Realistic Job Preview Video Benefits

using video

There are a variety of reasons organization’s produce and incorporate RJP Videos, but the main drivers and benefits for using them are as follows:

  • Provide candidates with more authentic insights and aspects regarding a job position’s specific responsibilities, challenges, expectations and rewards.
  • Enable candidates to “visualize” and experience an organization’s vision, values and culture.
  • Reduce early turnover.
  • Better candidate match with the job by educating and enabling candidates to determine, in their own mind, if there’s a “fit” or not (and then apply for the position or self-select out).
  • Save recruitment time and hiring costs by eliminating candidates earlier on in the talent acquisition process.

Can RJPs really help candidates learn more about the realistic aspects of employment with your organization that ultimately translates to a better matched hires as well as improved retention results? Well, “Empirical research suggests, RJPs… can improve job survival rates ranging from 3–10%. For large organizations in retail or transportation that do mass hiring and experience new hire turnover above 200% in a large population, a 3–10% difference can translate to significant monetary savings. Some experts (e.g., Roth; Martin, 1996) estimate that RJPs screen out between 15% and 36% of applicants.”

There are various stories of how RJPs help recruitment metrics, including a large multi-national retailer who utilized a RJP Video in the Orlando market and reportedly reduced turnover by 79% after implementing the program.

In another story, a realistic job preview program for the Idaho State Police has reportedly reduced their dispatch center turnover by nearly 30%.  Since there are many examples that cite the recruitment and talent performance metrics through RJPs (lower early turnover, better quality candidates, more engaged workers), the real question is:

Are you using this powerful talent acquisition tool as part of your employer branding strategy, and if not, why?

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the basics about what Realistic Job Preview Videos are and why they can benefit talent acquisition results, Part II’s post will get into the nuts and bolts, including: RJP considerations, best practices and the typical stages in the RJP process.  Additional posts will cover frequently asked questions (FAQs) I come across as well as review a variety of different videos.


Are You Using Video in Your Talent Acquisition Process and Branding?

video for branding

When it’s tweeted that YouTube (alone) has over 4 billion video views per day, I got several questions about using video as part of employer branding efforts.  Video is a tactical vehicle that can be used to support your employer branding strategy and can be incorporated into various program elements.

It can convey corporate/product brand alignment with your employer branding strategy as well as being a means to communicate with candidates and employees about a variety of HR and talent acquisition topics, from CEO messages and product news/commercials to broad-based employment videos illustrating why your organization is such a great place to work.  Some of the more common uses of video for talent acquisition purposes include recruitment videos and Realistic Job Preview (RJP) Videos.

Recruitment vs. Realistic Job Preview Videos

At the most basic level, the types of videos for candidates typically fall under the recruitment video or job preview video categories.   There are many variations, themes and production styles for both types, which I will cover in detail, but to give you a sense of what constitutes a Realistic Job Preview (RJP) Video versus a recruitment video, I have two examples.

The first one is a recruitment video for Quicken Loans. You’ll notice that it’s produced fairly well, but mainly focuses on the company’s brand attributes (rankings, performance, culture, etc…) and why it’s rewarding to work at Quicken Loans.   General recruitment videos can help convey important brand and cultural elements to viewers and are especially helpful when your corporate brand might not be that well known to target candidates or when you’re simply trying to set the stage about the organization’s compelling employment attributes.

Quicken Loans Recruitment Video

The next one is an example of a RJP Video for a contact center associate position with Bank of America.  You’ll notice that after some corporate and recruitment branding in the beginning of the video (who we are, employer recognition/awards), the video really starts to explain what job functions, skills, expectations, challenges and goals required in order for a candidate to be successful in this role.

Bank of America Realistic Job Preview Video Contact Center Associate

A “Real” Preview of the Job

As you probably surmised after viewing these two videos, RJP Videos are quite a bit different than recruitment videos, which are typically more geared to selling a candidate on why working at your organization is such a great idea. On the other hand, RJPVideos are more of a tool to help candidates “self-select out” before applying for a position by enabling them to determine if this is the right job and organization for them to be involved with, from an employment perspective.  The remainder of this post will primarily focus on RJP Videos how they’re being used, what makes effective ones and how they can be an important tactical vehicle within your employer branding framework.

According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), more employers than ever are using realistic job preview videos to let candidates know what a potential job really entails at their organization. Specifically, they report “Employers are using realistic job previews to save time and costs associated with recruiting, interviewing, training and orienting prospects who are not likely to stay.”

Since there is a lot of material to consider with RJP Videos, Anchor Branding has split this topic into separate posts, and Part I will cover the following:

PART I What is a Realistic Job Preview Video?

While RJP Videos can have different objectives, an almost universal goal is to create a video that captures the candidate’s interest while simultaneously illustrating real expectations, challenges and rewards associated with a particular employment position.   Sometimes it is a carefully produced piece that balances both positive and challenging aspects of a job, and can also convey an organization’s culture, values, rewards, growth potential and how the particular role is important to the organization.

One of the main questions you’re trying to get candidates to uncover and ascertain after viewing a Realistic Job Preview Video, is this:  “Is this really the right job and organization for me?”

Now, not every company or organization uses these types of videos, and they’re not always for every position or functional area in an organization.  Realistic Job Preview Videos are typically used for entry to mid-level positions, which makes sense.  Can you imagine a Realistic Job Preview Video for C-level positions? One thing that you should realize is that there’s an incredibly wide range of what the finished (video) product ends up looking like.

Versions & Types of RJPs

From length and production quality, to script/no script, video player options and other production elements – there are many varieties of Realistic Job Preview Videos that are being used today.  They can also cover varying degrees of a job such as Position specific (the actual job), Functional specific (accounting jobs) or Business unit specific (i.e., working in the snacks division).

Additionally, some of the general styles and features that can be incorporated with RJP Videos (many times blending one or more of these styles) include:

  • A “Day in the life” video that walks the viewer through an average day on the job for a particular position.
  • A testimonial video where workers talk about what their job entails, what they like about the work, its challenges/rewards, what it’s like working at the employer, and what the advancement options are.
  • A voice-over video that describes the position/organization and uses various stills and/or video clips along with scripted copy that’s narrated.
  • A meet the team video that gives viewers an opportunity to meet and hear from other employees which can also include a tour of the offices, or work environment.