Startup Recruitment: Unique Candidate Marketing Tactics

When perusing hiring tips on the internet, I never came across anything that states, “Look for someone who is wearing a t-shirt that says, ‘Hire Me, I’m a Programmer'”, or anything even close to that.  In Alyson Shontell’s recent article on, 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 for sure bring in attention for the job seeker, do you think this type of personal advert will really work?

It seems as though over the past several years, job seekers devised more unique ways to stand out from 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 start a conversation 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 seemingly aggressive behavior asks whoever the job seeker meets to attend to them and stop their own jobs to speak to them.  Without a scheduled meeting in advance, this kind of “drop by” interview attempt can appear rude, even though the job seeker’s motives were not.   How do you handle a forward candidate?  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.