10 Creative Job Posts and Ads That Will Inspire Yours

October 1, 2020

Your job posts and ads may be a candidate’s introduction to your company, so you want to be sure they both differentiate you and set the right expectations upfront. But if you’re finding that they just aren’t bringing in the kind of candidates that you’d hoped for, it may be time to get creative. 

For inspiration, we found 10 smart, eye-catching examples that will get your creative juices flowing. These companies not only managed to stand out from the crowd, but did so in a way that conveys their culture and shares their brand story. Take a look. 

1. Waste Creative reached new talent pools by inviting candidates to visit its virtual office in Animal Crossing

During a period when many people were only leaving their homes for essential work and errands, the Nintendo game Animal Crossing exploded in popularity due to its calming atmosphere and social features. At the height of the game’s popularity, London and LA-based digital creative agency Waste Creative found an ingenious way to reach prospective candidates using Animal Crossing — building a virtual replica of its office that players could visit in the game.

“We’re all about community, and one of our clients, Nintendo, has created something that is aligned with our passion,” explains Tasmin Lobley, senior art director, in a post on the agency’s blog. “By creating a replica of Waste’s office in Animal Crossing, we’re hoping to tap into the huge love for the game to engage with a much broader, more diverse talent base. We want to reach people who could be the new stars of our agency, but maybe don’t even know it’s a job they could do. Yet.”

While visiting the virtual office (or the replica of a beloved local pub that the team built next door), players could stop by the message board to find a special creative brief.

The brief invites candidates to pick a brand that they would promote inside Animal Crossing, explain the goal this marketing initiative would achieve for the brand, and submit some ideas of how they would incorporate the brand within the game. The person who submits the most interesting response receives a three-month paid internship with the agency. 

This strategy is an inventive way to reach candidates who might never have considered this career path before, making them unlikely to see a more traditional job posting. The brief emphasizes that anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to take part, regardless of their experience or where they live, since Waste’s goal is to “find fresh creative talent.” And since Nintendo is one of Waste’s clients, the whole initiative also gives candidates a feel for the type of work they might be doing at the agency. If you can accomplish all that while making the experience fun for candidates, your job post is sure to stick in their minds.

2. Gusto emphasizes why diversity makes the company stronger 

In the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, many companies are recognizing they need to do more to create truly diverse and inclusive workforces. These efforts touch every part of the hiring process, starting with the job post, with companies taking steps like including a statement about their commitment to diversity in their job descriptions. 

Gusto, a payroll and benefits platform designed for small businesses, set itself apart from the crowd with a simple, heartfelt statement at the end of its job posts that perfectly encapsulates why diversity matters. 

“Our customers come from all walks of life and so do we,” the statement reads. “We hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our company stronger.”

The statement also emphasizes that candidates can find a sense of belonging at Gusto, noting that “if you share our values and our enthusiasm for small businesses, you will find a home at Gusto.” Beyond the job posts themselves, the company’s commitment to diversity is backed up on its careers site and Engineering blog, the latter of which features regular diversity updates about progress made and goals Gusto aims to accomplish. 

Ensuring that your messaging around diversity, inclusion, and belonging carries through all your candidate-facing materials makes it feel more genuine. And by emphasizing why diversity matters at your company specifically, you can get people’s attention and show them that this is something you approach thoughtfully, rather than simply relying on generic language.

3. Fiverr made “Another Generic Recruitment Video” to show why it’s different 

Recruitment videos can be a great way to give candidates a sense of what life at your company is like and what your values are. But when these videos are too similar to the ones other companies are putting out, they run the risk of becoming white noise. 

Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services, poked fun at these generic videos by creating one of its own back in 2016 — making the company stand out in the process.

“This generic recruitment video could have been shot anywhere,” the video says, following shots of a bustling office complete with inspirational quotes on the walls and an employee riding a longboard through the halls. “If you’re good at what you do, you can work anywhere. If you’re the best at what you do, come work at Fiverr.”

Fiverr’s video proves that a little humor can go a long way, especially if you have a somewhat quirky employer brand. And by highlighting what the company is not, you can find candidates who are looking for something different and ready to make a change.

4. Twitter put out a call for a “Tweeter in Chief” 

In 2019, Twitter put up a listing for a job with an unusual title. The social media giant was looking for a “Tweeter in Chief.”

Once you get past the title, the job is actually pretty standard — Twitter just wanted someone to run its own official Twitter account. But a title like that commands you to stop and take notice, which is exactly the point.

The listing itself also has its playful moments. On top of the requirements and responsibilities you might expect, Twitter points out that “You’ll set the tone of who we are and how we act, and talk to people on Twitter. No big deal.”

If you’re going to use a creative job title, make sure the rest of the job post conveys the same tone — otherwise, it could feel misleading. And if that tone doesn’t reflect your company culture, this technique might not be right for your company, so use it wisely.

5. Bud Light posted an ad for a “Chief Meme Officer,” complete with meme templates

Bud Light recently made headlines when it posted an ad for a “Chief Meme Officer.”

Bud Light’s job post was full of hilarious lines befitting a meme-focused role, from the acknowledgment that “our memes are trash” to the assertion that the new hire will “get paid in Bud Light Seltzer and also real money” to the fact that one of the qualifications was being able to “use the lasso thingy in Photoshop.” 

It was also distinctive in the fact that to apply, all candidates had to do was submit up to four memes relating to the brand’s hard seltzer line. Bud Light even provided applicants with templates and branded assets to help them out. 

While you may never have to hire for a Chief Meme Officer, finding ways to support candidates through the application process is a good way to encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. And by taking a creative approach like this, there’s also a much greater chance that people will want to share your post with their networks and friends, helping to improve your reach.

6. Atlassian showed it knows employees have a life outside of work

These days, it’s pretty common for people to have side hustles, and many who don’t still may have hobbies they’re passionate about. Atlassian knows that. The software company’s current career’s page puts employees’ extracurricular activities front and center.

“It's the unique contributions of all Atlassians that drive our success,” the company notes on its website. 

Atlassian ties this back to its commitment to diversity and inclusion, stressing that people do their best work when they feel like they can be themselves, and that their diverse background and experiences make them stronger. But it also signals to candidates that Atlassian appreciates you’re more than your job — whether you’re a software developer and budding botanist or a technical writer who loves to knit.

Helping candidates feel seen as individuals is a good way to pique their interest. And if you can tie your campaigns back to your company’s overarching mission and values, your ads and job posts will be stronger for it.

7. IBM used infographics to get the point across quickly 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Tech heavyweight IBM took this approach with its job posts, using infographics to help candidates gauge their fit at a glance.

These infographics quickly communicate make-or-break considerations, like the job’s location, compensation, and benefits. There are also blocks of text detailing the role and its requirements, but the bright colors and surrounding graphics help make the post more engaging to read.

Visme, the design firm behind the infographics, says that IBM used to create text-heavy landing pages for each role. This was not only time-consuming — taking up to 72 hours for roles with unique needs — but also made it hard to share job posts across different channels. The infographics, on the other hand, take less than an hour to create and can be downloaded as images or PDFs. The team can also generate a link to quickly share them or embed them in an email. 

Visme also notes that IBM has seen an uptick in qualified candidates applying for roles. 

“Since it's laid out in a very informative and easy-to-read way, the people that end up applying for the position are more applicable,” Visme writes. “It’s not people who just read the job title and think it's relevant and then apply.”

Whether you’re using an infographic or formatting with bulleted lists, the way you lay out text on the page can influence how many people read your post. Aim for straightforward, clutter-free layouts that allow your words to shine. 

8. MailChimp isn’t afraid to throw in some fun and take things offline

Email marketing service MailChimp isn’t afraid to have a little fun with its ads. It once tested a Napoleon Dynamite-inspired ad to see if it would have an impact on attendance at an informal meet and greet. It did — the number of attendees nearly doubled compared to a previous event.

  • Screenshot of image from MailChimp's Napoleon Dynamite-inspired job ad

The company has also mastered creative campus recruitment. Notably, it once created job ads made to look like baseball cards that recruiters could hand out at job fairs. 

The brilliance of these cards isn’t just that they’re memorable (although they are). They’re also the perfect size to slip into your pocket and rediscover later, causing candidates to take that much-needed second look. 

MailChimp proves that you can get creative with your employer branding on- and offline. So if your once-reliable methods for spreading the word aren’t working as well as you’d like, consider experimenting a little. Being just a wee bit playful can be more rewarding than it is risky. 

9. MIT Media Lab defied expectations for a research facility by focusing on passion over qualifications 

Higher education institutes don’t exactly have a reputation for being daring. Perhaps that’s why the Media Lab at MIT put out an ad for an “undefined discipline” job that shatters any preconceived notions you might have about it in seconds. 

MIT Media Lab catches the reader’s attention in a few interesting ways. Firstly, the title prompts prospective candidates to keep reading the post to figure out exactly what it’s about. Then, it immediately shifts the focus from the candidate’s qualifications to their passions and potential — noting that the position has no “specific degree requirement,” but it does demand someone with a “fearless personality, boundless optimism, and desire to change the world.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise is MIT Media Lab’s willingness to detail the type of candidates it isn't looking for, pointing out that “if you fit into typical academia, this is probably not the job for you.” 

Using an unexpected approach to amp up the uniqueness of a role is a surefire way to stop a candidate in their tracks. This kind of post won’t appeal to everyone — but as the disclaimer makes clear, it isn’t supposed to. 

10. McDonald’s made it clear that new hires might make a few mistakes (and that’s fine)

Some job posts have been known to ask a little too much of candidates — like requiring more years’ of experience with a coding language or technology than physically possible (since it hasn’t been around that long). McDonald’s took the opposite with one job campaign targeted at students, making it clear that no experience is necessary and it’s okay to make mistakes.

The eye-catching “McMistake” poster campaign featured familiar McDonald’s menu items in the wrong containers, like a burger in a fries box and a McFlurry cup filled with fries. Below these images were two simple lines: “Students Wanted. No Experience Needed.”

Job ads like this encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, helping you find candidates with a lot of passion, even if they’re new to the field. Of course, it also helps if you have a similarly iconic product that you can use to grab the viewer’s attention and make them laugh. 

Final thoughts

The most creative job posts aren’t just successful because they’re different. They’re also effective multitaskers, juggling the responsibility of announcing an opportunity with that of sharing the company’s culture in a fun, compelling fashion.

So don’t just be weird for weird’s sake. Use your creative job post as the hook to draw the right candidates in — then give them a reason to hit “apply” by including all the right details.

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