Apple’s hidden job ad and why it’s great news for the economy

A couple of months ago we spoke about why, despite more people in work, the economy is suffering due to a surplus of ‘bad jobs’. Employees are ending up in jobs they aren’t right for and don’t like, and employers are saddled with a disengaged and unmotivated workforce. While it’s probably a bit optimistic to hope things have changed much since June, Apple’s recent hidden online job ad is a welcome sign that the world’s biggest brands are coming up with some innovative ways to solve the problem.

Apple’s genius method of attracting genius talent

A company the size of Apple will have no shortage of job applications. Still, they’ve chosen to adopt a more original method of recruitment by floating out some hidden text into the internet and waiting for an eagle-eyed software engineer to spot it, and bite. It reads ‘Hey there! You found us. We’re looking for a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component that is to be a key part of the Apple ecosystem’. It’s unclear as to whether they’ve found who they’re looking for, and therefore if the tactic worked, but nonetheless it’s exciting to see a global brand refusing to rely solely on their overflowing mailbox to find talent. However easy that approach may be, it’s clearly not doing anything to improve job quality – which has a direct effect on business performance and employee happiness.

Out with the old…

The traditional recruitment process feels a little dated in comparison with Apple’s hidden ad. Ultimately, it boils down to an oblique exchange of vague information. On one side, the company attempts to lure a prospective employee in with throw-away terms like ‘great work environment’ and ‘great scope for advancement’, while the job seeker actively looks to blag their way through citing achievements like being the ‘best team member’ and having the ‘best impact on business’ as concrete qualifications. While meritocratic methods have their downsides, we could stand to see a little more of it in recruitment. Should Apple hire an employee as a direct result of their hidden ad, it’ll be one who had the talent to find it, and the desire to pursue the call to action.

Getting out of the corporate jungle

Consider the wording of Apple’s job posting ‘Hey there! You found us’. It won’t fit the tone of every brand out there, but this sort of human approach has real value and isn’t done enough, particularly in recruitment. Job seekers have likely had enough of lines like ‘Fantastic opportunity in a rapidly growing company’, so it’s not hard to imagine them seeing Apple as a refreshing ray of sunshine. It’s an example to follow for any business aiming to achieve global success. An unfortunate side effect of becoming a global giant with a product in every other house on the street is that you can’t help but take on a negative corporate image. But this quirky recruitment tactic will go a long way to changing that perception. Wendy’s did a similar thing not long ago – and it’s safe to say it worked out pretty well for their PR department.

What can you do?

Not every company is as well-positioned as Apple to make the most of the internet as a recruitment technique. But you can ground your process in similar thinking. At JPC, we aim to uproot the traditional method with programmes like MYOC. This is a nine-month apprenticeship, with scope for full-time employment after, designed to invest fully in the employee and give them the tools they’ll need to carve out their dream career. On the job, the MYOCer gets the opportunity to thrive in a challenging environment, with exciting work from day one. It’s just one way of attracting and developing engaged employees – which is a win for them, us and the economy.

If you’re interested in joining our team, take a look at the roles we have on offer.

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