How to Use Video as an Innovative Recruitment Strategy

Finger about to press the play button on a video

When it comes to attracting the best talent, advertising your open positions only goes so far. In a time of record-low unemployment numbers, you need to convey how your company stands out—not in a vacuum, but in comparison to all the other companies that are also competing for those winning candidates.

Showing off your employer brand and company culture can help differentiate your organization, and video is one of the most effective mediums on which to do it. Here, we’ll share some tips for effectively using video to communicate your company’s value proposition. But first, we need to talk a bit more about why you can’t afford not to use video in your recruitment strategy.

The Power of Video

We’ve heard marketers proclaim that it’s “the year of video” for about a decade now, but we can’t fault them for their continued enthusiasm; the engagement numbers for digital video keep growing year by year. According to figures released by YouTube, close to three billion active users visit the platform monthly. For context, that’s more than a third of the people on earth. Those users watch over a billion hours of video daily on their TVs alone, and the watch time on all devices is undoubtedly much higher.

Unlike video consumed via television, which often turns into mere background noise, online video is highly engaging. According to a study by Animoto, video is consumers’ number one favorite type of content to see on social media. When a website offers video content, users spend 88% longer on the site than on websites without video. As of 2024, video content accounts for a massive 82% of all internet traffic.

Video is a particularly powerful medium for the important but often tricky-to-reach Gen Z audience. A quarter of millennials say YouTube is their favorite social media platform, while another 25% name TikTok as their preferred channel. Eighty-six percent of Gen Z adults are YouTube users. 

If the goal of your recruitment marketing is to reach the right candidates and make a meaningful connection with them—as it should be—it’s hard to pick a more appropriate format of content than video.

What Is the Purpose of a Recruitment Video?

Emphasize your employer brand

Your employer brand represents how your organization is viewed among the talent pool. It’s an important part of your value proposition to candidates, factoring in everything from how many qualified candidates you attract to how long it takes you to make the right hire. Organizations with a strong employer brand spend less on hiring and keeping employees longer than those that don’t prioritize employer branding.

That said, combining employer branding with video is a natural fit. Some parts of your value proposition, like your company culture, don’t translate that well through text on a screen. Even in a face-to-face interview, it’s hard for one or two interviewers to convey the culture of an entire organization. Video can help you encapsulate your company culture and other important aspects of your unique value proposition in a captivating yet concise way.

Related: Tips for Building Your Employer Branding Strategy

Attract prospective candidates

Videos are an excellent way for passive media users to stop and engage, especially on social media. Eighty-six percent of consumers spend a quarter or more of their time on social media watching videos, and if the video is less than a minute long, 66% of viewers will watch the whole thing. It’s rare to get that type of scroll-stopping reaction from text alone.

As an employer, video is the perfect medium to connect with would-be candidates for the first time and expand your talent pool. Use video as part of the first stage in your hiring funnel–the ‘attract’ stage–and offer a call to action that allows the viewer to take the next step, like visiting your careers page or subscribing to your job alerts. 

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Communicate your mission

Today’s candidates, especially younger ones, want to feel connected with their jobs beyond just the paycheck it provides. Sixty-five percent of new grads say they wouldn’t apply for a job if the company’s values didn’t align with theirs, while two-thirds of Gen Z candidates say they want more opportunities for purpose in their everyday work. 

Capitalize on this desire by using video to show the meaning behind and beyond your company’s work. Spotlight your founder, talking about what prompted them to start the company. Highlight employee testimonials discussing the impact their work has. Showcase philanthropic initiatives like volunteer work and charitable organizations you support. 

Share useful information

Another characteristic that today’s applicants highly value is transparency. Use video as a mid-funnel piece of content by explaining what candidates can expect once they’ve submitted an application. Outline the steps in your hiring process, communicate how long it usually takes, provide tips to help candidates adequately prepare for an interview, and answer frequently asked questions. 

What to Put in a Recruitment Video

Employees as the hero

When an in-demand candidate is in the early stages of your hiring process, they’re looking for information to help them answer one question: what is it really like to work at this company? Who better to answer that question than the people who actually work there?

To produce an authentic recruitment video, put real employees front and center rather than using actors. Capture day-in-the-life footage that shows how they do their jobs. Conduct testimonial-style interviews where they share their experience working for your company in their own words. You can tap your employee base for video ideas, like running a contest to develop the concept for your next recruitment video (which is a great way to engage your employees).

Real, engaging stories

It’s been true since the earliest days of mankind: people latch onto stories. It’s simple biology. Scientists say our brains are hard-wired to connect with information conveyed in a narrative format, and more specifically, narratives told through the eyes of a protagonist.

Use your recruitment video to take the viewer on a journey with a beginning, middle, and end. This includes sharing how one of your teams worked together to overcome a challenge, showcasing how an employee went above and beyond to solve a problem for a customer, or taking the viewer behind the scenes at a company event.


People are more likely to remember what they’ve seen when it makes them experience a specific emotion. Whether it’s satisfaction, passion, inspiration, humor, or some other emotion, your story should make the viewer feel something. Emotion helps make your company memorable and sets you apart in the monotonous grind that is job hunting.

Captivating visuals

There’s a reason TV news anchors toss to reporters who are live out in the field: the video on the scene of a news event is 100% more captivating than the static shot of the presenters sitting at a desk inside a studio. You can’t get your message across without actually giving viewers something to watch!

Here are some examples of captivating videos:

  • Real footage of employees doing their jobs or participating in workplace events
  • A tour of your office/facility
  • Customers interacting with your products or services
  • Dynamic graphics that explain your benefits

What’s not captivating is stock footage you’ve purchased or downloaded online, talking heads (AKA a static shot of a person speaking) on the screen for too long, and dull or poor-quality graphics. 

A call to action

At the end of your video, the viewer should have a clear understanding of what you want them to do next and how to do it. Whether that’s reviewing your open jobs, submitting an application, connecting with a recruiter, or taking some other action, provide direct instruction for how the viewer can engage further after completing the video. 

How to Make a Good Recruiting Video

Define your objective

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do too much. A good recruiting video has one main objective that all of the elements of the video–the imagery, the sound bites, and so on–point to. This is especially important when you’re creating short-form content, which is most likely to engage viewers. So, before you begin shooting or even planning your video, define the goal you’re trying to accomplish. 

Work with the professionals

While it’s tempting to say that any video is better than no video at all, the reality is that in recruitment marketing, a poor-quality video can do more harm than good to your employer brand. After all, isn’t your goal to show how invested you are in the talent you bring onboard?

Smartphones may mean that everyone has a pretty darn good camera at their fingertips at all times, but amateur video neglects to account for so many factors, like sound quality, lighting, and post-production, that can make or break a recruitment video.

Instead of relying on an intern with an iPhone to put together something for your Careers page, invest in working with a professional videographer and editor. If budget allows, you might also enlist the talents of a director and/or producer who can help you nail down the perfect concept for your video and execute it flawlessly. Working with the pros will ensure you walk away with a polished and professional video rather than something sloppy.

Keep it brief

While many platforms offer long-form video uploading capabilities, longer videos tend to perform better among viewers who are already invested in the brand (like a YouTube user tuning in for new content from one of their favorite creators). Shorter videos are best for new viewers, like prospective candidates. Aim for no more than five minutes; one to two minutes is even better.

On Facebook, videos that are about a minute long generated the most engagement. YouTube content sees a sweet spot around the two-minute mark. For X and Instagram, videos under a minute perform best.

Longer-form video content can have a place in your recruitment strategy, though. For best results, use longer videos to engage talent that’s further along in the hiring funnel, like visitors who have made it to your Careers page or completed an application.

Know your platform

One exciting thing about digital video is that the content matters on its own and in the context of the platform where you share it. For example, the same video that performs well on your home page likely wouldn’t get the same amount of engagement if used in an ad on Instagram.

To create successful recruitment video content, you have to know your platform. This means considering factors like user demographics, platform intent (i.e., for recreational use versus professional networking), the average length of session, screen orientation (vertical versus horizontal), and more.

Creating platform-appropriate video content doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Video footage from a single shoot can be repurposed in many different ways to suit different platforms. For example, a long-form video featured on your Careers page can be broken down into several 30-second snippets that are shared in separate Facebook posts.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

With a recruitment video, your creativity is the limit. Once you’ve gotten comfortable incorporating video into your recruitment strategy, try new things to see what yields the best results.

If you typically strike a formal tone, try a more lighthearted video. If you usually use sit-down interviews, stick a wireless microphone on your subject and have them walk and talk simultaneously. Test out different lengths and shooting styles. Consider posting on platforms like TiKTok that many companies haven’t broken into yet.

As with any recruitment marketing initiative, always track your efforts and analyze their results periodically to assess your return on investment properly.

Examples of Some of the Best Recruitment Videos

New Zealand Police

When you think about a job as a police officer, humor probably isn’t the first quality that comes to mind. However, it’s the main theme of this recruiting video for New Zealand’s police force. In it, we watch officers put surprising and funny twists on routine duties like helping an elderly person cross the street. 

Despite its lighthearted tone, the video clearly outlines the job’s selling points, like the ability to choose from more than 30 different career paths. It also ends with a strong and clear call to action for viewers who are ready to take the next step and apply. 


Marketing platform Listrak nails the employee testimonial format in this recruiting video. It features a wide selection of employees who share what they do and describe why they like working there. This not only explains what the company does to those who are hearing about it for the first time, but it also makes the company’s values and culture easy to discern. 

After watching this video, an applicant could easily decide, ‘I could see myself working there,’ and follow the link on the closing screen to the company’s careers page. 


Most people have heard of the Dutch beer brand Heineken, which means you have some preconceived notions about the company. In this offbeat recruiting video, the company challenges those notions and invites candidates to “choose a path or go off it.” 

The unconventional style of the video leaves the viewer wanting to know more, and clicking the call to action (cleverly worded ‘Take The Interview’) is almost irresistible.

Partner with the Recruiting Experts

If your recruitment strategy could use a boost, enlist the experts at 4 Corner Resources. Our team of seasoned staffing professionals can help you target your recruiting efforts and maximize every dollar spent on hiring. 4CR was founded with the mission to make the staffing process more personal, helping businesses open new avenues for finding the best talent in their respective fields.

We specialize in finding staffing solutions that work within your budget, whether you’re an enterprise client looking to hire at scale or a small business searching for the perfect executive to round out your leadership team. We’re skilled at hiring for jobs in technology, healthcare, finance, marketing, communications, and more.

Contact us today to start your search!

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn