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Are Recruitment Interviews a Waste of Time?

Written by Kimberley Startup | May 16, 2014 | 0 Comments
Staff RecruitmentHave you stopped to think whether that vacancy you’re advertising even needs an interview? Or are you just doing it because it’s what you know? Maybe you just can’t think of an alternative? These are the questions recently asked at a London HR Connection debate that’ll give you food for thought ahead of your next HR recruitment campaign.

The case for the prosecution

Social media recruitment expert Bill Boorman was among those suggesting that interviews aren’t always necessary in recruitment. He pointed to data indicating that referrals were now responsible for 50 per cent of hires. Another 35 per cent were ‘boomerang’ hires, people returning to a company from another employer.
Boorman added: “With this new landscape in recruitment, candidates have interaction with companies for, on average, up to seven months before they are hired. In these instances interviews are not necessary any more. It is little more than passport control, making sure you have ticked all the boxes in the traditional recruitment process.”

The case for the defence

Obviously, someone had to disagree, namely Ian Dykes, European recruitment director at Cognizant Technology Solutions. He said that there was “no substitute for personal interaction”, which was vital for understanding a candidate’s suitability for a role and organisation.
He said that while technology had made it easier for candidates and employers to find each other, his company would still insist on seeing a candidate face-to-face.

What’s the real situation?

You might be surprised how little face-to-face contact is now used in staff recruitment. It’s now absent in 7 out of 10 hires, according to recent and UCL research. Due to problems with geography and time, Skype and other video conferencing solutions are now firmly in vogue.
That’s only natural, according to Boorman, who said that technology was “just the enabler.” He had that even before someone applies for a role, they may have been in contact with the employer up to 40 times already.
This isn’t to say that there’s no longer any place for doing things traditionally in your HR recruitment. After all, there’s nothing quite like face-to-face contact for seeing whether there’s that all-important chemistry with that potential employee. Technology has changed things – but there’s still room for that personal touch.

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