Why Skype Falls Short for Small Business Video Recruiting

By: Brian Westfall on August 4, 2016

Just as Uber has become synonymous with ride-sharing, so too has Skype come to define video chat. Since launching in 2003, users have made more than two trillion minutes worth of video calls on Microsoft’s platform—that’s almost 4 million years!

Skype has become so ubiquitous, it even has its own horror movie.

So, when small to midsize business (SMB) recruiters and hiring managers video interview job candidates—a practice now used by nearly three-quarters of all organizations—it’s no surprise they turn to Skype.

In a Software Advice survey of 200 U.S. recruiters, 61 percent say their organization uses Skype to conduct video interviews.

Most Common Platforms Used by Recruiters for Video Interviews


The appeal of Skype as an ad-hoc recruiting tool for cost-conscious small and midsize businesses (SMBs) is easy to understand: It’s free and gets the job done when you need to conduct a live video interview with a promising candidate.

But when it comes to solving the problem of how to evaluate applicants quickly and effectively to hire the best among them, is Skype really a video recruiting solution?

Or is it simply a Band-Aid—one that will eventually fall off as your company grows and your hiring needs accelerate?

In this article, we explain where Skype falls short for recruiters and how small businesses can benefit from using dedicated video recruiting software instead.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

Why Video Interviews Are Vital to SMB Recruiting Success

Where Skype Falls Short for Recruiters

The Benefits of Dedicated Video Interviewing Software

Next Steps

Why Video Interviews Are Vital to SMB Recruiting Success

For many small businesses, video interviews are seen as a one-off need; a tool locked in a glass box labeled “BREAK ONLY WHEN CANDIDATE CAN’T COME TO OFFICE!”

Using this method sparingly makes sense if recruiting resources are limited, or if you rarely hire outside of your local area (if you’re even hiring at all).

But things won’t always be this way. Whether you’re planning to expand production in your current location, open a second store or dominate the global market in your industry, growth is inevitable and an important part of running a small business.

As your business grows, and the number of applications and positions needing to be filled increases, video interviewing becomes a more integral step in the candidate vetting process—even for applicants who live right down the street.



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Group interview in HireVue Live

Instead of only using them on an as-needed basis, you can use video interviews for every job vacancy between the resume screening and in-person interview stages.

This allows you and your team to assess candidates face-to-face, either live or asynchronously, and further shorten the list of applicants you want to interview on-site—a process which requires mitigating multiple schedules to find a time that works, reserving space and so on.

With the average interview process taking nearly a month according to Glassdoor, any candidate you can safely eliminate before that final stage can save your recruiters valuable time.

In the glass box scenario above, consumer video chat apps such as Skype can suffice.

But what about the second scenario, where it’s essential to have an efficient workflow and a system optimized for the task at hand to video interview an entire shortlist of candidates? Not so much.

Where Skype Falls Short for Recruiters

A quick comparison of recruiting features found in video chat apps (like Skype), video conferencing and video recruiting platforms reveals Skype’s shortcomings as an important cog in the SMB hiring machine:

Recruiting Feature Comparison: Video Chat vs. Video Conferencing vs. Video Recruiting


Here are three key areas where Skype is especially lacking for recruiters:

  • No ability to record or replay interviews. Want to review how a candidate responded to a certain question or replay an interview for a key hiring manager that wasn’t in attendance? Without a third-party workaround in Skype, you can’t.

  • No interview comparison features. With Skype, video interviews happen in a vacuum, with no way to compare how different candidates responded to a question or how the various applicants for a position stack up overall.

  • No functionality for on-demand video interviews. As opposed to a live video interview, where recruiter and candidate communicate with each other in real time, an on-demand video interview allows recruiters to send out predetermined questions via email for a candidate to record their responses when they please.

Eliminating the need for scheduling, a recruiter can review 10 on-demand video interviews in the time it takes to conduct one live phone or video interview. Unfortunately, Skype doesn’t allow for this.



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On-demand video interview in Montage

The Benefits of Dedicated Video Interviewing Software

The added features found in dedicated video recruiting platforms aren’t just bells and whistles. They’re necessary time and money savers in the war for talent.

Gartner Analyst Jeff Freyermuth explains the benefits of such a system in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management Software (available for Gartner clients):

“Video recruiting solutions can improve recruiter and hiring manager productivity, as well as better utilize the resources involved in the interview process. Video recruiting enables a larger number of interviewers to view interviews synchronously or asynchronously. This often results in shorter time to hire and lower cost per hire.”

Jeff Freyermuth, Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management Software

Here are a few other ways your small business can benefit from investing in such a system early on:

Better Quality Hires

A dedicated video recruiting platform gives your company the shared tool it needs to interview a large swath of candidates, instead of just the one-off candidate who’s on the other side of the country.

This allows your team to get face-to-face time with more candidates to assess them beyond what’s on their resume—letting great workers who may not normally impress on paper stay in the running for key positions.

Integration With Core Recruiting Platforms and Processes

Video recruiting was once limited to specialty best-of-breed players. Now, core recruiting and applicant tracking systems are getting in on the action by partnering with existing vendors (e.g., Jazz partnering with Spark Hire) or adding video interviewing functionality of their own (e.g., Jobvite Video).

For growing recruiting teams that need to track applicants through the hiring process and conduct video interviews, the benefits of an integrated platform are many.

Among them, technology costs are cut down and any recorded video interviews are automatically attached to a candidate’s core recruiting profile for easy cataloguing and access.

An Improved Candidate Experience

A great candidate experience could be the difference between a high-quality applicant accepting your offer or not. A bad candidate experience, on the other hand, could prove more disastrous than you may think:

Likelihood to Take Actions After Negative Candidate Experience


Source: 8 Tips for Improving the Online Candidate Experience

The ability to overlay your video interviewing interface with company branding and add recorded introductions to emphasize your organization’s perks could help you make a good impression.

Don’t discount the flexibility or time savings offered to applicants with on-demand interviews either. When they have to schedule a live video interview with another company, they’ll be grateful.

Next Steps

Skype isn’t disappearing anytime soon as an ad-hoc candidate interviewing platform. But if you plan to use Skype as a legitimate recruiting system when your company’s hiring needs take off, you’ll soon find that the popular video chat app cracks under pressure.

Here are some next steps you should take if you’re considering an upgrade to a dedicated video recruiting platform:

  • Learn the questions you need to answer before buying recruiting software. If this is the first time your small business is considering a dedicated recruiting platform, our article covers all of the things you need to know to find a system that’s a perfect fit.

  • Head to our video interviewing software page. There, you can filter products by price or company size to find a best-of-breed or in-suite video recruiting solution that works best with your needs.

  • Email me at brianwestfall@softwareadvice.com. Having trouble convincing the C-suite you need an upgrade? Not liking the systems you’ve been researching? Let’s talk. I’ll connect you to one of our expert software advisors for a free and fast, no-obligation consultation.