Video Summaries of your search firm’s recommended candidates can help organizations avoid a costly leadership miss-hire; not video conferencing, which is widely overused in executive search, but edited video summaries of your recruiter’s in-depth face-to-face interview with the candidate.

Using videoconference technology to conduct the defining interviews that will be used to select their recommended candidates is a big mistake, the purported cost expense savings notwithstanding.  Reviewing an edited version of the interview allows the client to make an informed decision as to which of the four or five candidates on the panel should be invited for a site interview.

The proof is in the record of success.  Clients who have used search firms that incorporate video summaries as part of their candidate presentation say that it is “incredibly helpful” in selecting the right candidates .  “In the past, we had to rely solely on the recruiter’s judgment, and in many larger firms, the partner has only limited exposure to the candidate in the screening process,” one CEO said who asked that I not use his name out of concern that there might be negative repercussions.  Anyone who understands how most large consultancies work — and search firms are consultancies — knows that the partner is a rainmaker first, a client relationship manager second, and a working consultant a distant third.

Providing clients video summaries is a game changer in the client-search firm relationship.

The CEO continued that over a seven-year period and 12 searches, “having the videos helped us avoid some big mistakes.  Over that period of time we only had one candidate who did not work out and that individual left after two years and the search firm provided a replacement.”  He is not alone in his assessment.

The cost of a miss-hire at the executive level is extraordinarily costly, from 50 to 500 times the failed executive’s annual base compensation, depending on the size of the company and the that individual’s scope of responsibility.

Using videoconference interviews between the recruiter and candidates for the final panel is penny wise and pound foolish.