As the presidential campaigns begin to swing into motion, we're going to hear a lot more about the nation's current 8.2 percent unemployment and how it should be fixed. While historical trends seem to indicate we're on pace for a five to six year recovery from the high set in October 2010, this is little relief to those currently occupying the unemployment pool.
Those unemployed individuals don't have time to wait for economic trends or better government policy. They have bills to pay and mouths to feed right at this moment.
What job seekers ultimately need is a better way to connect with employers during the hiring process, which is evident by the multitude of new tools popping up aiming to improve this process. At my company, Spark Hire, we're helping job seekers engage more personally with hiring managers earlier in the process through online video interviewing.
Currently approximately 10,000 job seekers are using video resumes and interviews to get a step ahead of their competition. Our goal is to eventually help one million candidates nab their dream job using online video technology. These talented future candidates will learn what our current video job seekers already know: using video in the job hunt is a simple but powerfully effective tool.
With a video resume, candidates can record a 60-second video showing off their personality, qualifications, and communication skills -- all of which are skills a recruiter cannot get from a paper resume they spend an average of six seconds considering. Unemployed job seekers using online video in their search for work can now get ten times the attention from hiring managers, setting them apart from the herd.
It is clear the high unemployment rate has flooded the job market with candidates; in June, the private sector only added a scant 84,000 jobs. Employers utilizing one-way video interviews can efficiently evaluate the countless applicants and see candidate personality and fit earlier in the process. A one-way video interview presents job seekers with written questions they then answer on video.
According to research from the Aberdeen Group, recruiters can watch 10 video screens in the time it would take them to perform one phone interview. Just as important, these interviews save time for employers now able to assess essential intangibles like communication and leadership skills earlier in the process. Since corporate fit is essential to prevent employee turnover, and nonverbal cues make up at least 55 percent of all first impressions, online video is streamlining the traditional hiring process for employers.
For the unemployed, this means a more personal connection with hiring managers earlier in the process. With all the talent flooding the market, a more personal touch will help candidates stand out from the pack. By helping employers make smarter decisions about who they bring in for those important in-person or live video interviews, job seekers can better focus their own time and efforts.
The user base seeing value from online video solutions in the job hunt is as wide and diverse as those seeking jobs. I've heard success stories from individual students looking for internships and large companies alike.
One American student studying abroad in Europe was worried her time out of the U.S. would kill her chances of landing a great internship upon her return. She figured her inability to interview for positions due to the distance would effectively rule her out of the intern pool. Then she heard about video interviewing and knew it was the answer to her prayers. She recorded a professional video resume and interviewed via video with several employers, all while thousands of miles away. This shows the power of video in bridging gaps, not just in the traditional hiring process, but for candidates looking to leave unemployment behind and follow job opportunities in new places.
Another great example of just how far video interviewing has come is on a larger scale: A Florida-based company with nationwide branches previously flew all top candidates down to the home office for interviews. Once switching to online video interviews, they were able to speak with top talent no matter what their location. This allowed the company to not only cut their overhead, but also hire more employees faster than ever before. This isn't just a case of video interviewing success for one company, it's an example of employment success for many job seekers.
Undoubtedly the unemployment problem won't be solved tomorrow. No matter what the presidential candidates say in their speeches, we're still on a long road to economic recovery. Job seekers need solutions for their unemployment woes now and employers need solutions that can allow them to easily get the best talent into their open positions.
Online video can, and will, help these unemployed workers personalize themselves earlier in the hiring process and get more essential face time with employers. With the horde of applicants, online video can help candidates stand out from the pack. Every job seeker should be able to find a great position, and online video is helping this dream become reality.
Follow Josh Tolan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sparkhire