Don’t just duplicate your job adverts or website
Video is a fantastic medium for getting across the heart and soul of your company, in a totally different way to your written information. Filming your people talking about what it’s like to work for you will create a much more vivid impression than simply including lines about ‘teamworking’ in a job description, or a structure chart on a website.
Do shout about your culture
Watching your recruitment video may be the first insight someone has inside your organisation and they will use it to decide whether they think you and they would be compatible. Your film shouldn’t be designed to promote specific roles; it’s about making the right people want to work with you, whichever vacancies you have.
For a great recruitment film, make sure your culture, expectations and promises to your staff come across strongly.
Twitter chose to reflect its vibrant culture with a brilliant tongue in cheek, fun film, and John Lewis created a video highlighting ‘the partnership spirit’, showcasing staff as co-owners in the business, and underlining the longevity, growth and success of the organisation.
Another film often lauded as a great example comes from Apple – where staff discuss ideas like teamwork, integration and culture, and being the best.
Do be true to yourself
We all know how annoying it is when a candidate stretches the truth in a CV, and while putting a positive spin on something can be acceptable, a lie certainly isn’t. Make sure that the information you include in your video is honest and a real reflection of your vision and values.
Do give your video the personal touch
Video gives a human face and voice to your business. While you could include your directors, people don’t want to see managers reading out the company line – that’s really no different to reading your job advert or annual report.
Tesco has a range of films on its careers website showing staff from across the organisation talking about their work, and for a large corporate this is a great way of getting that informal, friendly feel. They also use it to look at career opportunities – like those taken by customer assistant Ben Hunter, who’s now a trainee manager.
Seeing and hearing your staff talking about their journey can inspire people to likewise see their own future with you.
Do involve your staff in the planning and delivery
Get your staff involved in the film – and not just your marketing team (or whoever you’ve ‘dobbed’ to produce it). Staff who enjoy working for you should have some great ideas about how to get across why your company is a good place to work, and featuring them in your film will make the end result personal and friendly.
If you’re filming the video yourself, why not ask the staff to interview each other for a low-key informal feel, or instead of asking individuals to ‘talk to camera’, get them to interact on screen. Enterprise Rent-A-Cars uses this format in its graduate recruitment film and it comes across as an honest portrayal of a professional but enjoyable place to work.
Don’t make it all about you
Think about showing your company in its home environment – the city or countryside you’re based in, or where your staff go to relax. People don’t just take an office building into account when they choose where to work – there’s the wider work/life balance to consider too. Make sure you make the most of the features that make your area great.
Producing the video
There are several ways to go about producing a video. One option is to take on support from an outside agency. Search online for a company you like the look of, or ask other businesses or your local Chamber of Commerce for a recommendation. It’s important if you go down this route that you find someone you feel comfortable working with, brief them well, and make sure they stick to your vision for the film. Have a look at other work they’ve done to see if they seem like a good fit for you and then invite them to your premises, discuss your ideas and see what you think of them.
If you’re short on budget or just feel you have the necessary skills in-house, you can make your own film using a smartphone and some basic editing software.
If you do choose to make your own film, try to keep it simple. A badly made film where you’ve tried too hard would be like a printed advert full of spelling errors.
Make sure your smartphone can film in HD, and go to an app store like Google Play Store or do an online search for editing software. You can even get software online to help you record better sound. Technology in this area is developing quickly, so have a good look and check out reviews where you can.
Remember that you’re not a Hollywood director so you can’t expect everything to go right first time – be prepared to call ‘action’ a fair few times, and try not to settle for an inferior shot or sound quality; just do it again. If you want to attract the best people, you need to show that you have made an effort, and that you care.
If you want to make your film look a bit different you may consider giving it a quirky look by using the filters and film speeds that come with editing software – for example, speeding up a section to look like the Keystone Cops, or even having a sepia look like Bagpuss. Salmat Financial shows how this could work.
You could also think laterally if you don’t fancy doing the filming yourself – if your local college or university offers film or broadcasting courses, why not approach them and offer to let the students do the filming as work experience? You may find this works out much cheaper and gives a very good result.
Now you have a film, what can you do with it?
The beauty of the internet is that you can now use a recruitment video just about anywhere. You can add it to a platform like YouTube or LinkedIn and then tweet it, add it to your Facebook page, add a QR code to a printed advert, embed it in your website... The options are almost endless.
Your film will also be useful in-house during staff inductions or training and to stimulate discussions around culture to get your new staff engaged right from the start.
So what are you waiting for? Lights, camera…. action!