HR Case Study: Recruitment Video
It was the end of May of 2016 when we realized that we could not postpone it anymore. Everybody sat down in his place and the meeting began.
– We have got to recruit new drawing artists! I cannot handle it myself anymore! We will not be able to make it through if new projects will appear…! – said Klaudia nervously.
Michał and I have nodded our heads. The discussion started.
How about a job offer on the internet? How about a video? And how long will it take? Do we even know how to do it? I remember that I have some recruitment materials from the time during my studies… but where will we get these people from? And when will Klaudia be able to do that if she is so overloaded with work? Remember that we have the holidays soon. And the conference is next week!
Nobody was up to begin the recruitment process. We understood how tiresome and composed of many stages this process was, especially when you are looking for people from the creative industry. We doubted that we would even be able to find enough candidates. But we had no choice.
I sat down in front of the computer and prepared a standard job offer containing ‘Company description/ Responsibilities / Required skills / We offer’. It was not bad, but it did not convince anyone of us either. If we are targeting people from the creative industry, we should do it in a creative manner.
We had some general ideas, but no specific solution. We finished the meeting by promising ourselves that every one of us would consider what we may prepare.
In the evening, Klaudia had been enlightened. She went to the office, turned the camera on, and spontaneously described the kind of people we need in our company. When I came to the office the following day, I found out that the recruitment video was almost ready. Klaudia just had to add a few scenes to the project.
– Oh. I remember that there was idea for a video, but I did not realize we would be able to complete it so fast!
– You will see… it is really cool.
I had waited a few hours and found out that she was right. I felt that this was it. I shared the video on our fanpage, and already, after a dozen minutes, the feedback was incredible. After 48 hours, we were already sure that we would reach our recruitment target without any problems.
If you want to learn more, please read our HR Case Study.
Klaudia needed a new drawing artists to help her with her work. Quickly. We produce animated videos for business, and due to the constantly-increasing number of projects, we needed back-up. It was difficult, because drawing work as a part of ExplainVisually is different from the standard tasks presented to drawing artists. Why?
A person has to draw in a ‘live mode’, and that reduces the number of possible corrections. The deadlines are often tense, requiring from artists the ability to work under a time constraint. The awareness about the limitations of our handmade technique of videos is also important in order to keep our ideas possible to complete. Briefly speaking – we needed very responsible and strongly-rooted-in-the-business reality artists (what is an oxymoron in the eyes of some people).
We also knew that our target group, where we were looking for our coworkers, is also allergic to extremely official language. That is why directed movies, traditional offers at job websites or a LinkedIn promotion were out of the question.
Due to the fact that our company still has a quiet and private character, an improperly selected person could have influenced our business activity significantly. As comes to an atmosphere in work as to operational activity. Looking for a substitute means more lost days or even weeks. Therefore, the stakes were high.
We needed at least 3 employees that we could prepare to work in 1 or 2 days. This means almost immediately.
Besides practice in drawing, being professional, being open for new things and experiences and also the ability to work under time constraints, we also considered the creativity of candidates to be very important. We also thought that being adjustable to our company atmosphere (meaning a ‘home-like’ atmosphere) was crucial, followed by a requirement for communicative skills and whether a candidate had a sense of humor.
The recruitment process was separated into stages of collecting applications, the recruitment task (requiring a few or even about a dozen hours of work and a large dose of creativity) and a phone interview.
We created a recruitment video that sends a message to all future employees in relation to:
- Area of our company activity,
- Atmosphere within the company,
- Profile of the future boss,
- Visual explanation of the job position and the process of the production of our movies.
The video was concluded by providing an e-mail address that would be used by candidates to apply for the job. We wanted the applying candidates to watch the recruitment video to the end, because this way we felt confident that they understood the nature of this quite unusual job position.
And the recruitment video looked like this:
We already had a video. Now, we had to decide the distribution channels.
The first channel was Facebook. The selection resulted from our description of a target group. We rather did not associate drawing artists with people who have LinkedIn accounts and look for interesting offers in the website’s newsfeed. Similarly, we evaluated the odds that they regularly visit job sites like Indeed or Glassdoor.
We used the following Facebook channels:
- Company profile (about 800 likes at that time),
- Private profiles of 3 of our team members committed to work with future employees,
- Academy of Fine Arts student group and drawing artist group.
The recruitment video was shared as a Facebook Video. We knew that one of Facebook’s strategies is promoting its video content. The portal had cut the reach of YouTube links and was promoting videos uploaded to their own social network. The end of the post contained a clear ‘Call to Action’ field (applying for the job through e-mail) with encouragement to share the movie.
We also shared the recruitment video on a company profile at LinkedIn (in that time, the incredible number of 30 followers) and our private profiles. The link also appeared in our mail footers.
After posting the movie on the internet, we went to a marketing conference held in Cracow, Poland. During the break, I logged into Facebook and was overwhelmed by the number of notifications, likes, shares and comments.
In the first 48 hours, we had:
- 10,000 views,
- 100 shares,
- 25,000 through organic reach (about 80 times more than a typical post on a fanpage)
- Increase in the number of fanpage likes – 15%.
In the end, we spent about PLN 80 (ca. 20$) to promote the post and acquired almost 16,000 views on Facebook and 570 on YouTube.
The recruitment movie also generated a lot of reactions from Facebook users.
We considered the quantity and quality of candidates who expressed a willingness to cooperate, to be more important than Facebook popularity. Fortunately, the success of the recruitment video was not limited only to the number of viewers.
Numbers in relation to the recruitment process:
- In two weeks, we received 89 applications from people interested in the recruitment process (Klaudia estimated this number to about 10-15 people!)
- 43 people (out of 89) completed the recruitment task, in which preparation took usually from few to about a dozen hours of work (writing a storyboard for candidates applying for a storyboard artist position and filming the movies for people applying for the position of an actor of a drawing hand)
- Among those 43 people who completed the task, 29 passed to the following stage of recruitment, meaning telephone interviews. After completing 29 telephone interviews, usually lasting for 1 hour (all of the interviews were done by Klaudia, meaning the same person who was seen in the recruitment video), we invited 8 people to cooperate with our company. We planned to employ fewer people, but we were so enthralled by their output that we slightly changed the employment model.
After closing the recruitment process (meaning the deadline for submitting recruitment tasks), we also created a movie that closed the recruitment process. In the next video ‘future boss’ expressed her thanks to the candidates, which was done in a very similar manner.
It looked like this:
What is important for the applicants – all of the candidates from the final stage of the recruitment process (this is 29 people) have received personalized feedback at the end of the process. Despite that it meant many hours of work for Klaudia, as people with experience in applying to various companies, we desired to inform the people why they were accepted or why they were not.
In the end, our first large recruitment process had been successful.
The level of candidates was very high and we easily recruited as many employees as we wanted. We still have a rich database of people with whom we may address in case we need additional support. An unpredictable result of the whole process was an increase in the recognition of our company influenced by all those helpful people who shared our recruitment video.
The results proved to be beyond our wildest imagination.
Comments and conclusions
More than a year has passed since the described recruitment process took place. We cooperate with nearly all of the employed people. Meanwhile, we recruited one more person. Due to the acquired time perspective, we may look at what we learned with fresh eyes.
1. You may familiarize candidates with a future boss.
There is a saying that an employee comes to the company and leaves the boss. If he/she is so important in the process of job selection, it would be worthwhile to use this element. Familiarizing candidates with a future supervisor already at the first stage of recruitment might be a bull’s-eye.
2. It may prove useful to use images or a video, not only from Stock.
We live in a time dominated by the image form of delivery (memes, comic books, infographics). Usage of this kind of media may significantly improve attractiveness and distinguish our job offer. Due to the usage of video, the applicant feels that we made an effort to present a specific job position to a candidate. It may be done by usage of a movie, infographics or a picture of a future team.
3, There are candidates on Facebook also.
There are few people who look for the job on Facebook. However, it is also a place with a lot of interaction, where our candidates and their friends spent a great deal of time. Some of them, when seeing a job offer that fits the profile of their friend, willingly tag it, raising the chance to reach a candidate for our company. We only have to remember that our advertisement has to fit the nature of the portal.
Obviously, our described solution is not perfect in every case. It is not always possible to make a recruitment video. The future boss sometimes does not want to present himself/herself in front of the camera. And not every candidate will like such a form of communication. Job offers on Facebook may also become tiresome.
However, we think that experiments may prove worthy. Making a movie. Adding infographics or a picture to the advertisement. Asking a manager to write a short letter for candidates, explaining who he really needs, in his own words.
There are many possibilities and we hope that our HR Case Study will encourage you to initiate the search.
About the author:
Maciej Budkowski — a psychologist and marketer in ExplainVisually, responsible for marketing and sales. During his studies at the University of Warsaw, he studied the influence of large amount on information on the level of processing. Then, he managed communications in IS-Wireless, a high-tech telecom company. He gave a lecture entitled “The use of visual thinking in building customer experience” at the Marketing Summit 2016. You can find some of his psychology-related articles on imprific.com.
One of the biggest producer of whiteboard animation videos in Europe, it regularly works with the biggest brands in the world, NGOs, SMEs and start-ups. ExplainVisually services are provided to such organizations as: Carlsberg, UniCredit, Orange, Credit Agricole, Millennium Bank, Remondis, AmRest, ING, PARP, Pratt&Whitney, BZWBK (Santander Bank), Tesco and TEDx.