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Are Video Resumes The Way Forward

Are Video Resumes The Way Forward

October 11, 2021

Recruitment is quickly adapting to the opportunities presented by digital media. Not too long ago, prospective employees had to apply directly to a company by posting a CV and cover letter. Today, they can click one button on LinkedIn and have their profile delivered directly to the hiring manager.

Another development in the digital recruitment sector is video resumes. When most people would rather watch a video than reading pages of text, this new development could one day revolutionise the way we do recruitment. Videos offer the chance to share your passion for a role in a way that text on a page cannot, but there are also downsides to this medium. Let’s explore video resumes in more detail.

What are video resumes?

A video resume is a scripted video filmed by an applicant. It takes on the role of the CV and cover letter in one and may even allow applicants to skip the first interview phase. In the video, the applicant will talk about their skills, education and experience. They will also outline why they want to apply for the role, allowing their passion for the sector or company to shine through.

Most video resumes are between 30 seconds and two minutes. This might not sound like much, but it can be very effective. A video resume is thought to give recruiters and hiring managers a better idea of an applicant’s personality. It’s also an excellent way to level the playing field for roles that don’t require traditional qualifications. Individuals with fewer traditional qualifications might be more confident applying for a role with a video resume. Creative sectors are particularly fond of the video resume. 

Who is using video resumes?

According to one study, 60% of recruiters are using video resumes already. And a further 22% plan to use them in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many recruiters to make this shift, but many have decided they will keep this practice long after lockdown restrictions are eased.

According to another study, 89% of employers surveyed said they would watch a video resume submitted to them. Employers in more creative fields are more likely to accept video resumes, but we may see this practice expand through other industries.

Are Video Resumes The Way Forward CMD Recruitment

What are the advantages of video resumes?

  • Video resumes are ideal for roles that require strong communication skills. It’s difficult to fake a confident demeanour, so this type of CV is ideal if the role calls for good communication.
  • There is less chance of an unqualified candidate slipping through the net by lying. If they aren’t really passionate about their field of work or about working for a particular company, there’s little chance they will be able to “fake” it.
  • Video resumes can help employers to identify candidates that will be a good culture fit for the company. Resumes can be dry and one-dimensional, but a video resume is an opportunity to shine.
  • Video resumes allow you to get an idea of someone’s passion for their work. If a person can’t talk confidently about why they want to work for your company, you might wonder if they really want to be there.
  • Video resumes offer a lot of room for creativity, which is ideal if you’re in a creative industry. Just as we saw the rise of the creative written CV, we will also see the rise of the creative video CV.
  • Video CVs may help to shorten the recruitment process by skipping the need for first-round interviews. The first round of interviews will typically allow the hiring team to meet the candidates and get a first impression. But a video resume can help you to skip this step.

What are the disadvantages of video resumes?

  • Video resumes open the door to more subtle discrimination. Individuals may not be aware of their biases, but they may subtly favour candidates who look like them. A video resume reveals information that you could not get from a paper resume, so relying on this for recruitment could damage diversity within a company. It also opens the door to more employment tribunal claims.
  • Video resumes may also favour extroverts over introverts. Not everyone is a natural on camera, and unless the job requires the individual to be good at this skill, there is little sense in assessing it.
  • There is also the risk that good candidates will be put off by the process and avoid applying. The best teams have a mix of personalities, but only hiring through video resumes risks building a team with the same type of person. If you decide to accept video resumes, it’s also worth accepting traditional resumes at the same time.
  • While most people have access to a smartphone capable of recording video, requiring a video resume for a role could be discriminatory. Instead of putting up barriers, recruitment should ideally be tearing them down.

Should my company use video resumes?

It’s important to consider the pros and cons of video resumes before moving forward. If introducing video resumes, it’s a good idea to give candidates a choice. Unless you are hiring for a creative role that might include time behind a camera, then you can afford to give candidates the option.

When reviewing video resumes, you also have to give candidates the benefit of the doubt. Just as you expect candidates to be nervous in an interview setting, recording a video can also be very daunting for some. Therefore, unless being confident on camera is a part of the role, be prepared to be generous in your assessment.

You should also consider how you will manage any potential discrimination that may arise from this resume format. For example, how will you ensure selecting video resume candidates does not lead to unconscious bias? One potential way to do this would be to shortlist candidates based on audio alone.

And finally, you should also consider potential security concerns. For example, accepting large video file submissions from unknown individuals could present a security threat. Again, using a well-known platform such as YouTube could help you to avoid this risk.

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