A classic recruiting technique, realistic job previews are a best practice in our industry. It gets its own fancy government definition for a reason: it has worked across all industries and all levels for years*. Give candidates the real deal scoop so they can opt in and out at apply, not two weeks or two months or two minutes on the job (all that time, money, energy wasted, turnover costs astronomical, nooooo!).

How have realistic job previews been creatively imagined in recruitment marketing or media?


  1. Employee-generated content

This is a video from a few years ago where an AT&T premises technician filmed one of their climbs. This person takes so much pride in his work and what he does, he not only filmed part of his workday, but he shared it with the world. What I like best is the varied comments below, like:

Is there a difference in training between buried wire technicians and premises technicians? What exactly is it?”

“I was a perm tech in fort Worth last year until OCT. I had to resign to handle (personal business). Anyways, on Wednesday I got hired back on finally. I can't wait to hit pole yard again.”

“What is this? AT&T Basic Training? lol, looks fun”

Today it’s possible to create spaces where people want to share experiences or ask questions that allow them to decide to apply to a position or not. That interaction was missing from the one way communication years ago.


  1. Corporate job description videos


Menzies Aviation has job description videos on their careers site, embedded from their YouTube channel. Each position description video earned 1K-14K views in just six months. Here’s what it’s like to be a fueling operator:


And supposedly (the source to the research unknown but reputable organizations are citing), job posts get 36% more clicks to apply if accompanied by a video. Here’s an example where, within a position description, a client manager is talking about her job and the culture of the company (disclaimer: this is the company I work for).

  1. Using employee stories.

I am sure you saw this coming. But, hearing specific and personal stories helps candidates visualize themselves doing that job in that place.

Those in the culinary field are used to long hours. Sodexo used one employee’s story to showcase how work life balance is a differentiator in their space. In the video below, Quanta talks specifically about how this part of her job affected her family:



  1. Interactive videos

I like these, videos where you can insert yourself in a job scenario and make decisions. Check this out from Deloitte and Rapt Media.  


  1. A chronological, actual day-in-the-life

I like them linear, punctuated by pictures and personal anecdotes. Here’s  a day in the life of a beauty editor. Part of the job means pitching products you like, so you’ve been warned. A call to action at the bottom would have been great.


  1. A mix of all of them!

You can see from the amount of views (and interactions), candidates are starving for this information, so mix and match any and all of the above. I recommend where appropriate inserting a call to action so readers and viewers can be directed to your careers site where they can apply or learn more, in the moment they’re ready.

Creating realistic job previews, whether that’s day in the life information, interactive videos, and job description infographics, pay off because it’s not only tremendously helpful to candidates, but memorable too. Some of the sources are years old, but I still remember them when thinking of cool ways to show the employee experience.

What types of realistic job previews and job descriptions have you seen lately? Please comment with your favorites.


*Total bonus for recruitment history buffs: I love this from AT&T’s archives, including their comments which provide history and context  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIdO7iwxQqA).


Lauryn Sargent's SRSC San Francisco Session:

Lauryn Sargent is a founder at Stories Incorporated, a company that is half story consultancy and half creative studio. She has been a co-creator of a company currently working with best-in-class and emerging employer brands like Dell and EliteSEM. She has also had a direct hand in creative direction and creation of content that truly reflects the employee experience. Before founding Stories in 2011, Lauryn spent years in technical, executive, and everything (corporate) recruiting. She has a Masters in Human Resource Development from George Washington University and a Bachelors in Telecommunications (Audio/Video production management) from Ohio University.