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12 Creative Recruitment Campaign Ideas to Inspire You

Juste Semetaite Juste Semetaite Last Updated:

A great recruitment campaign idea can significantly improve a brand’s attractiveness in the talent market. And, good news — it doesn’t always need a crazy budget!

Now is the time to inject some creativity and fun into your recruitment campaigns and shake up those boring, overused recruitment tactics that typically start with posting on job boards (boring).

When your talent team starts creating original, engaging campaign ideas that tie into and strengthen your overall recruitment strategy, you’ll quickly discover how to attract the best and brightest candidates.

TL;DR — Key Takeaways

  • Creative recruitment campaigns are all about developing fun and engaging ways to attract good candidates to your brand and make a bigger impact on applicants.
  • Examples include recruitment via a dating app, using a mysterious code to crack, hosting meet-ups, or enlisting the help of an immersive virtual tour.
  • You can develop creative ideas for your recruitment campaign by assessing the issues your talent team has now, researching how other companies hook applicants, or brainstorming new ideas with your team.
  • Three examples of organizations thinking out-the-box include IKEA’s 3D-printed meatball campaign, Volvo’s S90 model vehicle that interviews its own technicians, and a really fun one by Deloitte — a zombie recruitment video (yes, you can’t miss out on that one, so read on).
  • After launching your campaign, create skills tests in a jiffy to screen and shortlist applications with Toggl Hire. Plus, your talent team can choose from our library of over 150 test templates to streamline and automate your hiring process.
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What is a creative recruitment campaign?

Recruiters or talent acquisition teams that use original recruitment campaign ideas, such as games, crack-the-code tests, AI recruitment bots, or video content, connect directly with the hearts and minds of their target audience.

How do you know if your organization is using creative ideas in your strategy?

Well, has the talent team been using the same recruitment marketing approach for the last ten years? (Oh dear, hopefully not.) Why? Well, by following the same traditional tactics that everyone else uses, there’s no way your brand will stand out in the crowd.

When companies interact with candidates in a thoughtful, impactful way with their recruitment marketing, they're more likely to attract the qualified people they're looking for.

When companies interact with candidates in a thoughtful, impactful way with their recruitment marketing, they’re more likely to attract the qualified people they’re looking for. Now, here’s how your team can start doing things differently.

How do companies think of creative recruitment campaigns?

It’s not too complicated. Let’s walk through the steps for creating successful, original recruitment marketing.

Step 1: Identify your team’s biggest blockers in acquiring top talent.

Step 2: Next, brainstorm ideas or tactics to overcome those challenges. Here are some tips:

  • Get inspiration from other companies already thinking out of the box.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, and think of ways to communicate with them in a style and tone that’ll appeal to them, such as an animated video.
  • Reach out to colleagues to gather ideas from a diverse group.
  • Consider what your company values highly in its current employees.

Step 3: Bring all your ideas together and create your recruitment campaign strategy, including the channels you’ll use to publish it, such as social media and your careers website.

Step 4: Review your campaign cost and ensure you’ve got the budget you need, or adjust your plan accordingly (ensuring you keep in the good stuff your target audience likes).

Step 5: Launch your campaign and hope your job advert and other campaign elements get widespread national, global, (or even viral!) attention.

Do we need to outsource specialized components of our recruitment campaigns?

Possibly. We know that not all companies have the resources to pull off every aspect of a creative project in-house. In that case, you might need to outsource specific components to an agency, such as:

  • Designing social media or other digital ads
  • Creating a video (that doesn’t look like your nephew stole your mobile phone)
  • Creating a complex game or nerdy equation as a recruitment test

Ok, now for the fun stuff.

To help you win on this new path, we’ve pulled together some truly innovative recruiting ideas below. Companies that came up with some original or inventive attention grabbers to reel in great candidates.

12 creative and inspiring recruiting campaign examples

Let’s face it, many organizations are in need of a recruitment process makeover. Especially if they want to attract young, qualified candidates (and the company’s employer brand is as appealing to them as a 1970s movie).

The following companies (most of which you’ve likely heard of) also needed some fresh ideas for their recruitment marketing to jazz up their outdated image — and they all succeeded.

1. Deloitte Graduate Recruitment Campaign

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  1. Problem: Recruiting sufficient numbers of junior staff for white-collar workplaces
  2. Recruitment strategy: Graduate recruitment
  3. Tactics: Student academy, vac work, graduate programs, internships, social media, ads, referrals

Their most original campaign idea was definitely their US zombie recruitment video — a Walking-Dead-themed recruitment ad that ran during the show’s season finale. It may not have featured at any big international advertising festival, but it sure got people talking. And that’s what you want.

2. British Army — New Recruits Campaign

Best examples of creative recruitment campaigns
Get the right message to ensure your job ads communicate directly with your target market. | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  1. Problem: Recruiting soldiers for dangerous professions like the army is becoming more difficult
  2. Recruitment strategy: Using pop-culture references to attract a wide range of ‘profiles’
  3. Tactics: TV adverts, social media, and other online platforms.

This campaign is unique because it used the principles of good advertising or copywriting by appealing to what’s important to its specific target audience — communicating about their values and using their language.

3. Home Instead Recruitment Campaign

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  1. Problem: The caregiving profession is currently highly undervalued and is also experiencing a rapid increase in demand post-pandemic
  2. Recruitment strategy: Using emotional and aspirational messaging to attract people whose values align with the company’s purpose
  3. Tactics: Ad campaign across TV, digital, print, radio, social, and direct mail

Recruiting for a job that is typically extremely under-appreciated definitely requires some extra creative juice. Home Instead decided to employ the services of a professional agency for this campaign to refresh their brand and hook exactly the right kind of people.

The agency created extremely emotive recruiting videos for this niche industry that hit the mark 100% with their “can’t help but care” target audience.

4. IKEA Recruitment Campaign

IKEA Creative Recruitment Campaign
You need to be a really innovative recruiting brand to think of using 3D-printed meatballs to hook potential applicants! | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  1. Problem: IKEA isn’t a tech career destination, and filling tech and digital jobs was a tough task
  2. Recruitment strategy: Using a major technology trend to join the conversation and boost their awareness in the tech talent circles
  3. Tactics: An experimental recruitment campaign using 3D-printed meatballs

Now, this is a truly original campaign run by the Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA. To attract talent that thinks out of the box, they invited potential candidates for an interview over a dish of meatballs.

But not their traditional Swedish meatballs…these are 3D-printed meatballs, supporting their drive for more plant-based meals in their restaurants.

5. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Recruitment Campaign

AHLA uses creative thinking to launch a recruitment campaign
The AHLA recruitment campaign celebrates all that hospitality has to offer—including competitive wages, benefits, flexible schedules, and travel opportunities – in a bid to attract diverse talents.

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  1. Problem: Combatting massive labor shortages in hospitality post-Covid
  2. Recruitment strategy: Targeting unemployed, underemployed, and ready-to-work candidates looking to start their careers in hospitality by highlighting real-life examples of upward mobility
  3. Tactics: National ad campaign covering social media, digital display ads, radio, and press coverage

These guys are helping to fill a major pandemic-driven employment gap. In the US alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shared this eye-opening statistic:

The industry has regained 6.9 million jobs since April 2020. Despite these gains, employment is 1.3 million lower than in February 2020.

Source

Their campaign makes potential newcomers aware of the vast array of benefits available with a career in hospitality and uses testimonials from current employees to bring home the message with real-life stories.

6. Atlassian Recruitment Campaign

Atlassian Creative Recruitment Campaign
Software company Atlassian took its recruitment drive quite literally! Definitely an innovative take on your average recruitment or marketing campaign. | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: Hiring at scale, which, in this case, meant trying to attract 1,000 new employees over 12 months
  • Recruitment strategy: Doubledown on promoting the ‘work from anywhere’ policy to attract tech talents who want to work remotely.
  • Tactics: A physical recruitment drive in a branded Van

This one’s definitely another imaginative recruitment campaign that the software company, Atlassian, launched recently. The ‘AttlassiVan’ drove around Australia on a month-long recruitment road trip.

atlassian's creative recruitment campaign
The AtlassiVan embarked on a month-long road trip, with stops in Canberra, Wollongong, Melbourne, Adelaide, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast.

Their novel idea aligned well with their work-from-home policy that they were also ‘driving home’. And hopefully, their innovative thinking has helped them meet their Australian and global intake goals (from 9,000 to 25,000 by 2026).

7. BHP Recruitment Campaign

BHP employs a creative campaign idea to attract diverse talent

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: A biased recruitment process and lack of gender diversity
  • Recruitment strategy: Building a transgender and gender-diverse talent pool
  • Tactics: Updated recruitment process

This campaign hit at the heart of the ongoing issue of gender equality in mining. Global mining giant BHP recently ran a successful, global-first (for BHP) initiative to help reduce hiring biases by refreshing their outdated recruitment processes.

8. EasyJet Recruitment Campaign

EasyJet Creative Recruitment Campaign
Sometimes the ideal candidate is not what most expect. This out-of-the-ordinary recruitment marketing drive was just what the industry needed to fill much-needed cabin crew vacancies. | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: Remedying crew shortages post-Covid
  • Recruitment strategy: Targeting a very specific talent segment – empty nesters and over-45’s
  • Tactics: Advertising campaign

Now, this is another campaign that’s thinking out of the box. After coming across a fascinating market insight that “around 78% of British parents aged 45 and over want to take on a new challenge once their children fly the nest”, EasyJet crafted a recruitment campaign targeting this specific talent pool.

Filling the crew shortages with candidates who are over 45, whose kids have finally flown the nest, and who are now looking for a new career adventure!

9. Volvo Recruitment Campaign

Volvo Creative Recruitment Campaign
How about a product that recruits its own potential employees or technicians, in the case of Volvo. | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: Attracting 400 highly-qualified R&D engineers in 12 months
  • Recruitment strategy: Grabbing audience attention at a renowned international motor show and establishing the brand as an emerging hub for automotive software engineering
  • Tactics: Event PR
Volvo’s ‘The Recruiting Car’ campaign is innovative and unique.

Now that’s turning your average recruitment campaign strategy on its head for sure! The team incorporated AI into the car’s pedestrian speech technology and car connect system to test the social and technical skills of those who hopped in for an interview! Nooooice.

10. Toggl

Toggl uses a skills assessment as a creative recruitment campaign idea
Toggl ran a social media recruitment campaign to attract talented people who are looking for remote work.
  • Problem: Attracting high-caliber passive candidates
  • Recruitment strategy: Using an innovative, gamified approach to engage passive candidates & offering a free gift
  • Tactics: Skills test was advertised on social media platforms

Our sister company Toggl wanted to hire an SEO manager and thought of a fun campaign that’d be a win-win scenario for all. We created a skills test challenge and advertised it across social media, offering a free t-shirt to applicants who achieved high scores.

Reaching passive candidates while spreading the word about our brand to other talented workers across the globe — it doesn’t get better than that.

11. Walmart eCommerce Recruitment Campaign

walmart ecommerce recruitment campaign idea focuses on technology
Taking recruitment marketing to another level with a high-tech office on wheels!

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: Struggling to attract Millennials and Gen-Zers
  • Recruitment strategy: Activating a new disruptive employer brand to attract graduates
  • Tactics: Campus recruitment with an experiential VR tour, careers page overhaul, video series, redeveloping all in-store and campus recruiting visual assets

Walmart’s massive talent acquisition campaign was created by Nexus and helped give the brand a much-needed facelift (since the retailer may not have been top of many candidates’ favorite employer lists).

12. Lowe’s Canada Recruitment Campaign

Lowe's Canada's Latest Recruitment Campaign is Based on Fails
Lowe’s Canada’s Latest Recruitment Campaign is Based on Fails | Source

What is the campaign trying to achieve?

  • Problem: Attracting young recruits in the midst of a labor shortage
  • Recruitment strategy: Tapping into a growing interest among young people in home renovation and crafting a compelling value proposition to set themselves apart from other employers
  • Tactics: An exhibition, The Hall of Fail, that presents renovation fails recreated as works of art, out-of-home, web, and social media content

Intending to recruit some 5,000 people in a year amidst exceptional labor shortages, Lowe’s Canada was facing the monumental challenge of attracting younger workers. Partnering with a creative agency, the brand devised a recruitment campaign focusing on opportunities for growth and learning within its network.

They have also discovered that 88% of Gen Z students want to work for employers who give them access to training and growth opportunities.

Training is a priority for us, so we make sure to offer comprehensive training to everyone who joins our teams. Working in one of our stores is a great opportunity for people to gain knowledge that will benefit them all their lives.

Nadine Chiasson, director, talent acquisition at Lowe’s Canada

Inspired by this insight, the brand launched a campaign and exhibition that builds on the desire to learn by showing compelling examples of renovation failures that young people can avoid by working and learning at one of the brand’s stores. Each of the exhibits had a QR code for applying directly for the various open positions.  

Thinking of your next original recruitment campaign strategy?

We hope this list has got you buzzing about your next recruitment campaign and how you can match those innovative companies to approach candidates.

Whatever the role — from finding a new head chef to grabbing up the best engineers or roping in the world’s greatest salesmen — your recruitment marketing efforts are sure to hit their hearts and minds if you use your imagination!

Whether you create a completely original marketing campaign that goes viral or want to give your recruitment and application process a good shake-up, you’ll be en route to finding the right qualified candidates quickly as long as you put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and get creative.

One easy way to add sparkle to your next recruitment campaign while making it fun and engaging for you and potential applicants is with Toggl Hire’s skills tests. Our test library is brimming with role-specific questions developed by the experts.

Say goodbye to unsuitable candidates and the hours wasted screening CVs — create a free Toggl Hire account today to see just how simple, fun, and accurate hiring can be.

Start Using Skills Assessment Tests
Juste Semetaite

Juste loves investigating through writing. A copywriter by trade, she spent the last ten years in startups, telling stories and building marketing teams. She works at Toggl Hire and writes about how businesses can recruit really great people.

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