Visa : Reality checked

The authenticity of a careers video contrasts sharply with the rest of the US payment company’s corporate website.

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The feature

Visa’s careers landing page has a video profiling 20-year employee Patrick Faith, an applied mathematician and researcher, who specialises in ‘machine intelligence’ used to detect payment card fraud. ‘Half the people in the United States use my algorithms without really knowing it,’ Mr Faith says in the three-minute video, which is an authentic look at Mr Faith at work and at home (his hobbies are abstract painting and guitar).

The video, with asides about Mr Faith’s childhood in Silicon Valley, California and his philosophy on life, is interesting in its own right, but is aimed mainly at prospective employees, giving them a sense of one career path at the company. Mr Faith, bearded and dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, is filmed in rooms full of white boards, post-it notes and flow-charts. He explains how he has worked in many different roles during his time at Visa. ‘Realistically as long as I make the CIO happy with the math, I’m good,’ he says.

The takeaway

The contrast between this captivating video profile, a genuine portrait of one employee, and the rest of Visa’s corporate website is striking. Most of rest of the website content is marketing-led, with short advertising slogans and glossy images. We could not find any other video employee profiles on the site (another careers-related video talks about employees but is scripted more like an advertisement). The video of Mr Faith is somewhat hidden too: it is not signposted anywhere, even on the careers landing page itself, which has only a carat icon and a photo of a young person (who may or may not be an actual employee) to indicate there might be a video to see.

Visa’s handling of the video is mystifying. They clearly want to promote it by featuring it on the careers landing page, but do not provide any signposts or context. With no other similar profile content, the video can come across as belonging to a different website altogether, and severely limits its impact as a recruiting tool.
First published 01 April, 2015
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