Heineken are often recognised for their unusual recruitment methods, such as their “Go Places” Dr. Seuss-ish video back in 2016, however our favourite campaign has to be their 2013 intern hunt “The Candidate”. The campaign which scored a bronze Lion at Cannes revolved around a search for an intern in their event and sponsorship marketing team who would be following the UEFA trophy as it toured the world. Heineken received over 1,700 applications but were keen to recruit an intern with the right skills, and so created a unique interview to assess applicants personalities, confidence & resourcefulness, wit, attitude and ability to respond in “unusual”circumstances.
There’s no denying that this interview was unusual, candidates were first greeted by the interviewer holding their hand from their first hello right through their walk to the interview room. Candidates then had to provide medical assistance as the interviewer appeared to black-out, and finally during a fire drill were tasked to rescue a stranded employee from the roof. All the action was caught on a hidden camera, and Heineken came clean to explain the tasks were to help them determine which candidates had the necessary skills for the role!
“I really didn’t know what was happening at the job interview. First they take my hand and I think ‘Hey, that’s friendly’, and then the guy falls on the floor and the next thing I am outside during a fire alarm helping somebody jump off the roof. It was insane. I am glad I showed enough for Heineken to give me this job within their UEFA Champions League sponsorship; it really is my dream job.”
Not only did Heineken secure a fantastic employee, but they reported an increase in 279% traffic to their HR sites as well as a 317% rise in CV’s submitted after the campaign launch. As well as this incredible impact on candidate attraction, Heineken reported that 91% of their employees watched the video and found it stimulating to their job, so a successful campaign all round!
McDonalds recently turned to social media app Snapchat for their latest recruitment drive dubbed“Snaplications” – cheesy but catchy no less. Snaplications first launched in Australia and was later rolled out in the USA in their bid to hire 250,000 new employees. The genius behind this was that the majority of their hires are in the 16-24 demographic, and over HALF of Snapchat users fall into this age bracket making it the perfect social media platform for them to use.
The campaign basically revolved around a branded lens filter, which transformed users into a McDonalds employee with hat and badge where they then had the opportunity to submit a 10 second video to introduce themselves and showcase why they would be a good employee. The snap acts as more of a recruiting tool rather than an alternative to the application itself, so users are directed to a digital careers hub where they can complete a more conventional online application. As a lot of the roles they recruit for are seeking someone with good customer service skills and a bubbly personality, Snaplications is a great way to determine from the first recruitment step if a candidate is a good potential fit, and with its wide use by their target candidate demographic it could be a fantastic way to attract candidates who may never have applied otherwise.
The quest for the best technical talent can sometimes be a difficult task, and for a company like Apple who are one of the most desirable companies to work for you sometimes want to go the extra step to make sure the people who apply are of a certain standard. So what does a tech giant do when they are looking for a technical engineer with the right skills? Hide the job advert within their website of course! The posting which Apple hid back in August this year said: “Hey there! You found us. We are looking for a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component.” Definitely different to the usual careers page listing.
The stunt unfortunately backfired however as the person who found it wasn’t their perfect employee, it was Zack Whittaker, journalist for US news site ZDNet. Whittaker stumbled upon the advert when he was analysing information that was sent from iPhone apps to advertisers, and after he tweeted the revelation of the hidden job it was soon removed by Apple. While this hidden code seems like an innovative way to recruit, it’s not the first time a company has done this. Google have previously hidden tasks for job seekers within it’s website in 2015, and when you look back even further to World War Two, codebreaking headquarters Bletchley Park even set puzzles in newspapers to attract employees with inquiring minds. While Apple’s latest attempts may not have resulted in a direct hire, it certainly got them a lot of attention, which is often half of the battle when it comes to candidate attraction.