Friday, May 6, 2016

The Emerging Era of ‘App-cruitment’

Recruiting online in today’s times has not remained restricted to the various job portals anymore. Gone are the days when the recruiters would largely depend on the online portals (Naukri, Monster, Shine etc. to name a few in India) to filter candidates. The era of social media made LinkedIn and Facebook, emerge as considerably powerful tools to post job requisitions and invite candidature, owing to their widespread accessibility. However, when the world has become a shrinking web-space, how far can we go in the race for innovation? The answer to this question is ‘App-cruitment’ – recruiting talents using various Social Networking Apps.

Recently, Fetch, a Dentsu owned mobile marketing agency, hired an intern through a location-based dating app, Tinder. Yes! You read it correct! The same Tinder which many a youth today uses to hunt for a date. The agency created a Tinder profile in January to find matches in the New York City. Potential candidates were asked for their best pick-up lines. Fetch matched with 270 potential candidates and further shaved down to 5 personal interviews, finally hiring 22-year old Sam Weidt as an intern, rather being called a ‘Tintern’. In another breakthrough story, Droga5, a New York based global advertising agency looked for interns via an Instagram challenge. JWT India’s Bodhisatwa Dasgupta did the same using WhatsApp. Every year he would get calls from collegians from institutes like St. Xavier’s Mumbai, however due to geographical restrictions and lack of self-awareness among the aspirants, he was left with rookies who weren’t even sure about making a career in advertising. So Dasgupta turned to WhatsApp and gave 6 candidates a test fit for the digital age: create a meme – thereby not only judging their creativity but how fast they could deliver. The story doesn’t end there. JPMorgan, one of the world’s largest financial organizations is using Snapchat and its geo-filters to find and hire fresh talents. (Excerpts from Brand Equity: The Economic Times)

The reaction to this newly adopted ‘Swipe right’ methodology is mixed, across the HR fraternity. While some feel that these methods may appear ‘cool’ and hip for today’s app-crazy generation, they think it’s purely for branding and advertising purposes that such strategies are adopted. Moreover, they feel that such recruitments are ideal for the entry-level personnel and for start-ups only, thereby being impractical for recruiting mid-level managers or technical and finance professionals. On the other hand, many companies feel a need to think out of the box by trying to push the limits of innovative hiring. The question that remains: Are Tinder and Snapchat the answer?

- Sumit Chakravarty
   Faculty, INLEAD

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