Video as a recruitment tool during COVID-19

The versatility of video is proving invaluable for businesses and education providers as they seek alternative ways to communicate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With strict UK restrictions meaning traditional events and gatherings are not currently possible organisations are utilising video to engage and communicate. In the education and training provider sectors video for virtual events is proving to be an ideal alternative to physical open days and recruitment fairs. 

Ignite Sport UK, an apprenticeship training provider for sport and education qualifications is actively recruiting people aged 16 and upwards to join its earn and learn’ apprenticeship schemes at the conclusion of this academic year. 

It commissioned Fortitude Communications to produce a quality, multi-purpose, video that would help the company to tell its story and attract the next generation of sport coaches via apprenticeship opportunities. 

The video was broadcast at the start of a recent virtual opening evening and is being shared with key stakeholders via email as part of the firm’s recruitment outreach. It is also being hosted permanently on Ignite Sport UK’s website and YouTube channel. 

We wished we had explored video and the power of communicating our story much earlier,” said Hannah Bladen, Ignite Sport UK’s General Manager. We were thrilled with the video and it’s really helping our recruitment campaign.” 

Following the success launch of the video at the virtual recruitment event we caught up with Hannah to discuss how the film is helping Ignite Sport UK achieve its objective of engaging with and recruiting prospective employees digitally.

Breaking boundaries

The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges as businesses are told to limit contact with people outside of their working bubbles. 

Traditional open events and careers festivals have been cancelled. But by using professional video as a promotion tool, Ignite Sport UK, which is based at Oxford City Football Club, has overcome obstacles and engaged with its target audience via multiple channels. 

We’ve been forced to adapt our promotion work in these unprecedented times,” said Hannah. Using video to showcase Ignite was not something we considered before the pandemic. 

Now we are questioning why we had not used it as a communications tool previously, it’s that powerful. We have been able to use the film to suit our audiences’ needs and it will be re-purposed for many months, making it a sustainable investment.” 

Instant impact

Ignite Sport UK needed the video produced within a tight timeframe to use it at its Zoom based virtual event. Within a week Fortitude had researched and planned the video, conducted the interviews, filmed the content at multiple venues, and edited the footage to produce the final cut. 

Hannah said: We were thrilled with the product, but also impressed by the quick turnaround of Fortitude’s video from blueprint to final sign-off. When the team sat down and watched the video everyone agreed they absolutely loved it. 

Under normal circumstances, we would open the football club’s doors towards the end of November and invite young people and their parents or carers to an open evening. 

After learning from the success of our partner Velocity Football’s virtual open event, we quickly realised video was the best way to underpin the key messages we wanted to communicate digitally.”

Supporting efficiency

While the primary objective of the video was to help tell Ignite Sport UK’s story at its virtual open event in an engaging and visual way, it wanted to ensure it could continue to be used to support recruitment. 

Fortitude worked closely with Ignite Sport UK to ensure the video has longevity and can be used in different ways as a timeless marketing tool to ensure value for money. 

Hannah added: When we receive an enquiry about our apprenticeships, we generally follow that up with a phone call to explain all aspects of what we offer. Now, we can free up valuable time by providing people interested in learning more about Ignite with a link to our video. 

I wanted the video to epitomise everything we would talk about in that 10-minute phone conversation, and I know we have managed to achieve that. Also, we can share our video around the region’s schools and colleges as career fairs increasingly turn digital because of the pandemic. 

Young people love watching videos, they view them every day on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By using video, we’re bringing our recruitment process into the 21st century.”

Stress free production

Fortitude Communications managed the entire video process, from storyboarding and filming through to editing and production. Our team helped identify how Ignite Sport UK should best tell the stories of its existing apprentices to help inspire new students to sign-up in the next academic year. 

Once the storyboard and planning process was completed our head videographer Thom Airs conducted the filming, interviewing, editing and production process. 

Thom said: The video had to appeal to both prospective apprentices, who are generally in their teens, and their parents, so we had to make sure we conveyed key messages to both. 

We also had to consider having children on screen when creating the video. Ignite kindly secured parental permission from all but one of the children, making my task a lot easier.

Previously in school productions, we have had to work in situations where we avoid filming children’s faces where possible. This is a relatively common occurrence when filming in such location and a consideration I am always alive to.”

In front of camera

Thom used his journalistic background to not only ask the correct questions to ensure key messages were captured, but also ensure the interviewees were comfortable speaking in front of camera. 

Ensuring the video portrayed the current apprentices’ experiences of working for Ignite Sport UK was an essential part of delivering to the brief. 

Ignite’s staff were excellent in front of camera, but it was important to make the younger apprentices equally comfortable,” added Thom. I deliberately kept the interview process as short as possible and used my experience as a reporter and creator of videos for schools to bring out the apprentices’ personalities in a relaxed manner. 

Despite some initial nerves, the interviewees really shone and commented that the whole experience was much less daunting than they had imagined it might be. I’m very happy that the finished video is an accurate and inspirational snapshot of life as an apprentice.” 

Power of video 

Ignite Sport UK has experienced high levels of engagement via the video. 

Fortitude really delivered for us and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both Fortitude and video as a way to engage with your audience,” said Hannah. 

We wished we had explored video and the power of communicating our story much earlier – the benefits of having professional video produced are vast. 

The combination of COVID-19 forcing open events to go digital and the recent boom in video popularity meant we felt confident we were making a worthwhile investment and it has proved to be right. 

Without video running our recruitment campaign during the pandemic would have been so much harder. The video really communicates our story effectively and is now a central part of our recruitment campaign. It has proved to be a fantastic investment for our business.” 

Fortitude offers a range of affordable video production packages, to learn more please visit our dedicated video services page here. Or to chat to a member of our team please contact us here.

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