One of the HR trends that is here to stay is video being used in recruitment. With more recruitment videos going viral, businesses are increasingly realizing the benefits of the format when it comes to attracting top talent.

Videos allow organizations to show a little personality and give potential applicants a glimpse into the company culture. Consider companies like Dropbox incorporating the Muppets and Twitter going comedically lo-fi when you think about how to go about this.

According to landing page software provider Unbounce, “video should be used on your landing pages whenever possible”. Visual content is one of the most engaging formats, with Small Business Trends finding that social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined.

So what should you consider when you start investigating recruitment video for your organization?

how long should a recruitment video be?

The best length for a recruitment video will depend on the platform it’s being published on. In this regard, hiring managers can learn from marketers. Hubspot, the marketing software firm, advises companies that “if you don't customize video length for each platform, then you're not fully catering to your audience”.

The company has found that the ideal length for marketing videos ranges from 30 seconds to two minutes. If your organization primarily uses Facebook as a recruitment channel, Hubspot found that one minute is the optimum length. If Twitter is your preferred social network, however, this drops to 45 seconds. However, keep in mind that you can re-purpose videos for sharing on various channels as you’re unlikely to post on just one network.

Meanwhile, Jason Miller, head of content and social media marketing at LinkedIn sales and marketing solutions EMEA, says that although the maximum length his company allows for videos is ten minutes, “the optimum length is usually much shorter”. He encourages businesses to “keep things short to ensure [viewers] make the decision to stick with you”.

He also explains that the first six seconds are the most important to prove that a video is worth watching. He said: “Make those seconds count by getting straight to the point. Work in a hook designed to capture people’s attention if you can, or use subtitles to signpost why what they are watching matters.”

what your recruitment video should convey

If you’ve shared a recruitment video on an external site, you should ensure you’re continuing the same message and branding when applicants land on your own website. It offers brand consistency, which provides candidates with a coherent journey and can keep them engaged. In addition, it just looks professional.

Failing to maintain consistent branding can leave the viewer feeling like a company is not fully in control of its assets, which could leave them thinking they’re not aspirational to work for. Including videos as part of your talent acquisition strategy can also keep visitors on your site longer, allowing more time for your brand message to penetrate.

Using real employees in your recruitment videos rather than actors is more authentic and less contrived, so is likely to appeal to candidates more. You should therefore be honest with your workforce about why you might want to turn them into social media stars. According to Unbounce, if you feature real company workers in your videos, “the trust factor is raised significantly”. And if you’re looking to attract talent, candidates need to trust a brand before working there will appeal to them.

A survey by communications firm Edelman found that employees are the most trusted influencers when it comes to sharing a company’s engagement and integrity. This means that if you want to tap into what candidates are looking for, your workers are the best people to speak for your organization.


how to optimize your recruitment videos

Optimizing your video is essential to make sure your message is reaching the right people. For example, when posting the asset on your own website, you should test whether autoplay works better than pressing play.

If incorporating video in paid-for website advertising, however, you should consider this in the context of Google Chrome - the world’s most used web browser - killing autoplay unless the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media.

Meanwhile, including a call to action (CTA) will give your viewers the impetus to go forward with their application journey. According to Vidyard, if a viewer has “watched your video to completion, they’ve demonstrated clear interest (or they would have bounced ten seconds into the video)”. It’s now time to get them to take the next step.

Once you’re happy with the video, you should ensure you are promoting your work on social media and that you’re driving potential applicants to where they can begin their application. However, it’s important not to simply post the same cut of your recruitment video on all your different accounts as the length will not be optimized and you will not be offering your followers anything new if they follow you on more than one channel.

This is why you should ensure you have multiple edits of your video. Keeping in mind the recommended lengths for different social media channels, you should ensure you are posting at least one version on each of your accounts. This offers those who only follow you on one network the chance to see what you’ve produced - and if you’ve really made an effort to convey your company and its culture, potential applicants are certainly going to want to see it.