iCIMS, one of the largest recruiting platform providers, has acquired Altru Labs, a software that allows companies to create employee-generated video content for employment branding and engagement. The Dec. 14 announcement from iCIMS said the videos will be used to "improve candidate conversion, engage internal talent, and increase hiring ROI."
The acquisition speaks to two trends highlighted by Michael Wilczak, chief strategy officer at iCIMS: The general public is increasingly communicating through video and also watching more video content on their computers and mobile devices.
"You see a whole generation of people that are growing up with technology in their hands, and are used to communicating via video," Wilczak told HR Dive. "I think it's the next wave of the way companies want to engage."
For those in recruiting or broader workforce strategy, this means video can represent an opportunity to engage the job market and employees.
"When you see something, it just adds a different level of context to the conversation," Wilczak said. "It's one thing to send somebody an email or a text message, it's another thing to show them. [...] So I think video just adds a massive dimension of context to the conversation."
This is especially true considering the increased use of technology at the enterprise level. Recruiting was no exception — video interviewing and recruiting automation have seen increased adoption as more of the talent acquisition process moves online. Due to the expansion of remote work driven by COVID-19, online strategies are increasingly important for employee engagement as well.
Wilczak said the Altru Labs platform will be integrated across its suite of products to include video across the recruiting and employee lifecycle.
"What they've built is sort of the Netflix for talent," he explained. "It's this idea that you can take content, organize it into different categories and serve it up to your audience in different parts of the recruiting process. […] Having the ability here to give the consumer a great experience by delivering individualized content to the user is really important for us."
Enterprise users of Altru Labs gain access to a platform which allows them to solicit videos from employees that will appear on career pages, social media accounts, embedded in the applicant tracking platform, and more. The videos can help the company demonstrate its cultural values and provide trusted input on the employee experience to job candidates.
The Altru Labs platform also provides closed-captioning and tags for videos so they can be easily organized and distributed. Employers can customize the videos that candidates see based on their relevant information or the job they’re applying for. Co-founder Alykhan Rehmatullah noted this mirrors the customization movement occurring in consumer marketing. He also points to evidence that workers seek authenticity from employers and that they trust the opinions of employees over the information they receive directly from companies.
Video-enabled employment branding may help demonstrate how inclusive an organization's culture is or what employees like about working there.
"This new generation of the workforce [is] looking for purpose driven companies," Wilczak said. "Purpose-driven, mission-driven, socially conscious, inclusive. And so I think [employers] have to be in tune with that. You have to showcase that. You have to make that a part of your talent brand in order to attract quality folks. So I think this is a way for companies to really tap into that."
One concern HR pros may have about a platform like this is the dependence on participation from employees. Of course, incentives may drive participation in such initiatives. However, Rehmatullah said most employers already have a base they can start to work with.
"Employees are actually already posting on social on LinkedIn,” the Altru Labs CEO and co-founder told HR Dive, estimating that around 10% of employees are active on social media. "So that is a base that's already kind of volunteering to do something like this subconsciously, and we can go pull that list for them."
He also added that clients have been expanding use cases into onboarding and employee engagement, especially given the prevalence of remote work and its likelihood to continue. "And that seems interesting, especially in this realm where I don't see [coworkers] in the office anymore."