If my own experience is any indication, video resumes are becoming more popular. I’m definitely seeing an uptick in the number of resumes I receive from sales professionals that direct me to a link on YouTube or another website to view their video resume.
For me, it creates a dilemma. There are some very real discrimination concerns because videos reveal information about the candidate such as race, gender, disability and age that, by law, cannot factor into the hiring decision. Should a candidate be turned down, the video can become fodder for a discrimination lawsuit.
Beyond the legal issues, video resumes can spark personal biases. We’re only human, which is why we’ll almost always come down on the side of a candidate who is most like ourselves or who is most like our best employee. It’s not legally wrong, but it can lead to a major hiring mistake. Just because someone isn’t photogenic doesn’t mean they won’t be a great sales person (although if they haven’t bothered to invest in a professionally produced video, that’s pretty telling on its own). But we’ll never know if we automatically disqualify them based on their video.
Then again, I question whether an A-Player would risk calling their professional judgment into question by using a video resume, knowing how subjective the hiring manager’s response can be. The A-Players I work with wouldn’t take that chance or, if they did, would make sure that their video resume was polished and professional.
What’s interesting is that this dilemma is apparently not shared by the majority of hiring managers. According to the annual employer survey from Vault Inc., 52% of employers said they were receptive to video resumes and 89% said they would view one if they got it because it’s a good way to determine the candidate’s professionalism, presentation, attitude and dress. However, the survey also found that only 17% of hiring managers had used a video resume to make a decision on a candidate.
For me, video resumes are not an effective job hunting tool. Where do you stand; should we encourage (or at least not discourage) candidates from using them?