The 5 Elements of A Successful Recruitment Campaign
Element 1 – CONNECT WITH THE VIEWERS' SENSE OF SELF.
One of the most important elements requires connecting with a viewer’s sense of self or ego. This simply begins by looking at your target recruitment audience. Are you looking for a person currently employed in a specific role or industry? Or are you looking for someone that will be making a career change and/or selecting your industry from other available options? Depending on your answer, you would choose one of two slightly different approaches, both of which play into the viewer’s sense of self or ego.
If you are recruiting someone into a specific role, you will want the viewer to connect with the subject and elements in your video in a recognizable way. Think of a time you may have been in a coffee shop and overheard someone ordering “your drink.” Now this drink does not belong to you alone, but you’ve connected this drink to a part of your unique identity, and connecting with this feeling of self can be a powerful tool in moving hearts and minds. So consider which elements seem almost intrinsic to the individuals currently employed in the role you’re seeking to fill. If you’re unsure, find some of these common elements in a survey or meeting with current employees. Maybe they all have stickers on their computers, drive similar cars, or perhaps the majority prefer to bike to work. You might also find out that there’s a specific workflow practice that makes your company stand out for your target audience. Not all of the identified elements need to be explicitly stated onscreen, but any universal connections can be subtly implied throughout via background themes or imagery.
Now if you’re looking to recruit someone into a new industry this approach will be similar but slightly different. In this case, you’re clearly forming a connection with viewers by illustrating who they could become in the future. You paint a picture for your target audience of the life they could have and the supportive people surrounding their future selves. In some cases, the financial gain might be depicted by material items such as clothes, watches, or cars. Or you might choose to emphasize the increased flexibility your company or industry provides for employees eager to pursue outside interests like starting a family.
See what elements you might notice in this video that are not explicitly stated but may be visually implied by tapping into a deep sense of the viewer’s sense of self:
Most often, this style of recruitment campaign is geared toward the younger audience of Gen Zers. We’ve found that with this audience segment, even more so than millennials, they connect their sense of self to the contribution or difference they can make in the world. This alternate sense of self is a perfect segue into the next element…
Element 2 – CHANGE THE WORLD
If you’re a non-profit that focuses on social justice or solving a global issue, the next element may be in your mission statement’s DNA. But what if you’re a tech company or a law firm? Defining your recruitment campaign through thoughtful videos outlining your foundation’s backstory or initiatives creates a deeper understanding for the viewer when establishing a connection to your sense of purpose.
Through a recruitment lens, consider this video we developed for Crowell & Morning featuring their DEI story:
Upon viewing this video, you may still not know much about what your job might entail, but more importantly, you undoubtedly recognize the mission of the firm and the steps it is taking towards inclusivity, signifying a welcoming culture, all while glimpsing supported pro bono opportunities. At once, the viewer realizes this firm is not afraid to act on large issues or events, and by joining forces, they could be a part of real change.
Element 3 – DISTRIBUTION
Your campaign should always include multiple video deliverables which speak directly to different people. Although videos highlighting multiple voices often are extremely powerful on their own, you can draw in more elusive applicants with a video that speaks directly to their core. Potential recruits need not see themselves or even future selves projected in the video content itself, but they must see at least a representation of someone familiar to them to make a credible connection. This interconnectedness plays into distribution. **As a separate topic, distribution is so critically cardinal to reaching an intended audience, I cannot possibly cram in details here. Without a doubt, you must spend real $ to reach your audience; organic video traffic does not lead to successful campaign outcomes. Period.** That being said, I do want to discuss a diversity of formats for your distribution strategy. You must meet your audience on the platforms they use, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Not only should your video attune to the platform in general, but it must also match each given format’s aspect ratio. Take a look at the same video subject featured in this recruitment campaign for Amazon. This subject, while cut only into 60sec, 30sec, and 15sec duration versions, also reformats into both square and vertical orientations to suit multiple platforms. Additionally, open-caption versions of all video deliverables reach larger audiences as well. In all, this wide-cast net yielded 18 video versions per subject! Below you will find the 60sec standard 16x9 video and the 15sec vertical video version with captions.
Hopefully, at this point, you can also see all the elements at work in these videos. Our subject in these videos Carla has a bubbly personality coupled with a passion that jumps off the screen. Carla’s personality and the story really connected with us on our preinterview call and that preproduction work is the next element in the list.
Element 4 – SUBJECT SELECTION
To call the next element crucial to your video would be an understatement--because the subject selection is your video’s soul. Simply put, your subject is everything. Not only should your subjects have a great story and embody the mission of your organization, but they must also resonate with your viewer in an authentic way. It’s also worth noting that with the rise of social media, subjects may at times come with their own audiences and thereby become major influencers for your recruitment campaign. Also, Industry or individual recruitment campaigns are the most important place to showcase diversity in several different ways. Consider the multiplicity of diversity in gender, regional, racial, and economic dimensions.
During the subject selection process, you will need to strike a calculated balance that best serves your recruitment needs. Without exception, a subject with a big personality, a willingness to participate, and the desire to share personal experiences with an audience surpass an uncomfortable subject with even the most compelling story or influential role in the organization. This may at times present a difficult conundrum to reconcile, but the best story is not necessarily your best subject.
With limited time and/or budget, a subject who becomes “camera shy” will never yield your best video campaign product. It is always our preference to conduct video interviews with potential subjects to analyze their audience appeal and impact and to further assess their true interest level in participating in our video project. A compelling participant when captured correctly can create the ideal energy and tone of the video, and a willing participant always travels to the locations their story requires to radiate authenticity.
This recruitment video for the Mortgage Banking Association includes a compilation of different energetic industry voices. The selected subjects’ excitement is visceral. Secondary locations throughout the video pulls the viewer into a personal space which builds credibility and cements an emotional connection with the subjects. From shoots at the office to commercial real-estate listings, to lunch walks or even softball practice, the variety of locations generates momentum and ensures attention-grabbing, fast-moving video pace.
A successful subject is not only an engaging and a willing participant…they’re also REAL. This realness or authenticity is vital, and you need to create a safe space for your subjects to practice radical honesty that viewers can feel.
Element 5 – PRACTICE RADICAL HONESTY
Forget the Age of Aquarius, it’s the Age of Documentary. With the rise of social media and instant docu-style video vlogs combined with serialized documentary content permeating every streaming platform, we now cater to an audience that instantaneously identifies acting and/or BS. Radical honesty can look different for different organizations or job functions. Take a look at this industry recruitment video featuring Ki Park:
Dr. Park talks about her experience and love for her profession, but her testimonial’s power relies on the believability built by her revelations on real challenges that come with being a cardiologist and a Mom. The radical honesty Dr. Park delivers on-camera operates as a powerful tool to recruit more dedicated women into the industry by addressing their fears head-on. Dr. Park’s personal narrative identifies avenues by which one might overcome challenges presented by the industry and the extent to which satisfaction gained by serving the greater good offers concession for transient inconveniences.
Now go create some awesome recruitment content. Give us a call to brainstorm how we can bring more qualified candidates into your company with a thoughtful recruitment campaign for your targeted audience.
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