HR Professionals Expect Video Conferencing to be Their Preferred Communications Tool in 2016
Findings show shift in the way the HR function is communicating and shaping business culture
Move toward video provides advantages for talent management, staffing, training, productivity and flexible work enablement
New analysis of a recent global survey conducted by Redshift Research on behalf of Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) has found that HR executives who use video at work today say they will prefer video collaboration over email as their top method of business communication within three years. The majority of those respondents (56 per cent) indicated video would be their most preferred method of business communication, surpassing email (49 per cent) and voice conference calls (32 per cent).
Proving that the benefits of video for HR functions are well understood, the survey of business decision makers in 12 countries revealed that almost all (98 per cent) of the HR executives participating in the survey believe video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity between teams in different cities and countries.
The survey also showed that video is becoming more pervasive for Human Resources teams across the globe. When asked to choose their preferred methods of business communication today, HR respondents ranked video conferencing as a top-three tool for communications, placing third (46 per cent) after email (88 per cent) and voice/conference calls (62 per cent). Other methods of business communications these HR executives said they use included Web conferencing, instant messaging and social media.
The views of the HR professionals polled are supported by Aberdeen Group’s 2013 report on video talent acquisition that found 32 per cent of organisations were investing in video interviewing, compared to 21 per cent of organisations in 2012. The top three reasons identified by Aberdeen for this growth in adoption were:
To reduce travel costs
To shorten the time to hire
To reach geographically dispersed candidates
“Advancements in technology and telecommunications are allowing organisations large and small to operate seamlessly from anywhere,” said Mollie Lombardi, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Human Capital Management, Aberdeen Group. “HR leaders require a new understanding of how technology can help them bridge geographical boundaries and rethink their talent strategies to take full advantage of a broader talent pool.”
Vanessa Mauree, HR Director of French retail chain Alain Afflelou is already seeing the benefits of using video during the recruitment process.
“I interview candidates for positions all over the country. I cannot make a decision from a telephone interview; I need to see the person to make a good evaluation but flying all candidates to Paris is too costly. Video interviews are ideal, and allow me to see more candidates. A good video interview is as effective as an in-person interview,” said Mauree.
Beyond recruitment, video is also enabling organisations to implement flexible work environments. This is proven to increase productivity, can reduce employee time spent commuting, and can increase staff satisfaction and loyalty by allowing employees to have more control over work-life balance.
“Not only does video help to improve the quality and depth of our talent pool and reduce recruitment and on boarding time, but it also helps to ensure retention of top talent by providing easy access to development programmes and the enablement of a flexible work environment for employees,” said Daniel Sonsino, Vice President of Talent Management at Polycom. “While improvements in recruitment, training, retention and flexible work are measurable and visible, the intangible benefits of video collaboration are just as relevant. Improving trust, increasing productivity, enhancing cross-cultural understanding and forming more effective teams are all areas where data can’t show the value – it must be experienced first-hand.”
Voice, video and content collaboration is impacting many facets of the HR function, including retention, engagement, and training. Video conferencing, video recording and video asset management helps organisations overcome diminishing training budgets, minimise scheduling and travel conflicts, and prevent the loss of knowledge through attrition and retirement with easier, more frequent collaboration and on-demand access to training and knowledge. The ability to record live training sessions and playback later for people to view at times when it is more convenient for their work schedule allows for more cost-effective delivery of training content and efficient re-use of training content.
“As a unified communications and collaboration provider, we practice what we preach when it comes to using video collaboration tools to improve productivity and keep employees engaged,” said Sonsino. “Around the world, 100 per cent of Polycom’s employees are equipped with tools like video conferencing for conference rooms, laptops and mobile devices, which supports a flexible working environment.”
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