Lately I've been hearing and seeing a lot of articles and posts relating to the Video CV and the techno-geek in me just can't help having it's attention grabbed.


I haven't come across any companies that require a video CV (if you are one please let me know how they're working for you) but I was recently speaking to a consultancy who mentioned their CRM system possessing  functionality to enable applicants to record a brief video of themselves when registering at their offices.  The agency could then submit this video as part of a client's screening process.


Hhhmm I thought to myself, a great USP for the consultancy but I'm not  too sure how this would work, say for example, with financial accountants and computer programmers (no offence financial accountants and computer programmers but surely you know what I mean [in the general sweeping statement sense at least]).


Okay, it's pretty obvious a video CV (which is a pain to type so from henceforth shall be referred to as the,  "CVideo"... Clever huh?) may not be suitable for roles requiring hours  in front of a computer looking through spreadsheets or reams of code. However, if you're recruiting for a role requiring that certain je ne sais quoi in a candidate's personality that can't be gleaned from a CV then perhaps a video version could play a part.


A few Initial questions I have before venturing further down this rabbit hole:

  1. I read recently that some HR professionals have successfully used CVideos to help them find candidates with certain desirable qualities - "who, 'just have that certain something'" - And that they've managed to save time in the process. The first question I have is how do you check the number of "Takes" a candidate uses to record a video of themselves, and, with this in mind, is the video you see the natural candidate?  In many instances me thinks not. If this is the case then are you seeing. "that certain something."???
  2. In light of my unsubstantiated assumptions above, how much time does screening CVideos save?  In other words how many candidates progress from this stage only to turn up at interview and be nothing like their video portrays them to be.  Perhaps because other factors kick in such as interview nerves etc?
  3. Instead of watching a 2-5 minute CVideo wouldn't it better to conduct a well structured telephone interview.  The same time is invested and its two-way.  If the good ol' telephone isn't contemporary or hi-tech enough for the pioneers out there then perhaps some form of instant messaging / VoIP service such as MSN or Skype could work?
  4. How many excellent candidates miss the application boat due to not having access to the relevant technology / aren't able to record or edit a CVideo?

Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate I may be coming across a tad cynical to the whole concept of  CVideos.


These are genuine questions I would love answers to.  If you've used CVideo with any success (as a candidate or recruiter) I'd really appreciate hearing from you.  Lets debate and discuss in the comments below.


From a candidate's perspective, if you need to make a CVideo do it well.  In fact, forget, "well".  You need to blow the flippin' doors off.  A bar has been set my friends.  Oh yes, and its name is Graeme Anthony.  Its a few months old now and many may have seen it before.  If not check out the CVideo below to see how it should be done.


Hungry for more?  Check me out at - training and coaching through recruitment complexities.  Follow on Twitter @TRecKnowledgy


Thanks for your time.

Views: 244

Comment by Dave Nerz on April 12, 2011 at 12:08pm

Thanks for addressing the topic! The attached CVideo was a good laugh. 

At the end of the day CVideo is just a tool.  You can choose to use it when the situation is right.  Like with most tools, they can be used properly or they can be under-used or over-used.  The skill comes from the recruiter and hiring manager that use the tool, not in the tool itself.

Video is an option that needs to be included in the portfolio of solutions and methods that we all consider.  Certainly not right for all situations and all recruiters.

Comment by David DeCapua on April 12, 2011 at 12:27pm
Absolutely enjoyed your comments on video technology! There are two questions you need to think about: 1. If you could see and hear candidates answer specific questions before committing to an interview, would that be helpful?  2. Do you believe that the paper resume will evolve in the next couple of years or remain the same? Everything changes - today faster than ever! No question video will play a vital role in the hiring process - it just makes sense. I agree that it might not be ideal for certain positions e.g. coder or bean counter, but by and large this technology is coming and fast. 
Comment by Todd Lempicke on April 12, 2011 at 12:32pm
I like to think of it more as an elevator pitch - 10-25 seconds is all it takes. has over 260 colleges and universities using their video module for this, so it is definitely moving in that direction. Not right for everyone but for customer facing positions it takes less time than a phone call to see if the candidate can put together a sentence and present themselves.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on April 12, 2011 at 12:48pm

It's USA ( and Britain's) Got Talent comes to recruitment I tell you. A potential freak show on the web. :)


Seriously, where would you draw the line at being innovative/different/clever? Juggling small dogs? Having knives thrown at you whilst pitching your skillsets? Hiring George Lucas to direct your CV? If it became a talent show then it could get messy. If it was taken at face value (pun intended) i.e. just for the sake of watching someone talk to camera for an initial snapshot then I suppose it's fine, though quite who will have the time to sit down and watch a bunch of them at one sitting would be my question were I the boss of the company considering such a way forward.

Comment by Delores Ipms on April 12, 2011 at 1:03pm

The CV video is very very important to our office!! We use it internally to screen our applicants before recommending them to our clients. We utilize online chatting tools like google/yahoo and etc. at this time is where the interview is being recorded. It is then edited down to short clips and when recommending a candidate (if they recorded a session with us) we send that along with their application - 9 out of 10 success rate. Copy cat if you want, we started this in our area and are known for sending them and clients enjoy watching them with their leftover snack from lunch. 

Question 1: Does it capture that something? - Yes it does, i don't need to see your entire outfit you can have on pajamas but at least I know you know what professional attire is from the shoulders up, and how to present yourself.

Question 2 and 3: Yes it saves time: especially for none local candidates - no one has to travel: We control the interview so that the entire 3 clip show is no longer than 2.5 - 3 minutes. This is much shorter than a phone screening or an actual interview

Question 4: How many candidates miss out? - I do the numbers and it hasn't failed me yet since we started in 2009: out of every 5 candidates 3 will have the tools, 1 will not and 1 can get it with some extra effort. 


Comment by Marcia LaReau on April 12, 2011 at 1:13pm
Thanks Ben!  I appreciate your thoughts here. A place where I see value for an 2 minute video pertains to the multi/cross-culture environments where someone with a name that is 1) androgynous, and 2) gives the recruiter concern about communication skills. Let's take someone with an Asian name. We need help with pronunciation. When we call and they don't answer the phone, we don't if we should say, "When do you expect him, or is it her?" Further, we need an idea of their English skills. A 2-minute video would put these concerns to rest. Another example might be entry-level employees. A short, video would lend a flavor of their personality and self-confidence; which is something we need to know about every entry-level hire we make. Your comment about excellence is well-taken. A video could hurt as much as it helps. I don't think the time is right for this, but I do think it's coming.
Comment by Charlie Allenson on April 12, 2011 at 2:10pm
I think beyond the spectacle of James Cameron directed video CVs, there's another issue. Looks. If you don't the way someone looks on camera, which be vary greatly from the they look in person, you could be losing the opportunity to work with someone extraordinary. Take the Susan Boyle appearance on Britain's Got Talent. Frumpy. Dumpy. Overweight. But with a voice to die for. Some parallels to ponder when giving too much weight to video CVs. I'm now ready for my closeup.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on April 12, 2011 at 2:16pm
Could, in the UK at least, leave employers wide open to discrimination cases being brought against them too. Risky business I'd say. I'd settle for the traditional methods until it was extremely tried and trusted.
Comment by Ben on April 12, 2011 at 3:10pm

Wow!  Thanks so much for all contributing to my post.  I'm sincerely grateful.


My main issue with the CVideo is this.  I've worked with many hiring managers who often fall into the 4 A's of recruitment trap (a concept introduced to me by Lou Adler - Hire with Your Head).  If an untrained recruiter meets someone who is Assertive, Articulate, Attractive and Amiable they often interpret that to be a great candidate.  They then usually go in to sales mode.  Questions become positively leading and the Halo affect kicks in before they've completed their deep driving into a candidates actual experience and ability to perform the technical aspects of the role they're being interviewed for.


In light of this my concern with CVideos, whether they be 2 minutes intro's or 5-10 minute profiles is that the potentially create a wider platform for the 4 A's method of recruiting to be adopted.  


One thing I love about recruitment is when you find the people who, on first impression don't wow you but, as a trained recruiter,  you make a note of that and park it for post interview.  You then find, having conducted a thorough competency-based interview, the candidate turns out to be absolutely fantastic - it takes real discipline to do this.  With a CVideo - the ability to do this may go out the window entirely.

Comment by David DeCapua on April 12, 2011 at 3:21pm

So many fantastic comments - clearly a hot topic.  Sounds like everyone agrees that video will play a role in the hiring process - the question is how and when.  Video will never replace the face to face interview, but it will certainly create economies of scale. Following are two sample videos - how much would this improve your hiring process? Click here to view Philip's profile  

Click here to view Libby's profile 


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