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A New View on the Job Market: Recruitment Videos

Rita Zeidner  10/1/2007
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It might no longer be enough for employers to tell job seekers what a great workplace they offer. Employers might also have to show them.

At least that's the idea behind two new business venturesone advanced by online recruiting giant Monster, the other by a smaller outfit hoping to attract job seekers with a video-only job-board format.

In September 2007, Monster began video-hosting services that allow companies to feature recruitment videos with their online ads. And in the event a company doesn't already have a video at the ready, Monster can help with that, toocourtesy of a new partnership developed with its Woburn, Mass., neighbor MadDash E-Media Inc.

"Video integrated into postings allows customers a differentiated way to display their brand and culture while providing job candidates the opportunity to make more-informed decisions when applying for jobs," said Michael Madden, a Monster senior vice president.

"We foresee a day when candidates will only be clicking on icons," said MadDash Managing Partner Shannon Price, referencing the electronic symbols Monster uses to flag job ads with videos.

For about a thousand dollars a month, Monster gives employers a slick, three-to-four-minute video posted to their ad. In addition, companies with video on their recruitment sites can choose to have it integrated into their Monster job postings.

Price promises clients a video that will be a far cry from the stodgy formulas that previously defined industrial videos. That means no talking heads droning vague generalities about passion and what a great place the company is to work.

Viewers, "are looking to be entertained, as well as informed," he says. "There has to be a certain amount of sizzle."

That's also the message behind the medium at CareerTV, which is not so much a TV station but a web site.

The site now hosts more than 300 come-work-for-us videos representing some 150 employers, including Disney, Google, the State Department and BMW. Some companies have more than one videoto target a certain demographic group or a certain type of job, according to Jim Buttimer, chief operating officer of the San Francisco-based firm.

For now, employers with videos already made can post them for free on CareerTV, Buttimer said. But that might change if the idea takes off as expected.

In the meantime, the company's bread and butter comes from its video production services, offered at about the same price as MadDash's.

To lure viewers to the site and keep them there, CareerTV features videos with tips on things like dressing for an interview, researching a company before an interview and sending post-interview thank-you notes.

Neither MadDash nor Buttimer had statistics proving return on investment or the superiority of their product over less-expensive, more-traditional strategies. But in a competitive hiring market, both companies say, a video can make a company stand out.

Some employers agree.

"Everyone is looking for the same talent," says Pam Sars, director of staffing and workplace planning for the Cambridge, Mass., pharmaceutical company Millenium, whose video testimonial is featured on the MadDash web site.

She says her company has four recruitment videos, which include employees telling their own stories.

"I don't think there's anything more valuable than hearing from an employee who is actually sitting in that company, in that job," she said. "There is just a genuineness to that."

Rita Zeidner is manager of the SHRM Online HR Technology Focus Area.

Related Articles:

Are You Ready for Your Close-up? Teleconferencing Catches on in HR, SHRM Online Technology Focus Area, May 2007

Lights Camera Interview, HR Magazine, February 2007

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