BRS, as a Global recruitment research company, is always interested in European developments and this week Sweden has been catching our eye.

They may have already given us Abba and Stieg Larsson but it seems that Sweden, a country not content to sit on its creative laurels, is now leading the way in a new trend of innovative recruitment that aims to make the most of the emerging tools of social media.

As recently detailed by The Undercover Recruiter the Swedes certainly have a reputation for recruiting in unusual and exciting ways, if a recent campaign by super brand Ikea is anything to go by.

However, the flat pack furniture goliath is by no means alone in taking advantage of social media to boost its staff – the Swedish army is famous for using social networks such as Facebook and more recently Youtube, in a drive to fill vacancies and even the Swedish Guide and Scout Association have now become media savvy.

But in an age where recruitment is increasingly competitive and the pressure to find high quality hires is ever higher, what key lessons does Sweden have to offer us?

1) Engage with your audience
As demonstrated by all these examples, engaging with your target audience is key. Whether it’s by having prospective applicants self deliver a mailer to themselves or giving hundreds of regular citizens a taste of what it feels like to put the needs of others before their own, you want people to get involved. This is the ‘social’ part of social media and its importance cannot be over stated. The easier a vacancy is to share the more people it can reach and the more quality applicants you gain access to.

2) Be creative
As they say ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained!’ Stretch your imagination and capture the attention of your target audience. Try something different – produce a video, welcome interactivity, try a social media platform you might not otherwise have considered –  after all, who automatically connects the army to Facebook or Scouts to cinema adverts? Step outside your comfort zone and do something unexpected.

3) Don’t be put off by perceived exorbitant costs
Cost need not necessarily be a prohibiting factor for your campaign – the Ikea mailers incurred zero cost and generated 4285 applications from those who already loved the brand. Creating Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts are also all free. Think a little outside the box and the possibilities become endless.

4) Have fun!
Remember: this is your big opportunity to show off how exciting, forward thinking and engaging your company is. Create a positive image and engage the imagination, interest and passion of your audience and the quality of your hires will increase exponentially.

Looking to reduce your dependency on agencies and make hiring predictable, repeatable and economical? Contact BRS Global today at or on +44 20 7748 4393.