THE BLOG

Google Glass and the Innovative Nature of the Job Interview

26/02/2014 13:28 GMT | Updated 27/04/2014 10:59 BST

Recently I contributed to an article that discussed the do's and dont's of video interviewing, sharing an insight as a recruitment professional and experience as a video-interviewer in relation to this topic. Of course, the 'Skype interview' is nothing new, in fact for a number of years now this has been a commonly used solution in interviews with long distance candidates. Since its introduction, the video interview has represented a great example of the innovative nature of recruitment and its willingness to adapt and utilize advances in technology.

This week, an online video demonstrating the potential use of Google Glass in a job interview environment provided a great talking point amongst professionals in the recruitment and HR world alike. The video, created by AIA Worldwide, runs through a mock interview, in which an interviewer wearing Google Glass conducts a face to face interview with a candidate. The use of Google Glass enables the interviewer to broadcast a first person view of the interview to other managers who are 'sitting in' on the conversation via Google Hangout. This enables the absent managers to send their own written questions directly to the interviewer who can read them directly through the Glass and then relay them to the candidate.

The technology here is no doubt impressive and the possibilities suggested certainly did capture the imaginations of many viewers. I myself am an advocate of the tremendous value in being able to view synced calendars, alerts and reminders, without having to consult a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Some of the discussion around the video highlighted the privacy issues that interviewing with Google Glass would present, while others suggested that the input of absent interviewers might prove a distraction to both interviewer and interviewee alike - arguing the advantage of the now comparatively 'traditional' video interview.

The Google Glass video was in fact the creation of one of the more tech-savvy recruitment advertising firms and during the course of the week it found its way to a good number of online publications, taking the discussion onward to numerous Twitter feeds internationally. I would argue that aside from the general interest in the potential of Google Glass, the interest in the video and the discussions that followed amongst recruitment and HR professionals highlights the desire to innovate and stretch boundaries in search of solutions to engage with the best talent. Not all innovations work as well as intended, though the fact that there are plenty of people trying to add value in this way is a testament to the enduring quality of the staffing industry as a whole.

Whilst the core principles of connecting opportunity with talent remain pretty much unchanged, the way we use technology to make this a quicker and better experience for all parties concerned, has changed dramatically. During my 30-years in the recruitment arena, technology has transformed the search and hiring process; some of the more notable advances being in online job advertising, assessment tests, pre-employment screening, social media networking and talent pooling. Then layer over this how we interface with the data and information these technologies make available to us - the use of smart phones, mobile devices and cloud computing - and it becomes hard to imagine the world as it was with hardcopy adverts, Cardex systems, application forms, paper CV's, fax machines and payphones.

In my own work, and the work my colleagues at InterQuest do, we lean heavily on first principles; using niche expertise to properly understand the qualities and values required to match the best opportunities to the best talent. As part of this however, we embrace technology in an attempt to continuously improve both the experience and the result for our candidates and clients alike.

Perhaps like many others I'm not yet convinced the on role Google Glass will play in the interview and hiring process, however the fact that someone out there is trying, irrespective of its long term success or otherwise, should be applauded - I am certainly watching with interest and will be keen to see the result.