In a field experiment, we investigated the impact of a ‘strange’ recruitment medium on the quantity and quality of the applicant pool. Recruiting through an unusual medium (i.e., postcard) was associated with higher applicant pool quantity, as compared to a more frequently used medium (i.e., e-mail). With respect to quality, applicants recruited through the strange medium were higher educated. A follow-up questionnaire confirmed that the media were perceived to differ in strangeness, not in media richness or credibility. These results suggest that ‘changing things up’ in recruitment by employing strange recruitment media can positively affect key recruitment outcomes.

Practitioner points

  • Employing ‘strange’ recruitment media can enhance the effectiveness of recruitment (i.e., applicant quantity and quality).
  • ‘Changing things up’ in recruitment may help organizations to differentiate themselves from competitors.