Mar 15, 2014

Big Recruiting Bets Can Yield Big Rewards

big recruiting rewards

In the decade he spent recruiting for Apple Computer, Patrick Burke helped build the iPod and iPhone teams. At HireCamp 2014 he shared the story of how 1 tactic sourced 10% of the team that shipped the first iPhone – before anyone knew the super-secret project even existed. His key lesson?

“You’ve gotta take big swings to get big results.”

Gossip is valuable

It all started when Apple learned in advance that Nokia & Sanyo would announcing a partnership. Burke knew the news would go over like a lead balloon with Nokia’s mobile team in San Diego. Apple quickly built a list of who worked in the division and sent everyone a simple email: “We’re hiring.” – and then he got to work.

“Soon after Nokia announced the Sanyo partnership internally to it’s employees another email went out saying that Apple was hosting a hiring event 2 miles away in a few days and to come on down. 150 Nokia employees attended and interviews were conducted onsite by managers that same day – and Apple made 8 hires.”

When rumors surfaced that Motorola was in trouble they held similar events…. and bagged 12 more hires — scaring the SIM cards out of Motorola in the process.

B-E Aggressive!

We know that sounds great – but how can you prepare your recruiting team to be ready to drop everything when it’s go time? Patrick says that an aggressive recruiting culture is necessary, but also shared that you need to lay some groundwork. How was Burke able to quickly get the go ahead to run these events despite the high costs of flights, hotels and employee time?

“You need to get buy in on potential strategies before they happen. Plan for what if.”

Getting commitment from management to take a more aggressive approach meant recruiting could go “all in” when the time was right. Listen to Patrick’s talk from HireCamp 2014 to learn how to create a “swing for the fences” recruiting culture.

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