A recent meme making the rounds on social media showed a dog in front of a Jumanji game board with text that read, “If you made your dog play board games with you during the pandemic then we have a job for you.”
The image wasn’t the handiwork of a bored game enthusiast looking to produce shareable content for like-minded individuals. It was part of a unique recruiting campaign from Canadian toy company Spin Master, which is trying to bulk up its game division’s marketing team by reaching creatives with innovative methods like memes.
“The idea was born to distribute memes that make game lovers think, ‘This is so me, oh wow there’s a dream job!’” says Laura Henderson, executive VP, head of marketing at Toronto-based Spin Master, the company behind popular toys such as Hedbanz and Hatchimals. “The approach was about reflecting the spirit and the culture of the positions we’re looking for—heavy digital users immersed in culture—and helping us stand out in a competitive labor market.”
For Spin Master and other marketers looking to lure new talent, it’s time to get creative. Amid labor shortages and a rising desire from many workers for a career change, brands are having a hard time attracting and keeping talent. Recent months have seen a mass exodus of high-profile marketing executives, including Facebook’s Carolyn Everson and Bank of America’s Lou Paskalis, as brand leaders rethink positions or reflect on the type of work they want to be doing. A near record year of IPOs, and the bevy of opportunities that come with them, is also contributing to the movement, experts say. The labor shortage extends to entry-level jobs, leading marketers such as Dunkin' and Chipotle to deploy creative recruiting pitches using Gen Z-friendly apps like TikTok. Marketing executives, once only concerned about selling products, must now pitch in to help human resources departments sell job openings to prospects.
“At every level, there is enormous activity. There are people resigning, there are jobs being posted, there are searches commenced for senior leaders or mid-level across the board,” says Lisa Mann, managing director and chief marketing officer at executive recruiting firm Raines International. “The velocity of change in business in talent is speeding up and you have to be prepared to move quickly.”