• http://www.CollegeRecruiter.com/weblog Steven Rothberg

    Great suggestions, John. I’m a huge fan of well produced employer videos as I believe that just like a picture is worth 1,000 words (as you stated), a video is worth 1,000 pictures.

    One of my roadblocks when trying to convince our employer clients to embed (include) video in their job postings on CollegeRecruiter.com is that it is worth their time even when we’re only asking for a minute or two as they just need to copy and paste the YouTube URL for the video that they want to embed. I believe that they’re choosing not to include video because they’re not convinced that it is worth even the minute or two. Given that the cost is essentially zero, that means that many must feel that the benefit is also zero.

    You’re a fan of data. Do you have data on the effectiveness of adding video to postings, landing pages, etc.? It would be great to tell employers reading this article and elsewhere that the average job posting, landing page, etc. generates X times as many highly qualified applicants if it includes video.

  • http://www.techtrak.com Maureen Sharib

    They don’t do it because they don’t know “how” to do it; suffer from camera (or mike) fright or in general don’t have the confidence to do it themselves.

    We’ve been sending film school graduates out to companies for some time now to produce “shorts” – 2-3 minute job ads by (enthusiastic) company reps.

    They’re wildly effective and the service is gaining popularity as we speak!

    Cost is $250 each and there’s a minimum charge per visit (plus travel if necessary.)

    Does your company have a movie star within its ranks?
    I bet it does!

  • http://www.wardtechtalent.com Mark Byrne

    Some great ideas here John. More and more companies are looking for ways to show authenticity and transparency. You really hit the nail on the head here with the options that micro-video makes available.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsmadsen Jacob Madsen

    As always a good checklist and place for inspiration from Dr. Sullivan.

    However (and please please if I am wrong convince me of otherwise) one thing is video, another is micro video. I simply think 15 secs is too short a time to give much of an impression, why I cannot see that format work , but if anyone with evidence of this please show it.

    That much can be achieved by allowing and letting people loose can be seen in this video from all the way back to 2 0 0 0 7 (looong before video mainstream) It was at the time t h e most viewed video having anything to do with PWC (surpassing any corporately made videos), and just goes to show how a bunch of innovative (and perhaps not so dry and boring as one could imagine) auditors came up with an idea and result that for many years have stood out as a classic in the (non ) corporate video world at least in the UK:


  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks Dr. Sullivan.
    Let’s say I’m a typical job seeker. Why would I want to be bombarded by loads of mobile micro-infomercials? I don’t want ads- I want an interview and a job.

    If I’m NOT the typical jobseeker and I’m part of the “Fab 5%” do you really think your company’s cute little employee-created micro-video is going to put you head and shoulders above all the other companies trying to get me?

    Also, while production costs may be small, who’s going to do the production coordination, editing, distribution, etc.? How much time will that take and where will that money come from? Wouldn’t more tried and true methods such as ER (which you also advocate) be a better use of limited recruiting resources?

    Finally, as Steven R. discusses, before someone advocates a course of action, shouldn’t they have clear proof that it works, its limitations, and possible unintended consequences? As Raghav showed us (http://www.ere.net/2013/07/02/back-to-the-blog-insights-on-social-media-from-marketers/), many of the claims of social network recruiting have turned out to be exaggerated, so ITSM that before someone wants me or my company to spend a lot of time and money on something, they should have a great deal of objective proof first.



  • http://salonspachat.com Jon-David Mafia Hairdresser

    Great Article. I advocate much the same for the salon & spa industry; and you gave me new insights how recruiting in my industry can utilize video as well.

  • http://www.socialrecruitingreport.com Jason Webster

    I totally concur with what Dr. John Sullivan has to say. We’re seeing authentic videos becoming more accepted by employers every day. We also hear from candidates who say that the videos set the right expectation, and give them a better perspective on if they should apply.

    As for the numbers, it’s a proven fact that video on a page will increase engagement. While featuring a longer video, here’s a case study (including metrics) on how video raised the Employer Brand and attracted a key Engineering hire to Lending Club: http://ongig.com/employer-branding-attracts-key-hire-to-lending-club

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Jason: “As for the numbers, it’s a proven fact that video on a page will increase engagement”
    Them’s fightin’ words!
    If you say something is a “proven fact”, you need to define what the terms mean, the conditions under which they apply, and most importantly THE SOURCE OF YOUR PROOF, and an ad isn’t proof.

    There is no relation between how firmly or confidently someone says something and how correct or accurate they are, and if they aren’t prepared to qualify their statements as opinions or to come up with evidence that backs it up, then you should probably discount what they have to say, and that goes for what I have to say, too. Maybe it’s my Jewish background, scientific training, or Mid-western in-laws, but *I’m not one to believe someone based on their reputation or the smoothness of their presentation.


    Keith “Show Me the Proof” Halperin

    *Maybe that’s what people mean when they call me “cynical”?

  • http://www.socialrecruitingreport.com Jason Webster

    I hear ya Keith, and I’m big on the numbers as well. I’ve got loads of data showing that video on a page equates to higher engagement. The case study mentioned is not simply an ad.

    The numbers in the case study show that viewers for that particular job description spent 341 total hours viewing the page containing the video. I’m hard pressed to find any other job descriptions on the web getting that type of engagement.

    That’s an enormous amplifier for a recruiting team, and the viewers got to hear directly from the people they would work with. The candidate hired even commented at how key the video was in his selecting the opportunity…and he has a skillset in high demand.

    I’m not saying video is the answer to everything in recruiting. I’m saying it’s a very helpful tool in amplifying the hiring message.

    If you want more data, here’s another slide deck we recently put together. While not all specific to video, it walks through the levers that drive online candidate engagement: http://www.slideshare.net/Ongig/ongig-datapoints-june2013final

  • http://www.timanaged.com David James

    The target audience is an obvious variable here because step one is attracting the potential candidates to actually view short videos. Step two is trying to get them to view your videos. Technology is great, but pales in comparison to traditional recruiting. Go where the candidates are and meet them. Engage in a real conversation over coffee or a beer… while the competition sends a quick video. I’m not sold yet… but time will tell!

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks Jason. Perhaps I’m too old-fashioned or too goal- oriented, but as a recruiter I don’t care about “eyeballs on sites”- I care about “butts in chairs”. If video (or anything else) can be shown to clearly and significantly improve the number/quality of hires and/or reduce the time/expense involved with a good cost(real and opportunity)/benefit ratio, then I’m all for it. I think these should be the tests for any proposed new recruiting tools/technique- do the benefits in improved recruiting clearly outweigh the costs and if so, are they feasible for most recruiters to do? Many of the things frequently advocated here seem to lack a thorough, objective fact-based ROI analysis, and appear to work in an idealized corporate environment with unlimited resources and rational, compliant stakeholders. We might dream about driving Lambos or Teslas, but most of us actually drive Accords and Fusions. (I know this particular column isn’t for the “typical recruiter,” but really: how many “Lambo-driving” corporate recruiters are there?)

    @ David: Well said. Trying all these things to get potential candidates to come to you seems a very weak, passive, and slow way to recruit. I recommend determining who YOU want and go after THEM, not have them come to you.


    Keith “Not a *Luddite” Halperin


  • http://www.prevuehr.com Nathaniel Barr

    I think video is a great opportunity for a company to stand out from everyone else and get extra attention to their job openings.

    Historically, “recruiting videos” or “look behind the scenes” videos are too long and boring. Having a time limit forces a company to be relevant—plus viewers are much less critical about quality.

    From a job seeker’s point of view, I love it when companies show a bit of personality and don’t hide behind generic email address as the only point of contact. And now you can embed Instagram videos right into your careers page, so it’s easy to distribute the content without overloading someone’s feed.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Nathaniel:”I think video is a great opportunity for a company to stand out from everyone else and get extra attention to their job openings.”
    If large numbers of companies use video to stand out from other companies they won’t stand out from other companies!
    If you want to “stand out”: DON’T do what everybody else is doing, do what everybody else ISN’T doing.

    “From a job seeker’s point of view, I love it when companies show a bit of personality….”
    I love it when companies make it quick and easy to apply, and treat me like someone who matters (or at least like “someone” and not “no one”). You can keep the “bells and whistles”.


  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsmadsen Jacob Madsen

    @Keith, and that is exactly why that those that do make that extra effort, that take time out figuring out how and when and where we can differentiate, those that apply a sense of humour (take a look at Procter & Gamble website videos about interviewing) and those that are memorable (Heineken intern interview/selection) are also those that stand the best chances of grabbing attention. Yes the is a huge amount of ‘noise’ and it will get louder and louder why the pressure will only increase in being able to either make a difference or to come up with solutions that carry a simple yet a story that make a huge impact.
    Winning the minds and the hearts of people is probably one of the very biggest challenges facing companies that compete for talent it’s what I call ‘survival of the (holistically) fittest’.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsmadsen Jacob Madsen

    To illustrate what I mean by differentiation see this video:

    And because it’s Friday and although nothing to do with topic directly this is an outstanding video that show and highlight a pretty serious subject that has seen 300% increase since 2010 Online Identity Theft

  • http://www.prevuehr.com Nathaniel Barr

    @Jacob – Exactly! It’s about those “blue ocean” opportunities—areas where nobody else is quite doing what you are—that’s what’s successful.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Jacob. I’ve heard that if you wish to help get your point across, it’s better to speak softly (so they have to try to hear what you have to say) than it is to shout.