We wanted to get beyond the answers people thought we wanted to hear and draw out their genuine thoughts and values. Through a process of trial and error, we came up with the following recruitment techniques, focused on encouraging people from a broad range of backgrounds to apply for our design roles, and enabling us to learn about candidates in a more meaningful way.
Meet informally for coffee (and sometimes a donut or two)
We used coffee catch ups as a relaxed entry point into the recruitment process, giving the candidate a chance to feel comfortable with the team before needing to engage in a more formal interview.
Look in non-traditional places
We had to be creative when it came to letting people know about our roles as traditional avenues, such as Seek and LinkedIn, were potentially limiting. We weren’t receiving any applications from groups such as Māori and Pasifika, and it was possible people with the right transferable skills and knowledge were discounting themselves because they didn’t have experience in design or hadn’t thought of design as a potential career.
To overcome this, we invested time and effort into exploring partnerships with design schools, networking events and even the Ministry of Social Development.
Referrals also played a big part. All the recruiting leaders had a view of the available roles and worked closely to ensure they were sharing and referring people amongst the group.
Focus on the person not the role
The goal was switched from finding a person to fit a particular role, to finding passionate and interested people with a unique perspective and finding them a place within the team.
Recruit as a team – using different interviewer styles
The leadership team recognised we each brought our own bias and perspective to the recruitment process. To address this, we took the time to discover our different interview styles and what each of us was looking for in a candidate.
Create opportunities for early talent
With a very tight labour market, we noticed there was a huge pool of new and emerging talent. As a result, we created four junior roles as an intentional pathway for new graduates who were looking for a place to learn and grow.
Looking within our wider organisation
Finally, we recognised there was a vast amount of knowledge to be found within ANZ. Employees who work in areas unrelated to design, such as customer-facing or development roles, bring a different view of our customers and a valuable perspective to design.
We saw business acumen as a valuable skill and actively sought to find ways to shape roles around these transferrable skills. Areas such as service design and design operations were perfect areas for an internal hire to apply their skills and experience in new ways.