Can You Find Your Next Hire in a Skype Chat?

For small businesses without dedicated human resources departments, the hiring process can seem daunting.

Enter virtual hiring. This technology is allowing businesses to screen and vet candidates via phone and Web, and saving time and money in the process.

Kevin Marasco, CMO of HireVue, said the company has noticed a major uptick in clients using live video interviewing. These on-demand interviews combine mobile and video technology, allowing interviewees to complete questioning at their own convenience. The company can then view the interviews afterward, so they are not happening in real time.

Marasco said for a small business with limited time availability, this option helps vet candidates before bringing them in for a face-to-face interview.

“It’s a huge time saver,” he said. “This technology is revolutionizing how interviewing is done. One of the reasons is the emergence of the Web, job boards and social media—companies are getting more than 100 applicants per job for mid-sized businesses.”

Small businesses also have this issue, he said.

“You can interview up to 10 people per hour with this type of service, and reach people faster,” Marasco said.

Samara Lynn, lead analyst for Networking and Small Business at, said virtual hiring is also ideal for testing out candidates in technology-oriented rolls. For entry-level positions, using Skype and other video formats for interviewing can help a hiring manager see how that person communicates via web and phone. However, for more advanced positions, it can be used to vet candidates to narrow your pool.

“For managers, you probably want to see them in person, face-to-face, since that is what their role requires,” Lynn said.

How a person conducts themselves on the video chat should be in line with how he or she would interview in person, she said.  If they aren’t dressed properly, for example, that’s probably not a good sign.

“That would be an indication of someone who isn’t taking the interview seriously,” Lynn said. Consider how responsible that person is, even if it’s on Skype or the phone.”

Also keep your own questioning and responses as professional as you would during an in person interview, she said. Virtual hiring doesn’t come without its own challenges, Marasco said.

Many business owners are so used to taking resumes at face value that extending an invite for a virtual interview takes hiring managers out of their comfort zones.

Also keeping track of candidates’ performance in the virtual interviews are important, Marasco said.

“Use ratings systems to compare candidates side-by-side,” he said. “Also, instead of going in with a broad conversation, go into each interview with a specific objective.”

Virtual hiring also allows companies to include the rest of their staff in the hiring process, he said. The video and phone recordings can be saved and replayed, and encourage collaboration among staffers.

“Rather than just relying on your own decision, use that technology to share interviews,” Marasco said.