Employee photography is a requirement for effective corporate career Web sites. And if not possible, no people photography at all is better than stock photography. Employee imagery should be reflective of the company, its workplace and culture, and stock simply can't pull it off. Check out the happy, perfectly diverse and balanced group above - it looks like your company, right? I've seen that image on career Web sites and in recruitment materials for company after company, and even used it for an employee communication project about eight years ago. While providing what almost every company wants in its employee imagery - diverse, good-looking, seemingly professional people who can smile - it's fake. And even worse, it looks fake. It's not reflective of any type of work or unique workplace whatsoever.
Where stock photography really breaks down with job seekers is when they start seeing it in multiple places - for different companies - and it's clear that these pretty people can't work at both. This results in an appropriate question - if your employee images are fake, then are your employer promises as well? A career Web site should reflect the organization and help candidates determine if they are a good fit - but how do either happen when the content is not believable?
Stock photography in employer branding efforts only makes sense from the standpoints of budget and convenience. Some will say that real employee photography is too hard - it can cost a lot of money, is a ton of maintenance as inevitable turnover occurs and is a project never really completed if you want to reflect the company as it truly is today. But it's authentic, and that's a requirement. Otherwise you can use this smiling group as others have, and have job seekers question all of your recruitment messaging.