How to Use Video as an Innovative Recruitment Strategy

Finger about to press the play button on a video

When it comes to attracting the best talent, advertising your open positions only goes so far. In a time of record-low unemployment numbers, you need to convey how your company stands out—not in a vacuum, but in comparison to all the other companies that are also competing for those winning candidates.

Showing off your employer brand and company culture can help differentiate your organization, and video is one of the most effective mediums on which to do it. Here, we’ll share some tips for effectively using video to communicate your company’s value proposition. But first, we need to talk a bit more about why you can’t afford not to be using video in your recruitment strategy.

The Power of Video

We’ve been hearing marketers proclaim that it’s “the year of video” for about a decade now, but we can’t fault them for their continued enthusiasm; the engagement numbers for digital video just keep growing year by year. According to figures released by YouTube, more than two billion logged-in users visit the platform every month. For context, that’s roughly a quarter of the people on earth. Those users watch over a billion hours of video per day.

Unlike video consumed via television, which often turns into mere background noise, online video is highly engaging. According to a study by Animoto, video is consumers’ number one favorite type of content to see on social media. When a website offers video content, users spend 88% longer on the site than on websites without video.

Video is a particularly powerful medium for the important but often-tricky-to-reach millennial audience. 56% of millennials find video to be more engaging than other content formats (compared with 45% of all consumers), while 66% of millennials say they’ve engaged with a brand after watching a video on social media (versus 53% of all consumers).

If the goal of your recruitment marketing is to not only reach the right candidates, but to make a meaningful connection with them—as it should be—it’s hard to pick a more appropriate format of content than video.

Video and Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand represents how your organization is viewed among the talent pool. It’s an important part of your value proposition to candidates; factoring in everything from how many qualified candidates you attract, to how long it takes you to make the right hire. Organizations with a strong employer brand spend less on hiring and keep employees longer than those that don’t prioritize employer branding.

Read more: How To Elevate Your Employer Branding To Attract Top Talent

That said, combining employer branding with video is a natural fit. Some parts of your value proposition, like your company culture, don’t translate that well through text on a screen. Even in a face-to-face interview, it’s hard for one or two interviewers to convey the culture of an entire organization. Video can help you encapsulate your company culture and other important aspects of your unique value proposition in a captivating yet concise way.

Tips on How to Use a Video as an Effective Recruitment Strategy

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #1: Make Your Employees the Hero

When an in-demand candidate is in the early stages of your hiring process, they’re looking for information to help them answer one question: what is it really like to work at this company? Who better to answer that question than the people who actually work there?

To produce an authentic recruitment video, put real employees front and center rather than using actors. Capture day-in-the-life footage that shows how they do their jobs. Conduct testimonial-style interviews where they share their experience working for your company in their own words. You might even tap your employee base for video ideas, like running a contest to come up with the concept for your next recruitment video (which is a great way to engage your employees, too).

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #2: Tell Real Stories

It’s been true since the earliest days of mankind: people latch onto stories. It’s simple biology. Scientists say our brains are hard-wired to connect with information that’s conveyed in a narrative format, and more specifically, narratives that are told through the eyes of a protagonist.

Use your recruitment video to take the viewer on a journey that has a beginning, middle, and end. This might include sharing how one of your teams worked together to overcome a challenge, showcasing how an employee went above and beyond to solve a problem for a customer, or taking the viewer behind the scenes at a company event, to name a few ideas.

Whether it’s satisfaction, passion, inspiration, humor, or some other emotion, your story should make the viewer feel something. Stories help set you apart in the monotonous grind that is job hunting, while evoking an emotion makes your company memorable.

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #3: Work with the Professionals

While it’s tempting to say that any video is better than no video at all, the reality is that in recruitment marketing, a poor-quality video can do more harm than good to your employer brand. After all, isn’t your goal to show how invested you are in the talent you bring onboard?

Smartphones may mean that everyone has a pretty darn good camera at their fingertips at all times, but there are so many factors that amateur video neglects to account for, like sound quality, lighting, and post-production, that can make or break a recruitment video.

Instead of relying on an intern with an iPhone to put together something for your Careers page, invest in working with a professional videographer and editor. If budget allows, you might also enlist the talents of a director and/or producer who can help you nail down the perfect concept for your video and execute it flawlessly. Working with the pros will ensure you walk away with a video that’s polished and professional rather than something that looks sloppy.

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #4: Keep It Brief

While platforms like Instagram have recently rolled out long-form video uploading capabilities, longer videos tend to perform best among viewers who are already invested in the brand. For new viewers, like prospective candidates, shorter videos (as in under five minutes) are best.

On Facebook, for example, videos that are about a minute long generated the most engagement. YouTube content sees a sweet spot around the two-minute mark. For Twitter and Instagram, videos under a minute perform best.

Longer form video content can have a place in your recruitment strategy, though. For best results, use longer videos to engage talent that’s further along in the hiring funnel, like visitors that have made it to your Careers page or completed an application.

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #5: Know Your Platform

One interesting thing about digital video is that the content matters on its own and in the context of the platform where you share it. The same video that performs well on your home page, for example, likely wouldn’t get the same amount of engagement if used in an ad on Instagram.

To create successful recruitment video content, you have to know your platform. This means considering factors like user demographics, platform intent (i.e. for recreational use versus professional networking), the average length of session, screen orientation (vertical versus horizontal) and more. To get started, here’s a good overview of the key demographics for the most popular social media platforms.

Creating platform-appropriate video content doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Video footage from a single shoot can be repurposed in many different ways to suit different platforms. For example, a long-form video that’s featured on your Careers page can be broken down into several 30-second snippets that are shared in separate posts on Facebook.

Video Recruitment Strategy Tip #6: Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

With recruitment video, your creativity’s the limit. Once you’ve gotten comfortable incorporating video into your recruitment strategy, try new things to see what yields the best results.

If you typically strike a formal tone, try a more lighthearted video. If you usually use sit-down interviews, stick a wireless microphone on your subject and have them walk and talk at the same time. Test out different lengths and shooting styles. Consider posting on evolving video platforms like TiKTok.

As with any recruitment marketing initiative, always track your efforts and analyze their results periodically so you can properly assess your return on investment.

Read more: How To Leverage Data To Improve Your Recruitment Process

Partner with the Recruiting Experts

If your recruitment strategy could use a shot in the arm, enlist the experts at 4 Corner Resources. Our team of seasoned staffing professionals can help target your recruiting efforts and maximize every dollar spent on hiring. 4CR was founded with the mission to make the staffing process more personal, helping businesses open new avenues for finding the best talent in their respective fields.

We specialize in finding staffing solutions that work within your budget, whether you’re an enterprise client looking to hire at scale or a small business searching for the perfect executive to round out your leadership team. We’re skilled at hiring for jobs in technology, healthcare, finance, marketing, communications and more.

Contact us today to start your search or learn more about recruiting and hiring on our blog.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn