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What Your “Harlem Shake” Video Says About Your Company’s Culture

intel_harlem_shake_videoYes, people, this is happening. Even employers are jumping on the “Harlem Shake” video bandwagon. While creating such a video may seem borderline cliche at this point, the embrace of this trend by employers indicates something huge: Understanding that video, as a recruitment tool, is no longer the exception- but the rule- to candidate attraction.

Right now, companies of all sizes and across all industries are utilizing this medium to differentiate themselves and enhance efficiency for recruiters and hiring managers. While not all organizations have embraced the medium, online video as a communication tool and information provider is a force to be reckoned with.

Over the last few years, there’s been a significant increase in the volume – and creativity level – of companies creating job candidate-focused videos (see here, or here, or even here). Videos highlighting employee testimonials, executive interviews, facility tours, and special event footage help answer crucial questions job seekers have when deciding to apply for a position.

With so many organizations turning to video to tell their employment brand’s story, employers are faced with a new question: “Is it too late to latch onto the ‘$#*! people say video’ craze?” “How can we create a video that sets OUR company apart from the others?”

Creating a Distinctive Employee Video

Videos help you communicate your employment brand more clearly than any other medium, because potential recruits get to “see, feel, and hear” what it’s truly like to work at your organization from the employees and leaders themselves. With this in mind, we scoured the Web to find five companies that took a slightly different approach to employee videos – breaking away from the norm – to share aspects of their culture that make them unique.

Intel | Harlem Shake

As mentioned earlier, brands too are jumping on the “Harlem Shake” meme bandwagon. Intel, for instance, took the opportunity to highlight its work-hard-play-hard culture by filming employees as they took a much-needed “Harlem Shake” break from making and marketing microprocessors.

Edelman | It Gets Better

Understanding the importance of workforce diversity in today’s business world, Edelman created an It Gets Better video that certainly aids in attracting a more diverse set of qualified candidates. Ben Boyd, global chair of Edelman’s Corporate Practice, explains the motivation behind the video:

It was a little thing that became so much bigger.  Bigger because of the message we were able to share…and bigger because it reminded me that beyond feeling challenged, value and rewarded by my job…that I also am part of a living, breathing organism called Edelman that is not perfect…but is certainly the best place I could ever hope to work.  For myself and the colleagues who worked this project, there is no question, “it gets better…”

R/GA | Make Day

The concept behind the R/GA’s Make Day event was to encourage agency employees to make things that improved their lives in the office. This video shows the collaborative and innovative nature of the organization by enabling employees to experiment and try out new ways of working. Creative individuals, inspired by contributing to projects that solve real problems, will be drawn to want to be apart of this organization’s inventive culture.

Accenture | Employee Video Contest

Employee-made videos might cause some organizations to panic for fear of inadvertently creating a full-blown social media crisis; however, no one can tell a more authentic story about what it’s like to work for an organization than the employees themselves. More than 200 employees shared their thoughts about what makes Accenture a unique and special place to work as part of the company’s global employee video contest in celebration of its 10th anniversary. Accenture’s effort proves that a video doesn’t have to be Oscar caliber in order to effectively communicate a company’s employee-focused culture or commitment to values.

CareerBuilder | Empowering Employment

Admittedly, we didn’t have to go too far to find this video, but it’s another good example of employees sharing their passion for their job, our customers and the company’s mission to empower employment. Originally created for internal use, the video hit a chord with so many people, employees begged for the ability to share the video externally with friends and family as a sign of pride. We’re proud to have so many employees sharing their pride to work for this organization, and we also believe it’s a great way to attract new talent who share similar values.

Where to Start: 5 Recruitment video Best Practices

Whether you’re about to make your first recruitment video or your 50th, there are still a few basic concepts to consider to ensure success.

  • Make strategic “casting” choices. Feature employees and executives who exemplify the best your company has to offer, embody the company values and have a lot of energy. Their enthusiasm for the company and their work will be palpable to viewers.
  • Avoid scripting. Scripted videos can be fun to create and compelling (if done well), but authenticity rules on the internet. Use documentary-style interview questions to get the most honest responses from your employees and executives.
  • Make the best of b-roll.  Include a variety of b-roll (background footage) to add extra dimension and depth to the interviews to get a realistic glimpse into what the job entails.
  • Be concise: With so much noise on the internet, viewers want information quickly and as soon as possible. There is no “magic number” as to how long a video should be, but research suggests that average viewing time for an online video is just over two minutes. Keep is short by starting with the question “What do job seekers absolutely need to know about my company that makes it unique?” and go from there.

No matter what angle you choose to take with your recruitment video, keep one thing in mind: the most important aspect of any recruitment video is that it’s truthful. Don’t try to be the company you wish you were or try to be something you’re not. Candidates will call your bluff. Instead, own up to what you are and show your true colors. If you believe your organization is a great place to work, others will too.

Tell us, have you recently created or seen an employee video that you think is exceptional? Please share in the comment area below.

Want to learn even more about using online video to create a virtual candidate experience, differentiate your company and recruit top talent? Download CareerBuilder’s Streaming Talent eBook.

Stephanie Gaspary

About Stephanie Gaspary

Stephanie is the managing director of content strategy at CareerBuilder, tasked with creating opportunities to share the CareerBuilder story across job seeker and employer channels. Stephanie, a lifelong learner, holds a Master's in Business Administration and a Master's in Management - both from North Park University and a Bachelor's degree in Art from Bethel University. A Minnesotan at heart, Stephanie has lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years, is the doting mother to two wacky german shorthaired pointer pups, looks forward to her morning run *almost* as much as that first cup of coffee and vows to one day live in the mountains.



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