How ThoughtWorks Recruited Hundreds of Talented Employees Using Video
October 28, 2015
Steve Jobs once said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”
Recruiting the right people for your company isn’t easy, but it’s crucial for any business’s development and growth. It takes thoughtful strategizing, countless hours, and plenty of dollars. Luckily, video and marketing automation are empowering companies to focus on high-level planning while their automated systems place the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
Adam Monago is the Head of Digital Strategy at ThoughtWorks, an international software consultancy focused on organizations with ambitious missions. With over 3,000 employees and 33 offices around the world, their team is continually improving their recruiting strategy.
We spoke with Adam about how ThoughtWorks got started with video marketing, and how they’re now using video and Marketo to attract, identify, and recruit talented and passionate employees.
How and why did you get started with video?
We had been capturing videos of events and talks for years, but never had been intentional about a strategy around the content. About four years ago, we started testing some higher quality explainer videos and began to notice that our product customers started to respond to them.
Not long afterwards, we investigated Wistia, because we knew that a YouTube-only strategy would not work for us. For one, many clients blocked YouTube and Vimeo URLs. Another reason was that we wanted to be able to optimize the experience around the videos to increase engagement. Since then, we have started exploring the use of video through many other parts of the business.
“We wanted to be able to optimize the experience around the videos to increase engagement.”
What are your goals with using video?
Since we are primarily a professional services business, our product is really our people. We have found that video is the most immediate way to showcase the talented and diverse minds we have working with us. Our primary goals include:
- Sharing really ambitious client work.
- Highlighting controversial issues going on in the technology industry.
- Giving a window into our workplace culture.
One of our more successful initiatives has been engaging our community around careers. We’ve explored many different formats, from the more whimsical Between Two Devs series designed for social media, to motion graphics explainers like this one about our Associate Consultant Program, and even this great Women in Tech campaign for Ada Lovelace Day.
“We have found that video is the most immediate way to showcase the talented and diverse minds we have working with us.”
What does your video recruiting strategy look like?
There are a couple of layers to it. In order to separate the best bets from our wider audience, we try to qualify people who are broadly interested in careers first.
Because we know many of our recruiting prospects are passive job seekers, we’ll often include a simple check-box on our content items, giving them the option of learning more about what it’s like to work at ThoughtWorks. We’ve found this to be an excellent way to qualify recruiting leads and let us know it’s safe to present them with content that is solidly in the “Careers” arena. We’ve paired many of our key videos that explain our culture with a simple registration form that contains name, email, and this checkbox.
Once we have people segmented in this way, we’re able to then look for some heuristics to help prioritize them for our “sourcing” team (read: those that target people for key roles). This might include people who have GitHub profiles that are active, interesting companies in their work history, or repeated interest in blogs and videos that we publish.
Our prioritized lists then allow us to create remarketing segments, which we can then target with Facebook/Twitter video and YouTube pre-roll video that touches on topics such as “A Day In The Life of a ThoughtWorks Developer” (often customized by region).
Which videos have been the most successful in terms of recruiting?
Our three most popular videos are about tech consulting at ThoughtWorks, software development careers at ThoughtWorks’ office in Australia, and our Associate Consultant Program [shown below], which is extremely effective at acquiring graduates.
The key thing for us is that these videos have attracted very well-aligned hires, and identifying candidates in this way saves thousands of dollars per recruit. To be honest, we haven’t scrutinized conversion rates yet, but we plan to follow them more closely as we scale the program.
“These videos have attracted very well-aligned hires, and identifying candidates in this way saves thousands of dollars per recruit.”
What’s next for you? Got any exciting video marketing initiatives on the horizon?
We’re continuing to look for more ways to maximize the footage we get. We actually have too much content! It’s a good problem to have, but we’re starting to look at more ways we can take longer pieces and segment them down into more “snackable” chunks for viewers that might not have time to watch an hour-long talk. We are also starting to look at providing more formats for our executive clients, who typically don’t get much in the way of entertaining content from the industry. This is going to be an interesting challenge in balancing format with content utility.
The Wistia-Marketo integration is going to continue to play a pivotal role for us. Using Wistia and Marketo together allows us to notify the right folks on our team that it’s time to make contact, or even to deliver more relevant content to those viewers on demand. Because our videos hold high value content for customers and potential hires, we want to make sure that we can take action at the right time, when they are most interested in speaking to us.
“Using Wistia and Marketo together allows us to notify the right folks on our team that it’s time to make contact, or even to deliver more relevant content to those viewers on demand.”
Over the course of 2015, ThoughtWorks has successfully recruited over 400 applicants using video and marketing automation. Looking ahead, they are eager to build out multi-channel campaigns and further experiment with Timeline Actions. “We’re excited that we were able to do this with some very targeted campaigns, and we’re looking forward to how we can scale it in 2016,” Adam said.