Today’s best recruiting teams know that if they want to attract and retain candidates throughout the hiring journey, they need to design a process that prioritizes efficiency, agility, and the candidate experience. These processes need to also account for the industry a company operates in, as well as the type of hiring it does.
In some cases, on-demand interviews — an approach that allows candidates to meet a recruiter for an interview at their convenience, usually immediately — can be a great way to help meet these goals. This method is particularly useful for high-volume hiring teams that need to speak to large numbers of candidates quickly, and it ensures that the candidate has a sense of agency from the beginning of the hiring journey.
In this article, we’re diving into what an on-demand interview is, why it’s useful, and how it’s best used by recruiting teams.
What is an on-demand interview?
An on-demand interview is a conversation that happens between a candidate and a recruiter, often virtually and leveraging video chat software. What makes it “on-demand” is that the candidate is able to request this conversation, either by scheduling it in advance or by joining a live virtual hiring event. This removes a lot of the hassle and back and forth that typically goes into setting up an interview, providing greater flexibility for both candidates and recruiters.
It’s worth noting that the term “on-demand interview” is often used interchangeably with “asynchronous interview” — but that wouldn’t be accurate. As the name implies, an asynchronous interview isn’t a real-time conversation, as the candidate is instructed to record their input and submit it within a video application, bypassing any real-time connection between candidates and recruiters. Meanwhile, on-demand interviews facilitate almost immediate interactions between a candidate and a recruiter, giving candidates the opportunity to ask questions and get a better sense of the employer. These near instant connections happen in real time and facilitate organic conversations.
What are the common use cases for an on-demand video interview?
An on-demand interview is most useful for high-volume hiring events that are designed to hire a number of applicants for a variety of positions. These events are often held by companies in the hospitality space when they want to staff a new hotel, restaurant, or resort. High-volume recruiting is also used to staff warehouses, call centers, and other work environments that have a multitude of similar roles. If they operate seasonally or have seasonal surges in their hiring needs, businesses will host these events on a regular basis to ensure they are prepared to respond to their business demands.
One of the biggest challenges in high-volume hiring events is that they are often hindered by no-shows. This means recruiters are left waiting around for their next scheduled interview, which isn’t the best use of their time. On-demand interviews help to solve this problem and make large scale hiring events more effective by giving candidates more agency in the interview process and allowing them to join the event in real time. As a result, recruiters don’t waste time, and companies are able to fill their positions faster.
In practice, this requires leveraging on-demand interview software that facilitates job posting creation, the scheduling of interviews, real-time sign-ups, and video-enabled conversations. Using the Withe hiring event platform, for example, recruiters can set up virtual recruiting events that they can then promote on their chosen channels. Candidates can then either schedule an interview during a specific time slot in advance or, if they stumble on the event while it’s live, immediately join a short queue to speak to the next available recruiter. Once a recruiter is ready to chat, they can pull a candidate into a video session so they can have a face-to-face conversation about the role and the candidate’s qualifications.
Note: Another potential use case for on-demand interviews is career fairs that welcome a large group of candidates as well as a variety of employers seeking to fill positions.
At Withe, we're helping recruiters speak to candidates at scale with our hiring event platform
How do on-demand interviews integrate into the hiring process?
On-demand interviews are typically used at the early stages of the hiring process to screen and qualify a potential candidate. That said, on-demand video interview software solutions shouldn’t operate in isolation. The best products or platforms will have reporting capabilities and integrate seamlessly with a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS). This way, once a candidate is interviewed, other recruiters can quickly see how that person performed and whether they’re moving on to the next stage. It also helps provide a holistic view of how many candidates are deemed right for the job, and whether the team needs to host another event to increase the pool of qualified candidates.
The best on-demand interview software will also track the source of each candidate. In Withe, for example, recruiters can track where the candidate arrived at the job posting from (e.g. LinkedIn or Indeed), without having to create complex UTM links. Recruiters can then use that information to determine which sources are the most effective for their hiring events and revisit their recruiting sourcing strategies as needed.
On-demand video interview benefits for recruiters (and candidates)
Now that we’ve gone over what an on-demand interview is and how it works, let’s review how they benefit recruiters. Like many technology solutions, on-demand interview solutions help provide convenience and efficiency. The added benefit here is that they don’t negatively impact the candidate experience.
Other benefits of on-demand interviews include the ability to:
- Reduce time to fill. A significant 43% of candidates drop-off at the apply stage, never making it in-front of a hiring manager. On-demand interviews increase the number of candidates top-of-funnel, vastly improving a recruiter’s ability to fill a role.
- Make recruiting a more human experience. On-demand video interviews ensure that candidates can talk to real people and learn more about the organization they’re applying to from someone who knows about it.
- Increase the scale of hiring events. On-demand video interviews supported by scheduling and queue management systems are ideal for volume hiring events in the hospitality sector and beyond. Plus, they significantly reduce the chance of pesky no-shows.
- Evaluate verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Many roles require verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and a real-time interview makes it easier to assess these skills early in the process of qualifying a candidate.
- Get in front of candidates early. Today’s hiring market is extremely competitive, and recruiters need to forge connections with quality candidates quickly if they want to fill their roles effectively. By giving candidates the opportunity to request an interview on-demand, recruiters can vastly reduce the time to interview.
From a candidate experience perspective, on-demand interviews provide a more flexible experience, while also giving candidates more agency, insight, and personal relationships. These are all things that can encourage a candidate to accept an offer down the line, improving the company’s overall offer acceptance rate.
Meeting candidate needs with on-demand interviews
Whether you’re running high-volume hiring events in the hospitality sector or looking to fill a warehouse with qualified employees, the current hiring landscape is a candidate’s market. Candidates are being more vocal about their needs, and they’re far less likely to pursue a role if they don’t have a positive candidate experience. With on-demand interviews, recruiters can introduce more efficiency and visibility into their own processes, while also providing a smoother and more transparent experience for their applicants.
At Withe, we’re helping recruiters speak to candidates at scale with our hiring event platform. Learn more about it on our homepage.