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Got a Minute? New Video-heavy Job Site Hopes You Do

by
Todd Raphael
Feb 13, 2012, 12:12 am ET

Video didn’t kill the radio star and it hasn’t killed the job boards so far, but another new career site would like to take a chunk of their business. This startup hopes to marry video, screening, and job searching. Ring a bell? Well, we were talking about something a little similar two weeks ago.

That company, Get Hired, was really more of an applicant tracking system, with an emphasis on audio and video — and more. This one’s goals are less massive. It’s called Spark Hire, and it has received a million dollars in angel funding from private investors.

Like with other career sites, job seekers can search for jobs, of course. They can also record a 60-second video about themselves.

As for employers, they can do a number of things, some commonly found on other sites, some not.

They can set up a company page, post jobs, showcase their recruiters, do q-and-a sessions with candidates, add a company video, and talk amongst themselves about how the search is going. They can also look through those 60-second profiles I mentioned above. Or, they can send out a question to a bunch of candidates, and have them all respond with a video answer. The system also allows them to do live, split-screen video interviews.

Right now, on Spark Hire, you’ll be able to post, screen, and interview for free. Marketing Coordinator Adeel Alam tells me that Spark Hire wants to build up a good inventory of jobs, and job seekers, and later charge for postings, online interviews, and more, including online advertising on the site. It’s set to launch today.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Bill Gallop

    Video resumes and interviews can and are being used by firms in a discrimantory manner. Age, Sex and Racial descrimination are issues today’s society STILL has problems with and this will only make it worse.

    SOME major companies (several of my clients) ban recruiters and HR from using this method to screen candidates.

    I highly recommend to all my fellow recruiters… DO NOT START DOWN THIS SLIPPERY SLOPE.

  2. Chris Hoyt

    Bill – there isn’t a single discriminatory act that can take place on video that won’t (don’t?) already take place in person if the company employee is going to discriminate. Blaming “video” is simply ridiculous.

    If anyone has recruiters that they’re banning from using this technology then they have recruiters they need to replace… or perhaps they need to be replaced themselves.

  3. Bill Gallop

    Chris,

    You cannot seriously believe that. Descrimination is as rampent today as ever. This removes one possible method.

    I am not the person making the rules…
    Recruiters are not making the rules…
    MULTIPLE Fortune 500 companies are enforcing this as a policy.

    I for one COMMEND it and recommend it to any Recruiter or Hiring Manager reading this.

    Bill Gallop

  4. Chris Hoyt

    Bill – you clearly misunderstood my response.

    Let me ask you a single question that should clarify the point:
    If you found that you had recruiters discriminating in your current process based on the appearance of candidates, would you ban in-person interviews?

  5. Bill Gallop

    Chris – I understand where you are going with this…

    NONE of the recruiters on my teams conduct face to face interviews… We are all virtual. I source my candidates, conduct phone interviews and submit to my managers. On several of the programs I support many of the managers never meet the candidates face to face until they start.

    This, along with the policy of no video interviews help keep that distance and helps insure at least ONE group has little chance to discrimnate.

    THIS is the future ot recruiting… Not Video Interviews.

  6. Chris Hoyt

    Bill – if I’m not mistaken, you primarily recruit for senior level jobs. I’m hard pressed to believe that senior roles are being filled “sight unseen” as a mainstream hiring practice anywhere in any field.
    I’m not saying this isn’t how YOU do business with your clients, of course. But I am saying that hiring someone no one has “seen” at all isn’t a realistic expectation, let alone the future.

    I would argue that the FUTURE is about connections and broken barriers as opposed to stepping backwards to slow down as a result of client/manager/recruiter ignorance.

    I think that we can both agree that discrimination is something that shouldn’t be tolerated. We’ll just have to disagree on how it should be prevented, I suppose.

  7. Margaret Dikel

    Barring unknown discrimination issues, as someone who works with the coaches/counselors who assist job seekers, my issue with this site is “who are you”? Where is the real contact information, where is the background information on this organization, how can anyone read a privacy policy that is so poorly formatted and then be expected to make an informed decision that this service is trustworthy?

  8. Todd Raphael

    Video can also work in a candidate’s favor — not against them, giving people who wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance at a job to show how articulate or communicative they are. It’d be a shame to through out a tool (video, audio, something else) because it could be misused, just as I don’t think knives should be discarded because it’s possible someone could stab with them.

  9. Keith Halperin

    @ Todd: “giving people who wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance at a job to show how articulate or communicative they are”.

    The reverse can also be true:
    “I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear”

    -Don Henly,
    Dirty Laundry

    and:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/body-language#ixzz1mIRo42ko
    (for footnote references)

    James Borg states that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves;[1] however, Albert Mehrabian, the researcher whose 1960s work is the source of these statistics, has stated that this is a misunderstanding of the findings[2] (see Misinterpretation of Mehrabian’s rule). Others assert that “Research has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning is derived from nonverbal behavior.”[3]

    Thus, unless someone is very polished with their appearance, body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal communication: the LEAST amount of direct contact is best for them, not the MOST.

    Cheers,

    Keith

  10. Bill Gallop

    Todd…
    I have a physical disability. It is very obvious when you see me. That disability can be used by a manager or recruiter to disqualify me.

    By not requiring or allowing these type of interviews companies can limit the CHANCES that someone would accused of descrimination.

    Use it for training… Use it for meetings… Never for interviews.

  11. Bill Gallop

    Chris,

    Some of my positions have Face-to-face interviews. The majority however never meet their managers. I have managers in multiple locations… They conduct phone interviews.

  12. Keith Halperin

    @ Bill: Well said. I do advocate the use of video to minimize the need for unnecessary and expensive travel for interviews (and onsite work).

    Cheers,
    Keith

  13. Chris Hoyt

    @Keith – you’ve lost me with the “I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear” quote. We’re talking about video – which would mean that you’ll need to be just as articulate as you would on the phone.

    @Bill – the truth is that if I’m going to discriminate against you then I’m going to do it the first chance I get, regardless of whether or not it’s in your interview or during your employment.

    Todd’s example was spot-on. But I’ll give you another one…

    My daughter’s school year started with a note saying that kids couldn’t wear a particular type of clothing as it was thought to be gang related. While not an issue in her school, it was a rule being handed down throughout the district and eventually the state by the powers that be.

    As the year has progressed we’ve received multiple “updates” to the restrictions being placed on children to “fight gangs in school” – each coming to us independently and throughout the year. They now include the following with each offence resulting in an immediate dismissal from school:

    No mismatching shoelaces
    No two children can dress alike
    No unnatural hair color
    No feathers in their hair
    No silly band bracelets
    (rumor is that UGG boots are next for multiple reasons!)

    This continues to get ridiculous because the bottom line is that ANYTHING can be used to send a message. Chasing these items is a fool’s game.

    Promoting the removal of tech or inhibiting the ability to remain competitive because something ‘could’ be used to communicate a bad message is simply the wrong answer. Nobody wins.

    With that, I’m outta’ here…

  14. Keith Halperin

    @ Chris: The point I was trying to make is that (at least initially) image counts more than content, and that if you want the content to count more, minimize the image component.

    Cheers,

    Keith

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