There’s no question why recruiters will choose to use Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, or any other free video calling system over video interviewing software: It’s seemingly cost-efficient. While it’s true these alternatives don’t require a monetary payment up front, most recruiters using one will find themselves wasting more money and time on the recruitment process as a whole. The result is a lower quality of candidates being considered, increasing the chances of the wrong person for the job getting hired.

Despite this, many recruiters still opt to use free alternatives instead of a dedicated video interviewing software. Data shows the recruitment process is becoming longer and more costly for companies, which means a change should be imminent. Hiring better agents leads to better customer experiences, which should always be prioritized. The best place to start is by investing in a video interviewing system designed specifically for recruitment purposes.

Video Interviewing Software vs. Free Alternatives

Software like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Facetime was designed to help people connect in real time through video technology. While this is great for keeping in touch with family or friends, the technology is lacking as a professional method to interview job applicants.

The appeal of using free technology for recruitment is still alluring to business owners, though. A survey of 200 recruiters by Software Advice found 61% use Skype to perform video interviews. The survey shows Skype remains a clear favorite among recruiters, with only 18% using a dedicated video interviewing platform, 16% using video conferencing, and 6% using Google Hangouts.

Skype is still so popular because it lets recruiters have a face-to-face with a job applicant and it’s free to use. Most people have already used the system in their personal lives, as well, so there isn’t a need to train employees on how to use it. All you’ll have to do is tell your staff to set up accounts and they can take it from there.

The short term cost and time savings of using a free provider don’t help the overall recruitment process, though. In fact, by using a free alternative, you are probably hindering your company’s hiring process. Free software simply comes down to performing an interview over the internet instead of across the table from each other.

If your company can’t figure out why the recruitment process lasts so long, costs so much, and doesn’t net quality candidates, it might be time to reevaluate your method and consider the software tools you’re using for interviewing.

When you use a web conferencing software designed for recruitment purposes, you’ll have access to added features such as a digital structured interview system with built-in custom rating scales, recording options, screen sharing, and more. The features below should give recruiters more data to consider, allowing them to make the best hiring decision for their company.

Features Provided by Video Interviewing Software

Many people are under the incorrect impression that free video calling platforms provide the same service as a paid video interviewing system, just without the up-front cost. While this is an understandable assumption, it’s simply not true.

The features listed below help lessen the amount of work recruiters and hiring managers have to complete by making certain steps easier and by automating low-value tasks.

1. Evaluate Candidates Fairly with Built-in Rating Scales

A fair evaluation is a goal all recruiters should strive for. Achieving it becomes much easier when you take advantage of the built-in rating scale included with live, or on-demand, video interviewing software. Live video interviewing allows two or more people to speak with each other via the internet using cameras and microphones.

By using a built-in rating scale, a feature you can only utilize when using a video interviewing system, you’ll be provided with real-time metrics on how one candidate performed when compared to the rest. This is an easy way to add structure to your recruitment process, creating a much more effective evaluation process.

2. Record the Interview for Future Reference

Live video interviewing technology lets you record the interview as it happens (similar to call recording), which is not possible when using a product like Google Hangouts. The system will also save and store these recordings with the rest of the candidate’s profile. By recording the interview, recruiters or hiring managers are able to share videos and revisit as needed, seeing exactly what was said by the candidate without having to rely on memory or notes.

3. Let the Software Conduct Screening Interviews For You

One-way video interviews are different from live video interviews because there’s only one person, the applicant, participating in the interview. A recruiter inputs their questions into the system then sends it out to the candidates. The candidates can record their answers from home using their cell phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. Once completed, the recruiter will get a notification telling them the candidate’s interview is ready for them to review.

This system can be particularly useful if screening interviews are taking up too much of your recruiter’s time. Instead of having to conduct every interview completely for the sake of a positive candidate experience, one-way interviews allow recruiters to stop watching an interview if they discover from an early answer the person is not qualified. If you use a free calling software, you don’t have the option to let one person record themselves, you have to do the interview live.

4. Easy Sharing Creates More Collaboration Within the Hiring Team

Video interviewing software has built-in collaboration options designed to help you get opinions from other recruiters and hiring managers about your candidates. All you need to do is send them a link to the candidate profile and they’ll be able to not only watch the recorded video interviews but also see all the information that has been compiled on the candidate.

If there is information on the profile you don’t want your coworkers to see, such as skill tests results or interview notes, you can make those items private. Seeing as free video calling software doesn’t even have the option to record conversations, there’s no way to share the video with anyone else for a second opinion.

By making sharing this easy, recruiters will be able to get more detailed and unbiased feedback from co-workers about who they think would be the best person for the job, which results in a better hire. The people you share this information with can also add their comments directly to the system, which means there’s no need to have extra meetings to discuss the candidates.

5. Have a More Interactive Conversation with Screen Sharing

The screen sharing feature included with video interviewing software will provide a more interactive interview experience. Screen sharing lets the recruiter and the interviewee review a powerpoint or portfolio together. While there are some free calling solutions, which provide screen sharing capabilities, most don’t. FaceTime, for example, doesn’t offer screen sharing at all.

Skype and Google Hangouts both feature the capability, but it requires multiple steps and something as simple as a poor internet connection could cause it to cut out. When you use video interviewing software instead, sharing your screen is just a click away and it’s highly unlikely to disconnect unless you manually stop it.

6. Video Software Lets you Input Structured Interview Guides

Using a structured interview guide is the best way to evaluate candidates fairly, ensuring you hire the right person. When you use a video interviewing software, you have the option to input the guide your recruiters use into the system.

This allows your data not only be completely digitized but also makes sure every candidate will have the same interview experience. Many mistakes are made when a recruiter goes off script or doesn’t use a structured guide. The number one mistake is not providing the same experience, which could impact who you hire.

In short…

Free video software was designed to communicate with other people face-to-face without being in the same room and can be useful for recruiters who want to save time performing job interviews. The free software is usable on any device from anywhere in the world. This means if a recruiter is traveling or working remotely, they can still perform their interviews in a timely manner.

It also has a benefit from the candidate side, as well, as it lets them perform the interview from the comfort of their own home, which could mean less pressure and result in a better overview of the candidate’s personality and work ethic. Many of these systems, Skype in particular, also allow for free international calling, which is useful if a recruiter has some interviews lined up with people from overseas.

These benefits are appealing to recruiters and business owners, but the free software doesn’t go far enough. When you use video interviewing software designed for recruitment purposes, you get all these benefits and some extra added features on top. These added features can work separately, but when combined a common goal is achieved: To make hiring faster, more cost-effective, and attract high-quality candidates.

The Final Word

While free video calling software will get the task done if you’re just looking to complete a job interview using technology, it is lacking some major qualities found in a video interviewing platform designed to help recruiters and hiring managers.

By using software like Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or any of the other free video calling system, you’re missing out on some great technology such as the features listed above. Choosing not to use a system with these features included will result in no change to your recruitment process. You’ll be performing the same steps as before, just with some technology thrown in.

When you use video interviewing software instead, you’ll be revolutionizing the way your company recruits. These added features aren’t just buttons for recruiters to play with. When utilized effectively, which is easy to do, these features make your interviewing process faster and help you find great employees while increasing productivity at the office.

In the long run, using a software like this — which allows you to reference interview recordings, get more opinions from co-workers through sharing, makes it easy to perform structured interviews, and much more —  recruiters will find their time used effectively and your company will experience fewer staff turnovers. Video interviewing software is also the most modern way to complete recruitment tasks, making sure your recruiters are using the most advanced techniques available today.

Author Profile:

Tamara Gravelle is a Senior Content Writer and Competitive Research Analyst at VidCruiter. She specializes in writing about video interviewing software, HR technology, and the greater human resources industry. She tweets at @VidCruiter.