Startup Recruitment: How Far will a Potential Candidate go to get a Job?

When perusing hiring tips on the Net, I never came across anything that states, “Look for a potential employee who is wearing a t-shirt that says, “Please Hire Me, I’m a Programmer”, or anything even close to that.  In Alyson Shontell’s recent article on BusinessInsider.com, she explores an apparel company called  Hire Me Tee which will design as many “Hire Me” slogans a job enthusiast could require. They can wear the shirts to promote themselves.  While this will certainly pull in attention for the job seeker, do you think this type of personal advert will actually work?

It seems like over the past several years, job seekers are conjuring up unique ways to stand out from among the crowd, and this type of t-shirt advertising is certainly an example of this new trend.  Perhaps a recruiter who is hiring for a Customer Service position will see someone wearing the shirt, but would the hiring manager pursue interaction with the job seeker based on the message on their t-shirt? 

Many other somewhat aggressive job seeker tactics have gained popularity over the past two years.  A potential candidate recently came to our office after applying for a job through our website to hand us a hard copy of his resume and to speak with us more about the role.  Since I provide recruiting support to OpenView and our portfolio companies, I continue to appreciate any extra effort from a candidate who displays their interest in a role, but this type of aggressive behavior asks whoever the job seeker meets to stop what they are doing in order to attend to them.  Without a scheduled meeting in advance, this kind of “drop by” interview attempt can seem rude, even though the job seeker’s motives were not.  Have you ever witnessed a candidate trying unusual tactics to attract attention?  How were they received by you and your company’s management teams?

Diana Winings Martz is a Recruiting Analyst at OpenView Labs, where she is responsible for recruitment for the firm and its portfolio companies.