There are a lot of recruitment videos out there. Trust me, because I watched nearly 100 of them. And I have a few observations:

  1. Companies really like showing off their ping-pong and foosball tables.
  2. A LOT of companies feel they are unique because of their customer service.
  3. Big companies like Google, Dropbox, and HubSpot drop big dollars into slick recruiting videos.
  4. Small and medium-sized companies haven’t really maximized the potential of recruitment videos yet.

While watching all of those videos, I noticed that the most effective and attention-grabbing recruitment videos don’t mention the job’s details. Some don’t mention work at all.

Over the years I’ve produced dozens of HR videos, from training and orientation to recruitment, and my 100 video survey confirmed some of my long-held beliefs about what makes a recruitment video successful. Here are four areas to focus on that will make your video stand out in the crowd:

  • Employees, culture, and diversity
  • Making a difference
  • Work/life balance
  • You can’t fake authenticity

Want some examples? Here are some comments and thoughts on my top three, along with one that I’m not so fond of, and a bonus video. So all of you Human Resource professionals looking to attract the top talent, enjoy!

Employees, Culture, and Diversity

This video caught my attention immediately. I loved the use of so many employees from all different backgrounds. The video production is really dramatic and tells the story succinctly. You’ll notice there are no shots of the employees at work. They’re all doing things that show passion. The people in this video are all relatable to the prospects (potential employees).

What really stood out is at the 53-second mark. One of the employees says, “It’s hard work. And that’s why we love it.” That’s a bold statement that will attract people looking for a challenge and turn off those looking to skate by in their career.

Don’t skate around your company culture in your video. People aren’t afraid of hard work if it’s work they love at a company they can love. Show what makes your business unique, interesting, different and challenging in a way that will help people grow.

Make a Difference

People are passionate about their coffee and Starbucks obviously wants employees who share that same passion. That’s the theme of this video. You’re not simply a barista, employee, worker, etc. You are a partner. Again, there is no mention of the actual work. It’s all about the experience. Sure the benefits are great, but it’s about much more. It’s being a part of a community. It’s about partnership.

There’s one other thing that stands out in this video. It’s the power of the smile. Watch it again. Every shot has happy, smiling people.

Work/Life Balance

Are you looking to make your life better? Then you have to work at BambooHR. They actually say work makes the rest of your life better in their recruitment video. At BambooHR, your home life is much more important than the work you do. You see a lot of shots of families, people having fun, etc. They also use the technique mentioned earlier, dispelling myths of working for a startup. Even though they are a startup, you won’t work more than 40 hours. Your work won’t consume and define you.

You Can’t Fake Authenticity

I told you I watched A LOT of recruitment videos. There are some, how should I say this, ineffective videos out there. I mean no disrespect to the company that produced the next video. In fact, it’s well shot with a lot of great info. However, it has one major flaw. It is not authentic. Everything in this video feels forced. Top talent sees through this. I think this is a classic example of overthinking and overproducing a recruitment video. It’s just not believable.

Bonus Example

Humor is tough to pull off in any video, especially a recruitment video. This one had me laughing out loud. (Think Reno 911.) Unlike the example above, the Hillsboro Police department doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s apparent they have a tight-knit group and anyone wishing to work with them must have a sense of humor. But, if you pay close attention, they also touch on the importance of culture and working with the community.