Recruitment and employer brand videos are an awesome way to give your brand a face. They give candidates a chance to see who really works for your company, as well as an inside look at your working environment and company culture.
This week we’re speaking to Audra Knight, the Recruitment Operations Manager at Tenable. Her team creates and supports the overall talent acquisition strategy at the company.
We connect with her to understand why video specifically, has played such an integral role in her employer branding efforts.
Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.
Tenable is a cyber exposure company and we help businesses improve their visibility and manage their cyber risk which is really exploding now that there are so many assets in the cloud and in different places.
I actually didn’t come from the cybersecurity space. I came from employment branding so I’ve had to learn it. It’s been really interesting to see why it’s really expanding and companies have to care more than ever about these risks.
I would say that it’s very fast-paced and changing a lot and there’s really two reasons for that. One is just being in this industry there’s always going to be new vulnerabilities and new threats maybe from hackers or different places. We’re always needing to adopt our products and services to make sure that our clients are successful and not at risk. Then the other issue is just that we’re growing so much as a company, we’ve been growing 40% year after year which is quite big and keeps our team very busy.
It’s global, we are growing globally as well which is even more challenging. We do have some growing pains with that and what’s interesting about this changing and growing, is that when we look on the review sites the different places where people leave employer reviews, I see it on both sides. I see people saying “Isn’t that fantastic? They’re growing company. They’re doing well. They’re expanding,” Then I see people saying “It’s terrible, we’re growing so fast” or “It’s changing too much. It’s not for me.”
It really just shows that your brand isn’t necessarily good for this person or bad for that person. For me, I love it because I like to change and evolve and move quickly. It’s perfect for me but if you like just really stable, quiet, non-changing environment, this is not the right company for you.
We have a ton of developers in R&D and some of them need to have cybersecurity experience but a lot of them don’t. They just need to be fantastic modern developers. So really they could work for almost any company. We don’t really have maybe just 10 competitors, in that case, we have 100,000. That’s the tricky part, selling them on the job but also selling them on this industry and why it’s an important growing industry that they would love to work in. That’s definitely a challenge.
We have certain pillars, however, it’s not super formal at this point. I’m sure one day it will be. But we do have certain things that are always in our messaging that are important to us. One is that we really invest in our employees. When I started Tenable I saw that they had a program where you could choose any kind of conference that was related to your job and go and learn which was I thought was cool. I’m sure that other companies do that but I had never been at one. So I thought that was pretty interesting.
I chose this really cool marketing conference and learned all about different sides of marketing. But when I got into the company, even more, I saw that it’s more than that for sure. I got to go to this internal hackathon that we do every year offsite and all of our interns globally get invited to this program. When I went it was actually at Disneyworld which is pretty sweet. But it’s neat because you spend this whole week bonding with the team because we have a lot of remote employees and creating the next best thing or whatever something interesting to you. I love just seeing how much Tenable really invests in their employees so that they can grow in their career.
Another thing is that we like to say that we’re definitely very innovative. We like our employees like I said, we let them create new things and everyone really has a voice. Then another thing is that we use really modern technology which we’re very cutting edge with new tools new coding and even our workspaces, we have more of an open plan. But then we also have your own cubes if that’s better for you. We’re trying to really be cutting edge with new tools, new technology and not the same old boring stuff.
This is where content comes in and we do all sorts of different kinds of content. We do a lot of web campaigns and landing pages that are really specific to hiring initiatives, I try to really keep content targeted. Maybe you’ll have a landing page like right now we’re at this Grace Hopper conference. So we have a landing page. It’s all about what we would do that would be attractive and interesting to women in technology, maybe we’ll have a landing page for people that work in tech support in Singapore.
As much as I can I really keep the content targeted so it’s going to be valuable for the audience. Then, of course, you want to have all those things that we talked about on your careers page but we’re also really pushing all of that on our job descriptions. But yes we’re seeing that a lot of people are coming in directly from maybe Indeed or Google or all these other places right to the job description. It’s not too exciting to get there and just see this boring text and really not much about the company at all. So we’re really exploring, we’re using Clench to have these templates.
In terms of engineering jobs, they have the job description and then we have a video that’s specific to engineers maybe about that in a hackathon and then some pictures about engineering and then the different job description for sales. We’ll have some sales content. I’m working on that now. But just kind of getting the content really targeted to the right audience so that we’re going to really attract the right people.
Yes, it’s something I’ve always been really interested in when it comes to employment brand. When I went to that marketing conference that I referenced that was the big thing they were talking about there, everything was about video content. There’s a million statistics if you need to sell this to your CEO or your director, I would just literally go into YouTube and Google video strategy statistics and they’re all out there. But I did a little research on our statistics specifically on Facebook and we saw that the videos had about 410%, the clicks were 650% higher and reactions 330% higher. The stats are there no question, but then it’s also just about the video as a great way to tell a story. It’s especially useful for someone with a short attention span, they can watch a 30-second video. It’s also a great way to evoke emotion if you use the right music you can get people having the right kind of emotion that maybe goes with your mission.
Everyone knows that in job descriptions basically, you skim it in about two seconds where ideally a video you’re actually going to watch and see who you’ll be working with, and maybe who the director is. So I’ve always been a huge fan of video content.
I think really looking at your own company’s hiring initiatives is key. So what I always do for video is to say, “Okay, who are we going to need to hire in the next six months or in the next year? Is it going to be developers?”. In that case, we’ll create a developer video or one thing we’re doing now is we looked and we saw that we’re going to need to hire a lot of salespeople in Europe and in the UK. So we said “Great, we’ll let’s create a video.” We had someone in there just actually yesterday doing some videos from our salespeople in that office.
They will be explaining what they do and why it’s an important industry and why it’s so great. Then once I have that then I can actually push out specifically to people in that area in that industry. So again keeping it super, super targeted and you just have to know what’s ahead for your company. One thing I’m not a fan of is a lot of companies have this one employer brand video and it’s usually about like two years old, a little bit dusty, and yes, and it doesn’t seem very authentic and it’s trying to attract everybody.
It’s saying, “We’re a great company.” Every single one says, “We have the best people”. All these generic things which may be true but it doesn’t really matter if they’re true if your competitor has the same video. So that’s why I don’t like one-video-for-all. I like lots of little videos that are going to be really relevant to the people that you need to hire.
Interestingly, when I came on we had two different videos on our website and one was more employees at different levels and more maybe entry level and one was like the CEO and the founder and one another person. And it was funny because nobody was watching that one. Everyone was watching the one with the employees. The clicks were very very different. It was so much higher for the one with just the employees in it and I think that’s because you know that someone higher up or a CEO was going to say, “This is a fantastic company.”
Of course, they’re going to say that but if you can get all these other employees to say that, it really feels I think more authentic. So our job description videos we have at least two employees that are actually in the role and then possibly a manager or a director. But I think that’s optional. I think the most important part is for people to see who they’ll be working with and what the job is. I mean they care more about that than really seeing what the higher-ups have to say. Even though it’s so important, it doesn’t feel as authentic as a person that wants to talk about why it’s a great job that actually does the job.
First thing I would say is the typical flagship employer brand film that cost maybe $100,000 isn’t always that great. It feels more like a commercial often that got produced. It doesn’t feel like a story. It doesn’t feel authentic. In some ways, I think it’s actually fine to spend a lot less and it’s going to be more authentic and feel more real especially with millennials. I think that they appreciate live videos more, things that aren’t edited. It feels more real to them. They don’t want to see this super, super-produced commercial.
I don’t think you should actually spend much at all, to be honest. Some ways I’ve gotten around it is we hired a video intern and he was absolutely amazing and he turned out to be as good as some of the freelancers we had used and that was obviously very reasonably priced. He produced all these amazing videos all summer. It was really great. But also really research your internal resources because sometimes you may have a developer that also just does some video editing on the side for fun.
Or you may have someone in marketing that knows this stuff and you could partner with them. I think there could be resources internally that you just don’t know about so explore that for sure. And then also just think about employees using their phones. The phone’s camera these days is amazing and better than some video cameras that were professional just a few years ago. So you can just use a phone and some great iPhone editing software. Also, Facebook Live is totally free and it gets amazing amounts of clicks because Facebook really wants you to use it.
There is a ton of resources and I actually would not recommend spending tons of money on a video. I don’t think you should watch something that’s super overproduced. You want something that’s more authentic and real.
We mentioned you put this investment of either some money or definitely some time into this video, you definitely want to make sure it gets out there, That’s super important. You don’t want it to fall flat and die on YouTube.
I think we’ve already covered this in the sense that it’s one generic video. It’s just not going to attract everyone and it’s also not going to self-select out anyone. It’s just going to be too generic. I like videos that are a little bit edgy and really really say who you are so that people if they find it offensive, if you get dislikes or whatever they’re called on YouTube or Facebook, that can be a good thing. Because if they don’t get it then that’s not the right culture for them and they’re not going to waste your recruiter’s time applying.
So that could be fine as long as of course, the dislike isn’t just because you did something out of taste. But a great example was Betabrand who did this awesome video where their developers were in this really funny like rock-and-roll cut up t-shirts and it was a response to HP, the rumor that HP had a dress code for developers. So they had this awesome video, even the CTO was in it and he actually was wearing tassels and it was crazy.
But the point is anyone that disliked it didn’t really get the joke and it was not going to fit in with their company and get who they were. I thought it was brilliant for them because it opted people in but it also showed people who they were and saved the recruiter’s time if it wasn’t for them. Knowing who you are and knowing who your target audience is key.
They are always for sure good for branding and awareness. There are definitely ways to track hires and I’ve done it but it can be challenging. It really depends on your tech stack. The problem is a lot of companies unfortunately still have like a dusty old ATS that has self-select as a source of hire. If that’s the tech stack you’re dealing with, you’ll just have to be realistic and say, “Okay we’re not going to be able to actually say we had this many hires because we can’t for sure say.”
But you can say, “These many people viewed the video on each platform.” They often will tell you how long they spent on the video which is useful to know how valuable it is. You do get a ton of great metrics on the different platforms but you have to rely on what your tech stack is. In our case, we have quite a good one. I feel very lucky. So that I can do a video ad and then when I could have people click through obviously if they like it to these landing pages I talked about.
Then it talks about our culture but there are also some very relevant jobs that they may want to click through and apply and then, of course, we can track applies and hires. So I feel lucky that there are ways that I can do that but not every company just has the ability and I think recruitment teams are coming along for sure when it comes to understanding the source of hire. But it’s always a bit of a challenge just also especially with the different touch points because they may see my video on a Facebook ad and think it’s super cool but be busy.
Then the next day or the next week they go to Google and they can apply through there and of course, the source is Google. So it’s challenging and there are I think there’s a Facebook pixel I have to learn about for sure to help that. That’s one thing I need to work on but there are always challenges but if you have the right tools you can actually attract hires and applies for sure and I have been able to.
One I really like we did this summer with that intern, was about a tech stack that we used called Kubernetes. What was interesting when we knew we had to hire these modern developers that would find it attractive because it’s a new cooler technology. We thought, “Great we’ll do a video.” Well, we kept pronouncing it wrong because when it’s spelled weird and when we were doing this strategy we just kept all getting it wrong. So we thought that would be kind of funny to make as part of the video. At the beginning, we had all these people that were non-tech people try and say it.
Of course, it worked out really well. They said it terribly. I made it a bit of a comedy joke in the beginning and then we got into how we use it, what it is, and really valuable content. Then I spent only $40 on YouTube recently this week actually and now it’s number two for SEO for people that search for, “How to pronounce Kubernetes?” At least for me, it’s going to be slightly different for everyone depending on their Google traffic or where they go. But the goal now is to keep it bringing us inbound traffic for people that are Googling that.
What they’re probably someone that’s interested in our type of technology then they’re going to, in the end, see that we’re hiring people that know that or want to learn that. So I’m hoping it’s going to bring us some great inbound traffic.
Something I’ve always been a big fan of is Brian Chaney’s work at Indeed. Because I think it was about at least three years ago maybe even four that he hired a full-time video person on his employment brand team. And I remember at the time being like “Oh that is so cool, so forward thinking.” Of course, since then I’ve seen these awesome like video content coming out. He’s always been an inspiration of mine for sure and also if you’re interested in cool visual content, check out Zalando, and I believe they are a German clothing store. They’ve got some really, really beautiful content which is partly because they have a huge awesome creative team but the cool part is there’s nothing stuck about it. Even though it’s well done, it’s real stories, real employees made just on a great job of visually showing the stories of their employees such as on Instagram and I think they’re on Twitter a couple other places but they’ve done some good stuff too.
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