How Video Can Help Humanize Your Recruiting

Here’s something you know all too well: To reel in top talent, you need to not just capture their attention—you’ve got to dazzle them. And these days, dazzling means a lot more than just bulleted job descriptions.

One powerful way to do this is by using video to enhance your company’s job postings, employer branding and recruitment efforts.

Video lets recruiters show, as well as tell, which is one way to capture the hearts and minds of top candidates. And according to Monster’s 2019 State of the Candidate Survey, 80% of Americans agree that a video of a recruiter  talking about a role as part of a job ad would help them better understand a job opportunity.

“Video content is a part of how we take in information today,” says Meghan M. Biro, founder of TalentCulture, a workplace culture and HR strategy group. “Not having videos just decreases a company’s potential appeal and ability to grab its audience—in this case, potential applicants.”

Consider this: A recent survey from Statista found that 85% of U.S. Internet users watch video across devices, and job seekers are no exception. “Millennials and generation Z job seekers are particularly receptive to videos,” says Kevin Grossman, president of the Talent Board, a non-profit focused on promoting quality candidate experiences.

In addition, video software company Wistia recently saw a 2.6x increase in time spent on Web pages with video than without. Visitors spent, on average, 7 minutes and 21 seconds on pages with video, compared to only 2 minutes and 48 seconds on pages without video.

But it’s more than about getting more eyeballs on your career site or job description. The real benefit of video is that it brings your job, your company and its people to life.

This helps candidates make better decisions about whether your position is the right fit for them, helping them to self-select.  And that means more time for you to do what you do best: hire great talent.

Before you take the next step and add video to your recruitment strategy, consider these best practices to help put your company’s best foot forward:

Keep It Brief

Yes, you want your videos to feel real and relatable, but keep your audience engaged, your videos must be concise. Grossman says 1 to 3 minutes is ideal. “It’s short, but people have short attention spans,” he points out. “If it’s longer than 5 minutes, you’re probably going to lose your audience.”

As Biro puts it, “No one wants to sit through the equivalent of a Driver’s Ed video when they’re racing through job portals or squeezing a job search into a busy day.”

Keep It Real

Authenticity is key, “particularly in today’s zeitgeist, where a lack of authenticity is a big strike against your company,” says Bruce Tulgan, author of It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss: The Step-by-Step Program for Making the Best of Your Most Important Relationship at Work.

Your videos have to be on-brand, and they must accurately reflect your company’s mission and core values.

Grossman says companies should not use actors to portray employees, nor should you aim to create something “polished” or “corporate” feeling. That’s the opposite if what candidates want to see.

Biro agrees: “Authentic means you don’t have an outside director who doesn’t know your company at all come in and create a video that has nothing to do with your company,” she says. “Authentic means also showing the people who work there—their personalities, their work behaviors—and letting them speak.”

“Don’t slick it up and make it look like a packaged mythological version of your organization,” Biro adds. “Show the real office, try to show aspects of the real culture, and truly convey what your organization feels like, looks like, and works like.”

Keep It Shiny, but Not Too Shiny

Want the good news about video? You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to create great video content, says HR consultant Tim Sackett. “Some of the best employment videos on the planet are done on an iPhone,” he says.

Hackett does suggest investing in a professional lighting and sound system for your company’s videos. “The magic of great video isn’t necessarily a better camera, but great lighting and clear sound,” he explains. After all, you want candidates to clearly see and hear the message you’re trying to convey.

Keep It Actionable

Video isn’t just another shiny new object, just there as a branding tool on your career site. To make your videos most effective, you’ll want to make sure that your story and/or script follows this tried-and-true formula:

First, start with a hook, something compelling that makes the viewer want to see more. Maybe it’s an unexpected question, maybe a little-known fact about your company or the job, maybe it’s just something lighthearted and fun that shows that recruiters are people too.

Next, be sure to include the “What’s in it for me?” section. This is where you outline the details of whatever you’re trying to convey. This is the meat of your video. It could be the details of a particular job description, or it might share highlights of the workplace culture you want viewers to appreciate.

And finally, you always need a CTA. Tell your viewer to do something after they’ve watched. Maybe you want them to check out the open jobs on your site. Maybe you’d like them to submit a resume or contact a specific recruiter. After all, as funny or beautifully shot as your video is, what you really want is to get people to act.