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New Zealand’s Digital Recruitment Revolution Kicks Off

By March 27, 2014One Comment

I’ve often bemoaned the short-sighted behaviour of old school recruiters in stubbornly flogging away at print media, misinformed cold calls and command-and-control KPI management.  But this week it’s time to take a look at those recruiters out there who are pushing the boundaries, dragging recruitment into the digital future and setting the scene for a new era of recruitment 3.0 beyond mere social recruiting.

Yesterday ASB, the bank with the social media mantra of #leadnotfollow, put their money where their mouth is and launched an app that is designed to:

“…give potential candidates a virtual, and interactive, digital experience when exploring work opportunities with the corporate banking team.

ASB believes the app is a New Zealand first in both the recruitment industry and financial services sector.”

What they’ve done is turn what might otherwise have been a fairly staid, corporate recruiting video into a clever and quirky pop-up-book presentation from Steve Jurkovich, ASB’s Executive General Manager Corporate, Commercial and Rural.  To see the augmented reality recruitment drive on your own smartphone, you need to download the “Work for ASB” app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, click on “View the experience” and hold it over one of their special business cards, or over adverts in print publications (ha, the irony) in today’s NBR or the weekend business sections of the New Zealand Herald, Dominion Post or The Press on Saturday.

However, I have a little experiment for you impatient Whiteboard readers, especially those who, like me, have about as much chance of buying an actual newspaper in print as you do of rocking up to Russia in a Schevchenko AC Milan shirt to broker a peace deal with the Ukraine.  I’ve taken a photo of the magic business card and you should be able to scan it straight from your screen to get a flavour for what this actually is (bearing in mind you might need to tilt your screen a bit for best effect – you’ll work it out I’m sure):

ASB card

Of course, if you’re actually reading this blog on your phone you won’t be able to do this.  So for now, check out the video of how it works (and marvel, as I did, at the stillness of the model’s hand – I mean, was it actually a real person or just a very lifelike rubber model hand?)  I digress…

ASB’s Head of Talent Acquisition, Matt Pontin, spoke to The Whiteboard yesterday and had this to say:

“… Recruitment is about building relationships, offering and delivering to employment value propositions and “selling” why job seekers would want to come and join your organisation. With the Work for ASB app we have started our journey of using mobile and digital media to communicate with job seekers and to perpetuate our culture and employment brand with them.”

I think what is key here is the bit about starting the journey.  Let’s face it, if this was just about the video, and it was being used embedded on a SEEK ad, for instance, this would attract pretty much zero attention.  The brilliance of it is that it is the mere use of augmented reality that will generate all the attention.  The message, as such, has to be very simple, effective and memorable as it is almost a by-product to the AR circus surrounding it.  But at the same time it needs to lodge itself into the minds of the jobseekers who will come across the viral sharing of this video that will undoubtedly follow.

It’s also worth noting that Fletcher Building was probably the first New Zealand company to use AR for recruiting.  The job ad below appeared in print and can be brought to life by downloading and using the “Layar” app:

Whilst this is a nice, practical use of AR in recruiting, it does lack the added personality of ASB’s pitch.  And a pitch it is, for recruitment is a sell, after all.

A couple of months ago Westpac NZ were highlighted in a Mckinsey Report as being a leader in digital banking.  Trialing innovations like Google Glass and iBeacon, Westpac’s Chief Digital Officer Simon Pomeroy has made it clear that he sees Westpac as being at the forefront of technology in NZ.

With some of New Zealand’s biggest businesses pulling in this direction, there are exciting times ahead for their recruitment teams who can harness these innovations to deliver ever more innovative, personalised and compelling messages of why you should work for them rather than the other.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.  Maybe Heartland Bank harnessing innovations in Robotics and Big Data to create a recruiting version of Buck Rogers’ little robot buddy Twiki?

Come on Emma Reid, you can do it!

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.

One Comment

  • Emma Reid says:

    OMG Jonathan – first opportunity to read the Whiteboard today! I can only watch with envy regarding AR at the moment… actually I watch ATSs with envy too! Early days! What is exciting is there is so much scope for change! Thank you for the mention! – Em