Skill Scout Blog
Inspiration, tips & stories to help you make awesome videos.
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Every industry has it’s favorite stats. When it comes to job videos, my favorite stat is that video job ads are viewed 46% more than one dimensional job descriptions. Why is that? As an ethnographic researcher, I really wanted to dig in and find out why we see this trend.
Let’s break down my hypothesis. First, YouTube is incredibly popular. It’s the second largest search engine in the world. Videos are growing in popularity not only for entertainment, but also for educational purposes. People are heading to YouTube to get info, making it clear that video is the way to go when providing info - including in your job ads. For the past year, my 6 year old has believed that YouTube = the whole internet. She’s not exactly wrong...
While YouTube’s popularity is increasing, attention spans are not. Job videos engage candidates and capture their attention. Videos are a richer media than job descriptions. When job descriptions get boring, job videos bring a job to life. They tell a story, that is why they're viewed longer than job description.
Not to mention, unemployment is now below 4%. Such a low unemployment rate puts recruiters at a disadvantage - with more job opportunities than candidates, job seekers now have more options. Job videos allow your job ads to stand out against the competition and ensure that the candidates that are right for you will actually apply to your jobs.
So, why exactly are job videos better than a job description?
They translate everyday work into something tangible. Candidates can experience a sneak peek into the company, allowing them to see the company’s values and benefits. By featuring different types of videos such as company overviews or interviews with employees, the job becomes something candidates can know and understand rather than just read about.
As candidates watch these videos, they can physically see if they are qualified to do the job, giving more people access to the work. Job videos motivate. They inspire. And most importantly? They increase applications over job descriptions.
To learn how to film your very own job video, check out this video: Film like a Pro: Film Your Own Job Video Overview.
When Abby and I founded Skill Scout, we were on a mission to create a more level playing field in hiring. Expose young and inexperienced job seekers to what work was like, and show them what was possible for their lives. You cannot be what you cannot see. So, we made work tangible: a whole hiring overhaul. We put videos in front of people instead of over-complicated job descriptions that would intimidate anyone looking for a job. But, there was something bigger we could do.
My recent epiphany was that the biggest impact Skill Scout could make is not on our clients, but on our own talent - to give someone a job and pay them to do work they love while fostering their independence and growth. Now, that? That’s being the change I want to see in the world.
Now, we’re growing our company and we knew it was important to hire with intent. To open doors. Basically, our mantra is (and always has been) "Eating Our Own Dog Food." We can't preach that hiring with video and work samples works if we're not actively living this out ourselves. In fact, in the process of hiring, building and honing our workforce, has become my FAVORITE part of what we do.
Our combination of a job video, engaging application, and (paid) video work sample has completely shifted the balance for hiring a diverse team. Look at our numbers:
The first step of the process is our engaging visual application screener:
Our goal at this point is just to get a sense of their overall enthusiasm and understanding of the role. Here are two examples of our questions and great answers from candidates:
What stands out in the video?
“The thing that stuck out to me the most and makes me most excited about working with Skill Scout is the community aspect. I work in the communications field right now and am obsessed with always improving my communication with others, because that is what builds community and a strong team! I'm impressed that you are able to build what looks like such a strong community, even though you all work remotely. As a video journalist and storyteller, I also definitely have a keen ear for those ‘nuggets’ that really sell the job, and a creative eye to catch the little details that one might not normally notice in a scene, something that it seems like you are looking for based on this video. I'm definitely a flexible hustler and I'd be excited to work with you all!”
Review the above video. What are the top 3 things stand out to you (i.e. aesthetic, pacing, storyline, types of shots etc.)?
“The first thing that I noticed is definitely the framing. I think all of the shots seemed a bit narrow, and didn't have enough space in the frame to showcase the content of the video. The sound bites were great; I think they show the audience exactly what they intended. A few shots seemed too brief for me to realize what was in the shot.”
Based on their responses, we move forward with our work sample. We gave people five business days to produce and edit a short video that we eventually shared with clients. These "Meet Your Editor" videos have become an excellent way to delight and introduce our clients to who is behind their edit. What's more, we highlight our amazing team member in the process. Acknowledgment seems to be a thing for young people - it’s a win-win. You can watch all of these videos here.
Through these videos, I see personality and creativity while getting to understand their approach to the work. I should remind you that given their age and/or lack of "professional experience", it's not like they had "impressive" resumes. Giving them something to react to (job videos) and letting them try their hand at the job has been the BEST way for us to assess fit.
As an owner, it’s an absolute honor to help launch their careers. For many of them, we are the first ones to give them a shot - a shot that all business owners and hiring leaders should be giving. This is only because we have found a better way of assessing and attracting them; because we were committed to a hiring overhaul.
It may be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that I pose to every business owner and hiring leader. It is so highly rewarding and worth it in the end - not just for us, but also for the careers we are helping launch. The process of hiring is an exciting opportunity for helping other people that we should take advantage of.
Think back to the last time you applied for a job. If you’re anything like me, you've rarely encountered a job video. Written job ads start to look the same after a while, to the point where I forget what companies I’m even applying to. The same buzzwords and internal vocabulary are recycled, blurring each job description into the next.
Rather than having an understanding of the role I’m applying for, I’m left just looking at a list of criteria in the hopes that I’m qualified. Jobs are more than just a list, though: no two roles are exactly the same. Being a shoe designer at Nike is different than being a shoe designer at Adidas, but job ads water down roles into the same old job descriptions you see each time you click on another post.
Is that really all we want job ads to offer applicants? Of course not.
What we want is action, inspiration, and most importantly, application. Yet, most people visiting your website won’t have that experience with just a job description. The bottom line is that it’s causing problems for small businesses. In fact, 48% of small businesses report that there are few or no qualified applicants for the positions they are trying to fill (NFIB, November 2015).
So, what do you do? You need a job preview that is both realistic and makes applicants feel something. It needs to bring the position and your company to life. How are you supposed to feel the warm and fuzzies reading some list of criteria and boilerplate overviews? That’s a rhetorical question.
We both know the answer: job videos.
Don’t believe us? Fine. Did you know job posts get 36% more applications if accompanied by a recruiting video?
Still not buying it? Ok, hear it right from a candidate:
But how do we translate that boring job description into a job video that inspires action? It’s simple, really:
Job videos bring a job to life in a way that job descriptions can’t, allowing candidates to really get a feel for the job they’re applying to. With candidates being much more likely to apply to a job post which features a job video, translating your job ad into a job video is definitely the way to go.
Elena and Abby bring you innovative stories from the workplace.