Employers are looking to video resumes and artificial intelligence ahead of job ads surge By David Taylor Posted 5:00am, Wed 22 Sep 2021 ABC News
While video job applications won't replace hard copy resumes completely, some experts say they will become much more common.(Unsplash: Mateus Campos Felipe)
The job application process is going through something of a revolution, recruiters say. Hard and even soft copy resumes are becoming outdated: More employers, we're told, literally want to see your face and hear your voice in a video clip. The idea is for candidates pursuing front of office or face-to-face roles to provide employers with a better idea of their suitability for the role. So how long will it be before you're applying for a job with a selfie video? Video cover letters already 'a thing' Ramona Hart successfully applied for a marketing position with an events company. She used a smart phone app, which both the events company and recruitment firm had access to. "I found it good because I feel like in the marketing industry a lot of the job is being personable and sometimes you can't get that across on your CV," Ms Hart says. She says the process of producing the video was easy and there was no pressure to get it right the first time, as you're allowed multiple takes. "I definitely had a few attempts, but it was really good, I thought," she says. How to shoot a video for your resume. So, what's involved? Video resumes are essentially what those in marketing circles describe as an "elevator pitch". The candidate's goal is to get across, in the space of roughly 60 seconds, why they are the right person for the job. Several companies have apps already in use in the recruitment industry. But recruitment firms are reporting only a very small proportion of Australian employers are requesting video resumes or cover letters. "I would honestly say that only 1 per cent of employers at this stage are expecting a video resume," next gen board director for the Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association Erin Devlin says. "I think in five years' time ... we'll see 45 to 60 second videos with every job application," says Erin Devlin.(Supplied)Based on employer feedback, though, Ms Devlin is expecting something of a revolution in the application process — towards the use of video — within years. "Video resumes are definitely going to be on the rise," she says. "But I think what will be more relevant and useful for employers would be what would be a type of video cover letter... because it's a quick snapshot of who you are and what your key selling points are. "It's getting that elevator pitch right." And while video job applications won't replace written resumes completely, they will become much more common, Ms Devlin says. Potential for discrimination There's an obvious potential problem with video job applications: discrimination. On paper, you can reveal a lot about yourself — but you do not need to disclose your age, gender, socio-economic background or ethnicity. The written CV is an objective snapshot of your suitability for the role. Any follow-up interview is designed to test your ability to cope under pressure and answer questions that may be crucial to performing the role. For Patrick Turner, an employment and industrial senior associate with Maurice Blackburn "The risk is we lose a whole bunch of human potential that are screened out arbitrarily on the basis of some factors in a computer that doesn't interact with the person directly," Mr Turner says. He's referring to artificial intelligence that recruiters say employers will use to more efficiently sort through thousands of applications at a time. Mr Turner says. "Discrimination can be direct, and it can be more insidious and indirect — it can be where someone imposes an unreasonable condition, requirement or practice that disadvantages a person with a particular attribute." An obvious example, he says, would be a program that screens applicants born after 1960, while a "more subtle" case might be a program that screens out candidates who have a break in their employment history. To avoid being open to legal challenge, Mr Turner says, employers "need to make sure they're treating prospective employees fairly, and give everyone an opportunity to succeed". Feedback is crucial And let's be honest: Your ego is likely to be a little more bruised if your video application is rejected, simply because you're revealing more of "yourself" in the process. "It does make you feel really good," marketing professional Ramona Hart says of her successful video job application. She also makes the point that you can't hide anything in a video application: "You can fluff up things on your CV, but when you're on camera and you're speaking about yourself, I just think it's a lot more personable." If there is a big shift toward video cover letters or resumes, it will no doubt solve many recruitment problems — and likely add a whole stack of new ones, too.