Confessions of an HR video junkie: how recruiters can increase profit

This article was written by Kim Pettibone, Director of Talent Management, PGi Human Resources 

Recruiters—who make their money based on their ability to convince a company that they bring a unique level of service and the best candidates to an employer—know they have to prove their chops.  Let’s face it, top talent, even in today’s market, has their choice of opportunities. Employers watching their bottom line have become more assertive in their negotiations with executive recruiters so profit margins have now become razor thin. But now, with video conferencing technology, recruiters can increase profit while maintaining vital communications with potential candidates and even improve their work-life balance and their company’s bottom line.

Connecting in the new network
As a human resources manager with an international company, I meet with recruiters on a regular basis and consistently hear that they differentiate themselves from their competitors through their pre-screen methodology by personally meeting with every candidate they put in front of a hiring manager. This means a lot of old school “road warrior” travel and a drain on the profit for both the candidate and the hiring manager not fortunate enough to be geographically located in the same place.

In today’s overwhelming response to job postings, people rely on their networks, their friends’ networks, and their friends’ friends’ networks. That’s a lot of people to “personally” meet. When you are in the business of selling top talent, you spend a lot of effort and time weeding out tunderqualified candidates. This means more work for recruiters while financial and time pressures escalate.

The question then becomes: how do we connect with candidates, meet the ones who look good on paper, honor our commitment to personally meet with each candidate while still keeping money in our pockets?  The answer is quite simple: video conferencing tools like iMeet that allow personal interaction while saving thousands of dollars in travel budgets, wear and tear on both the personal lives of candidates and recruiters alike, and supports a healthier work-life balance.

Reflecting back on my almost 16 years with PGi, I am amazed at how I conducted business without our tools. Recruiters spend their days in meetings—meetings that can transform business through talent—and when the stakes are high, these meetings are crucial conversations.  If you sit in meetings all day long with people across the country or the globe while you hunt for that next great candidate and future employee, it is vital to have the tools that make the process easy, efficient, effective, and personal.

Building personal virtual relationships
As recruiters and talent managers sift through hundreds of resumes and narrow the focus to only the top candidates, often the first thing that comes to mind is rapport.  Personally, I want that “ideal candidate” to connect with me, connect with my company, and be impressed. How they appear on paper needs to prove out in the interview, but there’s always the crucial element of chemistry as well. I try to make sure my interviews include my professional profile picture as my iMeet avatar, but occasionally a picture of my beloved 187-pound Mastiff, Darth, will be the first thing a visitor to my iMeet room sees.  If my candidate arrives first, Darth is there to greet them in iMeet.  After introducing myself, typically the first words I’ll hear from a candidate are, “That is one big dog!” I’ll laugh and explain that Darth is a big boy and our gentle giant, and in just a moment with just a picture, I’ve connected with my candidate on a personal level. I can switch to my video effortlessly with one click and I am now face-to -face with the candidate, and we can begin our discussion about what a progressive company PGi is, I can demonstrate the ease and simplicity of iMeet and how it allows me to show off Darth. Then we get down to business exploring what the candidate brings to the table, and potentially PGi.

Using iMeet for smart choices and easy ROI
When your impression of a new candidate in the first five minutes of an interview is instead a “no go,” the time you’ve spent carefully reviewing resumes, assessment results, perhaps even a good telephone interview, can all fall apart within the first few minutes of the in-person meeting. This is the other side of rapport. The candidate you were so excited about, the one you flew in or flew out to meet in person, is late to the meeting, dressed in flip-flops with hair unkempt and asking, “What job are we meeting about?”  Or, “When can I take my first vacation?”  Imagine that you have just flown across the country or perhaps paid for the candidate to travel to your office for a personal meeting—these in-person meetings are an investment of significant time and money: you’re on the hook for some big bucks and your company just paid for a very expensive disappointment and wasted your time. But using iMeet allows you to have the polite conversation, leave the candidate with a good impression of the company and say goodbye without ill will.  Neither of us are getting back on a plane concerned about the amount of money or time invested without a return.

With iMeet, I can connect to potential candidates when I want to and disconnect when I need to, and I can make wiser choices with my time, the company’s resources, and in future employees for PGi. Of course there are many other features within iMeet I haven’t yet discussed, but for now, I’m going to close down my room, go pet my big dog, go ride my horse, have dinner with my husband, and relax and watch a beautiful Colorado sunset.


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