Hiring in 2023:
How Minnesota Employers are Leveraging Video to Find, Train, and Retain the Talent They Need
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Using Video for Hiring in Minnesota
Identifying and recruiting the best employees is always a challenge. Find the right person and they may become a top performer and leader for your organization. On the other hand, a "wrong fit" can result in wasted time and money, if not worse.
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world of work, making the path to rebuilding, rehiring, and planning for the future a marathon, not a sprint. The early months of the pandemic meant mass layoffs for many Minnesota organizations and businesses. Even now, employers are still struggling to refill these positions. According to its latest survey done by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota has 245,000 job openings (as of March of 2022), which is nearly twice as many as a year ago. This means job vacancies are outnumbering unemployment rates by a two-to-one ratio.
SO HOW CAN MINNESOTA EMPLOYERS STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD AND ATTRACT THE TALENT THEY NEED?
As they navigate today’s uber-competitive hiring market, many human resources departments have taken this time to reflect on how to capitalize on digital trends to reimagine and modernize traditional hiring practices to fit with how people make decisions today—through watching short, impactful videos online.
In this guide highlighting Minnesota-based employers, you'll get a better understanding of how to use video to attract the right person for the career opportunities you’re offering. You'll also learn how to create videos that help you keep your employees and inspire them. You’ll learn how good training videos can establish a consistent onboarding process for new employees and develop content that can be used across multiple online platforms.
A model employee who is also an evangelist for your company may be one of your strongest assets. Learn how to create videos that share their stories. The job satisfaction and employee happiness you can build with video across your team will pay off for years to come!
Videos that Retain Top Talent
You work hard to hire the right person, it’s critical you work just as hard to keep them ...
Producing videos to help you get “the Right People on the Bus”
Finding the right person for the right seat in your organization can be a challenge and the wrong culture fit can be expensive, inefficient, and disruptive to your team. Through video, you have the ability to share with the viewer who you are as a business, what sets you apart and what makes someone an ideal fit for your company.
Three videos that help to ensure you are attracting the best culture fit for your organization are:
Day in the Life Video
About Us/Overview Video
At its heart, the Overview/About Us video answers the question, “What do you do?” This video is about what makes your organization unique and why your customers buy from you. It must also answer the question, “How do you make a difference?”
The key to an effective Overview video is clarity and brevity. It’s important the viewer has a real sense for what the organization does and how the job candidate might fit in. Everyone wants to feel important and understanding how they contribute to a greater purpose can be inspiring. A natural link from the Overview/About Us video are “Day-in-the-Life” videos that show a candidate what the job they are applying for looks like.
The Overview/About Us video is targeted towards a candidate at the “top of the funnel”, or someone who is trying to learn about an organization for the first time at a high level. It could be argued that the Overview/About us video also appeals to a candidate who is further along in the decision making process looking for more information about an organization in which they are interested.
The natural tendency in this video is to show a senior manager or leader of the business who can talk about the wonderful qualities of the company. For the viewer, these are merely people saying the things they are “supposed” to say. Instead, feature employees who have no reason to tell people what makes their company special. It will mean exponentially more to the viewer considering working for the organization.
Also, avoid the temptation to produce an animated video or a video that uses text and music only. An effective Overview Video has got to feel real and animated videos often feel promotional and forced.
Culture videos should focus on the core values of your organization. If they’re written somewhere, incorporate some of that language. If they’re not, spend time with multiple employees figuring out which values you do care about. A lot of times, core values relate to questions you ask in the interview process.
Ideally, exemplary team members (employees) are featured in this video to reinforce the characteristics of an outstanding employee. For example, if your core values are Humble, Hungry, and Smart, you want an employee who embodies humility to talk about that core value - what it means, how they live this value and what the "anti-value" looks like. In other words, the anti-value of "humble" is boastful and often it's helpful for that person who displays humility to explain that someone who is boastful is not going to be happy at your organization.
Culture videos should be clear and concise. They should help the viewer determine if they're the right fit. You want some people to “opt out” of applying after seeing your culture video. It’ll save you time and headaches in the recruiting process. A good culture video ensures you're considering only the best candidates and only the best fitting candidates are considering your company or organization. This is a video intended for someone who likes your organization and wants to better understand the culture.
These videos can be difficult to produce because business leaders often like to make sure they are painting a rosy picture of their culture by showcasing what they believe best “sells” their business - all the benefits. While this makes terrific sense, it’s also important to be explicit about the type of person who will succeed in the specific role. Remember, it’s better to weed out the wrong fit before they have a place in your organization.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction | Mpls, MN
When a person is seriously considering a job opportunity, they will do whatever it takes to know what the job REALLY is like. What happens on a typical day? What should I wear? What is the most gratifying part of the job? What is the worst part of the job? The Day-in-the-Life video is intended for the person who is seriously considering a position and wants to better understand what the job actually entails.
These videos require someone who is actually doing the job. Interviewing a manager or business unit leader will fall flat on the eyes of the viewer. The person who watches this video is looking for “the truth.” It may seem counterintuitive to share the less glamorous parts of the job, but the company that shares the good, the bad, and the ugly, will likely gain trust in a hurry.
LeJeune Steel | Minneapolis, MN
The Day-in-the-Life videos do not need to be long-winded and are better off being short and to the point. Keep in mind the person watching this video is trying to imagine themselves in this role. They are asking themselves, “Is that person like me? Will I like that job as well?” As producers of the video, the primary goal is to convey the “real story” of the job to the viewer.
By producing the Overview/About Us, Culture, and Day-in-the-Life videos you will start attracting more of the right candidates for your jobs. You’ll also be showcasing the many positive attributes of your business or organization. Going online to learn about products, services, and job opportunities is mainstream research today. If you want to recruit top performers, you need to provide them insight with good videos to help them make their decisions.
Videos that Retain Top Talent
You work hard to hire the right person, it’s critical you work just as hard to keep them. Top performers are hard to come by and they usually know they are a cut above the rest. Of course, part of being a top performer also means they are the right culture fit for your business. So while you want to keep the best talent, you also want to make sure your best talent works well within your team.
All employees want to feel important and valued. They also want to feel connected to their work and know that their work matters. In many cases, people want to know they work for an organization that stands for something noble and worthy.
Here are three videos that can help accomplish these objectives:
Employee Profile Videos
Employee Profile Videos
Just as the “Day-in-the-Life” video focuses on a specific employee, so too does the Employee Profile Video. The difference is the Employee Profile Video positions the employee more as a hero. Typically someone who represents exemplary behavior and inspires others by their example. These videos can also feature employees who have overcome adversity and continue to perform at a high level. While these videos elevate the self-esteem of the featured employee, well-told stories can also inspire others and make the viewer feel a similar sense of pride in the person being recognized and the company for which they work.
A hallmark of a well-told Employee Profile Video is often a compelling and memorable story about an employee that is non-work related. Perhaps they have a unique special interest, a remarkable background, or overcame personal adversity.
When the Employee Profile Video crosses the line between personal and professional lives, the story becomes more memorable. Do you watch the Olympics on television? The networks do a masterful job of this - making you care more deeply about the athlete by sharing their personal journey.
Minnesota Nurses Assoc. | St. Paul, MN
Proof positive. “This job is legit and this company is a great place to work.” What could be more powerful than a video of a team member praising his or her company and the workplace where they spend most of their days?
One of the most versatile videos a company can produce is a Testimonial Video. For marketers these are simply videos that capture the testimony of a satisfied customer. Of course, the Testimonial Video is extremely valuable in the sales process - proof positive that the product or service is worth the investment. When the Testimonial Video is a well-told story about how a life was changed thanks to the product or service that your company creates, every employee will feel proud to be associated with your organization. However, if your organization has culture issues and the overall employee satisfaction is low, a Testimonial Video could also become a point of controversy, so be careful.
BTM Global | Minneapolis, MN
At the heart of all businesses is a story. A story that is sometimes connected to a deeper cause or passion. A company’s cause or passion is often connected to the company mission statement. Some well known passions are to spread the power of optimism (Life is Good), to save our home planet (Patagonia), or to create a better everyday life for the many people (Ikea). An Anthem Video brings this mission/cause/passion to life through the lens of a hero or a main character.
For example, an Anthem Video for Life is Good may be a story of someone who relies on their extraordinary optimism to overcome adversity. After watching this video the viewer would feel connected to the hero and inspired by the power of the hero’s optimism. An Anthem Video for Patagonia could be a story of a hero who has gone to tremendous lengths to “save the planet” no matter how large or small the effort. This video should create a powerful connection with the viewer and evoke empathy that creates a connection with the hero and ultimately the brand.
Keep in mind, Anthem Videos are not only for companies with mission statements connected to saving planets, rainbows, and unicorns. Companies like Red Wing Shoes based in Red Wing, Minnesota created a series of videos on YouTube called, “Work is our Work” and the stories pay tribute to their customers - the hardworking people whose craftsmanship and dedication are the heartbeat of America. Or companies like HEI Civil, a civil construction company, that also stands for quality and doing your work right the first time.
HEI Civil |Castle Rock, CO
Anthem Videos are intended to inspire the people both within and outside the company. The challenge in producing these videos is understanding the “why” of a business. Too often Anthem Videos focus on what the company does, and not the passion or cause at the core of the business. To gain more perspective of an Anthem Video, visit the YouTube page of your favorite college or university with a well known athletics program. Most Division 1 university athletics programs have “hype” videos that are intended to inspire the fan base and the athletes, much like Anthem Videos. Tap into your “why” and tell this story. Your employees will be reminded why they work for your business and why they stay!
Videos to Onboard and Train Employees
Hiring and onboarding new employees is time consuming and expensive. If your business lacks formal training, there’s a good chance a staff member or administrative assistant is helping to get your new employees off on the right foot. This is time that is not spent doing their primary job. By creating a library of videos focused on onboarding and training you can create a repeatable training process while sparing your team from this “extra” responsibility.
When a new employee starts with a company, there are typically a number of “housekeeping” items that need to be attended to. Sure, there are documents that need to be completed and filed and there are also a number of procedural details to be shared.
Among the videos that can be created to
assist in onboarding include:
Getting to know your co-workers takes time. Learning their responsibilities, unique skills and personal interests are discovered over the course of weeks and months. Creating short bio videos allow new employees to “get to know” existing employees quickly. Gaining a level of familiarity this way can put new team members at ease and allow them to focus more on subject matter than trying to make their way through your various departments.
Redpath | St. Paul, MN
Executive Team Introductions
Members of the executive or C-Level team at any company can be intimidating and cause the heart rate of any employee to elevate, let alone a new employee. By producing short Executive Team interviews, you can take a big, stratified company and make it feel smaller and more intimate. Watching a video about the company CEO can make that executive feel more approachable and reduce the anxiety when that first meeting comes.
Learner's Edge | Eagan, MN
Core Values Video
For some companies, core values are shared and quickly forgotten. For others, the company's core values are the foundation of the culture and getting new employee buy-in is critical. A Core Values Video can bring those values to life - whether those videos are short anecdotal stories that illustrate the values, or a video with employees explaining the core values. The important aspect of these videos is that co-workers share the values stories, not the executive team. Your new team members are more likely to get onboard when they see and hear people who share the core values who are in similar positions to them.
Uponor | Apple Valley, MN
All businesses that offer training with a professional trainer or staff member dedicated to onboarding new employees could benefit from converting their training materials into a video format. Whether it’s instructional videos on how to perform a job, or video content that is designed to educate and inform new employees on products and services, video can be highly effective.
How-to Video Training
As YouTube has taught us, video is a powerful tool when it comes to learning how to do something. Granted, at your business you may need to do more than show someone how to tie a bow tie, and yet, no matter how simple or complex the task, video is a training aid that pays for itself over time and ensures consistency in the information being communicated.
Fast food franchises are an excellent example of a business that needs to constantly train people with the same content over and over. Companies like Dairy Queen use videos to show proper food storage, how to wash your hands, greet a customer, and make a Blizzard. Since the franchise “formula” for these things are the same for all locations, one video can provide a unified, brand approved approach to training.
Other companies in the same “Quick Serve Restaurant” segment, and franchise businesses also fall under this category. Additionally, manufacturers, construction, and businesses that rely on repetition and team members following specific methods are all excellent use cases for video training.
Dairy Queen | Bloomington, MN
Video for Compliance
With an emphasis on safe workplace practices, including OSHA standards, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) concerns, and even pandemic protocols, making sure your employees have clarity on these aspects of your business is critical. By creating informational videos that explain your policies, what to do when a policy is violated, and the process for filing grievances can be useful. Not only will you have the opportunity to ensure the content complies with industry and HR standards, you will not need to worry about someone misspeaking or inadvertently misrepresenting the material.
Additionally, many work environments have health or safety risks and videos that show proper procedures and detailed instructions for how to execute a job safely can be beneficial. Ensuring the messaging is clear in the video, your HR team will need to produce these videos once and continue to use them until the material needs to be updated.
NorthMarq | Bloomington, MN
Finding the right employees is challenging and potentially costly. As people turn more and more to online resources to explore and research new career opportunities, video is a more valuable asset than ever. In the same spirit, as businesses continue to search for the right people for their business, video can be a trusted tool when it comes to attracting the best talent. Again, finding the right talent is one challenge, keeping them at your company is the next mountain to climb.
Remember, use video to:
Attract the right talent.
Inspire your team and potential new hires.
Retain your existing talent.
Onboard your new employees.
By creating a library of video content you have the opportunity to use learning management systems that allow your team members to self-train. While the investment may be substantial up front, it’s typically not that expensive to update videos when information changes. Not only will this approach save you money over time, it will ensure a consistent path for your employees as they enter and grow in your business.