Traditional hiring methods do work. That’s why they have stood the test of time. If you run a print ad, or post on Monster or CareerBuilder, or go to job fairs, you’ll find candidates. And sometimes you may get buried under stacks of resumes, not all of them worthwhile.
For those who want to break out of the mold and try unique recruiting tactics, what follows are examples of nine companies that used unconventional methods to land great recruits.
One of them may work for you.
Proof That Sometimes
Contacting someone who is currently working for a direct competitor, telling the person you have followed their career for some time and really admire the way they do their job is a great way to get someone’s attention.
It’s very flattering.
It’s not just a recruiter calling who gets a commission for every person “sold” or “delivered” much like a bounty hunter.
This is a professional working in the same industry who’s calling and that professional presumably knows what he or she is talking about.
Such praise means infinitely more.
Vero Beach 32963, a newspaper in Vero Beach, FL, needed a columnist.
The publisher called up the sports columnist for the rival daily and offered him a general column on community topics, saying he was convinced the columnist could write about anything, not just sports.
The columnist joined and considerably boosted the stock of his new employer.
Proof that flattery will get you somewhere!
Managing A Virtual Kitchen
Turned Up Great Recruits
In attempt to recruit more Millennials, as well as attract applicants for international branches, Marriott International launched the “My Marriott Hotel” game.
Players manage a virtual hotel restaurant kitchen, purchase supplies on a budget and manage employees.
The game helped Marriott generate interest in the hospitality industry, increase brand awareness and identify talent across the globe.
According to Francesca Martinez, Marriott VP of Human Resources, players from 120 different countries are running their own virtual kitchens at any given time.
The game also successfully increased traffic to the company’s career site.
Martinez approximates that one-third of users click on the “try it for real” button on the top corner of the game, which redirects them to the company’s career site.
Recruited The Neighbors
To Boost Retention
A long commute is a morale downer for any job. People who live near the office tend to stay longer, reducing turnover costs.
Retention starts with recruiting, so at one point Facebook offered an additional $600 monthly subsidy for employees who lived within a mile of the company’s Palo Alto, CA, campus.
What better way to keep employees more productive than by having them live close by?
Look For Talent When
Dining Out, Shopping
If you are recruiting more on personality traits and less on actual job skills, you may be able to look for great people in unexpected places.
Quicken Loans did just that to find people who fit its corporate culture, the company’s Director of Talent Acquisition told the New York Times.
The company once sent employees out to observe restaurant and retail employees, and to offer interviews to those who really stood out for their customer service skills.
“Too many companies focus on industry experience when they recruit. We can teach people about finance. We can’t teach passion, urgency and a willingness to go the extra mile,” the director said.
Use Self-Selection To Find Out
Who’s Really Interested
Some companies have added another step between resume-submission and a personal interview to find out who’s really interested.
A consulting startup, I Love Rewards, Inc., which has now evolved into Achievers, described in an interview with the Wall Street Journal how the company invited 1,200 applicants for entry-level positions to an open house, but only 400 actually came.
The added effort of attending the open house reduced the numbers in the screening process, and also enabled the company to see how people interacted in groups.
A Way To Spot Key Traits
When Susan Hailey was VP of Talent Acquisition at Caesars Entertainment, she launched the MBA Poker Championships in Las Vegas, inviting MBA candidates from top-notch business schools like UCLA and Duke University.
Both full-time and part-time MBA students, as well as alumni are invited to participate. Participants must have some familiarity with poker, and real cash prizes are given, with a portion donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Besides the element of fun, recruiters look for risk-taking and analytical skills.
Landing your dream job is always a question of a little bit of luck, being in the right place at the right time, so this strategy adds a new dimension to getting lucky.
Speed Dating: The 3-Minute Interview
At Travelodge’s UK operation, a recruiting VP was struck by the fact that most hiring managers admitted to having made up their minds in the first few minutes of an interview whether they liked the candidate or not, and whether they were going to offer the candidate the job.
The company took that to its logical extension, so that when it had to hire 30 staffers quickly, it conducted three-minute interviews, jokingly referred to as a “Flirtatious Encounter,” according to a company press release.
Travelodge Resourcing Manager Ruth Saunders said hiring managers would decide whether or not they liked the candidate in “the first minute and a half of meeting them” anyway, so they might as well dispense with the rest of the time.
Wrap An RV With An Ad
Amy Rees Anderson, a founder and managing partner of REES Capital, told Forbes magazine the tale of how she went after employees from a specific competitor.
She said she wanted to target new hires that already had a job, preferably with certain companies she admired in her area most likely to have a similar culture.
To reach these people, she wrapped an RV in a banner with the words “Now Hiring” in big letters around it to create a mobile hiring center.
The RV then drove to public parking lots used by employees of these targeted companies at lunchtime and staffers handed out hiring flyers from the RV to people walking by.
Advertise Where Your
Ideal Candidates Are Looking
Advertising a job only where your ideal applicant hangs out may be preferable to general job sites.
Software developer Towerdata, formerly Rapleaf, was always looking for people interested in Hadoop, an open-source software framework that supports applications running across multiple distributed computers.
So the company purchased ads to appear whenever people searched for keywords associated with Hadoop.
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