If you’ve been avoiding Snapchat, whether personally or professionally, it’s time to start paying attention. Aside from the fact that the mobile phenomenon enjoys 100 million users daily, and that those users watch 10 billion videos each day, the company is growing up.
Valued at $18 billion, the company recently changed its name to Snap and announced the launch of a serious product under the guise of fun, Spectacles (video). Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create what the company calls Memories. They’ll cost $129.99.
Unlike the much maligned and so-far failed experiment Google Glass, Spectacles look to be fun, feature focused and, maybe most importantly, not-so-creepy. This is in contrast to Glass, which turned up the douchebag factor to eleven, making wearers look like cyborgs instead hipsters.
“I think Snapchat is pushing the edges of what the camera is,” said Josh Elman, partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. “I think their brand is so strong with people in their early 20s that they might sell a lot more of these than anybody is predicting. … They’re positioning it as this fun toy for people to engage with, not something that you need to think about as your next big technology investment.”
Wait, you thought Snapchat was a way for kids to sext each other? OK, it still can be that, but the new homepage shares a different vision. “Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.”
What’s this got to do with recruiting?
The importance of employer branding has been trending for years, and the internet and video has driven a lot of it. Display ads in the newspaper begat pretty JPEGs online begat HD videos on social media, mobile devices and everywhere else. Throw in the fact that Glassdoor has put the employer brand into the hands of employees, and you have a potent combination.
Snap Spectacles stand right at the vortex of these two trends.
Companies are already utilizing social media and online video to recruit. Their employees have been comfortable using these tools to create content for years. Until now, combining the two wasn’t really an option. Rare is the company that would give a sales person or accountant or PHP developer access to the company Facebook account, even though content from the ground troops would be the most authentic.
Employers looking to connect with millennials should look at Spectacles as a tremendous opportunity to put employer branding in the hands of their employees instead of their ad agency or marketing department. Imagine a retailer giving Spectacles to employees for a day to create point-of-view insights into working there. Imagine a hospital doing the same, or Old Navy or Disney World or United Airlines.
The potential to create a unique employer brand experience and cut through the clutter of current strategies is game changing. Take the tens of thousands you’d spend on the pros to control the message on your corporate career center and send Spectacles to your corporate locations and let your employees take things from there. They’re the messengers, as it should be.
And this becomes your bridge to virtual and augmented reality, where candidates actually start to feel what it’s like to work for your company.
“The product records circular video with a 115-degree field of view and sends snaps to the mobile phone app to be viewed. Because of the circular way video is captured, Spectacles could one day be the preferred way to play back Snaps, paving the way for virtual and augmented reality in the future,” said Sophia Dominguez in a recent interview. She’s CEO and co-founder at SVRF, a search and discovery engine for virtual reality content.
To date, very few employers are even talking about recruiting with Snapchat, let alone doing it. That’s no surprise, especially considering the fact that commercial use is in its early days. However,
Snapchat Snap is getting serious. Similarly to Facebook 5 years ago, they’re introducing new ways for users to create content, and thus creating new marketing opportunities.
If marketing and recruiting are synonymous, then Snap needs to be on your radar. And Spectacles are very intriguing medium to build your case to the 100 million users that you are an employer-of-choice.
About the Author
Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead.
He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an iOS app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is the father of two children and lives in Indianapolis. Yes, he’s on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can hire me too.