HR execs say farewell to email

by Tammy Buckley13 May 2014
HR executives will shun email in coming years, according to the findings of a recent global survey by Redshift Research on behalf of Polycom, Inc.
The survey, Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends, found that HR executives who currently use video at work say they will prefer video collaboration over email as their top method of business communication within three years; with the majority of those respondents (56%) indicating video would be their most preferred method of business communication, surpassing email (49%) and voice conference calls (32%).
Additionally the results showed, globally, video is becoming more pervasive for HR teams. 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%) after email (88%) and voice/conference calls (62%). Other methods of business communications HR executives said they use included Web conferencing, instant messaging and social media.
So why is HR turning to video conferencing? According to the results 98% of those participating in the survey said video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity between teams in different cities and countries.
Those views are supported by Aberdeen Group’s 2013 report on video talent acquisition that found 32% of organisations were investing in video interviewing, compared to 21% 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
Apart from recruitment, video also enables organisations to implement flexible work environments and impacts on retention, engagement and training. Polycom,Inc adds that video conferencing, recording and video asset management helps organisations overcome diminishing training budgets, minimise scheduling and travel conflicts and allows for more frequent collaboration and on-demand access to training and knowledge.
Hayley Sullivan, HR Manager for Marsh Ltd, is one of the HR execs who has embraced video conferencing. Marsh uses the technology for two main purposes; recruitment and reaching out to overseas colleagues.
“As Marsh is a global company we are all involved in meetings across the world and we have found by using video conferencing it helps build these relationships,” Sullivan explained to HRM.

“It also means we can interview candidates throughout the country or globally which provides us with a good overview of the candidate and minimises cost.  The benefits of seeing a candidate mean that you can pick up on body language which you are unable to do over the phone.

“With us being a small HR team it means that if a manager in a different location wants the team to be involved in the selection process then we can do this via video conferencing, which is a more efficient use of resource.”

There are however a few downsides Sullivan adds, such as a delay in the video feed.

“Also sometimes in a team environment there can be a tendency to talk over each other, but that can happen whether it’s a video conference or in person,” she said.

She recommends those HR professionals considering utilising video conferencing to ensure the technology is running smoothly in advance. 

“If you have video conferencing you should make the most of it and if you don’t have these facilities I recommend you explore how technology can help you when have candidates or teams which it is impractical for you to meet on a face to face basis,” she said. “It’s great when you get used to it.”


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