Press Play | Episode 15: Bad Recruiting Videos
Episode 15: Bad Recruiting Videos
Ben and Justin finish up discussing what goes into a good Recruiting video by looking at two examples of bad Recruiting videos.
The elements of a good Recruiting video are:
1. Get And Keep Attention
2. Educate The Viewer About The Company Culture
3. Move Them Through The Funnel Or Spit Them Out
4. No Ping Pong Tables
Ben’s Example: “Careers at Pinterest” – Pinterest
Justin’s Example: “Careers at WWF” – WWF
At Storyboard Media, we specialize in designing and implementing video strategies for growth-stage companies. If you want to find out if creating recruiting videos is the right move for your business, shoot us a message or sign up for a Springboard today. We’ll help you steer clear of bad recruiting videos to attract the team that will propel your company to the next level.
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00:05 Ben: Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Press Play, where we take a look at the best and then worst video marketing content out there. I’m Ben, that there’s Justin. And today we’re gonna go back into the archives and pull up from Episode Two, ‘Recruiting’, and take a look at a couple of bad examples for the first time. Why don’t you remind the people what the key elements of a good recruiting video are, first?
00:26 Justin: Okay. Should we define it?
00:31 Ben: Sure.
00:32 Justin: It’s kind of obvious, right.
00:34 Ben: I mean it should be. It should be anything that basically gets someone to wanna work for a company.
00:38 Justin: Yeah, cool.
00:40 Ben: Alright, that worked.
00:42 Justin: [laughter] The first thing, like anything these days, you’ve gotta be able to get and keep someone’s attention. So that is something we’re going to judge them on. [chuckle]
00:51 Ben: That’s fair.
00:52 Justin: Second, is educating the viewer about the company culture. That involves a lot of things. It’s about what the company and the brand believes in. What their mission is. How they treat each other as employees. What sort of environment they work in. What do they do on Fridays.
01:13 Ben: And we’ve looked at company culture videos which have that specific purpose of just doing that. But it’s also gotta be an element of a recruiting video too, even though a recruiting video can cover other things.
01:24 Justin: Yep, yep.
01:24 Ben: Okay. Alright.
01:26 Justin: Third, because in recruiting you’ve got a bunch of potential employees, and then at the bottom at some point, less potential [chuckle] employees. You’ve gotta be able to get people either moving down that funnel or out the funnel. HR, the whole hiring process can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. So the more videos can work for you, the better off you are. We’ll be judging on that as well.
01:53 Ben: Yeah.
01:54 Justin: Also, I feel when we first brought this up, it was just a pet peeve, I feel like now it’s over, but still we’re gonna judge them on it.
02:04 Ben: It’s important.
02:06 Justin: [laughter] Yes. No ping-pong tables, please. That doesn’t make you silly or fun or anything. It just makes you lame.
02:13 Ben: It doesn’t make you unique.
02:15 Justin: Yeah. It’s like saying our office has walls.
02:15 Ben: I mean, it used to be that the ping-pong table was like, “Oh hey, we’re fun.” Now every office has a ping-pong table. Show me a ball pit or something. Right?
02:23 Justin: Yeah.
02:24 Ben: You can still have fun, but a ping-pong table is not unique. I think that’s the greater point with that. So we’ll see how these stack up. Now again, because this is one of our bad episodes, take that however you want to, the disclaimer here is that we’re not really finding bad videos necessarily, they’re just bad examples of good blank. So I have brought Careers at Pinterest for us to watch and then potentially tear apart today. Why don’t we press play?
02:55 Ben: More than likely.
02:56 Justin: Yeah. Alright.
02:57 Ben: Alright, here we go.
[Careers at Pinterest]
05:58 Justin: Oh, yeah. Forgot we we’re making a video here.
06:00 Ben: Yeah. Yeah. And we’re back. So I watched this video like four times before making the final decision to include it because it’s not a bad video.
06:09 Justin: Okay, I’m glad you said that ’cause…
06:11 Ben: But it… Go ahead.
06:15 Justin: I have to put myself in the place of someone who’s looking for a job.
06:20 Ben: Yeah.
06:20 Justin: When I’m watching these. To think, does this make an impact? And I’m wondering, did you put yourself there and say like, “Oh, I don’t wanna work here”, or did you say like… “
06:31 Ben: No. I didn’t say, “I don’t wanna work here”. This to me just missed on key points.
06:36 Justin: Okay.
06:37 Ben: I think it’s more about, at least for the first like third of it, it’s just about the company. There’s nothing to do in the beginning about how I might play a part. And I think it just… For me, it never went deeply into what I might get out of working at a place like that. It gave me no reason, no pull toward them. It showed me that they have a cool office, that they’ve got management that cares and that you can… There’s a freedom to express ideas and things like that. And all of those may be cool, but…
07:17 Justin: None of which exists here.
07:18 Ben: No. [chuckle] Of course not. No. But it just kind of hit the surface of things, felt like it’s spent a little too much time on the company, not about the people. And I never felt like anybody was talking to me as a potential recruit.
07:34 Justin: Okay.
07:35 Ben: And so that’s ultimately why I chose it was, because it’s a good video, it just kinda missed. It’s like it skipped off the atmosphere instead of kinda coming in. It just didn’t work for me.
07:50 Justin: Okay.
07:51 Ben: I think maybe as we look at our four key points, I’ll be able to clarify that a little bit.
07:56 Justin: Yeah.
07:57 Ben: And we can discuss. But again, I thought that it would also maybe bring some conversation and it’s got some good things about it.
08:04 Justin: Yeah.
08:04 Ben: But ultimately for me, it just kinda missed.
08:07 Justin: Some of the stuff I liked, I know that we talk about the doc style interviews and how boring that can be or just overused. But I felt like they did a good job of making their shots a little bit more interesting, by having… Whether it was the framing or the angles that they were doing it at. I think there was, what was that show?
08:29 Ben: Project Greenlight.
08:30 Justin: Yes. Yeah. Those interviews were so interesting.
08:33 Ben: It’s how this worked.
08:35 Justin: Those interviews were so interesting, and I thought that made it a more fun thing to watch.
08:41 Ben: Yeah. Yeah. No. There…
08:42 Justin: So That was good.
08:43 Ben: Yeah. Technically speaking, it was good, and they have a good space to work with and whatever. But I think for me, it starts at point number one, it got my attention. The Legos and the way that he kinda used how Legos are like Pinterest and what like. But they never came back to that. They never pulled on that thread. They just kind of used it as a hook for hook’s sake, or just something kind of interesting upfront. And then the rest of it did almost nothing to kinda keep me into it. It was just person after person saying these things that again didn’t speak to me, were just like saying, “Well, as a company we do this…” None of it was just addressed to me. So I felt like… I felt a little cheated by that. Like it kinda pulled me in, like, “Okay, this might be interesting.” And then it just kinda… It did nothing with that. So again, one of the ways that I kind of have an issue with it, it started to kinda tease me. But ultimately, I don’t think it delivered on any kind of keeping my attention.
09:46 Justin: So, one?
09:47 Ben: So one, I have to say, “No”.
09:49 Justin: What about number two, educating the viewer about the company culture?
09:55 Ben: Again, I feel like it touched on it a little bit. I don’t know that it was pervasive throughout. I felt like still there was too much talking about what the company was about than what the culture was about. I think, if anything, they did a decent job of showing the culture, even if they didn’t talk about it. But it still didn’t really give me a sense of what they are in fact all about, other than this product that they’re creating. And I feel like something, especially in a competitive market like Silicon Valley, they’re competing for so much talent, that they really owe it to themselves to get more into what they’re all about instead of, again, just kind of skimming on the surface and not really getting into, “This is who we are”, and making it declarative, like planting our flag, saying, “This is who we are.” They didn’t do that. It’s like, it was kinda one of their bullet points when they were outlining and when they were editing, they’re like, “Oh yeah, that kinda touches on culture”.
10:53 Justin: Yeah.
10:53 Ben: But they weren’t deliberate about it. So again, it’s at best neutral, but still, I think it just misses the thing.
11:01 Justin: So my equal sign?
11:02 Ben: So your equal sign, though. Yeah. But no, you give it an equals. I’m gonna give it an X. And yeah, that’s kind of the point.
11:12 Ben: Number three, moving ’em through the funnel, spitting ’em out.
11:16 Justin: Would you not go further in the process, having watched that?
11:23 Ben: There’s certainly nothing in there that as a perspective employee, I would think, “Okay, this place isn’t for me.” So it wouldn’t spit me out. And I think I’d go further, hoping for a little bit more information. Again, if I put myself, not just in a position of somebody looking for a job, but somebody who could potentially be working in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, whatever. There’s a whole lot of places like Pinterest that I’m looking. Some of them speak to their recruits better than others. This one, I’d be like, “I don’t know that I know enough about them, compared to these other companies.” So again, I may move forward and hope that there’s another video. I might go actually look for their company culture video. And if they did a really good job with company culture, then that might give me that information. But I also got nothing… And it’s not a requirement, but I also got nothing about any of the perks of working there. Anything about salary. Well, I mean, I guess I got a little bit about their groups and that’s kind of a culture play. But again, none of that stuff that says, “Here’s why you need to come work here.”
12:23 Justin: Right. One of the things that we talked about in the culture video, is they focus too much on recruiting. And in recruiting videos they focus too much on culture and not some of those more tangible aspects of working there. So it’s a delicate game, but there’s certainly a balance we’re trying to achieve.
12:42 Ben: And I feel like I should mention if you haven’t watched our culture episodes, you definitely should, because there is a fine line between recruiting and culture videos. But I think in the culture video, we lay it out pretty well. Again, if we haven’t already, I could maybe give them a check minus for moving ’em through the funnel. Again, nothing to spit me out, but at least I might wanna know more and get the answers that I was hoping to get in that one. So that’s a soft check minus.
13:06 Justin: Ping pong table, X. Get it out of here.
13:09 Ben: Yeah, there was a ping pong table. So, I’m sorry, fail.
13:12 Justin: My problem with the ping pong table in this one was not that it was in there ’cause… Okay, I get it, especially as a developer, or someone who’s intensely doing something, it’s nice to get away. But they stopped all dialogue, showed that, then showed the foosball table, and then went back to the interviews. It is like they were really trying to draw attention to it, and I was like, “Alright.” I can get it if it makes it into your video ’cause it’s part of your office, but they just drew such a focus.
13:38 Ben: And I’ll be honest, it was a little bit of a bonus. Like I said, I really struggled with whether to choose this one or not. And the fact that it had a ping pong table that just gave me another reason to give it an X. But again, a near miss. But I think, misses on most of them. So, sorry Pinterest, but better luck next time.
13:57 Justin: Fair enough.
13:58 Ben: What you got?
14:00 Justin: Well, since we’ve been doing good and bad, I’ve really enjoyed finding bad videos. And like we say in the disclaimer, it’s not about making fun of or ripping on bad videos, ’cause clearly there are a lot of bad videos out there. It’s about finding videos that… So let me get to it, one of my favorite places to find my bad videos is on top 10 lists. [chuckle]
14:25 Ben: Absolutely, absolutely.
14:26 Justin: Because there’s so many tropes that just get overplayed, and that a lot of times we’ll come up with our bullets after really digging in for a couple of hours and figuring out, alright, we watch a bunch of videos that we find on a bunch of different lists and we’re like, “Oh my God, if I have to see another… “
14:43 Ben: One of my other finalists was that funny, at Twitter, recruiting videos.
14:47 Justin: Yeah.
14:47 Ben: That just isn’t funny, but it’s on everybody’s top 10 best recruiting videos.
14:51 Justin: Yeah, yeah.
14:52 Ben: Hate that video.
14:57 Justin: So, anyhow… Actually I can’t remember where I found this one. It’s not a local company. It’s also not a professional wrestling organization, but it is the WWF.
15:06 Ben: That might be disappointing for some prospects.
15:07 Justin: Yeah. [laughter] Anyhow, this is called Careers at WWF.
15:12 Ben: Alright. Let’s press play. Do we get a panda?
15:17 Justin: I bet there are.
[Careers at WWF]
19:14 Justin: Yeah. Not wrestling.
19:21 Ben: No. Not wrestling. Not panda heavy, either.
19:22 Justin: No. Not as many pandas as you might’ve wanted. So that actually kinda gets to one of my points. [laughter]
19:29 Ben: Go on.
19:30 Justin: Very loosely. But… Okay. You go. What did you… This is your first time seeing this…
19:35 Ben: Yeah.
19:36 Justin: What are your thoughts?
19:41 Ben: Okay. So my first thought was like, I see what you did there. It wasn’t… I like how they had the, presumably executive, I don’t remember what his job title was, kind of lay out whatever he learned about a job, is you wanna… People impact and learn, or whatever. And then they kind of structured their piece out of that. But that and all the rest of it, honestly, just kept making me think… Like the way they use the monitor to get in to set up each like, first person in the segment’s interview, and the way they use the iPad on the stock image so poorly… And it made me feel throughout, honestly… And this is a technical complaint, but made me feel like it was a one-man-band shooter, editor guy who was trying to make himself too much a part of the process. And look, it just tried too hard to be kind of… I don’t know, whatever it was trying to be. I heard a lot of people in it. Some of them said things of value, but I don’t… Yeah. Neh.
20:44 Justin: Yeah, a lot of times I am willing to forgive the technical. It’s like, there are more experienced filmmakers and less experienced filmmakers.
20:52 Ben: Sure, yeah.
20:54 Justin: So generally, what we’re harping on are issues with the creative. And there were just some poor decisions in making this video. I didn’t get… My biggest one, all the interviews took place in some nondescript boardroom somewhere. This is the World Wildlife Federation. Is that what it stands for? [laughter]
21:18 Ben: World Wrestling Entertainment.
21:22 Justin: World Wildlife Foundation.
21:22 Ben: Yeah, World Life Foundation. Get out there.
21:26 Justin: Yes, they have people all over the world. Why go to Cincinnati or wherever the hell this was shot into some boardroom? If I were looking to work for the WWF, I would wanna go because I care about the world. I care about people in the world, I care about the animals in the world, I care about the environment, and not Cincinnati. [chuckle] Wherever it is, I don’t know. But to me, that was the worst creative decision, is holding all these interviews. And then when they weren’t showing the interviews… So the interviews led the narrative. When they weren’t showing the interviews, they were showing B roll. And a lot of times the B roll was of an office in New York, or… It’s like, “Come on. Show me how you’re making an impact in the world. Do something more than just… ” It seemed like they had… They’ve gotta have a bunch of media. They’ve gotta have video and pictures from all over the world. It seemed like the videographer here went into a Dropbox link and randomly picked 24 slots. And he was like, “Alright. These 24 will do.” And threw them in there, and didn’t help tell the story in any way. There was a lot of video in the B roll, but some of them were stills.
22:46 Ben: Yeah. Just randomly thrown in there.
22:47 Justin: If it’s telling a story… If it’s telling the right story, then sure, use a still. It sucks that you have to use it, but use it.
22:54 Ben: The first one I noticed was a still of a panel discussion.
22:57 Justin: Yes. That’s what I’m talking about.
23:00 Ben: Why would they use that?
23:00 Ben: Looked like a UN vote or something.
23:04 Ben: Like a slow… Not even slow. Like a too fast, Ken Burns zoom in.
23:09 Justin: Yeah.
23:09 Ben: Again, it’s a technical thing. But yes, let’s… Can we focus your rage a little bit?
23:14 Justin: Yeah.
23:15 Ben: Alright. So did it get and then keep your attention?
23:19 Justin: It got my attention because I think what the guy from the executive team had something to say. I lost it as soon as the next interview was in a boardroom. Then I got… Lost it even more. I’ll tell you, I didn’t even finish this video before I put it up. I’m like, “This is bad enough.” I’m gonna send the link to Anthony and get to this meeting. [chuckle] But the people, all of them were in the same board room. They changed the music, which, every other interview or something. And I was like, “Oh my God, is this still going. It’s time for a song change.” And it just lost me time and time again. Every new interview, every new scene.
24:02 Ben: So, again, it kind of got your attention but it just failed to keep that attention. Alright, so an X there, what about… Oh God yeah, what about educating the viewer on company culture?
24:14 Justin: Honestly, they might have said something about the culture.
24:18 Ben: I don’t recall it.
24:18 Justin: I don’t… If they did, I just wasn’t paying attention ’cause I’ve lost interest.
24:24 Ben: I feel like they have such an opportunity to play the whole change the world card, and they just completely missed that opportunity.
24:31 Justin: Yeah.
24:32 Ben: Maybe they… If they said anything about it, it was covered in too much other stuff. Again, I keep coming back to the, just the poor decisions that kept taking me out of the piece.
24:44 Justin: Yeah.
24:45 Ben: Yeah.
24:45 Justin: But yeah, even the content of the interviews I felt like was so micro about this… Maybe that’s a bad… About the one woman who decided to stay there for 20 years. Like, “Okay, I’m glad you found a place to work for 20 years, that’s great.”
25:00 Ben: Yeah.
25:00 Justin: That you liked it enough. But I feel like I need more. Like this is a world-wide organization. I don’t know, I felt like there was some weird micro pieces but no macro elements that really help pull me in.
25:16 Ben: Okay. Yeah, I got no sense of what it was like to actually work there, in Cincinnati or otherwise.
25:24 Justin: Yeah. [chuckle]
25:26 Ben: Yeah, okay. So, moving them through the funnel or spitting them out?
25:29 Justin: I’m gone, I left.
25:32 Ben: Yeah. [chuckle] So, it spit you out for the wrong reason.
25:35 Justin: Yeah.
25:35 Ben: So bad check.
25:37 Ben: Yeah, bad… Backwards check.
25:40 Ben: Alright. Well, what about ping pong tables?
25:43 Justin: Check.
25:43 Ben: There were no ping pong tables.
25:46 Ben: Yeah. Although unfortunately, I kind of got the feeling that if someone tried to put in the suggestion box, “How about we get a ping pong table?” Everyone else would be like, “Oh, no we can’t do that.” It almost feels like the place is kind of anti ping pong table.
26:00 Justin: I bet there were plenty of ping pong tables in Dropbox but he neglected to find them. [chuckle]
26:06 Ben: Alright, we’ll give it that one. Anything else you wanna say about this one, or have you sufficiently…
26:12 Justin: I’m worn out. [chuckle]
26:15 Ben: Alright. Good. Well, in that case we’ll wrap up this episode of Press Play and we’ll see you next time.
26:25 Justin: Thanks.
26:25 Ben: Yeah. Still there? It’s over.
26:30 Justin: Yeah.
26:31 Ben: Go home. Go.
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