When it comes to recruiting new employees, any businesses follow the same pattern. For most, this works very well, and with some careful guidance attracts exactly the candidates they are searching for. But for the more creative, outgoing businesses out there, it pays to try something a little different. Over the last 10 years, many businesses have tried to shake up the recruitment campaign model, with varying degrees of success. But a few have gone above and beyond, creating campaigns so brilliant and unique that they couldn’t fail. So today, we invite you to think outside the box and take a look at these 4 amazing campaigns.



Rather than going down the traditional route, in 2012 social media giant Twitter decided to have some fun with their recruitment drive. They held an internal #hackweek, encouraging all employees to make them a recruitment video. A hundred teams and many, many bad one-liners later, they found a winner – this ‘mock training video’ featuring Twitter CEO Dick Costello – a parody of old fashioned sales films that encourages applicants to ‘join the flock’. Even though the video was a joke, the information within it was real and it did direct people to the company job site. The video went viral, and Twitter were flooded with hopeful applications. I guess if Twitter can’t do social selling, no one can.


Google foo.bar

Moving away from funny and into challenging and downright brilliant, Googles ‘foo.bar’ campaign is high up on this list. Utilising the fact that it is the number 1 search engine in the world, Google homed in on users who were typing I specific, code related terms, and sent them a message:


‘You’re speaking our language, fancy a challenge?’


If the candidate clicked the invitation and followed the link to foo.bar, they were given a complicated puzzle to solve. If they solved it in the given time, they were moved onto the next in a series of 4 increasingly difficult coding challenges. Complete all 4 and they were placed into the standard Google hiring process with a significant head start. People who found this hidden gem were excited and inspired by the creativity, making them want to work for Google more than ever. Unsurprisingly, the role was filled very quickly.


Royal Marines

Sometimes, the best way to draw people in is to push them away. It’s reverse psychology at its best. So in 2001, the Royal Marines took a bold step and instead of begging for applicants for their very specific roles, they told everyone not to bother. This video ad, along with posters and recruiters, showed a recruit undergoing gruelling training exercises that pushed him to the limit of what he could do. It then waned viewers that ’99.99% need not apply’. This meant that only the best candidates – the ones who would relish the challenge that is marine training, would come forward and apply. The success of this campaign is disputed, as so few applicants were making it through the training, but they did see an increase in application numbers and awareness, which was one of the main goals.


Saatchi & Saatchi

I’m not sure any advertising campaign list would be complete without an appearance from Saatchi & Saatchi. The company were looking for a batch of fresh talent with a passion for all thing digital so they reached out to applicants through their closes possession – their phones. Instead of sending out videos, they developed an app game that invited young people with good ideas to pitch’ them to a board. After they had used the app a few times, they were shown this message”

‘Tired of bullshit feedback? Change your creative director. Saatchi and Saatchi is looking for art directors and copywriters.’

The game might have been an advert, but it was very cleverly targeted, disguised and engaging – so much so that some users didn’t even realise what it was. Once people started seeing this message, applications to the company doubled and the campaign spread on social media like wildfire. This was recruitment success at its best.

While these kinds of avant guarde approaches might not work for everyone, there is definitely a place for them in the recruitment world. Even more so now, when smaller and medium sized businesses are looking to recruit high level talent to grow their businesses. So if you want to step out of the small business mentality and attract top talent in your field, get in touch with us and let us show you the magic.

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