Caught on Video — The Employee Lifecycle: #TChat Preview

Breaking news: Video is being used in the workplace for recruiting and talent management. It’s a technology that supports social collaboration and interaction, but do company leaders see it that way, too, or mostly as an aid to surveillance? Put differently, have attitudes progressed to view video as a two-way tool? And which leaders are using video to train employees who work from remote locations? After all, we are a global workforce.

The answer: Yes, all of the above, and a lot more. Video is bigger than Lolcats on YouTube; it’s a legitimate business tool. Companies that are using tele-presence technologies to support global team interaction and collaboration are also increasingly turning to video for HR support, and uses now range from interviews to managing remote teams and providing learning content for a decentralized workforce. Safety training is a big application, and other workplace learning opportunities have been in place for a while.

And what can we make of amateur user-generated video? The barrier to entry couldn’t be lower. Web cams are embedded in most mobile phones, tablets and laptops; it’s a technology that appeals far beyond Gen Y. Tell the truth: How many video Skype conversations have you had with your parents in the past year? Did you know Skype supported 32 million concurrent conversations recently?

Some of the most practical applications of video are for job seekers — e.g., video resumes. Check out ResumeTube and BrightTab, for instance. More applicants are putting these together, but it’s unclear to what extent video resumes will supplant, rather than supplement, the traditional resume. Actually, plenty of technology threatens resumes’ turf, but that is a conversation encompassing more than video. Suffice it to say that video resumes may edge out first-level phone screening over the short term. Furthermore, more companies are using video interviews; again, however, it’s unclear, when, if, and how quickly these will replace traditional interviews, or if video interviews will become the new first-level applicant screening tool.

Because video is a form of in-real-life (IRL) interaction, we believe the technology has potential to make the workplace more productive (as long as your Internet connection speeds are up to snuff). Nevertheless, the use of video may sometimes be inappropriate in the workplace — e.g., to convey employee sanctions, to negotiate get-well plans and short-term objectives, and to terminate employment.

And look at it this way: There’s nothing like a real, signed letter to make a job offer sing. Video can’t do that.

Because “video in the workplace” is a large topic, and because there are still many open questions about workplace privacy rights and the application of this technology to the benefit of HR, it’s a perfect topic for this week’s TalentCulture #TChat.

Here are a few of the questions we’ll be discussing:

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Please join us Wednesday night for #TChat. That’s Febraury 29 — don’t forget: Leap Year has given us an extra bit of February. Fire up Twitter at 7-8 pm ET (6-7 CT, 4-5 pm PT, or wherever you are) to join me and moderator Maren Hogan, as well as Sean Charles, Kyle Lagunas and the newest addition to our team, Brent Skinner. Usual #TChat mainstay Kevin Grossman is in Austin, Texas, this week to attend TLNT Transform, but even he might swoop in for a tweet or two. We won’t be using webcams, but we’ll be visualizing all of you. Talk to you (see you) Wednesday.