Next Killer App for Recruiting?

A New Feature on Facebook Built for Recruiting

When something works, people duplicate it. For example, it was just announced that Facebook is replicating Instagram’s copy of Snapchat’s “Stories.” It was only a matter of time, right? After copying Snapchat’s “Stories” on Instagram (and possibly improving it), Facebook is now testing a “Stories” feature as well.

Facebook’s feature works pretty much exactly like Instagram’s version. Open the Facebook app and you’ll see a carousel of circular profile photos representing “Stories” above your News Feed. Like Instagram and Snapchat, the “Stories” disappear after 24 hours and you’re able to smear a plethora of filters and effects all over your video-y goodness. The Next Web released a Facebook “Stories” Test Walkthrough video worth viewing.

Photos and videos added to your “Stories” won’t show up in the News Feed itself, nor on your profile’s timeline. As a result, you’ll have to send a direct message to respond to someone’s story and you can’t offer your commentary on them in the traditional threaded manner on your feed. That might be a bonus for companies that are weary of posting videos and having a disaffected former employee challenge the company narrative like they do on Glassdoor – clearly a potential plus for employer brands that are having to reshape or rescript their narrative.

Although the feature appears to be near-identical to Instagram’s implementation, it will be interesting to see if Facebook differentiates them down the line. When speaking to my Social Media Manager, Tori Levine, she was quick to add that, “We (Relus) use Instagram and Facebook differently. Where Instagram is mainly a collection of small moments from a person’s day to day life, Facebook serves more like a historical archive. Each of these instances have different audiences and each convey a unique part of a greater story.”

Facebook says “Stories” are being introduced now because the way people share content has changed significantly:

The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it’s much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want. We’ve been testing a new camera and the new Direct feature in Ireland since last fall, and “Stories” is another example of how we’re helping people share the way they want to.

It certainly helps that “Stories” has been a huge success on Instagram, with 150 million people using it in the five months since its inception.

How Does This Help Recruiting?

This next layer of Facebook stickiness will help companies create the best narrative of who they are hiring for in one unique way: it speaks about a company’s culture in an authentic, unparalleled way.

Human resources personnel have already embraced video, with many major employers leveraging video tools within the company’s career website and job postings. Employers are using video to educate applicants, and are reaping the benefits of a more engaged and informed applicant base. Blah, blah, blah, right?

Right, employee marketing companies have been pushing these “canned” videos for years… and why? They work, but at a price – the price of authenticity. This was something that the recruiting community was super concerned about in 2010.

What works even better?

Authentic videos that focus on company culture, employee-focused, and articulate company values – all three really important pillars to our growth at Relus.

 Why does Authenticity Matter?

 Any employer hoping to have an effective recruiting operation needs to stand out from their peers. It’s not enough to be a great workplace with engaged employees — you need to know what makes you different. Your candidates need a reason to choose you in particular.

One important factor that differentiates employers is their brand. Just as organizations market products and services to consumers in order to succeed as a business, they must also market themselves to potential applicants to have the best chance at drawing out the talent they need. One of the greatest assets for any employer is a strong, authentic brand that shows exactly what makes them special and why their employees work for them.

Articulate your values

Applicants, especially millennials, commonly use employers’ values as an important factor when deciding whether to apply and whether to accept a job offer. Tori adds, “They will be attracted to employers who visibly appreciate and support their employees, their customers, and their communities. Your message to potential applicants should clearly state your values and show that you do adhere to them.”

Company culture

One of the easiest ways for organizations to integrate video into their recruiting strategies is to show candidates why the organization is great instead of telling them. Best-in-class companies are 75 percent more likely to use video tools for employee branding, enabling them to attract top talent.

That’s great, but how?

Organizations need to use Facebook “Stories,” Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram that emphasize company culture. Whether it’s showing what the office looks like, relating the organization’s mission and values or highlighting its community service programs, using video helps candidates see what matters to the organization.

Employee-focused

Get current employees involved in the video-recruiting strategy. Think about it: Organizations count on employees to engage with and refer strong talent. Why not let other candidates see how much those employees enjoy their jobs, too?

Instead of relying on text and press releases to get the job requirements and expectations across, use video descriptions to show candidates what a day in the life as an employee in that role is like and attach it to the job listing.

For a truly unique perspective, interview employees about their roles in the organization and what they do on a daily basis to make an impact. Focus on things such as why they love their jobs, the challenges they face, the satisfaction they get from finishing projects and interesting facts about the employee, team or department.

“You’ll need to share these video ‘biographies’ with candidates so they learn more about the people they could be working with and what drives them to succeed,” Tori adds. “It’s essential that you have existing employees as part of this recruiting effort. These are the people who will help them solve their most difficult challenges.”

What are some other ways to use Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram “Stories” to engage potential employees?

About Brian Fink

As a member of Relus' recruiting team, Brian Fink focuses on driving talent towards opportunity. Eager to help stretch the professional capabilities of everyone he works with, he's helping startups grow and successfully scale their IT, Recruiting, Big Data, Product, and Executive Leadership teams. An active keynote speaker and commentator, Fink thrives on discovery and building a better-recruiting mousetrap.