How to use podcasts to attract candidates

Podcasts are another tool for attracting talented employees, which you probably did not think of.

As a rule, every third response to the initial positions does not meet the requirements. And to find someone worthwhile, you need to look through a lot of resumes. If you add to everything else, for example, an ineffective description of the vacancy, then everything, write was gone.

This problem is well known to the city authorities of the city of Edmonton (Canada). Their vacancies constantly collect a lot of irrelevant feedback, and the necessary candidates are catastrophically small. And since 90% of job descriptions are different requirements of trade unions, whose wording cannot be changed, there are practically no options to make them more attractive and to emphasize the whole value of the work in an open position.

Therefore, in 2016 the recruiting team began experimenting with new formats. In particular, I tried to include in the vacancies podcasts from hiring managers. These short audio tapes gave candidates an immediate view of the work and culture of the company.

The idea of including podcasts in the hiring process came to Shahid Wadez, the team leader of the strategic talent search team. He understood that 50% of candidates are looking for vacancies from mobile devices, and wanted to give them a quick and easy way to get acquainted with the information about the work, without having to read into the long text.

Every five-minute podcast is a story of a hiring manager about what kind of role, what vision of an ideal candidate a particular department has, what aspects of the job are most attractive. And many other things that helped the candidate to understand whether an open position suits him or not. If the department had some interesting upcoming projects, the managers told about them, explaining what the new employee will do in the framework of this project.

To record a podcast is fast, easy and does not require a budget. Another big plus – unlike video recording, it’s not so exciting.

Since the recruiting team in the management of Edmonton were pioneers, they had to figure everything from scratch. They analyzed the existing tools and platforms and settled on a fairly standard, but verified time, Garageband for audio recording, and on the hosting service Libsyn (the minimum plan is $ 5 per month).

The recording of audio, unlike the creation of video, won at once several parameters:

First, you do not need a budget for professional photography.

Secondly, you do not need to think about how you look on the screen, and therefore much less excitement.

Thirdly, it is not necessary to learn the text, you can peek at scripts.

And fourthly, do not be a professional speaker, all the occasional “eee” and “mmm” can then be cut out unnoticeably from the recording.

At the very beginning, Shahid and his team took 60-90 minutes to create the final record. Now the whole process takes a maximum of 15-20 minutes.

Most importantly, the addition of podcasts to job openings has really improved the quality of the responses, although their total number has slightly decreased.

Whether this closed the vacancy is cheaper and that there is a return on investment, it is still unclear. In general, feedback from all participants in the process is positive. Many candidates enthusiastically referred to podcasts in their cover letter. And the hiring managers appreciated that the candidates began to know more about the features of the vacancy, and had a primary understanding of the prospects for work.

Audio recording aroused interest, and unsuitable candidates immediately realized that this story was not for them.

How to make podcasts a part of your hiring process

As shown by the experience of Edmonton, podcasts are an affordable and effective recruiting tool. They just record, edit and publish, there are a lot of free software, and you do not need to have special equipment, a standard microphone in modern headphones or a laptop can provide quite good sound quality.

The record itself can be in the format of a friendly dialogue with the hiring manager, just ask him a few questions about the open position, the culture in the company and the team. And place a link to the audio record in a prominent place, for example, at the very top of the job description.

A few more tips:

  • Hold the microphone at an angle, if you breathe directly into it, it will be audible on the recording. If you do not want to sound like Mart Vader, keep an angle of about 45 degrees.
  • Record a podcast in a quiet room with a minimum echo. Try to avoid extraneous noise, such as working office equipment, rustling coolers on computers, or the noise of urban transport outside the window.
  • If the microphone is installed in front of you on the table, place a cloth or soft cloth under it.
  • The distance between the speaker and the microphone should be about 30 centimeters.
  • After the podcast is recorded, it needs to be saved in MP3 format with a bitrate of 128kbps.

Try to use the highest quality available microphones. If there is no possibility to use professional equipment, the best choice will be a set of headphones with a microphone attached to them.

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