisions.

    It will also accentuate the worst in a poor or failing organization by defining those characteristics as what is desired…a kind of ‘defining dysfunctionality down’.

    So now you know–if you are asked to prepare an interview using this company, it will be footballed around to God Really Only Knows Whom.

    This accentuates the complete incompetence of HR and the depersonalization of hiring.

    Just. Say. No.

  49. @Dee

    “HireVue Insight’s harnesses the power of big data examining over 15,000 digital interview attributes”

    Great. One more step towards dehumanization and Soylent Green…

    Thanks HR!

  50. Keep on calling HR out on these outrageous and discriminatory practices! Go, Nick!

  51. I sent an email to HireVue asking them “If HR does not have the time/desire to spend 25 minutes scanning 100 resumes, why would they send 300 minutes watching 100 videos?” If they get back to me, I will let you know their response.

  52. @Aaron Stauffer spot on.

    Time??

    HR’s time management priorities confuse me.

    -They have all the time to post fake jobs on the internet.

    -They have all the time (and money) to waste with online computer systems (ATS) vendors

    -They have all the time to design degrees in HR.

    -They have all the time to make checklists of keywords for positions and ATS algorithms for job disciplines they DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

    -They have all the time to review these videos and other outputs created by making candidates jump through hoops.

    -They have all the time to put candidates through seven stage interviews and delay decision making.

    They have all the time to shop for and design invalid psychobabble tests to put candidates through.

    -They have all the time to find ways to DEEM EVERYONE UNQUALIFIED so they can justify H1Bs and/or overworking current employees.

    -They have all the time to Google stalk candidates and their Facebook profiles.

    -They have all the time to write HR claptrap articles all over the internet.

    -They have all the time to go to conferences in Orlando, San Diego, and Las Vegas and talk about themselves as ‘thought leaders’

    All while doing their jobs poorly.

  53. @Some Guy…spot on. Sounds like HR has found a way to do nothing, indeed ‘retire in place’, by looking busy indeed. They have, like the CDC, lost sight of the goal. In CDC’s case, it is stopping disease in its tracks NOW by essentially any legal means necessary, not conducting conference calls or giving excuses to Fox News, where Megan Kelly badly embarrassed the CDC head last night. And like the CDC, no one holds HR accountable and fires when necessary.

    HR’s goal should be obtaining superior workers (notice I did not say candidates)who improve the company’s business and processes for their company, to work closely with hiring managers to find ’em, land ’em, and onboard ’em, plus ensure continuing education. That’s it.

  54. @Some Guy,
    Bravo!

  55. I am really sorry that the world has gotten to the point that people can treat one another in such a demeaning manner. I do not mind answering test and survey questions, but as near as I can tell sorting candidates in this manner can lead to discrimination and a tendency to have people come in to fill EOE tics in the box.

  56. @Aaron: Can’t wait to hear the reply. If you get one.

    @Some guy: I thought your last line would be, “They have no time to actually go out and meet the right kinds of people to recruit.”

    @Dee: I wonder if there’s a company out there that pays HR like it pays headhunters: Only when the jobs get filled with people who stick around and do the job right. Or, what else is HR for? One other reader (way long ago) pointed out that HR used to be called “Payroll & Benefits.” I’d have no problem with those guys getting salaries. But recruiting and hiring? Where’s the beef???

    @harry: Others have pointed out that video interviews can be used to discriminate against applicants. You’ve hit on the other (hidden) agenda: These videos can be used as “evidence” that a company has “recruited” the “kinds of people” they get EOE credit for. It’s an audit trail to nowhere for the job seeker foolish enough to make the video. Come to think of it – as long as there’s no identification of the employer in the video, it could be sold and traded to any employers who need EOE credits. Secondary market, anyone?

  57. @Nick you are right- that would be an apt ending to my rant.. haha

    This is slightly off-topic, but today I find out that yet another effort of mine to circumvent the evil HR system fails…

    I saw a position downtown and mentioned it to my sister-in-law who works there. She shares my CV with the department head/hiring manager to see about an informal chat, but am told that she is very interested, but can’t talk to me until I go through their long application process in their Taleo ATS system.

    I’d be a slam dunk for this position, wouldn’t have to move, and I’d be able to keep most of my side/consulting gigs if I worked there

    …but, Christ, just the thought of another online job application makes me twitch with anger. They make me so mad- I haven’t done one in months. I did them for about 6 months, but stopped-those resulted in either nothing or 3-4 stage interviews where no one was ultimately hired. I think it’s a Pavlovian response to just the suggestion of an online application system.

    “Taleo = Torture”

    I swore off online applications and I’ve since have had 5 months worth of progress in getting numerous consulting gigs, and have had improved sanity since I switched to the ‘meet people and worry about myself’ mode of self-employment…

    I’m not making millions, but I have a roof over my head and eat… and I’m a happier guy. I like my current projects, and don’t put up with multi stage interviews and window shopping employers.

    Why the heck is the hiring manager unable to meet me for an informational/ outside of HR chat?

    Do HR departments punish hiring managers for hunting for talent? This is the only reason I can figure that a department head would be so reticent.

  58. @Some guy: What risk do you think there would be if you asked your sister-in-law for the manager’s tel#? If you called (not e-mailed – make it personal) the manager and said you were pleased she is “very interested”? That you’d love to meet for a brief talk – but that you don’t do automated applications until you’ve determined there is serious mutual interest in working together? That you have some ideas you’d like to share that might increase efficiencies by X%?

    What’s the risk? Is it any greater than getting screwed by Taleo? [BONUS: You get that nice feeling that you’re in control, no matter how it turns out.]

    You must use your judgment.

    If the hiring manager says she’s not allowed, you could ask her, “Why?” If you’re really feeling cocky, you could add that you’d be quite concerned about working for a manager who takes orders from (cough) HR.

    Maybe it’s clear what the risk is, eh?

  59. @Nick,

    Thanks. I will probably do something like that. I can easily review their department’s stuff and have a really good

    Having said this, I doubt that when I try to explain my frustrations with HR and HR systems to my sister-in-law, I doubt that she will ‘get it’. (perhaps she does not need to be convinced, if the manager has seen/liked my CV…)

    I realize that I may come off as batsh*t crazy describing the level of crap I have gotten from HR departments and online systems, and the traditional hiring process in general. PBS Making Sense and Peter Capelli have described the problem to many, but that audience is not the full-time employed, or those who have not job searched in decades.

    I freely admit that I am psychologically scarred by the hiring process, and I appreciate the audience here.

    Beyond the black hole of the ATS, the biases,stereotypes,etc… the amount of anger that I have for places that have run me through the wringer, numerous interviews, only to cease contact with me (a little bit disrespectful for someone who has 2-3 plus interviews with each company often times).. because either the purple squirrel was not found or, in some cases, only 95% of the 10-15 people I interviewed with wanted to hire me (actual incidences of this confirmed through the grapevine/my professional network). This is the reason why I just do small/piecemeal consulting work now.. it doesn’t involve hoops– just networking.. which is easy bc I love talking shop.

    Is this not HR PTSD?? hahahaha

  60. My company uses Skype to interview people (sometimes the manager for that position is in another country and the HR person is in another place also). It works very well.

    It’s free and doesn’t take a lot of time. People often reveal things too in videos that you need to know. I can’t for the life of me understand the time wasting and the waste of money being economical. It’s so lazy and mean to interview with a pre=recorded tape…I read this thinking “You’re kidding me???” Glad I am not out there right now doing interviews. Looks like it’s gotten even worse than when I wrote you some years ago about my stress interview. ;)

  61. @Melissa H.

    Skype meetings can be fine if they are two-way meetings. Often times I’ve had hiring managers or HR have no video on on their end, but peer at you the whole time. It’s creepy.

    Hiring is a two-way street, and human conversation is improved by visual cues. One way Skype calls are condescending and creepy.

  62. @Melissa I agree with you on one way Skype viewing that is way beyond creepy to me.

  63. Re: Previous reply to @Melissa.

    I stand corrected, I meant @Melissa H

  64. @ Nick, I tried to explain to my sister-in-law that I would rather speak to hiring manager, rather than try to get past the gauntlet of the computer and the human resources departments.

    She completely glazed over.

    “Just apply online and let me know so I can contact the hiring manager again for you.”

    Did she not hear the part where I said that it is impossible to ‘beat the bot’ (ATS) and the guard dogs (HR)??

    I’m just going to call the manager myself.

  65. Re Skype–you won’t know till you get on the Skype call if it’s one way or two way! That is why if they want a teleconference, I insist we do it in a professional setting and with decent videoconferencing equipment. One, you will have better lighting, two, a better setting and three, by making the investment it is more likely it’ll be two way. If they can’t meet that, I say no. You cannot assume anything!

    Re HireVue and the excellent thread of comments, with Nick I believe mentioning their investors, HireVue is up to a Series D round with a total of $52 million in outside investing. http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/hirevue

    You don’t get that kind of investment by taking videos for HR. Note the ‘big data’ aspect. I’d bet that their business plan includes a revenue stream of warehousing these interview videos and selling access to them based upon attributes defined by their “big data examining over 15,000 digital interview attributes”. Let me go further: their biggest revenue opportunity is in candidate analytics–in generating and selling data profiles on us. How do they determine ‘motivation’, ‘engagement’, ‘alignment’? What is ‘insight’ and ‘accuracy’?

    So once you are in their machine, your video, your identified data scoring your ‘attributes’ (everyone answering the same questions which somehow produce data on your motivation etc.) are there for multiple employers to see. It doesn’t matter if you had a bad day, if the questions were stupid, you’ve moved on in a year or two, you got that MBA or whatever–you are preserved for perhaps years in perhaps not all your glory. That data also will include your approximate age and of course, sex. What it won’t include the value or bottom-line contribution you would bring to a company in a real-world situation and application.

  66. @Dee

    Full disclosure is the polite thing to do. You obviously work for them, directly or indirectly. Prerecorded videos with a scoring capability? I prefer robocop myself, thank you. At least with him you have a better chance of being treated like a human being.

  67. @Melissa, what is the ‘them’ I obviously work for? I must be reading it wrong if you’re implying that I work for HireVue! I do write professionally covering healthcare business and financial areas and am used to investigating. I looked at their website, looked at their financing on a public site and know what data analytics is doing in other fields including my main one of healthcare. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out their possible games if big VCs have put in north of $50 million.

  68. I just want to throw up now after reading all of this…..

  69. @See

    You are not affiliated with them or any company tied to them?

    Please don’t lie to me.

  70. @Dee not See

  71. Putting my legal hat on again, if I were conducting interviews like this I would put a very short retention hold on the tapes. While some would think these kinds of tapes can be used for evidence of considering a diverse group, they can also be used to demonstrate a pattern of discriminatory selection. I am a GC for a public company and would never allow my HR to do something like this. If I were back in private practice, However, I would salivate at the opportunity to challenge something like this. Wow, talk about a fun discovery process!

    • Thank you David. I was curious what an attorney whould think about video interviewing.

  72. @Melissa, NO I am not affiliated with HireVue in any way, shape or form. I’m not working with insider information either. It’s all public info on their funding. Also it’s knowing a few things about data analytics and how early-stage companies work and get funded.

    Please read my earlier posts–I’ve questioned the ethics of everything they do, and been highly critical of why HR even feels the need for this company’s services.

    What’s not clear about Just. Say. No. to submitting to this?

  73. @David, Your post is so full of awesomeness.

    @Dee, I am sorry. I was wrong e and I must have been perusing all your posts too fast. I will read through this all again, plus that website for them, on the weekend. I sorely misjudged you.

  74. @Melissa…no problem. All I’m doing is summarizing what I see and what could be going on. ;-)

    @Some Guy…good luck with your direct approach. Your phraseology reminded me of ‘The Great Escape’. Take that motorcycle over the barbed wire!

  75. @David you wrote ” I am a GC for a public company and would never allow my HR to do something like this.”

    It is too bad that most firms don’t have a GC like you. You hit upon something major that is your role in steering HR. What does this say about these firms that have HR out of control?!

  76. @Some guy: HR PTSD! I love it. How apt!

    “I’m just going to call the manager myself.” That’s the spirit. What’s the worst that could happen? You find out the manager is a milquetoast who doesn’t run his or her own department. Or, maybe you find a manager who is willing to talk shop. I think the key to this, when you call, is to be ready to talk shop without being asked. Find out (or guess) at what kinds of issues the mgr is facing, and offer an idea or two. Better yet, ask what the mgr would want a new hire to accomplish in 3, 6, 12 months – then offer to outline how you’d do it. If mgr presses you to submit to HR, compromise. “I’ll be happy to talk to HR if you and I decide this is worth pursuing, but I’d like to get the story from you first.”

    You’ll learn a lot.

    @Dee: Far too many people don’t realize that Big Data means YOU. Just like click bait gets us to open spam- or virus-laden web pages, things like video interviews are mined for data these vendors can sell. You make a good point: $52 million is not just for video interviews. The Big Data component implies lots of other stuff – like YOUR DATA.

    I wonder what kinds of waivers HR asks HireVue candidates to sign before their videos are archived.

    @Melissa H: Doesn’t seem to me at all that Dee has any connection to HireVue. The opposite, if anything! Dee pointed out some very troubling possibilities.

  77. @Nick

    I have an insidiously stealth plan to make the best impression on this organization. [Better than a cold call/weak referral from my sister-in-law]

    My research over the weekend led me to a few good funding ideas where I have experience/strength, and more importantly two events with collaborating teams at the organization in the next week. I have already been invited to attend both of these, and have been referred to another point person where I could talk shop.

    All of this without mentioning a job/position opening.. just finding people inside with whom I can gain credibility by talking shop and getting referrals. My goal is to have an internal referral to the administrative hiring manager by one of these technical people soon after the second workshop (early next week).

    Pretty sneaky, huh?

  78. SO sad what is happening. If I were told I would have to do a video interview I would wear a batman mask, or a clown mask or have a person next to me acting as my attorney interjecting every once in a while that the question is leading, or irrelevant, and ask for a rebuttal and to put them on the stand. etc. Why not have some fun. It would be very cathartic for me..

    • I absolutely love this idea. Especially if the lawyer clown objected to the line of questioning as he blew a loud bicycle horn.

      • Better yet – use a sock puppet to represent you in your absence during the recording. He or she can speak as your agent on your behalf.

  79. @saul that would be hilarious.

    A clown mask is probably most relevant to job interviews these days.

    Show up to the job interview in a clown suit with a tricycle, a loop-dee-loop, and a ring of fire and show them how talented you are. They’ll yawn, say “next!” and then get another 237 candidates come in, and they still won’t find anyone good enough for their circus.

    Barnum & Bailey HR department then cries “Circus Talent Shortage!”

    (I hear they want someone who can do all of the above tricks on a high wire, but won’t provide health insurance!)

  80. The number of and type of hoops that candidates are required to jump through gets worse and worse. It makes no sense to do a one-way video “interview” in which there is no interaction from the company and I’m not only supposed to talk to them about the job but there’s no back and forth, no conversation, no questions (I have to think of the questions AND answer them). Good advice to walk away. Companies would be better off to be honest–we’re not hiring, rather than setting up all the booby traps.

    I like Carol’s idea of having them sign a contract stipulating that the company won’t post your video or sell it without your permission.

    @Carol: ANYONE can get nervous when they know they have to perform to a camera or to an audience, even those who have experience. Just because you’ve done this before doesn’t mean that you can’t get nervous. I’ve known trial attorneys who get nervous before they appear in court to argue their cases. They’re skilled, experienced attorneys, they practice what they’re going to say, and there are still nerves. I should think that the same thing happens to actors.

    As I re-read this article and blog comments, the more I am convinced that the one-way video requirements put in place by HR is just another hurdle, another way to weed out more people (and yes, it does raise discrimination issues because the older applicants can’t hide their age in a video). HR=Hiring Roadblock is never more apt. It also gives them the added bonus of getting free data to mine (sell) for a profit. I can only hope that companies and agencies will not be like lemmings and blindly follow those who already use HireVue and other services. The companies can just say “no” too. Hopefully enough job hunters will have the self-respect to say “no”.

  81. @Nic, Lizzy tish, Chris, and Dee: I agree with you re your comments about the overall lack of professionalism, lack of personal grooming (dressing appropriately), and lack of personal/social skills of the under 50 set. I deal with this every day; they’re clueless and they don’t care. Employers often complain about college kids/graduates who can’t make eye contact, can’t speak in complete sentences, are more concerned with their electronic toys than with interacting with their colleagues, who don’t know how to dress for the office, or lab, for a conference, for a sales meeting, for court. Academia can’t fix in four years what their parents couldn’t teach them in 18 years. Perhaps if employers don’t hire them because they look like slobs who can’t communicate the message will begin to get through to them.

    RE the issue of finding appropriate clothing suitable for work when you’re older, that too is a challenge. I work in a library now, so the dress code is more casual, but some of the clothing choices in the stores are terrible. They’re fine for the very young in a very casual setting at home or for bed, but not if you intend to appear in public in those clothes. Too bright (neon colors that work for the gym, not for the office), too tight, too short, too long, too hoochie, too young (only a 10 year old future hooker could pull it off) or they’re too old, too fusty, too frumpy (something a 90 year old would wear).

    I know how hard it is to find a nice, professional tailored suit that is appropriate for my age and body and work. You might do better to buy matched separates, and unless the navy blue in the pieces don’t match, no one will be wiser. Talbots carries professional clothing, but I’ve noticed that their suits are now separates–you can buy a suit jacket and the skirt or trousers separately. That is okay, and often works for those of us who are one size on the top and another size on the bottom. Talbots can be pricey (there’s no way I’d spend $189.00 on a jacket, not with what I’m earning now), but if you go when they have good sales (after they’ve marked down items and then have their twice yearly 70% or 60% off sale), you could get the same jacket for $30.00. They tend to be a bit preppy, and much more conservative than I’ve found the mall stores, but the clothes won’t go out of style by next season either. You might find some items at Land’s End–whether they’re appropriate for your office only you can determine–but what’s great about LE is that if you don’t want the item, you can simply return it at a Sears store, and they’ll send it back for you.

  82. I am thinking that a lot of CFOs like systems like HireVue because to them the money they pay for it means they reduce HR headcount (which is frequently contract nowadays) for good or ill. Even better, they may, as part of the deal, cut their company a slice of the resale of data on a rebate or residual basis. The leverage is substantial if the company is large (a ‘marquee name’ they want) and the turnover is high.

    There’s always an angle. In this case, it makes any aware candidate ill.

  83. I appreciate this exchange as I have been “invited” by #UNITEDHEALTHCARE and #IORAHEALTH to complete and submit a #HireVue #video.

    Initially, #IORA set up five minute interviews which they refer to as being akin to #speed #dating – something I have never been remotely involved nor interested in on either front.

    None of the recruiters from Iora ever bothered to look at my address and when calling from out of state. They would ask if I could come in for a five minute interview clear across the US from my location. I would mention this and they would say, ok let me check with someone. Got back on the line and said they would get back to me and never did.

    After many complaints to this method of seemingly inept process of hiring, they switched to an even more disturbing and alienating method of taped interviews via hire vue.

    These are clear indications of potential and likely abuse for all things pertaining to EOE and discriminatory practices. For some reason, it is also interesting to note that #IORA declares that the prospective employee be “comfortable with #ambiguity”. This company further claims to have a passion to helping others when the last thing they are doing is investing wisely to cover the foundations of their mission. The mission is supposedly help others. They need to put the humanistic approach into human resources.

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