We, as human beings, are visual learners that retain more of what we see and hear than what we read. 80% of our brains are dedicated to processing visuals. From Netflix movies and shows to Youtube videos, this kind of information transportation has become an utterly essential part of our everyday lives and that includes the process of hiring.
Using video in your hiring process elevates the overall candidate experience, and benefits your overall time to hire along with other things.
The true sense of the hiring position
Using video in your hiring process also helps candidates visualize the day-to-day of a job more than a job description ever could. Especially with specific roles that require special technical skills and careful directions, videos will allow candidates to see and understand more what they are enrolling into. This meant producing a video depicting exactly what the work would entail, involving the POV of workers and the surrounding environment.
This helps employers find the right people who will stick to the job rather than someone who may leave soon after starting because they already know the requirements and realities that are expected of the work. Turnover is costly and time consuming, thus, simply using videos as a job description can significantly help with that.
The connectivity of video
A good poster with interesting captions can linger on someone’s minds for a few seconds, but a good video with great visuals and meaningful content can stay with them forever. While watching a video may take longer than skimping through a few lines of words, it shows that candidates who have watched and signed up for these positions are truly invested in this job. They know what the requirements, the challenges, the rewards are when they sign up for this opening.
This is why videos can be extremely useful in the hiring process because you’ll have a more qualitative group of candidates who are actively interested in the specific position and not just slinging resumes at every job opportunity. This can lessen the time and work involved in sifting through the applications you get for a role.
How to use video in the hiring process
Making employer branding videos can get complex at times but here are the six best practices from Elena Valentine — CEO of Skillscout:
1. Don’t overthink it
First, don’t overthink it. “There’s no wrong or immediate right way to do video. … That’s the thing that people have to get over,” Elena says, quipping about the unrealistic expectations that a recruiter or hiring manager must have a Hollywood-sized budget or possess filmmaking skills to rival Martin Scorsese.
On the contrary, it’s more about finding that important balance between authenticity and brand, Elena says. “You can actually do this in a way that still is quality, still as authentic, but also reaches a level of consistency that marketing and others would be okay with sharing publicly.”
2. Think about quality over quantity
Although it’s nice to have numerous candidates applying for a job so you have the luxury to choose, that’s the wrong approach, suggests Elena.
“The question should be, ‘Are we getting the right eyeballs on these videos?’” she says. “It has less to do with the metrics of; ‘We’ve had 50,000 people [see this video].’”
Instead, ask yourself: “Did the right 10 people in our application process who are kick-ass engineers see this video? And did they understand exactly what we could offer them?” Elena suggests. That’s where the key differentiator is.
3. Think about the ‘recruitment funnel’
A core tenet of sales and marketing strategy is the “funnel” It’s described in so many different ways. Ultimately, you can think about it in three stages. First is “top of funnel”, the moment where your audience becomes aware of you. Further down is “middle of funnel”; where your audience now knows you and wants to get a little deeper into the specifics. Finally, there’s “bottom of funnel”; in other words, the stage where your audience makes a decision based on what they’ve learned.
Elena speaks a lot about that in understanding how to use video in the hiring process. “You can build a series of videos to engage the varying levels of interests that a candidate has in the role or in your company. At the very top of the funnel is that introductory video.” She explains: “We are just here to create a level of brand awareness and interest. Maybe this is a company that does really great stuff, but no one’s ever heard of them before.”
Once the candidate is interested, you can get right into the details of the job itself. That’s where employee testimonial videos can come in incredibly useful as they allow the candidate to know what it is really like to work in these specific roles at these specific companies after getting an understanding of the culture.
4. Be specific — and keep it short
No one likes a long, rambling video that doesn’t properly inform the candidate on what they want or need to know. This especially holds true when you’re looking to engage busy candidates applying for several jobs in a single day. That’s why, when understanding how to use video in the hiring process, you must keep your videos concrete and tight.
Elena reminds us that it’s important to keep it contained. “About 90 seconds is typically the sweet spot, especially given social media and the ways people are able to peruse.”
5. Be honest — warts and all
It’s tempting to gloss over the negatives, but candidates will appreciate honesty.
“They recognize that our jobs aren’t perfect, and if you could be the first one to tell that to them and they don’t have to find that out on the first day of the job or the first 90 days on the job, even better. They will respect you more for it.” Elena explains that this is top of mind for her and Skillscout, especially when it comes to younger candidates.
There’s a practical aspect to it too — enriching the talent pool with candidates who really do want the role. This gives candidates the opportunity to self-screen in or self-screen out. If someone could accept the baggage that carries within this job and still accept it, you will know that you are having a quality choice. However, vice versa, if a candidate cannot accept the difficulties that come with this job, it is a good way to not waste both sides’ time.
6. Good questions mean great answers
Your videos will ultimately feature your current employees, and you want them to share some of the more interesting aspects of their work. That means you’re interviewing them — and when you do that, don’t just ask them to describe their day at work. Throw some interesting questions at your employees that they will be excited to answer. Elena suggests a few other questions you can ask:
- “What is it about your work that you’re most proud of?”
- “What is it about your work that people would be surprised to know about?”
- “What makes you stay? What makes you come back every day?”
And her personal favorite: “What makes your heart sing?”
Video attracts the real-life stars
Video really is another tool in your recruitment marketing playbook. Learning how to use video in the hiring process — including in the careers page, the video interview, and even outright employer brand promotion — can really show off the job and the work environment in action in ways that static words on a screen or paper can never do.
And it’s about keeping up with the times, adds Elena. “In today’s day and age, the way that we communicate our culture, our brand, the way that we get people.”
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MacKenzie, Keith Content Strategy. “How to Use Video in the Hiring Process: 6 Tips from an Expert.” Recruiting Resources: How to Recruit and Hire Better, 11 May 2021, resources.workable.com/tutorial/how-to-use-video-in-the-hiring-process.