Unconventional Recruiting

Unconventional Recruiting

The job market changes everyday, and it is subjected to constant innovation. Adopting new recruitment strategies seems to be the most important thing for companies, and they are always trying to find the newest and most original way to find the best-fit talents. Recruiting isn’t what it used to be: there’s less reading through resumes and cover letters, and more interacting with candidates. So, new methods of recruitment are appearing. Any example?


In 2013 Heineken had a brilliant idea to avoid doing all the same job interviews. They launched the program “ “The Candidate” to find the best talent for the team Event & Sponsorship Marketing (that was working at the Champions League finale). Heineken had to chose among 1,734 candidates, and used unconventional ways like a simulation of medical assistance. The candidates were filmed, and then the marketing community voted on an internal platform which candidate did perform best. It was announced at the Juventus Stadium in front of thousands people. Not impressive at all.


Also Italy is doing its part: Friendz, the app that allows companies to get more visibility and improve brand awareness. They decided to hire potential talents with gaming: for example, they asked candidates to step into a room full of puzzles and riddles. It was like an escape room, and they had to find solutions to get out (and pass the interview). Fun, right?


Volkswagen decided to go undercover to find talents: incognito recruiters brought old cars in repair shops and inserted hidden messages in the cars’ hoods. Thanks to this method, the messages reached a focused target and recruiters could see mechanics in their habitat and on the job.


Since 2016, Unilever understood it could not go any further with a traditional recruiting method. They decided to go beyond the concept of CV, and aim at Personal Branding. After the application, the candidate downloads an app and, with the cam, the AI measures voice, facial expressions, speed of reply, vocabulary, and many other parameters. Afterwords, it is gamification time. The candidate must complete 12 games in 20 minutes, which prove his/her skills, even under pressure, and memory. thanks to this method, they screen almost 60-80% of the candidates. The last step is a pre-recorded message, and, if the app does the ok, the candidate can finally meet the recruiter and, by the end of the day, find out his/her future in the company.


The bank HSBC has opted for “name-blind” recruitment, because names could unintentionally bias managers. This method gives to under-represented groups confidence that their application will be considered fairly.  People from ethnic minority groups have higher unemployment rates and worse rates of pay. Also Deloitte, KPMG, and Virgin Money opted for this.


Red Bull is not just the energy drink, but also a mix of successful recruiting strategies. On the career site you can immediately see something odd. There is written:“We don’t have videos of smiling employees enjoying free lunches and bean bags in colorfully painted offices. Instead, please judge us by the quality and professionalism of what we produce across our many projects and products.” They deserve to be mentioned just because they are very direct and unconventional. On their LinkedIn profile you can also follow the brand’s site, which makes the experience familiar and interesting for every applicats.

2 Replies to “Unconventional Recruiting”

  1. I guess that all goes down with the requirements of every single firm.
    I am still doubtful regarding the use of an app, instead I wouldn’t mind having an interview by means of a video. I have already had an experience with skype and it was fine (I got that job). Anyway I for one I keep allmy options open.

    1. Hello Alberto, thanks for commenting and saying your opinion about our article. Well, the use of the app is still very new and unusual, while the video practice is already working in many firms. Who knows what the future will bring in the recruitment field, the important is to keep doing what you do: keeping all the options open. We wish you all the luck, and have a great day. The Team

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