At a recent conference there was a lot of talk about several new online services designed to assist with creating videos specifically for jobs. Off the back of this, one of our regular clients even grabbed me and suggested we film every hot job moving forward (this from a company with over 600 live jobs!).

The premise holds appeal, with video now the most popular content online and the average user spending 1.55 hours per day viewing video, having video job adverts is logical to get greater visibility for the jobs and ideally increase the volume and quality of applications.

Several of the main jobs boards now support video and have regularly spoken about how adverts with video have better conversion rates. However, they point towards job adverts with videos in them that aren't even unique to the jobs as examples of this.

What’s changed?

Creating video is now easier and cheaper than ever before. It used to be viewed akin to learning the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, an art form only mastered by a select few. This wasn’t far from the truth, but the key was technology. Creating video was so expensive and required so much unique (and expensive) equipment, that very few people could actually even try the ‘Dark Arts’ in the first place.

Technology has obviously changed, and now anyone can stitch a quick video together using iMovie or other similar, often affordable if not free, editing apps. Technology has also progressed to the point where, in theory, shooting/filming a video is just as easy to do. iPhone cameras are now commonly referenced as being better than a three year old video camera (not strictly true, but they are very good).  

Is it really that easy?

Unfortunately it’s not that easy to grab your iPhone and put together a quality video in a short amount of time. The issue is that these former Dark Art wizards weren’t just technology masters, but also understood things like lighting, audio, scripting, direction and editing. No app can currently fully compensate for any of these skills. A great example is this example video from VideoMyJob, which, whilst relevant to the topic, looks and sounds awful (sorry GE).

We’re not bashing on those trying to get something out that does the job, but with users taking in so much video content, yours has to be of a reasonable quality to stand out. As a prospective employee watching these videos, what would you think? "Wow I’d love to work there," or "that company is cheap and doesn’t care about quality"?

We make lots of videos, and there have been times where we’ve tried to bodge it. In fact, one of our most successful internal recruitment videos (filmed several years ago) was a complete bodge, but it wasn’t designed to be something it wasn’t.

The solution?

One of the online video job apps even goes as far as to sell an iPhone holder and accompanying light. Not a bad idea, but it’s a bit like recruiting someone who has half of the skills needed for the job.

Put simply, unless you invest in some technology and expertise in the ‘Dark Arts’ your video will have obvious voids that your audience will spot from a mile off. If you wouldn’t intentionally use poor grammar or punctuation on a written job advert why publish a video that paints a poor image of your brand?

Video costs are coming down and it most definitely isn’t necessary to spend the $10,000 plus numbers that used to be the industry standard.

So at this moment in time the best solution is to invest your resources in a couple of well-produced master videos for your business or specialist areas that can be used repeatedly, or to use video for specific recruitment campaigns rather than every live role.

We’ve written several blogs on how to make good recruitment videos. These clearly show video doesn’t need to be expensive but also all the work that has to go into a good end product.

Going it alone

If you are going to run with an iPhone shoot, then at the very least consider paying an editing company to produce you professionally branded intro and outro clips that can be used to bookend and enhance the iPhone footage.

If you’re doing more than one video, then buying a set of LED lights would help, plus a built for purposeiPhone microphone would provide far superior sound quality.

The best tools to carry out basic video editing of your iPhone footage are Camtasia, iMovie (free for Mac users) or if you’re feeling more adventurous, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere Pro (these take a lot more learning).

This post originally appeared on the Prominence Blog.

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