Video is definitely starting to make an impact on the recruitment world. When we first started making professional recruitment videos back in 2010 we had to make a lot of noise to get ourselves heard. Video was still being seen as a gimmick only affordable to big brands. Fast forward 18 months and we are now getting 2 or 3 calls a week from agencies, in house recruiters and SME’s wanting discuss their video projects.
So what has changed?
Cheaper equipment and sites like YouTube have helped make video more accessible. However what I have really seen over the last 6-8 months is a mindset change. Companies both small and large are embracing video as a ‘must have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have.’ Companies are starting to ask themselves, why would someone want to follow me on Twitter or Facebook? Once someone has found my website, what will make them come back, again and again? The answer is engaging content, and there is no media more engaging than video.
However for most, video is still an unknown quantity and many are confused as to how it is best utilised. We often get asked, “can we make a viral video?” so first of all I want to dispel the myth that one can create a viral video. Videos go viral because they are funny, different, innovative or surprising. It is of course possible to make an amusing or different video but there is no guarantee that others (your target audience) will agree with your comical genius. If your sole aim is to create a viral video then there is huge margin for error and you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment. Rather than trying to create a viral video it is much better to concentrate on creating a practical and engaging video that gets your message across to your target audience.
How do you choose what content to put in your recruitment video?
This takes some careful planning, in my experience the companies that take their time and plan are the ones that end up happiest at the end of the project. There are many things to consider when making a recruitment video, but most importantly you need to think about where this video is going and who is going to watch it. There is no point in creating a long ‘information heavy’ video if your goal is to distribute it through Twitter. You need to think of the mindset of the people that are viewing your video. When people are on Twitter they are in scanning mode, looking out for key words or titles in a 140 character paragraph. So if you are distributing your videos through Twitter then try to make them short, concise and digestible. Twitter followers are much more likely to click on the retweet button if they feel your video length follows the rules of the environment. This also means giving your video a title that is engaging, impactful and potentially provocative. On the other side of the fence if your video is to be viewed on your website you have a much more captive audience. You can afford to make your video a little longer (no longer than 2mins 30 seconds). One of the tricks we use when creating video content is to create a long video for the client’s website made up of up to 10 distinct points. We will then cut this video up into individual short videos so that the client has the option to use both the full length footage for their site and the 10 individual videos for their social media distribution.
What about the player?
By default we will always advise clients to use YouTube as their player. Why? Well, YouTube is owned by Google and Google makes the rules about SEO. Google uses search and indexing algorithms to index your content. Google is placing more and more importance on video indexing which means that well tagged videos will be pushed further up the search rankings. Don’t get me wrong, Vimeo is an excellent player and easily customisable, so if you are looking to brand your player to fit in with the overall look of your web page then it is worth considering. I also like the feature in Vimeo Pro that enables you to create private portfolios. We have advised recruiters to create a portfolio per client, these can then be sent out to applicants to further educate them about the opportunity or company culture.
Where are we going with recruitment videos?
There are two types of video/technology that really stick out in my mind as potential game changers. Since 2007 a company based in San Francisco called Clikthrough (http://www.clikthrough.com/) has been developing state of the art interactive videos. Clikthrough have enabled advertisers and brands to product place using interactive and clickable links inside the video. From a brand perspective this is vital to making the purchasing experience more enjoyable, quicker and easier for the consumer. Although recruitment videos do not feature product placement, they do offer the viewer an insight into your company and its culture. So if we can replace the products with different people and departments we could potentially send an applicant on an interactive journey through the company. It would enable them to watch videos of employees in their workspace, even presenting core facts about each person or department.
Another company worth checking out is Insilencio. Insilencio are a corporate communications agency based just outside of Antwerp in Belgium. At the end of 2011 they developed an interactive video for Belgium telecoms company Belgacom titled ‘Are you one of the 25?’ The video was used to promote a yearly recruitment campaign that saw the telecom company hire 25 new employees. Insilencio used Facebook as their platform to host and drive traffic. The video has now won countless awards and attracted over 10,000 unique visitors. I don’t want to spoil the surprise so will leave you with the URL to enjoy it yourself www.the25.be
I think it is an incredibly exciting time to be in the recruitment industry, there are changes happening daily with new technologies popping up all over the place. I can only see video becoming a more integral part of the recruiter armory, which is good news for us!
Posted on Monday, September 17th 2012