The coolest work by really innovative and creative recruiters.

50 Most Creative Recruitment Ads in the World
Photo by Arturo de Albornoz

For easy reference, I've split the images into 5 sections:

  1. Highly-targeted text ads
  2. Skill-testing puzzles
  3. Job quitting tools, aids & accessories
  4. Inspiring mail
  5. Memorable gadgets


Do creative recruitment ads make you want to join the advertised company more?

Super-targeted text ads

If you can put text on it, you can recruit someone with it. Job ads only you’re meant to find.

🇳🇱 Beer glasses

“The challenge was to come up with an idea that will fill up the vacancy for a new dishwasher at Restaurant Binnen. Beer and wineglasses were printed with red lipstick and the message: “Restaurant Binnen is looking for dishwashers”. Good reactions from customers and possible candidates. A new dishwasher was hired within one week.”

restaurant bar binnen lipstick glasses recruitment marketing

🇦🇹 Bank transfer

“Draftfcb Kobza is looking for an accountant who is more attentive than others. Our target groups accountants of other agencies in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. An entirely new and cost-saving idea: we used the posting line of a credit transfer as advertising space. We transferred 1 euro to other agencies using online banking, using the posting line for the job ad and so inviting applications for the job of an accountant.”

bank transfer recruitment marketing

🇳🇱 Software box

“To get the most talented DTPer (studio designer) in a highly competitive market where it’s hard to stand out among all the job vacancy ads in this sector … The box had to look real, but at a second glance it would make you smile … A special courier delivered the packages. Each package contained a DVD and guidebook. The DVD describes the marketing agency 2008 and the current vacancy … They delivered 70 boxes, but received over 100 applications … They did 20 job interviews and finally they got the guy who was perfect for the job.”

dtp job vacancy recruitment marketing

🇦🇺 Fly

An ad so small, no one would think to remove it.

employment agency fly recruitment marketing

🇳🇱 Car mufflers

“We sent young women in an old Volkswagen to (car) repair students. They asked if a mechanic could take a look under their car because of a strange sound. Every mechanic immediately put the car on a lift to take a look.”

hidden message under car recruitment marketing

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Video game billboard

“Government intelligence organisation GCHQ is to run an ad campaign within Xbox Live, to attract quick-thinking 18- to 34-year-olds to its ranks.”

GCHQ video game ad

🇩🇪 Napkins

“In German advertising there is a lack of talented young copywriters. BBDO took up the challenge and started to recruit literature students as junior copywriters. The objective was to get job applications from an exciting, new source of talent. In order to reach the literature students, we decided to scribble our message on a napkin … The students picked it up in the campus cafeteria along with their lunch.”

napkin book recruitment marketing

🇦🇺 Pay stub

“The objective was to drive traffic to the MyCareer Salary Centre, a salary resource containing data such as salary ranges and trends by industry and by region. It enables people to see what others are earning and determine if they’re being paid what they’re worth.”

payslip recruitment marketing

🇨🇦 Money

“To find candidates for fundraising positions at SAIT, fake $20 bills were created and randomly dropped at the 2008 Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education conference. When picked up and examined, the message, along with contact information, was revealed on the backside of the bill.”

sait polytechnic recruitment dollars recruitment marketing

🇳🇱 Suitcases

“Experienced security personnel are hard to find these days. That’s why Shield Security came up with a unique tool: the Jobcase. This custom-built briefcase contains a recruitment message, written in steel letters. When passed through a security scanner, working security officers can read the job offer clearly … the Jobcase also got its share of attention from the security business press.”

shield security jobcases recruitment marketing

🇿🇦 Design layout pads

“TBWAHunt Lascaris needed to bolster their creative department with some top young talent … We needed a cheap short cut to the good staff. We decided to target the top five advertising agencies in South Africa ourselves. We reproduced the layout pads of the most popular supplier and delivered them to the agencies. They looked the same as always, apart from the recruitment ad stamped on the first page.”

stealing staff recruitment marketing

🇳🇱 Window cleaners’ uniforms

“Put them on the shirts of a group of professional window cleaners and let them wash the windows of competitive advertising agencies and media agencies. The campaign here was “Quit and Join Us”.”

quit and join us recruitment marketing

🇨🇭 Suitcases (2)

“Supreme Security continually needs specially trained personnel. Only a few specialists can fulfill this narrow job profile in Switzerland and they tend to work in the border patrol or as airport police. That’s why Supreme Security has started to equip their own employees with machined metal bars, which they take with on business trips in their hand luggage.”

supreme security job offer chart recruitment marketing

🇩🇰 Coffee mugs

“Cups were smuggled into the competitive agency. Cups were in similar design and placed among the existing cups with only one difference: the cups were printed inside: “The coffee is highly recommended elsewhere.” (“recommended” is the name of the recruiting agency)

recommended drive for creatives cup placed at competitive agency recruitment marketing

🇨🇭 Pencils

“There are very restricted possibilities of advertising at Swiss universities. Therefore we looked for an unusual way of communicating and at the same time reach as many persons as possible. We found the solution in producing a pencil with an overly long eraser attached to it. On the pencil the message was inscribed: “We’re looking for students who aren’t satisfied with just any solution.””

recruiting pencil recruitment marketing

🇭🇺 Hair poster

“To find local dermatology students for our client we placed these tear-off recruiting posters with the most relevant information on them at the bulletin boards of the Szeged University of Science.”

headshoulders experts wanted recruitment marketing

🇺🇸 Pizza box

“The ad, touting a “career where x-ray vision and federal benefits come standard,” is for TSA security officers at Washington-Dulles International and Reagan National Airports and is apparently popping up on pizza boxes around our nation’s capital.”

TSA Pizza box

🇪🇸 Toilet paper

“The agency was looking for young creatives that had a different way of thinking, not only a good look … We thought that the best way to reach talent was challenging their creativity, and so we did. We substituted the toilet paper at the school’s WCs.”

shake that cv recruitment marketing

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Robots.txt website file

The robots.txt file is how you tell search engines which pages they can and can’t crawl on your site”

Daily Mail robots.txt ad

🇺🇸 Wifi router’s SSID

Ok, this isn’t a real ad, but it could be inspiration for a smart IT or hitech recruiter.

passive aggressive wifi hotspot recruitment marketing

Skill-testing puzzles

Prove your worth, even before the first interview. Just like in this Funny Ikea Job Interview Cartoon

Funny Ikea Job Interview Cartoon

🇨🇭 Algebra

If you can solve the equation, they want to hear from you.

McKinsey calculation job flyer

🇸🇪 Micro brochure

“Our brief was to make more college students choose to study at Nature Science after college … For the study of Molecular Biology … We created a brochure so small that is was only possible to read the text through a microscope … the brochure was handed out to students at all major colleges.”

University of Aarhus micro brochure

🇨🇦 Billboard computer code

“The billboard was placed in front of a competitor’s building. The headline tells (in ASCII code): “Now Hiring”.”

EA Canada billboard job ad

🇮🇱 Facebook app

“Bezalel wanted to start a conversation with prospective students … created “Grab a Chair”, a Facebook platform where every potential student created his interpretation of a chair. Those who published their chairs on Bezalel’s Facebook page received a personal review by Bezalel teachers … starting the dialogue before the search began significantly increased the number of people who attended Bezalel’s ‘open days’.”

Bezalel facebook campaign for students

🇸🇪 Trail of clues

“The idea was based on the qualities needed to become an officer-creative problem solving under pressure. Just because one task is done, doesn’t mean you get a pat on the shoulder. The next task is waiting around the corner, and it’s a matter of seconds before a decision has to be made.”

army puzzle recruitment marketing

swedish armed forces have what it takes recruitment marketing

🇳🇿 Video games

“We custom-built a video arcade game to recruit soldiers and officers into the New Zealand army.”

nz army arcade game recruitment marketing

🇳🇱 Trail of clues (2)

“This is a totally integrated campaign and as such not easy to show. It starts with small coded messages. Like 5 second radio ads. Coded business cards were left behind at universities. Even a shredded mailing was sent. Recipients who didn’t get the matching strips together found a URL on the envelope…

Once there, people found out the site was bugged. Would they dare to debug it? The ones that did found an uneasy task. And while performing it, they were spotted, talked to and received messages. There were two more tasks. One was to defend a system against an incoming threat, the other concerned finding a suspicious credit card (data mining). All three challenges had one goal: To get a favorable position once one applied for a job as ICT specialist at the AIVD, the Dutch Secret Service.”

ICT specialists recruitment marketing

🇺🇸 Billboard math

“The final answer takes you to a recruiting page. What an ingenious and clever way to recruit talent…”

Google billboard engineer job

🇯🇵 Company guides

“From students applying to work at ADK, we wanted those with the real passion, who would work proactively. So we gave them each a package filled with A4-sized examples of the kinds of documents that we work with every day. At their interviews, the ways in which they had created their own, customized company guides by, for example, clipping together certain sheets or underlining certain text, revealed to us the personalities that they would bring to their jobs.”

books graduate recruitment marketing

🇸🇪 Cellphone / mobile phone

“BTH wanted to recruit new students to their technical institutions. The mailing was sent to reserves on competing technical universities. When the recipient successfully assembled the phone parts together, the recipient received an SMS with the following message: ‘Hi! You seem to be technical. Call us at BTH. 0455385040′”

bth how technical are you recruitment marketing

🇨🇭 CSI laboratory set

“A dialog marketing campaign was aimed at senior high shool teachers. The goal was to present the careers available within the textile industry. The first mailing phase, a CSI laboratory set, invites students to test out an innovation from the Swiss textile industry – a piece of material that is very dificult to start, the follow-up phase involves a poster for the school’s info board.”

initiative apprenticeship recruitment marketing

🇩🇪 SMS / Texts

“A recruitment ad that directly tests the reader’s “interactive qualities”. The numbers are in fact a headline, just enter them as short message in mobile phone-the TO function will translate. Whoever gets this, obviously fits our criteria.”

short message headline recruitment marketing

Job quitting tools, aids & accessories

🇩🇪 Quitting calendar

“The main challenge for our HR representatives is to constantly be in contact with the candidates without annoying them. So it was crucial to to come up with an idea to talk to them in an entertaining way without missing our goal of making them quit …

We gave our candidates an A4 size tear-off calendar that contained a ready-made quitting letter for each and every day of the year: 365 entertaining letters that just had to be signed and handed in. We came up with the most absurd quitting reasons, made fun of the whole advertising industry and used elements of a creative’s everyday life to design visual quitting art works. This way we reminded our desired candidates every day how inspired working at Jung Von Matt is. And we made quitting one’s job as easy as never before.”

calendar quitting calendar recruitment marketing

🇧🇪 Moving box

“Dexia Bank was looking for experienced people to reinforce its workforce. Duval Guillaume Brussels created a campaign based on the well known “Moving Box”. Central message: Your new career can start right away if you come to the Dexia Job Day. Your moving box is already waiting for you. The “moving box” visual was used in the recruitment press (online and offline) and on posters in the Dexia offices. We also distributed them in real life on Belgian job fairs prior to the Dexia Job Day.”

dexia office box small recruitment marketing

🇿🇦 Neckties

“King James Cape Town sent out a crew to give away these free flyers that doubled as ties to students who might need a tie when applying for a job at Allan Grey.”

🇨🇦 Incentive envelopes

“If leaving these on your desk doesn’t help you get a raise, maybe I can.”

incentive envelopes recruitment marketing

🇸🇪 Resignation letter

“An ad, designed as a pre-written letter of resignation, was published in a computer magazine. The magazine was sent out to most-picked employees of competing agencies in a decent envelope. The page of the ad was refined with a yellow Post-it and the dotted lines were filled in with the workers name and company.”

it consultants recruitment marketing

🇨🇦 Moving box (2)

To get creative people in the advertising industry to call Gary Rudson, the creative recruiter, if they were thinking about changing jobs.

moving box recruitment marketing

🇦🇪 Moving box (3)

“We targeted individuals working in industries known for their high churn rate, like marketing software and hotels & hospitality, and sent out empty packing boxes like the ones you pack your personal effects into when you are leaving your job.”

online agency packing box recruitment marketing

Inspiring mail

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Rubik’s Cube

“A recruitment mailer to get university graduates interested in working for the Mail and Guardian.”

newspaper ruboku recruitment marketing

🇸🇬 Hierarchy chart

“The idea was to have the direct mailer sent out with the recipient’s name personalized on the address label. When unfolded, the recipient finds himself in the commanding position at the top of the hierarchy chart.”

naval-hierarchy chart recruitment marketing

🇸🇪 X-rays

“Recruit medical personnel for the Swedish Armed Forces with a direct campaign that send faux X-rays of a bullet-torn arm to 3,000 doctors.”

Swedish Armed Forces medical recruitment ttp://

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Work badges

“They use the standard issue Company Security Badge, usually clipped to you when checking in and out of work, to highlight that you may well be checking in and out of home. Not seeing your partner, not seeing your children … have seen a 320% rise in CV submissions since November, which correlates to their campaign release.”

perfectmarketingpeople visitor pass recruitment marketing

🇸🇬 Navy uniform

“We sent out direct mailer packs, which opened out to be the ultimate uniform – a crisp, white Naval Officer’s jacket, complete with medals and decorations. An awe-inspiring uniform that is revered and respected. The life-sized uniform could be held up, immediately allowing the recipient to see how he would look in it. A business reply card was placed in the breast pocket.”

republic of singapore navy uniform recruitment marketing

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Trick envelope

“To increase submariner recruitment. By talking to submariners and understanding what sets them apart, we could clearly map the potential recruit’s mindset and the core message required. This combined with the role’s obvious benefits created a powerful offer.”

submariner advertising recruitment marketing

Memorable gadgets

🇸🇬 Sea Monkeys

“We wanted to communicate to the students that joining the Navy is the start of an exciting new life. To dramatize this, we let them start life itself, with “Instant Life” Sea Monkeys. We made the link to the Navy by communicating that to start a new life, all it takes is water.”

navy sea monkeys recruitment marketing

🇸🇬 Action figures

“Collectible action figures are all the rage among Singaporean teenagers. So the idea was to make the Navy seem cool by launching two limited edition collectibles, exclusive to the Navy. Inside the Anime-style packaging there’s an action figure in kit form, complete with weapons. Plus a reply card to arrange an interview. The recipients of the pack were also directed to an online game.”

nvy gear up recruitment marketing

🇭🇰 Thimble

“Good jobs snapped up, so you have to act quickly! That’s why Jiu Jik, one of Hong Kong’s most popular recruitment magazines, is giving you this nimble thimble. Instead of licking your thumbs to turn the job pages, use this thimble and you’ll be able to flip through Jiu Jik faster than ever before. And as there are great jobs on every Jiu Jik page, you will discover the good ones before others do!”

scmp jiu jik magazine nimble thimble recruitment marketing

🇸🇬 Noose

“If your job is killing you, it’s time to contact your headhunter. This pack was sent to mid and senior level managers in accounting, finance and operations. The aim was to build a database and raise the profile of Ambition as a specialist recruiter.”

tie recruitment marketing


manhole cover recruitment marketing

More funny and creative job ads

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Abel Carballiño

    J’ai trouvé très intéréssant et amusant ce post. J’adore la pub. J’ai aimé celle de IKEA, simple et pertinente.

  2. Tim Tyrell-Smith

    These are fun, Jacob! And such great reminders that good messages still need to be interruptive in this busy world we live in. Creativity is rewarded with an open mind – then the product must deliver. My favorites are the napkin ad and the fly on the wall. 🙂

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  7. Jacob Share

    Bas- A LOT of people like the fly. I’ve gotten the most feedback about it.

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  9. Emily

    All of these are great! Very eye catching and unique ways to go about advertising,great post!

  10. Steve

    I need a job at a place willing to advertise like this! The very first one with the beer glass was my favorite. But then, I love beer 🙂

  11. dan

    where can I get one of those sea monkey kits? I want one!

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  14. Jacek

    So inspirational. Thanks man!

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