Corporate Recruitment Videos: From Vapid to Vibrant

Corporate recruitment videos are like the redheaded stepchild of the video industry. Every corporate CMO dreams of the sleek and savvy promo that will make Ad Age’s Best of the Year. But when it comes to drawing in employees rather than customers, their hearts sink and take all their creativity and innovation with them.

The problem here is that priorities are a bit skewed. Think about it logically: record-breaking sales revenue won’t be possible without a quality workforce in the first place. For, who is going to make the product or provide the service? Who is going to manage those employees, train them, process their payroll, and handle customer service?

Every corporation needs employees, but even more to the point: they need to find and recruit employees. So how exactly is this done? Just like marketing your brand to consumers, you have to market your corporation to potential employees. Likewise, you cannot assume that this target audience already knows the value of your company. You have to communicate it to them. That’s right, you have to produce a corporate recruitment video.

So what exactly does this look like? Corporate recruitment videos are an art and a science in their own right, but they’re still not very different from any other marketing medium. The trick is to make your video stand out! Do you want to put these fresh college graduates to sleep within 10 seconds? Or do you want them to pack their bags, fly to your corporate HQ and demand to be hired!?

Define Your Corporate Culture

If nothing else, what a great corporate recruitment video should do is explicitly define your corporate culture. Actually, it should do much more. It should identify and promote your corporate culture.

What is important here is both knowing what that culture is and capitalizing on it. A brand with no distinct corporate culture is like an interviewee without any concrete direction or life goals. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. Would you hire someone who doesn’t know what their skills are, what they want to do or who they want to be?

Silicon valley is great at this. Is it any wonder that big-name tech companies consistently top every list of the best companies to work for? It’s not just their casual water cooler banter (although that certainly goes a long way). It’s the fact that they’ve done the hard work to brand themselves as a company with x, y and z qualities. Applicants know exactly who they will be working for, and if only for this fact, there are always so many of them.

Let the Employees SPEAK

Notice that we didn’t say anything about employee testimonials per se. You thought we would, and we can’t blame you. Most production agencies will tell you that these are the indispensable assets of a great corporate recruitment video.

Video testimonials are a powerful marketing tool. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with a 30 second take of your summer interns proclaiming their love for your company. But the thing of it is this: every prospective employee sees them coming a mile away. If not sing your praises, what else are employees going to do? Gripe about the raise they’ve been asking for since 2010?

No, you have to let your employees actually speak — in lieu of a script, if necessary. Let them say what they think in their own words. Chances are you don’t really know what they love about working for your company. You think it’s the bonus structure and generous 401k that delights them, but in fact it might only be the distinct creative freedom they’ve found in your office. And in any case, letting your employees actually speak is a refreshing bit of sincerity that will make your company stand apart. Most people are smarter than they’re given credit for, and they can sniff a teleprompter from a mile away. If your company is truly as unique and special as you want people to think it is, then offer the best possible proof of that fact: a real-life employee who has experienced it firsthand.

Offer Not a Job, But a Career

If you’ve produced a video for marketing to consumers, then you are already familiar with the idea of forging long-term relationships. You want clients and customers to be in it for the long haul, so they need to know that you are, too. Why should they sign a contract with your company if it will be bought out by next year?

The same is true with a corporate recruitment video. In fact, this point is all the more salient. Unless it’s pushing mops or flipping burgers, the job in question needs to offer some degree of security. Moreover, you need to convince prospects that they will gain something real and tangible from the time they spend working for you.?

A quality recruitment video will therefore answer at least some of the following questions before the audience ever thinks to ask them:

  • What skills will they learn?
  • What is the potential for promotion/advancement?
  • To what extent will they be heard and listened to?
  • What is the degree of creative freedom offered?
  • Will they have a job in the foreseeable future?
  • What will their retirement look like?

If you are producing a corporate recruitment video, you’re in the business of providing careers. What you’re offering is not merely a job, for a job is means to an end. It’s tomorrow’s stock options, not merely today’s paycheck. It’s tomorrow’s innovation, not merely today’s convention.

People can take or leave a job, but they will always love their career. And this is because they love what they do. They feel safe, confident and independent at their career. And when a career is exactly what you offer, your corporation has a tendency to sell itself.

The Big Question

Now for the big question: why work for your company? If you have a solid, identifiable corporate culture, great. So does this company. If you offer careers with all the opportunities and security one could ask for, fantastic. So does that company. At the end of the day, you’re still left to answer why anyone should work for you rather than your competitor. And, when you consider this, what you really have to answer is why your company matters. Why do its products and services matter? What kind of difference would it make if your corporation never existed?

Every little boy and girl wants to “make a difference” when they grow up. That’s why so many dream of becoming a fireman or an astronaut. These kinds of people matter. They do indeed have an impact on the world, and that impact can actually be measured and demonstrated.

So why does your company matter? Let’s start off with what your company does. Let’s say your company makes shoes (which, needless to say, doesn’t sound as sexy as flying to the moon). Why does that matter? Well, first of all, people need shoes. They need shoes for comfort, for sport, and for fashion. And they need your shoes to optimize their comfort, maximize their physical performance, and look great at the interview.

If you have any charitable bona fides, such as donating a pair of shoes to survivors of the Haitian earthquake every time someone makes a purchase, then you’re in good shape. We’ve successfully made a seemingly mundane industry appealing.

It’s all about how you tell your company’s story. Tell it with gusto, with passion, and with conviction. Tell it visually to leave no doubt that you are for real. And tell it with ASL Productions, the only studio that will take your corporate recruitment videos from vapid to vibrant!

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