Guerrilla Hiring Techniques: It’s no Monkey Business

Guerrilla Hiring TechniquesThe corporate world today is a battlefield.
The employer is the drill sergeant.
A valuable employee who is an asset to the organization?
He or she is the ammunition.
The problem is that there is a global paucity of ammunition. It’s hard to find, and when you do, a bigger better player may just steal it from you. In this scenario, what would you do as a company? You can either resign to your fate or you can fight.

What are Guerrilla hiring techniques?

Guerrilla hiring techniques are strategies applied by companies looking to recruit the best human talent on the market. It is called “guerrilla” because the tactics in this sort of recruitment are similar to those used in Guerrilla warfare in yesteryears. It is an extremely aggressive method of taking charge of your organization’s needs and leaving no stone unturned to get the people you want. These techniques are usually used by companies that have bigger and stronger competitors with better resources. These small fish identify every mistake their competitor makes and turns it into an advantage to get the finest talent onboard.

The Guerilla Recruiting Team

This enterprising and resourceful group of recruiters are smart, calculated risk-takers with a penchant for step-by-step planning and execution of strategies to “catch” the best talent around. They will drive a spanner in the wedge between what an employee desires and what the competitor can offer. The lines of professional ethics are conveniently blurred by them to their advantage to get what they want on their own terms. The Guerilla recruiting team of an organization spare no expense, but there are high expectations and pressure on them to deliver adequate results.

Since it is not the run-of-the-mill human resources management work, this type of team has to be put together with a great deal of thought. The individual psychology of the members must be understood deeply and the team has to be on the same page. There is a lot of hitting below the belt involved, with the aim to incapacitate the competitor’s ability to conduct business effectively. Thus, this job profile is definitely not for the faint-hearted or straight-laced.

What is a successful Guerilla Recruiting Team capable of?

Any team is only as good as its leader, and the chief officer in charge of a Guerilla task force is no different. It requires a special blend of resolution, confidence, and loyalty to the organization to be the commander of such a team. Laser sharp focus, organization and prioritization are integral for guerrilla strikes to be successful.  However, no false promises or methods of deception should be employed in securing recruits as this will only backfire in the long run and cause more harm to the organization than good.

What if you don’t have the means to hire a Guerrilla recruiting team?

What then?

There are still things you can do to source talented staff with limited resources.

6 Effective & Creative Guerrilla Hiring Tactics that could work for your company:

  1. Pay your existing staff to recruit: Money talks. Give your current staff incentives for every name they suggest that passes the probation period. This is one of the best ways to attract people of a similar caliber to your organization.  Not only will they be as proud as punch, they will be grateful for the bonus and loyal to your company as well.
  1. Network, network, network: Whether you’re at a bar, a tech conference or a random event, smile and pass around your business card. Not just those make conversations with people and understand what they are about. Don’t waste your time with those who don’t fit your profile, but be sure to lavish your attention on those who seem like they would be an asset to your team.
  1. Present at a niche-related conference: Whatever the niche of your organization, there will be conferences that you get invited to. Attending by itself will put you in a good position to get in touch with many like-minded individuals. However, to really find the people you want onboard, the best strategy is to give a talk at one of these events. If it’s your lucky day, the brightest and most resourceful minds will approach you from the audience after your presentation.
  1. Group discussions Vs one-on-one interviews: Instead of wasting time conducting boring one-on-one interviews, consider the benefits of initiating group discussions as the first round. People behave very differently in a group rather than individually, and it will give you a very good idea about their personality, thought process, knowledge and leadership qualities.
  1. Woo talent with kind gestures: They say actions speak larger than words, and it is no different in the world of recruiting. Instead of waiting for talent to come to you, search for people with the ideal profiles yourself using networking websites and professional social media tools.
    Now, instead of sending them generic emails, personalize it to speak to them directly in a way that they cannot ignore. Companies have been known to send expensive gifts to prospective recruits to really woo them into joining, and guess what? It works.
  1. Create innovative job advertisements: The best talent out there is tired of reading boring black and white “Apply now” adverts. Dare to be different, stand apart from competitors and show off your company’s personality. Interesting infographics, videos or even just clever use of images with a catchy message can attract just the right people you want on your team.
    For example, a stand-up comedy writing company can experiment with a few sarcastic jokes and puns that will be relatable only to the people who are suited to work with them! Advertising on related online forums and the use of appropriate hashtags (#) can also work wonders.

Real life examples of Guerrilla recruiting campaigns that will make your jaw drop:

Stalkers in the Car Parking:

An insurance company sent people to their competitor’s parking lot. They identified and took photos of the license plates of employees attending training in the competitor’s regional office. Later, these were cross-matched with the automobile registration database online and the employees were contacted.

Snoopy travelers:
A hotel chain recruited retired individuals with a love for travel to visit certain competitors. They were given instructions to create certain situations and observe how well it was handled by the competitor’s employees. In exchange for providing this information regarding the best employees, the retirees received discounts for their travel!

Customers or Competitors?
You may have to read this one a few times to get it right. A firm hired employees that fit the ideal customer profile of their competitor. These newly hired employees then approached the competitor as “clients”. By getting friendly with the competitor’s top-rated associates, they were able to gauge inside information regarding their decision-making process and report back to their own firm.

 The Big Fat Geek Search:
Faced with a scarcity of qualified software developers in Australia, Atlassian launched a “Europe, we’re coming to steal your geeks” campaigns. The offer was a cushy all-inclusive relocation package to Sydney! They conducted a recruitment road trip of sorts, hiring a bus and riding around London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Madrid to much popularity and fanfare. The outcome? Over 1000 ideal applicants that filled the 15 open slots to perfection.

Pizza with a Twist:
This one really takes the cake (or the pizza).  Scholz & Friends, an advertising firm in Germany, enlisted the help of a local pizza delivery service. They tracked every order made by employees of their competitors and sent each of them a “digital pizza”. What was so special about the digital pizza? The toppings were arranged to form a QR code, which when scanned would take the employee to a recruitment page! They not only targeted the ideal candidates, they attempted to steal them from under their competitors’ noses. This innovative tactic got Scholz & Friends enough new employees to build two new teams!

Custom-made iPods:
Red 5 studios in California, a gaming company, narrowed down a list of 100 dream profiles and send personalized job invitations to each one of them in the form of iPods! Each iPod contained a customized message detailing why the candidate’s profile was chosen and why they would be the perfect fit for the job.  They got the results they wanted; 3 talented gaming experts left their jobs to join Red 5 studios.

The corporate world today is undergoing a crisis. There aren’t enough qualified people for highly specific jobs. This means that a few top talents are valued, venerated and even hunted by companies to join their respective teams. Guerilla recruiting techniques are sometimes the only answer that smaller companies have to entice and attract talented resources. It may not always be ethical or professional, but at the end of the day, all is fair in love and war and the best man will win time and time again.

1 Response
  1. Awesome really liked Guerrilla hiring techniques, and we know in today’s world high competition will be there for everyone if you have to survive gain knowledge first with confidence.