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How to woo talent

Abhijit Bhaduri
7th Mar 2017
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The city of Wellington has come up with a new and innovative way to woo tech talent. The LookSee Wellington campaign provides us a great example of how to pull in that much-needed high-level talent.

Tired of listening to talks about Silicon Valley? How about trying for a job in “Silicon Welly”? If you are wondering where that might be, then look at the map of New Zealand. They want to make Wellington the next tech destination. To do that, they have unleashed a terrific creative campaign.

They want to recruit a hundred techies from the global talent pool with a focus on the United States. The programme arranges meetings with prospective employers who have roles that match a candidate's skills, and flights and accommodations are covered. In a campaign called LookSee Wellington, employers who are looking for tech talent sign up and pay a fee to participate in the talent hunt. Interested techies are already loading their resume on to the site.

Credit: Shutterstock

The employers vote for their choice of top candidates. The top hundred most in demand techies will be flown down to Wellington and spend an all-expenses-paid week meeting potential employers and evaluating the city to see if they would like to live there. The match-making happens when an employer finds the techie they have been looking for.

This is a great example of how talent will be wooed in the digital world. In this case, the employers are pooling their resources and the city is all out to woo the tech talent. The top talent will get multiple job offers for sure. Will they play one employer against the other? Will employers gang up? I don’t know. What is sure that here is a novel recruitment campaign that has gone viral.

Traditionally, this has been the model used by several global firms to groom their high potential talent. The host country bids for a particular employee who has the skills the local business needs. The expatriate model includes a trip to the country where the employee and sometimes the spouse and kids get a sneak peek of what to expect if they live there. The purpose of the trip is to go beyond the job and make the experience of living in another country an attractive option rather than something to be apprehensive about. It signals to the employee that they are valued and wanted.

Admittedly, this red carpet treatment is offered only to the high potential talent. They are made to feel special. The LookSee Wellington programme has already gone viral. The tech community has sat up and taken notice. The site simply aims at making the decision to work in Wellington look like the smartest choice possible. It is attractive because it does not seem like a job ad. They are selling a story with you as the protagonist. Look at what they have to say:

“You can be part of a vibrant economy that’s open-minded and globally-connected, yet still collaborative and supportive. And you can do it while enjoying a healthy lifestyle, rich in cuisine, culture and the great outdoors.”

Imagine running a similar campaign to woo talented people to your company. And running it almost like a campaign to promote tourism. A campaign that does not talk only about the role but encourages the person to bring their full self to work. How would it change your image as an employer with the top talent across the world?

Have you ever run a campaign like that? If you have seen examples of a company “woo talent” in a manner that is fun and creative, I would love to know. Have you seen a campaign that makes someone talented sit up and want to apply for a job in that company? Thanks for sharing your ideas through the comments.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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