4 Case Studies for HR Leaders to Learn from the Best Recruitment Campaign Ideas

Key Takeaways

  • The most unique recruitment campaign ideas produce the best results.
  • UK Army’s brilliant recruitment plan led to thousands of applications in a few days.
  • Google used a complex mathematical problem to attract the most brilliant minds.
  • IKEA included a job advertisement in the instructions manual of their products.

Recruiters in the modern era aren’t merely looking to fill open positions. They must develop a carefully thought-out recruitment marketing strategy that produces excellent candidate quality, a consistent stream of applications, and a favorable impression of your employer brand. 

This extends beyond just filling the current job vacancy, and effective recruitment campaigns of today must combine the finest marketing techniques with a thorough understanding of organizational requirements.

HR managers across the globe are looking for innovative technologies like AI and cloud computing to come up with interesting recruitment campaign ideas. A report by PwC points out that nearly 44 % of HR leaders prefer cloud computing in human resources to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The below figure shows the proposed benefits of cloud computing in HR:

Source: PwC

It is only natural that HR managers look for advanced recruiting strategies for the best results. Some companies have perfected this art and have shown how combining HR with other domains like marketing and analytics can be helpful. 

Best Recruitment Campaign Ideas for HR Leaders

Here are some of the corporate world’s most innovative recruitment campaign ideas. 

1. UK Army’s Recruitment of Gen Z Candidates

The UK Army ran one of the most effective recruitment campaigns in the modern world that can inspire the HR leaders of many multinational companies. The campaign targeted the younger strata of the population; specifically the people from Generation Z. Data shows that Gen Z individuals were less inclined to join the armed forces, a severe problem for British authorities who want to maintain a steady roster.

They designed posters and billboards and placed them in strategic locations where they could grab the attention of young recruits. Moreover, these posters used terms like “phone zombies,” “snowflakes,” “Me me me Millennials,” “binge gamers,” and “Selfie addicts” to entice the target audience. One such poster read, “Phone zombies: Your army needs you and your focus.” 

The campaign produced dramatic results for recruitment as in only three weeks, more than 9700 applications came forward, a five-year high number. More than 2700 people applied in the first five days of the campaign. 

The head of Army Recruiting, Major General Paul Nason, said this about the aforementioned recruitment campaign:

“The Army sees people differently and we are proud to look beyond the stereotypes and spot the potential in young people, from compassion to self-belief. We understand the drive they have to succeed and recognize their need for a bigger sense of purpose in a job where they can do something meaningful.”

2. Ogilvy and The World’s Greatest Salesperson

Ogilvy is one of the world’s largest marketing, advertising, and PR firms that once launched an eye-catching recruitment campaign. The company wanted to hire salespeople from different corners of the world who excel in their jobs, and they took an interesting approach. 

The year was 2010, before social media became an integral part of our lives. Still, the HR managers at Ogilvy recognized the significance of online channels of communication and marketing and how effective they can be for reaching large numbers of people. 

The company ran a recruitment drive using a YouTube video that invited applications from anyone who could fit the bill of “World’s Greatest Salesperson.” The video asked the candidates to record themselves while trying to sell a brick. The company said the best videos would be shared at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and the winner would be invited for a three-month fellowship with Ogilvy. 

3. Google’s Puzzling Board

Google launched a unique type of recruitment campaign back in the days before it became one of the largest companies globally. This was nearly 20 years ago, in 2004, before the company even launched its IPO and was a fully private firm. They did this by placing a few billboards in strategic locations around Silicon Valley in search of the brightest tech minds of the day.

Initially, it was not known that Google is behind the aforementioned billboard, which was unlike any other job advertisement. It presented a complicated mathematical problem to passers, and anyone who could solve it would get access to a website. The billboard asked the public about the ‘first 10-digit prime number found in the consecutive digits of e.’ 

In addition, the folks who successfully solved the problem in the billboard were faced with another complex problem on the website. After clearing the two puzzles successfully, the users were prompted with the following message: 

“Nice work. Well done. Mazel tov. You’ve made it to Google Labs, and we’re glad you’re here. One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.”

This particular tactic was highly praised by the tech community, who admired it for its ingenuity and uniqueness. Meanwhile, it helped Google land some of the best technical minds in Silicon valley who had a knack for solving problems. 

4. IKEA: Assemble your future

IKEA is another big name that used unorthodox methods and techniques for its recruitment campaign ideas. The company is famous for state-of-the-art furniture globally and wants to recruit people who understand its products.

The Australian branch of the multinational giant was looking for talented individuals a while back, but it chose a new method of recruitment. Companies generally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in their hiring process, whereas IKEA Australia saved these costs by putting job advertisements in their instruction manuals for furniture. 

This step not only saved massive amounts of money in the long run by eliminating the need for newspaper and online advertising. But it also allows IKEA’s HR department to get closer to candidates who want to be a part of IKEA and has a thorough understanding of its primary market. 

The creative job advertisement strategy generated 4,285 applications and 280 new hires. Customers were essentially handing themselves potential careers.

Most organizations can utilize this strategy; for example, banks may include a brief section on a client’s personal statement, or a pizza delivery place might put a flier in the pizza box.

Contact Benchpoint, a healthcare recruitment firm, if you’re looking for the most innovative recruitment campaign ideas and how they can benefit your organization. Our goal is to ensure that our clients get the best HR service while incurring minimum costs.