Recruiting today is very different than recruiting ten years ago. Gone are the rolodex, help wanted signs in the window, and employment ads in the Sunday classifieds. Paper resumes and recruiter telephone calls are almost gone as well. Mobile technology, gamification, video interviewing, and social recruiting have sped up the recruiting process and taken it off the recruiter’s desk and made it a digital tool for recruiters and candidates alike. Employers and recruiters have to use the newest recruiting tools to compete, and they need to use innovative recruiting strategies for a competitive edge.
Recruiters Have to Go All Out
Recruiters who need specially-qualified candidates fast have to do things like software company Atlassian. They needed to hire 15 developers in 15 days to relocate to Australia. Their “Europe, We’re Coming to Steal Your Geeks” campaign, using a bus and an all-expenses-paid relocation package to tour Europe on a recruiting mission, helped them attract more than a thousand qualified applicants.
Atlassian generated interest by promoting their campaign on Twitter and Instagram, reaching exponentially more candidates than other methods would have. This was not Atlassian’s first time innovating in recruiting. Atlassian’s Global Talent & Culture Chief Joris Luijke’s objective is to make Atlassian the world’s best workplace, and he and his team work to reach that objective with innovative recruiting like their 2010 “32 Campaign” when they offered engineering new hires a holiday when hired to “start their new job feeling happy and refreshed.” Luijke uses excellent search, recruitment branding, and social media to extend their recruiting message far and wide for extraordinary results.
Recruiters Have to Go Undercover
Going undercover to observe candidates firsthand outside of the recruiting process provides valuable insight into candidate skills and abilities that are difficult to get out of an interview. Take a page from First Merit Bank’s recruiting playbook and go undercover to observe candidates outside of the recruiting process.
First Merit Bank recruiters search for candidates with the best customer service skills by going undercover in retail operation to buy and return merchandise. They get to observe how salespeople up-sell, communicate, and handle sales and returns to identify teller and personal banker candidates. Volkswagen similarly goes undercover by putting their job ad for mechanics on the undercarriage of cars dropped off for service by recruiters to see mechanics in action before the interview stage to see how candidates behave as employees and interact with customers.
Recruiters Have to Get Creative
Creative recruiting means doing things to attract and engage candidates differently than everyone else. Silicon Valley start-up Quixey held a monthly challenge that offered cash prizes for winners when they needed qualified engineers. They used practice problems, with correct solutions leading to a computer programming challenge for candidates to solve. Google does something similarly creative by putting tricky mathematical puzzles up on billboards for viewers to solve and get a URL with another puzzle to solve. The prize? An offer to apply.
Another innovative recruiting method is SeatGeek’s invitation to engineers to hack into their website to submit resumes. Get creative and take engaging actions to get candidates’ attention and get them interested in your company and your opportunities. The Department of Defense held a contest when it needed upgraded unmanned vehicles. They invited field engineers to create robotic vehicles with the independent steering, computerized mapping systems, and travel capabilities on rough surfaces the DOD needed and hosted a 250 mile race. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas held an Iron Chef competition to reveal top hospitality candidates, getting a new menu as well out of the effort.
If you’re not constantly re-evaluating your current recruiting strategies and adding innovative methods, you just won’t be able to attract the right candidates when you need them. When you’re feeling the burn of competition and are losing candidates to that competition, you have to break out of traditional recruiting activities and get creative and innovative. Look what it’s done for companies like Atlassian, SeatGeek, and MGM Grand in Vegas. Why aren’t you doing things like that?
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