Creative Recruiting: 7 Innovative Ways to Land Your Dream Hire

hiring, interviewing

If you want to avoid sifting through a stack of poorly written resumes and find your dream hire, simple ad postings just aren’t going to cut it.

While posting ads online might be effective in hiring entry-level employees, the most skilled professionals aren’t likely scouring or CareerBuilder for employment opportunities.
In the current “talent war,” many companies are developing more creative ways to uncover, target and attract talented candidates — especially when looking to fill upper-level management positions and when recruiting for a position that requires a niche skill.
How can you secure the best person for your open position? Here are 16 examples of companies with innovative recruiting strategies along with tips for implementing a similar strategy at your company.


Increasingly, companies are using video games to recruit employees. Gamification, or the use of gaming principles and design in non-gaming situations, identifies potential employees by posing virtual challenges that require the skills necessary for a given job.
This strategy also increases brand awareness: An engaging and fun game can associate your brand with positive values and company culture, and it can introduce your company to applicants who hadn’t previously considered a job in your industry.

Marriott’s ‘My Marriott Hotel’Marriott’s 'My Marriott Hotel' game screenshot

In attempt to recruit more Millennials as well as attract applicants for international branches, Marriott International launched the “My Marriott Hotel” game. Players manage a virtual hotel restaurant kitchen, purchase supplies on a budget and manage employees. The game helped Marriott generate interest in the hospitality industry, increase brand awareness and identify talent across the globe.
According to Francesca Martinez, Marriott VP of Human Resources, players from 120 different countries are running their own virtual kitchens at any given time. The game also successfully increased traffic to the company’s career site- Martinez approximates that one-third of users click on the “try it for real” button on the top corner of the game, which redirects them to the company’s career site.
Marriott Source
Marriott Source

Mitre’s ‘Job of Honor’

Mitre Corp., an engineering and technology services corporation, noticed its workforce was growing older and wanted to reach out to a younger talent pool. After determining that 90% of its target audience used video games as a top form of socializing, the company created a game to aid in recruitment efforts.
In “Job of Honor,” players take a self-guided virtual tour of the company’s workplace and spend a day in the life of a Mitre project manager, completing tasks that are typically assigned to the position.
In addition to effectively recruiting talent, “Job of Honor” increased the company’s reputation among young talent. Within the first three months of the game’s release, the Mitre site received more than 5,200 hits and accumulated over 600 registered players in 48 U.S. states and 25 countries worldwide.
Mitre Source
Mitre Source

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s virtual office tour

The China division of global consulting agency Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu created a “virtual office tour” to attract talent and build its company brand.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s virtual office tour airplane tour
Players first choose a destination (Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong) and watch as their tickets print and board a plane. Once the gamer arrives at the virtual office, he can visit working areas, meeting rooms and training centers that resemble those in the China offices. The game helps potential hires learn the daily routine of a Deloitte professional. Players are even encouraged to “chat” with current Deloitte employees to get a better sense of the company culture and goals.
Since its launch in 2010, 48,500 of those who virtually toured the China offices followed up on the company’s career page.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Source
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Source


Before you start planning your own recruiting game, consider the pros and cons. Gamification is effective because it can test a skill set, associate the company with something people enjoy and give a feel for the culture of the workplace. But the technique also requires tech-savvy skills. Be realistic – if you don’t have the access to the technology (or IT staff), this tactic might not work best for you.
If the pros outweigh the cons, identify the skills necessary of the position you want to fill. Determine what platform you will use to get the game in front of your ideal hires. Assess your company culture and consider adding elements that indicate what it will be like to work for your company. Ideally, you should create a game that is universally enjoyable — while not every player will be a qualified candidate, gamification is a good way to increase brand awareness.