Using Video for Recruitment Marketing & Employer Branding

Using Video for Recruitment Marketing & Employer Branding

Capturing the attention of candidates is an ongoing necessity for companies looking to hire. This is particularly true when navigating the current labor market and incorporate changes that have come about as a result of the pandemic. The need of companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors has led to their developing new and dynamic recruitment strategies. To this end, many have turned toward creating recruitment videos. If a video is well-made, a candidate can much more easily see themselves in the workers’ shoes.

A lot of planning and strategy need to go into creating videos however, and it’s important to think strategically throughout every phase of a video campaign’s development to ensure the content being created is tight, relatable, and geared toward the audience the company is seeking.

Videos allow potential candidates to see who the company is, what the organization does, as well as giving them insight as to what it will be like to work for them. When creating videos, it’s important to know about the creative process and what should be included to be successful. This article will share insights about recruitment videos, including the benefits of creating videos, tips and best practices for creating recruitment videos, steps to be aware of in the pre-production, production, and post-production processes and what recruitment teams can do to be successful when creating video content.


Why Videos?

Why should companies consider using video in recruitment? It’s a reasonable question from any business perspective, and particularly from a cost-benefit standpoint. After all, producing videos costs money, and companies need to know that they can have a reasonable expectation of payoff when they climb aboard the video bandwagon.

It’s difficult to tell precisely which aspects of video are the most powerful, since there are so many. In the aggregate, the rationale for incorporating video into a company’s recruitment strategy speaks for itself. First and foremost, the medium of video has become a primary method of communication in our CyberCentric society. This is particularly true of younger people, but even those who didn’t grow up with a smartphone in their hands have adapted to digital/online paradigms, whether out of necessity or for other reasons.


Video Statistics

According to Statista, in 2019, the number of digital video viewers worldwide amounted to over 2.6 billion viewers, and Social Media Today recently reported that video is part of the marketing strategies of 81% of businesses, and that a whopping 93% of businesses are gaining new customers as a direct result of posting branded video content to social media platforms.


The Power Of Video Messages

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” If that’s true, then moving pictures -- videos -- are worth 10,000 or more. The evocative power and emotional engagement of video simply can’t be overstated. With a good recruitment video, companies can showcase authentic storytelling or testimonials from real employees offering sincere, firsthand accounts of what it’s like to work for the organization, experiences they’ve had and how they’ve grown in their roles.  

On another level, video content is naturally more engaging than static media. There’s engagement of both auditory and visual senses, and -- depending on how the message is conveyed -- companies can bring in intellectual, emotional, and even kinesthetic aspects. It’s been well-established that relevant video content drives more engagement and revenue from a marketing standpoint, and a 2018 article from Forbes magazine details just this aspect of the utility of video in the business realm. As such, the ubiquitous nature of video in our society is also great for brand awareness.

Some of the ways that video can help recruiting teams realize success in their efforts include:

  • Videos provide engaging content that can be served up on the company website, YouTube pages, and other branding sites like Indeed and Glassdoor profiles.
  • Companies can run paid promotions across multiple social media channels to help increase awareness and engagement. Generally speaking, the more the better!
  • Sourcing teams can send out links to their favorite videos directly to candidates so that they can learn more.
  • Recruiters can use videos in communications to enhance selling points to candidates.


Market Forces

It’s currently a candidate’s market, and quality-of-life and work-life balance have become far more important to workers and candidates across all job levels and occupations than in decades past. This means that people are less willing to spend 8 to 10 hours a day in jobs they’re not happy in, even if they’re making a decent income.

This makes it more important than ever to educate potential candidates as to why they should choose a company to work for -- and video is one of the best ways to do that. Videos provide insight into the company’s culture, which is something that today’s candidates crave.

In short, the current market forces at work dictate that including videos in the recruitment strategy can help organizations remain competitive.


Preparation Is Everything

With the power, affordability, and friendliness of today’s consumer electronics and video editing software, producing videos is not the cost-prohibitive proposition that shooting television commercials was for many companies years ago. This has also served to bring down the cost of video production, even if an organization hires a production company – making cost far less likely to be an obstacle to recruitment video production efforts. The chief operating strategy in video production -- and where some companies fail -- is in preparation, particularly in the pre-planning stage.



The first step in pre-planning is in having the right stakeholders identified to be a part of working sessions leading up to the video shoot. It is also very important that everyone in that group understands their role. With a lack of alignment during the pre-production phase, companies may wind up with roadblocks down the road. Internal stakeholders could include the appropriate marketing personnel, someone from consumer or brand marketing and the legal department (if a larger company). The team will also need a project manager for the shoot, as well as a supporting coordinator. External support could include personnel such as a photographer, videographer, hair, makeup, costume, and agency representatives (if using an agency).

Bi-weekly stakeholder meetings should be scheduled beginning at 6-8 weeks prior to the shoot. At the first and subsequent meetings companies will need to:

  • Identify and book the location for the shoot. Confirm with the location contact to confirm all details. Will talent/crew need parking passes? What entry should the cast, crew, and caterer use?
  • Identify safety protocols and establish procedures for the cast and crew.
  • Determine what the tone (or flavor) of the video will be. This will be different based on the audience.
  • Identify employees who will be featured.
  • Identify volunteers to help stand in to support b-roll shots.
  • Align on the creative brief with all stakeholders. The creative brief should include expected outputs. It should also include the review process.
  • Determine when deliverables are due, props needed, attire, etc.
  • Schedule a location walk-through on the day prior to the shoot, if not earlier.
  • Schedule calls with each person speaking on-camera to identify their story. Follow-up with key messaging points, details on where, why and how the video(s) will be used, release waivers, wardrobe, where to park, where to enter the site.


The Creative Side

As far as creative content goes -- what to shoot for the video -- there’s a systematized way to go about this, too. The best starting point is to reflect upon the company’s employee value proposition (EVP). Consider its key selling points, then go with what is authentic to the company.

Some effective styles include testimonials. These tend to work well where employees are speaking from the heart and are not overly or overtly scripted. If they have a really compelling story of how the company’s benefits helped them, this can be very powerful. When hiring managers interview the employees who will appear in the video prior to the shoot, ask them what they’d naturally be doing in their role and take notes. This can help to determine the proper setting and how the employee is featured on the day of the shoot. “Day-in-the-life” videos work well when trying to recruit entry-level talent who are trying to decide if a given career/company is for them.

When planning content, remember that the messaging which will resonate with an audience will differ based on who the audience is. For example, nurses may want to hear about how leadership is listening to them and what support is being provided given the added pressures arising from the pandemic. Tech audiences may be interested in how they can be a part of the solution to a problem, offer creativity, and make changes through innovation.

Remember that a company culture will be reflected in the videos, and this should include any efforts the company’s making in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). A thoughtfully-crafted DEIB plan helps to open the talent pool to more qualified candidates and facilitates an organization remaining competitive in hiring practices. This modality will help represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives in the videos, and make a company relatable to a much wider audience. What companies are doing in the area of DEIB can be featured or made apparent in the videos.


Production And Post-Production

Finally, there are some aspects that may seem like common sense, but which are sometimes overlooked and can lead to a lot of headaches on the day of the shoot, as well as in post-production. Many can (and should) be addressed during the pre-production meetings. Some of these include:

  • As mentioned earlier, the alignment of key stakeholders on every facet and phase of the project (planning/content/review, etc.) is essential.
  • Feature actual employees rather than paid talent, in order to keep the content authentic.
  • Feature front-line employees rather than leadership unless it’s a leader-to-leader video.
  • Feature high-performing employees who are not at risk of leaving the company.
  • Avoid talking about competitors.
  • Avoid content that can quickly become dated (e.g., COVID-specific stories if hiring professionals are planning to use the content two years from now).

On the day of the shoot, remember to:

  • Provide enough time in the schedule, and don’t pack the day too tightly
  • Allow for transition time between locations.
  • Allow enough time for hair and makeup.
  • Allow for time in case employees are late.
  • Make sure hiring managers have contact information (like a cell phone number) of everyone involved in case of last minute changes to the call sheet.



The extent to which companies engage agencies, video production personnel, or other experts will depend upon internal resources and knowledge base. With the proper planning, budgeting, and attention to detail, there’s no reason that a company shouldn’t enjoy the many benefits associated with cultivating video as a recruitment medium.

If you’d like to discuss the use of videos in your recruitment marketing or have further questions about video, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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