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The Kelley School of Business is an undergraduate and graduate business school at Indiana University. It offers top-ranked business education, producing highly-successful graduates with global impact. Each year, more than 1,200 companies around the world recruit from Kelley’s 8,400 students because of their high-calibre.
Two hundred and 70 people had applied for a limited number of scholarships. “When you have more and more students applying, and in some cases fewer and fewer awards, you need to have as robust a process as possible,” explains Carmund White, Associate Director, Undergraduate Program & Director of Diversity Initiatives.
All the scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are historically underrepresented in higher education. The selection committee looks at factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, and more. It needed an effective way to review the many students who had applied.
“We’re really interested in getting to know the students themselves,” says White. “We want to make sure every student who applies is evaluated fairly.”
Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business made its scholarship selection process more robust by incorporating pre-recorded video interviewing software.
Students go through a first round of vetting, and then shortlisted applicants are invited to participate in a pre-recorded interview. They can complete it anytime before a set deadline, recording their responses to a series of questions that appear one-by-one on screen.
“You get to see these amazing students showing you their best selves,” says White. “At that moment, they’re just looking to the future; there’s absolutely nothing but positivity. It’s a wonderful moment in their lives, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
As part of the screening, students are also asked to complete a timed written essay. Once students get the writing prompt, they have two hours to process their ideas, plus a set time to write. They can either pause the application or proceed knowing they’ll need to commit some time to write.
“It takes different energy to do both tasks, so we wanted to acknowledge that in our selection process,” says White. “We give students the opportunity to take a break or keep going. Once they’re ready, everybody has the same amount of time, leveling the playing field.”
A group of reviewers evaluate the recorded videos and essays to determine who should advance to the next stage of consideration. Each of the committee members is randomly assigned applications to reduce the potential of bias.
Armed with its new selection process, The Kelley School of Business awarded 53 diversity scholarships to deserving students.
“VidCruiter allowed everybody on our committee to easily be part of the process,” says White. “We didn’t have to hand out a bunch of applications with grading sheets, then collect them all and put them in a spreadsheet. We didn’t have to aggregate anything. VidCruiter is a one-stop place for all of those things to come together.”
The pre-recorded interviews (coupled with the essay component) allow for a much more holistic assessment of students.
In adopting an inclusive, multi-tiered selection process, students are empowered to complete parts of the interview when and where they feel most comfortable. “It’s less stressful than an in-person interview,” says White. “They have time to think about their answer before they respond. They have a couple chances to record it. They’re not looking at you (the interviewer) or, worse, an entire committee.”
VidCruiter’s software makes it easy to identify the most promising applicants. The platform automatically ranks the evaluations, instantly consolidating multiple people’s feedback. “That’s really fantastic because right there at the top of the list are the people who stood out to the committee,” says White.
The beefed up selection process is also helping validate their scholarship decisions. “It can be a nice confirmation,” says White. “You can think ‘Okay, having seen this person speak and reviewed their written application, yes, this person is amazing. It gives some validity to the choices you make.”
VidCruiter’s digital interviewing software has gained traction elsewhere in the university, too. Multiple departments use it, including the Honours program for its admissions, and the Kelley ambassador program for vetting guides who help with school recruitment and events.