5 ways video can be your human resources superpower

Sixty-two percent—that’s how much of the U.S. population watches YouTube videos at least daily. The number is even higher if you look specifically at Millennials and Generation Z. From long-form Netflix shows to short-form TikTok videos, video has become an integral part of our daily lives. 

And people now expect video to show up in their work lives, too.

That’s good news if you’re in human resources—video offers a variety of benefits that make your life easier, while also helping you make more of an impact on the organization. 

Here are five areas in which video can help you improve your outcomes around some of today’s top HR objectives, as discussed at the recent HR360 Virtual Summit and Expo.

1. Nurture your talent with learning and development

You’re facing a few hurdles when it comes to talent in 2021. First, demand for talent is outstripping supply. Thanks to the recent recession and declining birth rates, enrollment in higher education programs is expected to decrease by about 12% over the next decade. Considering the impact of Covid, we might see that trend accelerate.

Covid has also taught us that we specifically need “…people with critical thinking, agility and flexibility, and the ability to project manage and lead others during a crisis,” said Ayesha Khan, Senior Director of HR at Northwestern Mutual at the HR 360 event.

This means it’s more important than ever to nurture and develop the talent you currently have and help them develop these mission-critical skills. According to Matthew Daniel, Principal Consultant at Guild Education, winning organizations will be those that develop their talent by devoting the time and energy to build skills and talent mobility. This will both attract and retain valuable people.

But the second hurdle is that people are exhausted, and focus is stretched thin (also largely thanks to the Covid pandemic). Any learning and development efforts must be highly strategic and highly engaging. 

Brian Kedzior, VP of Talent Management at Parallel, explained that it will be important to find new ways to fit learning into our routines: 

“‘In the flow of work’ becomes exponentially important. Shortening the duration between the learning and the ability to apply it is key.”

Video offers an ideal medium through which to deliver effective learning and development content. According to a 2015 Kaltura survey of educators, 93% of teachers agree that educational videos improve the learning experience. Video has been shown to improve both knowledge acquisition and retention, and it also breaks down barriers like the learner’s geographic location. 

Plus, video can also be broken down into engaging and easily digestible pieces that fit seamlessly into your employees’ days.

2. Share authentic stories to grow DEI

Now is the time to deliver on your brand’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in a meaningful way. As Matthew Daniel explained, organizations need to be proactively building equitable hiring practices and pipelines, establishing career pathways for frontline talent, and expanding access to skilling opportunities (see that learning and development section above!). 

Another important part of DEI efforts is creating a safe and welcoming environment for all employees to bring their authentic selves to work. What does this mean? As Katrina Jones,  Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Leader at Amazon Web Services, said: 

“It doesn’t mean that you bring your ‘Saturday you’, hanging out in your shorts, drinking a beer. It’s about bringing in your life story and what is happening in your life to your professional self.”

Incorporating a variety of authentic, human stories in your company’s internal and external communications is a key component of helping other employees feel comfortable sharing their own authentic selves—and video is the perfect medium for sharing human stories. 

But make sure you focus these stories around a wider employee population than you may have in past. 

“It’s important to shift the focus from the best and brightest to those with promise and potential. The best and brightest is so subjective,” said Janet Sellars,  Director of HR at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

One way to improve your representation of the true diversity of your workforce is to enable all employees to create and share their own video stories. Instead of the HR team going out and requesting participation, give all employees the tools and training to share their voices and connect with colleagues and peers through video. 

3. Bring your company values to life

Your business has probably spent a lot of time (and money) developing a set of corporate values employees are supposed to live by. Espousing these values could make your company a better place to work, improve employee engagement and retention, drive better decision making—and could even go so far as to improve sales and customer retention.

But do your people actually live by them? Or do your company’s values just live on the intranet and the “About” page on your website? 

“Core values are an important part of an organization if they move from a plaque on a wall to daily behaviors. … These behaviors don’t just sit with leaders, they sit with each of the employees,explained Ritu Shrivastav, Senior Director of HR at Gilead. 

Lee Bowman, VP HR Operations, Organizational Effectiveness and Innovation from Edwards Lifesciences, put it like this:

“Integrating talent strategy and corporate strategy allows everyone to be successful and ensure continuity…” 

Video is a great tool to get employees sharing about how the company’s values translate into their roles and daily work. One of our Wochit clients did just that. In the spirit of the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this pharmaceutical brand asked employees to create a video in which they introduced themselves, talked about a company value they identified with, and nominated another employee to participate.

The project got a variety of employees interacting with each other, as well as the corporate mission and values. It also allowed people to hear from and connect with a variety of both executives and colleagues (with more people working from home, many employees are craving this type of human connection and personal storytelling).

4. Make hybrid and remote work…work

If you thought last year’s transition to remote work for non-essential employees was a challenge, don’t relax just yet. Moving from full remote to some sort of hybrid office model may be just as challenging (if not more), says Matthew Daniel. With various combinations of people working in the office and remotely, depending on the day, things could get complicated.

As a result, you’ll likely be looking at ongoing updates to policies, reconfiguring benefits, as well as updating hiring and onboarding processes. 

Video can help you communicate all of these moving parts to all of your moving audiences—and increase the odds they’ll consume and remember it. 

Max Paluszynski, Segment Marketing Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy at MilliporeSigma, explained:

“The flexibility of video allows people to visually consume information with sound and subtitles which results in your message having a better chance of resonating compared to the traditional email communication. In one format, you empower your colleagues through choice to consume information how they choose.” 

And if you have global offices with varying languages and cultures, a branded video template is a great tool to allow individual offices to customize these messages for their local languages, cultures, and other location-specific details.

5. Recruit top talent

Recruitment is nearly always top of mind in human resources—and if you’re doing the rest of this list well, it’s probably pretty easy for you. But you can still up your candidate experience game with engaging video content.

Lighthouse Research & Advisory uncovered what candidates themselves want out of the job search experience, including how they’d like video to be incorporated. The big takeaway? Feature a variety of real people rather than typical buttoned-up corporate content.

For example, candidates want to see videos of hiring managers 2.5x more often than company overviews and 10x more often than an HR/recruiter message—but only 3% of employers are using this kind of content. And 55% of active job seekers said employee-generated video would be more credible/trustworthy than company-produced video.

Monster reports similar findings about video for humanizing your recruitment efforts. According to Monster, 80% of Americans agree that a video of a recruiter talking about a role as part of a job ad would help them better understand the opportunity.

To enable all hiring managers and share a variety of human stories in your recruitment efforts, find a video creation platform that makes it easy for people all across the organization to easily create their own brand-compliant videos.

Whether you’re focused on advancing learning and development or DEI, rolling out corporate values, enabling new remote arrangements, recruiting top talent—or any combination of these responsibilities—video should have a prominent place in your toolbox. This medium allows you and other employees throughout the organization to share meaningful and engaging content that can advance just about any HR objective. 

Want to learn more about how to connect with your workforce through the power of video storytelling? Watch the full HR360 session below, presented by Max Paluszynski of MilliporeSigma and Wochit’s Garrett Goodman.

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