How to Make a Recruitment Campaign That Works

Every company desires to have the best possible workers, ones with the talent to excel at the job and the qualities to positively impact the workplace culture.

The competition is fierce among recruiters these days. In many job markets, job seekers can afford to be picky because of the number of options they have. It is therefore imperative that companies come up with an effective recruitment campaign strategy to get the best candidates to apply for them.

In this article, we’ll discuss the steps your hiring team can take to create an effective recruitment campaign. We’ll also provide you with examples from companies who ran brilliant recruiting strategies and what we can learn from them.

Define Your Ideal Candidate

Before you start creating your recruitment campaign materials, you must have a clear idea of your ideal candidate. You can’t just post recruitment videos and copies on job boards and social media without knowing your target candidates.

Are your job vacancies ideal for fresh graduates or those with experience? Are you targeting Millennials, Gen-Xers, or Boomers? What kind of educational background or skills are you looking for? Which online platforms do your ideal candidates typically use?

Once you’ve set your definition of an ideal candidate, you can start formulating your recruitment campaigns around this target, just the following companies who did just that.

Ikea Australia

For Ikea Australia, their ideal candidate is one who actually uses their products. So how were they able to target candidates who know and love their product? By cleverly placing job descriptions to every product they sold. Only people who bought their products were able to see it.

As a result, they were able to gather over 4000 applications that match their candidate preference. Of those who applied, IKEA eventually hired 280 of them.

It was a brilliant recruitment tactic that didn’t require them to spend on marketing. IKEA got their desired result through ingenuity and by having a clear vision of who they wanted to go after.


In 2004, the tech giant posted a cryptic billboard in Silicon Valley. It was a math puzzle, and anyone who was able to solve it got to access a website with another challenge to solve. Upon the challenge completion, a message for Google’s job search for the best engineers came up.

This is another excellent recruitment campaign that helped narrow down candidates to those with the skills that the company needed. With this creative campaign, Google was able to attract only the candidates with the intellect and problem-solving skills required for the job.

Utilize Your Employees

Your employees can help in your efforts to recruit. In addition to employee referral programs, where employees receive incentives for inviting people to apply, you may also ask them to take part in your recruitment campaigns.

If your company has a positive workplace culture, your workforce will have no problem helping you in the recruitment process. In a lot of cases, they may be your best tools for recruitment.

Two examples of companies who have successfully run recruitment campaigns with their employees at the forefront are Twitter and Cisco.


In 2012, Twitter implemented what was called the “Join the Flock” campaign. The company asked its employees to create recruitment videos to urge people to apply. Their workforce came up with hundreds of videos.

The winner was a mock training video that sent viewers to Twitter’s career page. It went viral, allowing Twitter to reach its targeted audience.


In early 2019, Cisco launched a recruitment marketing video as part of its “Be you, with us” campaign. The video showcased the different personalities of Cisco’s employees. It also highlights the company’s effort to create a diverse workplace culture that encourages employees to be their own unique selves.

This is an effective recruitment campaign that would resonate with potential candidates looking for workplaces that value freedom, diversity, and individuality.

Think Outside the Box

With the growing job market and with more competition, you have to find ways to create innovative recruitment campaigns. Thinking outside the box and veering away from traditional recruitment methods helps your company stand out.

The following are a couple of examples of companies with innovative recruitment campaigns:


Australian company Atlassian was dealing with engineer shortage in their own country. So they went out and launched a “We’re stealing your Geeks!” campaign throughout Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and Madrid.

Their goal was to hire 15 developers in 15 days. They used a bus decked with their recruitment campaign slogan and conducted interviews in pubs and restaurants. With a witty slogan and an unconventional recruitment method, they were able to achieve their objective.

Not only that, they eventually won two prestigious recruitment awards for their cleverly executed campaign.

Red 5 Studios

Video game developer Red 5 Studios was having a hard time competing in recruitment with larger tech companies. To be able to land the best talents, they instead searched for 100 dream candidates, all of whom were working elsewhere at that time.

They then sent each of those candidates a personalized iPod containing a message from company CEO Mark Kerr. The message covered Kerr’s invitation for them to apply. Out of the 100, 90 replied, and three of them eventually jumped ship to Red 5 Studios, making their recruitment strategy a success.

Focus on What You Can Offer

As the examples of other companies have shown, there are many ways to do a recruitment campaign. There are plenty of tools you can use.

But whether you’re using videos, copies, billboards, buses, or even your own products to post job openings like IKEA, your focus should always be about what your company can offer.

It’s essential to know your competition so you can identify what sets you apart from them, though it’s up to you if you want to highlight this information in your recruitment campaign.

Creative campaigns will get you eyeballs and pique interest from your targeted candidates, but recruitment campaigns aren’t merely about creating awareness for your job openings.

It’s about getting your targeted candidates to apply and hopefully work for you long-term. Emphasizing your company’s best traits as part of the recruitment campaign is the best way to do that.

Don’t worry about what you think your ideal candidates want to hear. Focus instead on creating messages that will convey what you have that you can give to them, including salary, benefits, and other perks that they can enjoy. If you do so, the right candidates will come to you.

Your recruitment campaign is a chance to make an impression. Making a good impression comes not just through the creativity of your campaign, but by highlighting all your company’s exceptional qualities as well.

A Successful Recruitment Campaign Starts from Within

Your recruitment campaign is only as good as your company’s culture. Toxic work culture will negate all the benefits you can get from a great recruitment campaign.

That’s why it’s part of management accountability to get your house in order, so to speak, before launching your campaign.

A company with high employee engagement and genuine happiness at work will have an easier time crafting a recruitment campaign that works and attracting the best possible candidates.