Here’s Why Recruiters Can’t Afford to Overlook Video

Recruiting is a business about attracting attention—and that's why video is key.
By: | March 19, 2019 • 4 min read

If you’ve been watching more video over the past couple of years, you’re not alone. A HubSpot survey found that the average person watches an hour and a half of video content every day. In fact, Cisco predicts that online videos will make up more than 80 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2020.

Video is overtaking our daily lives, and a lot of it has to do with its visual impact. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, Forrester reported that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Video can capture the intangibles that text and static pictures can’t communicate, including facial expressions and tone of voice. Those subtleties have proven valuable to marketers as 76 percent have seen a boost in their traffic and their sales, according to HubSpot.

I believe that video is capable of making a similar impact in recruiting. A job description can give candidates a good idea of a role’s responsibilities, but it can’t help candidates envision what it would actually be like to work at that company. However, video can, and forward-thinking recruiters will use consumers’ affinity for video to their advantage in a variety of ways.

Looking at the Whole Picture

One of video’s biggest selling points is dimensionality. Even the most descriptive words on a screen can only give you a 2-D view of something; you must use your imagination to picture it. Video, however, shows it to you in 3-D, filling in the blanks throughout the process.

That dimensionality can help recruiters make a case for the job they’re trying to sell. While 72 percent of people told HubSpot they’d rather learn about a product or service via video, 81 percent admitted videos have convinced them to make a purchase. These are both important elements of recruiting: We want applicants to a) understand the “product” (in this case the job and the company) and b) opt in based on whether the product is right for them.

There are similarities to marketing a job and a product, but there are also differences. Unlike selling a widget, recruiting is about selling an experience. It’s about making human connections, finding the right fit and helping people and companies find a path that’s beneficial to both sides. This is what makes video even more effective, given that millennials and Gen Z workers have indicated a clear preference for companies whose values align with their own. The video medium accelerates recruiter branding by showcasing people who work at a company and empowering them to discuss their experiences authentically. Viewers can immediately get insight into employees’ values and build camaraderie with a company before even talking to its recruiters. In other words, for video to work in recruiting, I believe it has to include humans.

By using the technology of video to amplify that human element of recruiting, brands can build a true narrative. Humans respond to stories, and a strong way to capture candidate interest is by telling stories they can imagine themselves in. Using video throughout the recruiting journey—job postings, benefits listings, company culture pages—can help companies create a richer picture of their employer value proposition. Wistia found that visitors spend 2.6 times longer on pages with video, a finding that suggests video helps enable relationships vs. interactions.

Using Video to Recruit More Effectively

Video isn’t a static medium. It can be used to start, continue or shift a conversation, making it useful in many recruiting scenarios.

Over the past few years, we’ve begun to see video adoption at certain touchpoints in the recruiting process. Two-way video interviews represent perhaps the most well-known use for video in recruiting. Often used for long-distance candidates but effective with anyone, video interviews help recruiters gauge how well applicants can explain their ideas, build rapport and handle challenges. Video interviews can be tailored to specific positions, allowing recruiters to assess a sales candidate’s quick thinking or an engineer’s ability to speak with less-technical experts.

Increasingly, we’re seeing video being used to raise brand awareness and sentiment. Best-in-class recruiting organizations understand the importance video plays in employer branding. Showing potential candidates what current employees’ daily lives are like enables candidates to envision themselves in the same situation. These types of videos perform well when used on career pages and can increase SEO, making it easier for others to find job openings.

Where there remains incredible “whitespace,” and what I’m most enthusiastic about, is the use of video in job ads. Much as video interviews and pre-screenings enable candidates to better portray themselves to a prospective employer, video job ads will allow recruiters to give candidates that 3-D look at a role, as it is described to them by another human. Video job ads bring the workplace culture to life, help create strong emotional human-to-human connections, and showcase the brand and people, enabling recruiters and employer-branding specialists to powerfully convey the benefits of a job opening, the employer and the work environment. For candidates, it provides valuable insight into the role, work environment and business culture.

These are exciting opportunities for talent acquisition specialists, who are increasingly thinking of themselves as not just people specialists, but as marketing specialists, as our recent Monster 2018 State of Recruiting survey found. Like marketing, recruiting is a business about attracting attention. With video increasingly being used to attract consumer attention across other areas of business—and absorbing four-fifths of internet users’ times—recruiters cannot afford to overlook it. As any recruiter knows, a big part of drawing in candidates is meeting them where they are—and that’s video.

Scott Gutz is the chief executive officer of Monster