Earrings for Talent…Creativity in Recruiting

If you want to succeed in the war for talent, you will find that it takes a great deal of creativity and innovation. The staid old approach won’t “cut it” in a world that expects “WOWs.” You must stand out from the crowd if you are going to get the attention of top talent. How are these summaries as examples of creativity?

  • During a discussion on how to reward employees for referrals, a female employee at Agilent Technologies asked her (female) general manager if she could have something outside the normal referrals bonus as a reward. The employee then said boldly, “I want your earrings.” The GM didn’t hesitate and said sure! The female employee shot back…how big? The GM responded… half a carat per hire. Now imagine the CFO’s response when he gets the bill!
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  • For certain positions Sony (in Pittsburgh, Penn) will send flowers to an applicant so that the applicant gets them when they arrive home the same day as their telephone interview. Imagine their surprise when they get home and see the rapid response time as well as the positive caring impression it leaves. Applicants also receive a guide to living in the area and a floppy disk which allows them to complete an at home skill assessment test.
  • At Allstate Insurance applicants for agents’ jobs can do an on-site computer assessment and find out immediately if they are a good fit for the firm.
  • At the jobs website for Agilent Technologies you can describe your current “job from hell” as well as your dream job. Questions posted to the site are answered by a real person within 24 hours.
  • Cisco’s job site has a “boss button” which allows you to change the screen instantly when your boss walks into the room. The new screen shows a list of “gifts for a great boss” or an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Nortel gave offers to 38 University of Santa Clara grads without even formally interviewing them. 34 accepted and were given a chance to work on a project together as a team.
  • Cisco gives away free wine at wine festivals in order to impress and eventually attract new hires who are “passive” job seekers.
  • Charles Schwab is experimenting with giving stock options to high school hires.

Heard any other WOW innovations? Pass them long to JohnS@sfsu.edu, and I’ll publish the very best.

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," Staffing.org called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website www.drjohnsullivan.com and on staging.ere.net. He lives in Pacifica, California.

 

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