If This Zendesk Recruiting Video Doesn't Impress You, Nothing Will

April 21, 2014

Leonardo da Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Now, I am not one to go for cheesy quotes but this one seemed really appropriate for the Zendesk video below.

It’s very rare to see a recruiting video that is so simple, so honest, and yet so packed with information and originality. I dare you – watch the clip below and tell me you don’t want to work for Zendesk (and if you do say no, then maybe the company culture there is not for you):

I feel that most recruiting or company culture videos have a clear formula. You begin with a few compelling shots of the office space, then transition to some happy employees who are also intently focused on their work. If you really want to make things exciting you can show employees during a hyper-productive and invariably very laughter-inducing brainstorm. Then of course, you cap it off with the mandatory testimonials where the same employees share how empowering and exciting working for your company is.

Well the Zendesk video has none of that and that’s why it stopped me in my tracks. Here is what, in my opinion, the video got so right:

1. Showing both the big picture and the small details that make Zendesk unique

The video really got me 20 seconds in when they show the receptionists who greet you as you get to work and you leave the building at night.  Those are the people that many of us see every day and whose names we most likely don’t even know…yet they are an integral part of our work lives.

Then the video goes on to show little details of the daily life in the company that make it unique – the designated happy hour joint, the hipster lunch spots, the weird salted liquorish snacks in the kitchen and the coworker desk race. By the end, I really felt like I knew what a regular day at Zendesk looks like.

In the same time, the video does a great job at explaining “big picture” topics such as the company size, management team, close involvement with the city of San Francisco, what their product actually does. None of this comes off as boring or obtrusive.

2. Recreating the feeling of first day in the office

Throughout the entire video it seemed like a coworker was giving me a tour on my first day at the office. The one-person narrator is a great way to create a very personal experience and he made me feel like I was getting the inside scoop on what’s going on in the office, as well as what I should expect once I settle in (props for even showing that not-so-exciting back window view of the Tenderloin).

Then the video takes it up a notch when it introduces pretty much all the teams that work in the company. It is very cool to see the faces of the prospective coworkers and feel like they are saying hello and welcoming me. Very nice touch. Also for anybody who noticed that the executive team was all male, I am happy to report that there is new female addition as the VP of Operations.

3. Being able to laugh and poke fun at themselves

I realize humor is not everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s just so hard not to crack up at 2:37 when the narrator takes a light-hearted dig at the company logo. I won’t spoil the surprise, but kudos to Zendesk for being comfortable with this joke. It’s refreshing and it says a ton about the fun company culture. Also props for the impressive employee victory dance. This tells me I need to work on my office dance routine.

And now I will stop gushing about the video. I hope it inspires you to be innovative and to remember that some of the best and most impactful recruiting is supposed to be simple and honest.

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