Lights, Camera—Recruit!

By Leon Rubis Apr 28, 2015
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SAN DIEGO—Your job openings oughta be in pictures—specifically videos.

And they should be accessible on mobile devices, according to two co-presenters of “Boosting SEO, Social and Mobile Recruitment Strategies with Video Competency” at the 2015 Society for Human Resource Management Talent Management Conference & Exposition here.

Forty percent of Facebook users engage with that site on mobile devices, on which users are twice as likely to view and share content with their networks as on desktop computers, said Lindsay Stanton, chief client officer for Digi-Me in Aurora, Ill., a provider of video services for the recruitment industry. Sharing is valuable because “that’s a third-party validation of your content,” she said.

She cited a survey from the website Beyond.com indicating 77 percent of job seekers use mobile apps in their search.

Mobile-friendly content is also vital to reach very mobile workers, such as commercial truck drivers, said Gina Max, senior director of talent management and diversity for USG in Chicago, which recruits for about 1,100 jobs a year in 200 U.S. locations.

But to really boost the attention your job openings get, short videos about the company and job should play starring roles. Stanton reviewed the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), which allows Internet search engines to match users’ searches with relevant results. “You want Google to like your content,” she said, and Google’s algorithms favor content that is both mobile-enabled and includes video.

In fact, video increases the probability of a web page appearing on the first page of search results by 53 times over a page with only text, according to research by the website Gigaom.com. She cited other research indicating search results with videos have a 41 percent higher click-through rate than plain text and that video accounts for two-thirds of all mobile traffic. Additionally, two-thirds of smartphone owners watch at least one hour of video weekly.

Of course, “you want to make sure you have a nice, clean professional image,” and keep the videos short—60 seconds or less. Since YouTube shows up high on many search results, post videos there, but also on your company and recruiting websites and social media pages.

Tapping into different audiences on social media sites also increases your content’s redistribution via niche communities, groups and other sites. “If you get into the niche groups, they’ll do recruiting for you,” said Stanton.

Getting started with video need not be expensive or time-consuming, said Max. She said USG’s earliest videos using stock photos were assembled in less than two weeks for only about $300. By adding some extra photos geared to different locations, and links to job descriptions, the same video can be easily modified for multiple job openings.

Max said that adding videos to job postings boosted conversion rates (number of applicants divided by job posting views) for truck driver jobs to 22 percent in Milwaukee, to 21 percent in Phoenix, and to 41 percent in Jacksonville, Fla. You can view a USG recruiting video here.

Leon Rubis is vice president of editorial at SHRM.

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