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If you enjoyed 80’s pop music, you may remember the Buggles’ one-hit wonder with its lyrics:"Video killed the radio star/ Video killed the radio star”. The song speaks of how video in the late 20th century annihilated the industry of radio and broadcasting. Not too different from how video is, uh, killing the resume. 


Similarly video is taking over the standard usage across different verticals: marketing, music, fashion, and even human resources. Video is becoming the dominant form of communication. By 2019, online content will consist of 80 percent video marketing, and mobile consumption of video content continually rises by 100 percent annually. Video is how products are being sold: 90 percent of consumers indicate product videos directly inform purchase decisions; 92 percent of videos viewed via mobile are shared compared to other modes of access; 95 percent of consumers retain communicated information through video, while only 10 percent retain information from reading.

Video is killing reading

Perhaps it has to do with the psychology video presents. Video presents what text does not; it offers an immediate, moving, and authentic route of interaction and connectivity. Content consumers become interactive audience members, much like interactive theatre where the audience becomes part of the cast. Video thrives off of reactions and comments. People demand certain kinds of content, hold content creators accountable in terms of creativity, authenticity, and fallibility.

Video is becoming the new word-of-mouth. It builds trust, as we see with YouTube channels. Audiences love to tune into their favorite YouTuber to hear their views on clothes, video games, or pop culture. They “trust” their opinions as video makes it seem the person is more “real" to them, more personable. Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest marketing tools (if not the oldest); its experience giving advice and sharing. Companies possess the opportunity to establish a special connection by speaking directly and interacting in tandem with their audiences.

In the area of recruiting, companies are quickly seeing the value of video. In fact, the entire candidate experience can be amplified with video.

About the team video

A strong recruitment video may be the first step in establishing an authentic connection. Create a “Here is us” video about the company team and culture. You can assemble the ensemble of team members from different departments, aptitudes, and interests. One recommendation is to ask employees why they chose to work at your company; the employees with engaging, authentic, or creative answers may be a great match for your recruitment video.

Video Q&A

AI is bringing support throughout the recruitment process, such as in the form of virtual chat bots. These bots answer common questions candidates may possess before they apply or as they go through the interview process. Wouldn’t it be great to have employees answer pressing questions? This would show candidates a company is anticipating their needs— a sign of authenticity and care. It’s a creative way to not only answer the most popular questions like “what's it really like working at X?”, but it could be more personalized to a specific area or department. Product designers would be more apt to trust what other product designers have to say; they would know what potential candidates are looking for: employee development opportunities, remote working flexibility, or simply how they manage various projects.

It’s also a special place to address the elephant in the room—whatever that might be. Perhaps the company specializes in a controversial market, like longevity science or the tobacco industry. Video offer the place to sincerely learn how employees navigate working in these kinds of verticals. Additionally, perhaps candidates want to know what its like living in Minneapolis-St. Paul or another area that may be less-documented than places like Los Angeles or New York. This kind of video Q&A offers a rich resource for companies to connect and share.

Talk about the role itself

Between asking employees what they feel about the company and common questions, candidates still may wonder what’s really expected from the role. Bring the job description to life with video: demonstrate how the team is quickly growing and needs a human resources manager to find the best talent; or tell them the possibilities with their product and thus need a whip-smart product manager. Be sure to include what the role is NOT. Candidates will appreciate the transparency and expectations set.

Make bigger firms seem cozier

Video breeds a closer connection. This could especially be beneficial for bigger corporations who fight the stereotype of employing faceless cogs for their corporate machine. The U.S. census data shows the majority of new hires came from being “passive candidates”; they weren’t actively looking. They were found via candidate search funnels that happened earlier on: employers advertise jobs that don’t exist yet, but know to begin finding people that may be useful to contact once the job goes live. Around 40% of U.S. companies outsource the hiring to subcontractors, usually located in India or the Philippines. With video, hiring becomes a much more personal experience, bringing candidates and employers together—despite the awkward distance passive candidate searching or outsourcing presents.

Employ AI video software

Businesses have never done as much hiring as they do today. Big firms usually outsource the enormous task. Other firms prefer to be more hands-on with finding and hiring talent. In-house hiring managers work to fill open positions, create job descriptions, and note the needed key words for their electronic applicant-tracking-system (ATS). The complexity arrives afterwards. Hiring managers are tasked with the enormous responsibility in finding the best applicants amidst hundreds of applications. For companies like Google, more than 2 million job applications are submitted per year. That’s why technology—artificial intelligence, specifically— is amped to present a special tool for recruiting and hiring. AI video software companies like HireVue uses video to detect how candidates use certain words, tonal inflection, and other cues to uncover connections between candidates and the job position needs. Retorio supports various fast-growing corporations to find and qualify the best candidates. Using advanced psychological research and its AI video software, Retorio is helping hiring managers develop an authentic connection that also halves their most redundant tasks.

Collaborate with influencers on branded content

Consumers already connect with branded videos daily. Most users of social media are used to seeing the #ad or #sponsored in the caption. Companies can leverage how candidates connect to their own different interests. If a company is looking to hire video game developers, companies should think about collaborating with influential gamers on YouTube of Twitch. If a company is in the beauty space, potential candidates could be watching their favorite YouTube announce special openings at a particular company. These influencers can not only sell products or services, they could be a vocal, visual, and authentic job board. The numbers of branded videos on Facebook number 49%, on YouTube 32%, 24% Instagram, 22% on Snapchat and Twitter hosting 22%. Consumers are already familiar with this practice; hiring managers can begin to work with influencers as its own “AI video software”.

Video humanizes the recruiting process. What other parts of the recruiting process become more “human" as more science is discovered?


Grades and test scores are useless

The proportion of people without a college education at Google has steadily increased over the years. The criteria of a certain GPA or standardized test score seems like it’s no longer an indicator of a good employee. A recent study by Kingsley Leadership Academy suggests only 12% of C-suite decision makers think grades are an important consideration when hiring new employees. Why? Google may be on to something: using the GPA as a screening method often takes qualified, skilled applicants out of the candidate pool.

Grit matters

The University of Pennsylvania Professor Angela Ducksworth and best-selling author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” defines this quality as a “passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way.” Resilience and self-control in the face obstacles are attributes of an employee demonstrating grit. According to Ducksworth’s research, grit is the best long-term indicator of success.


Experience doesn’t trump all

In one study with one AI video software company, Koru, and the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals found that sales experience didn’t actually predict sales success. The biggest indicator for a successful sales timeline was how people worked together in a team. The best salespeople, the study found, were candidates who participated in extracurriculars and held a mid-level position in the organization. Teams need cohesion, not individual rock stars.

Humans are bad at making good judgement

Most people like to believe they’re a good judge of character. The science reveals otherwise: Yale School of Management professor Jason Dana has studied recruiting for years. Dana writes that "(intensive interviews) can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees.” The Yale professor explains that hiring managers take one piece of information—an impression—and begin to build an incorrect narrative around this singular piece of data. Google noticed grades, test scores, and a school’s pedigree weren’t a good predictor of job success. Like the renowned former HR chief at Google, Laszlo Bock, stated  “Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4% of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first 10 seconds".

Why video can make a difference to hiring managers

Rethink hire via video

Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte, explains how young companies are upending the $100 billion HR assessment market by creating AI video software. From automating job descriptions to looking for candidates via social media, technology is reshaping how people are found and developed. AI video software may seem like a heady pill to swallow—“is it too much?” or “it sounds complicated”. AI may sound like an intimidating technology as it retains vast capabilities. But it’s simple to use—it has to be; like every other consumer, companies want simple and easy integration. Video establishes a meaningful and personalized relationship with companies, while streamlining an intricate labyrinth.

Improve the candidate search experience

Job openings are now filled more often by hiring from the outside than by promoting from within. This is a change of pace from the post World War II days, when employees stayed within their companies for nearly their entire lives. Then, corporations filled roughly 90% of their vacancies through internal promotion. The modern workplace functions a bit differently, with the less than a third of positions being filled internally. Today the figure is a third or less. With AI video software, internal vacancies can be uniquely spread throughout the company for advertisement. Additionally, it makes the candidate experience easier. With Retorio, employees simply have to answer a few questions via video clip and send it to their internal hiring manager. Application process is smooth and simple—for both candidates and companies.

Improve retention

Hiring is difficult because retaining quality candidates is challenging. Companies hire from competitors thinking they’ll succeed in a similar role. According to Kordu, it’s not uncommon for new hires to crash and burn. Even in a similar role working in the same vertical. 95% of hiring is done to fill existing positions, which are vacated voluntarily. Employees are looking for career advancement, skill development, or specific working conditions. If those aren’t met, they’re heading for the door. Certain kinds of AI video software are looking to improve retention rates, some by analyzing a person’s character. AI startup Fama aims to gain insight about a candidate's identity based on articles, social media posts, or other information found online about the person. Even if learning about a person’s identity through online sources may not be what a company is looking for, AI can be used for other kinds of application. The technology’s core is built for speed and efficiency. Over time, the technology gains reliability by “training itself”over diverse datasets. It can quickly mine through thousands of data points while reading text, image, and video from a person.

What other companies are using AI video software for hiring?

K&L Gates, a law firm based in the United States with global offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, uses AI software for parsing through millions of images and text. It combines its findings and delivers it in a memo the firm’s lawyers can use.

Adidas, HealthSouth, Keurig, and Reebok all use a AI service called SkillSurvey. The software looks for keywords in candidate reference letters or responses. It predicts turnover and performance based on words used and an online behavioral science questionnaire. HealthSouth witnessed a staggering 17% decrease in turnover and a 10% drop in people vacating their position.

Citigroup is working with AI startup Koru, which screens for culture and and traits of existing employees with a 20 minute survey. Then, working with the departments that looking for new hires, Koru creates a separate survey that list key characteristics for a good match. One of the Koru founders, Josh Jarrett highlights “GPA is easy for humans to grab onto and understand and assign too much weight to, but AI can look across variables, see patterns in between the data”. The more data an AI possess the better.

What to look for when choosing an HR AI?

Easy integration

It should be a no-brainer, but companies should stay away from tech that’s overcomplicated to use and to technically integrate. Look for solutions that easily integrate into your own ATS system. Some AI video software is not built for all systems; be sure integration can happen with a matter of clicks. Retorio, for one, integrates with all ATS systems and can be accessed through a browser, like Safari or Chrome. Simply login and a candidate or manager is in the system.

Learned AI

AI is only truly beneficial when it has had time to learn and mature. Much like any cognizant being, it takes time and diverse set of experiences to learn how to cobble together new bits of information. You’ve heard of the 10,000 hour principle? It’s popular knowledge that it takes roughly 10,000 for someone to become truly great at a skill. For an AI, it should have at least 10,000 hours of learning under its belt before being integrated into a company’s ecosystem.

Unlocks an individuals unique identity

Humans are individual and complex beings. It’s difficult to get to know a candidate within 30 minutes and a few keywords highlighted on their resume. Look for an AI solution that gives a more holistic view of the candidate—through a mean’s that legal and comfortable. Parsing through online files may be an invasion of privacy, but having candidates opt in to share their answers and enthusiasm through a video shows what sets them apart. Lawrence Bossidy of GE once said "I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” Focus on the human being underneath the barrage of questions means zeroing in on how this person can add value to a company.


Leading companies leverage Retorio's AI to support their own talent management teams. Our video-based AI was featured in TechCrunch and Süddeutsche Zeitung .

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Elizabeth T.

Written by Elizabeth T.

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