Visual Recruiting? The Importance of Image

draw a pictureWe all know the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is true in the realm of recruitment as well. Just like in most facets of life, image makes a difference when finding and hiring the best talent.

We all know the tried and true statistic that nearly 55 percent of all communication is nonverbal. No matter how well written the resume or cover letter, if the candidate you see in front of you is a mess their chances of success just took a nosedive. Seeing is believing when it comes to important aspects of a candidate like personality or communication skills.

Even the Internet continues to move away from a purely text-based economy, into a space where visuals are becoming increasingly important. The social media we use in our everyday lives put a premium on short bursts of insight and allow images to tell the story.

So what does the increasing emphasis on image mean for the recruitment process? It’s not all about what candidates look like in the in-person interview. Now image is allowing recruiters and hiring managers to get creative in their search for top talent. Relying on visual media during the recruitment process can help find candidates who are creative problem solvers and ready to think outside the box.

Here are some ways you can use what you see to enhance your recruitment process.

Get Creative
The great thing about visual recruiting is the ability to get a little artistic. Now instead of doing a boring phone screen, companies can have more fun with the process while saving time and money! Take for instance advertising company Muse Amsterdam. They only wanted to draw the best candidates when looking for interns and they took this directive very literally. Instead of having candidates in for endless pre-screenings they decided to challenge candidates to a friendly game of Draw Something.

Potential interns could use the mobile app to draw pictures, which the company would then evaluate to judge candidates on clear communication skills and creativity. It’s a wacky approach, but the company wanted interns who could think creatively and visually. While no one is saying you have to play a game of Pictionary with every incoming candidate, getting creative in the hiring process will in turn nab you creative hires.

Grab the (Virtual) Remote
Hop from cave paintings all the way to the present day with online video technology. Now, candidates can record videos of themselves selling their communication skills and personality. There are plenty of video options for recruiting issues, from video resumes and live interviewing to one-sided video interviews in which candidates record answers to employer-submitted questions.

Using video is a creative way for candidates to show off those communication skills you always see listed on the resume but don’t usually get to experience until later in the process. Video can also give you a sneak peak into candidates’ personalities, allowing you to judge whether or not they’ll be a good fit with company culture.

Stop Pining for Top Talent and Start Pinning
The biggest news on the block in social media is the rapid growth of image-based site Pinterest. Pinterest is hoping to redefine social media as a more visually interesting endeavor with users updating pinboards with images and inspirations for everything from home decorating to infographics. Before you discount Pinterest as a flash in the pan, remember it’s one of the fastest sites to hit 11 million unique page views. If those social media early adopters are getting visual, maybe it’s time to take a page from their pinboard?

You certainly wouldn’t be alone. When digital agency Work Club started their search for a new Creative Director, they naturally took to Pinterest for an entirely visual job description. The message the agency is sending with this description is clear. They’ve positioned themselves as a company not afraid to take risks who understands the importance of visuals. Using this method of job description, it’s likely they’ll find a candidate with similar values.

Of course this sort of recruiting won’t be right for every job or industry. Using visual recruiting, however, can both save you time and attract the kind of top-flight creative talent you’re seeking.

in Video Interview]
Josh Tolan
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews.