Using Online Videos For Recruitment

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by Traci K and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software

Recruitment videos are not so much a new idea as they are just now becoming properly utilized by organizations. While the video resume or virtual career fair arguably never took off (I may get hate mail from their supporters), the recruitment video is a strategy that more companies are implementing every day. In my opinion, it comes down to Generation Y. Organizations have been racking their brains over the past few years to figure out how to hire, manage, and retain the notoriously entitled, disloyal, ADHD generation of graduates coming their way. Though I don’t necessarily agree that the stereotypes apply to all Millennials, I do recognize that Gen Yers respond to digital enticements. We are living in the Digital Age and they are Digital Babies. The new problem for employers is that these technology habits have snaked their way into the lives of older generations. It’s no longer one specific recruitment strategy for certain age groups. Now potential employees are all over the board.

With this in mind, it doesn’t make much sense to stick to one recruitment method, or even two for that matter, if that is how you currently operate. Online job postings, paper advertisements, career fairs, networking, employee referrals, social media – you can’t choose one and expect to find the best talent. Spread your resources across the spectrum. Though more characteristic of Generation Y, online videos are a great way to widen your scope and reach a more diverse group of candidates.

According to online job site CareerBuilder, in June 2011, there were more than 178 million online video viewers. With the popularity of sites like YouTube, this number will continue to increase. Recruitment site TalentMinded cites an Adweek and Harris Poll suggesting that in the next three years, brands are projected to more than double their spending on online video advertising. Those that sell their products recognize the trend and if you are a recruiter looking to “sell” employment with your company to potential candidates, you should begin to recognize it as well.

While recruitment videos can be a vital addition to current strategies, unless your organization is vested in terms of allowing proper time allotment to online video initiatives, I suggest you shelf the plan until it gains proper support. Placing the wrong video out there for the world to see could have negative consequences regarding your candidate pool. This is assuming your video is viewed at all. Take the time to create an action plan. Budget for what you’d like to accomplish, spend time creating something of quality and authenticity, launch the videos using a well thought through and detailed approach that considers your prime target audience, and take the necessary steps to ensure you obtain as many views as possible.

Online video-for-business promotion site On-Live provides a few valid points when figuring out how to maximize the number of views your videos receive:

  • Whenever you use the video, whether in blog posts or a website, embed it from YouTube. Every time you embed your video, it crawls further up the search rankings.
  • Remember that YouTube is a social network as well as an online video platform. Find videos like this and comment on them using links to your own video. And, as with a presence on other social network be prepared to field comments on your own content – every negative comment is an opportunity to look like you care what people think of you, and further extol your virtues.
  • User Generated Content isn’t the only valid form of video for graduate recruitment, but it’s the most powerful – you can (and should) produce videos explaining your interview process, what each of your roles actually does, what your corporate goals are, etc. but remember, this generation can smell a fraud  -either be UGC or don’t be, but don’t try and fake it, the results of getting caught on a social network would be catastrophic!

While there is a lot of time, energy, and resources required to implement video recruitment in order to reduce the risk of experiencing drawbacks, the benefits of utilizing these videos may be worth the effort. The advantages extend beyond simply conveying your reputation and culture in a new way to talent prospects. CareerBuilder outlines their argument for “Making Video Part of Your Recruitment Mix”:

Increase Your ROI: As technology gets more sophisticated, producing and housing online videos becomes increasingly cost-effective – even more so when you consider the high level of engagement and interest online videos generate over static text. You can also get a lot of mileage out of these videos by distributing them over multiple channels – and encouraging employees to share them with friends and over social media.

Stay competitive: As video increases its dominance as an online communication tool, recruiters who stick with text-based career sites and even text-oriented social networks will find themselves overshadowed by competitors who are using this medium to reach potential employees.

Widen your audience reach: As noted earlier, 178 million internet users watched online video for an average of 16.8 hours per viewer in June 20111.  Video’s popularity as a source for information is only growing, and it is reaching wider audiences on a broad scale, representing the opportunity for employers who use this medium to reach out to a larger, more diverse candidate base.

Strengthen your employment brand: No other medium so completely enables you to showcase your organization and truly make it stand out. Videos help you communicate your employment brand more clearly than any other medium, because potential recruits get to “see, feel, and hear” what it’s truly like to work at your organization from the employees and leaders themselves.

Get higher response rates: According to CareerBuilder internal data, job postings with video icons are viewed 12 percent more than postings without video. On average, CareerBuilder customers receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings.

Eliminate irrelevant candidates: Videos allow outsiders to decide for themselves if they are a fit for your organization – by enabling them to “meet” your employees and executives, tour the facility and get a feel for what life is truly like at the organization. A good recruitment video covers the most crucial questions job seekers have about why they should apply for your organization. Once job seekers understand what it means to work and be successful at your company, those who do not possess the relevant skills or see themselves as a cultural fit will be dissuaded from applying. As a result, they’ll effectively weed themselves out (saving you the trouble of doing it later).

Don’t get defeated by the prep-work necessary in order to launch an initiative like this. In the end, the candidates should become more aware and invested in what your company has to offer, saving you future time and effort wasted on the wrong type of applicant. Keep an open mind, research your options, and develop the recruitment strategy that is right for your organization. If your processes are the same as they were 15, 10, even 5 years ago, you are probably in need of an update. Once again, we are full-fledged into the Digital Age, so it’s time to accept the changes. Welcome Newbies.

Traci K. is an HR professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.


1 Comment

  1. Kim Cole on February 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Very timely…we’re doing recruitment videos for Sharp Business Solutions in Washington, DC…they will be up on YouTube on Wednesday.

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