smb-tech-trendsNowadays meeting face to face with a job candidate for your small business no longer means sitting across a table from each other; and I can attest to that. A few years ago, I hired someone from Houston for our Plantronics Small & Medium Business team in California over a Skype video call.

The use of video conferencing to interview job candidates is on the rise as employers seek to cut costs, save time and have more flexibility in their recruitment efforts. An Infographic from PGI indicates that the use of video for interviewing has risen 49 percent since 2011. A study of 270 small businesses Plantronics conducted earlier this year through the “Corporate Executive Board Small Business Practice” found that over one fourth now are conducting interviews over video conferencing.

The affordability of today’s video conferencing has contributed to its growing popularity for the interview process. In the past, video conferencing systems were costly, self-contained and complex. Renting video conferencing facilities meant participants had to travel to conduct a meeting. Today, many computers come with internal webcams or external ones can easily be plugged in via USB. Also most every mobile device has a camera with the functionality to record video. You’ll just need a video conferencing service like Skype or one of many others, some of which are cloud based as well as free or low cost. The only other piece of equipment you’ll need is a headset, which will provide better audio quality even if your computer comes with a built-in microphone and speakers.

Expand your talent pool

Conducting interviews via video conferencing not only saves time and money  it can expand your pool of talent to individuals across the country or even abroad,  if you are like a growing number of business owners who are providing your employees with flexible working arrangements. Video conferencing enables you to access talent anywhere but still cost-effectively “meet” with candidates to better assess their skills and attitudes.

Maintain a business tone

video callAlthough the venue is digital, follow the interviewing skills you employ for in-person meetings. When it comes to your dress and the nature of the conversation, be professional even if casual.  Don’t get distracted – which is sometimes easy when you aren’t meeting in person. Give the interviewee your full attention and maintain eye contact while you asking questions.

Record the interview

Consider recording the interview. You can show it to others on your small business team to get feedback. Also recording the interview enables you to be more engaged in the conversation and not worry about taking notes, since you know you can play back the video later.

Have you ever interviewed someone via a video conference?