Case Study: YES Prep Public Schools

How YES Prep Public Schools Uses Spark Hire To Learn More About Their Candidates In Less Time

Michelle Burgess' Video Testimonal

About YES Prep Public Schools

YES Prep is an open-enrollment public charter school system serving students in grades six through twelve in Houston’s most underserved communities. YES Prep has continuously redefined possible for students, families and the public education system at large. Today, with 17 schools in operation, serving 12,600 students throughout Houston, YES Prep is living proof that different outcomes are possible when students from low-income communities are given access to high-quality educational opportunities.

Goals for Video Interviewing

In the past, YES Prep used a written application and then screened candidates based on the written application. Something they were missing was just learning more about about a candidate through a different medium. The video interview really allows their candidates to tell his or her own story and share with them about why they are passionate about working for an organization like YES Prep. That’s something that’s really important to them.

Q&A with Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, Michelle Burgess

Q:

What inspired you to look into video interviewing?

A:

We were conducting one hour phone interviews for every candidate that moved forward from our application stage. Given that we hire upwards of 350 people per year, we were spending a lot of time engaged in phone interviews. While they gave us valuable information, it wasn’t sustainable for our team. We made the decision to switch to video interviews because we are still able to ask specific, customized questions and hear the candidate’s authentic response in more than half the time. It has been a huge win in terms of giving us some time to focus on supporting candidates through our hiring process and ensuring that hiring managers have the information they need to make great hires.

Q:

What criteria did you have in mind for a video interviewing solution?

A:

We needed something that was going to be cost effective and easy to use. We found that with Spark Hire.

Q:

What was getting started with Spark Hire like?

A:

Getting started was very easy, and we were able to implement quickly. There was virtually no setup necessary. The most time consuming piece was having key stakeholders in our organization recording the welcome videos.

Q:

What are some of the results you’ve seen with Spark Hire?

A:

The video interview has been incredibly helpful in that it has allowed candidates to be able to share their own story with us without having to write it down in essay form. While the written application is still incredibly important to us, the video interview is also very important. It’s just a different component.

In addition to our teaching candidates, we use video interviews for every role at YES Prep, even including our non-instructional roles. I think the biggest benefit for using the video interviews for these roles, is that people who are hiring for those positions, have the ability to screen those video interviews at any time.

Q:

How does video interviewing fit into your hiring process?

A:

My team primarily is responsible for screening applications, video interviews and setting up phone interviews. From there we send candidates off to our campuses to be interviewed by a hiring manager. We’ve had a huge success using video interviews. Both in the screening process and when our hiring managers are getting ready to review candidates for final interviews. Video interviews have replaced our hour-long phone screen and takes 10-20 minutes for candidates to complete.

Q:

How do you get your team members to buy in to video interviewing?

A:

Our hiring managers saw that they would be able to learn more about the candidate before bringing them in on campus and figure out where they want to ask additional questions. Because of that, they liked not having to spend more time re-asking the same questions. Instead, they would get to ask new questions that are really going to inform decisions that they are going to make. For my team, we created a rubric which we use to assess candidate answers so that we remain objective. This in conjunction with the ease of viewing the video allowed all staff to get on board very quickly.

Q:

Why should other schools/school districts look into video interviewing?

A:

It really is a time saver and allows candidates to do on their own time – something that has been beneficial since many of our candidates already have full-time employment. Our teachers spend a lot of time in front of students and presenting, so the video interview is a no brainer because it allows us to see how they are going to present themselves. And, how they are going to communicate with us. So, it’s been incredibly helpful for us.

Q:

How has your experience been with Spark Hire?

A:

We really enjoy using Spark Hire and it’s something we’ll continue to use. I’m really looking forward to figuring out how we might be able to streamline the process even more in the future. I think that we’re really in a great place right now to do that, because we’ve had this experience. We have a lot to learn from and can now adjust our process based on what we’ve learned.

Spark Hire has been hugely beneficial for us, and our organization. It’s something that we think is a great tool to help screen candidates.

Q:

What are three words that describe your experience working with Spark Hire?

A:

Collaborative, simple, time-saving

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