Your Guide to Making a Compelling Recruitment Video [VIDEO]

February 24, 2015

People watch crazy amounts of online video. In fact, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. That makes it a pretty powerful way to show potential employees a side of your company that words and pictures alone can’t convey.

But, let’s say you don’t have the budget to bring in a professional video crew. In the below video, you'll learn how you can make a recruiting video that people care about with just a smartphone, your laptop, and some basic video techniques.

Why go through all the hassle of making a video?

Video is the most powerful way to tell stories, and every marketer on the planet knows this. In fact, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of one minute of video equals 1.8 million words. That’s a lot of words.

Video lets people see your company in a way that you can’t convey through words and pictures. There’s just something about hearing and seeing employees talk--think about the difference between Skyping with your family and texting them.

Equipment: You already have what you need.

All you really need for shooting your recruitment video is a recent smartphone (pretty much any recent smartphone can shoot high enough video quality for the web). And to edit, your laptop likely already has all the software you need.

According to Saleem Reshamwal, who makes videos for a living Durham, NC, “nowadays 80% of the technical side of what I do can be done with a smartphone, a laptop and some creativity.” So don’t be discouraged about the fact you “only have” a pocket camera, smartphone or GoPro. These devices are more than capable of getting the job done.

Content: Record humans being human.

A video recording of a grown man or woman reciting a mission statement is a terribly sad thing. And it probably won't help you get more talent (we can all tell when someone is speaking ‘corporate-speak’).

The simplest way to attract people to your company is to show your current team talking in honest terms about what your company does and why it’s worth working for. And, showing this means recording some interviews.

Don’t just interview the CEO. Sure, grab the boss, but also get some people at different points in their careers. People trust their peers, and want to hear from people who are at the level they’ll be working at.

Employee interviews: 3 ways to get the conversation started:

  1. Ask them why they joined the company, what they enjoy about working there, and what they'd tell a friend who was considering joining the company. This is a great question to ask recent hires.
  2. If you need to get people to open up, inject some humor and take a tip from Inside the Actor’s studio, where they ask cool questions like “What is your favorite curse word?”
  3. If employees clam up, move on and don’t force feed your answers on people. Above all, make the experience fun and entertaining, not stressful and lame.

Show don't tell: Just because a video is interview-based doesn’t mean it should be talking heads.

Get shots of everything that people talk about. Then, in the final edit, you can show those images while running the sound from the interview.

Get creative. You've got no budget, but your tiny cameras are flexible. You’ve got the camera in your pocket already, so try filming whenever you get a quick break. Make lots of mistakes, review your footage to see how it looks, and go back and shoot again.

Editing: Lots of resources are available to help you out.

If you have an up-to-date computer, you most likely already have all the software you need to edit a basic video. That's iMovie on a Mac and Windows Movie Maker on a PC. A little Googling will get you plenty of tutorials on both, and they're both made for beginners.

When editing, remember to cover people talking and, whenever possible, show, don’t just tell. Also, go easy on the special effects. The first time you use editing software, it's tempting to get caught up in special effects. But, wacky transitions can make an otherwise great video look cheesy, fast.

One last thing: When in doubt, be as clear as possible.

It's amazing how many corporate videos you see that don't give you a clear idea of what the company does. For example, which of the following is more comprehensible:

“We develop a cloud based solution for the automobile industry that connects data and insights to the manufacturing process to make emissions decrease”


“We power clean car technology”

The second, right? Don't be afraid of what you do. If you manufacture #2 pencils, say somewhere pretty early on that you manufacture #2 pencils. Or better yet, show a giant machine spitting out #2 pencils. No mystery meat intros allowed. Let viewers know what you do and what you’re looking for.

Want more information? Check out our free Recruitment Video Playbook for step-by-step advice and creative ideas for making your own awesome recruitment video.

Special thanks to Saleem Reshamwala at KidEthnic for his contributions to this project.