Thursday, 29 August 2013

Video records need careful handling

A growing number of companies are now relying on video conferencing to conduct job interviews – so that they can keep a review of the conversations for their records.

The move, sparked by the widening availability of free computer software, has prompted calls from our employment law expert to ensure companies don’t fall foul of the law.

John Mehtam said: “A recent survey of human resources directors found that, in the past three years, 41 per cent have increased their use of video conferencing to conduct job interviews. They are taking advantage of improved hardware and software options which, in many cases, give the company access to applicants who don’t live locally.”

He added: “While this is all a clever, sensible and increasingly popular way of recruitment, it does come with a point of legal warning.

“You must always tell the job applicant that they are being recorded and obtain their express consent to comply with your data protection requirements, because the recording counts as their personal data. And you must also make sure you follow the exact same rules that you would apply if the person was being interviewed for a job face-to-face.”

John said: “There will be some Shropshire companies thinking this all makes perfect sense, but are worried about the cost implications.

“They need not, because as long as they have the necessary hardware like a PC, laptop, iPad or smartphone, the software you need to use – Skype - is completely free.

“To take advantage of its video conferencing facility, both you and the person you are interviewing merely have to have the camera enabled on their computer. And if you want to keep a record of the interview, there is a free video call recorder facility.”