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Imagine a top candidate browsing your company’s career page. They’re skimming through and seeing the typical phrases: “We take on challenges,” and “We work as a team.” And none of it’s sparking interest.

Now picture the candidate watching and listening to an employee talk about their job. The candidate sees the employee’s face light up and hears the enthusiasm in their voice—subtle cues that give them a powerful, positive impression of the work experience.

It’s the latter interaction that motivates top, high-quality candidates to apply. Watching an employee is authentic—candidates can gauge emotions and tell whether they are genuine. With this level of connection, humans, not words on a page, are best at recruiting humans. You can create this connection to get the best candidates through a simple one-time investment: a recruitment video.

The Value of Recruitment Videos

Whatever type of organization you have, success is dependent on talented, energetic employees. A high-quality team is always ready to find and solve problems and brainstorm ways to grow, so progress remains constant.

Recruitment videos allow you to attract top talent. Posted on your site’s careers page or on other online outlets, videos can influence the best candidates to perceive your brand positively. With that perception, applicants are excited about the prospect of working for your organization and helping it succeed.

Here’s how the value of a recruitment video breaks down:

  1. A well-crafted recruitment video improves viewers’ perception of your brand.
  2. With a positive perception, top applicants are drawn to your company.
  3. Top candidates working at your company enable it to succeed.
  4. With your company succeeding, its goals, are being met or exceeded.

But only the best recruitment videos deliver this impact. To attract top candidates, your video has to establish a personal, emotional connection with them—a difficult but doable task.

How to Create a Compelling Recruitment Video

Like any film, a recruitment video conveys its core message through a combination of elements: visuals, music, voice-overs. Through the interaction of these factors, the main idea of the video—working at your organization—comes to life for viewers.

The trick is picking which elements to include and figuring out how to combine them. While there’s no set formula for creating a recruitment video, there are a few key steps in the process that you need in order to engage viewers and motivate them to apply.

1. Think big and positive.

Top hard-working candidates care deeply about the impact of their career, so they won’t apply at your company if they don’t understand why working there is meaningful.

To motivate them with a greater sense of purpose, your recruitment video should use bold, positive language to describe your company’s work. You don’t want to sound preachy, but there should be a few high-level statements that excite applicants about working at your organization.

In their recruitment video, Facebook uses big statements, such as “connecting the world,” to inspire candidates and drive them to apply.

Watch their “Life at Facebook” series

Find a balance between your brand’s tone and inspirational statements. With this motivational language, applicants will be excited by the prospect of joining your team and helping your organization grow.

2. Define your core messages.

At the heart of every great recruitment video is the organization’s mission. If you communicate this idea powerfully, it will be clear why your employees want to work for you, which will help potential candidates understand why they should work for your company.

Rather than trying to convey your organization’s entire mission, it’s easier to break it down into core messages. Look at your mission statement, and pull apart its defining elements. The main components, for example, might be diversity or an innovative culture.

Once you have chosen your core messages, pick up to four to include in your video. Trying to include more than that will weaken your overall message, so it’s better to stick to just a few of your strongest points.

The recruitment video for Adidas, for example, features only one core message. By focusing on the sole idea of being a global company, the video feels more focused and delivers a stronger positive impression about working there.

If you effectively communicate the core messages that best describe your organization’s mission, your recruitment video will excite candidates about your workplace and motivate them to apply.

3. Decide how many videos you want to create.

Many companies will do a single montage recruitment video that includes a mix of shots, such as employee interviews and views of the office. Pinterest, for example, made one comprehensive recruitment video.

Here are the pros and cons of a single recruitment video:

  • Pro: Condensing your company’s recruitment messages into a single video can have a greater impact on viewers because they’re presented with more ideas at once.
  • Con: A single video will most likely be a decent length, such as two to three minutes, to feature all of the recruitment content. If the video is too long, you may lose viewers’ attention.

As an alternative, you could feature a collection of shorter videos for candidates to browse. Rather than posting a single recruitment video, Prezi’s recruitment page offers a series of short employee-interview videos.

vyond-careers-page-example
Here are the pros and cons of having multiple recruitment videos:

  • Pro: Breaking up your recruitment content into multiple videos allows you to make each one relatively short. This brief length will keep audiences engaged.
  • Con: While viewers are more likely to fully watch a shorter video than a longer one, there’s no guarantee that they’ll continue clicking through to each of your recruitment videos.

Choosing between a single video or multiple videos depends on the core messages you want to convey. Consider these ideas, as well as the pros and cons of each format, to determine whether a single video or multiples will be better for delivering your message to candidates.

4. Film a variety of shots.

Every shot of your recruitment video doesn’t need to feature employees at the office. These work-related shots are necessary to give an impression of the employee experience, but they can feel tedious and lose their impact if they’re the sole focus of the video.

Keep viewers engaged by including a few nonwork-related shots that match the tone and message of the video. They don’t need to be directly related in meaning to the video’s message, but they should convey the feeling you’re trying to inspire in viewers at that moment.

This Asana recruitment video, for example, features a nonwork-related shot of employees walking through graffiti-covered alleys.


The shot doesn’t directly connect to technology, but it does convey the feeling of exploration that Asana is trying to associate itself with through this video.

Finding cinematic, nonwork-related shots like this will not only help you engage viewers but also inspire emotions in candidates that drive them to apply to your company.

5. Avoid scripting and speak naturally.

When you film employees for your video, they may feel like they need to prepare a script of what they want to say. But prepared dialogue often sounds inauthentic.

To make employee statements come across as real and believable to candidates, encourage your team to speak naturally. You can see in this WeWork recruitment video how the normal speaking cadence of employees makes their ideas seem more sincere.


To prepare without scripting, employees can:

  • Write out a bullet-point list of what they want to say. These ideas shouldn’t be full sentences—the main point of the exercise is to decide what should be said rather than how it should be said.
  • Review the list. Get a quick refresh of the ideas without actually memorizing them.
  • Practice talking about the bullet points without looking at the list. Trying to recall the ideas and saying them aloud a few times will build confidence in speaking naturally in front of the camera.

Taking these steps to sound natural ultimately pays off. When employees let go of scripting, candidates will find them more authentic and trust their positive words about your company.

6. Showcase your product when possible.

Beyond talking about your company’s mission, showing off your organization’s work in your recruitment video can give candidates a strong, positive impression of your company.

How you showcase your work depends on the product or service you offer. Regardless, you want to find a seamless way for your work to be integrated into the video that highlights your company’s strengths.

Adobe, for example, showcases their product in their recruitment video by featuring segments that are built with their design tools.

By showing off your product or service, viewers will realize why your brand is great and will be motivated to apply.

7. Keep it short.

For any online video, recruitment or not, your typical audience is easily bored and distracted. According to the video platform Wistia, the average attention span for online videos is 60 seconds.

Your recruitment video doesn’t need to be quite this short. You’re trying to convey the main aspects of your organization, so candidates expect it to be somewhat in-depth. With that said, recruitment videos typically shouldn’t exceed two to four minutes. That’s enough time to highlight a lot of information about your company without losing viewers’ attention.

In their recruitment video, Shopify manages to convey the basic features of working at their company in less than two minutes. Keep your recruitment video concise and candidates will be engaged enough to fully watch the video.

 

8. Share, share, share.

Beyond posting your recruitment video on your site’s careers page, expand your reach by sharing the video through other channels. The more views you receive, the more top applicants you’ll attract to your company.

Here are a few key ways to share your recruitment video:

  • Share it on social media. Post your recruitment video through every social account your organization has. Monitoring the engagement with the posts will help you identify and connect with top candidates.
  • Play it at job fairs. If you have a booth set up at a job fair, play your recruitment video at your table to engage potential candidates.
  • Include it in the email signature of recruiting and HR team members. These team members will constantly be emailing potential candidates, so including the video in their email signature can leave a positive impression on applicants.

Sharing maximizes the value of your recruitment video. After working hard and carefully curating your video, sharing enables you to reach multiple networks and attract the best talent.

How We Built Our First Recruitment Video

When we were considering a recruitment video we knew we needed to make two primary videos and that we would eventually feature a variety of shorter videos. We also decided early on that while we needed those first two videos to be flawless, our careers page and recruitment videos would be ever evolving.

Here’s our first recruitment video, and a brief summary of how we built it:

 
How we built it:
  • Considered the messages we wanted to get across and types of videos we wanted to create.
  • Researched to find examples of recruitment videos we loved (and hated).
  • Discussed the examples, our budget, timeframe, and overall video direction.
  • Developed a list of interview questions to elicit some of the responses we needed to include.
  • Selected team members across departments, levels, locations, and tenure to interview.
  • Prepared interviewees with on-camera interview tips, the general direction the interview would take, and how the final footage would be used. We did not share specific questions ahead of time.
  • Chose interviewers with in-depth company knowledge who knew which questions would be best for each interviewee and would be able to dig deeper on select questions.
  • Our skilled in-house video producer recorded many hours of interviews and spent several days weaving them into the story of our company.
  • Added b-roll shots of our offices, people at our company, and our product.

Build a Strong Team Through Recruitment Videos

Your organization can’t achieve progress without a solid team. To move forward, it needs support from dedicated employees who have the energy and the expertise to continuously solve problems and work toward the company’s growth.

Recruitment videos attract high-quality candidates who can build long-term success for your organization. By creating a positive perception of your brand, recruitment videos motivate top applicants to join your team. And by understanding what makes the organization great, these candidates will be ready to work toward making it even better.

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