Using video to engage candidates – we discuss why this is such an important tool

If you work in recruitment you’ll know how important it is to be able to demonstrate to candidates what it is about your workplace that makes it so special. Despite overwhelming evidence that candidates are more likely to engage with visual content than the written word, a surprising number of careers websites still rely almost exclusively on written text to get this message across.  

Each month, fewer and fewer people read newspapers and books, and more of us get our information from moving media. Why? Because videos require little effort to watch but still provide a powerful message.

Why is video so important to your recruitment strategy?

  1. Video’s popularity as a source of 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.
  2. A recruiting video is a great tool to establish and strengthen your employer brand. A good recruitment video highlights your company’s USPs – these can be subtle things that differentiate the company, like unconventional office decor, clips from lively company meetings or other day-to-day activities that give the company a personality and make it real.
  3. Video allows you to eliminate irrelevant candidates, saving you more time and money in the long run. Potential candidates are able to decide for themselves if they are a fit for your organisation by “meeting” your employees, touring the company and getting a feel for what life is like at the organisation.
  4. Candidates are not just viewing content, but absorbing it, and letting themselves be swayed by it. And if they like it, they’re likely to share it with friends on social networking sites so your message has the ability to be seen by many very quickly.

What makes a successful recruitment video?

  • Content is key. This is still the most important thing and forward-thinking brands recognise it’s not all about style, but getting the message right. Tell a good enough story and people will want to share it.
  • Define the qualities you want in people interested in joining your company
  • Show diversity
  • Talk about exciting projects candidates might get the chance to work on
  • Add glimpses into the benefits your company has to offer
  • Include employee testimonials about why they chose to work for your company and what they enjoy about it
  • Don’t make your video too long – the attention span of a typical video watcher is 2 minutes

The future

Generation Y (18-36 years old) make up 25% of the UK workforce (figs from 2010), and as they’re of the age where they’ll be starting their careers or still in the market to move/change etc., these are one of the most important target demographics. Since they have pretty much grown up with technology and have constant access to it, they almost expect to be marketed/entertained/recruited etc. by video.

As video increases its dominance as an online communication tool, recruiters who stick with text-based careers sites and even text-oriented social networks will find themselves overshadowed by competitors who are using this medium to reach potential employees. Making your careers website video-based and interactive may be the single best thing you can do to improve your success in attracting and hiring the people you want.

Examples of companies doing it right…