Bosses use YouTube to recruit talent

A jobs site has seen a 927% increase in the number of hirers using a tool that lets them use YouTube footage to give candidates a ‘film preview’ of what they can expect.

Gumtree says its new application that plays clips from the video giant is being snapped up by a growing number of businesses that want to woo tech-savvy job-seekers.

The clips, which tend to average 3 minutes in length, are being hailed as virtual job ads, whether they are professionally-shot films or low-budget handy-cam footage.

Typically they feature bosses on a ‘walking tour’ of the office – introducing staff, showing the desk where the candidate will sit and offering a general ‘feel’ of the business.

Some of the posted clips by service-sector hirers, increasingly engaged in a war for talent, even feature canteens, and after-work activities, such as sports teams and cocktail bars.

For candidates, virtual job ads bring similar benefits to the recently developed e-mother device, in that they reduce the chance of nasty surprises or culture shocks on the first day.

The good news for employers is the cost: the traditional HR approach of recruiting for a £30,000 post costs an average of £4,000, including agency fees, admin and interviews.

But Gumtree hirers pay just £20 to upload their virtual ad, aside from the price tag of making the film, which is minimal if they choose the handy-cam route.

The site says the influx of companies uploading to YouTube is evidence that the labour market is changing, as the onus is on employers, not just candidates, to make a good first impression.

Employers have embraced the site's tool because they say candidates who respond are hungry for the job, having glimpsed the opportunities to be had ‘behind closed doors.’

They also can avoid thumbing through a stack of CVs before having to shortlist candidates that may, or may not, be up to scratch. Employers claim the tool is helping with retention too.

Sophy Silver of Gumtree said: “Company show reels are the next big thing in recruitment.

“A three minute video can give an applicant more of an insight into what a boss and the company are really like than a half hour formal interview.”

Tips for video recruiting online, provided by Gumtree, include:

1. Bring your business to life
Like a first date, don’t be shy about your company’s personality and culture. Your video should be as much about everyday life with the people as the job you’re recruiting for

2. Look your best
A quick tidy, smiling faces and bright colours are all going to give a positive feel to your video so stash away office clutter, smarten up staff who’ll be making their acting debut and strategically place plants or flowers to brighten up the picture

3. Plan your script
You’re selling your company to a prospective employee so it’s important to get the right points across. Think about all the plus points to the job and the company e.g.: We invest in career progression by providing full training and at the end of an action-packed day we unwind with a cold beer from the company bar

4. Take your candidates on a virtual tour
Introduce key team members on your video and do a walk through of the workspace. Speed up less interesting sections in double time but make sure the candidate’s new desk looks as enticing as possible; free from old coffee mugs with mould growing inside

5. Use modern technology
The higher the quality of your video advert the better. Use a camcorder or a mobile phone that can take clear footage and don’t forget to edit it for the final cut.


7th June 2007

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