This post comes from Stacy Shrader, an intern with the collaboration marketing team and a rising senior at Virginia Tech with a dual degree in business management and public relations.

“We don’t have the budget to bring the candidate in for that interview.”

Human resources professionals detest these cringe-worthy words, but they’re not something new to HR teams in the hiring process.

Travel costs often hinder the ability of HR executives to bring in a variety of new talent, which can result in inefficient hiring processes. These problems add pressures to recruiting and turn great talent away. If a company is tight on budget, it can’t afford to fly a qualified candidate across the country for an interview. Instead, companies often settle with local candidates who are “low-cost” and “good enough.”

But taking advantage of collaboration technology such as video conferencing can introduce a new age of HR solutions that can address the challenges of hiring the best talent.

Reaching Full Potential

As a Millennial, I want and expect everything quickly and automatically. Yes, I know that sounds a tad entitled, but that’s the world of technology that Millennials breathe from day one. Collaboration technology offers that fast, meaningful interaction during an interview. Phone interviews are quick, but nothing is more crucial than building a relationship with a candidate – something that video can provide.

HR executives now have the ball in their court. Take a hit on the travel budget or start taking advantage of digital collaboration. Video conferencing shortens the timeline for the hiring process, meaning less money spent. Bersin found in a recent study that 58% of HR professionals would be willing to hire a candidate through video interviews alone. Companies often feel so comfortable with face-to-face interaction, that one interview is enough to make a decision. That means quicker turnaround and happier applicants.

During my recent internship hunt, the HR departments served as the face of the companies I met with. My first impression affected my overall outlook. I basically determined whether I liked a company based on the interview process. So, the number one question is: Is your HR department giving prospective employees a positive impression of your company?

Change of Times

While tomorrow is always evolving, HR department goals must not only follow along but lead the way. A recent CEB Global survey found that 73% of recruiting teams have restructured over the past four years. Collaboration solutions will lead the way to restructuring HR and then eventually, the way a company functions internally and externally.

Explorer Pipeline moves fuels from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Midwest in a productive way. The company currently uses Cisco Jabber, WebEx, and video conferencing to improve collaboration between headquarters and remote employees. Beyond day-to-day communications, Explorer Pipeline has created richer interview and training experience with collaboration technology.

“The telephone is not the same as face-to-face collaboration. Our employees benefit from a more personal connection, and we can solve problems quickly without flying people around.”

—Todd Golla, Director of IT, Explorer Pipeline


Recruiting and Retaining

The majority of professionals – regardless of the generation — use two to three work and personal devices in their daily lives, according to Cisco Connected World Technology Report. Since employees already use devices to complete tasks, then HR’s next steps include merging collaboration and these devices.

teleworker in meetingIt’s no secret that keeping good employees means keeping them happy. Sometimes that requires more than just good benefits and a decent salary. (Or for me, just lots of chocolate.) It’s HR’s responsibility to support employee needs and wants during their job.

Potential applicants want that perfect work-life balance. No parent wants to miss a child’s first soccer game. Or when life takes a sudden turn, employees want the accessibility to handle personal needs while still working.

According to a recent Fortune survey, 95% of respondents said that work-life balance was important to them. More than a quarter of young workers said they were disappointed by the level of balance they were able to maintain.

WebEx and Cisco Spark are great examples of collaboration solutions that can help employees maintain that ever-so-wanted work-life balance. These tools give people the opportunity to work when and where they need to be. If a doctor appointment runs longer than expected, WebEx keeps you on time for that two o’clock meeting without missing a beat.

Much of a business’s success relies on the core of its HR processes. While HR departments all over the world scramble for bigger budgets, the deeper answers continue to lie in collaboration solutions.

Find out more about how HR teams can benefit from collaboration technology.



Kim Austin

No Longer with Cisco