After recently giving you an insight into Apple’s recruitment processes, I thought it was time to put another global brand under the microscope.
The Japanese multinational conglomerate company, Sony Corporation, have been innovating in the electronic sector since 1946.
From generations of game consoles to state of the art television sets, Sony is undoubtedly one of the biggest brands in the world.
So, what’s their recipe for success you ask?
Well, like all electronic and technology companies, the only way they can continue to create new and wonderful things is to hire the right personnel.
To give you some idea of how they attract the best candidates, I’ve compiled a handy list of recruitment ideas for you to implement within your business today.
1. Keep It Casual.
Interviews can often feel very stuffy and regimented, so you could choose to take Sony’s approach to clothing.
Sony’s HQ in Japan have told their graduate candidates to ditch the standard black suit or smart dress attire for an interview.
Instead, they want job seekers to wear something that is true to their personality.
Sony spokeswoman, Satsuki Shinnaka, said they “want to find the individual quirks of each applicant”.
Adding: “We want them to come at us with opinions and thoughts indicative of their individuality, instead of an answer they read in a book that says ‘Sony will consider you to be a good match (with the company) if you answer like so.”
Although the interview questions haven’t changed, they wanted to give their recruitment process a completely new identity.
Q&A one on one sessions have been replaced with workshops, discussion groups and proposal planning.
“We want them to be themselves. Feel that it’s ok to talk to us using simple words unconstrained by formalities,” Ms. Shinnaka explained.
This idea of creating a more relaxed approach in interviews should enable you to really get to know your candidates and make the recruitment process relatively simple.
2. Make It Personal
One of the biggest compliments Sony offers their candidates is their personal approach to the recruitment process.
Despite only recruiting around 100 people every year, Sony Music Entertainment receives around 10,000 applications for the positions.
Yet, instead of simply discarding unsuccessful candidates, they try to offer a response or feedback wherever possible.
They treat their candidates as customers, so they believe it’s imperative to offer a top quality candidate experience regardless of the outcome.
Sony gives serious candidates honest and real feedback while offering them the opportunity to give their thoughts on the whole recruitment process in return.
As a result, this adds a human touch to their recruiting service and encourages candidates to apply again further down the line.
The lesson here is to turn a negative outcome into a positive.
Just like Sony, you can ensure your business is still portrayed as a fantastic place to work by offering quality feedback to candidates.
3. Invest in the New Generation
Sony’s graduate and apprenticeship schemes are some of the best out there, so if you haven’t thought about introducing your own, this is a perfect example to follow if you did want to.
Over the past three years, 13 graduates have completed Sony’s programme in the UK and have gone on to establish themselves as integral employees across the wider business. There are also 18 apprentices currently working onsite in the UK.
These schemes are challenging but highly rewarding, with the graduate scheme starting salary ranging from £18,000-£24,000.
It also boasts a whole host of benefits, including the opportunity to work towards an accredited Institute of Leadership and Management qualification, annual bonuses, discounted Sony products, an onsite gym and much more.
While your business may not be able to offer a graduate or apprenticeship scheme as extensive as Sony’s, just implementing one can lead to some short and long-term positive results.
In fact, according to the National Apprenticeship Service, for every apprenticeship completion, a business’ productivity sees an average £11,128 increase per year.
For more graduate and apprenticeship inspiration, you might find these blog posts useful:
4. Encourage Creativity
Creativity sometimes gets restricted in bigger corporations because it’s easier to put a load of restrictions and rules in place than face a backlash if any legal issues crop up in any area of the business.
However, Sony leadership pride themselves on enabling their employees to put new ideas forward.
A few years ago, they even released an initiative allowing their customers to fund employee ideas before they were put into production.
This was clever because it benefits the company and shows how much Sony care about their employees.
Plus, before Sony launched a product, they could almost guarantee it’d be a success because their customers have already had a say on the matter. Genius!
While this initiative is for employees only, this is a top idea for businesses looking to recruit the best candidates.
Whether you’re a big or small company, offering a potential employee the opportunity to get their ideas funded creates a buzz and an entrepreneurial spirit around the business.
With this in mind, candidates will be eager to work at your company.
Even if you can’t offer the exact same thing to your team, the message is the same. If you can show the public how much you care about your employees, people will want to work for you.
It’s much easier to recruit if you have people swarming to join you.
One thing we can all learn from Sony’s recruitment ideas and processes is that they vary from country to country.
While the Japanese HQ like their graduate candidates to dress down for interviews, the UK team put a real emphasis on customer service.
However, one thing that is coherent across the Sony brand is their hunger to make their image more personable.
Their attention to detail with candidates and willingness to let their staff be creative breaks down the wall between senior and entry-level staff.
So, whether you’re considering implementing an apprenticeship scheme or the dress down interview idea, the key is to show candidates that you care and are willing to invest in them.
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