10 Out-of-the-Box Recruiting Ideas

TeamStrength members are focused on recruiting!  We know many of you have used creative strategies, like Recruiting Business Cards for your employees to hand out (“Now Hiring” on the front, and “Tell them ­­­­­­­­__________ said you are awesome!” on the back), and Employee Referral Bonuses or Bounties – paying your team members for employee referrals (one payment on hiring and another one or two portions paid after the employee was on board a stated period of time.)  Here are some more ideas we found for you to consider:

From Business Insider: “10 Creative Recruiting Strategies To Hire Great People”

iStock_000031663066_SmallFrom adding interactive group interviews to the recruiting process to actively looking for talent in unusual places, these methods can make your business stand out and put you in touch with your ideal hires.

1. Use self-selection to find out who’s really interested
To help you better separate the wheat from the chaff, you should try adding another layer between resume-submission and the one-on-one interview. One option is inviting all eligible applicants to an open group event, such as an Open House.

In article for the Wall Street Journal, consulting startup I Love Rewards Inc. describes how, of the 1,200 applicants who were invited, only 400 actually came. The CEO tells WSJ, “”That’s self-selection… It’s so easy to apply for anything but 800 didn’t take the first step. That lowered the screening process.”

The Open House strategy also enables you to see how people interact in groups.

2. Look for talent in unlikely places
The Director of Talent Acquisition at Quicken Loans tells the New York Times how his company (which is regularly listed in Fortune’s “100 best places to work”) hires fast while maintaining its corporate culture standards: by looking for great people in unexpected places.

For example, the company once conducted a “blitz” of local retail stores and restaurants, sending employees out to interact with workers and offer interviews to those who really stood out.

“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,” Quicken tells the NYT.

3. Attend events that are NOT job fairs
Job fairs often turn out to be somewhat useless, since the best candidates probably already have a job. So you should try looking great talent at other events that aren’t traditionally recruiting-related.

Search forums such as Meetup for group events that are likely to be attended by people qualified for your open position.

For example, if you needed a graphic designer in New York City, you could attend a graphic design-focused meetup in the area and look for potential candidates. You’ll already know they’re passionate about what they do, and you’ll be able to get a feel for what they’re like in person.

4. Make yourself stand out with non-traditional media
A written job description on a jobsearch site won’t necessarily make you stand out. A video or podcast, however, will do just that.

Using non-traditional recruiting media is also a chance for you to convey something about your corporate culture to jobseekers.

Whether it’s through a fun video on YouTube showing how awesome it is to be an employee at your business, or a recorded podcast describing the position and your company (“jobcasting,” as exemplified on Jobs in Pods), this strategy will differentiate you from all the other recruiters out there — and hopefully make you more appealing to the cream of the crop hires.


From Forbes: “Unique Recruiting Ideas That Paid Off Big Time”1407150941568288-innovation1

5. 15-Second Wacky Commercials: People love going to movies. So we talked with one of the most attended theaters close by our headquarters and asked if we could buy 15-second spots to play some commercials right before the previews. We had to produce our commercials, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them, so I decided that rather than hiring a professional studio, I would instead reach out to my current employees and ask them to get involved. We asked employees to create their own 6-second video at home of them performing their dumbest talent ever. We told them to be as silly and random as possible. Then I had my graphics person create an intro slide for the video that showed our company logo and then flashed the words “Featuring the Elite Talent of [Our Company Name]”. We also created a closing slide that asked “What is Your Elite Talent? Apply now” with our recruiting web address displayed on screen. We then watched each of the employee submissions and chose the most entertaining videos and inserted their 6-second clip inside our starting and ending slide to create our commercials.

Making the talents random was our way of encouraging all kinds of people to apply, regardless of their skill set and interests or abilities. One of the most popular commercials showed an operations manager balancing a toilet plunger upside down on his finger, then lifting his shirt and suctioning the plunger onto his belly and smile at the camera. These totally random, silly talents did the trick and they resulted in helping us find incredible new recruits that we likely would not have found otherwise. It was a perfect campaign because the cost was low, the response was high, and it boosted employee morale by allowing them to be an integral part of the campaign. We hired a lot of great people from those commercials.

6. Billboards: We found that renting billboards near busy freeway exits that were close to our location is a great way to let people know we were hiring. We made the imagery fun and catchy so it drew people’s attention. We also found that it was important to keep the wording to a minimum and make the web address easy to remember so that once people are out of their car and back at their computer they can look up the website and see the open positions. Our most successful billboard was one that had an employee of our company posing in a company shirt with the wording “This is what awesome looks like…Now Hiring”.


From Social Hire: “13 of The Most Creative Recruitment Campaigns”

7. Red 5 Studios à Personalized iPod: Competing with larger software companies for the same pool of talented candidates, Red 5 had to think outside the box. They selected 100 ‘dream’ candidates (all employed elsewhere), used social media to research them extensively and sent each a personalized iPod complete with a message recorded from CEO Mark Kerr covering the candidate’s previous work and inviting them to apply. 90 out of 100 recipients responded and 3 left their jobs to join the Red 5 team. A big win.

8. MGM Grand à Iron Chef: The MGM Grand looked internally for a new head chef for one of their restaurants, running its own version of popular reality show ‘Iron Chef’. Teams from each of the casino’s 16 eateries, ranging from top chefs right down to cooks from the employee diner, were given a secret ingredient and instructed to put together a 4 course meal in under 1 hour. The victor, a 23 year old sous chef from a 24 hour coffee shop, has increased sales at the upscale Japanese restaurant by 400%!

9. OgilvyOne à The world’s greatest sales person: To add quality talent to their sales team advertising agency OgilvyOne launched a clever recruitment campaign to find ‘The World’s Greatest Salesperson’. Using a dedicated YouTube channel and targeted social media campaign they invited applicants to sell them a brick! The top contestants were given a chance to pitch at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and the winner received a 3 month paid fellowship with the agency.

10. Royal Marine Commandos à 99.99% need not apply: The Marines focused on the determination, athleticism and focus required to be a Royal Marine with their 99% need not apply advert campaign. Only a small proportion of recruits generally complete the Commando training, and the campaign was an effective challenge to potential applicants with the appropriate mettle to succeed. The provoking adverts have won a number of awards and helped them attract suitable candidates.


PDF Link