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Recruitment technology

Learning From the Best: Opentable's Talent Brand Video

Clare Hopping


RobertScoble/flickr RobertScoble/flickr

Video recruitment of all shapes and sizes is quickly gaining popularity amongst hiring companies. Real-time restaurant reservation service and industry leader Opentable’s new brand video offers an opportunity to learn how it’s done from the best.

Video recruitment is most definitely on the rise, as more and more companies produce videos to showcase their work environment and provide prospective employees an appealing view of what it’s like to work there.

This innovative method of recruitment can ultimately attract better candidates because its personalised format carries special appeal for job seekers who fashion themselves compatible with your company's personality.

Creating a Brand Video

Of course, your HR budget isn’t endless – many first-timers might have some reservations about producing their own short film. But if you’ve got the right resources and the right people, integrating video into your current recruitment strategy can be an easy, affordable way to boost your profile.

Opentable recently proved that point when they created a video to capture the essence of what it’s like to work with them.

Here is a cut down version of their video:

The project, with a relatively modest budget and quick turnaround time, provides an interesting take on employer branding, utilising humour and a lighthearted approach to show a more personal side of their company.

The honest and hilarious video not only educates job seekers about the company – it offers some valuable lessons for recruiters looking to try out this tech-savvy method for the first time.

Starting Out

The first phase of creating a employer branding video should be finding the right production company. Choosing a partner with whom you can work and communicate effectively is essential. As Opentable advises, “Just like recruiting talent, hire the right production company and pay attention to their organisational fit with your organisation.”

If Opentable’s video inspired you to make something funny or even just a bit off the beaten path, this relationship grows even more vital. Getting your company’s personality across should be your primary goal, and a production company that fully understands your company’s culture and vision is the only partner that can help you ensure that you’re accomplishing it.

The Content

Brand videos don’t need a big budget to succeed, but they do need your team’s full involvement. If you want to create a truly accurate view of your organisation, you can’t miss out on any one perspective that your staff makes available to you.

Clearly, the Opentable team was conscious of this fact, suggesting, “Even if you don’t see yourself as a creative type, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the content. No one knows your culture like you do.” If you want to attract the right candidates to your company and retain them, clearly and honestly conveying the nature of your company’s work environment is the best way to do it.

Work as a Team, and Expect to Edit

It’s no secret that a strong team dynamic is essential to seeing an involved creative project like a brand video through to the finish line. When multiple viewpoints from all areas of your organisation come together, they create the complete vision of your company culture that you need to share with viewers.

The length of your video is extremely important. If it’s too long, people will stop watching, leaving the message of your video either blurry or completely lost on your audience. If it’s too short, you’re going to struggle to convey the full scope of your company culture to potential candidates. As Opentable puts it simply, “No one wants to watch seven minutes of footage.”

But don’t be surprised when you start to rack up more footage than you need. This is a normal part of the creative process, and the organic generation of extra video can prove beneficial.

It’s helpful at this stage to then lean on the support of an objective producer, who can recommend and implement smart cuts and edits to the video. A good length to aim for is somewhere in the range of three or four minutes; Opentable’s comes in at 3:13.

Finishing Off

After cutting your final video, celebrate your work! It’s important to be proud of what you’ve achieved, and if you’re conveyed your company’s culture accurately, there’s no reason not to be.

Invite your extended crew to the unveiling – making an event of this first showing is a great way to start “drumming up buzz.” And thanking all the participants for their efforts will encourage good feelings about the project and lead to more organic social sharing when you take the video live.

For another great example of how brand videos are done, check out this recent article discussing the efforts put forth by UK company Reckitt Benckiser. The inspiring video utilises a lot of the key tips offered above and provides an excellent example of how essential it is to choose the right team and people for the job.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.