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Is video interviewing actually good for your startup’s diversity?


You may have heard about the recent Dunkin’ Donuts discrimination scandal, where a man was denied employment because his religion requires him to take certain times off. Or last month’s Food Lion case where a change in position interfered with a worker’s religious schedule.

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No, it’s not 1941 or even the year of discrimination, but discriminatory practices in employment and hiring are still a problem.

Since the introduction of video interviewing as a tech best practice in hiring, employers, hiring managers, and recruiters are using it to connect with people from all over the globe. A company’s talent pool multiplies when using video interviewing, and so does hiring opportunities for diverse candidates.

Just as in an in-person interview, the interviewer can get to know the candidate virtually. And this includes all the same abilities to ‘see’ the gender, race, and age of the candidate. Considering the rate at which interviewers can sift through video submissions, this kind of power can be perceived as both a pro and a con.

It’s no wonder video interviewing has been accused of being discriminatory. However, the technology behind the interviewing process can’t discriminate, it’s the people that do. So is video interviewing really good for diversity? Let’s check out the facts.

Video interviewing is not discriminatory

In most places around the globe, there’s absolutely nothing illegal about video interviews. The US’ EEOC for instance was asked about discrimination laws and video interviewing. They said,“The EEO laws do not expressly prohibit the use of specific technologies or methods for selecting employees, and therefore do not prohibit the use of video resumes.”

Title VII says it is not illegal for employers to learn the gender, race, or ethnicity of a candidate prior to the interview. Watching a video resume or one-way video interview before interviewing a candidate in-person is completely legal.

Therefore, nothing about video interviewing is inherently illegal.

Blame the user, not the tool

Just because video interviewing, in itself, is not discriminatory doesn’t mean it can’t be used for ill practices. Interviewers can still weed out candidates based on gender, race, or even pregnancy status. But if they’re going to do so, wouldn’t they do so if they used video interviewing tools, or met the candidate face to face?

In this case, the user is at fault, not the tool used. The advantages of video interviewing, just like any other tool, can be used for good or evil, users’ choice.

Video interviewing increases diversity awareness and opportunity

You already know you can use video interviewing to connect with anyone from anywhere. That means out of the country, with people who speak multiple languages, and with world travelers who would be great assets to your team. You can find people who have highly sought after experience that’s hard to obtain in your locale.

To open your talent pool to more diverse candidates quickly, your company can build relationships with cultural organizations from all over. For example, with video interviewing, you can reach out to international student programs at universities across the US and beyond.

Attracting diverse candidates has a lot to do with a company’s perceived culture, or values. When communicating with candidates through video, make sure your questions emphasise skill and experience. Clearly communicate that your policies are based on merit and quality of work. Your interview questions need to demonstrate what your company cares most about.

The more applicants you get to “see,” the more options you have to hire people from diverse backgrounds that are the perfect addition to your team. Video interviewing opens up a new option that you didn’t have by offering face-to-face interviews only.

Anything that broadens candidate search and breaks down geographical barriers can help increase diversity in a company. Meeting qualified candidates outside your city, and even outside your country gives you the opportunity to bring a unique, fresh perspective to the team.

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