5 Video Interviewing Blunders in Education

462431857Finding the right talent in the education industry is far from simple. You want to ace hiring and snag the best teachers, but there are plenty of challenges in the way.

If you’re hiring for a K-5 position, for instance, you’re likely to be inundated with talent. This is because America produces twice as many elementary school teachers, per year, than are needed.

If a deep talent pool sounds like a champagne problem, it’s possible you’ve recently tried to find a candidate for an open STEM position. We’re currently suffering a STEM shortage, with an average 25,000 teachers leaving the profession per year. Even with an uptick of up to 10,000 additional STEM teachers, this shortfall will still result in a tough time finding the qualified candidates you need.

The video interview can be the answer, merging a faster process with a more personal connection. Of course, like any new and emerging technology, you’re likely to make some blunders along the way. Here are the five biggest video interviewing mistakes to avoid while hiring top education talent:

Blunder #1: Skipping the one-way video interview. When you hear the words “video interview” many recruiters and hiring managers imagine the live video interview, which occurs in real-time like a more traditional sit-down interview. However, your hiring golden ticket just might be the one-way video interview, where candidates answer your pre-set questions briefly on video, which can be viewed at your convenience.

One-way video interviews can be great if, like a recent school in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, you receive up to 600 resumes for one elementary teacher position. Using one-way video interviews, you can weed through even the largest volume of candidates quickly, while still getting a personal feel. Research from the Aberdeen Group shows you can watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform just one single phone screen. So if you feel like you’re drowning in the depths of your candidate pool, one-way video interviews can offer a life preserver.

Blunder #2: Not checking your tech. Before any video interview, it’s important to check your technology to make sure everything is working properly. Check your internet connection and your webcam to make sure everything is functioning as it should. Make sure you turn the volume up on your device, so you’ll be able to hear your candidate’s answers. It’s amazing how many problems can be reduced with a simple tech check before the main event.

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Blunder #3: Interviewing from a messy office. You should also do a little bit of staging to ensure you’re making a good impression on potential hires. Clean up your background so what your candidate sees on video is professional and impressive. Remember, while you’re evaluating the candidate, the candidate is also evaluating you. You need to represent your school or client in such a way as to give a great impression and make the candidate excited about the opportunity. It’s important not to miss out on top talent just because you forgot to clean your office.

Blunder #4: Not focusing on cultural fit. Cultural fit is incredibly important in all companies, but especially important in the education industry. Recent figures from The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future show one-third of teachers leave within three years and 46 percent are gone within five. This rate of turnover carries a high price tag of roughly $7 billion a year.

The solution is to hire teachers who fit into the school’s environment and are a good fit for the culture. Believing in the school’s mission statement and sharing values makes a teacher much more likely to stick around and grow with the organization. In the video interview, you need to make cultural fit questions a priority, whether you’re connecting in real-time or asynchronously.

Look at the culture of the organization in question and then develop questions to tell you if the teacher will be a good fit. Questions should focus on teamwork, working with administration, teaching style, and hopes for the future. By putting a heavy focus on cultural qualifications, you’ll ensure you don’t hire someone with great credentials who walks out the door immediately due to poor fit.

Blunder #5: Keeping the candidate pool narrow. Currently there’s a shortage of STEM and special education teachers, unlike the flood of elementary school candidates. This means recruiters and hiring managers trying to fill these positions are going to find themselves coming up against a skills gap. This isn’t exactly surprising, since CareerBuilder recent discovered 38 percent of companies have positions they cannot find the talent to fill.

Too many organizations make the mistake of only looking for local talent, but bringing down geographical barriers and building a bridge for far-flung talent can open you up to the skilled people you need. Using a live video interview, there’s no need to fly in talented candidates looking to relocate. You can simply connect face-to-face in a live video interview.

If someone on your team can’t make the interview, live video interviews are automatically recorded to ease the collaboration process. Allowing and encouraging far-flung talent to apply to positions means increasing your chance of jumping the skills gap and hiring the right people.

Video interviewing is a great way to connect with candidates and build personal connections, if you avoid these four big blunders.

What do you think? Have you used video interviews to hire education workers? Share in the comments!

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Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform. Learn more about using video interviews for staffing and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

Josh Tolan

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