Food for thought

Set Dressing Tips for Recruitment Videos

By December 15, 2020 No Comments

The phrase ‘set dressing’ might conjure up thoughts of an actor’s studio, complete with elaborate backdrops and complex designs. However, your set is capable of communicating a message no matter the context.

If filming a fairly simple recruitment video to head up your next recruitment drive, you would be forgiven for thinking that the most important part of the content is the words you use. After all, potential employees will be hanging on your every word to pick up all the details, right? The truth is that your ‘set’ could be more important than you realize.

When we talk about ‘sets’, we don’t necessarily mean that you need to spend days designing an awesome backdrop for your recruitment video. You simply need to consider what the viewer will see in the video, and whether it matches the message you are aiming to communicate. 

Think about the tone of your video and the kind of vibe you want to get across to new potential colleagues. You should aim for congruence with your backdrop and ‘set’ design. For example, if filming a video for a detective agency investigating serious financial fraud, you might not want to sit on a bench with a children’s play park in the background. Alternatively, a drab office setting would make a poor choice of set for a recruitment video about a cookery school.


What is set dressing?

People might often use the term ‘props’ in conjunction with ‘set dressing’. However, an object should only be considered a prop if an actor interacts with that object. If something is included on set to contribute to a particular desired ‘ambience’, it can be considered part of the set dressing.

You should consider that any people involved in shooting your recruitment video should still be considered actors. They are attempting to speak in front of a camera in a way that provides value, and possibly entertainment, to an expectant audience. This is not a normal part of everyday life, so the way your set looks can help them to achieve this goal. 

As mentioned, set dressing is an important way for you to communicate your desired message in a recruitment video. 


Tips for successful set dressing

  1. Ask yourself questions. 

Consider the following: how would you like your organization to be perceived?

  • Would you like to appear fun or more serious?
  • Do you want to be considered a modern, progressive organization, or more traditional?
  • Do you want potential applicants to view your organization as tranquil or bustling?

It is important to ask yourself these questions and many other similar ones. You will start to form stronger ideas about the best locations and backdrops to use in your recruitment video. For example, if you are aiming for a busy, all-hands-on-deck feel, you could shoot your video near a foyer or crowded entrance. You could also shoot in multiple locations around your office which show different groups of people working together.

  • Don’t be too distracting. 

The last thing you want is for your set to take attention away from the actual content of your video – the words you say. It is important to strike a healthy balance between giving the viewer something meaningful to take note of, as well as keeping their attention on you.

Think twice about using green screens or simply adding too many distractions in your backdrop. This will only make your video feel forced and detract from the message you are trying to get across.

  • Show off your assets.

Don’t be afraid to give the positive aspects of your company some screen time. If you have a collection of awards or a plaque on the wall, it can be a boost to your profile to include them in the video.

Potential applicants will take you more seriously as your credibility will be increased. They will consider it less of a risk to move forward with your organization. 

As well as awards and the more ‘dull’ things, consider including some of your most popular spots around the workplace. Do you have a reading corner? A pool table? Things like this are sure to capture the imagination of viewers.

  • Look presentable, always!

Avoid using the building’s walls or other undesirable backdrops for your video. When shooting on the inside of your office, furniture should be presentable and there should be no untidy plates of food or coffee stains to be seen.

At the end of the day, it is all about presenting a version of your workplace that shows it off at maximum desirability.