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Keeping it Real: The Power of Using Video to Share Your Culture and Attract Top Talent

Before we begin, let me tell you about my former coworker: Heidi.

Right now you might be asking: “Who is Heidi and what does she have to do with culture and recruitment?” Stay with me.

Heidi was the colleague who trained me on my first day at my former employer. Heidi was blunt. Heidi was honest. Heidi told me what I was getting into: No sugarcoating. I knew about all the warts (ew).

I’m going to tell you why you should create a video that acts as your “Heidi.”

You, a hiring manager, right now: “Um…no thank you. Heidi sounds like a terrible person to showcase the amazing culture at our super-awesome company.”

On the contrary, I believe Heidi is JUST the person (in this case, video) to share your incredible culture. I also believe that showcasing your company’s “Heidi” will help you attract talented candidates who stay with your company.

That job for which Heidi trained me? I was there for almost half my professional career. Heidi still works there. So now, let’s dive into why and how you should use video to recruit (and retain!) top talent.

Authenticity

Video doesn’t allow you to hide. Facial expressions, energy, verbiage: It is extremely hard to fake those things in a video, and when they lack authenticity, everyone knows.

Embracing authenticity in your recruitment video will not only show your culture, but give a candidate an honest look at what it’s like to work for your company. Take our own "About Us" video, for example.

Highlight your employees in your video, not just the bigwigs. This is a big one—in fact, LinkedIn found that candidates trust employees at least three times more than the company itself to provide insight on the company culture. A candidate wants to know who they’ll be working with. What are those people like? What’s the environment of the workplace on a typical day? What will their work life look like if they join your company?

How should you effectively do this? Consider showing a ‘day in the life’ of a few employees with different roles. Let the camera crew shadow them to capture their workday.

This is a good approach for two reasons: 

  1. It gives potential candidates a “front-row seat” to the inner workings of your company. They’ll see where they would be working, their potential coworkers, and how they interact with each other.
  2. Your employees will be more natural on camera. In the decade I’ve been producing video content, this has worked every single time. Why? It allows them to focus on something they’re familiar with (their work) instead of the camera. It might take a few minutes, but using this approach will make them more comfortable, and therefore more authentic. 

Transparency

This is where those “warts” come into play. If you want them to buy into the good parts of your company, you also need to tell them about the bad—or at least, what some might consider to be the more unattractive parts of the role.

This might seem counterintuitive to your recruitment goal, but remember: You don’t want to attract just any candidate. You want the one who is the right fit for your company.

The “right fit” will hear your employees talk about the challenges of their jobs and say, “That’s okay. I can handle that.”

I’m not saying the people in your video have to talk about the worst day they’ve had on the job, but let them talk about what it’s really like: What the challenges are, what type of person would work well in your environment, and how a person thrives there.

Simple questions can prompt employees to candidly talk about the challenges they face: What’s the most challenging part of the job? What’s something you like about your role that others might not?

Providing these answers will weed out the applicants who aren’t a culture fit, and the candidates who are won’t be surprised when they join your company.

People who fit the culture are less likely to leave. You know what that means. The longer they stay, the less turnover you have. This allows you to grow your talent and your company.

So, good luck showcasing your “Heidi.” 

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