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8 Creative Recruitment Ideas and How to Use Them

Published: Oct 3rd, 2023

It's safe to say recruiting is one of the biggest challenges businesses face. While lots of employers struggle to find and maintain talent, those that evolve with the modern world can set themselves up for success. As with any organizational effort not yielding results, sometimes you need to evaluate your old strategy and think outside the box.

With a record-high number of openings, today's job seekers can be pickier about where they work. This puts the pressure on employers that need to fill multiple roles. Offering competitive wages and enticing benefits is part of the equation, but to really stand out, you may need to revisit your talent-sourcing strategy. And that's where creative recruitment comes in.

What does creative recruitment mean, exactly, and what does it entail? Keep reading for answers to these questions, along with eight creative recruiting ideas and tips for implementing them.

What is creative recruitment?

Creative recruitment is using unique, innovative methods to attract, screen, interview, and hire candidates. Instead of standard job postings, phone screenings, and multiple rounds of interviews, it involves more creative ways to recruit employees, like engaging social media content or a gamified selection process.

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Creative recruitment thinks outside the box of job postings, screenings, and interviews, and uses innovative techniques like gamification and social media."

In some cases, creative recruitment means recruiting talent for creative roles, such as marketing, advertising, video production, or graphic design. The idea is to attract candidates by showing them that working for your company will allow them to be expressive and flex artistic skills. Some businesses outsource their efforts to creative recruitment agencies.

8 creative recruiting ideas to try

Millennials already make up a substantial portion of the workforce, and Gen Z is beginning to enter the job market. With this in mind, employers may miss out on top talent if they continue using recruiting tactics from decades past. Unconventional, forward-thinking hiring efforts might be the name of the game to successfully attract and retain these younger generations.

What creative recruitment strategies have worked for other companies? We rounded up eight examples below.

1. Using specific social media platforms

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other mainstream social media networks can be great places to post about job opportunities. However, you might consider exploring other platforms.

You probably knew TikTok is currently Gen Z's social media outlet of choice. But what you might not know is that the platform now has a job search feature employers can use to recruit.

Then there's Instagram, which NPR interns use to share their experiences of working for the nonprofit media company. 4PatientCare ran a successful recruitment campaign in which the company posted detailed descriptions of remote openings on Reddit.

2. Running adverts on streaming platforms

Another creative recruiting strategy is to run ads on streaming platforms. For instance, Goldman Sachs advertised its job openings on Spotify to attract a younger talent pool. Similarly, some businesses sponsor podcasts to inform targeted audiences about job openings. Companies can also use Hulu's self-service Ad Manager tool to connect with potential candidates.

3. Leveraging the power of influencers

Businesses can resist it all they want, but in today's world, there's no denying the marketing power of social media influencers. At this point, turning to influencers to promote products or elevate brand awareness isn't exactly a new concept. However, this tactic is among the more innovative recruiting ideas out there.

How would this creative recruitment idea work, exactly? From nursing and education to engineering and consumer tech, there's a social media influencer out there in virtually every industry. Connect with a few in your sector about a partnership in which they'd create content about your company culture, employee perks, and job openings.

The Swedish National Police Authority is a great example. To recruit more women for the force, the Academy ran an influencer marketing campaign and ended up with a record-high number of applicants.

Creative Recruitment Ideas

1. TikTok Job Search and Instagram

2. Streaming ads on Spotify

3. Influencer hiring

4. Puzzle posting

5. Gamification

6. VR hiring

7. Group interviews

8. Creative job postings

4. Creating a puzzle or hidden message

One of the most creative ways to attract employees is to create some sort of puzzle, message to decipher, or problem to solve. Whether it's a scavenger hunt or a simple riddle, this approach can pique the interest of job seekers by setting your company apart from run-of-the-mill recruitment strategies.

For example, Apple created a hidden job posting on its website with clues sprinkled throughout various pages. Then there's Google, which put up mysterious signs with complex math problems in locations throughout Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attract brainy engineers.

5. Gamifying the recruitment process

On a similar note, gamifying the process can be a great creative recruitment tactic. Though job seekers have lots of choices, you can still appeal to their competitive nature with a hiring contest.

For example, Unilever has applicants play 20-minute games toward the beginning of the interviewing process as part of its screening efforts. This type of campaign has the potential to go viral, which could generate even more enthusiasm and result in more applicants.

6. Using virtual reality tools

You can always tell candidates what it's like to work for your organization, but why not show them? Virtual reality is one of the most innovative creative recruiting strategies. And thanks to the accessibility of new tools and platforms, executing it might not be as complex or costly as you think.

One option is to set up a VR booth at a career fair, allowing job seekers to explore your facilities using a headset. Can't get a headset into the hands of potential candidates? Do what General Mills did and create a 360° video tour of your headquarters that can be viewed online.

7. Running group activities at interviews

Some of the most effective ideas for recruitment involve group interviews. Not only are they efficient, letting you screen several people at once, but they also allow you to see how well candidates work in a cooperative environment.

You could create a simulation of a group project or a collaborative presentation to see how applicants engage with one another. Take American Airlines, for example. The company conducts virtual and in-person group interviews to assess the social skills and "team-player" attitudes of candidates.

8. Reworking job postings more creatively

Sometimes, creative recruitment is as simple as reworking your job postings to appeal to a different or broader audience. One piece of this is SEO (search engine optimization), which leverages keywords and other optimized content to ensure a listing appears in search results. Making sure your job postings, application, and company website are mobile-friendly is also a critical component of SEO.

When you SEO-optimize... | JobFairX

Additionally, you can include information about your company culture, employee benefits, perks, and salary range. Photos and videos can go a long way toward giving potential applicants an idea of what it would be like to work there while simultaneously boosting the SEO of the job posting.

Creative job posting could even be as simple as asking people to answer one or two light-hearted questions when they apply. For instance, you could say, "What's your dream job?" followed by a note about how the CEO dreams of being a dolphin trainer and the VP wants to be a news anchor. This tells candidates that you’re not asking a trick question about their career aspirations but rather offering a playful ice-breaker.

For something a bit more straightforward, you could ask, "What shows are you currently binging?" or "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?"

Creative recruitment at different stages of the hiring process

As you can see, creative employee recruitment strategies can take the form of anything from an unconventional job listing to a gamified screening process. If you choose to go all-in with creative recruitment, your hiring process might look like this:

  1. Create a search-optimized job posting with company culture information and ice-breaker questions.
  2. Add photos, videos, and potentially a virtual reality tour of your facilities to the job posting and your website careers page.
  3. Promote your vacancies on streaming platforms or unexpected social media sites, like TikTok and Reddit.
  4. Partner with influencers within your industry who can speak on your company culture and the unique benefits of working at your organization.
  5. Have applicants solve a problem, complete a puzzle, or play a game before moving on to the next step.
  6. Conduct group interviews in which candidates are asked to work as a team or engage with one another.
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A creative hiring process can use several creative recruitment methods together with traditional methods to target your search towards higher-niche candidates."

Bear in mind there's no one-size-fits-all approach to finding top talent. Some organizations opt to use creative strategies only at the beginning, whereas others employ innovative methods throughout every step.

Evaluating the effectiveness of your creative recruitment strategies

Once new strategies are implemented, track the effectiveness of each approach. This will give you an idea of what's working, what's not, and what may need to be adjusted.

You can also try A/B testing. This can involve comparing two job postings to see which approach yields better results, whether it's a higher number of applicants or a more talented pool of candidates.

If you need assistance with your recruiting efforts, consider partnering with JobFairX. Our virtual hiring platform helps companies in various industries source diverse talent. Whether you're looking for entry-level employees for your startup or need experienced candidates to fill mid-career positions, we can help you get it done.

Watch a demo to see how it all works.