I’ve seen a lot of awful video job posts. You know the ones – they look like a ransom video, the poor hiring manager staring blankly into the camera that’s clearly attached to their computer. The quality is fuzzy. Their voice is shaking. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if they held up a newspaper to prove the date and their well-being.
The other extreme is something over polished that feels like the fine line between a documentary and an SNL skit about documentaries. They’re almost too polished. Too perfect. Too rehearsed. You know someone drew a story board but you’re not sure the people telling this story actually had this experience.
I just find it hard to believe anyone watched this stuff and thought, “yeah, people will totally want to work for us if I show them this.” I know it’s rare though – to find video job posts that actually do what they were intended to do: show instead of tell the details about the work that people need to know before they say yes to this career.
Video In Job Posts Isn’t New
When video job posts got popular with recruitment marketing teams around 2009, people were ok with the wildly varying quality, acknowledging that not every company has an on-site studio for producing their work propaganda. Today, the tech has changed a lot. You can create studio quality videos using your cellphone. So why haven’t talent teams upgraded their approach?
Expectations from candidates have changed. Even algorithms optimize to quality. People expect more interactive experiences. We can’t use video as this one-dimensional propaganda machine – for hiring managers to tell the story or for employees to tell their story. But we’re not exactly at virtual reality budgets yet either. What should companies do?
How And When We Use Video Matters
No I’m not interested in video killing the job posting arguments nor am I looking to end all video job postings. I do think we need to be smarter about how we use them and when. Job postings aren’t one size fits all and neither are videos.
Video is most effective when something is hard to explain with words – like how high the climb is or how rigorous the work conditions are. Specifically, I have seen it most effective when we’re trying to showcase why you would take one hourly role they fill all the time over another at a company down the street. On the other hand, a well written job posting is more effective with highly nuanced, specific – tech, niche.
No matter what, make sure your video and job posting are findable by naming it the phrase people search when they’re looking for this type of work. You can learn how to do that here.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.