James Mayes

Blog: Twitter’s recruitment video: #win or #fail …

In Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter, Video on January 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

You may have seen the recent recruitment video released by Twitter (embedded below for you).  Half a million people have now, and it’s had serious coverage not only on recruitment industry blogs, but on things like HuffPo too. Yippee! Huge numbers. Awesome coverage in the media. Cheap production. Epic win, surely?

Er, no. Not for me.

It got big numbers and coverage because everyone wants to know what Twitter are doing next and what it’s like to work there. Every techie is intrigued by the environment, the hack-days, the personalities. Every recruiter who’s heard about Social Media is trying to figure out how to get the best out of Twitter for their own business. Combine those two groups alone and I say half a million views is, if anything, low.

The concept wasn’t new or refreshing, the video (whilst well-produced) wasn’t innovative. The two brief cuts with deadpan-Dick  (Costolo, the CEO) were entertaining, but the rest was, well… average. Tongue in cheek, amusing, but average.

It terms of refreshing, the recent Ikea effort kicks this out the park.

They didn’t do anything bad, per se.  I just figure with the amount of data and the visualisations they can produce, Twitter could have delivered something truly groundbreaking. Given people an awesome insight into the business itself, or the way trends move around the world, or how the idea of a RT starts with actual users, but then becomes so compelling it actually gets built into the product itself.

#fail? Well, maybe that’s harsh. Missed opportunity? Yeah, I think so – but judge for yourself:

  1. Agree that this was a missed opportunity. Creating a video like this is a nice (although old) idea. And the production values mean that it isn’t a bad example. But this is Twitter – and if I’d been given this brief I’d have looked seriously at putting tweets and Twitter at the heart of the campaign. So, yes, a missed opportunity. Although I’ll be watching out for how they follow it up – I can’t help thinking it’s just the first step in a wider campaign.

  2. Epic #win in my book.

    Recruiting videos are generally very poor in my experience – few employers are willing to invest in the kind of high quality production values viewers have come to expect and fewer still can resist the temptation of boring office shots and earnest employees mouthing platitudes and clichés about what a great place to work it is etc etc …Zzzzzzzz

    I love how this film knowingly and cleverly pokes fun at these practices. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another recruiting video attempting to be funny – it’s just not done.

    That Twitter would release such a film speaks volumes about who they are and the culture of the organisation.

    As does the backstory – the video was made as part of a #Hackweek at no cost using only existing equipment and members of Twitter’s corporate design and recruitment teams.

    As for IKEA video – I agree it’s great, but it’s not actually a recruiting video…it’s a case study of a recruiting campaign (that didn’t use video) designed to discretely promote the agency behind it as far as I can tell.

    • I realise the Ikea effort wasn’t a video – but it’s the innovation I like there. They’ve shown real attention to who and what they are, taken into account their best communications channel and delivered something I’ve not seen before.

      The backstory for the Twitter effort is cool – but I still think they could have achieved so much more. As for a lack of other funny recruiting videos – Andy Headworth blogged about a couple a few years back and I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find others. His OP is here: http://blog.sironaconsulting.com/sironasays/2009/10/are-these-recruitment-videos-very-clever-or-are-theyjust-missing-the-point.html

      • OK the Deloitte video on Andy’s post is pretty funny. And he has a Barclays video which is also amusing. And you’re right it’s not that difficult to find more. In fact Social Talent unearthed a few good ones in a ‘Top 5 (Funny) Recruitment Videos Online’ blog post back in November.


        Actually it’s not the humour that I like most about the Twitter video, it’s what it says about their organizational culture – that they don’t take themselves too seriously, that they encourage exploration and play, that they’re willing to try new approaches, the accessibility of the CEO and so on. All I get from the Deloitte and Barclays examples is that they are professional…which I already knew.

        • Agreed, the Twitter video speaks volumes on culture. It’s a good video, as these kinds of things go, especially like the production quality and that the CEO played a part. Still though, Twitter occupies an almost unique space in the world. The pace of growth, the speed of trends, the global distribution, the disruptive impact on media and advertising… so many things they could have talked about. That’s the regret for me. Not that this was badly done…. just hoped for more!

    • Absolute #fail for me. sorry. It is almost like throughout the whole video they couldn’t figure out whether they want to look as amateurs or that they know very well what they have been doing. I would give them thumb up for trying to use their own resources when putting it together but frankly,… did they!? Culture of the twitter is nowhere to be seen in this video and I would expect them to put it on the front of their recruitment campaign. Everything else they’ve been passing on there is an obvious message very badly presented.

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