Are Video CVs a Good Thing for Employers?

For many large employers, candidate videos are already an integral part of the hiring process. Video interviews are relatively commonplace (and set to become more so with the advent of predictive analytics offering automated screening). But is there a role for video at the first stage of selection?

Could video CVs do more of the sift-and-sort work up front? To date, you may struggle to find a comprehensive answer: the scales of online opinion tip heavily towards candidates and the benefits they gain from submitting a video resume.

Whether video CVs are a good thing for employers is a topic less explored. Or rather, was a topic less explored.

Here’s our take on the pluses and minuses of video compared to written CVs, in the context of 4 key candidate screening issues: time, transparency, relevance and insight.

1. Do video CVs save time?

Yes if…

  • You’re reviewing a small number of applications or a pre-screened list of candidates
  • You want the initial application stage to prune hard
  • You want to see specific skills/attributes in action (you can request to see them in the video and make an immediate call)

No if…

  • You’re anticipating mass applications
  • Your ATS is geared up to screen written CVs (and does it well!)
  • You’re receiving resumes in different formats

2. Do video CVs offer greater transparency?

Yes if…

  • You’re looking for specific soft skills (e.g. planning or presenting)
  • Traits like confidence, credibility and impact are important in the role

No if…

  • Spontaneity/improvisation/adaptability are key traits for your role
  • You’re receiving resumes in different formats (it’s as bewildering as it is time-consuming!)

3. Are video CVs right for the role?

Could be if…

  • Personal interactions are a key requirement (e.g. sales)
  • It’s a role with a creative focus (e.g. marketing)
  • It’s a digital/social media role

Maybe not if…

  • Deep specialist/technical knowledge is the core requirement
  • Easy communication skills aren’t specifically relevant (you may end up favouring more charismatic candidates over better qualified ones)

4. Do video CVs give better insight?

Yes if…

  • You’re recruiting on personality
  • Culture fit is an important factor

No if…

  • There are any concerns about unconscious bias compromising equal-opportunity selection


Video CVs are certainly not a screening panacea for recruiters. Their usefulness depends ultimately on the role you’re recruiting for, your hiring priorities and the structure of your selection process.

Yet as candidates become more clued up on your ATS and how it sifts their CV, alternative application formats are definitely worth considering. We hope this post has helped you decide whether video is one of them.

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