Imagine how it would feel to land a contracting assignment (or get turned down for one) without having had an in-person interview; if social recruiting expert Bill Boorman is right in his predictions, Umbrella Company employees and other candidates might have to get used to a new, interview-less regime of candidate selection

Boorman, who advises recruitment technology firms, suggests that a new trend is emerging amongst employers that dispenses with face-to-face interviews in favour of social references.

However, Ian Dykes, Director of Recruitment for Europe at Cognizant Technology Solutions (which provides consulting, information technology and business process services) believes that the in-person interview remains an inestimably valuable means of pre-hire candidate evaluation.

He said: “There has to be a face-to-face [in-person] interview. Without them, how are we meant to tell how a candidate conducts them self [sic] how they interact with people.”

The face-to-face interview, he argued, enables hirers to gauge so much about candidates before coming to a final decision that it is indispensable.

Both experts were contributing to a panel discussion on the future of recruitment last week in an event hosted by The London School of Economics and HR Connection.

Boorman went on to suggest that these alleged benefits were sometimes more illusory than real. Removing the face-to-face interview had, he argued, “led to so much diversity in the workplace, as opposed to the old school technique of ‘oh, you’re just like me, you’re hired’.”

Recent research by University College London and Monster.co.uk suggests that just seven per cent of hirers have dispensed with in-person interviews, while 48 per cent use video interviews for candidate selection.

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