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Need Recruiting Help? Here Are 10 Best Practices for Effective Recruiting Videos

Posted by Catie Foertsch


In today’s job market, it’s a given that companies looking for top talent need a recruiting video. Applicants do their research, and a good video will communicate all the reasons they’d be happy working for your company. But how do you make an effective recruiting video? Here are 10 best practices.

1. Spend time in pre-production

Keep in mind that a recruiting video is really a marketing video, and your target audience is made up of the talent pool you want enter your recruiting funnel. To attract that talent pool, you have to understand what they’re looking for.

To gain that understanding, you can look to your current employees. Do your research to understand the real reasons they like working for you. You can talk to them or send out anonymous surveys – the goal is to see your company from the perspective of your employees, and ultimately the talent you’re trying to attract. You might assume your free lunches and the ping pong table are what helps you retain employees, but it could be that what has meaning for them something totally different, like maybe the work your company does that helps change the world.

Also look at what’s lacking in your current recruiting. What isn’t working well? Maybe candidates aren’t understanding critical information about your company, like what makes you unique, or what your mission is, or what markets you serve.

The information you gather during the pre-production process will help you script your video so it answers a critical question: What do candidates need to understand about your company to know if they’re a good fit?


2. Build your video around visuals

No one likes watching a video that’s mostly people talking. No matter how pumped people are about working for your company, watching them talk for three minutes is boring. You want top applicants to feel excitement about your company, so show your people onscreen for a small amount of time.  Mostly, show video shots of what the speakers are talking about.  

A great example of integrating visuals is the recruiting video we created for Triton Systems. Many people speak in the video, but most what you see is not people speaking. Instead, you see beautiful video shots of the work the company does, and the people doing the work. The visuals help viewers – especially the right candidates - understand the company and at the same time, feel energized and excited.

 3. Prominently feature your culture

Today’s top applicants are looking for far more than just a job. They want to work at a company that’s a good fit. They’re wondering:

      • What is it like to work at your company?
      • What is the day-to-day like?
      • What does the office look like?
      • What kind of people work at your company?
      • What do people care about?
      • How do they interact?

Have the people who speak in your video talk about your culture. And make sure to show your culture too – people interacting with each other, volunteering in your community, riding bikes in a charity challenge, playing with the office dog, playing ping pong and darts and corn hole, etc. All this is part of your culture, and every  company’s culture will be different.

Consider the video we created for Eze Software. The culture at Eze is critical for attracting the right talent, so besides showing it, Eze asked for a specific section on culture.



4. Make sure to include what your company does

Don’t assume everyone already knows what you do. And don’t assume candidates will peruse your website to get a better understanding of your company before watching your video. At least some of them (maybe most of them) will skip right to your video, and make a judgment about your company based on that video. So it’s critical to include what your company does, who you serve, and any other pertinent information that will help candidates understand your company.   

The recruiting video we created for Demandware is a great example of how to communicate what your company does without straying from the upbeat, engaging, visually interesting tone that works well for recruiting videos.

5. Don’t try to cram everything about your company into your video

The purpose of a recruiting video is not to answer all candidate questions. If it were, your video would be half an hour long (or longer!). It would be completely unwatchable.

Instead, the purpose is to motivate the right candidates – the specific candidates you’re looking for – to move themselves into your hiring funnel. Once in your funnel, your candidates will ask more questions and do more research to see if you’re a good fit, and you’ll check them out as well. But that process can’t happen until they actually enter your funnel.

So keep your video short (3 minutes is good) and resist the urge to squash into it as many details about your company as possible. Instead, focus on creating a fun, watchable video that gives an overview. Like this recruiting video we created for Traveling Vineyard. It’s a broad picture, a fun overview that motivates candidates (potential Wine Guides) to find out more.



6. Don’t make your video strictly informational

Keep in mind that all decisions are emotional. If your candidates only wanted information, they’d stick to a text-based information-gathering process: they’d Google your company, read pages on your website, check out reviews on Glassdoor, etc.

But candidates want more than plain information. They want to understand the feeling of your company, because they want to know what it would feel like to work there.     

This is what your video must convey to be successful. Every element of your video, from the music and the visuals to the choice of speakers, must support the feelings you’re endeavoring to convey to your potential hires.


7. Budget for your video, and keep production values high

You’re trying to attract top applicants, and they have lots of other companies to choose from. A good first impression can make a big difference, and a poor first impression will make a difference too. Your video has to look and sound great, and it has to tell a compelling story about your company. That can’t happen if you don’t have the budget to hire a good video production company.

To justify your budget, think about (and if possible, quantify) the cost to your company of hiring people who aren’t a good fit and don’t stay long, or don't perform. This is the problem a good recruiting video can help you fix. So ask yourself (and your boss) what's the value of hiring the right talent?

Also, make sure that after you create and post your video, you measure results.

8. Minimize cliché

How many times have your candidates heard words like amazing and awesome and really cool? And great benefits and work life balance and work hard play hard? We’ve all heard them so often that these words and phrases have lost meaning. They’re clichés, and they function as fillers, not as substance.

Here are a few more:

    • Drill down
    • Next level
    • Leverage
    • Benchmark
    • Enable
    • Empower
    • Outside the box
    • At the end of the day

Cliches make it easier to speak because one doesn’t have to think. Instead of explaining where your company is in the big picture, it’s easier to say you’re on the cutting edge. But clichés are off-putting for the same reason - they reflect a lack of thinking. They create distance instead of interest.

Since your goal is to make a connection with applicants, avoid the shortcuts and articulate what you mean.

9. Nix the generalities

Your candidates are also not interested in generalities. For example, take “We value diversity,” which could mean just about anything. It could mean this:  

“Diversity is kind of abstract to us, and we haven’t put much thought into what to do about it. But we know people are interested in diversity, so yeah, we value it.”

 Or it could mean this:

“We’ve made a commitment at the board level to increasing gender and ethnic diversity within our company. We’ve implemented a variety of programs that include mentorships both inside the company and at several universities, and we’re already seeing positive results in our culture, and in our bottom line.”

However your company feels about diversity (or anything else), sticking with a generality won’t help your candidates understand your company. What they will understand is that one of your values seems to be vagueness, which for lots of candidates isn’t particularly interesting.


10. Make your video before you need it

The need for talent isn’t constant - it’s up-and-down. Positions open, you need to find talent. Positions get filled, you don’t need to find talent.  But as all good hiring managers know, it’s a lot harder to start from scratch when you need talent. As notes, when it comes to recruting it’s very smart to dig a well before you’re thirsty.

The statistics overwhelmingly confirm that in all areas of web interaction, people want video. But while video needs to be part of your recruiting strategy, a good video takes time to create. Waiting until you have positions to fill to begin the process of creating your video is a recipe for frustration. If possible, create your video before you need it.


All these best practices will help you create an effective video experience for the candidates you’re looking for. That experience watching your video should boil down to this: an engaged viewer who thinks “Yeah, I could work there,” and who then clicks the button that welcomes them into your recruiting funnel.





Topics: Corporate Video