David Jackson

Let's go to the video - or maybe not

What do you do to show potential hires why its great to work at your company? Have you thought about creating a video and posting it on your site and on YouTube? If so, lets hope you havent followed the example of the following companies. Heres a look at some of the worst recruiting videos ever produced.

What do you do to show potential hires why it’s great to work at your company? Have you thought about creating a video and posting it on your site and on YouTube?

If so, let’s hope you haven’t followed the example of the following companies. Here’s a look at some of the worst recruiting videos ever produced.

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Yes, we’re using sex appeal to exploit the women in our small marketing firm – but that’s OK because we all think we’re pretty hot! It’s not clear whether they’re targeting their recruitment efforts at women with long legs and long, flowing hair, or the men who admire them. Regardless, there’s not much at all here about the work they do for their clients.

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An American flag waving in the breeze, footage of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, a stentorian voiceover calling out important qualities such as purpose, character and integrity – it must be a recruitment ad for the armed forces. No, wait, it’s for a “firearms training institute”, where you can teach ordinary citizens to fire a gun with one hand while holding a baby in the other. Yep, I understand the bit about character and integrity...

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I know that Virgin Blue places a lot of importance on its image of being a fun and cheeky airline, but there’s cheeky and then there’s just plain goofy. If this nine-minute rap and dance extravaganza really shows you how much fun it is to work at Southwest Airlines, then I don’t understand the definition of the word. Oh, and I’m going home right now and throwing out every pair of shorts that I own.

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The camera pans across a choir of people who look like a bunch of accountants, some with their jumpers tied over their shoulders. A sultry torch singer appears, the organ music rises. Backed by the choir, the singer begins her paean to this large multinational consulting firm: “Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Ernst & Young (when Ernst & Young) showed me a better way.” Say. No. More.

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This is a student recruitment video, not strictly an employment one, but it’s too good not to include. As one commenter wrote, this four-year old video “Sounds like the opening song to a 1970s TV Sitcom!” Hmmm, looks like it as well, judging by the images and the PowerPoint-inspired film technique. Whatever possessed a university on the top of a mountain in West Virginia, where it snows six months out of the year, to sing over and over that they’re “Hot! Hot! Hot!” is beyond me. This video is rumoured to have led to the steepest decline in applications in Appalachian State University’s history.

The purpose of this is not to scare everyone away from using online video as a recruitment tool; you just need to be careful how you tackle it. In my next article I’ll take a look at what techniques work for recruitment videos, and how even small outfits can afford to do this successfully.


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David Jackson S2M - A Fresh Approach David Jackson
Company: S2M - A Fresh Approach
Position: CEO
David is CEO, Principal Talent Broker at S2M. Prior to forming S2M with Samantha Watts, David was Managing Director of Global Job Network Pty Limited, a boutique Executive Search firm. Subsequent to this, David was a founding member of Parker Bridge Australia Recruitment Read David's full bio

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