We’re living in the digital era and information is more than abundant, job searchers are inundated with endless data. But that equals intense competition for companies, whose information, if not memorable, is easily lost in the hassle.
The paradigm has shifted, companies no longer hold the power, candidates do. They have infinite choices nowadays and recruiters have to actively search for them, instead of waiting for them to find you.
With the advent of social media and popular platforms like the late Vines, the average attention span has shortened considerably. Regular ads are easily skipped, and companies are faced with a new challenge of capturing the potential candidates’ attention. So if you’re looking for applicants, it’s time to be creative with your recruiting campaigns.
Promote Employee's Experience
Millennials and Gen Z are notoriously idealistic. A good income isn’t their priority anymore, lifestyle quality is.
They pay a lot of attention to the work they do and whether they enjoy it or not. This surely has something to do with philosophies. Candidates at that age are usually contemplating their purposes in life and doing whatever it takes to figure it out. And once they do, they are willing to take measures to fulfill that lifelong mission.
And after they have chosen the field of work that they aspire to do, they will focus on the workplace culture, which you need to focus on as well. Happiness is a most sought-after commodity. So one of the best creative recruitment approaches you can use to capture their attention is to showcase your employees’ experience. Show them what it’s like to work for you, and if they’re interested, you’re in.
How do you implement this creative recruitment strategy?
- First things first, hold induction seminars where you establish what it’s like to work in your company.
- Ask your candidates what their values are and what culture they would like to see as an employee.
- Overtly promote that specific details that your applicants love and which makes you stand out from the other recruiters.
- Realize their wishes. Stay true to your promise.
Case in point: Fiverr - a freelance service market - has adapted this strategy and made a recruitment video to tackle the generic concept of such a video. In the clip, the narrator speaks directly to the candidates, giving the ad a personal touch. By mocking the conventional workplace, they emphasize the freedom freelancers have, thus attracting more applicants looking to do freelance work.
Create An Employee's Referral Program
No one knows what’s going on in your business and understands your workplace culture better than your own employees. If there’s someone your potential candidates should consult, it’s your employees. Your employees can offer the best insights for those interested in applying for a position at your company.
Recruit your own people to be your ambassadors. Before letting them roam, equip them with the necessary knowledge, values, visions of your company. Hold briefing sessions on how to communicate with people about your business.
To motivate them, create an intricate rewarding system. You can start with basic incentives like a raise, a promotion, a gift for every certain number of candidates they successfully refer. After that, develop the referral into a whole program.
Here is an outline of how you can incorporate this creative recruitment method:
- Create a referral program, communicate with your employees about the basics of it.
- Equip them with the right mindset, have them learn your company’s values by heart. Remember, Millennials and Gen Z are idealistic.
- Instruct them on how to approach people and start talking about your company. And do tell them who to approach, you might want to be selective.
- Give your employees incentives, preferably commissions. Reward them based on the number of successful referrals.
Take Accenture as an example.
Accenture really turned the table with their referral program by giving the power of referral to their candidates. During the application process, candidates can pick the “Get Referred!” option - by connecting via their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles, the Accenture website scans through their acquaintances and comes up with a list of people who work at the company. After that, a candidate can send a referral request to the employee and submit the request with their application.
Build Your Brand's Image On Social Media
Everything is shifting towards social media these days and everyone is using it. This is without a doubt one of the most influential inventions of humankind’s history. It’s a waste of creativity if you are not taking advantage of it.
The Millennials and Gen Z are active netizens. They spend a fair amount of their lives on the Internet, not just socially, but also as a way to search for career opportunities. Moreover, who wouldn’t love to work for a tech savvy employer who is up to date with the latest trends?
That said, social media is a hard to wield sword. You’re going to need to carefully sketch out a plan if you want to utilize it properly. Here are some basic guidelines to start with:
- Build a reputation for your company. Regularly update what is going on in your workplace. This is both a way of showcasing your culture and also a way of making an impression with familiarity.
- Involve your employees/ employers in sharing posts on social media. This is also an implementation of the employee referral program, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
- Promote your upcoming events. Share them on Facebook, on Twitter, create stories on Instagram and Snapchat.
- Host online Q&A sessions. This does wonder to enhance your credibility and transparency.
And with the help of virality, you can create content like this recruiting video from SodaStream. Take notice of how effectively they promote their culture:
- First, they boldly tread the path almost no corporation has ever taken before - to hilariously mock the overpositism often seen in corporate recruiting videos where everyone can be a rainmaker. In just 1 minutes into the clip, they are able to show humor, honesty and creativity - factors that are strongly resonant with Millennials and Gen Z.
- Second, they chose the right champion - The Mountain from Game of Thrones! Not only he is one of the most recognizable actors from the cast of the most popular show in the world, his personal branding has also been heavily associated with eco-friendly brands.
- Last, they ended the video on a heart-warming note about diversity and inclusion, by showing the real employees who work at Sodastream. By being so down-to-earth and human-centered, Sodastream successfully conveyed their core value to potential candidates in just over 2 minutes!
With the advent of a myriad of new inventions, convenience is more accessible than ever. Doing manual work is now considered time consuming and not as effective as can be.
Let’s say you’re representing your company at a campus recruiting event. You would show up with printed sign-in papers and have undergraduates fill in their contact information. After such an event, your team would have to squint at multiple hand-ins just to make out what the prospects have written, then manually enter those data into a computer-based format (and this doesn’t guarantee 100% precision) and again, manually send emails to follow-up with students post-event.
All of that could be done with the help of technology leveraging. At its core, technology leverage is the ability to gain value by automating everything, leading to more efficient time and expense management. Better yet, technology, especially mobile technology can significantly boost candidates’ experience.
Case Study An exemplary case study is National Grid. Previously, when attending campus recruiting events, the team would show up with printed sign-in paper and had prospects note down their contact information. Unfortunately, due to compliance issues and following the Legal Team’s policies, the team couldn’t collect resumes to bring back to the office, meaning all the data-collecting work had to be done right at the events. The manual processing approach and the follow-up after each event was inefficient and frustrating to National Grid Recruiting team. They know they have to find a right recruiting software to help with all manual tasks.
When National Grid adopted a recruiting platform, they immediately saw concrete results:
- Save 50-60 hours of administrative and manual work per semester
- Increase 10% in the number of student applying to National Grid every year since 2017
- Increase the company branding by appearing to the millennials and gen Z in that they, too, are a tech-savy companies
So how do they do it, exactly?
At offline recruitment events, the team utilizes both their smart mobile phones to collect the prospects’ information and iPads to have students manually input their data in case they forget to bring their resumes. This way, the team avoids missing out on any potential candidates. “The students’ reactions to us and themselves using the app have been really positive,” they love seeing a tech-savvy company who is committed to implement cutting edge technology solution into the daily work practices.
This is a really good way to pick who’s best at their field. An obvious perk of this method is that you can save a lot of money spent on head hunting. Just inform the public of a contest going on, and it will attract just the right talents.
Remember that scene in “The social network” where Zuckerberg held a small competition to see who is the first to debug a software while also taking shots periodically, and the winner gets to join the Facebook team? The process is just as simple as that.
One famous example of this method is when the MGM Grand, one of Las Vegas’s biggest casinos, took inspiration from the TV show Iron Chef when looking for a new head chef for one of their Asian restaurants. Contestants are handed a secret ingredient and asked to put together a 4 course meal in under 1 hour.
Create Out-of-the-box Advertisements
You’re looking for a creative recruitment strategy, why not consider making creative ads? If done right, each ad can go viral, promoting your values and workplace culture in a fun way that is sure to make people notice. Now you’re hogging all the attention, well done!
Choose the most creative team, let them roam. Advertising is an art, you can create hidden ads, viral videos, viral photos, and God forbid, memes. Memes are part of the Internet culture now, it would be such a shame to pass on this gold mine.
Each of the above creative recruitment strategies comes with an example of a good ad. There are many more to see and to learn from. Be creative, that’s what creative recruiting is about. If you need any inspiration, here are some examples:
If you want your recruiting campaign to succeed, you need to come up with out of the box recruiting strategies. We’re living in a fast paced world where it takes people less than 10 seconds to decide whether they want to read an article or watch a video or not. So be bold, be decisive, be assertive, and most of all, be over the top.
To sum up, when you think of creative recruitment, think about:
- Focus on showcasing your company culture, after all, that’s what your potential candidates care about.
- Put emphasis on the characteristics of the work they are expected to do.
- Actively hunt for candidates but at the same time, make them come to you, be it out of curiosity or of a predetermined goal. You don’t have to take control over them, let them have the variety of choice, you just have to be the best choice for them.
- Make technology an ally. Boost your results with technology leverage.
- And last but not least, take advantage of the power of social media, and the virality it brings about. Attention to small details really helps you reach a massive amount of audience, therefore giving you a myriad of choices, just like that of the candidates.