How to use video for recruiting

Anyone who works in sales and marketing understands first hand how powerful it is to have a qualified prospect discover you through a friend, research you online, and then excitedly make contact. They have been looking for what you offer. After a few meetings to investigate further, their trust increases enough to give it a shot and exchange their hard earned money for your product or service.

This is easy to imagine for sales and marketing, but it’s often overlooked when it comes to recruiting.

Many organizations only focus on “finding the perfect candidate” once a job opens up and what’s worse, once there is an opening the recruiter and hiring manager are now under pressure to get it filled.

To add to the challenge, the labor pool seems to be changing rapidly. The pandemic shifted many people’s perspective. Some now value more time with family, many realized they don’t want to spend one day more at a job they don’t enjoy and simply quit. These and other factors are creating a labor shortage, and top talent are becoming increasingly selective in choosing just the right organization with which to give their precious time and energy.

“If you get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

We all want “A” players… true superstars who can thrive within a team. The best candidates aren’t looking flippantly for a paycheck, they care deeply about building an effective life. They don’t want to waste their time and they are honest with themselves and the recruiter about the skills they currently have and the skills they want to develop.

“A” players care deeply about your mission and vision… your big “why”. After this box is checked, the next set of questions are the most critical to answer.

  • Do they have the correct skills
  • Do they understand and desire your culture?
  • Will they enhance / improve this culture or will they hurt it?

It is difficult to answer these questions quickly. Really only time will tell. However, there are some powerful processes we can implement to greatly improve our success rate in hiring superstars.

If you have the luxury of first looking within your organization, great! That gives obvious advantages, especially when promoting someone into a leadership position. However, you may need a replacement for their former position, and it’s not uncommon to need fresh new skills and perspectives from the outside (especially for specialist roles).

How to Attract Super Star Talent

We believe there are two especially effective moves to stack the deck in your favor when recruiting from the outside… a recruiting combo punch. They are:

1 – Ask for referrals from your most trusted allies. 

Those who are closest to you and the organization can be very helpful for instinctively match making skills and culture fit. Historically, an organization’s best hires are often from referrals.

However, even when there is a strong referral, a good candidate will always do a deep dive into researching your company model, roles, history, and especially your culture. What will they learn?

If you want to attract the most amazing team and continuously improve your culture, heavily invest in point two:

2 – Make your culture and core values extremely visible internally AND externally in the form of bingeable entertainment.

Imagine a steady stream of your stories captured on film and video and crafted into powerful episodes of short form entertainment. Here are some video content examples:

  • “Your B.H.A.G as Docu-Series” – Imagine a Netfilx series about showing your journey toward your big, hairy, audacious goals. Every month (or quarter)  the team sits and watches the new episode in a darkened room with some popcorn as it’s released via a watch party on multiple channels.
  • “Customer Case Studies” – again, presented as an engaging documentary series
  • A video podcast which regularly explores stories filled with vulnerable key learnings
  • Event highlights filled with both hilarious and meaningful moments
  • “My Why” – a series of personal team member video portraits
  • And of course, regular social media stories especially spotlighting team members living their best work life

Your perfect customers and your perfect candidates will binge these, prompting more of the right prospects to contact you, and reducing the number of time wasting missteps.

It’s easy to imagine the secret sauce being that this type of entertainment is simply showing your organization as “fun place to work”, and of course fun is incredibly valuable… but fun is not the most important ingredient.

What makes a video effective for recruiting?

The most effective lever in your video content (only slightly behind fun) is continuously exemplifying your big “why” via your core values.

These docu-style stories are like a gift. The “fun” is the packaging, but as you unwrap stories which exemplify your core values, you find the real gift inside: Meaningful Work.

We humans need this to continually chart our progress and feel the value of improvement and it doesn’t happen automatically. In fact, it’s often hard to remember what happened even last week.

Continuously spotlighting fun and meaningful work will not only attract the best talent, it will also continually strengthen your culture because your team now has powerful timeless reminders… a living journal of seasonal stories filled with healthy inside joke, memories, and powerful moments to share with friends and family.

This is part of what we call Story Acceleration.

My challenge to you, my fellow organization leader is: Do not underestimate the power of increasing your culture visibility. Film and Video are especially effective mediums for this in our modern time, but boring corporate videos will not do the trick… in fact the video isn’t worth much of anything without a crafted story.

Crafting a story includes talking about conflict in order to then address the resolution on the other end. This is really how you can get to know a person better, what makes their life and story meaningful, and ultimately create connections that are genuine. That is what drives action.

Will this require a significant financial investment? Yes, and it often makes a lot of sense to fund this initiative from both Marketing and HR budgets.

Authentic, engaging entertainment will attract and foster superfans… many will be customers, and some will be star “A” players you’ll wonder how you ever got by without.

If you’re looking to get started on a project, Votary has a passion for telling compelling stories through the art of filmmaking. We specialize in producing brand stories, creative commercials, and documentary series. If that sounds to you like we might be a fit, then let’s talk. Start a Conversation.


Jed Burdick
Jed Burdick

Father, Husband, Entrepreneur, Storyteller.