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May 11, 2021

Approx. 8 min. read

5 Types of Recruitment Videos Inspired by YouTube

You’ve gotten the tap on the virtual shoulder. Someone wants you to make a recruitment video. But with limited time and resources, it can be hard for...

You’ve gotten the tap on the virtual shoulder. Someone wants you to make a recruitment video. But with limited time and resources, it can be hard for HR and employer brand professionals to suddenly become a bootstrapped producer.

📚Before we dive in, take a look at our ebook "How to Succeed in Social Recruiting with Employee Advocacy".

On one hand, typical recruitment videos out there tend to be highly polished, but seemingly impossible to create without hiring an agency to brainstorm, storyboard, shoot, and edit the video. At the same time, with so many workplaces remaining remote or turning hybrid, it wouldn’t be logical to make a high-production recruitment video in the office anyhow. 

So how can you make recruitment videos completely in-house that look professional, reflect the reality of hybrid work, activate your ambassador program, and that will be engaging to prospective candidates? Seems like a tall order, we know.

That’s why we’ve rounded up five types of recruitment video ideas you can make today — all inspired by popular segments on YouTube that you (and your candidates) might already know and love! Let’s roll… 

1.73 Questions  

Get your employees to strike a pose! For over 5 years, Vogue has been running a regular video series called “73 questions” where they interview top celebrities, artists, and actors through a list of unsuspecting, you guessed it, 73 questions. The questions can be about anything, from what’s the book they can’t put down to who would they’d cast in a biopic about their own life, or if they would describe themselves as an early bird or a night owl. 

For your employees, this could be a great framework for a recruitment video. As long as someone feels comfortable in front of a camera, it’s easy to plan ahead some of the questions and follow them (like they do in Vogue’s 73 questions) around the office with an iPhone. It can help show off your top talent as well as help show what your office looks like without all the awkward, dramatic shots of your kitchen. 


Now, be smart about what questions you choose. This is your chance to highlight your EVP (employee value proposition) and the cultural pillars of your company. For example, you could ask if they have a favorite day of the week and why. They may say Tuesday because that’s their WFH day as part of your hybrid work program, showing that you offer that flexibly. Or they may say Thursday when they have their weekly cross-department brainstorm, showing how collaboration is part of the fabric of your organization. 

Pro-tip: Let them know that there are no right answers. Also, part of the beauty of 73 questions videos is that they’re done in a single take, so be sure that employees feel comfortable and keep on rolling!

📺 Also watch: "How To Use Video To Communicate With Employees: 5 Hacks".

2. 10 Things He Can’t Live Without

In GQ’s series ‘10 Things He Can’t Live Without’, they bring on top actors and artists to talk about their utmost essentials. This could include a book, eye mask, or even their go-to bubble tea. 


Have employees create similar videos either in the office or at home using a simple recording tool like Powtoon Capture. They can talk about the 10 things they can’t work without. Maybe that’s their company laptop with fun stickers, their dog that they love to bring to the office, or a notebook they got from their teammates as a holiday gift. Bring on the company swag! 

Pro-tip: Encourage employees to not just go through the items, but think if there’s a story that goes along with them. Maybe there’s an item that brings back good memories or something that keeps them energized throughout the day to do their best work. No matter what, video storytelling will be more sticky for candidates than simply what fuzzy slippers or podcast series is getting your employees through the day.

📚Also read: "Recruitment vs. Talent Acquisition [Infographic Included]".

3. Tiny Desk Concert 

Ah, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert has such a magical way of finding undiscovered talented musicians and bands and giving them the stage, or tiny desk, they deserve. 

But what does this have to do with your next recruitment video? Create a tiny desk series that showcases your talent’s talents! Sure, candidates want to hear about the grind your employees do from 9-5, but they’re also curious about the people behind their LinkedIn title tagline. 

Create a casting call for your employees to show off their passions from their in-office or home desk. Maybe in traditional tiny desk fashion they love to sing or play an instrument, but maybe they’ll surprise you with a magic show, a Bob Ross inspired painting class, or even solve a Rubik's Cube behind their back.

Pro-tip: Like any good concert, be sure your showmen and show women take breaks between songs or acts. This is their chance to talk about themselves, their role within the company, and let them use this platform to give shoutouts to others in the company who support their work and playtime.

4. Career Breakdown 

Another popular YouTube video series comes from Vanity Fair. You’ll find that all the video titles in this playlist are named “[Famous Person] Breaks Down His/Her Career, from [Famous Movie/Show] to [Other Famous Movie/Show]”. While you may not have Hollywood celebs walking your hallways, this could be a good basis for two different types of recruitment videos.


Firstly, you can ask a founder to play this game. Prospective candidates want to see your leadership communication in action, so this is a great way to show them off. Create a simple face to camera video of them talking about previous roles and companies they’ve been a part of. Then have them explain how all those experiences culminated into the expertise they needed to take on your market and establish your industry-leading company. 

Another approach to this recruitment video is having a long-standing employee go through a timeline of the different stages of their career at your company. This could highlight all their professional development milestones from mailroom intern to senior product manager. They could also take the angle of talking about milestones of the company, recalling the behind-the-scenes excitement from one breakthrough or innovation to the next.

Pro-tip: Like the Vanity Fair series, create video cuts to nostalgic “scenes,” video clips, or photos of those milestones. It’ll keep the video engaging! 

5. Billy on the Street

If you’ve ever seen Billy on the Street, you know there’s a lot of yelling involved. The premise is odd but nonetheless hilarious; comedian Billy Eichner, with celebrities by his side, sprint down NYC streets shoving a microphone in the faces of pedestrians to unapologetically ask them questions. Ridiculous, we know, but hear us out.

There’s at least one person at every company that’s got a heck of a personality and that could represent your employer brand. Ask them if they’d be up for having their own mini-show where they get to play host and run around the office (either IRL or virtually by jumping into video calls) asking questions to colleagues about everything from what their favorite offsite was to date or if they could have a lunch date with any exec, who would it be? 

Pro-tip: Part of what makes Billy on the Street memorable is that every episode has an animated intro and catchy jingle that goes along with it. Use a visual communication platform like Powtoon to easily create one with pre-designed scenes and customizable characters to look like your host!

📚 Also read: "What Is Social Recruiting and How to Build a Successful Strategy".

BONUS: Movie Trailers

While not technically a series, movie trailers are some of the most-watched videos on YouTube, and for good reason. They help give us a preview of what the movie will include and help prospective viewers decide if they want to invest in watching the whole thing.

So why not make a trailer for your company? This could be done using a classic marketing explainer video framework. This maps out the story of a hero character (in this case a candidate) who just like your audience is struggling at their current job because of some common pains. These could be general pains like lack of diversity, transparency, or opportunities to grow. But then, your hero character discovers your company! 

Suddenly, they realize that all the pains they experience in their current role can be remedied by the foundational values and culture that make your company tick. Once making the move, they see the notable benefits that you offer them and it impacts their lives for the better. Talk about a professional happily ever after.

Pro-tip: Use a visual communication platform like Powtoon to make your HR and recruitment videos. That way you’ll have the power to make the “trailer” using customizable characters and animation, royalty-free media, or upload your own video recordings! Plus, you can replicate the video to make variations of the trailer for different talent audiences based on multiple generations, departments, locations, or levels within the organization. That way you can have targeted videos to use for PPC campaigns, recruitment events, and sections of your Careers page — without an expensive external agency.

Creating recruitment videos shouldn’t stress you out. And they don't have to look like every other company you’re competing with for top talent. Use this as a blueprint to think through some ways you can tap into video content your dream candidates are already consuming. Then, see how you can easily recreate that style of content yourself, while empowering your current employees to be the employee advocates they already are. 

Because at the end of that day, your existing talent are the very best people to tell potential employees what it’s really like to work for your company. Don’t miss out on the chance to give them the stage, mic, or tiny desk to tell their story.

Book a 15-minutes call with us to see how to empower your employees to become your best brand advocates!

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Written by

Shoshi Davis

Shoshi Davis

Marketing Manager at Powtoon

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