How to create an original recruitment campaign?

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Would you like to effectively recruit penurious profiles or improve your employer brand? Designing an original recruitment campaign can help you stand out from the crowd and make an impression on candidates. Here are our tips for attracting the talent your company is missing by being creative.

Identify your needs


Start with the obvious – because you can’t do otherwise. A recruitment campaign, whether original or not, should always be based on real recruitment needs. Are you short of web developers, engineers or sales people? Depending on your needs, the target of your recruitment campaign will vary. And it’s a classic marketing fact: a relevant message must first and foremost be understood and appreciated by the target customer.

In other words, if you want to launch an original recruitment campaign to expand your data team, your message must be specifically designed for data analysts/scientists/engineers.

Another example: would you like to recruit more young graduates or students on work experience/trainees to your teams? Make sure your message speaks to generation Z and choose the right platform when you spread your message.

McDonald’s was one of the first companies to use Snapchat for recruitment!


If, on the other hand, your objective is to recruit a wide range of profiles or to improve your employer brand, your target may simply be your ideal candidate. This means “the one who shares your values” and is driven by the same passion. Which brings us to the next point:

Defining your ideal candidate


Of course, every job has its own requirements. If you are looking for a front-end developer and your preferred stack is Vue.js, then of course you will need a developer who is comfortable with this framework. But not only that!

Beyond the purely technical skills you lack, consider the interpersonal skills you are looking for in your future recruits. What are the characteristics common to all your employees? Are there qualities that are often found among your teams (benevolence, solidarity, interest in CSR, autonomy, etc.)? If so, then it is essential to focus your recruitment campaign on these defining values.

The advantage of an original recruitment campaign? It breaks the codes of recruitment and allows you to go beyond the limits of the traditional CV. Take advantage of this approach to pay particular attention to the human aspect and the personality of your candidates!

Heineken: an innovative recruitment campaign focused on people

In 2013, the brewery group made news with a decidedly innovative recruitment campaign. In its video “The candidate”, the brand starts by denouncing the limitations of classic interview processes. The same questions asked over and over again, the same answers given and prepared in advance. A system that leaves little room for spontaneity and sincerity.

To remedy this, Heineken chose, during this campaign, to develop a hiring process that was “impossible to prepare in advance”. How did it work? By means of a series of scenes (filmed on hidden camera) that interrupt the interviews and allow Heineken to evaluate the candidates’ interpersonal skills (in particular their empathy, responsiveness and spirit of solidarity).

Straddling the line between marketing and recruitment, this campaign allowed Heineken to convey a simple idea: rather than making big, prepared speeches, the company prefers to evaluate the personality of candidates in a concrete way.

Designing an original message


A recruitment campaign often starts with an original idea, a premise that challenges the established order. For example, when Michel et Augustin launched its recruitment campaign in the Paris metro, the company wanted to put a little human element back into the recruitment process. This is what is implied when Michel et Augustin’s HR manager tells metro users: “Social networks are killing the human element, so I’ve come to meet you”.

The same principle applies to Decathlon: when the company launched its “Come in shorts for a job” campaign in 2013, the aim was above all to break the codes of recruitment and give primacy to the personality of candidates and their team spirit.

What strong message do you want to convey?


What is the premise of your company and the preconceived idea that you would like to deconstruct with your campaign? Define the interpersonal qualities that are most apparent in your company culture, and that you are unable to assess in a traditional interview?

To be sincere and authentic, the message of your recruitment campaign must illustrate your convictions and values. If your ambition is only to create a buzz or to ride the wave of unusual recruitment campaigns, this project can quickly turn out to be counter-productive.

Spread the message in an original way


As mentioned above, a recruitment campaign can be distinctive in its content… but it can also be original in its form. When Ikea Australia put a ‘recruitment notice’ in the packages it sent to its customers in 2011, the message was not revolutionary – but the way it was delivered was.

The same principle applies to McDonald’s recruitment campaign on Snapchat: while using social networks to recruit is commonplace today, it was much less so at the time, especially on Snapchat!

In other words, the essence of an original recruitment campaign can be summarised in a few words. It is unusual when the company shakes up the norms with an innovative message, an unusual mode of communication or an offbeat HR event. In the end, it is a question of a company stepping outside the box to better promote its uniqueness.

To remember

The job offer is also the guarantor of your employer brand. Is your identity deliberately offbeat? Make sure you write job offers that reflect your image. In order to embody your values throughout the recruitment process, the words you choose to write each job advert must clearly reflect your identity.

Designing an original recruitment campaign


Unusual and quirky recruitment campaigns are unrivalled in getting the word out quickly about a brand and its desire to recruit. However, it is important not to confuse a recruitment campaign with a publicity stunt. To be productive and profitable, your original recruitment campaign must address a real recruitment need. More importantly, it must embody your values and fit with your corporate culture.

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