HOW Talent - How to Transform Your Hiring Using Video with Stephen O’Donnell

CLARE RYDER • 14 Sep 2020

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Giles was joined by Stephen O’Donnell, video industry expert, technology guru and founder of the National Online Recruitment Awards during this week’s HOW talent session. Stephen has a real interest in all recruitment related technology and considers how things are working from a candidate perspective. Together, Giles and Stephen explored:

  • How and why the use of video has exploded in 2020
  • How best to bring job adverts and workplace stories to life using video
  • How to use video to enhance communication with candidates and colleagues
  • How to conduct video interviews with confidence
  • What technology you need in place to create professional videos


WATCH IT BACK - How To Transform Your Hiring Using Video with Stephen O'Donnell👆

Before they got started, Giles shared some enlightening statistics around the use of video technology in recruitment:

Less than 1% of fortune 100 companies are using video to enhance their job adverts
Job adverts attract 20 x more engagement than adverts simply containing text
Job adverts that include Hiring Manager videos rather than HR or Recruitment attract around 8 x more engagement from candidates

2020 has forced us to embrace new technology, what are the benefits of this from your perspective Stephen?

The pandemic came around earlier this year during an economic boom. Everything was going well, and we were all expecting a positive year. When people started to work from home there was a real boom in the consumption of online content whether this be via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Netflix or even shopping on Amazon. People were accessing this content via many different devices from their smart TV to their laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.

From a business perspective, video content is now being used to communicate with existing employees working remotely, to advertise new job opportunities or simply to raise awareness of their employer brand.

What is your advice to people who want to get started with creating videos that tell a story about an organisation?

A great example of this is thinking back a few years to the ‘Ice bucket challenge’ that went viral on social media. At the time, most people had not created videos to share with others, but they quickly realised that they could do this very easily using their mobile phone and millions of people got involved. This accelerated the use of mobile phones to make and share video content online.

With such a huge amount of people now working at home, we are gaining an insight to other people’s lives like never before. Being on a Zoom call with the CEO of an organisation may be daunting, but when their children pop into the room, they are suddenly easier to relate to. This is the same when Hiring Managers record video adverts for a company vacancy rather than an actor or HR department. They become easier to relate to and candidates can get a real feel for the company, the culture and potentially even the team in which they might work. On the flip side, when candidates watch a video advert, they will self-select themselves in or out of an application process far more accurately than if they had simply read a text advert.

Video adverts can also help improve diversity of applications. In 2019, Siemens had a 47% increase of female applications to a role that was historically male dominated, and the measurable calibre of candidates increased by 170%.

What are the different ways in which we can use video more effectively through other stages of the recruitment process?

When candidates are applying for roles it is a competitive situation - and this is the same for the organisation too, with candidates likely to be applying for many other roles at the same time. It is important to make them feel part of the organisation right from when they first see the job advert, right through to onboarding. Communicating with candidates through the new starter onboarding process is vital and video is a perfect way to do this. Share introduction videos of the team they are joining, a video tour of the office and a video from the CEO or Head of Department explaining more about the organisation – they are all easy to create and will provide a great candidate experience.

What tips would you give to people who are conducting video interviews for the first time?

There are several advantages to video interviews over traditional face to face interviews. Having the candidate’s CV and any notes or questions you want to ask open on the screen at the same time can be useful and does not distract from the interview.

There is also a lot of value from pre-recorded video interviews where questions are recorded in advance by a Hiring Manager. This approach ensures consistency in the interviewing process as each candidate will respond to the same set of questions.

From a candidate’s perspective, it can feel like a daunting task to complete a pre-recorded video interview. Having the interviewer also record a video message in advance for candidates, outlining the process and giving an introduction to the role and the organisation can be a real benefit.

What core technology do people need to get started in recording a video?

It is worthwhile purchasing a decent webcam and microphone, neither of which need to be expensive but do give a more professional result. Basic videos can be recorded on a mobile phone and for this, investing in a mobile phone tripod with built in lighting is worthwhile as it will enhance the quality of the videos you produce.

The technology needed can be purchased online and is readily available but just start with videos on your mobile phone and take it from there. You will soon see just how easy it is to make great quality videos with fantastic results.

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