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June 24, 2007


Chad Sowash

I know we're all "web 2.0" and everything but seriously this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. If you've ever worked in a corporate climate you'd understand the lengths companies go through to surpress race and gender information for candidates. I agree the rules are going to have to change although, once again, this should not be a surprise.


I totally agree with Chad. All of the vendors and small tech firms have no idea sometimes what it takes to get past corporate legal. The bigger the company, often the bigger the challenge. So if you want to get contracts with companies of that size, it's something to remember. Not that I don't agree with the post, I do, but often hands are tied...

Phillip Thune

The lawyers' comments make no sense. I'm the CEO of www.HireMeNow.com, a site that allows job candidates to post video resumes, written resumes and other information about themselves, and then send an e-mail to a prospective employer to view the profile. The profile is password-protected and we notify the candidate when a specific employer viewed the profile.

We have consulted with top employment lawyers and they believe a video resume is fine. One could argue about a picture, because all it does is show a person's age, sex, race, weight, etc. It provides no information relevant to whether the person can do the job. However, a video resume allows a recruiter to assess a candidate's communication skills, how the candidate presents him/herself, the level of enthusiasm - those are all qualities that a recruiter legally may use to make a hiring decision. They are also all qualities that can be judged with an in-person interview. Yes the recruiter could also see the candidate's age, sex, race, etc., but that is true for the in-person interview, and nobody is suggesting that we abolish those.

So clearly I am biased, but I hope the quote from this lawyer doesn't get equal weight in every article about video resumes, that would be a shame for this great new tool for both recruiters and candidates.

Essentially, a video resume should be seen as a replacement for the first minute or two of an in-person interview, where the recruiter says, "Tell me a little about yourself." How often have recruiters known in that first minute or two that, from the answer, the candidate had no shot at the job. But to be polite, the recruiter wasted another 20 minutes finishing the interview. And imagine the time spent by the candidate - dressing up, traveling to the employer, waiting, etc. Wouldn't that candidate rather be rejected from the video resume and save all the time of going to the in-person interview?

Phillip Thune

Dave Lefkow

You can also add time phone screening and getting hiring managers sold on candidates who will eventually bomb in the interview process. I think these are just scare tactics - without impending threats of doom and unmitigated risk, these lawyers can't make a buck.

Chad Sowash

I wouldn't call $51million+ a scare tactic.


Dave Lefkow

Using a number like $51 million is DEFINITELY a scare tactic. That's $3,400 per company (15,000 of them) mentioned.

The best way to avoid this is not to discriminate, no matter if it's a video resume or an interview.

Adam Peterson

I completely agree with Chad and Susan - it is not a surprise that many lawyers view video resumes as a potential risk management issue. It is their job as counsel to protect their clients from not only lawsuits, but the potential for claims.

Large organizations mitigate the risk of discrimination claims by having set processes that demand a candidate is “objectively” qualified by their “paper” resume before moving on to the next screening step.

One of the largest problems with video resumes is that no process has been defined for how an employer can manage a standard hiring practice that includes video resumes while also minimizing any potential for discrimination. To my knowledge, no F100 company is utilizing video resumes as a standard part of their hiring process. Until that process can be defined, I think video resumes will continue to be considered controversial.

That being said, I think video – maybe not video resumes, but video in some forms – can successfully be added into the hiring process. They simply have to fit into the process in a way that mitigates the risk of discrimination and significantly improves the recruitment process (otherwise, why would anyone change?)

Adam Peterson
Vipe, Inc.

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