One of my forever memes is workplace culture. Another is employee and workplace engagement, and yet another is employer brand. Each of these memes is bound up in the Meta-theme of Emotional Intelligence. Taken together, these themes, memes and threads – call them what you will – lead inevitably to how companies attract, hire and retain the very best employees. All rely on tools HR and Recruiters uses to communicate with prospects, employees and other stakeholders. Many of these tools are still fairly manual, and some – the dreaded job site most companies support – show automation in #fail mode.
A recent more interesting development in HR technology is what Geoffrey Moore called, ‘systems of engagement’. (Moore was talking about ‘The Future of IT” – check here to download the paper ‘Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT – A Sea Change in Enterprise IT’; check here to find a more recent, HR-focused post from Deloitte’s Josh Bersin, who also uses the term.) For me, HR systems of engagement – what we could call workplace engagement systems – are web-based, semi-automated systems that help HR recognize and navigate the various steps along the way from attracting passive candidates, to the first engagement with a prospect, to hiring the prospect and retaining him (or her) as a valued employee.
One of the most exciting tools to emerge as a feature of HR tech’s evolving systems of engagement is video. Not just video interviews, which are a wonderful tool for today’s distributed workplace – but videos that give prospects a really good sense of a workplace’s culture before they begin the application process.
For many Millennials and other generations, video is more important than text, maybe even more important than the text-based web for learning and sharing- witness the success of Vine and other short-form video storytelling tools. For that reason alone – with Millennials, currently about 25% of the workforce, poised to take over the roles of retiring Boomers – recruiters and HR must invest in video today, if only to educate and inform as a first use case. For those of us in the Gen X and the Boomer sets, video is a useful learning tool (a 2012 report from Corbin Ball Associates shows as many as 50% of us remember what we see and hear). This speaks to the importance of ensuring employee engagement systems are biased towards people who are so-called visual learners.
Video is, in short, not just about telling stories: it is a tool in a wider workplace engagement system. Companies understand the utility of systems and HR tech vendors are adept at creating systems that solve real problems. Attracting, engaging, hiring and retaining the best candidates for any company’s workplace culture is a real problem that needs solving. We’re in the early stages of HR tech breakthroughs, which will put workplace engagement systems in the hands of hiring managers everywhere.
Take PeopleFluent’s recently-announced Recruiting Mirror solution. According to the announcement:
“… Recruiting Mirror features the company’s flagship talent acquisition solution merged with social collaboration technologies and comprehensive video capabilities for an engaging and personalized user experience (sic).”
Arguably, Recruiting Mirror is a workplace engagement system. It combines familiar functionality – a talent acquisition component – with social and collaboration technologies that support engagement throughout the hiring process, including video capability.
The Candidate Experience Awards, affectionately known as the CandEs, produced a valuable eBook which has this to say about video interviewing’s place in the HR toolbox (excerpt taken from page 35 of the report, Candidate Experience 2013)
“The video interview offers a contrast of availability to utilization. Of those companies surveyed, 54.1 percent stated that they have video interviewing solutions in place… This emerging technology offers a wide range of benefits, and understanding that the capabilities are new to the market, and the recruiting process, we expect to continue to see increased utilization of virtual, digital and video solutions.”
For large and small companies alike, it’s time to think of the entire HR function as a workplace engagement system. From workplace culture to hiring, on-boarding, retention, reward systems and leadership, workplace engagement systems take the wisdom of HR professionals and make this wisdom available to prospects, employees and other shareholders by creating many points of contact and engagement into the organization. Video, clearly, should be one of the tools, and can support many of the points of contact. Engagement, of course, is the goal throughout.
We’ve only begun to explore the power of video for employee engagement, but we know the power of static pictures to communicate, move and create meaning. I’m excited to be a witness to the evolution of video as a core component in HR tech workplace engagement systems and would love to hear your stories and thoughts.