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If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a novel.

That's the theory behind video use in recruiting, both by applicants and employers. Applicants use it to showcase themselves, and employers use it to demonstrate why their company is a good place to work.

Since video is the fastest growing way of consuming content on the Internet today, Monster Canada's senior communications manager Robert Waghorn says companies are leveraging it to explain what they are all about. For example, he says, UPS has videos in which its employees talk about their jobs, and why they love working for UPS.

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"You can't get that from print," he says.

Putting together effective video profiles may be outside the expertise of many businesses, so companies such as Vcruit have come into being to fill that niche, specializing in the creation and posting of professional-looking and sounding video postings. And for those with more modest budgets, Climber.com claims its video postings eliminate production and studio fees.

However, Debbie McGrath, president of Aurora, ON-based HR.com says that she doesn't see many Canadian employers using video job marketing. It's more common in hot job markets in the U.S. such as Silicon Valley, where the right candidates are scarce. And it's not just used to fill technical jobs; she says that retail and hourly positions are being promoted through video as much as the tech jobs such as those for social media experts.

But video isn't the only pictorial way to showcase your company. Career sites such as CareerBuilder.com allow employers to build microsites (sometimes with photos) that provide a snapshot of their organization and why it may appeal to an applicant.

These sites are as diverse as the companies they represent, but they do have some common factors: a bit about the company and its history and philosophy, and links to its job postings. At the same time, they have to reflect the personality of the company. For example, Saint John, NB-based IT consultancy Mariner Partners has a clean, modern look featuring graphical representation of its fields of expertise, while Staples opted for a more retro view of "Staplesville", with a couple of origami cranes tucked in for good measure, and High Liner Foods talks at length about its corporate culture as well as about pay and benefits.

On Workopolis, employers can also offer applicants the option to subscribe to email notifications of their job postings, so if a company appeals to the applicant but currently open positions don't, the employer won't fall off that potential employee's radar.

Ms. McGrath, however, thinks small businesses should build their careers pages on their own corporate websites, linking to videos on YouTube if they so choose. But don't bury openings many levels down in the corporate site, she adds. "Make sure careers are one click from the home page," she says.

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When small companies do advertise, Ms. McGrath usually sees them using local sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. With sites such as Monster or Workopolis, she explains, an employer may get a thousand applications for an opening, and a small business's limited HR capacity can't cope with the volume.

One area in which she does see good potential for video is during the job interview. Companies with multiple locations can save a lot of time and money by conducting at least initial screening of remote candidates over a video link. Video interviews can also be recorded and used later to refresh HR's memory about what was said during the interview.

But, she notes, generic video conferencing platforms such as WebEX or GoToMeeting may not be optimal for recruiters. She prefers collaborative video interviewing services such as HireVue and GreenJobInterview.com, which offer specialized tools such as question libraries, candidate ranking systems and private discussions among interviewers during the interview. HireVue's interview engine even allows for one-way recorded interviews using standardized questions across all applicants, great for winnowing out unsuitable applicants from the initial deluge of candidates without using a lot of resources.

A virtual job fair is another non-traditional hiring avenue for organizations at which video can be valuable. A virtual "booth", complete with video promos and lists of job postings is more cost and time effective than is setting up a booth at a standard job fair, and those virtually manning it aren't tied up offsite when there's no activity. Yet it still gives job seekers a picture of the organization. Literally.

The series continues next Monday. Other Stories can be found on the Web Strategy section of the Your Business website.

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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