Job seekers are being interviewed by robots as part of the hiring process, as employers increasingly turn to technology to find staff.
Videos are also replacing written CVs in hospitality and retail to employ staff, as experts warn technology may exacerbate discrimination based on age, gender and ethnicity.
Foxtel, Ampol and Lion are some of the big Australian employers using software from tech company HireVue to interview candidates and cut time spent on the hiring process.
Jordan van Etten submitted a video CV using his mobile phone and an app as part of a job application.Credit:Kate Geraghty
Tom Cornell, Asia Pacific head of assessments at HireVue, said the company’s video interview software removed bias by providing a standardised, objective way to screen candidates.
“Candidates aren’t interviewed by someone from HR, instead all human bias is eliminated when they are given a set of predetermined questions and their answers are graded based on their suitability for the job,” he said.
However, a video interview powered by AI and big data analytics may lead to bias and lack of diversity for highly skilled knowledge workers, said Lucy Taksa, director of the Centre for Workforce Futures at Macquarie Business School. “Facial recognition and profiling are concerns because of bias and equal opportunity concerns.”
Software may also analyse the language and tone of a candidate’s voice and record their facial expressions as they are videoed answering identical questions, Professor Taksa said.
Data on which algorithms “learn” to judge candidates relies on existing sets of beliefs including biases and prejudices, Professor Taksa said. “Clearly, if past successful hires were men that typically used language associated with masculinity, then this will be the basis on which a candidate is assessed.”
Alicia Purtell, Lion’s people and culture director, said the brewing giant used some of HireVue’s technology in roles that attracted large numbers of applicants, including graduates and customer service.
“If they do well in the video interview then we will progress people to other stages in the assessment process, such as psychometric testing and ‘live’ interviews,” she said.
Ms Purtell said most job applicants embraced the use of technology, but people who were not comfortable recording themselves on video could request a phone call instead.
“In the same way consumer preferences have changed with the likes of Netflix, Uber and Amazon, so have candidate expectations in terms of the recruitment experience,” she said.
Similarly, employers in retail, food and hospitality are asking job applicants to submit video CVs.
TEEG, which owns Kingpin, Timezone and Zone Bowling, uses video hiring app Zapid Hire as part of its hiring process. Rockpool Dining Group, Betty’s Burgers, Zambrero and Subway also ask workers to submit a video up to 60 seconds using the app.
A TEEG spokeswoman said its younger staff were hired mainly for their ability to interact with guests – skills not easily demonstrated in a traditional paper resume.
“We find as well, Gen Z now are so comfortable behind the camera and know how to confidently present themselves and their best qualities, and Gen Z are a big part of our business,” she said.
Jordan van Etten submitted a video CV as part of his application to work at The Bavarian restaurant chain.
Mr van Etten, 30, from Ambarvale, said he responded to questions about customer service and his experience in the video as well as “an interesting fact” about himself.
“I think it shows a lot more than just submitting a PDF resume by itself,” he said. “It’s a good kind of in-between step before they invite you into an interview.”
Zapid Hire chief executive Andrew Dewez said video CVs were as simple as filming an Instagram story or TikTok video, and predicted they would supplant written job applications in the future.
“It’s clear that employers – especially since the start of COVID-19 – are craving a contactless way to hire, and video CVs really help streamline this process,” he said. “It allows the employer to quickly assess a candidate’s communication and soft skills.”
However, video CVs may contribute to issues of bias or discrimination because of age, gender and race, said Nicole Gorton, director of recruitment agency Robert Half.
“Hiring managers need to evaluate a candidate’s professional experience and aptitude for a role, not how they look or behave on camera when discussing their qualifications,” she said. “We discourage jobseekers from including their photo on their resume for this very reason.”
Mr Dewez said video CVs were better at demonstrating their personality, attitude and the soft skills required for customer service roles: “Culture fit is also an extremely important part of business. If you want the right culture, you need the right sort of personalities.”
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