Magda Knight: Recruiters and YouTube – A match made in heaven, or time to leave the party?

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Recruiters exploring direct sourcing will know a major factor of talent attraction (apart from attracting candidates to the careers website) is to go where the candidates are. That means thinking social, and a key element of social success is immediacy. What could be more immediate than a video?

The Pros of Video as a Recruitment Tool on your Careers Website and YouTube:

  • Creating an optimised YouTube presence will stand you in good stead with Google. Google bought YouTube in 2006. Direct sourcing heavily relies on search optimisation, and Google has a vested interest in rewarding early adopters of its products. Your YouTube account now lets you connect with your Google+ business profile, opening up new features to provide your candidates with a better experience while sending clear signals of your brand’s value to search engines.
  • YouTube “One Channel” design update helps you reach more potential candidates. New recruitment-friendly features include the ability to use a branded thumbnail, group your videos into a series playlist so that viewers can watch more of your videos and include annotations linking to your careers website. If your careers channel has 100+ subscribers, you can also stream “live events”.
  • Appeal to emerging talent. A 2013 study by The Futures Company shows that as Facebook use declines among younger age groups, YouTube maintains or increases its position.
  • Invest your brand’s work culture with emotional appeal. Video-based employee stories create emotional interest and an inclusive “family” feel for your work culture messaging.
  • Reach out to passive candidates. Candidates may not be actively seeking live vacancies, but they are still looking for career advice, industry news and how-to guides. Incentivise them by offering this information via video on YouTube.
  • Get mobile. A Morgan Stanley analysis specified that mobile usage will overtake desktop usage by 2015, and any digital marketing agency with access to recruiter data will know this is set to be the case. Mobile candidates appreciate the immediacy of rich media. Video formatting is also more suited to smaller devices than large amounts of text.

The Potential Cons of Video as a Recruitment Tool

Candidates view video as a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. An Enhance Media ROSE survey of 90,000 UK-centric candidates in 2013 revealed that only 3% of general candidates consider video to be an important feature on a job website. Video has more appeal on social media – 7% of the professional audience and 8% of the wider audience rated videos as one of the top 3 most interesting things posted by companies on Facebook or Twitter.

The three job website features considered to be of most importance were:

  • Career and training information
  • Overview of recruitment process /timescales and expectations
  • Email job alerts

With a limited budget it makes sense to place primary focus on the needs of the majority.

Video is designed to enhance your recruitment copy, rather than replace it. Candidates still need to be able to read, bookmark, email, share and print out information. They need to be able to digest information so that they can come back and make a considered application once they’ve researched further. Website copy achieves these goals; a video does not.

Videos need budget and creative resources. Expect to spend at least £400 per day on a videographer with their own equipment. Editing a film will cost around £200 per day and will take two days or more to complete. Animation infographics will cost around £20 per hour minimum. You can reduce costs by self-filming or using an existing YouTube video. There is a wealth of online advice on how best to achieve this, but be aware that at the end of the day a video represents the professional as well as the personal face of your recruitment presence.

Candidates won’t watch a video just because you made one. Making a video is just the start. You need to place it on your careers website and social presences and ensure it delivers what candidates want to find. Attracting candidates to your video requires strategy and foresight.

Monitoring a video’s success. Have a clear picture of what “success” looks like for your video campaign. Do you want to know how many people clicked “play”? How many people viewed it right to the end? Do you want to know what candidates did next? Platforms like YouTube offer powerful insights, but ideally you need to embed tracking code into the video so that you know exactly how well it performed. You also need to think “conversion”; how, precisely, is this video intended to attract candidates or convert them into successful applications? Does the video or its surrounding content clearly signpost next steps? Does it offer a call to action?

Incorporating Video into your Recruitment Strategy in 2014

A video is a powerful tool which appeals emotionally to your candidates, increases your brand reach and is very much a part of the evolving recruitment landscape. Understanding video’s limitations will help you to unlock its recruitment potential and achieve your commercial goals.

Magda Knight, SEO Consultant. Enhance Media is a UK based digital marketing agency specialising in online recruitment.

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