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Q: We’re looking to produce a corporate DVD to ‘attract’ potential employees to the business.

This project could lead on to an induction DVD to ensure consistent communication across the business.

Need communication to be creative and interactive.

Looking for idea of design and production costs etc.

Senior HR Manager
National Rail Contractor

A: A key feature of any Recruitment DVD is to ensure it doesn’t just attract anyone. A Recruitment DVD needs to attract the right type of person, the one who best fits your New Starter profile.

You can expect to see two financial benefits from taking this approach:

> More of the right people are drawn to you, people you can recruit who will stay with your company and progress.

> The high cost of people who start and subsequently leave will be significantly reduced, ie the DVD will pre-eliminate those who will hate the shifts, the hours, the weekends, the travel, and the disciplined work approach particular to the rail industry.

This obviously implies walking a fine line.

It’s not too difficult to produce a video that will attract more people by saying look how wonderful we are, look how your career will develop with us, see what wonderful opportunities we offer, etc, but this means you will proportionally attract the wrong types.

This type of recruitment video is really a sales message aimed at winning potential new starters, regardless of suitability, and is obviously the wrong approach.

The subtlety is to simultaneously put off unsuitable types who might be attracted, but subsequently leave (which is a high cost to you).

The best way to achieve this is to produce a recruitment video where your workforce describe the job and the company and what life is like working for you. They can also describe career progression opportunities, and anything else that is suitable.

Using your own workforce to drive the video will mean that your audience will believe what is said compared to using, say, a paid presenter or a voiceover mouthpiece.

In addition, your own workforce will be better able to describe what the work and conditions entail so the potential new starters will have a truer appreciation of what to expect.

Obviously the video is suitably edited so that inappropriate comments are edited out. In fact the whole production is a very selective process. Only the useful voxpops (ie comments to camera) will remain.

Your workforce don’t have to be the only characters appearing in the video. Directors and managers can play their part too. But I’d suggest that the backbone of the video should be workforce-driven.

This approach will deliver the following benefits:

> You will be believed. It’s a false assumption to say that a DVD is automatically believed. When we live an in age where a large percentage of the population believe the Prime Minister to be a liar on occasion, there is no reason to assume that the claims you make in your Recruitment DVD will necessarily be altogether believed either. But by using your own workforce to drive the script you will attain the credibility required.

> You will attract the right people and put off the wrong people. A positive but realistic workforce-driven video will deliver the right recruits and hence reduce the cost of people who start and leave within 3 months. For most companies this is a significant cost saving.

A Recruitment DVD we produced recently cost around £16,000, as it needed a lot of shooting across many sites. However, to make the point again, this cost is amply offset by the anticipated reduced cost of hiring new starters who subsequently leave.

An Induction video would be a subset of a Recruitment video, in that it would induct people into your culture and practices, which are unique in the rail industry (eg the uncompromising emphasis on track safety). The message would overlap in parts with the Recruitment Video, but it wouldn’t be the same.

Producing both Recruitment and Induction videos would be at around 1.5 of cost, rather than double the cost, as much footage could be shared between the two video productions.

Further idea: You could make part of the DVD have a Quiz or game, adding optional interactive features that would allow a potential new starter to self-assess. This would be both useful and fun to do, and would set your Recruitment DVD apart the crowd. It would be easy to use, as it would work from any standard domestic TV remote control.

Examples of workforce and induction videos can be viewed here

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