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Disney, Humana fill jobs with video interview software

Leaders of ESPN, Humana and Robert W. Baird describe how video interview software saves time for job candidates and enterprises.

Anna Oakes was in Boston, but with video software, she did a live interview with a job applicant who was about 3,000 miles away in Seattle.

Oakes, director of human capital client services for Robert W. Baird & Co., is among leaders at organizations who increasingly use video interview software for convenience and to save time. Oakes said she conducted the 20-minute interview for an HR adviser's post from her hotel room.

"I put my laptop up on a pillow on my lap and had the video interview," she said during a break from the Human Capital Institute's 2015 Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference in Boston.

Robert W. Baird, a financial services company, uses Montage, which offers audio, text and on-demand or live video interviewing via software as a service. Oakes said Baird has used the video interview software for about three years.

Such software eliminates the need for screening a candidate over the phone and sharply reduces the time to hire people. With a scheduling tool, a hiring manager can email candidates with a window of availability for a live video interview, and the candidates can choose a time to meet, she said.

Cisco in midst of video interview pilot

Cisco Systems Inc., Humana and the Walt Disney Company are other large organizations using Montage.

Cisco, the computer networking company, is currently piloting Montage for junior-level positions and will provide it to more hiring managers if the project is successful, said Mindie Cohen, director of talent acquisition, development and corporate functions at Cisco.

Cohen said she faced "tremendous opposition" within Cisco because the company offers its own collaboration tool, WebEx, for conferencing and meetings and coworkers questioned if WebEx could be used for video interview software. While praising WebEx, Cohen said it is not geared toward interviewing like Montage.

"The features built into Montage give us ability to share video, share feedback and put information in a succinct way," she said.

Jenna Filipkowski, director of research at the Human Capital Institute, located in Cincinnati, said a trend toward video interviewing is likely to increase, partly because video offers the benefits of seeing and interacting with a candidate, even though the meeting isn't in person.

Filipkowski said convenience will also spur on-demand video interviews, which are recorded by the applicant on an employer's website. Doing so can be an advantage for job hopefuls because they don't have to travel.

"Video interviewing is one of those technology solutions that can save money, save time," she said.

Candidates emailed video interview invite

With Montage, a candidate gets an invite or an email with a link to begin the interview process. Invites can also be put on social sites.

In a pre-recorded or on-demand interview, an organization can choose questions from a library or create its own, and can choose the format -- audio, text or video -- for asking and receiving questions.

Organizations can set time limits for answering questions and decide if they want to allow candidates the option of re-recording. Managers can access and share links and can choose to skip questions and answers when reviewing an interview.

In a live interview, a support representative from the software vendor greets both people before the interview starts and then exits when both are ready.

A sponsor of the HCI event, Montage was the focus of a conference panel discussion involving leaders from Robert W. Baird, Humana, ESPN and Ferguson Enterprises.

Kevin Stakelum, talent acquisition director at Humana, a large health insurer, described how the company used Montage to fill 750 open positions for a practice that included nurses answering patients' questions over the telephone.

The company needed to fill the jobs within 90 days, he said. It was logistically impossible to move candidates to a central site and conduct interviews for that many positions in that timeframe, and hiring managers, candidates and recruiters were in different locations.

Instead, Humana used on-demand audio to conduct initial interviews for the telephonic nursing practice and then completed a second round of live video interviews, Stakelum said. Candidates worked during the day, but could schedule interviews when they wanted in the morning or evening.

Montage allowed managers to get a good feel for the candidates, he said.

As for possible age discrimination or racial bias arising from the ability to see the people interviewed, Jennifer Lassiter, operations manager for talent management at Ferguson Enterprises, said video interview software is actually safer because it standardizes the process.

Ferguson has used Montage on-demand and live video for several years in its campus recruiting program for entry-level trainees -- saving both travel time for recruiters and money for the company.

Previously, the company did not have a lot of control over interviews because it had to rely on remote personnel to conduct them, she said.

"With the on-demand video in particular, it is a standard interview," Lassiter said. "Everything is standard. We know that they are at least getting the same exact interview every time. And what works for us too is that we have the same recruiter looking at every single one of them -- the specific skill set we are looking for. We found that it standardized it even more, and we really haven't heard any complaints."

For ESPN, video interviews leave good impression

Disney is a longtime user of Montage, including the on-demand software for employee hiring at theme parks. ESPN, which Disney owns, has used the software for two years largely for live interviews, said Brian Morton, sales and marketing recruitment manager at ESPN.

ESPN created a video on-demand platform when it began the recruiting process in April for two fellowships. ESPN received more than 450 applications from 52 countries and narrowed it down to 100 applicants, partly with an option that allowed candidates to pull themselves from the competition, he said.

Morton said Montage streamlined the process and made it more efficient. The platform also allowed for branding the online foyer and other content for candidates. ESPN wanted to ensure that qualified candidates applied and also provide good experiences for the hundreds of applicants who will not be chosen, he said.

"It bridged a connection," Morton said. "People felt like they had the opportunity to be part of ESPN. They were not just applying for a job. That is the big difference."

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