Our new videographer

By Chris Jones · Oct 18, 2020

Hi - my name’s Chris, and I’m excited to introduce myself as Gigl’s new Videographer, Business and Marketing Intern. It’s been a couple of weeks since I opened the Gigl app for the first time and sent off my video application for the internship. As I was hired through their own app, I'd like to share my firsthand account of the process.

I had been applying for a few jobs until then, after the pandemic forced my freelance video shoots to be postponed or cancelled entirely. I was thankful to continue working remotely for a couple of clients, and delivered groceries through the summer, but I missed working in a creative team and needed a challenge. So I jumped right back into ‘job-seeker’ mode, scrolling through LinkedIn jobs, tweaking the search filters on Indeed, Reed and Guardian Jobs, and sharing my CV, cover letters and portfolio with prospective employers.

I initially came across Gigl’s internship on Linkedin and they immediately seemed to break the mould when compared to their recruitment counterparts. The startup’s CEO, Dan Hudson, reached out to me personally after I expressed my interest. He invited me to send a video application - that is, a 60-second video of me answering three specific questions for the role - via Gigl itself.

This is something that 17,000 other users of the app have done less than a year after its launch in 2019. The concept: employers post their own video inviting people to apply for jobs, then Gigl users - ‘Giglers’ - apply with video responses.

The company is emerging at a seemingly pivotal time, where video is the ‘new normal’ not just in recruitment but all across the professional world, and society in general. Social distancing has forced many companies to go online for the recruitment process and utilise (largely, already existing) tools such as video calling to make things work, particularly when it comes to interviewing people remotely and holding team meetings. But as a service, Gigl enters the picture far earlier into the recruitment process.

The first things that you notice when you apply through Gigl are the clear instructions and how quick it was to start recording your video message to apply. You open the app, find a job, watch a short clip from the employer, then (if you’re interested) record your video application there and then. There are convenient tools on the job posting, such as a map showing where the job is located, and a more detailed job description underneath the employer’s video, which itself adds to the overall understanding of what you’re actually applying for.

The most difficult part is keeping your video message under 60 seconds; if your video is 61 seconds, Gigl won’t let you submit the recording. Which is a challenge, but ultimately forces you to stick to answering the questions as concisely as possible, and to not waffle. I have been known to waffle...so again this was an added bonus, not just for me to get my points across clearly, but also for Dan, who I knew would be reviewing my application and would (I’m guessing) prefer me to get to the main points as quickly as I could.

My own experience of using Gigl as an applicant made me think about how other people looking for work could benefit from this platform. Sending CVs and cover letters is definitely an important part of providing details of who you are, what you can bring to the company and so forth. But for the sake of getting your main points across quickly, sharing a glimpse of your personality without having to even step foot into an office, is something that could potentially change how people view job applications: something that can be rewarding and an opportunity for a confidence boost, knowing you’ve uniquely shared something that you can’t share in a CV.

Talking to Dan during our first (real life) meeting, he summed it up pretty nicely: if you receive 20 CVs, how long would it take you to review each one and shortlist applicants, compared to watching 20 one-minute videos? CVs do include more details that you wouldn’t be able to get across in 60 seconds or less, but the videos give the employers that all-important first impression. Until recently, you’ve only really been able to get an impression of someone’s personality in an interview - perhaps weeks into the recruitment process - but now, when using Gigl, employers can get a glimpse of their prospective employers’ personalities in seconds. Which, let's be honest, breaks the ice somewhat when it comes to shortlisting and landing that all-important interview.