Job candidate poses as delivery guy to get his resume into offices: The sweet world of recruitment stunts

Retail Food Group

There’s fierce competition for jobs at the world’s biggest technology companies – and when it comes to showing initiative, one eager marketing professional has outdone himself by sneaking into San Francisco offices disguised as a courier to make a pitch for employment.

Lukas Yla recently moved from Europe to the US and has been posing as a Postmates delivery man, bringing boxes of doughnuts to prospective employers and hiding his resume in the top of each box, according to Business Insider.

The resume was emblazoned with the message “Most resumes end up in trash. Mine – in your belly”, and the search has garnered Yla large amounts of praise on social media from fellow job searchers and employees in the industry.

The process involved Yla dressing up as a courier from the logistics company Postmates. Rather than angering the business with his cheeky move, the chief executive of Postmates invited the job hunter to have coffee after seeing a news story on the campaign.

Yla’s approach is just one of many creative recruitment pitches – and both employers and employees are looking to disrupt the hiring process.

For instance, in 2012 Ikea Australia needed to fill a number of positions after launching a new store, so it placed “Career Instructions” leaflets in flat pack furniture boxes. The company hired 280 staff members from the campaign, after receiving more than 4000 applicants and spending nothing on recruitment ads.

In 2014, Canadian designer Brennan Gleason landed a job out of uni by designing packaging for his home brew beer with his resume on the outside, then sending the units out to potential employers. The product was known as “Resume-ale”.

Psychologist Eve Ash says that these kinds of stunts work well because they show the creativity of the candidate.

“For a start I think [Yla] is really creative – and it’s unusual, so people are going to be entertained and interested,” she told SmartCompany.

“I think because he’s not hurt anybody, the postal company is impressed with his ingenuity and his creativity.”

Provided such campaigns don’t involve anybody getting hurt, these approaches can break through traditional hiring procedures by actually demonstrating what an employee is capable of, says Ash.

“In recruitment people are looking at work tests and all sorts of ways for people to demonstrate all sorts of skills. If somebody goes and demonstrates something creative, then that’s great.”

It doesn’t hurt when a recruitment campaign gives good advertising to another brand, like Postmates, Ash adds.

“If that company has one of its values as innovation, they’re going to then appreciate that.”

Reventure managing director Lindsay McMillan told SmartCompany that to date it’s actually been employers that have not done a great job of tackling the modern challenges of the workplace head-on, and it’s up to companies to sell themselves to employees in a high turnover context.

McMillan’s recent research for Reventure revealed about half of Australian workers were looking for new opportunities in the coming year.

While stories of eager job hunters often float to the surface, in Australia some businesses have actually struggled to find any applicants at all. 

“Employers must be focussed on creating more rewarding, engaging and productive work cultures that provide incentives for employees to stay,” McMillan says.

SmartCompany contacted Yla via email for an update on his job search. He says he’s still looking for opportunities and hopes his pitch will be show employers a good example of his capabilities.

“I see donuts as a good way to cut through competition and grab potential employers attention by showing my problem solving and decision making skills,” Yla says.


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5 years ago

Proof positive (if any were needed) that current HR practices are stale, stereotyped, look for the wrong things, and strongly biased towards young Anglo men. WHEN is this going to change?

Don't Blame HR!
Don't Blame HR!
5 years ago

Maybe employers need to rethink their practices too – putting thousands of restrictive and often contradictory “requirements” in job ads (one of which is NEVER “innovation”, or “creativity”, being unwilling to train, expecting everything to be “boxed” perfectly, wanting young Anglo males, and continuing to pay those last century HR practitioners? Employers get what they pay for, and if HR people don’t provide JUST what the employer wants, they don’t get the business.

5 years ago

Yes, very creative however what else can they be creative and innovative with …..Mmmmh. Posing as a delivery guy? boxed donuts with your resume attached for the office to see all your personal details. I’d rather give it to the direct person who is hiring. HR as well as recruitment agencies are useless. Employers need to offer attention grabbing headlines, incentives and flexibility in order to attract candidates.

Lana Williams
Lana Williams
5 years ago

Thanks so much for this inspiring article! Really, what Yla did is very creative and I think that it’s an absolutely right approach to the job search. You are right saying that there’s a fierce completion on the job market. If you know what you want and have a dream job, you must do your best to get noticed. I’m sure that employer will never forget this job candidate! Hope that Yla’s resume was created with the help of because in this case she’ll definitely get a job!

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