Need to recruit top talent? Try using YouTube

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Recruiting with video is becoming an incredibly powerful way to reach top talent as candidates spend progressively less time reading and ever more time watching online videos, film and TV to get their information.

YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing site, is now the top third website in the world and the second biggest search engine after Google. It reaches 1 billion people a month, mostly between the ages of 18 and 34, who spend an average of 15 minutes on the site per day. In South Africa, YouTube is the fourth most popular site after Google, Google South Africa and Facebook, reaching 4 million unique visitors per month. In 2012 alone, video views grew by 80% and video uploads by 30%.

This makes YouTube a great place to expose your employer brand, showing off the company’s personality and branding it as a great place to work.

The power of visuals
By putting a face to the company, candidates can get a much better sense of the business and what it’s like working there. For example, featuring the CEO in an interview on the company’s culture or employees sharing their work life experience. The personal touch makes video far more engaging. It’s also possible to share more information in a shorter space of time.

According to US research, job postings with video clips get 12% more views, 34% greater application rates and even have the ability to go viral. Some companies are now using video for all their job descriptions, discussing a new position and the attributes of the ideal candidate in a quick online clip, rather than a written advert.

How to approach video
The starting point for this kind of online recruitment is to create a video on a company branded YouTube channel and link it back to the corporate career site. Videos can be used across the company’s blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest profiles to reach the target audience.

The universal appeal of YouTube makes it possible to reach a broad range of skills, from graduates to professionals, targeting active job seekers or scarce skills that are happily employed but would be open to future offers. As access to affordable bandwidth in South Africa improves, the demographic of candidates that HR managers can reach via YouTube will continue to grow.

Tips for a good video includes making the company come across as “real” and not over-scripted, conveying an authentic employee experience, and showing some personality and passion. For consumer brands its also very important to have consistency between the public and employer brand experience.

Four great global examples
Across the internet, companies are creating some really innovative video recruitment campaigns, we’ve highlighted some of the best in examples below:

  • Hack Days at Shopify. The video shows candidates what it’s like to work at this of this hosted ecommerce shopping cart provider, and how Hack Days form a highlight of people’s jobs in candid interviews with staff.
  • Barclays graduate recruitment programme, features interviews with the CEO and division heads about the kind of talent the company values.
  • Working at Facebook. This video gives candidates a glimpse of the team, what’s important to them and how they we get things done.

In a happy coincidence for Google, Hollywood released The Internship starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in a quest for jobs at Google. While Google claims it doesn’t have a financial stake in the two hour movie, it still shows what its like to work there in what is arguably the ultimate employer brand placement.

Things to consider
Using videos for recruitment doesn’t have to cost the world so don’t go overboard with investments in award-winning cinematic results. That said, guard against a real trade-off of cost over quality. Things tend to go wrong when companies put out poor quality clips that leave a lasting bad impression of the brand.

Also remember that posting videos opens up a conversation thread that needs to be carefully, consistently and efficiently managed. Like all social media tools, video recruitment requires a commitment for the long term.

In emerging market countries especially, video recruitment will become an increasingly important part of the social recruitment strategy to reach the right candidates and build talent pipelines. Done correctly, it can dramatically shorten the hiring process and find great people at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods.

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  • Cole Rautenbach

    This is great – thanks! I’m running a campaign for a digital sales company with exactly this in mind. It will be interesting to see – as this trend for attracting talent grows – how innovative organisations become in their drive to grab the attention of the candidates they want to join their teams. TIP: Please, no more Harlem Shake videos!!

  • ReputationManagement

    Great idea to use YouTube but like anything else, one must be careful of what they put out there.

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