Here’s a Recipe for Creating a Successful Employment Video

What your employees think, feel and say about your company can have great impact on your overall consumer brand, marketing efforts and profitability. What they share about your culture and career opportunities can significantly increase the likelihood of you achieving your business objectives. In HR terms, this “sharing” is a large component of your talent brand — the fulfillment of the promise of your company’s culture and employee experience. It is informed by every interaction with the company, from pre-employment vetting to post-employment separations. According to LinkedIn, 2017’s top employers included Amazon, Facebook and Apple. It’s no surprise that these highly in demand companies are among the top 10 most valuable brands in the world.

In my recent book, The Talent Brand: The Complete Guide to Creating Emotional Employee Buy-In for Your Organization, I outline the framework necessary to help build your company’s talent brand and provide established branding tools, brainstorming templates, learning resources and activation methods that have been successfully implemented on behalf of our agency clients across a wide range of industries and geography. Below, I’ve shared one of my most timely talent branding tools.

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Note: SodaStream, which sells do it yourself sparkling water makers, is on a hiring spree. To help attract talent, the company released this entertaining video that hits many of the points Jody Ordioni recommends in this article.

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Video content is crucial to your talent branding and content marketing success. Compelling, well-produced videos enhance your employer profile, recruiting, search engine optimization and candidate experience. Create a targeted approach for sharing unique differentiators, your organization’s point of view and the culture of the work environment. Use the power of persuasion to create a personal connection, and bring it to life with the help of widely available multimedia tools and capabilities. Specialized external vendors can be retained to help with this.

Solidify your messaging and company culture

Is your target audience internal, external or both? Always keep your talent branding message in mind and ensure that it is segmented toward the correct audience. One message may not satisfy all. Once you identify your target audience, you will understand exactly the type of content that will resonate best with them. Talent branding videos that present a realistic look at your culture help keep your internal audience involved and inspired, while giving your external audience a closer look at what your organization has to offer.

Bring your mission to life

Attract the best and brightest by telling your brand story in a compelling way that words alone can’t convey. Talent branding is about making an impact, and videos are one of the most efficient ways to spread a powerful message. Share the culture that shapes the minds of the team by conveying your brand values, the potential for career growth and exactly what it means to be a part of your organization.

Improve your SEO

Videos appear in 70% of the top 100 search listings, and (according to a 2013 study) they’re 53 times more likely than text to show up on the first page of search results. The number of job-related searches is increasing by the minute, and your goal should be to land the top spot within your candidates’ search engine results. Now is the time to increase your digital presence, enhance your search visibility strategy and optimize your website and content for search results across all channels. After all, if no one is seeing the content that you worked so hard to create, how will they discover how great you are?

For organizations that have an employee referral program in place, shareable videos can be distributed to your team’s entire network with the click of a button. The more shareable content that you create, the more shares, views and positive word-of-mouth buzz you’ll generate.

Let your employees shine

A sure-fire way to attract potential candidates with a similar work ethic, passion and outlook is to put your team at the forefront. Employee video testimonials are a genuine representation of your organization’s work style, highlighting the range of roles and sharing the brand story through the eyes of the team members themselves. Beyond showing the diversity of the team, employee testimonials spotlight the qualities and traits they have in common, whether it is fearlessness, inventiveness or adaptability.

Your ideal candidate will appreciate the human connection you’ve created. Giving your candidates the best understanding of what they should expect from you (and vice versa) can help reduce employee turnover. After reviewing your multimedia, they will have a better sense of their cultural fit, your team dynamic and the legacy you can build together.

Some tips and tools

Here are some final tips along with a video brief that should be used at the onset of your video production project plan and a subject talking points that you can use for your testimonials:

Content — Like most other content and entertainment, the videos that do best are those that evoke an emotional response. The key is to determine which style best matches your brand voice. Are you a fun organization? A serious one? An innovator, a legacy, a start-up? Your videos should fit into your current marketing and recruiting campaigns, which reflect your company’s mission, vision and values.

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Production — Poor quality can kill the best-written or best-edited video. Make sure you have good lighting, whether that means turning on all the overheads, opening your curtains, or renting actual studio lights. Sound is also important, and a camera phone doesn’t always capture it well. Luckily, there are plenty of smartphone audio accessories that will provide stereo playback. You can also rent a camera with a good microphone, a boom mic or clip-on microphones.

Post-production — Add titles, graphics, music and sound effects to make your video look and sound truly professional. Look online for sources of free images and music. The more polish you can give to your videos, the more they’ll stand out from the crowd.

Length — The average length of YouTube’s 50 most popular videos is just under three minutes. The 50 most shared videos clock in at the same length.  Makes sense; that’s about the length of a pop song or a movie trailer. Then again, a 2010 study by Visible Measures found that 60% of viewers stop watching a video by the two-minute mark. This is one instance where shorter can be better.

Answer these before you start

  1. Purpose: What are your two or three most important goals for the video?
  2. Target audience: Who do you want to watch your video? Can they be characterized in any way? What do they already know about the your company? What sort of things will appeal to them?
  3. Distribution: Where will your video be shown or watched? Will you be using it on the web, on a DVD, in a presentation or looped on a monitor at a trade show?
  4. Content: What are the key messages that the video has to communicate? Is there a secondary use for this material? What do you want your viewers to think after watching the video? How do you want viewers to feel when they watch your video?
  5. Narration: Do you want your video to have voice-over narration? Would you like a professional voice-over, or a presenter to lead the video?
  6. Style: Have you seen any particular videos that you liked? (If so, make a list of them.)
  7. Image: How does the company want its image to be perceived?
  8. Circle any of the following terms that apply to your vision of your video:
  9. Corporate identity: Are there corporate standards to consider? (Logo restrictions, colors, fonts, design guidelines, etc.)
  10. Locations: How many locations will be used for filming? (Make a list of them.) Are they indoor, outdoor or both?
  11. Talent: How many subjects will be interviewed? Will you require professional hair/makeup services?
  12. Basic requirements: Do you have any must-haves or must-not-haves for the video?
  13. Your deadline: When must the video be completed? Are there any important dates/events around which the production must be scheduled?
  14. Production: How long will the final video be? Will it be scripted? Are there special technical or functional requirements? Do you have any music requirements? What is the budget for the video? Who are the people on the video project team and what are their responsibilities? Do you have any custom graphics or special effects needs?

Talking points for the employee testimonial

  • What compelled you to want to work here?
  • What is your favorite thing about working here?
  • Tell me a little bit about the culture – friendly, work hard/play hard, team-oriented, corporate, stable?
  • What types of people succeed here?
  • How do you feel about your opportunities for growth within the company?
  • How is this job different from others you’ve had?
  • What do you wish you’d known before you started?
  • What surprised you the most when you got here?
  • Would you recommend this company as a great place to work? If so, why?
  • If a friend were interested in working here, what would you tell them?
  • What piece of advice would you give to someone on their first day?
  • Are you involved through the company in any charities/community events?
  • How is the work/life balance?
  • Do you feel this job has helped you to achieve any of your personal hopes and dreams?
  • Do you feel you can make a difference in your work? If so, how?
  • What was your proudest moment?
  • What are you looking forward to next?
Jody Ordioni

Jody Ordioni is the author of “The Talent Brand.” In her role as Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Brandemix, she leads the firm in creating brand-aligned talent communications that connect employees to cultures, companies, and business goals. She engages with HR professionals and corporate teams on how to build and promote talent brands, and implement best-practice talent acquisition and engagement strategies across all media and platforms. She has been named a "recruitment thought leader to follow" and her mission is to integrate marketing, human resources, internal communications, and social media to foster a seamless brand experience through the employee lifecycle.