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Employer Branding

The End of the “Recruitment Video”

….As we know it.

The recruitment video used to be a wonderful thing. There would be an internal debate as to whose responsibility it is. Marketing would hear the word ‘video production’ and would get onto their contact at the production agency that recently did the TV ad for their latest product launch. They would come back and quote them thousands of pounds, a 40-man TV crew would turn up, Peter Purvis would present the overview to the company and introduce Molly in accounts and at some point down the line the tapes would be ready for distribution. If we were lucky there would have been some view as to who the target audience was – usually it was only graduates worthy of this scale of introduction to the company.

We live in a different world now. Online video has taken over and new channels of distribution have opened up alongside decreasing scale and cost of production. What this means for the future of film in the recruitment world is that we have to stop just talking about recruitment.

Employer branding films are going to thread throughout the employment lifecycle. A one-off ‘recruitment video’ is not really a recruitment video at all – unless it is a call to action. Which means we will see the introduction and increasing use of filmed pieces that are used with a mix of bite-sized chunks, replacing traditional text pages to complement the higher-production employer branding films that position the organisation as an employer.

To illustrate, we recently worked on a campaign where we filmed extensively over a period of weeks. We wanted to work with the client to embrace film throughout the process from initial ‘touch’ through to application, on-boarding, induction and internal engagement. Their suite of films  includes those used for  recruitment alongside their employer branding films. It also means we have raw footage that can easily be re-edited and tailored for individual campaigns.  Another organisation has asked us to look at how they can use film from recruitment to training so that it has the same tone, style and messages as  all their employee engagement work and representing a cost-saving in the process.

The filmed recruitment message is something we are also finding an increased appetite for as recruiters are realising that there are comparable costs for a bespoke creative advert produced by their agency to producing a short film about the role – visually showing aspects around the location and what the day-to-day involvement may look like. There’s a balance here – and some debate – as to the level of production that should be allowed for this, but this is probably closest to the true sense of a ‘recruitment video’ in that it is something directly used for recruitment as opposed to a positioning as an employer. It also is going to raise challenges and provide new opportunities across the various job boards as the media mix is shifted to allow more extensive film capacity.

We are also working on ‘MicroFilms’ which are highly transitory and disposable films used to drive traffic to other films and content along the candidate and employee journey. With microblogging and technology that needs to be accessed quickly and easily on-the-move, this is a natural progression to the mix. As with all of these components they need to have the right fit and energy to sit with how the whole employer brand is positioned as a whole to get the desired reaction from the candidate.

I would also add that I’m finding the whole terminology of ‘video’ something rooted in the past. Even with ‘online’ in front of it, it still makes me think of VHS tapes and clunky video machines, and whilst at times I will still refer to it I prefer to think ‘film’ rather than ‘video’. Films tell a story. If you really want interaction and engagement there has to be a story behind it and this requires thinking and understanding of the big picture as well as the immediate objectives. If many different people wrote the scenes to a film in isolation without knowing what the others were up to it wouldn’t be a very good story and no one would want to sit through it. When looking at embracing film, think of the big picture and treat it as a central way of doing things not just as a one-off project. There’s absolutely no reason not to.

At TruLondon next week I’ll be running a Track with Lisa Scales from Talent On View , Rob Wescott from CareerPlayer and Mike Taylor of Web-Based Recruitment on the subject of video and film technology in recruitment and employee communications.


About Nick Price

Employer branding and communications, insight and engagement, talent attraction and HR analytics


3 thoughts on “The End of the “Recruitment Video”

  1. I love the idea of using film throughout the candidate and employee life cycle – a great way of showing whether the employer brand promise is visible, consistent, transparent and authentic and whether the ‘brand’ experience is translated into a positive employer reputation. Is there any chance of seeing some of this work Nick?


    Posted by Simon Thomas | February 12, 2010, 4:34 pm
  2. Hi Simon,
    You can view our most recent case study here http://www.workingfilms.co.uk/news.php?id=6 – though only the 2 mins ‘trailer’ and the 10 mins films on the recruitment website are for an external audience. The real strength is then tying this into the internal work, though this isn’t readily available to show externally and for obvious reasons in the case of this particular client! As we are continuing to build up our portfolio we are actively looking to share these case studies as for many it is still a learning curve and a move away from how these things have traditionally been approached.


    Posted by Nick Price | February 12, 2010, 5:27 pm


  1. Pingback: The end of the “recruitment video” « - February 19, 2010

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