Recruiting for the Brand

Your comments, advices and shares are very much appreciated. As this blog tries to find its voice and direction, I mostly write about things I find interesting in the world of advertising and marketing.

So this week I bumped into two clips that made me wonder about the relations of the recruiting process and the brand or company’s image.

From the movie “The Internship” (taken from

A brand, before anything else is merely a product or service to which people have some sort of an emotional connection or perception about. A brand is an image which needs to be created and cultivated. This connection is supposed to elevate a certain brand above others so taken into consideration by the consumer.

Into this connection thousand of work hours are invested – by marketers, designers, salespeople, customer service personnel, advertisers. Everyone in this “assembly line” need eventually to realize that when they make mistakes, some consumer, some where, has their image of the brand cracked. These makes them, technically, representatives of the brand even outside of their workplace.

No wonder companies put so much effort into the recruiting process and rely sometimes on outside-service to evaluate the candidates who would be joining their teams. Still, sometimes  these processes are old fashioned: a technical exam to check your cognitive ability or interviews with the same old questions, to which you prepare yourself endlessly – to answer right, not necessarily present who you are. And still, the HR manager hopes it will help them understand something about the person being interviewed.

Heineken took this insight up to a new level: An internal process being outed in a fun and original way.
With 1734 candidates, all answering the same answers, they had to figure out a better way to see the person behind the tie and sweaty forehead. So they surprised the candidates with different “transparent” tests to see their personalities – how they behave under real pressure, uncertainty and surprise. The finalists were chosen by the other employees. I do wonder how  it felt and what it did for the employees. For the viewers, me included of course, it sure looks like a place cool to work in, an inclusive company. A company to which you need to prove yourself in a different manner and let yourself shine. This obviously helps the brand image.

The second clip is a trailer for the upcoming movie “The Internship” starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. It describes the tale of two failing business men who take on an internship at Google to rejump their careers. The company claims it hasn’t recieved any payments for the use of their name, nor has it paid anything for the advertising. It was an opportunity, though, to debut the trailer on a Google+ Hangout.

The online giant’s employment culture has become a movie subject. Something to dream about. It’s an exposure mechanism and a tool to attract employees and promote the Google brand around the world, keeping the desire to work there as an inspiration to people, just like Hollywood is for so many young children. Of course the movie won’t depict the whole reality of working there, but this is what movies do – they maintain the dream alive.

In advertising they say it’s all about perception. Not reality.

I wonder if we should expect to see more companies outing their inner-processes in online campaigns, as the world of social is slowly diffusing into the workplace. Recruiting processes are no longer secret, company secrets exposed and so on.
The things that happen inside the company, with the employees, are sometimes worth spreading for the brand’s sake.

What do you think? Are these things good or bad for the firms? For the employees? Do you remember any older examples of this? Please comment and share.


2 thoughts on “Recruiting for the Brand

  1. Co-Founder, online advertising experts

    Interesting blog as usual.
    Beside of branding of Heineken, Do you really believe that these scenarios helped them choose the right candidate for the job?
    If they want to find the best accountant they can, what does it have to do with his CPR skills, his ability to perform in front of an audience or to shoot hoops?

    Seams that beside of the branding aspect – it cannot possibly help them recruit the BEST for the job.

    1. briefly85 Post author

      Obviously this is not the case. It’s not a substitute of the process, but an addition. It’s clear Heineken created these so called “tests” as a marketing stunt to reinforce the brand’s image.
      As you are probably aware, the want people who would fit their “work-environment” and not simply be skilled employees.


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