The world is different now. Less innocent in many ways. Denied the joys of human connection by something we can’t see. We’ve been forced to find inventive ways to move forward in the face of COVID-19.
The staffing industry has come up with a variety of strategies to do just that - persevere in the face of uncertainty. Some utilize smart tech to bridge gaps that didn’t previously exist. Others entirely reimagine work, trading offices for homes, manual processes for automated, and traditional leadership for something new and different.
This is the first in a four part series on the trends, solutions, and strategies that were initially imagined as temporary fixes to the problems presented by COVID, but that have since proven themselves to be far more than simple Band-Aid solutions.
And our first stop is the most old of new technologies, the motion picture.
If a picture tells a thousand words, a video must tell 25,000 per second.
Such was the thought process of all the social media giants some years ago, when they began to funnel all their energies into video. Features like live streams, stories, and video calls have been pushed mercilessly ever since.
Only in the face of a global pandemic did the rest of us begin to understand the power of video. In the attention economy video not only grabs the eyes of the audience, it also holds their gaze better than anything else. It also delivers information efficiently - it’s far quicker to watch a five-minute ‘how to’ than to read a 25-page instruction manual.
And, most importantly for a world that was forced into isolation almost overnight, it offers a distinctly human form of communication - in real time, complete with body language and tone of voice - delivered over vast distances and whenever suits. In such a human-centric industry as staffing, this last point is perhaps the most important.
Staffing organizations are realizing that COVID or no COVID, video offers more efficient and effective ways to operate. It allows you to deliver white glove, high-end service from the comfort of your desk, whether in-office or at home. The right tech and strategies will enable you to retain your human, personal touch, but deliver it virtually.
With all this in mind, how has the staffing industry utilized video during the pandemic, and how might it continue to do so into the future? Let’s take a look at five of the major ways in which video is transforming staffing.
As candidates and clients become more marketing aware and savvy, traditional outreach methods no longer cut the mustard. But while knocking on doors and cold calling are most certainly on the way out, a shiny, new, and perfectly personal type of outreach is gaining momentum: custom video.
An email drops into a prospect’s inbox. ‘Hey Sophie!’, it reads, ‘just a quick message from me, John at ABC staffing. Let me know your thoughts once you’ve taken a look!’ A linked, attached, or embedded video begins to play. It’s John explaining an opportunity to Sophie; what it involves and why she’d be a great fit. It took 30 seconds to record and 30 seconds to watch, but it presents the information in not just an efficient, but also a compelling and perfectly personal way. It’s shiny, new, and best of all, effective.
With in-person contact restricted, custom video outreach has exploded during COVID, and it shows no sign of slowing. Loom, Vidyard, and BombBomb are just three of the many platforms that make it not just possible, but incredibly easy.
If you want to source top talent for your clients, custom video outreach is a fantastic way to do it.
Imagine if you could get candidates to look at your job post for five times longer than they normally would.
According to research done by Ongig, jobseekers spend an average of 55 seconds looking at a text-based job ad. When that ad features a video, the average increases to 174 seconds. When that video is played, the average increases to 323 seconds, or approximately 5½ minutes. It’s fair to say that prospects find video job posts engaging.
A video job description grants you the opportunity to communicate an opportunity in a far more compelling way. You can walk through the office, introduce potential colleagues, and showcase the culture of the workplace, all of which serves to humanize your brand. You can then quickly and easily share the opportunity across all manner of profiles and platforms, gaining far more reach than a simple post on Monster ever would or could.
Video job descriptions are currently a differentiator, but they won’t stay that way for long. It’s up to you to make hay while the sun shines.
Recruiters could never work from home.
At the start of 2020 this was the prevailing view within the staffing industry. We’re in the business of human connections, the argument went. How could we possibly screen, interview, onboard, and train people if we aren’t physically there?
The answer, in hindsight at least, was clear. Hand forced by COVID, recruiters have utilized video throughout the hiring process, and have done it so effectively that in many cases there’s no plan to switch back.
A fantastic example of an onboarding video done right is offered up by who else but Google. They’ve managed to compress inspiration, aspiration, culture, values, and fun into a 5½ minute video for new interns.
In-person events have always been a staple of staffing, helping relationships to be built both within the industry, and with the clients and candidates the industry serves. But in the age of isolation, how do you get yourself out there? How do you network, build your brand, and nurture those all important relationships?
Virtual events took off in 2020. A wealth of industry conferences, career fairs, and networking nights were held over the internet, granting recruiters, clients, and candidates valuable face time, albeit over video.
While the limitations of virtual events mean that they may not completely take over from in-person events, that’s not to say that they don’t have their place. The most compelling feature of virtual events is the fact that they’re borderless - attendees can log in from wherever they are in the world, granting each event a unique set of ideas and perspectives that it wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.
Bound to our homes, for many of us workouts in 2020 were restricted to our thumbs scrolling through social media. With more eyes on screens than ever, and with platforms pushing video with all their might, the most savvy staffing firms focused on a very specific feature: live streams.
Live video is authentic, entertaining, and endearing. Live video grants the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the real person or brand. As such, live video has become arguably your most powerful marketing tool. If you want to tell a story about your recruiter/employer brand, there’s no more genuine and compelling way to do it than to hand a team member a camera and let them run free.
This was true before COVID, was highlighted during COVID, and will continue to be the case well after the pandemic dies down.
Such a unique moment in time grants staffing firms the freedom to experiment - there’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. By embracing video now, a firm can build a solid foundation upon which a future-proof business can be built. The technology is here. All you need is the will.
Eager to learn more? Join us for part two of this four-part series, where we’ll take a look at how COVID has further enhanced and accelerated the role of technology in staffing, and why this can only be a good thing. Until then.