The 5 Strangest Recruitment Strategies — and Why They Worked

by Chris Rhatigan on Apr 30, 2016 5:00:00 AM

The 5 Strangest Recruitment Strategies — and Why They Worked by TINYpulseThe competition to attract top talent is stronger than ever these days. But companies want to avoid spending thousands of dollars on bringing in someone new. That’s why companies are trying new and different recruitment strategies to get people’s attention. From puzzles to publicity stunts, employers are willing to do whatever it takes to get the best people.

And with our Employee Engagement Report finding that a quarter of employees would jump ship for a 10% raise, companies want to make sure that they’re bringing in the right kind of people. Finding qualified candidates who want to work with you is the first key to retention. Here are a few examples of recruitment gambles that paid off:

 

1. Deloitte

The consulting company’s China division created a virtual office tour and plugged it on Weibo (like China’s Twitter). According to an article by Mystery Applicant, the tour has several different stages, including taking a flight to the division office of your choice — Hong Kong, Beijing, or Shanghai. Deloitte’s goal was to acquaint recruits with the routine of the workplace and get them to chat with current employees. The technique was a success, with over 17,000 people playing the game.

 

2. Code crackers

The 5 Strangest Recruitment Strategies — and Why They Worked by TINYpulseSOURCE: giphy.com

The story of World War II–era cryptologist Alan Turing has been made famous by the film The Imitation Game. When Turing wanted to find the brightest minds in Britain, he ran a particularly challenging crossword puzzle in the newspaper — anyone who solved it could come work for him. This emphasis on strategic thinking helped Turing and his team crack the Germans’ infamous Enigma code and win the war.

 

3. Quixey

The start-up tech company created an online coding puzzle that offered a small cash prize to engineers who could solve it, according to Gigaom. Winning several puzzles landed you a chance to win a job at their Palo Alto, California, corporate headquarters. Hiring the top engineers can be ludicrously expensive — costing $20,000 — but Quixey found a way to do it for a fraction of the cost.

 

4. Human resource executive

A New York–based travel company couldn’t find people for its call center and had a 35% turnover rate, according to LinkUp. The company abandoned its traditional hiring techniques and distributed 25,000 fliers at the Times Square subway station. They then had their CEO distribute customized business cards at the subway station with a phone number that played a prerecorded message about working for the company. The oddball strategy was a winner — the company made 15 new hires while building a database of qualified applicants.  

 

5. UPS

ups.gifSOURCE: giphy.com

While the techniques the shipping company used aren’t revolutionary, their commitment to change is staggering. According to an article by Link Humans, UPS went from spending 90% of their recruitment budget on print advertising to 97% on social media advertising. They attracted a huge number of candidates and media buzz, landing over 1,000,000 views of their online videos. Not only did they attract more-qualified candidates, but they greatly decreased the cost of bringing in new hires.

What does your company need to do to bring in the best hires? Maybe it’s time to think outside the box and devise new ways to recruit employees.

 

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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.