With the unexpected acceleration of remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, talent acquisition teams are rightly focused on new ways of using technology to promote their employer brands and enhance the candidate experience. Employee testimonial video tools like Altru, which were growing in popularity even pre-pandemic, are well-positioned to meet the demands of this “new normal” and yet, as with most technology, we remind our clients that these tools are only as effective as the strategy underpinning them.
First, the good: Video capture tools make it incredibly easy to turn employees into creators of great “day in the life” content. What once was a laborious and expensive process requiring a large budget and a creative team can now be done in a matter of minutes by anyone who has ever taken a selfie or FaceTime call. And because the content is literally employee-created, it tends to be much closer to the coveted target of effective employer brand communications: authenticity.
This new ease of capturing employee video content can truly be a game-changer, but we urge our clients to avoid making a common mistake: assuming that using the tech itself is equivalent to having an effective employer brand content strategy.
What do we mean by “effective”? Good employer brand content should showcase your organization’s employer brand value prop (a.k.a. EVP), which at its core is an answer to the question: Why should someone want to work for you?
And here’s the rub: everyone may answer this question a little differently. John on the engineering team might love the monthly “yappy hours” where team members share photos or videos of their beloved pets. Natasha in accounting might record a video about how she started as a summer intern, and has since progressed to leading a team of five. Miguel in marketing might share a story about how his coworkers put together a care package for him when he was going through a challenging time at home.
These are all fine answers to the question of why someone would want to work for your organization, but the point of effective employer brand content is to identify the “thread” running through these varied employee stories and communicate that central idea to target talent in a succinct way. And if you haven’t first identified that overarching theme, your employee testimonial videos may be doing little more than communicating your employees’ idiosyncratic personal brands to the world.
Target talent may be drawn to an attractive face, or that funny guy they saw on the IT team, but your employer brand is bigger than the employees who happen to have recorded these videos at one particular moment in time. This is precisely the reason why, when conducting team member surveys to inform an EVP, one of the most reliably insightful questions we ask comes with an important caveat:
Besides your fellow employees, what would you miss most about (Organization) if you no longer worked there?
The “besides your fellow employees” part is absolutely crucial, because the truth is, great people are found at all organizations. Even those who aren’t particularly good at their jobs, or those who aren’t particularly happy or fulfilled with their employee experience, manage to make meaningful connections with their coworkers. And so your brand must be bigger than these individual connections and stories.
To leverage employee testimonial videos most effectively, we encourage our clients to start with employee research to better understand that totality of reasons people choose to work with you. Once this initial “brainstorming” is complete, we then work to distill them into an underlying theme, and then use this theme (your EVP) to craft carefully structured questions for employees to answer when recording their videos.
For example, if after conducting EVP research, you discover that your employer brand is centered around the idea of work-life balance, you might prompt employees to respond to the following question when recording their video:
In what specific ways has working at (Organization) supported a healthy work/life balance for you personally?
With this as a starting point, the videos — which yes, may still include some of those great personal details — become strategic “proof points” of your EVP, rather than a random collection of anecdotes that may not accurately represent your brand over time.
The most effective employee video strategies typically include an inventory of videos that emphasize different aspects (sometimes called “pillars”) supporting your EVP. Other sample video prompts include:
Teamwork: Please share an example of how you recently felt supported by your teammates.
Individual achievement: Please describe a time when you felt your individual achievement in your role was recognized and celebrated.
Supportive leadership: How have you personally been empowered to succeed through the support of your manager?
Diversity & Inclusion: Please share a situation or moment recently in which you felt proud of your team’s efforts to make teammates of all backgrounds feel welcome and valued.
By aligning your video strategy with the pillars underpinning your employer brand, you can generate authentic, compelling video content that simultaneously represents and transcends the individual employees who choose to share their stories.
Questions about how to use employee surveys to make your employer brand content more strategic? Contact us today.