4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch From IKEA

If you're looking for some recruitment ideas and inspiration, why not take a leaf out of the world's largest furniture retailer's book? They have some great tactics.

June 20, 2023

So we’ve talked about Disney and covered tech giants Apple… my next area of focus is drilling into the world of flat pack furniture and household essentials.

That’s right; today I’ll be sharing four recruitment ideas used by the world’s largest furniture retailers, IKEA.

From simple but effective job ad posting to unique processes to narrow down potential candidates, the Swedish-founded multinational group have all the recruitment tools in place to help you build your business into a household name.

Recruitment Idea 1: Thorough assessment

To generate over $40bn in revenue in 2016, IKEA must know a thing or two about employing the right professionals.

Granted, they have some of the best/most convenient products on the market. But to keep a business going for a long period of time and allow them to consistently hit landmark revenue figures every year, they need to get every element right during the recruitment process.

Whether that’s hiring a friendly and customer-centric person to work in their shops or develop a savvy marketing professional at HQ to contribute to the evolution of their brand.

To gain the best professionals, IKEA follows a three-step recruitment process:

  1. Assessment centre
  2. Second round
  3. Personal interview

While the second two stages are pretty self-explanatory, the assessment centre is one we can all learn from.

During this stage, they bring in ten applicants to take part in a number of group and individual tasks over the space of a few hours. This includes problem-solving and simple assessments.

As a result, IKEA then invites two or three people to the next stage of the interview process. Candidates also get the opportunity to ask the hiring managers at IKEA how they performed and for honest advice on ways to improve going forward.

This means a candidate can continue to make positive steps in the future.

In regards to your business, this ‘assessment centre’ idea can be adapted to suit your certain requirements or industry. For example, you may want an employee who fits well within a team, so it would be beneficial to pull out a few current staff members to sit in and run their finger over the fresh batch of recruits.

For more ways on how to find a brilliant CV, you may find our previous blog useful.

Recruitment Idea 2: Resourceful job advertising

When it comes to advertising a current vacancy, try utilising what you’ve got.

IKEA’s cunning plan involved concealing job descriptions inside every pack of furniture sold. The cost? Practically nothing!

Sure, you could argue they spent a few quid on print. But on the whole, this method of direct recruiting didn’t even come close to the cost involved in using popular job ad boards.

The clever job ad campaign resulted in 4,285 applications and 280 new employees. Essentially, customers were delivering potential careers to themselves.

This method can be used by most businesses, with banks including a small section on a customer’s personal statement, or a shoe company including a flyer inside every box on delivery.

Think about what your business offers and how you can capitalise on a product or service you already have in place. After all, there’s no better feeling when you know something is being carried out for free!

Recruitment Idea 3: AI is the future

IKEA, Pepsi and L’Oreal all share something in common – their use of Robot Vera.

Created by a Russian start-up company, Robot Vera offers IKEA a super-fast vetting service to narrow down candidates before they reach the first assessment centre stage.

The software can interview hundreds of potential candidates via video or voice call at the same time to establish who is best suited for a certain role. This saves their HR team valuable time, so they can focus on the more personal aspects of talent finding further down the line.

The question is, does your business need artificial intelligence? Take a look at our other post to find out whether it’s a hindrance or a benefit.

Recruitment Idea 4: Simplicity

For the candidates that reach the latter stages of the interview process, IKEA doesn’t try to bamboozle them by asking tricky questions.

Just like their products, they are easy and painless. Their thought-process behind this is to enable their candidates to feel relaxed and open while talking to them.

A great way to do this is by asking nice icebreaker questions. In theory, this will encourage them to move away from giving you the same old automated responses and provide an honest answer instead.

Final thoughts

IKEA’s recruitment process follows their business’ mantra of simplicity and ease. They don’t burden themselves with complex questions or procedures.

They look to streamline every stage and find innovative solutions to find the best talent available.

Going forward, consider taking a more targeted but quick approach to your recruitment drive. However, don’t compromise the quality of the candidate. Just use every tool available to narrow your search and cut the fluff.

It might just give you an extra five minutes to build a few more desks for the new employees!

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Coburg Banks - Multi-Sector Recruitment Agency
We help great people get brilliant jobs in top companies.

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