Video plays in job search

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The Independent Online
CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that employers can tell within four minutes of meeting a prospective employee whether that individual is going to be acceptable to them. Carefully drafted CVs and impressive lists of qualifications are often no substitute for visual contact.

The arrival of CVTV may prove a welcome extra dimension to the process of recruiting employees. CVTV, which was set up a year and a half ago by Clare Hollister, a TV producer, and her partner Karen Green, offers employers the opportunity of 'seeing' a candidate without incurring costs such as air fares and hotel bills.

Ms Green first had the idea when she was made redundant from her job with an advertising agency. She made a video of herself in order to target potential employers. But after a year of researching the market, she and Ms Hollister became convinced that employers in general would be susceptible to such a product.

For a cost of pounds 245 plus VAT, CVTV will film, edit and produce a video tape of prospective candidates at its studio in central London.

The exercise normally lasts between half an hour and an hour, and the end product consists of a four-minute video tape.

CVTV advises both potential employers and employees. Prospective employees can be guided on what should be deleted from the video and may receive advice on the type of clothing to wear, as well as hints about their body language and posture.

Freelance staff are employed to carry out the actual filming. So far, the company has attracted a great deal of interest from advertising agencies, outplacement consultants and the finance sector, as well as the entertainment and music industry. Interest has also been expressed by the more conservative legal profession.

Ms Hollister says: 'The CVTV video offers an extra dimension to the written CV. The recruitment consultants can keep a compilation tape of prospective employees, which can be sent out to employers when they have expressed interest in a particular candidate.

'We are not trying to take away from the importance of interviewing an employee; we are simply offering an additional element in the selection process to cut down the waste in management time and also to bring prospective employees to the employers' attention who might otherwise pass unnoticed.'

According to Montagu Tubb, who is the managing director of Birmingham-based career specialists Mainland, CVTV is to be welcomed. He comments: 'CVTV is a rather important evolution in the concept of contact development. It is, in essence, a higher form of CV: it overcomes both geography and time. It tells the employer more about the candidate. I have used CVTV's services for one client who was employed ordinarily overseas to great effect.

'My client had very little time to prepare, and the clever editing was very effective. CVTV is a very specialised development. The video is, in my view, more the tool of the career consultant than the recruitment consultant.'

Further information on CVTV is available by telephoning 081- 366 3331.

(Photograph omitted)