Wanted: Real People

Is your company’s recruiting video boring? If you didn’t think so before, you might think it’s a yawner after you check out Liz Claiborne Inc.’s new recruiting video “Runway of Opportunity” (embedded at the end of this article). When Helene Richter, director of talent operations for Liz, set out to create a recruiting video that matched the energy of the company and the fashion creativity pitched to consumers in the company’s clothing ads, she watched a lot of recruiting videos. Her conclusion: “They were sometimes humorous, always educational, but mostly boring, and certainly not artful,” said Richter.

Richter teamed up with Yahoo! HotJobs (profile) creative director David Lam and created “Runway” which features Liz Claiborne’s chief creative officer and mentor from TV show Project Runway, Tim Gunn.

Lam approached several clients late last year about creating recruiting videos as part of a Yahoo! HotJobs pilot program, and Richter jumped at the chance. She also came up with the video’s main concept and the basic script. Richter said that the video’s production costs would typically average $20,000 to $25,000; she received a discount for being part of the pilot program.

Besides revealing the company’s creative side, Richter also wanted to show prospective applicants that not everyone who works in the fashion industry looks like Kate Moss and that a typical day at Liz doesn’t begin with a cry of “gird your loins” as it did when Miranda Priestly arrived at the office in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

The company has been opening new retail stores and creating real jobs for real people; many of its 10,000 jobs are in typical support functions like IT, accounting, and marketing.

“We wanted to show our brands and a representation of the wide variety of careers you can have here at Liz Claiborne,” says Richter.

The video features actual employees talking about their jobs and career paths at Liz, but the highlight is a 30-second clip of a mock fashion show where employees listen to a motivational speech by Gunn and then bound down the runway.

Article Continues Below

So far, the video is delivering the goods. It’s loaded on the Liz Claiborne website and advertised on Yahoo! HotJobs and StyleCareers. As of mid-July, Richter said the video had received about 6,000 to 7,000 views on the Liz Claiborne website and another 6,000 views on HotJobs. At a job fair held just last week, Richter said the longest applicant lines were at the Liz booth and Gucci. But, besides energizing applicants, the video has also motivated the company’s employees.

“Despite the difficult economic times, our company is poised for growth, so the video has really been a motivational tool that has energized our existing employees as well as applicants,” said Richter.