Yesterday afternoon I sat in to listen Bill Boorman‘s Downunder Recruiting show where the discussion was on video, an interesting topic. I am very interested in video within a talent acquisition strategy as this has been a topic for many many years and I am glad to see people are starting to move away from the “Video Resume” as quite frankly that is probably the worse use case for video.
Before we go too much further we need to see video as just another form of content, it just happens to have audio and moving images. This is the key as I see people get stuck with video as just a method for having a talking head, video today can be far more than that.
However for all it’s benefits there is still a low take up of video, especially in Australia. One reason I believe we have not seen a broader take up of video is it is still a fairly hard technology to master both functionally and technically.
Another barrier I see is performance. This is a big issue in Australia, where we are ranked about 42nd on performance for brandband downloads and 72nd for uploads. This can mean it will take hours to upload a large video to your hosting provider and when people are watching your carefully crafted message it keeps stopping due to caching issues.
The first challenge is you need to produce good quality audio and images. Many people are uncomfortable with having their voice recorded, let alone appearing on video. Once these hurdles are overcome, a good quality script and plan needs to be prepared. One aspect often over looked is the location needs to be right, lighting, background images and noise are all aspects to consider.
Then there are the technical aspects, starting with video capture, while webcams are very popular they generally do not produce good quality video, and they are also difficult to move around. But webcams are a great tools for interactive video, such as Skype. Don’t forget you still need to think about composition aspects, what will the other person see in the background of your image?
If you are producing a video for others to watch at a later time your jobs just got a lot harder.
After the captured of the video editing can be a challenge. You need software, which under Windows is a problem (yes Mac OS X users have a much better time here), yes there are open source products but to get that truely polished look you need to purchase software. Then actually rendering of any video beyond 3 – 5 minutes takes a lot of CPU processing power. A high quality video also takes up disk space, think 100MB per minute at standard definition with even more when you go high definition.
Once you have produced your video where do you host it? There are many public services for example is YouTube right you can only host 10 minutes and you have limited controls over security. Vimeo is another service that allows hosting, and for a fee you can control exactly who has access to the video, however the terms of service limit commercial usage. If you want your video to be viewable on mobile phones then things become even more complex as flash, the typical delivery method, has limited penetration on mobile devices.
Internal communications also need an environment to deliver the video, do not underestimate this otherwise your IT team will not be happy with you. These tools need to be set up before you can begin to use video.
Ok with the negative aspects is video still worth getting involved in? Yes!
Potential Video Usage
Below is a short listing of where you can use video within your HR processes.
- Employer branding
- Employee communications
- Job advertisement
- Job interviews, with Skype or similar
- Candidate videos
- Anywhere where audio and images would enhance the message
A recent job advert video from Australian company Noble Samurai looking for a new Agile Development Lead. During this 4 minute 40 seconds production you get to understand what the roles is about, who you would be working with, the working environment and culture.
The video starts with an interview with the CEO covering some of the things they are looking for. Followed by quick review of the office and some introduction to some of the team. While there are a couple of composition issues but generally the quality is very good.
Another good example is actually a excellent example on the use of social media in general, ASDA’s The Green Room. The site integrates all sorts of content, but the item I want to highlight is a recent message from the CEO to their employees.
Good practices in using video
Like all of this social media “stuff” quality content is critical. You need to add value to viewers otherwise they will turn off. If you are using video as part of your attraction process, make it real, keep things honest but professional. Keep the video focused, engaging and overall fun. Here are my top 10 production tips:
- Spend time planning up front
- Tell a story
- Have a good microphone
- Think about lighting and background composition
- Plan your delivery methods
- When capturing the video try not to pan too much or too fast
- Also limit you use of the zoom
- Use a tripod when shooting (whenever practical)
- Shoot from different angles, use multiple cameras
- Include lots of wide angle shots
Also have a look at Justin Hillier’s views on video.