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Using Video Interviewing to Improve Diversity

11/05/2015
People at table reviewing charts

Asciano is Australia’s largest combined rail and cargo ports operator and has been moving goods across the region for over 100 years. Asciano has had a significant challenge in operating in a heavily male-dominated industry when it comes to diversity. Recently, Sonru has partnered with Asciano inside one of their innovative diversity campaigns providing video interviewing, and we felt their story was so inspiring that it was worth sharing. Here is a guest blog from the Talent team at Asciano.

Careers@Asciano – We recently embarked on a recruitment campaign to diversify the workforce across our traditional operational roles. Overall we aimed to hire 14 full and part-time Freight Team Members from a diverse background not specific to the rail industry.

Our team’s first hurdle was identifying how we could attract females to roles that were traditionally seen as male-dominated. Our approach, through the use of social media, we set off and launched the ‘pink boots’ campaign. We made sure that our advertising was consistent; we spread our media over Twitter and Facebook and created unique landing pages to engage candidates. We complemented this strategy by ensuring a diverse applicant pool would further notice our advertising efforts. Instead of only posting in the traditional categories, we thought outside the box to focus on the skills these candidates needed to have and where they could come from different industries and role types. With cultural fit and resilience being such an integral part of this job, our talent had the potential to come from a large variety of backgrounds!

The application results were a success in themselves. We received a diverse applicant pool and had a 45% female response rate! From this point, we shortlisted and had suitable candidates to complete a Sonru interview.

“The Sonru video interview was critical in the process. It gave the candidates that had no previous experience in the industry a chance to showcase what transferable skills they had.”

Another critical element to the project had buy-in from hiring managers from day one. We did this by engaging them to determine the competencies all applicants would need to assess. One key value at Asciano is Safety, and we found by incorporating a safety question, we were able to set candidates apart and tell who was invested in the brand. The video interviews received great feedback from hiring managers and candidates alike.

“As a first-round screening tool, they were perfect in assessing candidate fit.”

Candidates who successfully completed a video interview were then invited to attend information evenings to ensure non-industry candidates had a greater understanding of the roles and industry. The information nights were key to gain buy-in from hiring managers regarding recruiting a diverse workforce. Coupled with seeing the candidates on video, the information nights allowed hiring managers to see candidates’ real potential.

“The information nights were a great success with a split of 50% male and females attending.”

One of the final hurdles in a well-thought-out process was multiple assessment centers. Throughout this process, we received a 90% attendance rate. Again an achievement in itself, but something we put down to high candidate engagement. We were always sure to communicate every step of the process – we wanted candidates to feel comfortable at all touchpoints from the video interviews/assessments, information nights, right through to offer. Following our highly successful assessment centers, we hired eight females and six males, which surpassed well and truly beyond our starting quota.

“One of the females we hired was also put into a supervisory role even though she had no prior experience in this field.”

We put our success down to involving hiring managers from the beginning of the process, allowing candidates to show transferable skills via video and assessment centers, and finally, giving the ultimate candidate experience by keeping everyone informed.

“We can’t wait to continue to push the boundaries in terms of innovation and recruitment!”


This article was created by Sonru Video Interviewing and includes contributions and research gathered from Sonru clients and candidates between 2011 to 2020.