The Other Guys. A NYC police action- comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, makes its ways into theaters this weekend. The trailer is LOL – but that’s not what alerted me to the movie in the first place. What did, is an extremely clever marketing tool in the form of a faux recruitment video for the NYPD.
The recruitment video can be found- no surprises here- on Ferrell’s comedy website, Funny or Die. Go ahead, watch it, and you’ll actually learn a lot about the power of a good corporate recruitment video. If your boss walks by and catches you laughing, blame it on me. Link to video with some FU cussing.
What’s so interesting about this “recruitment” video is it signifies the true arrival of the internet corporate recruitment video, Hollywood style. Bully to Will Ferrell for that. The pure mockery of it means this: if you don’t have recruitment videos on your website, your company is a dinosaur. Recruitment videos are part of mainstream culture now- and job seekers, especially the coveted Millennials, expect to see them. And if you do have recruiting videos, but they’re old fashioned- you should remove them instantly.
What exactly can you learn from Ferrell’s recruitment video? A lot- but mostly what not to do. For example, don’t use scripts, and definitely don’t use actors, unless of course, they are A-listers. Scripting is just so- ancient. Script= tune out. You might as well put a huge banner up that says “Do NOT work for our company.” So while a good script may please HR folks immensely, if the video actually hurts your employment brand, pushes away the right candidate, provides a negative ROI, do you think the boss (hiring manager or CEO) will be happy??
That brings up another lesson from Ferrell’s video. A good recruitment video is first and foremost, a marketing vehicle for your company (in his case, his movie). A great one is really a commercial that could appear anywhere on your corporate website – not just its recruiting pages. While HR deals with the nuts and bolts of hiring and everyday personnel issues, there is a world of difference between those processes and making an effective recruiting video. A video is not a brochure- it is its own art form requiring the expertise of video professionals. HR should be involved in the process- but if they try and control the process, you’ll end up with the wrong kind of video. The kind no one watches. I’ve had clients that have come to me to distribute and VSEO (Video Search Engine Optimization) their corporate speak video, I recommended redoing the video. They’ve given several excuses for sticking with the bad video. 95% of the time those corporate speak under deliver substantially.
One last video lesson here. Humor is effective. Loosen up. The buttoned-up, corporate, voice- over thing is from the Ice Age. Here’s how you know if you need help. Watch your company’s recruitment video. If it opens like this: twangy elevator music, wide shots of your company headquarters, dissolve to corporate logo, with a deep masculine voice booming “Our company, located in Memphis Tennessee, is home to more than 500 employees. The 6 story building includes more than 100,000 square feet of office space…. “
Kill the link immediately! You are not only not attracting people, you are repelling them. I’ve had enough of this thinking that any video will do, no strategic alignment to your companies recruitment goals, that my internal video Media Services team can do it, that I know a video guy that does “video,” that it’s too expensive, etc. I’m going to the movies tonight.
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