When I start working at a new production, the first thing I do after the briefing is look up for already existing references and examples. Research is the key. But what happens to all this precious material once the concept for a film finds its way out and becomes a script? It remains in the archive, unseen. No matter the topic you made research on, it is a pity, isn’t it? But this time the story has a different ending.

I wasn’t sure how to start, what to do when I was requested a few days ago to write an article about recruitment and employer branding for this blog. Although I had never shown the least interest in the subject, after perusing the internet, I became aware of an appealing notion called “The Passive Candidate”.

These days, many businesses are seeking “passive” candidates — people who are just going about their daily lives without considering employment opportunities. One of the most antiquated procedures anybody can envision is the typical hiring process, which is currently proving to be unsuccessful. Many expect getting hundreds of eligible candidates at their doors after posting job advertising or asking directly on social media whether you want to change jobs or just chat about it.

To answer this existential dilemma, I found several inspiring examples, be it finding a talent for your company or simply to awaken that passive candidate in you.

The military sector pushes the boundaries

You can romanticize the job or industry like this animated Hero story recruiting ad from the US Army. David tells his own story – a pilot who answered his “inner calling” and became who he is thanks to time and effort. The message is clear: if you can dream it, you can get it!

(don’t talk about the implications of war, only pure heroism is needed.)

Two other interesting experiments come again from the military sector: getting attention by giving a direct task. 

The Australian Army intends to spot potential candidates and wake their interest up through a recruitment message hidden in sound.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Intelligence uses on the other hand a specially developed platform to recruit intelligence analysts. They aim at finding young people with a natural talent for language by testing the audience´s auditory concentration skills. You have five seconds to listen carefully to a sample and then answer a question. Do you want to try?


Laugh … and think 

Humour could also be a good approach to unveil potential. Like in this entertaining video for the Argentinian recruitment portal ZonaJobs. We follow the protagonist in his effort to cope with the new work environment and dynamics. Maybe your new talent is from another generation, not always a Millennial. 

Or this funny Norwegian campaign conceived for recruiting kindergarten teachers. There are no kids at all to be seen, but in just 30 seconds you get a glimpse of what it takes to do the job: problem-solving skills and empathy.

Reality check 

Using irony to tell the truth and deliver numbers that clash with what is usually assumed as normal can be very powerful. This is the spirit of the Brazilian campaign, roadmap, and hub MORE GRLS with a straight call to action for the advertising industry: we need more creative women to tell real female stories! A very interesting example of how to narrow the search range for candidates by highlighting the gaps in this specific industry. Because mapping talents is the first step towards changing this reality.

and https://www.adsoftheworld.com/campaigns/more-grls 

A more inclusive job market 

The unstoppable résumé by Cancer@work allows cancer survivors to set foot again in the job market. They can select the soft skills developed while facing the disease. These are not visible to the human eye, but can be detected by the applicant tracking systems most recruiters use. Perhaps this is not the best video or the most revolutionary in terms of advertising or flashy graphics, but the message is very powerful: a blank space in a résumé can be an enormous source of strength. 

https://www.adsoftheworld.com/campaigns/the-unstoppable-resume and

Not directly a recruiting campaign, rather a celebration of those women who follow their path no matter what others think, see or judge in their physical appearance. Dove portrays inspiring women working in the fields of law, medicine, and crime, thus encouraging other women to pursue their careers.


Trojan style 

Two German experiments show how successful it could be to be bold. These examples put a hidden message in the style of guerrilla marketing.

Penny managed to hire 186 employees by turning employer branding into entertainment. They integrated real job offers into a reality TV series and the whole thing went of course viral. 


Jung von Matt made a smart move in order to find new Art Directors. They integrated small job ads in the portfolios of 15 well-known photographers. In this way, the photographers carried the message precisely to the target group they wanted to address. Can you spot them?  


You can tell it through animation 

At Goldener Westen we had the opportunity to work on two interesting projects for Haufe and Lufthansa related to the topics of employer branding and recruiting. And we did it using the language we are best at: 2D animation!

In a futuristic world, we follow the career path of an AI developer who accepted a job position at Lufthansa. After having discussed tasks, benefits and perspective with the employer, she definitely went for it. And well, it fells fantastic when skills and ambitions are acknowledged.

Everyone is familiar with this question when it comes to love relationships: how did you actually meet each other? And you answer with a sparkle in the eyes. Mmm, and what’s the connection with an employment relationship? Well, with Haufe the process looks exactly like an exciting and promising journey.

The analogy of the founding myth of a romantic relationship is used in this explainer video to show how the bonding of new employees is made possible by the Haufe Onbording Software even before the first day of work.