Recruitment strategies that are weird, but actually work 

In the current candidate-driven job market, recruiters are looking for unique ways to attract talent. Some have resorted to even (dare we say it?) recruitment strategies on the border of weird and wacky. What can we learn from the unusual recruitment tactics that are being used and actually getting results? Here’s a rundown of some unique recruitment strategies that actually work. 

Invade the Candidate Networks

It’s been long understood that if you want to get the attention of the best talent, you’ve got to get involved in the networks where your best employees spend their time. According to Lever,

“Your employees can help you engage untapped talent and improve response rates from candidates they know.”

So, think of it as “professional stalking.” Use research tools on LinkedIn, Facebook, and others to find out who your employees are connected to. From there, you can deduce what connections might be interested in opportunities at your company. Up the ante with the referral bonuses and ask employees to refer their colleagues. Doing this positively increases your sourcing and recruiting outcomes by at least 10%.

Make it about Marketing

Recruitment marketing is the go-to method for reaching more talent, whether your candidates are active or passive. A Human Capital Institute survey indicated that 75% of companies plan to maintain or increase recruitment marketing investments. And while many companies have changed how they approach recruitment marketing in a post-Covid world, they still turn to effective marketing to attract candidates and create a brand strategy that brings out their most appealing factors. 

Companies like Google even take their marketing strategies a step further to make the process more interactive. One of Google’s latest tactics was creating roadside advertisements with challenging puzzles. If candidates solved the puzzle, they could go to the front of the hiring line. Another example is Ogilvy’s classic “The World’s Greatest Salesperson,” which involved social media marketing strategies that invite passive candidates to record their sales skills. The task? Selling a brick!

Mystery job advertisements

Have you ever heard of “mystery job ads?” These job ads create fun around a dull job search. BBC News highlights an instance when Apply created random, hidden job advertisement pages when Twitter users clicked on a special link. It was sort of like a scavenger hunt, which didn’t take much time to put together – but yielded positive results.

Cool. If you find this hidden Apple page, you’re offered a job!

Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker), August 18, 2017

Another example is from Microsoft, who posted a job advertisement disguised as a mathematical puzzle. The goal was for candidates to figure out the phone number, which had the hiring manager on the other side ready to make a job offer.

Recruitment on-the-go

Um, I’ll take my recruitment strategy to-go, please. According to Elevatus,

“Gen Z looks for job opportunities differently from other generations. They are much more likely to use their phones or laptops to search for job postings and apply for them.”

This is an increasing need as many candidates search job apps and social networks for opportunities. Appcast’s 2022 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report indicated that 67% of job applications were completed on mobile devices. Much of this springs from an expanding remote workforce and those engaged in the gig economy. So creating a mobile recruitment app, keeping job ads short, sweet, and punchy, and putting efforts into social media recruitment can support a solid recruitment strategy. 

Skill-a-Thon Events

Another unique way to attract high-level talent is to invite them to virtual events that challenge their skills. Instead of the boring job fair, make things fun and exciting with a skill-a-thon, where they can show off their skills and get recognized even before they decide to work for you. Foster this spirit by sponsoring local meetups for groups that attract the skills and personalities your company wants. Give out cash and prizes, and job offers! 

Get an Edge with AI Technology 

There are so many unique ways technology can help you achieve more with your recruitment efforts in 2023. Picking an applicant tracking system that includes Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great start. Set up your chatbots to engage with candidates with a sense of humor or some wacky facts. Before you pounce on candidates to check out your job openings, win them over. 

Anil Dharni, CEO and co-founder of Sense, an automated communication and engagement platform, told the Society of Human Resource Management,

“With automated technology, companies can more efficiently and more quickly qualify the best candidates for the available positions.”

Dharni added,

“With chatbots, recruiters can better qualify candidates before any human interaction.”

Try on a Job with VR

More companies are turning to virtual reality and gamification to attract talent. As part of the interviewing process, companies allow candidates to experience what it may be like to work in an open role. Some companies have even gone so far as to offer VR experiences traditionally reserved for trainees. For example, many STEM employers use VR to allow new hires to practice skills in a safe environment before they conduct actual work in person. Getting candidates to try a VR experience can better identify those with the desired skills and interest in the job. It’s a form of assessment, but much more fun for candidates.

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