The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of people losing their jobs, also presenting an unprecedented challenge for human resources (HR) and recruiting teams across the globe. While some businesses are slashing their headcount, others are sticking to their hiring plans or even stepping up recruitment.
Companies dependent on e-commerce, logistics, and e-services businesses currently find themselves in a particularly urgent need for manpower, as most of them rank as essential services. But how do companies recruit people during a pandemic?
Across the globe, including in Sri Lanka, companies are now looking at e-hiring as a means to fill their ranks, while still complying with the social distancing health guidelines presented by health authorities.
This is becoming the new normal in Sri Lanka, with many companies shifting to virtual interviews, according to SIXER VIDEO Co-Founder/CEO Imthiyaaz Hassim. SIXER VIDEO is a start-up that functions as a secure video-based platform that allows companies to hire, sell, and communicate internally by leveraging pre-recorded videos.
“We were growing well before the pandemic as a digital means for HR departments to save time and money when recruiting. But due to the pandemic, we are seeing more companies shifting to virtual interviews that mainly involve video calls,” Hassim stated, speaking to The Sunday Morning Business.
The concept is already used internationally with many companies conducting video interviews. However, most of them require infrastructure investments. Seeing this, Hassim launched SIXER VIDEO in 2017, under an incubator named “Common EDGE”, and officially registered the start-up in 2019.
“The ones available internationally are usually expensive and require infrastructure investments. Compared to them, our setup time is less than an hour and companies can start hiring immediately. Plus, we provide unlimited videos under all our packages.”
He explained that the start-up’s pre-record feature allows candidates to submit a video before any live interviews. This, from an HR manager’s perspective, saves time in reading countless CVs and doing first interviews, and also ensures they are able to quickly get a good impression of who a candidate is before proceeding further.
“One of the biggest risks for HR managers is missing out on talent due to time shortages; SIXER’s pre-recorded video feature helps manage this efficiently.”
Meanwhile, for candidates applying for a job, it allows them to express themselves in their own comfort zone with ample preparation time, allowing some of their personality traits to come through.
Hassim explained that SIXER VIDEO is a secure and dedicated professional platform for HR teams and applicants, unlike WhatsApp or video calling tools which are more short-term solutions without continuity or tracking to address the real need. He went on to state that even candidates are increasingly conscious about their videos being shared via personal accounts such as WhatsApp.
Being a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, the platform generates revenue through subscriptions that are either paid monthly, biannually or annually.
Once employers sign up with the start-up, the platform generates a code per role they create. Next, the employers get to prepare a list of questions they want candidates to answer in their videos. The job code is then shared with prospective candidates via links, buttons, or QR codes, after which the candidates follow simple instructions on the SIXER platform and submit their video pitches.
The candidate videos can be viewed directly from an employer’s SIXER dashboard, which would allow the recruitment team to evaluate candidates and decide who they would want to meet.
“Department heads can weigh in, if required, from wherever they are via a link and place their ratings and comments for candidates. Even at this initial point, the quality of candidates shortlisted increases tremendously with hardly any time spent to do so,” said Hassim.
He stated that the main challenge they faced was when it came to getting companies to adapt to these kinds of new digital technologies, explaining that it was due to them having to change the mindsets on modernizing traditional HR recruitment approaches.
“Many companies that were digitally savvy did adopt our platform immediately. The main reasons for this were the time saved without having to go through countless CVs and conduct many first interviews. That long and cumbersome process just doesn’t work anymore. One other challenge we faced was communicating to people that we were not a job board to the market.”
Currently, the start-up has served 18 clients since its inception, with all of them being either large-scale multinationals or local conglomerates that are very serious about modernizing their HR practices and hiring smarter. This has led to them being recognized in international markets like India, Norway, and Australia, for which they have won multiple competitions and awards.