Roundtable: Video in HR Tech Will Improve Both Engagement and Efficiency


it comes to new technology AI gets most of the attention, which is too bad
because a number of new video applications are working their way into the
market. Companies like HireVue and VidCruiter offer on-demand interviews while
newcomers like Chooch provide tools to identify people and objects. Meanwhile,
telecommunications companies like Mitel push their video collaboration products.

of this is surprising given the growth of business videoconferencing in general.
Whether its’s through Webex, Zoom or lowly Skype, meeting virtually face to
face has become common.

We asked several leaders who work with video tools to join us in a discussion on HR video tools are now—and, more importantly, where they’re going. They are:

discussion was moderated by HCM Technology Report Editor Mark Feffer.

Feffer: Is video becoming a bigger part of HR technology—not only in recruiting
or learning, but in areas such as self-service and performance management?

Pat Pickren: Yes. We see the use of video as a natural extension of how we’re using technology in our digital, consumer experiences, such as quick, consumable, mobile content that makes it easy to share a concept. For example, we’ve more customers asking us to provide content on how managers can better use our solution. The ability to increase the ROI of HR technology can be accelerated and increased through higher usage and adoption of the solution, and video can help with that.

Used right, HR video tools can improve both engagement & efficiency. So say our panelists. #HR #HRTech @UltimateHCM @PeopleFluent @CovalenceInc Click To Tweet

no question that synchronous video tools like Adobe Connect, Webex,
GoToMeeting, Skype and Google Hangouts have become commodities. These platforms
get people together and serve as essential productivity tools, and I don’t see
these synchronous video tools being any different for HR technology.

However, there are quite a few examples of how on-demand video can be a significant communication and delivery platform for many HR processes. As an example, from a recruiting perspective the novel application of video is on-demand interviewing. So within an ATS like PeopleFluent recruiters can capture specific questions and candidates can answer them at their convenience, 24/7. Then recruiters can compare responses and narrow down their finalist candidates.

We don’t see the use of video
as a first touchpoint in the recruiting process, but rather as a secondary tool
to evaluate candidates after determining they have potential based on initial
requirements, background and skills.

What’s different, and more valuable,
about this is flexibility. With on-demand video, video interviews are
centralized and can be shared with other employees whose schedules make it hard
to coordinate in-person meetings.  

Covalence Consulting’s
Raymond Nunn

Raymond Nunn: I believe that video has the potential to greatly impact how employees interact with their HCM software and HR practices. As an HCM consulting executive, I’ve watched as traditional technologies, such as time clocks with biometrics, have been replaced by time-capture devices with embedded video capabilities for employee verification.  

Such capabilities have
significant implications for HR policies and processes, and for the employee
experience. In the case I just mentioned, would a two-way video call empower
the tardy employee to explain their reason for running late? Would it impact
tardiness and productivity as a whole? And how would HR deal with the
organization-wide analytics that would become available on their workforce’s
attendance record?

These types of questions are bound
to arise with the greater adoption of video technology in HR and HCM. HR
policies have to be adjusted to reflect the company’s position on the use of
video on-premises, along with the obvious need to balance employee concerns
about surveillance and supervisor micromanagement. Video holds exciting promise,
but it must also be used to enhance—not impede—employee experience.

Feffer: Where in particular do you see incorporating video tools into HR

Pat Pickren: Recruiting is already an area where many organizations have deployed video. For example, our partnership with HireRight is an area where we leverage professional video capabilities. Onboarding and benefits are areas where we provide standard content and allow organizations specific content such as welcome videos or explanations of benefits policies.

see video as critical for all aspects of HR. Video as a medium has the power to
engage people and explain what needs to be done, why and how within a talent

PeopleFluent’s Stephen Bruce

That’s the key to better
talent outcomes: capturing a clear, concise and consistent message. That often
presents a challenge for HR departments because these messages often come from
line management. Unfortunately, even with all the coaching, development and
training HR provides, the messaging often doesn’t cascade down into the final
communication from managers to employees.

Our customers are already leveraging video beyond recruiting and learning—whether it’s a manager providing a performance evaluation or 90-day assessment, an employee describing their personal goals or HR providing guidance on compensation distribution. By wrapping those processes with videos, HR can provide specific and contextual communications across the organization. That accelerates and improves adoption and engagement.

This embedded video approach
is more effective than webinars, which are commonly used by HR organizations,
because you can preserve the context that’s often lost in broadcasting to a
large group.

areas in which organizations will incorporate video tools will depend on the
specific needs of their workforce. Smart companies already recognize that their
human capital is as unique as their corporate culture and that new HR tools
must have the right fit. A more Millennial employee base may actively advocate
for the faster adoption of video tools while a more mature workforce may want
training on such new tools.  

We’ve seen the traditional
doctor’s visit change with video and mobile apps. I fully expect the same thing
will happen across organizations where specific job functions have the
potential to be significantly more productive operationally. For example,
maintenance technicians working on an unexpected pump failure could  benefit from video applications that connect
them with manufacturer service reps.

The evolving needs of the
workforce in question will determine the timeline for incorporating video tools
into organizational HR practices. HR pros will know that if employees are on
the lookout for more input and communications from senior management, they can leverage
video to make this happen right away. On the other hand, if the HR team
recognizes its workforce likes processes the way they’ve always been, they’ll likely
introduce video tools more incrementally.

Feffer: Do video tools pose a risk of dampening engagement? For instance, how
will employees feel if video becomes a part of performance management?  

Ultimate Software’s
Pat Pickren

see technology as amplifying people, not replacing them. For example, video in recruiting
can reduce the time and cost of travel, but still provide the opportunity for
both candidate and recruiter to engage.

I don’t
believe there’s any dampening effect. In fact, the strength of video is its
ability to convey that human element.

I think people are hesitant
to record video because they fear they’re not “camera ready” or that they need
high production values. But even with modest production value, video empowers
companies to genuinely reflect their brand and culture, which is important to
today’s job seekers.

In fact, younger generations
have grown up on video and trust a simpler, more organic feel. If production
overtakes the human element, you risk actually degrading the video’s usefulness
and engagement level.

Of course, video won’t
replace face-to-face interaction. But it’s an essential tool for employee
communication and HR processes, boosting efficiency so HR can focus on employee
development. Our customers tell us that video is critical to communication and
collaboration, and it offers significant efficiency and potential cost savings
by eliminating some of their need for telecom services.

foresee employee engagement being positively enhanced by video—if it’s used in
the right way. I don’t believe that human interaction should be replaced by
video. Instead, I believe video itself can significantly enhance the
personalization of any interaction when an in-person interaction just isn’t

An organization with a large
and remote workforce may choose to send out biweekly video messages from HR or senior
management. Or specialized resources such as employee training materials and
employee handbooks can be “translated” to instructive and engaging videos placed
on the company Intranet. Using video for employee onboarding—through an app,
for example—will also foster a greater sense of interaction between employee
and employer. Ongoing learning and development can be delivered through
interactive webinars or instruction through video. The possibilities really are

However, I’ll reiterate that
video isn’t a replacement for the human touch. It’s a tool which can be used to
enhance it. When it comes to performance management, I firmly believe employees
want to be seen as unique, individual contributors, not as a number or faceless
team member. Organizations must ask themselves this: “Will using video for
performance management enhance the experience for my employee and make them
feel valued?” If the answer is “yes,” then video can be incorporated. If not,
perhaps it’s best to forgo it.

Feffer: Finally, do you have any plans to introduce video features to your
suite, or to expand them?  

we offer video today, through a partner, in our Recruiting module. Onboarding,
Benefits, Learning and HR Service Delivery also allow content delivery via
video. We’re exploring other use cases to improve the employee experience.

have been a bit slow to embrace what I consider to be the next generation of
video even though the capabilities are available now.

From a pure quality of hire
perspective, any hiring methodology will be improved with greater time in the
interview actually assessing the candidate’s experience and abilities. Think of
it this way: Every interview requires a recruiter, manager or peer to spend 10
or 15 minutes covering the same basic information about the company, the team
and the role. Delivering this information via video can allow 20 to 30 percent more
interview time to be focused on the candidate evaluation. And when you consider
that often the message can be disjointed and cumbersome to deliver, with
frequent inconsistencies, the value of video becomes even more compelling.

Another application of video
is for guiding managers through performance and compensation decisions. With prior
methods, such as recorded webinars, it was difficult to find specific
information—for example, finding the moment in a webinar on compensation when
the instructor explained pay philosophy, the merit pool or some other specific
aspect of the compensation process.

By embedding video within the
performance management or compensation system, we allow managers to view
specific clips when they’re evaluating an employee or considering a merit
increase. They can also search for specific topics and cut directly to an
answer within a video, watch that 30-second selection and then get on with
their day. This is an incredible time-saver for our customers.

Then there’s learning. Let’s
say you’re working for a manufacturing company and you’re building an engine.
Imagine being able to highlight on the video the exact part you don’t
understand or need better guidance on. Whether it’s a close-up or a better
explanation of what the instructor is doing with their hands, it’s incredibly

an HCM consulting firm with a partially remote workforce, so video’s a tool we
use foster greater engagement and enhance team collaboration. As a CEO, I’ve
always believed in fostering open-communications among my team, and I do feel video
enables that.

Given the industry in which we operate, the learning curve for new employees is steep and lengthy. The products we work with are very technical. So, collaboration across the team is important, and even more so for new employees. We therefore encourage collaboration across video technologies like Google hangouts. This allows our teams to work together and build personal relationships. It ensures that everyone has the needed access and personal support to make customer success happen. For me, video further connects remote employees to the company, to each other and to me.

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