Getting creative with recruitment

Companies and individuals have come up with creative ways to stand out from the crowd or narrow down potential applicants by using “secret” adverts.

Getting creative with recruitment

When Flickr was anxious to hire smart, inquisitive coders for its expanding empire earlier this year, it didn’t waste money and time trawling through responses to online job adverts; instead, it placed the adverts within its source code on the front page of its site. Hidden there, where only a coder would be poking around, the company hoped to pre-filter applicants with the cryptic message.

The move mirrors a similar covert advert employed by Microsoft, which sent out coded feelers for Bing developers. When visitors using Internet Explorer in Debug mode landed on the site, a pop-up asked if they were “interested in creating experiences” and urged them to “apply today”.

Employers aren’t alone in thinking creatively, with one advertising copywriter, Alec Brownstein, securing four interviews with top New York ad agencies after investing less than £10 in pay-per-click advertising on Google.

He used the fact that people Google themselves to attract the attention of potential employers. Using their own egos to his advantage, he took out adverts for their names so that when they Googled themselves, his message came top of the results.

“Hey, Ian Reichenthal, Gooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too,” ran one such advert, which included a link to his website to let people contact him.

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