For Adidas, QR Codes Are Already a Big Thing

John Sullivan asked: Are QR codes the next big thing in recruitment technology?

For adidas, an award winner last year, they’re already a big thing.

Craig Larson heads up U.S. recruiting. He started about a year ago, about the same time, he says, that adidas “identified a problem that needed a solution.”

The problem begins with the fact that adidas sends lots of people to trade shows in places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. These people aren’t recruiters, usually — and in fact recruiters sometimes are not welcome at the conventions. They are designers, marketers, buyers, and others there to “push product and get orders,” Larson says. “There’s a lot of deals down there and a lot of passive candidates.” Depending on the event, adidas can send a recruiter or two, but “a lot of times they don’t like us tagging along.”

On top of that, trade-show goers are often with their bosses, and not able to talk jobs.

Using Avature, adidas built a portal to capture some of these passive candidates. If you haven’t heard of Avature — it’s a bit like Jobvite, in that it’s in the “CRM” business — an acronym that may sound familiar but in recruiting many folks consider the “C” to stand for Candidate, not Customer, Relationship Management.

Anyhow, the project was rolled out at a large footwear/apparel event. To drive people to the site, adidas put up a display (see photo above) with a QR code you could scan, and handed out small (3 x 5) cards with the QR code on them. Show attendees could thus discretely take a photo of the QR code and then type their contact info into the portal. The candidate information was collected and divvied up to adidas recruiters by function, like design, for them to contact people.

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Larson’s excited about this as a way to build a relationship, a pipeline of candidates, to start talking to people who might be candidates. And, he says, it showed hiring managers that the adidas recruiting team could get to recruits without a lot of recruiters, and without a recruiting event. Says Larson, figuratively: “Basically we have a recruiter on site with this banner.”

He is still working on a full analysis, putting solid numbers on the project. In the meantime, he says, “it was a vast improvement over last year when we didn’t use technology to support us. In the future this will be a cost savings, time savings, and the ROI will continue to grow.”