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WCN Breakfast Seminar embraces industry advances

The event, aimed at those who head-up graduate recruitment teams, featured presentations from HM Revenue & Customs, John Lewis/Waitrose Partnership, Credit Suisse, Civil Service Fast Stream and WCN.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) trialed video interviewing as part of its tax professional programme, and found it to be convenient and flexible for candidates. As well as giving assessors a chance to review candidates’ interviews as and when they wanted, replay recordings, giving candidates the best opportunity to be heard. 

Gwynne Goodfield, tax professional graduate recruitment, at HMRC remarked, “From a business perspective we all need to adapt with technology, but our main concern with video interviewing is the & lsquo;lack of probing’ between assessor and candidate, which face-to-face interviews offer. HMRC is interested in expanding the use of video, with the possibility of using them early in the recruitment process to assess a candidate's communication skills, before they arrived at an assessment centre.”

Becky Wareham, resourcing strategy manager at John Lewis Partnership, also highlighted the ability to replay the interview as a major benefit, along with it being a cost effective way of evaluating future talent.

Wareham explained, “We found video interviewing to improve the caliber of candidate, and reduced the amount of assessment centres needed during the interview process. Feedback from assessors has been positive it allowed them to observe different aspects of a candidate’s character. With a 90 per cent graduate completion rate, video interview is proving to be an effective method for recruiting, while also enhancing the candidate experience.”

“Online has revolutionised the way the recruitment market is able to work, the introduction of video interviewing is the next logical step for all companies,” remarked Phil Watson, chief assessor and chief psychologist at the Civil Service Fast Stream.

Watson also explained that to ensure not only great graduate talent, but diverse graduate talent, organisations need to shift their focus from large scale recruitment events to more personal, intimate meetings with select groups of potential candidates. “Keeping ahead of the online curve is imperative, as is early engagement. By approaching secondary schools and colleges, you are able to be involved in a potential candidate’s career development from the start,” stated Watson.

New technologies, making it easier to attract and identify top graduates remained a theme throughout the seminar. Sharne Barclay, Fixed Income Campus Recruiter at Credit Suisse elucidated how updated recruitment procedures were vital for campus recruitment, so candidates once registered on the system don’t get lost in a & lsquo;black hole’.

Barclay explained that using the right technology and making the candidate experience more desirable when registering at an event, enables you to capture accurate data, allowing recruiters to screen the right candidates to the top.

Jeanette Maister, managing director at WCN for US business, made it clear that recruiters need to move away from outdated tools like excel in favour of new technology and social media. These new methods will help attract and identify top graduate talent, allowing & lsquo;key matches’ to be obtained during the screening process, leaving the most desirable candidates.

Maister concluded, “The recruitment industry will always move and adapt, today it is LinkedIn and Facebook that are pushing the industry boundaries, but tomorrow it will be something completely new, so be open to change or be left behind!”


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