While we’ve been sitting in our own little industry closet talking to ourselves about video resumes, the legal community has been doing the same. And (surprise), their opinion of it isn’t quite so favorable.

Once again not understanding how recruiters find candidates these days and not distinguishing between video resumes and video interviews, they’ve essentially told companies to close their eyes and not watch videos of candidates at all. From a recent National Law Journal:

If a video résumé comes across your computer, hit the delete button. That’s the advice labor and employment attorneys are giving employers and human resources professionals about video résumés, the latest job-searching trend that has employers nationwide both intrigued — and scratching their heads. But lawyers are warning employers that video résumés can open a slew of discrimination claims.

“Just don’t even deal with them,” said Dennis Brown, an attorney in the San Jose, Calif., office of Littler Mendelson whose firm recently advised employers about the dangers of video résumés at a seminar. “My advice to my clients who have asked me about video résumés — and I have had a lot of clients ask lately — is do not accept, do not review video résumés.”

Brown’s main concern with video résumés is that they reveal information about a person’s race, sex, disability, age — all details that could wind up in a discrimination lawsuit. He believes that employers should stick to the old-fashioned paper résumés and avoid the potential legal hassles of video résumés, which he called “an outgrowth of the reality television craze.”

The legal community really hasn’t done their due diligence here. First off, you can’t hit the delete button on a website… because there isn’t one. Because of YouTube’s and other sites’ embedded video technologies, videos will soon become indistinguishable from the sites themselves, making video resume content nearly impossible to avoid.

In addition, you might as well insert the phrase “in-person interview” into the last paragraph above, i.e. “Brown’s main concern about (in-person interviews) are that they reveal information about a person’s race, sex, disability, age — all details that could wind up in a discrimination lawsuit.” Perhaps employers should stick to phone interviews and avoid the legal hassles of meeting someone in person? Rather than try to understand the ways that video resumes and interviews can be used for good, the legal beagles seem to want to spread fear among their customers that it’s going to cause a new wave of discrimination and lawsuits.

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