Face-to-face Interviews in the New Decade?

You’ll never beat a face-to-face Interview

By Karen Blondel, Branch Director, Bralin Recruitment

As we take our first tentative steps into the new decade, I’ve been looking back on the last ten years, considering the changes that have  taken place and the technological advances we have achieved that, more and more, have begun to shape the world around us. Artificial Intelligence, fibre optic high-speed internet, satellite technology, the evolution of smartphone technology and the quality of personal computing has changed our live in so many ways. But is this always for the best?

In the ever-evolving world of Recruitment, the impact of technology has been colossal. Online platforms now perform so many of the functions such as advertising jobs, promoting Recruiters and processing job applications that, in previous years had to be undertaken physically by people, by word of mouth or by print. More often than not, these new processes save time, effort and money and consequently, this raises the question; is traditional Recruitment becoming obsolete?

More specifically, in light of so many online Recruitment apps and processes, has the power of the face-to-face interview lost its standing with Recruiters?

With all these new routes to work available to workseekers, are traditional Recruiters are facing a battle against technology when it comes to finding and attracting Candidates for new roles?  This brave new world certainly makes applying for jobs much easier for workseekers, but, conversely, it can make life that much more difficult for the Recruiter. Otherwise highly effective Recruitment agencies are often by-passed in favour of online job boards, online job application apps and even online interview processes. The potential candidate reach, in comparison to the previously effective traditional website or printed media advertising, like we all relied on back in the day, is vast.

But along with this massive reach and with the ease of application comes the burden of every man and his dog applying for every role, whether they have the appropriate skills or not. Trawling through the resultant reams of applications, undoubtedly, eats up so many more hours of a busy Recruiter’s day. For many roles, it is unfeasible to reply to every application, and this has a damaging effect on our reputation as people-centred businesses. After all, who will have faith in a Recruiter who seemingly is lacking the courtesy – or simply can’t be bothered – to reply to a simple job application?

More importantly, where’s the warmth in these online interactions? Can we achieve the same relationship with a candidate online as we do when we physically meet them? As a species, we have always communicated via all our senses since time immemorial, picking up on subtle body movements, facial expressions, shifts in momentum and trigger points. Can you really achieve this by interacting with somebody online? Video-conferencing, in my opinion, simply cannot replicate the emotions produced by physical interaction that we have evolved to develop over thousands of years.

In my view you cannot beat the face-to-face interview – looking somebody straight in the eye can sometimes speak a thousand words and gives us the insight that we need as good Recruiters to really get the measure of our Candidates. So many people can present perfectly on paper, but often, only through physical communication and by trusting the empirical evidence of our own eyes can we get the full picture of who a person is, what makes them tick and whether or not they are going to be the right fit for our Clients. This is what produces effective Recruitment.

In this Recruiter’s humble opinion, as technology marches on in its inevitable way, we will see more and more of a shift towards these online platforms, but meeting people face to face will always be crucial in delivering effective Recruitment solutions.

A good Recruiter’s intelligence is innate, not artificial.