The Real Deal: the value of using actual employees in your recruitment ads

In recruitment advertising, the impression a company gives off means everything.

It’s simple enough: if the face of your company isn’t attractive to prospective employees, they won’t apply. One way to give your company a more personal face is to use actual employees in your ads, as opposed to stock photos. Why is that? Well….

#1. Nobody believes those are your real workers anyway.

Recently I was perusing the late-night television offerings, and the pickings were remarkably slim. I stopped for a couple minutes on an infomercial for exercise equipment. The model who was teaching viewers how to use the equipment was so muscular that he was slightly grotesque. And all that muscle was just from using his machine for just 5 minutes a day, 3 times a week! It was miraculous, he had someone even grown more hair in the 4 weeks since he began using this exercise tool. If I was interested, I could look like that too! With just 3 simple payments of $99.99, of course… The point of this is, infomercials are absurd. This is partially because it’s painfully obvious that the models aren’t really using the product to get that muscular. Many things went into that man’s body, including a healthy diet and lots of water, and you can bet he didn’t work out for just 5 minutes a day.

This translates over to your recruitment ads. Why use models or stock photos when it’s clear to everyone that those aren’t your real employees? You don’t want people to think you’re just a bunch of pretty faces, because your company is fuelled by the energy of many dedicated, hardworking employees, and you should be able to showcase the talent you have.

#2. Using real employee pictures fosters trust in your company

Below is an image featuring a McDonalds hamburger as it looks in an ad, and how it actually looked when bought in a store:

That’s blatant false advertising. You trust the company less for showing you an image in its ads that is clearly not real. That’s the feeling that people get when they see recruitment ads with stock photos. Studies have actually shown that using actual employee photos fosters greater trust in your company, as well as a greater attraction toward it.

#3. People like people who look like them

Linda Roberts, a professor of human development and family studies at UW-Madison, says that people are usually attracted to others who are of a similar age, social class, and ethnicity. Why not make it even easier for potential employees to like your company? If you feature images of the employees who work best in your company, you can be sure that you will attract others with similar backgrounds, and therefore a similar passion for working at your company.

#4. Your company will have a more personal touch in their campaigns

Using employees in recruitment ads can have three possible benefits for you:

  • It gives a personal face to your company
  • It makes it clear to prospective employees that empowering your workers is important to you
  • Shows your employees that they are valued, appreciated and an asset that you want to show off

Most people are going to see ads placed by your company before they even start thinking about applying there. By the time they apply, they will have obtained a message about your company that will be difficult to change. What message are they getting from you?

Sources:
The High Low
Google Books
Why Files
Bored Panda