Last week, Max Rosett posted a blog about the unusual way he joined Google. Studying for a master’s degree in computer science, Rosett searched for “python lambda function list comprehension”. Then things got weird. The results page split in half and a message appeared.
“You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?” it said.
Rosett decided he was and found himself faced with a series of coding problems. After he successfully completed all of the challenges, he was contacted by a recruiter. Now he works at Google. Cool, huh?
That story got us thinking about other creative recruitment solutions, so we thought we’d share a few favourites with you. These examples are not only attention-grabbing but address a specific purpose within the recruitment process.
Sort the wheat from the chaff
Google already knew Rosett could code before they ever spoke to him or saw his CV. His experience wasn’t without precedent, though. Google has used a similar method before. In 2004, a mysterious billboard appeared in California displaying a maths problem.
The solution led to a website with another equation to solve. Mastering the puzzle led to Google Labs and the following message:
“One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.
As you can imagine, we get many, many resumes every day, so we developed this little process to increase the signal-to-noise ratio.”
It’s not just Google using a method like this to find qualified applicants. In 2010, English newspaper the Daily Mail hid a job advert for a new SEO Manager in their robots.txt file.
Thinking inside the box
Ikea Australia had one of those brilliant yet oh so simple ideas. They put “Career Instructions” with information on how to “assemble your future” inside every pack of furniture. No distribution costs and they received 4,285 applications leading to 280 hires.
Reaching a relevant audience
When a Dutch Volkswagen dealer needed mechanics, he posted ads. Only, the ads weren’t in a newspaper or on a website, they were underneath cars. The cars were taken to various garages to be fixed, allowing the mechanics working on them to find the hidden advert.
Looking for front-end developers, Danish agency Uncle Grey wanted to make sure they were reaching the right audience. To do this, they turned to the popular online game Team Fortress 2. Players were hired to act as ambassadors for the company and help them find potential employees from the game’s community.
The New Zealand Army went even further, creating a whole video game for its recruitment drive. The game featured a series of sharpshooting challenges and completing it led to information about a fast-track training programme.
Not to blow our own trumpet but we here at Taledo also thought of an inventive way to reach the online gaming community. With a keen gamer as a founder, it made sense to post a message along with a donation on the Twitch live stream of PashaBiceps, one of eSports’ biggest stars. At $5, it was a cheap way to reach hundreds of thousands of potential candidates.
Poaching from the competition
The best candidates may already be working somewhere else. One Austrian accounting firm wanted to find sharp-eyed accounts, so it made 1€ transfers to competitors with job information attached and waited to see who spotted it.
Marketing and recruitment in one
Heineken set up a job interview where the hiring manager not only wanted to hold hands with the candidates but later seemingly suffered a heart attack. Hidden cameras caught candidates’ reactions for all the world to see.
LG played a similar prank with their “end of the world” job interview. What applicants thought was a window was really an LG Ultra HD screen. Showcasing the TV’s capabilities, the city outside the “window” was destroyed by a meteor. Hidden camera footage of the interviews was used to create a TV advert.
Not only did these campaigns put candidates to the test, they also provided great marketing footage. Schadenfreude at its finest.
The lesson here? Don’t be afraid to experiment. Almost all of today’s job hunters are digital natives, receptive to innovative hiring strategies. Try new ways to find top talent.
Featured Image: Flazingo.com
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