It is superior to use pictures rather than just words when communicating a message — this is an application of “The Picture Superiority Effect. In this article, I’m gonna co-opt it for us recruiters and call it “The Visual Recruiting Superiority Effect” or “Visual Recruiting” for short.

But first, some advertising/design/recruiting 101:

The power of an image is a basic rule of advertising (Ad guru David Oglivy famously said “The more you tell, the more you sell” — and we all know that pictures/video can tell a lot more than words.

Most employers are missing the boat when it comes to using visuals in marketing their jobs

Visuals are also an important principle in design: the book Universal Principles of Design recommends you “Use pictures and words together, and ensure that they reinforce the same information for optimal effect”

Note: You can also refer to the dual-coding theory whose research shows that using both images and verbal cues will increase the chance of someone remembering that item.

And the importance of Visual Recruiting should not surprise recruiters or HR pros.

Afterall, A-Player job candidates value culture immensely (culture is one of The 5 ‘C’s’ Of Why A-Players Switch Jobs) and culture is best communicated visually (ideally in person with the next best experience being video/pictures).

Unfortunately, many job marketers  ignore this vital recruiting concept and rely mostly on text to market (this is best exemplified by Monster.com, Craigslist and other job boards and the text-oriented job ad template they still rely on (see The 5 Reasons Why Job Postings Are Dead).

So, if you are interested in more effectively attracting and closing job candidates, we recommend you embrace Visual Recruiting.

Some visual recruiting tips:

  • Recruiting Video — Add a recruiting video to the /careers or /jobs section of your Web site. For inspiration, you might check out Kixeye (490,000 views), Twitter (950,000+ views) and others in our Recruiting Videos category.
  • Images On Your Careers Home Page — Check out Facebook’s new Careers section for some inspiration. Pictures of the culture add a ton.
  • Images & Video Into Job Descriptions — Check no further than Google (10 to 14 pictures on every job description) and Comcast (a unique video on a high percentage of its job ads).
  • Social Media & Your Employer Marketing — Social media is super-visual (nearly all social profiles include a person’s picture). Consider leveraging your own teams social media profiles (e.g. from LinkedIn or Facebook) on your careers/jobs-related pages (e.g. you can let candidates see how they’re connected to your team (LinkedIn and Facebook have widgets for this).
  • Skype/Video Chat Interviews — If you’re not already doing so, you might want to consider doing job interviews via Skype of another video chat service. The visuals of your team and office can be a powerful supplement to the words your hiring team are speaking/writing.
And get this bonus: if you leverage Visual Recruiting to market your employer brand and jobs, you get the added benefit of viral marketing. Our recent article on Exclusive Stats: Facebook Likes & Their Impact On Job Posting Traffic showed that jobs with pictures or videos in them are more sharable — and they often shared by employees who are your best hiring evangelists!

Rob Kelly

Co-Founder and CEO at Ongig
Ongig is the video job description platform that helps you attract the best talent faster. Ongig supercharges your job descriptions through video, images, and other media along with live chat, social sharing, and careers microsite creation. Early clients of Ongig include Yelp, GoDaddy, Verizon Digital and Autodesk.

by in Visual Recruiting