Skill Scout Blog
Inspiration, tips & stories to help you make awesome videos.
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Author: Nate Brown | Chief Creative Officer
What are your team's biggest questions?
We've been through a whirlwind few months as humans, colleagues, business leaders. I'm speaking collectively, because I bet you may be feeling the same way! Through it all, we've been communicating, easing fears, answering questions and charting the future has been priority. How about you?
Speaking of charting the future, as states begin reopening, you may be thinking through when and how to welcome employees back to your space. Whether your workforce went all virtual, or remained open as an essential service, the workplace today looks very different than before.
As you ease your team into the next phase of reopening -- whatever that may be for your company, consider using video to show your team how you are keeping them safe, and what they can expect at work.
Start by answering your team's biggest questions. For our team, it was questions around how do we get back to filming workplace stories, in a safe and socially distant manner. How do we protect our clients, and our team? To address this, we carefully followed the film industry protocols, and developed a plan. I created this video to provide an overview of changes to our production process, and welcome our team back to filming.
Use this recipe to create your own communication plan!
Download a copy!
ESTIMATED READ TIME | 4 MIN 37 SECONDS
Due to the current state of the world, you now find yourself turning that spare room, typically reserved for that bowflex you now use as a clothing line, into your work-from-home office.
It can all be quite an adjustment and navigating how one gets started with remote work can be overwhelming. That’s where our NORMAL, day-to-day workflow experience can help. We've been working remotely for awhile now. And, have had some time to tweak our remote work set ups. In this post, We share a short list of microphones and cameras you can use to get started in your new role as master Skype-setter-uper.
Most of our laptops, tablets and some All-in-one PC’s come with a built in webcam and an array of mics that we can use as a jumping off point but it isn’t a bad idea to up your game and the quality of at least one of these two if not both. As someone in film and audio, my first recommendation would be to improve your audio. For one reason or another, most people can get past a subpar video clip so long as the audio is crisp and clean. To most humans, crap audio is a massive distraction (the expert studies are still out). So let’s start with microphones.
A USB mic is a typically a huge upgrade for most of us who do a lot of virtual meetings, calls and conferencing. The list of affordable options is endless and most will end up being a huge upgrade AND most if not all will work on both PC, Mac and even iOS at times (with a small adapter).
These choices are by no means a definitive list of what one should be using and keep in mind, there are so many options out there. We feel this will be a great jumping off point and of course, don’t forget, at the very least, utilize the devices you have already ie your phone, tablet, and laptop. We are lucky to be surrounded by technology that makes it quite easy to see and hear one another, no matter the distance between us.
Skill Scout Filmmaker//Musician//Overall Tech Nerd
A Little About Nick
Always captivated by the sights, sounds and musical scores of film, Nick has been moved from an early age on the power video and film can have in telling a story. The relationship between music and film is what pushed Nick to explore a life behind the camera and as a video editor. As a musician, he figured the two walked hand in hand. As he developed his skills in videography and editing through his YouTube channel and working with local musicians, bands and businesses, he felt he could lend his hand to telling deeper, more human-driven stories. Nick states, “I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much, meet so many amazing humans and to assist in telling their stories through the work they do. It’s been nothing short of a privilege to do so as part of the Skill Scout team.
In times of rapid change, viral illnesses like COVID-19, natural disasters or other disruptions to our daily business and personal lives, our teams look to us to provide guidance, critical information and direction to move forward.
You may have a lot of information to share with your team right now. New processes, office closure, working remotely for the first time. Sharing this in written form is important for step-by-step processes that people can refer back to.
But in written communication, it's often the emotion and vulnerability that gets lost. Now more than ever, employees are looking for connection. They are looking to leaders who care and empathize with what's happening. Tone, demeanor and eye contact matter. If you can't be together in person to speak with them, video is the next best thing.
As leaders, delivering a message on video is a human-centered way to connect, inform, reassure our people. This was a hard week. In that spirit, we took a few moments to open lines of communication with the team before our weekly check in.
Here's the message we sent to our team and close partners.
Here's how we structured the message.
You can download a printable copy here.
Here are a couple other examples.
When I was a little boy, and something bad happened in the news, my mother told me to look for the helpers. You’ll always find people helping. -Fred Rogers
Imagine you or a loved one is sick. Today in particular, that may not be such a difficult scenario to envision. Maybe the illness involves a trip to the doctor, then hospital. Maybe a few tests, treatment that requires a return visit. In every one of these touch points, you will have been in the care of a Nurse.
Nurses are a critical part of our healthcare system. They improve patient outcomes. They comfort, educate and advocate for us as patients. They’re with us after the delivery of good news and very bad news.
And we have a large and growing shortage of nurses in our country. Our healthcare colleagues face big challenges like an aging workforce, a shortage of Physicians that creates a system more heavily dependent on nurses. We are facing an unprecedented strain on the healthcare system with COVID-19, which means filling these critical roles has never been more important.
Many healthcare organizations are turning to innovative recruitment strategies to attract Nurses to their organizations. We’ve seen a sharp uptick in the number of healthcare careers clients have asked us to capture on camera.
Healthcare is rich with stories of helping patients make heroic recoveries, unimaginable loss, coming together as a team and making a palpable difference in a community’s health. Film is a powerful way to depict these stories.
But how do you film stories authentically, respect patient privacy, and capture the humanity and backdrop of a healthcare setting?
Here are a few of the things my team is learning along the way to film in a healthcare setting, in a human-centered way.
Logistics are everything. Take extra time for pre-production planning.
When we film in a healthcare environment, we expect no fewer than 2-3 story and logistics-planning sessions with our partners. There are a lot of moving parts.
Here are some questions to ask as you plan:
Consider who else will appear on camera.
For all healthcare roles, especially nurses, the person you are filming most likely interacts with lots of other people on a day-to-day basis. Showing these interactions is key to capture an authentic story, whether that’s a “day in the life” video, or speaks more to your organizational culture and creed. Get a running list, something like:
From that list, prioritize the most important interactions you would like to feature in your video piece. For people who work for your organization, start considering who would be excited to join you on camera. For the roles of patients and patient family members, start thinking about who from your team would be willing to recruit a parent, neighbor, friend or child to appear in your video. In our most recent healthcare shoot, we filmed our recruiting friends’ son and grandmother to play themselves, respectively, in the role of patient.
Other organizations hire actors, which is also a great approach. As you're “casting” your patients and families, consider which demographics of patients are most representative of your actual patients for that role (ex. Home Health working with seniors, pediatric nurses working with kids). That way candidates get a flavor for the work, the environment, and who they will interact with on a daily basis from a quick video.
Identify & Scout Your Location
One challenge in a busy hospital or clinic is to decide where filming should take place. We typically pick one main location to conduct interviews, that is quiet. The rest of the footage we film in-action wherever the work would normally take As you review options, make sure that the space is representative of where your employees work, and are minimally disruptive to your patient flow. Here are some ideas that have worked well for our team:
Before film day, walk through the space you have planned. Check out the lighting, the sound and how you plan to configure your interviews (sitting vs. standing, walking tour that moves through a space, etc.). Walk through at exactly the time you’ll be filming, if possible. That will give you a realistic sense of how noisy or echo-y the space is, and whether you’ll need to add any lighting to your interviewees’ faces at that time of day.
Ask the Right Questions
Healthcare professionals often take an interest in the field because they’re personally drawn to helping and healing people. Perhaps they’ve had a loved one who spent time in the healthcare system. Maybe they have been impacted by illness or injury personally. Ask “What inspired you to choose this profession?” The stories you hear will undoubtedly move you, and the stories will be relatable to others who have pursued nursing, home health, imaging, pediatrics, or any other division of healthcare. Stories foster a sense of belonging, and by sharing stories of your team, you have the opportunity to spread this belonging to candidates who are watching.
In addition to getting personal stories, here is a solid list of questions our team asks in every interview:
Capture the Right Shots
You’ve probably put some thought into who should appear in the video alongside your featured employees. Typically this is other healthcare providers, and patients. It’s helpful to build a list of potential scenes prior to filming. If you can spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with your featured employee(s) before you film, ask them where are 2-3 places you should make sure to film them. They will have good insight to where the majority of the work takes place, and features, equipment or facilities that would be appealing to candidates. For more ideas on building a shot list, feel free to click through this pre-production survey.
Here’s a sample shot list from a recent Nursing job we filmed:
Nurses, Patient Care Technicians, Caregivers, LPNs, all of these healthcare roles are incredibly important, always. Using video to capture stories in a meaningful way helps you engage with your prospective employees and patients alike. Filming in healthcare takes thought and human-centered planning to create authentic in-context video, but it’s achievable!
Shared by: Abby | Founder & CFO
Yes, we believe every job has meaning. As workplace storytellers, it’s our job to uncover that meaning and share it in a way that evokes emotion. Sometimes it's about the company’s mission. Other times it’s about fulfilling a personal passion or legacy. Maybe it’s about opportunities to make a small corner of the world a better place. One story that is often overlooked is: what does this job allow me to do outside of work? Who does it allow me to be?
Great storytelling requires empathy, curiosity and a little digging. Capturing these stories on camera will take you outside of the office and into wherever the meaning lies.
Here are a few examples of jobs that take place in an office, but are anything but boring.
Why is the work personally meaningful?
Find people who are passionate about what they’re doing. Chances are, they have a personal story for why their job means so much to them. Candidates with the same passion will see this come through and relate.
How does the role allow the company to thrive?
Even though the finance team doesn’t build vacuums at Dyson, they play a key role in the company’s success and longevity. For the right candidate, working on the finance team is a way to scratch an entrepreneurial itch and they’ll be geeked about doing this through the line item reviews that might bore someone else.
What does the job allow people to do in their life outside of work?
In this story, Karima lost her husband recently after being hired at Thermo Fisher. The company supported her through her loss, and continues to provide a work environment that supports her to be the mother she wants to be for her son.
When candidates are looking for a job, they’re trying to picture what their life will look like if they work with your company. An accountant knows the basics of what’s expected of a staff accountant. Perhaps a more important story to share is how their life will look outside of the office? Who does your job allow them to be at home? How can they show up?
How does the job allow people to impact the world?
Everybody has been informed by the work of Pew Research, even if you don’t know their name. They did a great job showing their impact in news headlines and the flow of global information in this video (clips contributed by their team, shot on a phone!).
I hope these examples get you thinking about ways of framing stories for jobs that take place in a cube or a desk, but that have emotion for the right viewer. Not all heroes wear capes, some run payroll, play with data, or answer phones. It’s our job to uncover what keeps people inspired, passionate and curious in their jobs.
Elena and Abby bring you innovative stories from the workplace.