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The best recruitment website I've ever seen

And it made me thirsty, too
Heineken Go Places
A screen grab from the Heineken Go Places website.

By Todd Humber

I’m a headline junkie. And when I see a headline that shouts that Heineken has just made an HR campaign that’s “as cool as any consumer ads it’s done,” I have to click.

And I’m glad I did, because the Heineken Go Places recruitment website is undoubtedly, unreservedly and unquestionably the coolest recruitment page I’ve ever seen. It should be because, according to AdWeek, it took one-and-a-half years to develop.

You have to check it out. When you arrive for “The Interview,” you’re greeted by Heineken’s “Curator of Choices.” Essentially, the beer company is about to put you through a personality test — based on the Enneagram model, for you psychometric nerds out there.

“There not an awful lot we know about you,” the host tells you as he walks closer and closer to your computer screen. “So this is your chance to choose. You see, life is a constant stream of choices. Each choice leads to the next and it’s the sum of all these choices that defines who you are. So... who are you?”

Then you’re launched into an engaging, entertaining questionnaire that not only digs into your personality but also showcases the Heineken brand to you. I’ll admit it — I didn’t know that the brewer had more than 250 brands in 70 countries. And I’ll also admit to getting a little thirsty during the interview process. So, kudos for success in not just promoting job openings but also the product itself.

It’s a great example of why branding and HR can — and should — be tied together.

The Curator of Choices also takes time to outline the career paths that employees choose — apparently using real employees.

“The sky is the limit,” he says.  “Perhaps you’ll start as a brewer for Heineken and work your way up to supply chain Director of the Americas. Or perhaps you’ll choose a different path, starting in legal affairs for Birra Moretti in Italy on your way to becoming brand manager of Tiger Beer in Vietnam.”

He introduces you to Maja, a worker who started in Poland, moved to France and then on to Brazil — in one year. Then he moves on to Carlos, who went from Panama to Amsterdam. He finishes off with Dolf, who runs the show for Heineken in Mexico. He “double clicked on all my questions using two computer mice. He scored very highly,” he says.

I could go on, but you get the gyst. And it’s far more interesting to participate in it than read about it. And that’s part of the brilliance of the campaign — it’s going to draw huge numbers. People love to take personality tests and find out what it says about them.

It even goes a step further — customizing some of the content you see to where you are. The watch he uses shows your local time. The local beer they show is local to where you’re sitting. The food they show in Mexico is empanadas, in Vietnam it’s noodle soup. In my Toronto office, I was shown burger and fries — boring, but I guess.

Of course, you can also share the results on social media before applying for a job using your LinkedIn profile. I can already feel it trending.

Lennart Verstegen, a director for Wefilm (one of the firms behind the site), called the whole campaign “game-changing,” according to AdWeek. It delivers “a punchy message in a dry, corporate environment. We took Heineken’s wish to come with something that exceeds all expectations within that very serious ‘corporate world,’ and it is hopefully regarded as a place where people can be better off than before.”

It’s not entirely new thinking, but it’s worth remembering. When you’re looking to put together an interesting recruitment campaign, give the marketing folks a call. They may have something cool up their sleeves that not only fills the talent pipeline but also promotes your product at the same time.

Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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