HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

Take Your Job Videos from ‘Meh’ to ‘Mamma Mia’

Job videos are supposed to tell a story about the role you’re hiring for and what it’s like to work at your company. However, if your videos are an absolute snooze-fest, then obviously jobseekers will pass over your company. Sure, video is great at showing what can’t be easily communicated to candidates, but they’re only effective if done properly. We’re here to help with that!


Source: Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock

At RecruitCon 2019, Elena Valentine—CEO of SkillScout—teamed up with Katrina Kibben—CEO of Three Ears Media—to explain the power of storytelling and how your messages can help attract top talent to your company. In this action-packed workshop, attendees had the opportunity to share their own stories and help their peers gather ideas for creating recruitment stories when they head back to the office.
Here we’ll cover a few key takeaways from this session, but if you’re interested in learning more, make sure to connect with Elena Valentine this fall when she presents: Lights…Camera…Film that Recruiting Video!—at RecruitCon 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee on November 14-15. Now that we’ve got the obligatory plug out of the way, let’s get on with these tips!

Creating a Recruiting Persona

The first step to creating a job video is to identify your “recruiting persona.” In order to achieve the first step, though, you must do a little research to determine who/what your persona will be. This involves interviewing your employees, your hiring managers, and candidates who apply to your company to get a broader sense of what the video should be about.
The speakers say to research teams you’re not familiar with, as the more information you gather about a particular role can help you understand why people are leaving that job. Valentine and Kibben stress that you actually have to talk to these people to get down to the bottom of what the persona should be like.
When interviewing your employees to help create your persona, consider asking the following questions:

  1. What’s the first app you open in the morning?
  2. What happens on a good day?
  3. What makes this team different from others you’ve worked on?
  4. What do you brag about to your friends?
  5. How do you explain what you do?

Going back to the first question, for example, if your employees are going on Twitter first thing in the morning, then that gives you an idea of where your videos will have the most impact.
Using the answers to these questions to shape your persona will help you create the most impactful video and give jobseekers a true sense of what it’s like to work for your company and what your employees do on a day-to-day basis.

Real-Life Stories Bring Value to Videos

Once you’ve identified your persona, it’s time to share their story. When it comes to telling the story about a particular role, Valentine says to “lean into the suck.” That is, highlight the worst part about the job.
What’s worse, showing jobseekers the bad aspects of the role, or losing that person 2 days in because they didn’t know what they were getting into? As we know, turnover costs are astronomical, so it’s cheaper to lose a potential candidate than to replace a new hire after a few days on the job.
In your job videos, it pays to be real. Valentine and Kibben suggest adding some humor or show how your company handles adversity; anything you can add that offers a real glimpse into your company, its people, and the culture is a surefire way to stand out among the crowd.

Planning Your Job Video

If you’re feeling inspired to start creating your job video, this list below will guide you through the planning process:

  • Choose the job/role that will be the focus of the video.
  • Select one to two people to be in the video.
  • Think about the top three to five activities the “star” of the video does every day and catch him or her in the act.
  • Think about the most important part about this job; something that you need to convey to the candidate. What will this be and how can you record this?
  • Ask the “star” what first surprised him or her about this role and make sure you record him or her performing the task or explaining the “surprise.” This should help soften the blow to candidates who may not be aware of the “surprises” that come with the job.
  • Going back to the preplanning interview stage, be sure to ask your coworkers/employees what they brag about to their friends when discussing their jobs. Make sure you capture this for the job video because if people are bragging about it, you want to show it off, too.
  • Think about what causes employees to quit this role, AKA what’s the most challenging part about it, and make sure to include that in the video. Not all jobs are sunshine and rainbows, so give candidates a taste of what the hard days will be like.
  • Consider what makes this job so important to the company and try to include that in the video as well.
  • Try to include job promotion information about the specific role. For instance, what will the next step be for this position? How long will it take for the candidate to achieve a promotion?
  • Be sure to consider the emotion you want to convey as well. How will candidates feel after watching the video? Will this emotion inspire them to apply immediately?

Finally, when it comes to actually recording the video, plan for three to five additional items you want to showcase. This could be the location of your building, what your employees do for fun, what they wear to work, or even what the culture is like. These additional items don’t necessarily have to be about the job but are nice additions to have when rounding out the job video.
In the session, Valentine showed attendees a video from a company in Tijuana, Mexico. The company was having a hard time trying to recruit workers to that location because of the bad rap Tijuana was receiving. The video showed scenic beachfronts, unique restaurants, and employees of the company hanging around and having a good time.
The video was shot entirely by the company’s workforce, which also added an extra layer of authenticity. By utilizing your staff and getting their perspectives, you’re able to provide candidates with a true-to-life experience of what it’s like to work at your company.
Once you’ve finalized the planning for your video, it’s time to start shooting! One final tip Valentine and Kibben offer is video length: Don’t go over 30 minutes, “you want to be respectful of peoples’ time,” they add. Learn how you can record job videos on a budget, here and here.

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