How to increase the conversion rate of job postings

Increasing your job post’s conversion rate three to nine times can be as easy as turning that body of text into a short video clip. It’s what Ryan Feeney and Mike France of JSTN are already doing for clients, and last week at SHRM 2011 I was able to sit down with them and discuss this new use for an old technology.

According to Ryan and Mike, when a job is posted as a video the job seeker is not only seeing the opportunity, they are hearing it too. A video elicits an immediate response where text does not, and it creates a potential employee who is more informed about the company and the job when they apply. Plus, a video, in today’s world of online and mobile sharing, is easy to send or re-post to others who might be interested.

If you didn’t get the chance to listen to my original interview with Ryan and Mike, you can now download the transcript or read below about how using video for job postings can help you reach into previously untapped talent communities.

What do your recruiting and professional staffing partners have to say about video?

Joel: Thanks again for joining us. We’re here in Las Vegas at SHRM 2011. I spent a lot of the day talking to providers in this space that are creating technologies and services that assist time managers and HR professionals in sourcing a higher quality of talent into the organization and leveraging digital and social media to do just that.

I just had a great conversation with JSTN. Ryan Feeney and Mike France gave me a good amount of time to help me understand what they do. I’m going to let them explain it, but I’ll give you my brief summary. Essentially, what we’re talking about is introducing a more robust description of job opportunities with video. And there are a lot of great reasons to do that. I’ll let them discuss it, but first, guys, thanks a lot for your time.

Ryan: Appreciate it, thanks. Thanks Joel.

Joel: Ryan, I’ll start with you. We were talking about some of the behind-the-scenes of what you’re doing, and I think it’s a good place to start. So why don’t you explain to our readers how we should understand what JSTN is doing.

Ryan: Thanks, Joel. Basically what we’re doing is we’re taking job descriptions and turning them into video. Taking a text posting and turning it into video creates a much more compelling medium to deliver it in. But also, it brings the understanding level up to a level that’s much more effective than just reading a standard text posting.

Someone’s looking at video, they’re seeing it, they’re hearing it. It’s much more compelling, and it creates a call to action immediately that allows them to see the video job report that we do, and then be able to take action right then and there by applying online through the Apply Now button that points back to the ATS.

Joel: Mike, you were sharing a pretty good stat with me. You talked about the percentage of those that are actually viewing video. Can you just kind of touch on just the numbers behind why we would want to maybe convert our text postings into video.

Mike: Well, there are several really good, compelling reasons. One, a typical video job posting that we do has conversion rates of three to nine times what a text posting does. The other is that right now video online and on mobile is just exploding. Forget about jobs. Whether it’s the news or how to do something, they’re literally viewing just about everything through video. Really, it’s already here, and in the future, everything’s going to be video and repurposed into video. So it’s just the way we view the world now.

Joel: I think it’s a good description. I’m always a fan of watching a clip or two, right? So let’s switch gears a little bit. One of the things we do a lot of writing about and we try to inform our readership about is that the way in which you’re building out the community of talent that you can potentially tap into for your organization matters. Do you see your platform and your solutions as a way to help increase the development and really connect with that talent community?

Ryan: Absolutely. I mean that’s really what this was built to do. To take that posting and the video job report and be able to get that into all the different communities that are out there developing talent. Basically when you’re building a job community, you can reach out into these communities of people that have shown interest in your company and touch them with a professional job report via video that we provide. They can watch the video, act on it, apply to the job, and they also have the capability to send it to their friends.

So if you’re sitting at home and you get this video texted to you by a friend of yours, you’re going to look at it, and you’re either going to apply or send it on to someone else that you think can use it. In effect, it dives much deeper into that passive jobseeker, that talent pool that’s able to take action on it. You may not have been able to access that talent base before, but now you’re able to do that.

Joel: That makes perfect sense to me. I think that idea of connecting with those passive candidates is always the Holy Grail in how we’re recruiting. So Mike, let me ask you about some of the obstacles that hiring managers or business leaders might face when introducing this to their HR group. I’m sure you hear the objections because it’s a bit of a new concept. Help me understand what some of those objections might be and how to overcome them.

Mike: Well, one objection that is very typical is that it’s a new technology. Even though video isn’t, the way to distribute it is. People are worried because all this new technology is being thrown at people, and in particular at HR departments and the people who do the sourcing. So they want to know, “Is it simple?” And the answer is, yes. It’s easy to do and easy to implement it. So one of the questions is if this going to be more work from the technology perspective. The answer is, it isn’t. But that’s a fear, so it’s a main obstacle.

Another thing is that people are worried about how they’re going to be branded out there, if it’s going to be done professionally. So everything is cleared by the client before anything goes out, and we do it in a professional format. This is the standard across the board, so they know exactly what they’re going to get every time, and they approve everything.

So those are the two main obstacles—the technology piece and if it’s going to represent our company in a professional way, because everybody’s worried about their brand, as they should be. That’s probably pretty typical of not just us, but probably any new technology that comes down the road with HR or with sourcing. Those are not easy things to deal with, but the answers are definitely there, if you understand what I’m saying.

Joel: They’re addressable, and they are things that can be easily overcome. I understand that. Ryan, last question: If I want to head in this direction, obviously value always matters. So from a measureable perspective, what are some of the things I should care about if I’m going to pilot this and give it a try? Given that I have so much going—and let me expand that to not just internally, but those suppliers you might be working with, the extended community, whether it’s consultants or staffing companies like Yoh—what are some of the dots I need to connect and the metrics I need to care about in order to determine if I should actually give it a shot, and then to monitor its performance as it moves forward?

Ryan: Exactly. With your recruiting strategy that you have in place right now, one thing is that we supercharge what you’re currently doing. So you don’t have to change what you’re doing today. You can overlay this on and supercharge what you’re doing, but basically it’s going to give your text postings and others medium that you’re using today much more value. You’re going to get a lot more return in terms of quality candidates and such. So when you look at your metrics already from the different job boards or the different ways that you’re recruiting, usually today, with the Monsters and CareerBuilders, you’re not typically getting what you’re looking for in a lot of cases. So you can use JSTN to supercharge that.

But when it comes to the other types of things that we do, it’s important to understand that you’re increasing your conversion rates three to nine times, like Mike said. With that, you’re going to get a better candidate. They’re going to come to you quicker. Your recruiters are going to spend a lot less time selling the job opportunity in the company, so now candidates are able to actually see a professionally-done video that’s been served up. They already know what the job is. They already know who the company is. When the recruiter reaches back out to them, that’s when the recruiter is saving and being much more efficient with their time. We’re hearing from a lot of our clients that they’re saving on average 15 to 20 minutes or so, and they’re excited about that. So there are a lot of different process efficiencies that come with it.

In everything we do, we provide metrics too. So the last point I’ll make is that in a real time format, you’ll be able to look at the metrics that you’re getting from other sources that you’re using, but also, you can redirect those resources in real time. So if one thing isn’t working today, we can immediately change it over here, because we’re showing you in real time where your candidates are coming from.

Joel: Great, I’m really appreciative to have had the time with you. Again, we’ve been talking to Ryan Feeney and Mike France of JSTN. Another edition of how technology is changing the game a little bit. Gentlemen, thanks very much for your time, and I look forward to talking to you again.

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