VCV: how using video CVs helped us in just 2 weeks to recruit 100 students for our international internship program
VCV is a startup with a tight-knit team working across the globe. This year we decided it's time to organize our first internship. How did it go? We found really talented students, shared our experience with almost a hundred young professionals, and showed how it's possible to organise (and even conduct) an internship with the help of VCV.
VCV: how using video CVs helped us in just 2 weeks to recruit 100 students for our international internship program
VCV is a startup with a tight-knit team working across the globe. This year we decided it's time to organize our first internship. How did it go? We found really talented students, shared our experience with almost a hundred young professionals, and showed how it's possible to organise (and even conduct) an internship with the help of VCV.
How it all started
At the beginning of 2020, we decided to organize our first large-scale internship. We have had interns in the past, but not on this scale. At first, we wanted to hold it in the office (using a video interview, of course), but the COVID pandemic completely changed our plans and forced us to go to an online format. But this turned out to be even better: we gained more freedom and more choice, we were able to consider students not only from one city, but from the entire world. Not to mention the fact that going online allowed us to take not 10 interns (as we planned at first), but almost 100.
We acted quickly: we wrote the vacancy text in 3 hours, created a landing page on our platform and distributed the internship announcement on social networks and job boards. It took us a week to adapt the internship program to an online format, as well as to work out a reporting form, a weekly curriculum, to collect links to materials, and to come up with the first tasks for interns.
What did we do with VCV tools? Almost everything.
The VCV platform is not just a video CV, but also a set of tools that allow you to start hiring and select candidates, and also to work with them and get feedback. It would be a sin not to use this technology to your advantage!
Landing page about our internship. On this page, we described our company and our internship in detail, and placed this link on different platforms.
Video resume. Our landing page immediately offered candidates to record a video CV. We looked through more than a thousand applications and selected the best 357, which then went on to the next stage. In the questions section, we asked applicants to tell about themselves, their achievements and why they'd like to join our team of interns.
A web application form. After the registration, candidates filled out an application form where we asked 7 questions. Students could choose the start date of the internship and specify how long they'd like to do it (from one month to as much as 3+ months). We also asked them what internship documents they'd like to receive, how many hours a week to work, in what field to complete their final project, and their time zone. All this information helped us to simplify and automate the selection process. Here is a part of the web form:
A VCV application form allows you to adjust it as you wish: choose how many questions, their style (change fonts, add images, etc.), choose the answer options (one or more correct answers, date option, etc.); as well as to make the question mandatory or not.
Onboarding. To help our interns adapt faster to the company, five people from the VCV team recorded welcome videos. The platform allows multiple people to record answers to different questions using a single link to a video.
Feedback collecting, distribution of tasks for the week and final project presentations. In the final project, students recorded answers to two questions in video format:

  1. Please, tell us about the direction of your project and the strategy you developed to achieve your goals.

  2. Could you please share the results? What did you achieve in your final project?
The numbers: How we searched for students for the internship
We received 1,252 applications – 357 made the first round and 98 interns were finally selected. There were students from 20 countries, including the USA, Canada, France, Australia, and the Netherlands. There were also interns from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

We searched for interns through The FutureToday, LinkedIn Jobs, Facebook, job boards, and student organizations. And here was the result:
How the internship went
It was nice to see that young specialists were driven by a thirst for experience and an understanding that an internship in an IT startup is promising. In turn, we shared everything we knew and tried to make their time as structured, efficient and meaningful as possible.
1
We divided our "Growth Marketing Internship Program" into 3 areas: Viral Marketing, Partnership Marketing and Content Marketing. Each had their own curator from VCV, to whom students could turn with any questions.
2
Every week we sent each intern useful training articles in English — according to their chosen specialty.
3
We conducted speaker sessions with guests from Google, Netflix, Bloomberg, Amazon and other big companies, where students could both learn useful information from experienced professionals, and also ask questions.
4
Interns participated in the development of a marketing strategy to consolidate VCV in the international market: they made content plans, prepared presentations, organized online meetings with partners, participated in the launch of new products, helped create databases, etc.
Our fears and how they vanished
Of course, while we were planning the internship, and while we were conducting it, there were doubts and challenges. First, we didn't know how many international students would know our company and would be interested to take part in the internship. This fear was also not justified: not only did dozens of international candidates find us, but with their help we were able to tell even more people about our company. Interns mentioned VCV in social networks, as well as shared their intern experience with friends and classmates. Part of the tasks concerned communication with potential clients and partners. This not only strengthened the VCV HR brand by enhancing our reputation, but also helped our interns to expand their professional network.
An internship at VCV showed me how everything works in real life. I made a lot of contacts on LinkedIn, commenting on posts and talking to people about how the company's products could be useful to them. I learned a lot of valuable knowledge from these conversations, and I realized that networking can lead to something more. For example, I still talk to some people with whom I started a conversation with during the internship, they give me advice. Because I helped them learn about a useful service, and now they are helping me.

Jacob Kim, student at the University of California, Davis
Secondly, there were almost 100 students and we wanted to find a balance: it was very important to give students freedom of expression and to trust them to have a genuine exchange of ideas and experience. At the same time, we had to monitor their degree of involvement and motivation.
Thirdly — regarding the number of interns — we were concerned about giving enough attention to each of our nearly 100 students.
"We were a little bit worried just because it seemed there was not enough manpower. Sometimes, in Slack, we could get about 30 messages from interns at once, and all of them required us to concentrate as much as possible. Even after that we competed to see who put more hours into answering emails, and sometimes it could take us three hours of working time!"

Ani Arevikyan, VCV Partnership Manager, curator of the internship "Partnership Marketing"
Sometimes we had to stay up at night: during the day we answered students in nearby time zones, and in the late afternoon we started communicating with those who were just waking up in far-away regions. It was also not easy to keep up the enthusiasm of a hundred interns (but we managed✊): many were not used to working in an online format, could not organize themselves, and were worried that they would not succeed.

During the course of the internship, there were also many surprises. For example, our chief curator got sick with the coronavirus: we had to urgently reallocate tasks. During one of the speaker sessions in Zoom our conference was hacked: we had to quickly figure out how to increase the level of protection for events.
Conclusions: we were pleased☺️
Despite some challenges and a large amount of work, we are very happy with the results. We not only provided useful experience to our interns but also learned a lot ourselves. We became better known across the globe. We found a team of very talented and promising young people. Of course, we have shown by our own example how effective online selection of candidates can be at all stages and according to all parameters. And this is exactly what VCV's mission is: to make the work of recruiters easier, and hiring more effective!
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