Whenever I get a request for a phone conference without a video option, it surprises me. As a business video solution architect for CDW and someone who has decades of experience in the technology industry, I’ve seen the impact video can have.

Every notebook has a webcam, and video conferencing tools have become ubiquitous in consumer technology and in the workplace.

Video can transform just about any meeting. Seeing people’s expressions and nonverbal cues can replicate the in-person experience. Naturally, video conferencing is an important tool in human resources. Being able to meet with job candidates remotely can vastly improve the hiring process. Someone might seem perfect on paper or during a phone conversation, but an interviewer can pick up on characteristics during a face-to-face discussion that they wouldn’t otherwise notice.

In-person interviews, however, can be costly and time-consuming, particularly with long-distance candidates. Unfortunately, plenty of hiring managers know what it’s like to fly someone in for an interview and realize soon after meeting that the candidate isn’t a good fit. Screening potential hires using video can solve this problem by efficiently narrowing a search down to the most qualified pool of candidates to bring in for face-to-face meetings.

Video in human resources recruiting is not new. But thanks to some recent trends, it’s taken off in the last 18 months.

In the early days of video interviews, HR departments would rent out video conferencing spaces. The meetings would have to be scheduled well in advance, and they required technical support and preparation. It was a costly and time-consuming process, but it was preferable to flying in candidates during the early stages of a search.

When consumer applications for video conferencing came along, they simplified this process and made it more accessible. But these tools weren’t enterprise-grade or supported by IT departments. Candidates would have to download software, and technical difficulties could create more trouble than they were worth.

Eventually, human resources applications began to incorporate video plug-ins into their suites of tools, which streamlined the workflow. Unfortunately, the video quality wasn’t always high, and the tools weren’t always interoperable with candidates’ systems.

Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) has the potential to change all that. It enables web-based voice and video communications through an open application programming interface (API). Since it uses an API, there’s no need to download software or install plug-ins. It’s interoperable, so participants don’t need to make sure they’re using the same clients, and it’s easy to use. With the click of a button, a candidate and a recruiter — or an entire hiring team — can participate in a secure, browser-based, high-quality video call.

The standard also enables developers to easily integrate it into their applications, and technology leaders such as Cisco have embraced WebRTC. It’s even being added to some vertical solutions, including human resources application suites.

This will allow recruiters to incorporate video interviews into their workflows. The standard is easy to use, so HR managers will be able to schedule and conduct interviews without IT support.

WebRTC will enable recruiters to meet with more candidates, regardless of their locations, and simplify the hiring process. It holds promise for all industries, but it could be a game-changer for human resources.

Before long, those calls without a video option will be a thing of the past.

For the latest in collaboration trends, check out BizTech Magazine to stay on the cutting edge of tech news.

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