Business Travel 101: How to Keep Calm and Kinetix On

In the world of recruitment marketing, we spend a lot of time making sure we show off our clients’ employer brands to candidates the best way we know how. The best way is actually meeting their employees and getting the inside scoop in person – and on camera, of course.

This proven process calls for countless hours of planning an employer brand strategy that will work for their needs, and most importantly, a year’s worth of footage in only 4-5 days.

Lights, Camera, Action

As an employer branding team, we have a full armory of state-of-the-art resources and kick @ss teammates who know how to bring the “lights, camera, action” to every shoot. Throughout the course of our filming trips, we really get to know the employees and create a comfortable experience for them on camera so that candidates can get to know their potential co-workers, or even pick up hiring process hints to help them land the job. These film trips also give our team the opportunity to work more closely with our clients and get to know them better.

Behind the camera, it isn’t just our team.

Oh no, it’s also the client contact and their team who are enthusiastically watching us as we represent the Kinetix name and help them tell their employer brand’s story. No pressure, right?

On our most recent trip, one of my counterparts and I seamlessly represented the Kinetix brand, got to know the client’s employees, and created a positive experience for the client. All the while everything was going wrong behind the scenes. How did we handle it? With grace, because that’s what superheroes do…

Over the course of two cities and 72 hours, we had an impressive number of factors working against us and SO many things went wrong–this is what we learned. We hope you can take these experiences, learn from them, and apply the lessons to any role you hold, whether you are a fellow marketer, HR pro, recruiter, astronaut, etc.

  1. Have you ever used a tool that you needed to perform your job…and it just stopped working? Just roll with the punches.

    As the person behind the camera prompting the questions to the client’s team, I needed my laptop to ask the correct question sets in order to produce the years’ worth of footage we set out to get. My laptop’s charger just so happened to break (literally into two pieces), resulting in a dead battery. What did I do? I had a back-up plan ready to go, courtesy of a local Staples. Whenever you are relying on technology to do your job, you have to be prepared for your tools to crash, and you have to roll with the punches. You can never have too many back-up plans!
  2. When you don’t have a back-up, do the best you can with what you have.Technology, am I right? Like we talked about in the previous point, technology can sometimes fail when we need it most. Well, what happens if you don’t have a back-up? Use it to the best of your abilities or get creative.

    For example, on our video shoots, we need lights to highlight our interview subjects’ best angles and, well, one of them started flickering. Yeah, that’s a BIG problem. The fix? We turned down the light to the lowest level so it wouldn’t flicker and created the illumination we needed with the other light. Problem solved.

    Second technology fail? We always bring two cameras to every shoot: one for the interviews, and one to get B-roll footage of the employees in their natural habitat. Well, camera two malfunctioned and wouldn’t work with us. What did we do? We swapped the memory cards and made camera one earn its stripes. At this point when your technology crashes and you can’t do anything about it, being honest with the client or hiring manager is the only thing you can do. Honesty is key.

  3. When you feel like the world is against you, keep your head up, it‚Äôs not it‚Äôs not always within your control. 

    Ever feel like you can’t do anything right? Your hiring leaders keep rejecting your candidates, your creative ideas aren’t what the client envisioned–back to the drawing board you go.

    Just remember this: on our trip, we were driving a rental car, and had to drive 4 hours from one city to another. Well throughout the two days we kept asking, “Why is everyone honking at us?” “Why are people flashing their lights when we are going the speed limit?” and “Why are (insert undisclosed state) drivers SO rude?!” On the last night of our trip, a nice gentleman stopped next to us in traffic and told us that our tail lights were out… hence why everyone was so aggressive.

    The lesson learned? Maybe you need to dig deeper into the perceived issue and ask your hiring leaders or clients specifically what’s wrong before you completely restart your process. And hopefully, like that kind stranger, they will tell you too.

In the end, we were able to film lots of employees who, through all of the mayhem, were comfortable enough to tell us their authentic stories while sitting in the (dimmed) spotlight! Told you we were superheroes. How do you go above and beyond the call of duty when things go wrong in your role? Share in the comments!

-Al Hill

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