Best Practices in HR
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  November 24, 2020

Part II – Videos Candidates Crave: Education

Show them the real you

In the last two pieces (Intro and Awareness), we’ve discussed the power of video in helping candidates convert into the next stage of their journey. Marketing in these early phases, if done well, will increase your candidate quality because you are spending your efforts showing them who you are from the point of view of the people who make your organization strong.

The education phase is pivotal in the candidate journey. While awareness is about getting people to know you exist and have opportunities for them, the education phase is about helping candidates decide if this is the right fit. This is where you will optimize your pipeline by sharing highlights and realities of the job to help candidates screen themselves in and out. It’s also the phase in which most brands make the fatal mistake of overselling. Overselling that leads to declined offers, ghosting, and rapid-fire turnover.

The information candidates need in the education phase is coincidentally aligned with the two biggest barriers they face when considering a new job. According to LinkedIn research, the two biggest barriers candidates face when applying for a job is:

  1. I don’t know what it’s really like to work there.
  2. I don’t know what the job really is.

These are barriers that can be readily broken down with video to meet the candidate needs. They need to understand what makes your company tick, what you value, and they want to understand it specifically. They also want a clear picture of the job they will be doing with you. I cannot overstate this enough, *clear* picture. They need to know if they will fit in. Afterall, they are either trading in their current job where they know what to expect, or, they are giving up other opportunities that could be great career moves. In either case, the mystery is too much of a burden.

This is the phase where the big budget recruiting video fails completely.  If your organization has more than 5-10 people, the number of jobs and subcultures in your organization cannot possibly be represented in a 2-minute company overview.  Just think of how different the pace, interactions, goals, satisfactions, and frustrations are in your Internal Audit department versus your Sales organization.  If someone is considering a position in your IT cybersecurity group, how helpful is it for them to listen to a testimonial from an entry level Communications Specialist?  Does your Corporate Legal team have a similar vibe to your Product Development group?

This is the phase where informal video is so powerful.  It is financially prohibitive, not to mention logistically unmanageable, to formally produce videos for each of your teams.  But each team can record informal clips that reflect the culture of the group, to talk about what makes their team unique in the broader culture. Talking about things like meetings, working relationship, how and why they need each other and what they love about working with one another.

The beauty of the education phase is this is the place where you can paint such a clear picture of what it is like to work with you, doing a specific job that people can either see themselves in that painting, or they can move on. Trust me, moving on is a good choice for your company. So many organizations create videos over-selling their company and their culture. This oversell, while coming from a good place, leads to dissatisfied employees and turnover.

Going to work is not sunshine and roses every day, despite what a lot of recruiting videos will tell you. Going to work can be challenging, but also frustrating. Let’s be honest, very few people go to work for free. Candidates know that in addition to the upside and rewards, every job comes with some downsides. The trick is to communicate that balance elegantly. Don’t worry, there are countless articles about cut-throat companies that still manage to attract great talent. When you are honest, and not overselling, you will attract people who are better prepared to accept your offer, and who will stay longer because they know what to expect and accept it because you’ve told them the truth.

Be honest in your video content. Tell the real story. It pays off in terms of candidate quality. When people know what it is like to work there, they make a well-informed decision to accept the job you are offering. They know what they are in for and when they are hired, they stay, which is what we are all hoping for!

Executing education elegantly is the key. Video in this stage that will help break down barriers can look like this:

People candidates want to hear from in the Education phase:

  • Division Head
  • Hiring Managers
  • Line employees
  • Teams

Topics they should be covering:

The meaning of your values

If you’re innovative, talk about what innovation means to you. If you’re company puts the customer first, talk about a time that you did that. If you’re company works long hours, talk about that. If you work in healthcare, talk about the patients, and the toll it can take as well as the joy it brings. Tell the real story of your company, the good, the bad, and the occasional ugly, ahem, challenging. When you talk about challenging times, be sure you tell the candidate how you overcome those challenges, how the business supported you (or your team), and how you grew as a result of overcoming those challenges.

Team insights

Tell your candidates about how you work as a team. Tell them what it’s like to be on a team, about team dynamics. Talk about characteristics of high performers at your organization. Talk about management styles, talk about who is successful at your company and why. Consider having a group talk amongst themselves on camera about a project (without giving away confidential information of course!).


Show them how you have fun, not just at your foosball table, but how you connect as a company. Remember, people go to work to get paid, they stay because they work with people they enjoy being around and they have an opportunity to impact. Talk about impact. Tell stories that are specific with a beginning, a middle, and an end. These stories as they relate to your culture should help your candidates validate if they are a right fit for the team.

Day in the life

Yes, it’s tried and true, but it’s tried and true for a reason. If the two biggest barriers are knowing what it’s like to work there, and what the job really is, show them a day in the life, or talk about it. Tell the candidate what you do most days. Talk about what your employees and managers get out their days.  These are the perfect opportunities to ask your employees to turn on the video cameras on their phones and just talk to potential candidates.

When you use video to educate your talent, you are breaking down barriers, barriers that will be obliterated by your video strategy. Telling candidates what it really means, what it’s really like, being specific, and helping them screen themselves in and out will get the best candidates into the pipeline for your company and hard-to-fill requisitions.

For more ideas and examples on video in the Education Phase, download the Video Strategy Framework now. Get started crafting your stories and putting your people out there for your candidates to connect with and see. Break down those barriers and make your process more efficient by showing candidates the real story behind your organization. It works. You will see it working when you see decreases in your declined offers and your turnover.

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