For businesses that want to hire world-class candidates, the competition is fierce.
In a hyper-competitive job market, top candidates often have dozens of cold reach-out emails and hundreds of generic job descriptions to wade through. Traditional sourcing strategies—trawling your go-to recruiting sites or peppering social media with catchall ads—are so crowded that it's virtually impossible to be heard over the clamor of a hundred other recruiters. Thankfully, there are other, more creative, sourcing strategies at your disposal, designed not just to stand out from the crowd but also to engage, inspire, and even amuse top talent in the process.
We're sharing 10 creative candidate-sourcing strategies from some of the top companies, ranging from cryptic billboards to custom Spotify playlists.
1. IKEA's self-assembly sourcing strategy
Global furniture brand IKEA is well-known for its DIY products and its famously scant assembly instructions. In 2012, the company's Australian branch turned both into a hugely successful recruiting channel, adding a subtle job advertisement—titled “Cäreer Instructions,” with directions to “assemble your future”—into the packaging of every product.
When customers discovered the advertisement inside their purchases, they shared it with friends and family, creating a viral word-of-mouth effect—and a brand new recruitment channel. All told, the campaign cost $0 in media spend and postage costs, while generating 4,285 new applications and 280 hires for IKEA's Australian megastores.
2. Spotify's recruitment playlist
IKEA isn't the only company to turn their product line into a recruiting tool. In 2016, Spotify recruiter André Hellström garnered attention by approaching software developers with a custom-made playlist (you can listen to it here). When opened, the title of each track formed an invitation to “Join The Band” and apply for an open development role.
It seems the approach proved effective: Just three months ago, another carefully curated recruitment playlist was spotted in the wild, this time congratulating a candidate on successfully securing the role of Product Manager of Personalized Listening Experiences. The company has even been known to send applicants a quick follow-up email containing a link to Spotify's “Have a Great Day” playlist.