Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Video Doesn’t Discriminate. People Discriminate.

Advancements in technology occur to make our lives easier. We can access almost anything on our phone, from getting in touch with people by the simple pound of your fingertip to viewing important documents, or even watching our favorite TV show on the go. These advancements not only benefit our personal lives, but they can also be extremely beneficial to our professional lives.

With Spark Hire, companies and job seekers alike can utilize video technology to ease the hiring and job search process. Job seekers can search and apply for jobs, and then even connect with potential employers via online video interviews. With ease and confidence you can sit down in front of your computer’s webcam and discuss your skills, experience and desires with an employer just like you would when in an in-person interview.

While this video technology can benefit your job search, the issue of possible discrimination arises in the minds of both you and the hiring managers. However, in order to be honest with ourselves, we have to first admit that, while it is unfortunate, discrimination and racism still exist in our country and around the world. We have made leaps and bounds over the years, yet there are still tensions between races and genders, and a portion of people still hold discriminatory feelings or thoughts towards others.
The job market definitely isn’t void of discrimination. In some fields, men still make more than women, proving gender discrimination. Although there are laws designed specifically to combat it, companies still discriminate against job seekers that are looking to fill their positions based on age, race, gender, among numerous other factors.

As a result, many are cautious when looking at video technologies, incorrectly assuming they create an “easier way for companies to discriminate.” Some may think that if they put themselves in front of any employer right away, they’re setting themselves up for immediate discrimination. Employers now can make judgments on your possible age, race, religion, weight and possibly even your sexual orientation — all before meeting you in person. However, it’s important to realize that this is no fault of the advanced video technology.

Video interviewing is simply a tool. Employers and job seekers use the tool to aid the hiring and job search process. Tools don’t discriminate, people discriminate. Think about it this way: if an employer or recruiter discriminates against a job seeker in an online interview or as result of a video resume, it is just as likely they would discriminate against this potential candidate in an in-person interview. Also, as a job seeker, if you fear that a company may discriminate against you at all, why in the world would you want to work for them?

In both 2004 and 2010, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) backed video technology in the job search and hiring process and recognized it as a useful and beneficial tool. The EEOC provided that as long as the same safeguards exist for you as in any other setting, there is no problem with video.

I recently heard a great comparison with regard to video discrimination… the knife is a tool that gives us numerous benefits. We are able to utilize it in multiple ways, across multiple fields, to help us get things done. Unfortunately, some people use the knife as a weapon to harm others. We as a society see that the problem is with the troubled person who is using the knife, not the knife itself. The knife performed no action of harm as it is a tool. So, why would video technology be viewed any different? It is a tool that should be utilized to help, not harm.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Back Yard Skeptics

Spark Hire Team