Employer Branding

How to Use Live Video for Employer Branding

Periscope is a great tool for live broadcasting a social campaign, but how should you go about it? We spoke to Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent and employer brand strategist at Hootsuite to find out more.

You can listen to the conversation on iTunes and Soundcloud, questions by me and answers by Lars.

What was Operation Follow the Sun and where did you get the name from?

The story of Follow the Sun started at South by Southwest. Ambrosia and I were at Craig Fisher‘s TalentNet conference and we were having a conversation, Meerkat just launched. And we were using Meerkat to live stream a live podcast that we were doing. We were talking about the employer branding kind of possibilities of live-streaming in general. So about a few weeks later, Periscope came out and that was right around the time that I came on to Hootsuite. So Ambrosia and I were having a conversation around how we could use Periscope to really convey the global scope of Hootsuite. We were operating in nine different offices. We wanted to make sure we could help prospects get a sense of that global footprint. And then also, the unique culture within Hootsuite. We thought live streaming would be an interesting way to do that. So the idea was we wanted to start in Singapore and actually work our way East, around the globe throughout the day, showcasing a different office every hour on the hour. So we started in Singapore, we moved to Bucharest, moved to London, to Boston, to São Paulo. All the way over to the headquarters in Vancouver. And the idea of Follow the Sun was we wanted to literally Follow the Sun as it turned around the earth.


Tell us about the Twitter handle @HootsuiteLife and the hashtag #HootsuiteLife?

Yes, so @HootsuiteLife, the Twitter handle, is the primary recruiting and employer branding handle for the HR team. That’s our primary, what I would consider to be, HR/recruiting/employer branding handle on Twitter. We use that to interact with fans. We use that to promote the HR and recruiting team. We use that to participate in chats and Periscopes and things like this. HootsuiteLife is really kind of the anchor employer branding asset, if you will.

But all employees are empowered to use that, whether they’re periscoping, tweeting, posting stuff on Instagram, or even Facebook. The volume of that hashtag is massive. And it’s all, for the most part, employee-generated content. So, again, from a recruiting perspective, it’s really easy for us to showcase and show people what the culture at Hootsuite is all about. We can share that hashtag and we have a link to Hootsuite campaigns URL that actually aggregates all of the content on that hashtag into a branded page. It allows us to actually show prospects or applicants what it’s like to work here. And the kind of people they’ll be working with. So that becomes a really authentic and powerful recruiting tool.

What are other company life hashtags to check out?

#NPRLife is one that still has a lot of traction. #AdobeLife is another one of the early pioneers. Then you start to see other things like TripAdvisor, has #GoTripAdvisor. So you’re starting to see other versions of it. has #dreamjob. Well the dream job’s a little trickier because other people will just randomly use the hashtag #dreamjob. So, the volume is a little misleading. It’s not all Salesforce content, but I think most major companies these days that are active on social have a #(whatever)life or some variation of that to empower their employees to show their culture.

Let’s face it. I mean, recruiters are biased. We’re trying to bring people into our organisation. So, I can tele-prospect about what our culture is, but it’s much more effective, I think, if I can show them an unfiltered view. Because the reality is, that’s going to attract some people, it’s also going to repel some people. Some people are going to see that and say, “You know what? That’s not for me.” And both of those outcomes are good.

What will happen in the social HR space over the next three years?

I’m curious to see how virtual reality continues to mature. Oculus is obviously getting a lot of buzz. There will be more platforms coming on the market soon. I think if virtual does become fairly mainstream, I think that there could be some really interesting implications for recruiting and hiring with that. I think we’re also starting to see, this is something I’m really happy about, a shift in approach around job descriptions, because as much as I think recruiting has evolved over the last couple years, and particularly in recruiting technology, job descriptions, for the most part, haven’t. They’re probably one of the least evolved tools we have in recruiting, so I’m starting to see more visual job descriptions, more dynamic job descriptions, more video job descriptions, and most importantly, mobile-optimised job descriptions as well.

Connect with Lars on Twitter @ThisIsLars and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.