Create a Compelling Recruiting Video

Ben Cecil Best Practices, Corporate Video, HR Video

Video has become one of the best ways to communicate a company’s culture, especially in a talent recruiting context.  Doing it well can yield great results.  Doing it poorly?  Well, not so much.

Here are 9 tips that will help you succeed, with input along the way from Craig Fisher, CEO of TalentNet, LLC.  Craig does training and consulting for companies of all sizes all over the world on personnel recruiting, company culture and other HR-related issues.  Simply put, Craig is an expert in the field.

Here you go.

Know your target.

Like any form of persuasive media or marketing, you need to know what motivates your target’s decisions.  What motivates and inspires them?  What makes them lose interest?  What will make them open to hearing more?

Craig:  The top thing millennials want in an employer isn’t salary.  It’s interesting work.  Next is learning and career track with regular raises.


If you’re trying to speak to multiple categories of talent, you need to do multiple recruiting pieces.  Marketing candidates won’t respond to a video better suited for engineers.  In this case, one stone has no chance of killing two birds.

Craig:  I’m a big fan of letting each department create its own video.  That way each video will automatically be targeted.  Create videos about the team, the company culture, specific jobs, and a day in the life of a typical employee in that department.  

Know your Context. 

LinkedIn is an obvious hotspot right now for finding candidates.  Events are great too.  But keep in mind that a video that works online may not work at an event.   A truly compelling video works in concert with its environment.

Your Current Employees are the experts!

What style of video will you create?  Will comedy work?  What will the perfect candidate want to hear?  What makes your company so great in the first place?  Nobody’s better suited to answer these questions than your current team.  After all, THEY already joined the company.  Ask them, “why?”

Craig:  Give your employees a voice.  Tell them that you would love for them to help share your company’s awesome culture with the world if they want to.  And if they do, give them the tools to talk about work properly while keeping their own personality alive in their communications.

Everybody has a ping pong table.

Make sure you communicate important, unique reasons why your company is a great fit for a prospective new hire.  After all, it’s not the ping pong table or “unlimited snacks” that will make them get out of bed in the morning.  Identify your differentiators and leverage them.

Craig: The truth is that the only thing your company has that others don’t is your people.  The individuals that make up your organization are your only true differentiators.

Brand Schmand.

Recently, a CMO friend of mine told me that his decision to “stay out of it” turned out to be a good one while his company was creating a recruiting/culture video.  This is good advice with one exception.  When the people in the video intro the company itself, what will they say the company actually does?  I’m not suggesting someone should recite the mission statement but it needs to fall in line with the brand messaging.  This is just as much about accuracy as it is about branding.

Say “NO” to the CEO.

Consider which members of management, IF ANY, should be in the video.  Potential candidates may not connect with a CEO they will rarely see if they’re hired.  Resist the urge to put an “official face” on the company.  Candidates want to see people like them, the ones they can relate to.  Have a reason for EVERY person or character in the video.

Craig:  People want to do business with people they feel like they know, like, and trust.  This happens when individuals share personal things.  

Tell a story.

Stories are memorable and help people connect emotionally.  Canned, boilerplate… “we’re committed to excellence” blah blah blah won’t resonate.  Make sure your video weaves an authentic storyline.  Doesn’t have to be The Great Gatsby, it just needs to feel personal.

Craig:  Let your employees talk about what they do in culture or recruiting videos.  And let them tell their stories.  Their individual stories, not just the company’s.  

Be Real.

So many recruiting videos and company culture videos are out of touch.  That’s because they’re full of company jargon and what we think people want to hear.  This isn’t necessarily a creative issue as much as it is about letting your company be itself.  You have a personality.  Embrace it.  Don’t be afraid to use it.  After all, it’s a MAJOR reason why people work there in the first place.

I’ll leave you with an example that  was executed using this process and approach.  21CT drives qualified traffic from places like LinkedIn to this video: