You’ve done your homework and sold the boss on getting a company video made. In fact, you did such a good job the CEO is hinting around about having a starring role, and since it was your idea, you’re in charge of the project.
Now what do you do?
Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of good choices. (Alas, there’s also plenty of bad ones, too, not to mention the CEO’s wedding videographer neighbor.). Large employers with big budgets that work with a full service recruitment advertising firm can simply turn the job over to the professionals there. But when that’s not an option, consider the job boards. In the last year, CareerBuilder (profile; site), Monster (profile; site) and others have joined Jobing.com (profile; site) in offering video branding services.
“Our clients told us they want video, but they needed help getting them done,” says Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder.com, explaining the company’s decision to launch a video service last year.
When it launched Video BrandBuilder in September 2006, CareerBuilder became the first major national job board to offer employers a complete video production service. But it certainly wasn’t the first job board to offer the service. To whom that distinction belongs is not clear; however, Jobing.com certainly has a strong claim to the distinction. The fast-growing regional job site began creating employer videos back in 2001 when they were produced by whoever on the (then) 10-person staff could work the handheld camera, including CEO and founder Aaron Matos.
Today, Jobing has what may be the largest library of employment videos of any job board in the world. Joe Cockrell, director of public relations, told us Jobing has 10,000 employer videos online plus another 15,000 community videos covering topics from “How To Tie A Necktie” to a feature on the Denver Urban League that was a finalist for a Webby in the online video category.
The employer videos are just what they sound like — employer branding videos that are part of Jobing’s subscription package. The community videos are produced by staff videographers in every one of Jobing’s 18 offices.
“Video,” says Cockrell, “is a very powerful tool.”
You can’t go to a recruitment conference these days or read a recruitment site without hearing about the importance of employer branding videos. Monster’s Eva Bitteker, video product manager, said there are four main reasons for having an employer video: to attract quality candidates; to surmount or promote geography and facilities; to convey a company’s value and culture; and to reduce turnover by offering a preview of the job.
“Some companies,” she explained, “do videos to get fewer applicants. They are looking for fewer, but higher quality candidates. By giving them a realistic feel for the job they can eliminate (the unqualified and the less than committed) jobseekers.”
Monster’s service is the newest and priciest of the three job boards, starting around $20,000. Jobing’s service is the least expensive: About $1,000 for an employer not on a subscription plan. CareerBuilder, starting at $5,000, falls in the middle.
Here’s a look at the service offered by the three job boards:
CareerBuilder’s pricing starts at $5,000, but that’s a rock bottom cost and it’s easy to spend more. Larger employers may want two or more videos to use for different purposes.
For your money you get a production team that will meet with key stakeholders to gather information, write a script, scout the locations, shoot the video, and edit it to 60 or 90 seconds. The turn around time ranges upwards of two weeks. For companies with multilingual needs, videos can be produced in almost any language.
Jason Ferrara, corporate marketing VP, called the production “a real collaboration.” Involve the C-level people, Ferrara says (as if you could keep them away!). “We counsel them to be successful,” he tactfully explained, answering a question about those awful situations when the boss wants to do all the talking. “We try to educate the employer on what makes a good branding video,” Ferrara says. “Reflect on what the company’s goals are; what impression they want to make on jobseekers and to look at things from that perspective.”
But if the CEO decides wisely or not to be in the video, Ferrara adds, “it’s not up to us to be the police.”
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The completed video is owned by the company, which can use it however it sees fit, including embedding it on the corporate career site and linking it to CareerBuilder job postings. CareerBuilder hosts the video and handles the technical details.
The first of the job boards to offer a turnkey video branding solution, Jobing is the only one to have videographers and editors on staff. The company prefers photographers with TV news experience, because they are accustomed to sizing up a situation and working under deadline. That’s why, says Jobing’s PR director Joe Cockrell, an employer can have a video produced in under 48 hours. (He told us of an auto dealer who ordered a video in the morning and it was up and online, fully edited and approved, by the end of the day.)
The Jobing process begins with an outside sales rep who gathers all the basic employer information, including the goals and those ‘special’ requirements, like who gets to go on camera and who doesn’t. The sales rep briefs the videographer who formulates a plan, then goes on site. By then, a story line is developed, the video shot, and the edited work submitted for approval.
“As an employer, you’re giving jobseekers a look inside your doors,” Cockrell says. “That’s what our production teams work with an employer to accomplish.”
For employers with regular hiring needs who have or become Jobing subscribers, the video is included in the price of the subscription, which is as low as $500 a month. Employers with casual hiring needs can buy a video at the $200 hourly rate. Cockrell says that even with a team on site and the post-production work, the cost can come in under $1,000 for a 60-90 second video. At that price, even small employers can afford to have a video made and many do. One look at a Jobing site and you’ll see veterinary hospitals, trucking firms, municipalities, and security firms among such national firms as Wells Fargo and Citibank.
Employers own the video and can embed it on their career site and link to it from job postings, regardless of where they may run. Cockrell told us that some employers burn CDs of their video to use at job fairs and other events.
With a price tag of $20,000 or more, Monster’s video service is for the bigger employer with competitive or special needs. Monster partners with MadDash E-Media (profile; site) for video production and hosting services. Its teams are trained not only in videography, but are also knowledgeable about privacy and, of special concern to hospitals, patient confidentiality.
The MadDash teams can spend up to a couple of days at an employer site on a shoot, getting footage that can be edited to create multiple videos or to freshen an aging one. A producer meets with the client and stakeholders to scope out the location, participants, and the story the video will tell. The video team, which can number two, three, or more depending on the situation, put together the final edit.
Unlike the CareerBuilder and Jobing videos, those produced by MadDash are not completely owned by the employer. The employer has unlimited use of the video for two years, after which it’s taken down from the MadDash servers where the video is hosted.
Perhaps because of the cost and the time limit, videos on Monster tend to be more limited in number and dominated by the largest companies like AstraZeneca, Home Depot, and UPS. Of course a company doesn’t have to use Monster’s production service; independently produced videos can be used.
Bitteker, Monster’s video product manager, suggested that HR departments seek to have other departments share the cost of video production. “Videos can be used in a bigger campaign by the company. It’s not just an HR function, but a marketing function for the whole company,” she says.