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If you’re not involved in the industry, recruitment can be seen as dull — it’s something that needs to be done but it’s not a sexy part of your business.
But after chatting about recruitment marketing, we realised that some of the best recruitment campaigns of all time stand up against some of the best advertising campaigns we’ve seen.
Don’t believe us? Check out our list of the best recruitment campaigns of all time:
1. Your Country Needs You
(We couldn’t do this post without including this iconic campaign…)
The *original* recruitment marketing campaign. It’s iconic and it’s immediately recognisable as an enduring image of World War 1.
Released in 1914, it was designed to encourage viewers to enlist for the British Army. And it was successful.
Although they didn’t have Google Analytics back then, the month the image was released (Sept 1914) saw the highest number of volunteers enlisting of the whole war. The pointing hand and the piercing stare have become synonymous with the era, despite it being one of hundreds of posters used at the time.
In addition, it’s become a classic motivating image, emulated in some of the best recruitment campaigns and marketing materials across the world. Just recently, the army used the strategy again in their “Snowflakes – Your Army Needs You” campaign that caused controversy in the media.
Despite the controversy, the Army says it was their most successful recruitment campaign in over a decade.
Ikea – Flatpack Instructions
From fighting wars to fighting flatpacks, Ikea Australia’s sneaky campaign was another example of one of the best recruitment campaigns we’ve seen.
They printed job adverts and put them inside flat pack furniture that customers purchased with the words “assemble your future”. They figured that people who are buying their furniture like their products already — something they think is important for their roles.
It cost Ikea nothing to do – simply the cost of printing words on a piece of paper.
The ad resulted in 4285 applications and 280 hires. Not bad for something their customers paid for the delivery of…
Ogilvy – Can You Sell a Red Brick?
In 2010, Ogilvy invited people who wanted to work for them to “sell them a brick”. Always ahead of their time, the marketing communications giant asked people to upload their video of them selling a red brick to Ogilvy to YouTube.
It was to be two minutes long and the aim was to find “the world’s greatest salesperson”.
While there were plenty of people who weren’t pleased by the way the competition was run (they believed the rules changed halfway through), they did find an excellent seller and got themselves a lot of media attention in the process.
So despite controversy, many people consider this a great recruitment campaign – it got them coverage and it got them the right candidate. Some of the best marketing is contentious, don’t let standing out from the crowd scare you.
Eurowings – Tinder recruitment drive
Even if you haven’t used Tinder, you probably still know of the concept: swipe right if you like the look of someone, swipe left if you don’t.
So it’s actually surprising that Eurowings were the first company to really utilise Tinder for recruitment – after all, finding a great job is as important as finding a partner for many people — especially just now.
In the Tinder app, Eurowings ran banded profile cards that people could click into. If they swiped right, they got more information on the role and how to apply. In Austria and Germany, where the recruitment campaign ran, 600,000 people saw the ad and 9.8% clicked through.
Legoland – Brick Factor
(Recruitment campaigns do love using bricks!)
In this recruitment campaign which runs in various locations around the world, Lego invite Lego experts to compete in challenges to earn the job of “Master Model Builder” for a full-time position.
The winning candidates design and create all the displays at various Legolands and act as a Lego spokesman. But only if they battle it out to build masterpieces with other contestants, in an X-Factor style competition.
The competition has helped Lego hire from the US to Melbourne and gets them acres of news coverage every year.
Why Are All of These So Great?
Your Country Needs You is probably one of the first examples of a meme. It sticks with the viewer long afterwards and was obviously powerful due to its success. The fact it has been used time and time again for other campaigns means it deserves its place in the top recruitment campaigns of all time.
The other examples show the parent company’s personality. Each shows a fun side, a personality, and they’re clearly designed to resonate with the type of people they want to employ. And each one is perfectly targeted to attract the right people and detract those who wouldn’t like working at the company.
There’s actually a lot that companies can take from these ads and use in their own campaigns.
Mainly how to appeal to your ideal candidates, and how to discourage the people you don’t want to apply.
(Take Ikea’s. If you’re building flatpack furniture and having a great time, you’re likely to apply. If it’s your idea of hell, you’re likely to throw it in the bin.)
How to put your brand personality forward at the start of the process so candidates know exactly what they’re getting into. And how to use campaigns like these to promote your EVP and attract the right people.