Should You Use Stock Pictures For Recruiting?

female with yellow scarf and flower printed blouse smiling

Stock photos are always a topic of conversation when it comes to marketing, and recruitment is no different. In general, the use of stock photos has both pros and cons. On one hand, it’s cost-effective to use stock photos if you don’t want to hire a professional photographer. On the other, you sacrifice having authentic images for your recruitment process

As a general rule of thumb, I say it’s best to avoid stock photos at all costs including for recruiting. In this article, I’ll explain why stock photos aren’t the best choice for recruiting, decipher whether you can take your own recruiting pictures, and explain why you should use professional photography for recruiting.

group of employees collaborating in open space of office building

Why Stock Photos Are Bad For Recruiting

The point of recruiting is to highlight your company’s reality – what it looks like to work there, the culture, the people, and the environment. Using generic, staged stock photos of models who don’t work at your company would be the worst way to try and attract qualified talent to your team.

By using stock photos, you risk: 

  • Coming off as disingenuous or inauthentic 
  • Having the same images as competitors or irrelevant other companies 
  • Not appealing to potential applicants 
  • Losing out on qualified talent

female employee smiling in conference room at meeting table

Can You Take Your Own Recruiting Pictures?

If budget is forcing you into stock photos, you can explore other avenues. In that case, you’re likely a smaller business that won’t require a complex photoshoot. Today, everyone has a professional camera – iPhone cameras are professional-grade. You can even find tips and tricks to improve your smartphone photos right here on my site!

You can also encourage employees to take photos on their cameras while signing the proper release forms to do so. No matter how much you look into it, no one will be able to get better photos than a professional photographer.

Why Should You Use Professional Photography For Recruiting?

Hiring a professional photographer is the best bet for obtaining high-quality, professional grand, on-brand recruiting photos. There’s no way around it.

In the sections below, I’ll break down why the investment pays itself back and more.

two male employees working on paperwork in office

Establish Credibility and Trust With Potential Applicants

If you use stock photos for recruiting, when applicants come in for an interview or arrive on their first day, it’ll look nothing like what they expected. The people, the space, the environment – it will all seem fake. False or misleading recruitment marketing can actually make new employees feel they’ve been tricked, and they’ll be unlikely to trust the company moving forward.

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce who want to see an authentic representation of the workplace. They don’t just want to see headshots and generic photos. They want to see action shots of work in real-time, including: 

  • Employees engaging in daily work 
  • Different teams working together 
  • The real environment where the work is taking place 

Create a Connection

Authentic interactions create emotional connections. Whether it’s between your brand marketing and the consumer or your recruitment team and potential applicants, authenticity reigns supreme. 

90% of millennials say authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands to support. 85% of Gen Xers and 80% of baby boomers mirror that sentiment, and it stands true for employer brands.

A true visual representation of your office space and real people in the attire they work in – in their actual environment – are more likely to create that connection.

Build Confident Candidates

When someone’s looking for a new job, any sign of uncertainty can make them hesitant to submit an application. If you’re hiring for an innovative tech project, stock images of an outdated office will have prospective applicants running for the exit.

Showcasing authentic images leaves candidates feeling confident about applying and ultimately working for a transparent, genuine company.

Present a Genuine Representation of Staff and Work Environment

I can’t emphasize it enough, being genuine is essential in recruitment. If you’re using stock photos, it’s impossible to represent your staff and office space. Even if you try to include a diverse range of stock images, it won’t be your real people.

By hiring a professional photographer, you’ll capture the true diversity of your workforce in their natural environment.

female nurse in purple scrubs

Hire Casey Templeton Photography For Your Recruiting Pictures

If you’re currently using stock photos for recruiting, I hope this post convinced you to change your approach. Whether you try and shoot your own or hire a professional, incorporating your real people will pay off.

Casey Templeton Photography is a reliable corporate photographer that has worked with a range of business sizes and industries. Casey is not only technically skilled behind the lens, but he also brings strong business acumen to the table. To learn more about professional photography for recruiting or to get the ball rolling on a project, fill out our contact form.

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