Reading an article by Rory Cellan-Jones (BBC Technology Consultant) this morning, you could be forgiven for thinking job seekers will all be using video and no-one will need a CV.

The article highlights Graeme Anthony, a PR Consultant who successfully used video to secure a new role with a London PR company, but more widely how the use of social media is changing the recruitment sector.

Video is not a new concept for recruiters and around 10 years ago Talking CV launched the concept of video CVs. Too early for many at this time, the video CV has slowly gained momentum with other companies emerging to offer similar products, whilst many candidates have taken the opportunity to record their own and upload to YouTube. 

Unfortunately, for many, the video CV simply resides on YouTube never to be viewed by a prospective employer. It is the proactive job seeker who takes the advantage at this point and like Graeme Anthony uses the power of the social network to research and target potential employers. Rather than just contacting recruitment agencies and scanning job boards, the modern job seeker turns to LinkedIn and searches for businesses and individuals that work in their sector.

The combination of direct approach and a professional video show an innovative concept, which secures Graeme a new position.

The CV may not be dead yet, but there is a definitely a new world of recruitment.
Social Media = Communication

The publicity surrounding the search did not come because the video was simply placed on YouTube, but as a result of two media agencies, who received the application and blogged about this; one of which was on PR Week and the other by a business which has over 42000 Twitter followers.

This shows another aspect of social media and its potential power in recruitment; the power of social media in communication.

Social Media + Quality Content = Viral Marketing

The quality of this video, the innovative approach and the fact that it was written about, by two highly followed bloggers, resulted in the video ‘going viral’. This illustrates the opportunity for both candidates and employers to harness social media and communicate messages to a large and relevant market.

The articles were communicated quickly to an ever expanding audience, not just through individuals manually copying the article url’s, but through the use of functionality embedded in the articles to allow readers to share them through their own personal networks.

The use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other networking sites expanded the readership dramatically and resulted in the originator receiving hundreds of direct responses and ultimately resulted in him securing a new position.

What does this mean to the employer or recruiter?


Video is becoming a well used tool and depending on the market sector can be a great asset in the recruitment process. One example of its use is in the initial interview process. Interviewing can be an extremely time consuming and expensive process, for both employers and candidates. This is especially true when a vacancy receives a large follow of potentially suitable candidates, such as those aimed at Graduates.

Using a video interview system, such as ‘OVIA’, allows the recruiting manager to set a series of questions, which potential candidates can answer either in an interview situation or with preparation. With Webcams available for under £5, it’s not difficult for any candidate with a computer to take part. The recruiting manager is then able to view responses and make a more informed decision on which candidates to invite for an interview.

Using social media to communicate

Social media is an extremely important and rapidly growing communication tool. It provides organisations with the opportunity to contact and communicate with a large audience, not just in their network, but within a far wider one.  Six degrees of separation is widely known as the approximate number of people it takes to connect two individuals, a figure that is below 5 on Twitter and under 6 on Facebook.

Employers can use social networks to communicate and engage with individuals, but as with Graeme Anthony the content needs to be relevant and interesting, if not innovative. The destination website, blog or landing page needs to reflect the employers’ messages and have clear calls to action to convert the visitor into a potential applicant.

The use of sharing buttons, ‘Tweet This’, ‘Like This’ and ‘Follow Us’ make it easy for engaged visitors to share this content throughout their own personal networks. If the average visitor has over 100 friends on Facebook, contacts on LinkedIn or Followers on Twitter, the article, video or vacancy can be quickly distributed to a far wider audience without any further involvement from the employer.

Unfortunately the majority of employers have yet to really embrace the power of the internet for recruitment; career websites are often poor relation of the corporate site, a page, with little thought regarding the user experience or visibility. Applicant tracking systems which have not been integrated so that the search engines can find the vacancies or social networking sites can be used to distribute these.

Those companies which do embrace the internet, have strong content rich websites which feed the social networks with interesting and relevant content, and have vacancies which can be easily distributed by internal employees.  Vacancies can be found and indexed by search engines and on arrival the visitor can follow clear calls to action and convert to either an applicant or a follower.

In Summary

Job Seekers are tuning into the power of social networking and embracing the new technology. Employers that also embrace this have access to a powerful medium, which is content rich, interactive and can be distributed quickly.

Whether it is a candidate’s personal brand or a company’s employer brand, the success of any ‘Social’ recruitment strategy will be defined by the point of origin. With a Career website, You Tube Video or LinkedIn profile with the right content and distribution tools, employers and candidates will be able to reap the benefits of the new social world of recruitment.

David Johnston
Corporate Web Consultant

View My LinkedIn Profile
Follow Me On Twitter
Visit the 4MAT website

Call me on 020 7392 1711
Email [email protected]

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.