New tools remove digital barriers for job candidates

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While technology is changing the recruitment process, digital recruitment tools can pose a barrier for job seekers.

That’s why HireVue, a software company that provides pre-employment assessment and video interview tools, has launched app-less interviewing and SMS scheduling to eliminate barriers that still exist for candidates.

While many aspects of the digital divide have narrowed over time, access to digital interviewing processes can vary between job seekers. At HireVue — whose customer base include companies like Vodafone and Unilever — the company has seen how logistics like time and distance can get in the way of clients trying to expand their talent pool. While on-demand interviewing allows job candidates to pre-record questions and take interviews any hour of the day, any day of the week, it doesn’t solve all accessibility issues.

“Our customers are working very hard to improve diversity and inclusion in their workforce, and to reach as broad a candidate pool as they possibly can,” says Kevin Parker, chairman and CEO at HireVue. “We believe that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. So it’s about how to reach the talent in the places where they are, with the methods of communication that are most convenient for them.”

The company’s service allows job candidates to get access to, apply for and interview for a job — all using a text based messaging system on their phone. The new virtual interviewing solutions eliminate the need for email and enable candidates to access a job interview in their mobile web browsers without having to download an interview-specific app from an app store.

Many employees, particularly hourly workers, do not have an email account, or do not think of email as their primary method of communication and interface with the world, Parker says. Instead, they tend to communicate by things like text, SMS or WhatsApp. These hurdles can significantly reduce access to new job opportunities, as email communication is often a requirement throughout a candidate's job application process. Full access to smartphone functions can also pose a barrier.

“Even that small thing of downloading an app, which to some people may seem like a very easy thing to do, can be a barrier if you don't have a data plan or room on your smartphone,” he says. “We have eliminated that, so they can take an interview right on the smartphone without having to download an application.”

There’s a generational divide as well, Parker says, as a younger workforce is using text-based communication as their primary interface to the world.

“Part of [these new tools] came from customer feedback and part of it came from looking at the dynamics of the way the world is communicating,” he says. “At one point, we had a customer tell us that they were losing candidates, because the company was very email centric and candidates had to go create an email account to apply for the job. And that was sort of the aha moment for us to think about that in a different way. Technology barriers should not be the reason that job candidates are prevented from quickly finding new opportunities.”

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