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Think of the best employee of your company. Who is he/she?

Let’s say, Michael or Emma.

Now imagine that you have a team of 10 Michael or Emma in your organization.

Awesome... Isn’t it?

How easier your life would have been and how much more profit you could make?


unusual hiring practices


In this changing economy and job market, you’ll have to do things differently if you always want best employees for your organization or startup.

Social recruiting, video interviewing and gamification are some of the newest hiring strategies in the war for talent. They change the way we communicate, free us from old school telephone and paper processes, cutting through the time-sucking traditional hiring strategies and cost savings in a changing economy and job market.

There are too many strategies but one thing companies need to keep in mind is they have to make themselves attractive to the candidates. Employers and recruiters ignore these highly effective and engaging alternative recruitment methods at their own risk. But everyone in hiring today can use an edge, and that’s what innovative recruitment methods provide. Interview mocha, a pre-employment testing software has gathered some out-of-box hiring strategies that are showing up in the war for talent.

Unconventional Hiring Strategies

When your hiring challenge is finding candidates with niche skills, traditional hiring strategies aren’t as effective for identifying top candidates as creative challenges. Google does something unique, with billboards, putting a tricky mathematical puzzle up for all to see. Anyone who solves the billboard puzzle will unlock a URL with another puzzle, which if solved, leads to an offer to apply.

Put your creative challenges where your ideal candidates will see them, including job ads, billboards, websites, wrap on company cars or whatever – then enjoy the flow of quality qualified candidates they generate.

1. It all starts with the Job Ads

Creative and catchy ads can be a game changer for the hiring companies. They get the more attention than classic job ads and get shared across social media because of the emotions they cause. Looking at these job ads, candidates think that the interview will be interesting and enjoyable. Creative job ads also build your employer brand, making your companies cooler places to work for.

See this job ad by Microsoft; they know how to target the high demand group.


And this one is way challenging.



Sure, bar work is a challenge.

Welcome this modern efficiency into your own recruiting strategy and get more attention from the job seekers you want to hire.

Now, not every company, in fact most companies, won’t have a huge budget and design team to devote to creating extra appealing job ads. But just because you cannot create amazing images doesn’t mean the job ad itself cannot be eye-catching. The first step is to stop thinking of job ads as job descriptions. Once you’ve done that, treat them with the same enthusiasm as you would do a full-fledged marketing campaign.

2. Mass Auditions

Invite candidates for mass auditions. Ask them to mimic the company’s operation. Set them to work on a task and ask your existing employees to observe and takes notes on each candidate. Look for collaboration, confidence, and skills. It should all take place in the same big, open, noisy room you work in all day long.

After the candidates have gone, discuss with entire staff what they have seen. Bring up the candidates one by one and take the majority decision. The good thing about mass auditions is the team makes all the decision and it is fast. An interesting thing is you can learn more about candidates in two hours than other companies learn over weeks of interviews. And it is incredibly exciting, both for the candidates and for existing employees.

3. Pose Puzzles and Brainteasers

Puzzle-AssessmentTech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple famously require their applicants to pass pre-employment assessment tests, usually with logic puzzles and other types of brainteasers included.


Start by giving basic puzzles to the candidates that you’re pretty sure the candidate can solve. Discuss why the solution works, how the candidate found the solution and what other approaches might have been worth try. Watching an interviewee solve a puzzle gives the employer a chance to see how an interviewee approaches problem-solving. Then try giving difficult puzzles to the candidates and see if the candidate understands the constraints, and then discuss the solution.


Do you use them in your business? Have they worked?

Brain teasers; don't measure just intelligence but other attributes as well, like how people behave under pressure, what kinds of assumptions they make and how well they apply judgment. Employers who use the brain teaser questions are more interested in your methodology and creativity.

Although brain teaser questions are now being phased out by some companies, some organizations still use them as a way to test your skills and to throw something unexpected into the interview process. Often used as a method of filtering candidates, brain teaser questions can take a number of different forms, from riddles to those which are based on a story or situation.

Case studies

Apart from puzzles and brainteasers, a better approach is to describe a situation that resembles the one you might encounter in your business. You can propose strange twists and ask the candidate what might go wrong under different circumstances to see how creatively he or she handles unexpected problems. Evaluate how the candidates would think and perform in a real-life situation similar to the kind that they would face on the job if you hired them.

Pro-tip:  Use Pre-Employment assessments as an alternative recruitment method

Pre-employment assessments tests help companies by identifying the candidates most likely to perform well on the job. Pre-employment skill testing can lead to additional benefits, such as saving time and cost in the selection process, cutting off the irrelevant candidates and even decreasing turnover. Moreover, pre-employment testing helps companies to increase their productivity

Does your company use pre-employment assessments?

4. Date with Candidates

Of course, not literally! Ask the candidate to spend a short amount of time with four or more hiring managers and potential supervisors or coworkers. And, the hiring manager can ask the candidate to perform a task.

How the candidates perform, behaves when asked to bounce from one short interview or task to another can give you the advantage of gathering a greater number of opinions from the people who will be most involved with the hire.

5. Attend Events and Meetups

Forget Job fairs and try looking great talent at other events that aren't traditionally recruiting-related.  It also gives you a chance to informally meet lots of different types of designers and developers that will give you a better idea of what you are looking for regardless of a CV.

Search forums such as Meetup for group events that are likely to be attended by people qualified for your open position. For example, if you need a Developer in New York City, you could attend a Software developer-focused meetup in the area and look for potential candidates. You'll already know they're passionate about what they do, and you'll be able to get a feel for what they're like in person.

6. Referral Rewards

HubSpot is offering $10,000 to anyone that refers an ‘awesome’ developer that they go on to hire. Yes, $10,000.

Thumbtack’s was offering $15,000 bonus to those who referred a five-star engineer. Non-employees who successfully referred received a four-night all-expense paid trip to Hawaii with a stay at the Four Seasons.

All those organizations and startups that are looking for an extraordinary developer or designer put in place a similar scheme to encourage referrals. Create a ‘Refer a friend’ page on your website using two examples above for inspiration. It is easy to set up. For startups, you can either pay to who recommends a friend or just offer them a one day treat in a five-star hotel.


Final Thoughts

These days, finding the right talent requires a little creativity. Invite applicants for a contest in your organization, or in a golf course to know more about them or maybe just call them to play games in your organization. You can use these incredibly unconventional hiring techniques as a quick way to make a selection among a tight group of talented applicants. What could be more important than attracting and retaining the talent you need to keep your company going? Nothing, right!

If you are feeling the burn of competition, have openings that are going unfilled, and are running out of places to look for the candidates you need, it’s time for innovative hiring strategies. These methods can make your business stand out from the crowd and put you in touch with your ideal hires. Take a look around at your competitors and companies similar to yours in size and industry. If they going out of the way, why aren’t you?

Nikita, Interview Mocha
Nikita, Interview Mocha
Content Writer at Interview Mocha

Topics: HR Practices

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