Creative recruitment is a fresh approach to finding talent that's changing the way we think about hiring. Creative recruitment strategies are beneficial for brands that want to appeal to better candidates and share their company culture. It’s also a great way to stand out, which is especially important considering the latest reporting from The Society for Human Resource Management, which states there are millions of open job postings and not enough interest to fill them. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to use creative recruitment strategies to attract a large pool of well-qualified candidates for any position.
What is creative recruitment?
Creative recruitment is a way of finding, attracting, and hiring new job candidates through unconventional means.
The old model consists of writing a job description, posting it online, and interviewing the best candidates who submit. While job boards can certainly be a strong component of creative recruitment strategies, this method goes beyond that.
By infusing some unexpected communication methods with elements that represent the uniqueness of your team and brand, you can quickly outshine your competitors in the eyes of top talent.
The duties of a creative recruiter vary depending on your industry. Some responsibilities may include sourcing candidates for a single employer, managing candidate searches, and hiring marketing assistance. Depending on which tools you plan to utilize, there may also be some artistic aspects such as filmmaking or video game design involved.
Regardless of what tasks you do, effective project management is a large component of creative recruitment. While many of us may not be used to working with formal projects, there are many activities that HR professionals can do that are considered projects. Creative recruitment is one of them.
HR employees are also becoming more involved in developing strategic projects that impact the way they and the rest of the team work together. Organizing all of your processes in one place so that everyone on your team knows who is responsible for what makes it easier to manage the more complex process of creative recruitment.
This is especially important if you have more than one campaign going at a time. Creative recruitment involves tailoring the campaign to the position and the personality of the team the candidate will be working with. Project management is essential for creating, tracking, and completing all of those moving parts.
Why is creativity important in a recruitment process
Creativity is important in the recruitment process because it helps employers reach employees even during difficult times. It’s also helpful for finding individuals who fit in well with your company culture, offer a competitive advantage over other candidates, and who have highly specialized skills.
For example, the United States is experiencing a labor shortage in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are reports of bidding wars for entry-level positions and proposals to fill the gaps with prison labor for outrageously low and unjust wages. With the help of recruiters, employers can keep their standard processes and find workers to pay fairly. Even after this cloud has passed, recruiters will be there to navigate challenging social and economic issues through creative solutions.
Examples of creative recruiting strategies
Creative project management and recruitment can be done with any budget, time, or personnel limitations, Regardless of what resources you have access to. Use some of these great real-world examples as a jumping-off point for creating your own creative ways to recruit employees.
1. Share employee testimonials
John Deere displays a variety of employee stories on their website (like this one about two John Deere retirees), including those of service technicians. They also have a video that shows how they support military veterans. These employee testimonials show how military veterans have been supported and nurtured by the organization that they work for. They also share how they were able to get the support they needed at John Deere, despite coming from different backgrounds.
2. Map out the journey
The team at Airbnb wanted to revamp its recruiting experience, so they turned to a design practice that worked well for other departments: storyboarding.
Dubbed The Candidate Journey, each frame of their creative recruitment strategy journey is put onto a storyboard that tells potential candidates about the experience of being a potential hire for Airbnb. Its purpose is to help job seekers visualize the various elements of the platform so that Airbnb can improve the experience for their guests and hosts. This can be especially helpful for candidates to know since most companies keep their processes a secret until the potential hire is knee-deep in it.
As an added bonus, the Airbnb team identified areas they wanted to focus on to improve the candidate experience (such as how to gracefully pass on candidates and set expectations for timing) through this process.
3. Advertise in the newspaper
This can mean anything from a traditional ad to an out-of-the-box one. During World War II, codebreaking institute Bletchley Park conducted a recruiting campaign where they put a Turing test crossword puzzle in the Telegraph.
Because they had to keep their process a secret for national security purposes, they also put out a call asking for individuals to solve the puzzle in 12 minutes or less. If readers were able to complete the puzzle in that time frame, they were then instructed to mail it to a secret Bletchley mailbox. Candidates were then chosen from this pool of submissions and confidentially invited for an interview.
4. Create a notification list
Instead of waiting for a role to open up, allow fans of your company to sign up for a newsletter that notifies them when a new job is added. Zappos attracts candidates by allowing them to sign up as a 'Zappos Insider.’ This is a great way to get in touch with the company and learn about open roles and company culture all in one place.
5. Connect on Reddit
In 2013, Google used Reddit to discuss the company's employment policies. The I Am A Google employee AMAA thread attracted over 1,300 responses and had a 90% upvote. Reddit’s Ask Me Anything format is a great way for companies to connect with thousands of candidates in a simple, scalable manner.
6. Host virtual career days
Amazon's virtual career day in 2020 was a way for the company to show off the thousands of open positions across the country. Their digital event brought together over 1,000 recruiters for 20,000 1:1 coaching sessions and 33,000 job opportunities. The event featured workshops for various industries, including sales, marketing, and technology. Another benefit of virtual recruiting is that it allows the participants to access the event's content in an on-demand format afterward.
Creative recruitment ideas to attract top talent
1. Incorporate video
Video is becoming one of the most important mediums we have for building business relationships. For example, Zoom saw over 350 million daily meeting participants by the end of 2020. Even social media giant Instagram is switching from photo-sharing to video-sharing.
Here are some ways to use video in your creative recruitment strategies:
- Ask candidates to include an unedited 10 to 30-second introduction video instead of a cover letter.
- Invite Tik-Tok users to share their pitches and choose from the ones that have the most likes.
- Feature accomplished team members giving Ted Talk-like speeches.
- Use Virtual Reality 360 video to give tours of physical office spaces.
2. Choose unconventional platforms
Many recruitment teams will post their job ads on places like Monster.com and Facebook. But have you considered digging deeper into other popular internet hangouts that don’t normally see these types of posts?
You can create a positional Q&A podcast on Anchor, start a branded recruitment room on Clubhouse for group interviews, or even use paid advertising on local dating sites such as Hinge or Bumble to find the perfect match (all puns intended).
3. Play video games
The US Army uses existing video games to recruit new soldiers. But your team can create their own with the help of an independent studio or by DIYing one with a drag-and-drop video game tool like BuildBox. Focus on making the game fun to play, representative of your workplace culture, and a soft test of key job skills.
4. Offer free coaching
Candidates are looking for more than just a job. They are interested in crafting a lifelong career. By offering free coaching, you are showing candidates that you mean it when you say your advertised opportunities will help them grow.
There are multiple angles you can take with free coaching. For example, the HR team can host a resume review workshop and give live feedback to candidates then encourage them to apply afterward.
5. Host virtual events
Yes, virtual recruitment fairs are already gaining popularity. But the creative approach would be to engage your candidates with something unexpected.
For example, If you have anyone on the extended team interested in mentorship, set up a virtual speed dating scenario. Candidates can ask one or two questions in ten-minute increments with a few different experts at your company.
6. Share incredible content
As part of a long-term strategy, you can develop informative content (think blogging, podcasts, eBooks, etc.) around becoming a great applicant for roles in your industry niche. Many companies publish their open-source information for anyone to use and mimic in their own organizations. Doing so fosters a sense of community and goodwill towards their brand, which is especially appealing to future employees.
How to create creative recruitment strategies with Wrike
Getting the right talent is the first step in any project management process. Without the right tools and expertise to manage it all, the entire hiring process can be challenging.
Project tools and processes can help your team organize and track their key activities. They can also be easily accessed by the whole team so collaboration is streamlined.
Wrike is an app that can help you manage the entire recruiting process from start to finish. It can also allow you to communicate all your creative recruitment projects with other employees in one platform. Here’s how:
- Track performance
This tool can help you keep track of how your team is performing and provide insight into the team's goals and priorities.
- Confirm scheduling
This feature allows you to identify and resolve potential conflicts between your teams’ commitments.
- Improve efficiency
Use tools to track and manage time and tasks to get a better understanding of how productive your team is. It can also help you predict how long it will take to complete certain tasks.
- Automate tasks
Wrike simplifies the repetitive tasks of hiring and onboarding. It lets you create workflows for each step of the process, so you can focus on recruiting top talent instead of creating thousands of documents and emails.
Most companies that track time manually don't receive hours logged until after the fact. This means that employees may not be able to remember their time and could end up with inaccurate records.
You can also automate reminders for new hire training. By reducing the complexity of your HR processes, you can free up time for your employees and HR specialists. This gives everyone the opportunity to focus on other specialized skills while staying on top of administrative tasks.
As the world of recruitment continues to evolve, building a fresher candidate experience will become more challenging. It's important that you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and lean into what makes your brand unique in order to remain competitive in the market. That is exactly why relying on creative recruitment strategies works so well. Start your two-week free trial with Wrike today and begin your journey to revamping a more interesting and productive recruitment process.