Twitter Makes Purposely Embarrassing Recruitment Video

Twitter recruitment videoThe recruitment video is still a young art form, developed by companies like Google and IBM in the late 2000s. But it's not an art form too young to parody mercilessly. Twitter's new recruitment video mocks all the things we hate about recruitment videos: hyper-staged fun times, awkward cutaways, and cheesy slogans in stilted serif fonts. And by taking all these tropes to their most cringe-inducing extremes, the micro-blogging site makes itself seem like an awesome place to work.

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"Boy, I wish I didn't I already work here, so I could apply for a job. Do we have any open positions?"

"Does a tweet have 140 characters?"


The video, which includes a cameo from CEO Dick Costolo, has already racked up over 400,000 views in just three days, and received glowing reviews on (where else?) Twitter. The firm's recruitment video from two years ago took a similar approach, with each team at the company mocking itself in sequence -- "Monetization" showering itself in dollar bills, and "Trust & Safety" blurring out everyone's faces. It's a smart approach for a company that wants to brand itself as hip, whimsical, and fun, and primarily draws applicants in the under-35 age group.

Tech companies have spearheaded the recruitment video concept, and Google's seven-minute "What is it really like to work here?" video from 2006, Microsoft's 2007 "I am Microsoft Research," and IBM's 2009 "Smarter Planet" are early landmarks of the genre. Most tech recruitment videos take an earnest approach, discussing the millions of human lives the company affects every day, over an uplifting soundtrack.

It seems Twitter doesn't feel the need to hammer that point home. Of course you affect millions of lives by working there; the company has almost 500 million users, and is adding 11 new accounts per second. The company has chosen to stress instead that you can do all that, while still making fun of yourself.

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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

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