The hiring process
1. Learn the language
Although the line between a videographer and a video producer can be fuzzy, this division is an important one.
Evan from Hootsuite explained, "if what you need is someone to film live events and generally operate a camera (conferences, seminars, fire-side chats, etc.), then a videographer is what you're after. If you need someone to write scripts, organize shoots (including travel), hire contractors, operate a camera, direct the action, edit, and upload for release online—then what you need is a video producer."
In other words, if you're looking for someone to wear many hats, chances are you're looking for a video producer.
Beyond determining the specific role, knowing the technical language is equally important. For the interview process, learn the names of editing softwares and camera equipment, so that you can assess whether or not a candidate is knowledgeable and fits what you’re looking for. Make a list before any interviews and familiarize yourself with the terms, so that you’ll be able to make the best decision for your company.
2. Decide what you need
As with any hire, you'll want the videographer or video producer to mesh well with your general company culture. They can have a large impact on the feel of your brand, so define early what kind of help you need. Do you want someone who can guide the brand itself, or someone who can adapt to your existing style? Do you need a witty comic with a great feel for timing? A behind-the-scenes maverick with a discerning eye for design?
Before you post the job, here are some questions to help you define what you're looking for:
- Are you looking for a video producer - someone who can concept, shoot, direct, and edit video - or a videographer, someone who can simply operate a camera?
- Do you want this person to build a studio and buy all the necessary equipment?
- Do you know what equipment you’d like your candidate to bring to the table?
- If not, do you know what equipment you will provide for them? Is this equipment suitable for the types of videos you’d like to create?
- Are you prepared to expand the video department, the equipment, and studio space in the future?
- Are you mainly interested in live-action videos? Animations? Motion graphics?
- Should this person be comfortable with being on camera themselves?
- Is there a particular style of video that you would like to mimic? Find Examples!
- Are there any other skills that this person should have?
Don’t forget to include your company values in what you are looking for in a candidate. Even if this is your first time expanding into video, it is equally important that this employee works well with your culture. Human skills and video skills for the win!
3. Write the job posting
If no one on your team is well-versed in video jargon, writing a job posting for a video role can be difficult. Luckily, many other companies have paved the way, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
To help get you started, we've collected some real examples of video-related job postings from three different companies. We hope these samples will serve as starting points or simply food for thought as you generate a post that caters to your own company's needs.
Download 3 sample job postings from Hootsuite, Unbounce, and Wistia (PDF):
A handy tip to kick off the search for the perfect videographer: contact wedding videographers. Some of these people will be looking for more stable work, making them solid candidates. They have the ability to share a story through video, and it's likely that they've honed the technical skills to meet your needs.
Many companies ask candidates to produce a specific video as part of the application process. Felix of Unbounce told us, "Our video applicants have to make a short, creative video telling us why they want to work here. By doing so, we get candidates who are really passionate about videos and really want to work with us. A reel can showcase their best work, but with these videos, we really feel like we are getting to know our applicants."
4. Focus on the reel
As the applications for your video role start flying in, you should let the reels do the talking. Anyone who comes in to interview for the role should have an up-to-date portfolio of their work.
"The reel is essential, it's the video producer's true resume," said Evan of Hootsuite. "The paper resume is just a formality. Their reel will tell you if they have the chops to be producing marketing-grade video content." It will also help illustrate your candidates' aesthetic preferences and editing capabilities.
Look for personal work as well as professional work from candidates. It is crucial that your video producer is truly passionate about their craft. Vacation videos aren't something to turn your nose up at—they're another way to see a candidate’s authentic video voice.
5. Interview the candidates
If the video producer is going to be a fixture in the office environment, it's imperative that they're comfortable working with and around the rest of the team. When you have candidates come in to interview, don't be afraid to ask them to bring a camera to shoot some B-roll footage in the office to determine their shooting style and tendencies. Clarify that their work will never be used to benefit your company. It's simply another opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate their expertise.
The following are some helpful interview questions that we've gathered from various companies:
- Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
- What are some of your favorite videos or films?
- What kind of equipment do you use? Cameras/lighting?
- What post-production software are you most comfortable using?
- How would you describe your video aesthetic?
- Have you produced video from start to finish all on your own (without a team)?
- Do you shoot video outside of work?
Remember to also learn about a candidate's soft skills. Ask questions like, “Tell me about a group project you worked on? What was your role in the group? How do you work with others?” This will give you insight into their collaboration skills, which are hugely important for productive team dynamics.
Keeping to your company values can be hard when you are hiring your first video producer. It is tempting to focus on someone’s skill set, rather than a candidate's
A video producer will mostly likely interact with every person in your company, so it’s imperative that the other employees buy into your new addition.
Pro tip: Make a candidate scorecard for the interview process that covers various attributes and company needs.