You CAN Make Recruitment Agency Marketing Videos In-house – Part Two

Marketing VideoIn the second of a series of blogs looking at how to produce high-quality recruitment agency marketing videos in-house, Shane Wheeler, Marketing Communications Executive, Adapt focuses on setting-up video kit for the best results and shares his techniques for conducting interviews with company spokespeople which effectively deliver the message in the final video.

The Middle: Production

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.  In this ‘middle’ blog about telling your story, I share my advice for one of the main elements of marketing videos: recording interviews – either with your own company spokespeople or testimonials from your clients.

Miss the beginning?  Find out how to select your video recording kit here.

Planning for the interview

As the adage goes, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’.  Don’t expect your interviewee to just start talking and instantly deliver all the information you need.  They will have the knowledge, but when put on the spot, especially in front of a camera, they may well clam-up or ramble.  Don’t just say ‘Go’. 

Write a good list of questions and remember, they’re only jumping-off points.  Be mindful of the angle of your video – this will come into play more as you conduct the interview, but it doesn’t hurt to include some questions which will gently lead your interviewee towards the great promo soundbites you’re ultimately after.

Recording the interview

It’s great to have an assistant throughout the shoot if possible – to help carry the kit, keep the interviewee ‘warm’ while you set-up and keep an eye on the kit while it’s actually recording…and quickly respond if something unexpectedly stops recording (which can happen – batteries run out, file size limits are reached and so on).  For this blog, I’ll proceed as though you’re conducting the video shoot single-handedly, just in case having an assistant isn’t possible.

Set-up time!

If possible, arrive early to assess the room and set-up the kit – and be sure to have back-up power cables, batteries and memory cards with you.

What’s in the room?  Where are the desks and chairs positioned?  What makes for the best background?  Can these elements be adjusted? 

Set-up the tripod and camera and frame the shot as best you can without the interviewee being there.  Avoid positioning the camera too close to the interviewee, it can be distracting for them.  When possible, set-up the camera further away and zoom in – this will also help soften the focus on less interesting backgrounds and sharpen it on your subject.

To compose a pleasing shot of your interviewee, set the camera at their eye-level and position them on the left or right of frame, first with the top of their head touching the top of frame and their shoulder touching the side of frame, then add a bit of room by zooming-out or slightly re-framing.  It’s helpful to watch interviews on TV and YouTube to get some more ideas, and a quick Google image search on ‘Rule of Thirds Interview’ will give you some great examples to follow. 

It’s best to have your subject looking into the space in the frame, so looking frame-right if they’re sitting frame left and vice-versa.  This rule can be broken for effect, but be careful, the ‘feel’ of the shot and interview can change dramatically.  If your interviewee is frame left, you should sit just to the right of the camera so they’re looking in the right direction for the shot (and you should sit just to the left of the camera if your interviewee is frame right).

Camera settings – what are they all about?

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]To quickly get good quality shots, there’s no shame in using the camera’s auto-exposure settings.[/tweet_box]If you only have half an hour to record an interview with your company owner or a client giving a testimonial, there’s precious little time to ‘faff’ with manual settings.  Even if you’re confident with manual, you might find yourself endlessly tweaking to get the most beautiful shot and become distracted from the content of the interview.

Having selected auto-exposure (or set the exposure manually), when your camera has an auto-focus option, my advice is to test how well it works.  Some deliver slick, natural auto-focus and some take their time ‘hunting’ for the focus, meaning the subject you’re filming will go in and out of focus for a second or two while the camera makes up its mind.  If in doubt, especially if your subject is sitting or standing still – set the focus manually on their eyes.  You can do this in your final framed shot or, even better, zoom-in and focus on the ‘glint’ in their eye then zoom back out again. 

Even when everything is set to auto and you’re good to go, I strongly advise setting one thing manually – white balance.  Depending on the light in the room, the auto white balance will often deliver odd results, like tinting the whole picture blue. When you’re all set to shoot, hold a piece of white paper up to the lens, filling the frame, and press the white balance button (typically, you hold the button down until the icon stops flashing).  The camera then knows what white actually is in that environment and sets all the other colours and tones accordingly.  Voila!  More natural, life-like images. 

Conducting the interview

Put your interviewee at ease, make sure they’re comfortable and have something to drink.   Don’t be afraid to ask them to sit up, straighten their tie, or put rogue hairs back into place – this might be awkward, but they will appreciate looking their best in the video when they see it – and it’s all care and attention to help them feel special as the interviewee.

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]Reassure your interviewee that if they ‘fluff’, no-one will see it but you – and you will edit it out.[/tweet_box] Multiple takes are fine.  Remind them to take their time, remember to take breaths and not to speak too quickly.

It’s tempting to ask your interviewee not to look at the camera (and later, the audience), but that can result in them thinking about looking at the camera and subconsciously doing it.  It works far better to maintain eye contact.  Good eye contact shows how interested you are in what they have to say and works better for the video.  That way, your interviewee isn’t looking at the camera and is looking into the right part of the frame.  If they do look away from you (too much) or at the camera, gently ask them to “Please look at me, it’s best for the video”.

Ask your interviewee to repeat the question as part of their answer, then you can have crisp soundbites and avoid having to add question graphics which may take the viewer out of the video.  For example, if your question is “How do you guarantee a perfect job and candidate match?” have them respond along the lines of “We guarantee a perfect job and candidate match by ensuring we always…”

Roll camera and sound!  Then double-check they’re definitely rolling…it’s much worse to find out later if you’ve missed something.

Ask your first question and listen to the answer – it’s easy to be distracted by all the video hubbub, but if you listen carefully, you can probe deeper.  Ask further questions if they occur to you (and they should, because you’ve done your research!) – get all the knowledge they have on the subject.  If there are fluffs, do another take and let the interviewee know which parts you especially liked.  Remember the angle of your video and gently lead them in that direction.  Ask your next question and repeat as above. 

Wrap-up by asking their final thoughts on what you’ve just discussed.  Not a direct question as such, just their feelings on the whole issue.  Sometimes, the best soundbites come from this part.

Remember to thank them, and don’t just tell them it was great – pick your genuinely favourite parts to compliment them on.  They might start worrying about how the video is going to turn out, and it could be weeks before they see it, so don’t let any anxieties get in the way of recording another interview with this subject in the future.

Now you’ve recorded some great interviews, what’s next?  In Part Three, I’ll share my advice for editing the footage, adding graphics and music and sharing the final video with your audience.

Job Board Posting Top Tips – Part One

jobboardAs a result of new technology and the digitally connected world we live in, never has it been easier for recruiters and candidates to interact and engage with each other. Thanks to the diverse array of online job platforms and professional networks such as LinkedIn, the relationship between recruiters and candidates has fundamentally changed.

Unfortunately, whilst interacting with potential candidates has become easier and simpler, the recruiter’s agenda has become significantly more complex. There are now a number of potential channels to investigate to find the talent they’re looking for. Recruitment agencies need to diversify both their practice and perspective to ensure they find exactly who they need.

For candidates looking for a new job, a quick search on a job-board is most likely the first port of call. It’s here where recruiters can promote a new job vacancy, and candidates can find positions they would like to apply for. For a recruiter, deciding what services to use and how to get the best results can at times be a complicated process, and having so many channels at your disposal doesn’t always help. In order to alleviate those concerns, this two-part blog series will discuss the different elements of job board posting and highlight some top tips and best practices.

  1. Decide whether Industry Specific or Generic job boards suit your requirement(s)

When looking for potential candidates, it can be tempting to post a job advertisement on one of the most prominent job boards and leave it to operate. The problem with this approach is that you then end up with a wide spectrum of candidates – either qualified or unqualified.

Undoubtedly, generic job boards serve a purpose, however, if you’re looking for precise, high quality and targeted results in terms of your candidate pool, you’re better off taking the time to use an industry specific job board.

By using industry-specific job boards over generic job boards, you drastically improve your chances of getting to the right candidate, quicker. As a direct result of this, you can shorten your recruitment process significantly.

To learn more on how you can shorten and refine your recruitment process with smart strategies and renewed efficiency, click here.

  1. Choose the best job board for your agency/team

Choosing the right job board is crucial for hiring success, therefore it now becomes a question of what job board best fits your recruitment criteria.

The job board you choose will play an essential role in how your recruitment process unfolds. In order to determine which is the best fit for you, there are a number of questions you need to ask:

  • Reach / Activity / Traffic – Does the job board get used regularly and if so, how many people use it? Do they have detailed statistics on the amount of users?
  • Site Performance – How many people apply to the jobs featured on their site?
  • Testimonials – Do people advocate the site? Is it their ‘go-to’ resource?
  • Target Audience – Does the job board correlate with the industry you’re recruiting for?
  • General or Industry Specific – Are you looking for candidates with a particular specialisation, or are you trying to fill multiple roles across a wide spectrum?
  • Functionality / Account Management – Do these job boards offer any additional services or advanced job posting functions, such as the ability to define your keywords? A CV database? Candidate filtering?
  • Cost – Does the cost justify the service? Are you getting your money’s worth?
  • Popularity / Reputation – Does the job board attract new users on a regular basis and have they established themselves as a ‘go-to’ source?

Using these questions as a framework will allow you to determine which of the sites offer the most benefit, functionality and efficiency.

  1. Use measurement to determine value

So, you’ve decided on the job boards you want to utilise, now you need the analytics at your disposal to determine how efficient and productive the job board actually is.  

The most effective job-boards will offer you analytics and statistics on a number of variables, such as:

  • Applications received or per job – This is crucial for helping you determine how many people are actually interested in your job posting. It’s one thing receiving the number of views for your job post – but if you’re on an industry-specific job board yet no one is applying, you may want to rethink your job-posting format.
  • Views per job – If you’re able to accumulate views on your job, you can determine how many people are interested in that posting; combine this statistic with the amount of applications you receive and you’ll get an accurate representation of how effective the job board and job post really are.
  • Actual hires – Unless you’re directly responsible for the hiring aspect of the process, as a recruiter this can be complicated to determine. If your client is willing to divulge such information to you, you can correlate the statistics between the amount of views, the applications you’ve received per view – and how many of those applications have turned into actual hires. This is your bottom line.

Now that we’ve established the primary elements for your job board postings, you need to maximise your results. In part two of this blog, we’ll summarise how you can be sure you’re getting the best results from your job boards.

Nigeria-based Doheney Services Invest in AdaptUX to Enhance Processes and Boost Growth

Doheney Services LogoDoheney Services, a one-stop firm providing specialised and in depth human resource consultancy services across several key industries, have selected Bond International Software, the global provider of staffing and recruitment software, to provide AdaptUX OnDemand recruitment-specific CRM via high-speed cloud service.

Founded in 2005 to fill the niche for Nigeria’s indigenous professionals to be actively involved in HR Management; Doheney Services are based in Lagos, Nigeria and cover a wide range of industries including Aviation, Banking & Financial Services, FMCG, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications and Transport & Logistics. The Doheney Services team, comprising consultants, research specialists and human resources generalists, recruit at all levels and offer additional professional services including Training & Development, Expatriate Recruitment, Outsourced Recruitment, Payroll, Retreat Management, Career Counselling and a Graduate Development Programme. Doheney Services’ extensive experience and grounding in Nigerian culture and business practice means they understand the complexities and issues facing the Nigerian labour industry and they are able to respond effectively to client and candidate requirements.

The Doheney Services team undertook a lengthy, in-depth recruitment software market review to find the right cloud CRM for long-term business growth. Looking to add new users as and when required, system flexibility and scalability were imperative; with CV parsing, candidate searching and social media and email integration also high on their list. As their review concluded, the team selected AdaptUX due to the system’s capabilities in these important areas and the highly intuitive nature of the new user interface. Key features of their deployment include:

• Cloud/SaaS (Software as a Service) – Bond OnDemand enables Doheney Services users to log-in and use AdaptUX wherever they have internet access
• Adapt Studio – enabling users to choose from in-built recruitment dashboards or design their own based upon their preferred working methods
• AdaptCentral – powerful social media portal enabling users to post and manage job vacancy adverts and applications via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Gmail Google Chrome Extension – seamless integration between AdaptUX and Gmail enables users to run workflows in AdaptUX without leaving Gmail
• Adapt InTouch mobile app – allowing Doheney Services consultants to access AdaptUX via their smartphones and effectively recruit on the move

Erefa Fynecontry, Managing Director, Doheney Services, comments, “We guarantee we will find the right candidates for the job and we commit to providing the best, most supportive professional services at all times. In order to consistently deliver on these commitments, we select the right business partners very carefully and took this approach when reviewing recruitment CRM software providers. The features offered by AdaptUX clearly met and exceeded our requirements for consultant efficiency and business growth and, considering Bond’s lengthy track record of successfully deploying and maintaining systems globally, we are confident we have found the best fit on both the software and business partner fronts.”

Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director, Bond International Software, comments, “The experience and understanding Doheney Services bring to the labour industry in Nigeria is admirable and the breadth of professional services they provide, from their Graduate Development Programme to their ability to recruit at all levels across many industry sectors, is very impressive. We are delighted they have selected AdaptUX to bring new efficiencies to their services and we look forward to seeing the agency achieve their targets for future growth.”

You CAN Make Recruitment Agency Marketing Videos In-house – Part One

Marketing VideoSharing videos online is a great way to help market your recruitment agency’s brand, promote your services and attract more of the best candidates – but how do you create slick, effective video content? Do you hire a professional corporate video production agency, or do you do it yourself, in-house? A professionally shot and edited marketing video is fantastic, but if you simply don’t have the budget, or relish the challenge of creating one yourself, the first in a series of blogs from Shane Wheeler, Marketing Communications Executive, Adapt will arm you with all the information and advice you need to start making high-quality videos which effectively deliver your message.

The Beginning: Pre-Production

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and this series of blogs about telling your story begins with tips on selecting your video recording kit…

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]There are so many video and sound products on the market, making the best choices can be quite daunting.[/tweet_box]When producing video content in-house, especially single-handedly, my advice is to think ‘simple and effective’. Used in the right ways, modest kit and software really can give you great results. The trick is not to overstretch and attempt elaborate camera moves and sound effects when the same content presented in a solid, dependable manner can be just as effective – perhaps even more so.

My mantra is ‘No cheese’. Applying seemingly ‘flashy’ effects on a modest budget can cheapen the look of your video, render it ‘cheesy’ and disenchant the viewer. Simple, nicely-framed shots and subtle effects will deliver quality and your viewers will pay more attention. That way, your videos can rank alongside those of your competitors – even if they’ve splashed-out on professional video productions with all the bells and whistles.

Which type of camera to use?

We’ve grabbed the occasional clip via a smartphone, but because phones are tricky to handle as cameras (and the video quality is just ‘okay’), I would recommend using a camcorder or a DSLR. You can buy camera mounts for phones, but budget is better spent on ‘proper’ cameras – they’re purpose-built and it’ll be easier for you to manage the recorded video files.

A camcorder…


While the humble consumer camcorder (think ‘Handycam’, not professional camcorder) is becoming antiquated, they still have their place, especially for shooting marketing videos where time is often tight. A reasonably priced consumer camcorder such as the Sony CX450 Handycam® will deliver great quality HD pictures and serviceable sound.

Camcorders tend to make auto-shooting very easy. They handle well and you can pretty much ‘point and shoot’ and the results will look fine. The image can be quite flat, often with everything in focus, but it will also be sharp and detailed.

…or a DSLR?

DSLR Generally speaking, popular consumer DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras deliver better quality video than consumer camcorders at a (fairly) similar price-point. They’re a lot more flexible and you have a huge choice of lenses. When it comes to image depth and all-round ‘feel-good’ factor, even the kit lens which comes in the box with a DSLR is going to blow-away the lens built into a consumer camcorder.

DSLRs deliver fantastic results, but without elaborate and pricey additional kit such as mounts and follow-focus, they are cumbersome as video cameras. DSLRs are built for still photography first and foremost and they handle that way, so you need a handheld or shoulder mount to really get the camcorder ‘feel’. Also, DSLRs often need to be manually focused during video recording, which is tricky even for the most dexterous users. A ‘follow focus’ built onto the mount will certainly help in this regard, but, for speed, auto-focus can be better and auto-focus features are still fairly rare in DSLR models…although more are being released all the time, such as the Canon EOS 750D. In short, when looking to shoot quickly and cost-effectively, DSLRs are great on tripods, but can be tricky handheld.

The sound effect

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]Do not underestimate the importance of sound.[/tweet_box]In my experience, the majority of viewers readily accept low quality images over low quality sound. Low quality sound distracts viewers and screams ‘sub-par’ very quickly, taking them out of the experience of watching the video – which is disastrous if you want them to quickly receive your marketing message.

Your camera of choice will most likely also record sound, however I referred to sound from a camcorder being ‘serviceable’ above because a few simple factors often result in sub-par sound from the built-in mic. Probably due to the size and quality of the mic, camera-recorded soundtracks often have some underlying ‘hiss’ which might cast your mind back to listening to tape cassettes! Also, some cameras record the sound of their internal mechanics along with the sound you actually need, i.e. your subject. But don’t worry, there are a couple of good, cost-effective ways to record great quality sound, free of hiss, cogs turning or fingers pressing…

External mic? – plug it in!

You can record good quality sound via the camcorder or DSLR by attaching an external microphone. Simply slot the mic into the ‘shoe’ on top of the camera and plug the cable into the ‘Mic in’ socket. A directional (also known as ‘shotgun’) mic such as the Rode Video Mic will pick-up sound from the direction the camera is pointing, effectively ‘listen’ to the speaker and mostly ‘ignore’ the ambient sound to its sides and rear. This way, the camera will prioritise the external mic over the built-in one and your video will look and sound good.

Separate sound recorder = great idea!

There are some slight drawbacks to the external mic solution described above. When the mic is attached to the camera, you are unable to place the mic closer to your subject to make sure they’re recorded loud and clear.

To record from the best possible position for the sound, not just from the position of the camera, I swear by my Zoom Handy H4N sound recorder. I can place it wherever I like to get great quality sound, separate from the camera. In doing so, not only do you have a better chance of recording the sound (some people do have naturally low voices), you also have two sound recording options to choose from in the edit – the sound from the camera and the sound from the external sound recorder. If the camera sound is from the built in mic, that’s not ideal of course, but with an external mic attached to the camera and separate sound, you have the best of both worlds. Then you can pick the best sound to use depending on the quality and how appropriate it is to the content. If the person is speaking too softly – no problem, if the camera’s mic happens to be touched by accident – no problem.

Now you’ve selected your kit, what’s next? In Part Two, I share my advice for setting-up the kit and conducting great interviews with company spokespeople…

Jump Start Your Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy FeaturedLess than a decade ago, recruitment agencies were urged to join in with social media and conferences and webinars were dedicated to teaching people how to setup accounts. Fast forward to 2016 and you might struggle to find a recruitment agency that doesn’t have a presence on at least one social media network, but do they have a recruitment social media strategy?

What you might find instead is a surprisingly large number of recruitment agencies that don’t use social media beyond having a minor presence. Perhaps you will find a page without any content or a profile filled only with job opening posts. It isn’t uncommon to come across a company page on social media that actively posted for several months, but then completely stopped. I saw a website the other day that proudly displayed 6 social media icons…none of which actually linked to a social media site. If you are sheepishly hanging your head because I am describing your company’s social media reality, then it’s time to think about your social media strategy.

Pick a Network or Two

Having a social media strategy does not mean you need to be present on every single social media platform available. Most likely you won’t have the resources to keep up with all of them. There are two things to consider when picking a social media network – what is your goal and where is your audience.

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]Having a social media strategy does not mean you need to be present on every single social media platform available[/tweet_box]

To start, determine your goal for participating in social media.

  • Are you trying to engage candidates and employees?
  • Are you trying to attract new candidates or clients?

The next step is to determine where your audience spends their time.

  • Facebook is the most popular social network with 1.65 billion users. Engagement may occur outside of typical business hours.
  • Twitter has fewer users and users spend less time here than Facebook.
  • LinkedIn is a professional network and is used to exchange industry information.
  • Both Snapchat and Instagram are primarily composed of millennial users, but these two networks aren’t the only places to find millennials.
  • Pinterest users tend to be female and are more active outside of typical business hours.

Once you have identified your goal and where your audience spends their time, pick one or two social networks and focus on being really active on those sites.

[tweet_box design=”box_01″ float=”none”]Pick one or two social networks and focus on being really active on those sites[/tweet_box]

Plan Your Approach and Measure Your Results

Once you have picked your network, determine the type of activity that will occur on your page. Your activity should be both proactive posts sharing with your audience and reactive posts engaging with your audience. Perhaps some of the following would be good content for you to share?

  • Job openings (just be sure it isn’t the only thing you post).
  • If you are attending a job fair, conducting a webinar, or attending another type of event, don’t forget to let your social network know about it.
  • Photos of happenings at your office or employees on assignment.
  • Information about your industry.
  • Career advice
  • Retweet or share the work of others. Nothing says that the content on your social media feed needs to be your own. If you come across content that you think is relevant to your audience, share it.

Your reactive posts are just as important (sometimes more important) than your proactive ones. If someone comments on an item you have posted or shares your post, engage them. You can respond to their comment or simply acknowledge their share with a like. The important thing is to engage.