By now everyone knows that the future of recruiting will require the effective use of both the mobile phone and social media. However, you may not be aware that new features on social media giants Twitter and more recently on Instagram now provide the opportunity to effectively sell recruits with short micro-videos that are sent to their mobile phones.
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Videos are superior to words because they can more effectively reveal the passion and excitement that occurs at a firm. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how powerful a moving picture can be. Although videos in recruiting are certainly not new, they have suffered from three significant weaknesses.
First, they have often been expensive and time-consuming to create if they were shot by professionals. Second, the content has not always been particularly authentic. Third, their length caused many who received them to postpone viewing them.
There are numerous ways for employees to share videos. Some micro-videos will be attached to your employees’ tweets, while others will be made using the Instagram app and placed in their Instagram profile and feed. Independently created micro-videos can be added to your Facebook profile or attached to text, email, or other social media messages that your employees send to friends and potential referrals. If you create a company micro-video library, the videos can also be used by recruiters.
How Micro-videos Can Be Superior
Micro-videos which last less than a minute have many advantages, which include:
- Increased authenticity – because micro-videos are unedited and they are created by your employees, they cover the employee perspective, which makes them more credible, believable, and authentic to those viewing them.
- Feel the passion – the pictures and the sounds of videos have proven to be effective in revealing the passion and the excitement that your employees feel about their job and their firm.
- The length increases the likelihood that it will be viewed – the minimum length of the video (Twitter Vine allows six seconds and Video on Instagram allows 15 seconds) forces your employees to be concise. The micro length almost assures that many more prospects will be willing to watch them and also that the video will be viewed without delay. Skeptics may think that a video that only lasts seconds couldn’t possibly have much of an impact, but there is plenty of evidence to show that micro-videos can be compelling, especially among newer generations that have learned to love the brevity of texting and Twitter. The short length also forces employees to be creative in their messaging.
- The mobile platform is accessed 24/7 – because recruiting prospects carry their mobile phone with them constantly, micro-videos are more likely to be immediately viewed and immediately responded to. Obviously, it will also be smart to allow individuals to apply for open jobs using only their mobile phone.
- Wide social media coverage – because both Twitter and Instagram (other social media sites also allow videos) are incredibly popular, recruiting messages, pictures, and videos are all likely to reach and be forwarded to a broad and technology savvy audience.
- Minimal costs – because micro-videos are normally created by your own employees using their mobile phone camera and easily available video editing software, there are no production costs.
- Constantly being refreshed – because these micro-videos are so easy to create, if the program is fully supported by management, you will have a continuous flow of new and timely videos.
- Diverse perspectives will be covered — because many different employees can create micro-videos, the volume increases the likelihood that the content will reflect many different positive aspects of the firm. Corporate created videos tend to reflect a headquarters perspective, but employee videos are more likely to include regional features and diverse perspectives. And because many are likely to be created by field employees, the videos may cover positive features of the firm that “corporate” might not even be aware of.
- A video contest can create a large amount of content – Deloitte, Hyatt, and Marriott have each successfully used video contests to create a significant volume of employee videos. A contest is a good way to build up your initial volume of videos, but with the right management support, the initial library will be continually supplemented.
- Create a video library as part of the referral program – rather than making videos an independent program, associate it with your current employee referral program. The referral program is an excellent mechanism for making micro-videos available to all employees. Companies can create a micro-video library that contains all of your employee-created videos. Employees can then, if they want, have the option of selecting existing relevant videos for use during their attempt to create referrals. Obviously corporate recruiters can also use videos from the inventory. Employees can also be asked to rate the videos, so that everyone knows which ones are the most powerful.
- Use videos internally also – the most compelling micro-videos can also be used internally by individual managers, during onboarding, and to improve your internal employment brand.
- No corporate screening — traditional full-length videos are almost always screened by lawyers, HR, or PR, often making them bland. Obviously, allowing your employees to make videos without approvals or pre-screening carries some risks, but firms that have allowed it for tweets and blogs have actually had very few issues. You simply have to trust the judgment of your employees. However, be aware that even if a negative item occasionally gets covered in a video, that “tolerance” by corporate may actually help to improve the credibility of your micro-videos and reinforce the authenticity of your corporate employer brand.
Coaching Your Employees
Obviously you want to provide your employees with a high degree of freedom in making their micro-videos. However, that does not prohibit you from offering them guidance and coaching on the content that will likely be the most effective in recruiting micro-videos. Those safe content areas include:
- A mini-profile of an individual employee or their coworker
- A “why-I-work-here” testimonial video covering a critical recruiting factor
- A snapshot view of an employee’s day
- A video of one exciting aspect of an employee’s job
- A humorous video demonstrating that your firm is a fun place
- A video highlighting a unique company perk or benefit
- A video highlighting an exciting technology, tool, or piece of equipment
- A snapshot video of an exciting company event
- A video demonstrating the company culture and employer brand
- A quick facility tour
- A video displaying diversity or a global reach
- A video showing that a particular executive is “real” and approachable
- A video highlighting the exciting aspects of the region where your facility is located
Micro-videos on Twitter and Instagram provide a great inexpensive opportunity to continually spread authentic recruiting messages by taking advantage of the time and the creativity of your own employees. I have found that employees enjoy making the videos and contributing to the recruitment effort.
The primary roadblock unfortunately may come from recruiting leaders, who are afraid to give up their current “total control” over the process of creating recruiting videos. Smart recruiting leaders will simply have to trust their employees to create compelling but positive micro-videos.
Initial action steps for setting up a micro-video program starts with benchmarking what others have done. Next you will need to put together an initial marketing campaign to encourage employees to make videos along with good and bad micro-video examples for them to view. Next, hold an employee video contest to initially fill your micro-video library. Metrics for measuring effectiveness are also required, so new hires should also be asked during onboarding whether the micro-videos had a significant impact on their decision to apply and accept.