A while back I ran a survey across a number of websites to ask peoples opinions on what they thought were the most innovative recruitment strategies they had come across. I compiled the results in an article - Most Innovative Recruitment Strategies – Part 1.
I had initially anticipated I would write a part 2 much earlier, but er…..I got side tracked. Visitors to this post will range from novice to expert, so some of the things mentioned might not seem innovative to you, but hopefully you’ll see something you like, maybe something you can use as part of your own direct recruitment strategy.
So where to begin?
1) 3D Careers site – De Nederlandse Tuinbouw (the Dutch Horticulture)
Horticulture is big business in the Netherlands, and to provide more in-depth insight into the many different careers paths available in the industry, De Nederlandse Tuinbouw came up with a 3D careers site!
Visually it’s very impressive, and as you click your way around the floating island and zoom into the various areas, you soon realise that it’s packed full of rich multimedia information about the different roles available.
You can watch videos of employees explaining their roles, view a diary breaking down a typical day, find out more on the skills & knowledge required for each role; the volume of info available to candidates is very impressive.
If you understand Dutch (or even if you don’t like me) then you can explore the site yourself at the following link: http://nederlandse.tuinbouw.nl
2) Bromford Group – #gottalovecake campaign
Now when it comes to using Twitter (or social media in general) for recruitment purposes, most companies still appear to be at the ‘pump out an endless stream of job tweets’ phase. What Bromford did is a great example of how a little thought can help you leverage social media in a much more effective way.
Needing to fill several comms roles, Bromford (a leading provider of affordable homes and specialist supported housing services) had already tried several general and niche job boards without success. Internally they were already big users of social media so the idea of using twitter popped up.
Firstly they asked their team what they liked about working for Bromford, as well as inspiring stories about changing lives, space hoppers and fancy dress, it was clear there was an abundance of cake at Bromford, they really really like cake, and hence #gottalovecake was born!
So…they created a dedicated landing page called ‘Gotta love cake campaign‘ that detailed the 5 vacant comms roles in addition to creating a flyer (image below) that they could push out on social media. Applicants were requested to express their interest in a creative way ‘wordpress, video, audio, infographics’ etc were all acceptable, so Bromford could get a feel for their personality and skills, rather than just going through a CV. Furthermore candidates were invited to a tweet off to discuss #gottalovecake!
Of course, now they needed to get the word out, colleagues from all over the business chipped in tweeting and posting LinkedIn updates with links back to the gottalovecake landing page. They also targeted influential sector relevant individuals (people with lots of followers) to help spread the word. After receiving various animations, infographics, songs, videos and much more, they hired 4 of the 5 roles successfully. the gottalovecakes webpage received around 140 visits a day directly from Twitter, with over 1900 total unique visits across all platforms.
What I really love about this campaign, is the leveraging of their own employee network to spread the word. Simple, effective, but all too often overlooked. Even if you are posting a LinkedIn job listing, sharing that job with key employees on LinkedIn can massively improve the quality of responses to the ad.
3) The Trojan Horse by Jung von Matt
You really need to watch the video below to get your head round this one from Jung von Matt, a creative marcomms agency who were looking for Art Directors.
So what did they do? Well 50,000 creatives from around the Globe use the website Lipsum each day to generate dummy text that they paste into their layout designs. However, for a short period, when these creatives copied their texts generated from Lipsum, a Jung von Matt job offer appeared on their layout instead with an application link! (note, the logo of JvM is a Trojan Horse, much like this campaign). The result: 220,000 users copied the job offer into their layouts, 14,000 clicked the link to the JvM website. I’m can’t verify if they hired anyone but hey, it was pretty innovative (and somehow involved Lipsum allowing JvM to add code into their website I think).
4) Pirate Recruitment from Ogilvy
Ogilvy Brussels were looking for a creating web designer. Expensive application suites are often required for web designers to create the things they do. As a result some designers are tempted to download such applications illegally from pirate websites (especially early on in their careers when they have less money some might argue).
So rather cleverly, Ogilvy decided they would upload a file to several pirate sharing websites, whose file name was named after an essential application web designers use. However once downloaded, rather than getting the application suite they expected, they were presented with a job offer instead. The result? ‘Talented Steve’ now works for Ogilvy, and gets to use all the applications he needs for free. The video below by Ogilvy provides a great explanation of the campaign
Recruiting candidates who are essentially engaging in criminal activities raises some moral questions. Surprisingly (well not really) this is a well-trodden path in specific sectors, Government Cyber Security teams being one of them. I covered this in the Most Innovative Recruitment Strategies Part 1.
5) Unilever UK – Facebook & Peer to Peer Networks
Facebook, like Twitter, is still massively underused and abused my many companies content with only posting a relentless stream of jobs onto their facebook timelines. There are some pretty good facebook recruitment apps on the market now like Work4Labs, JobandTalent and the recently launched Hire Rabbit that allow you to create branded facebook pages, job sites, and leverage your employee’s facebook networks for job referrals.
Of the numerous facebook recruiting examples I’ve seen, one of the best ones, because of it’s simplicity and engaging nature is the Unilever UK ‘By Grads, for Grads’ set up. Essentially every year Unilever recruit graduates for their ‘Unilever Future Leaders Programme’ (UFLP).
Grads are encouraged to post any queries on the Unilver Careers face book page (click here to view). As indicated on their facebook campus page any questions on the UFLP are answered by current grads working at Unilever from all over the business. They actually manage the page. This set up leads to a number of benefits.
Firstly prospective grads get to engage with current grads at Unilever, so gain a much better authentic view into the business. Secondly, it takes a lot of the management of the facebook page away from recruitment and further empowers grads who are happy to get involved in the process. This is one of the best ways to use social media within recruitment, not just posting jobs or sourcing from social networks, but actually creating engaging peer to peer networks that provide long term sustainable value and a pipeline of candidates.
6) Gamification (serious games) & Recruitment – Boehringer Ingelheim & Marriott International
I’ve no doubt that we’ll hear a lot more about gamification in recruitment during 2013. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Gamification is about the use of game mechanics/thinking in a non-game context (like recruitment). This is not to be confused with ‘serious games’ which relates to using/playing an actual game (like Farmville or Angry Birds). Appropriate use of gamification methods can help increase engagement within a given process. Having said all that, I’m going to highlight a couple of companies who created a ‘serious game’ for recruitment purposes, just because I think they are really innovative and pretty cool.
In September 2012 Boehringer Ingelheim, the global biopharmaceutical firm developed a facebook game called ‘Syrum’. Players are tasked with running their own pharma company to develop drugs to prevent a range of diseases.
I had a play myself and while you plod about the lab solving problems you also learn some history regarding epidemics and outbreaks that have plagued mankind over the centuries. As Boehringer’s director of digital mentioned to PM Live’s Digital Intelligence Blog, creating the game “was all about engagement, reputation management, market research and recruiting talent”.
This isn’t the first time a facebook game has been developed to improve brand awareness and bolster recruitment. In 2011 Marriott International, the worldwide hotel chain launched the ‘My Marriott Hotel’ facebook game in 5 languages to help enhance their international recruitment efforts.
You can learn more about the My Marriott game by watching this short video:
You begin by managing a virtual hotel restaurant kitchen, buying and selling supplies on a budget, managing employees etc, and can move on to other hotel operations if you are successful. For the emerging markets where Marriott are introducing their brand for the first time it’s a great way to generate brand awareness and ultimately teach candidates about their employment opportunities.
7) Augmented Reality & Recruitment
Augmented Reality (AR) is a way to use technology to enhance your view of the physical world. If you’re not familiar with AR you can quickly get your head around it if you read the first paragraph of an earlier post I did Augmented Reality & Recruitment.
So how are companies using AR for recruitment? It’s very early days at the moment and some companies like Layar (who develop an AR app) have done a bit of experimenting, but the most sophisticated example I’ve seen is the US Air Force’s Command Centre Alpha AR marketing tour initiative. Candidates walk around a hangar area carrying a tablet. When they point the tablet at one of the walls or ceilings that are lined with various screens displaying images and video, they become augmented with additional 3D graphics and images.
AR is used to provide participants with around 20 different mission scenarios. You can read more about this experiment by clicking here
8) The Big Fat Sweepstake! Transport America
In the states, finding qualified drivers in a shrinking talent pool is proving a challenge. The solution for Transport America was the ‘Big Fat Sweepstake’.
With a round trip air fare, two nights accommodation and spending money at an exciting destination on offer, the Transport America sweepstake differs to others sweepstakes in that anyone outside the company with a Commercial Drivers License can enter. This has helped generate significant industry buzz and goodwill towards the company which now enjoys a retention rate considerably better than the industry average. “This promotion continues the message of a driver-friendly company” says Betsy Waldrop, the Transport America recruiting director.
9) Infographics & Viral Job Distribution
There’s an infographic for just about everything these days, and some companies have begun using them to make their job adverts more visually appealing to potential candidates. There are quite a few about so I’ve included just the one example below. It’s by Kite Consultants who were looking for ‘Change & Innovation Consultants’. As you can see in addition to the requirements of the role, Kite have also tried to present visually, aspects of their culture and why working there is so exciting.
The great things about infographics is they are easily shared around social networks and can generate a lot of inbound traffic. They may not be a viable to create for every role but it’s an option to think about using from time to time.
Jobgram is a creative recruitment advertising platform/service founded in New Zealand, that specifically develops job infographics that tap into referral networks. Check out their website http://getajobgram.com to see examples of visual ads from the likes of Pizza Hut, BOC, Fronterra and many others.
So……………that’s my round up for Most Innovative Recruitment Strategies Part 2. I think moving forward I might just break things down to monthly articles on innovative recruitment stuff I come across. There are still a few things such as talent search engines, alternative direct recruiting models and new social platforms that I never got round too!
Any comments or feedback are welcome. If you find this post interesting, feel free to share it.