This post originally appeared on Forbes.
When was the last time you saw a video online that made you feel something? I mean really feel something.
Chances are you were perusing your Facebook timeline and caught a viral video of panda cub sneezing, or a veteran reuniting with her family, or perhaps the devastation in Aleppo.
Video is all around us. It’s become something that we’re constantly exposed to, watching as much as five hours of video content per day. With the ubiquity of mobile and the rise of live streaming, we’re all mobile broadcasters.
With the rise of video eating into our attention span, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies leveraging videos to help them recruit. Five years ago a recruiting video was a differentiator. Today it’s become a common commodity.
Recruiting videos have become somewhat formulaic. Show an ethnically and gender diverse group of employees extolling the culture and perks your company has to offer. Check. Foosball table. Check. Talk about changing the world. Check.
Some companies are bucking this trend and taking a different approach. They’re creating cinematic showcases of the employee journey, providing a deeper narrative that aims to make viewers feel something. Let’s explore a few examples below.
EY: Maria’s Story
Maria’s Story is about the fictional experience of an EY associate, from the moment she gets an offer through her retirement. It’s one of the first cinematic takes on a recruiting video and follows a story arc of character development through the nearly five minutes video
Western Sydney University: Deng Thiak Unlimited
This video has been viewed over 2MM times on YouTube. It follows a young boy in war-torn Africa taken from his mother and forced into being a child soldier, then finding redemption and a calling. It contains all the elements of a good story: orientation, crisis, escalation, discovery, and change. The video elicits a deep connection with the subject and masterfully demonstrates how he leveraged Western Sydney University to turn his painful history into a life calling.
McKesson: McKesson Delivers for Providers & Patients
McKesson takes a humanistic approach in this recruiting video. Rather than making employees the focal point of their video, they focus on the results of the work being done by their employees - saving lives. By highlighting Jack and his battle with Cancer, McKesson helps connect viewers to the broader results of their work.
Metropolitan Police Service: The Job
You don’t see many recruiting videos that open by stating getting spat on is part of the job, but the honest portrayal of what it’s like to work in the Metropolitan Police Service works because it’s real. Some viewers will watch this and quickly decide this job is not for them. That’s likely the intent. This video clearly isn’t designed to attract everyone; it’s designed to attract the right talent.
CNN: Image + Sound
This video originally appeared on the CNN recruiting Facebook page. It's particularly interesting because it’s not a recruiting video at all. It was created by the Image & Sound team at CNN to illustrate the work they do. It does a fantastic job of showcasing the employees and roles, danger, and conflict behind the coverage you watch.
GE: Childlike Imagination- What My Mom Does at GE
GE has been heavily investing in shifting the perception of their brand, both from a consumer and employer standpoint. This video is part of those efforts and is one of the few recruiting videos to air as a television commercial. The child narration adds an element of wonder as she paints a picture of what her mother does at GE from a child’s imagination.
Each of these videos bends the traditional playbook for recruiting. The inform you, while also making you connect in some way with the subjects depicted. The recruiting video playbook is changing.