Picture Perfect: How imagery impacts recruitment marketing

Imagery aids the senses. A single photograph can transport us to a wonderful elsewhere that we can touch, hear, and feel with our mind’s eye; all based on the visual cues we see. How does this work in recruitment marketing? Like other imagery, the assets used in career sites, job descriptions, and social media serve to prompt the imagination which then helps candidates picture themselves at an organisation. Use of imagery elevates the candidate experience.

As well as guiding imagination, imagery in recruitment marketing does 3 things in particular:

  1. It legitimises policies and statements
  2. It helps personalise a company
  3. It can show forward-thinking

When images have the potential to add the aforementioned values, image curation becomes a crucial process and should be treated as such when executing marketing campaigns.

Authenticity through photography

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”
– Gilles Peress

Evidence of your practices: Photographs have been used as a form of evidence since their development, and they carry out this same duty when it comes to recruitment content. In today’s digital landscape, company statements regarding inclusion strategies and leadership programmes are no longer enough. Images of these projects are an additional (and sometimes needed) force of truth as they show these policies in practice. Just as a holiday maker wants to avoid nasty surprises by seeing photos of prospective resort destinations before booking, a candidate wants to see their potential workplace, colleagues, and in-house benefits before applying. 

Considering the above, company owned photography is best to use in recruitment marketing as it shows exactly what the workplace is like. Understandably, given tight budgets and time scales, it is easy to rely on the comforts of stock images rather than use original imagery. We have all used stock images at one point or another due to their ease and combination of professionalism and cheeriness that exudes from their smartly clad models. Not to mention the lack of expense comparative to hiring a photographer. However, no matter how convincing the pro-stock position is, stock imagery can be seen as selling a dream, inauthentic, and not to mention can be used widely by competitors and other sources. Using original photography backs up company claims and the authenticity of recruitment marketing content – making original photography an investment worth making.

COVID has heightened low-resolution acceptance: Depending on the objectives of the marketing campaign, photos do not necessarily need to be high quality, and in extension high cost. By now the majority of us are well acquainted with the zoom set up of remote workers that frequent our social feeds (see PathMotion’s drinks night below). Given the rise in this kind of raw footage, remote working has unlocked a cheat code – allowing recruitment marketers globally to play around with virtual visuals to authentically display current workplace realities. It seems now is in fact the perfect time to transition into using original images full time (if you have not already), as no candidate or competitor is expecting high spec photography in this current climate.

PathMotion Imagery Recruitment Marketing

Personalise a corporate experience

Employee profiles encourage relatability and comfort: Employee photos and profiles are essential for your career site and beyond – do not just rely on your LinkedIn ‘People’ tab to show off your workforce. Unveil your employees to the world with pride (plus their permission) using a delightful portrait that can accompany a story on their employee journey and insights. 

Company employees are not the ghost drivers of a corporate machine, they are vital advocates of a business and essential in their contribution towards company culture. For many, colleagues are a make or break factor in their employee experience, therefore making employee profiles visible can help ease this workplace anxiety for candidates. Profiles allow candidates to see if they will be working with like-minded people and can help them feel as if they are already amongst familiar faces when they join. Adding something as simple as an employee portrait to a recruitment marketing campaign can assist with onboarding too.  

See how we have done this below:

PathMotion imagery recruitment marketing
^Imagery and recruitment marketing go hand-in-hand

Illustrations give character: While use of photography is fantastic, straying away from this medium does not mean you will lose out on that connection with candidates. Illustrations are a great way to show off your company’s identity with consistency. This form of imagery has great repurposing and aesthetic value as well as being a great option for when a workforce may not always want to be in front of the Marketing teams camera. Use of unique and consistent illustrations can make your company instantly recognisable (which in itself is a great achievement), this can open up a pathway to encourage candidates to have positive connections with it. As emotions experienced while viewing images can impact decision making, ensuring you produce imagery candidates think positively on is key in your talent attraction strategies.

Interactive imagery

Puzzles give an exciting edge: Gamification is emerging as an impactful recruitment trend – an initiative that has been tried and tested over the years. Utilising games and puzzles is an innovative way to boost branding and attract new talented candidates by conveying that your business is energetic and forward-thinking. 

Aviva’s instagram based game is a prime example of this – it is fun, shows their offering in a unique way, and reels people into their social channel so they can explore further once their gaming experience is finished. 

Aviva imagery recruitment marketing
^Go to Aviva’s Instagram to try out the game for yourself

An iconic puzzle recruitment example, that was used to find talented coders during World War 2, comes in the form of a crossword. On behalf of government officials, The Telegraph published a crossword which required completion within 12 minutes. Out of this test came four successful candidates, who were then asked to join the mission of unlocking the ‘Enigma’ machine as Allied coders. Puzzles have long since been used to distinguish talent and are a part of modern recruitment history.

Imagery is essential in recruitment marketing to engage candidates and aid communication and comprehension. Will you be trying out any of these initiatives for added impact?

PathMotion enhances your recruitment experience

Companies such as Mars, the NHS, Deloitte, AXA, and more have chosen the PathMotion way of improving recruitment experiences. 

PathMotion connects job candidates directly to real employees via the company’s career website. Employees act as company advocates by sharing their stories and experiences with candidates who use these insights to help inform their application decision. Employee stories can be shared via online discussions, live chat events, video content, and social media integrations. This improves the candidate experience and employer brand, as well as accelerating talent acquisition and recruiting. 

Find out more at www.pathmotion.com and follow @PathMotion on Twitter. 


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