Inspiration from The Circular Economy: Recruit, Retain, Recycle (Part 2)

Blog_image_part2_2In our previous post in this series, we introduced a trend report developed by JWT Intelligence titled “The Circular Economy” (download), and discussed how our field could benefit from thinking in the context of this theme. While the previous post focused on Retention, today’s post explores how thinking “circular” can enhance Recruitment efforts.


It is not uncommon for companies to receive hundreds of applications for a single position. This process by nature generates a significant amount of waste, as only one person from this candidate pool is ultimately hired.

Could we design out waste in the recruitment process? Or find a way to make what is not waste into something of value?

  • Develop a process for bringing candidates back into the circle: The option to send a reminder to yourself three months later to review current openings.
  • Keep candidates in the circle: Building a talent community that is actually useful to the candidate versus one that is useful to you.
  • For example, ANN INC. developed an app that acts as a 24/7 friend in the fashion business, helping users put their best foot forward in their careers. While there is a recruitment message throughout, the app features trend and fashion news and gives users the ability to contribute. Links to download an Apple or Android version can be found at ANN INC BFF

  • Reduce negative bi-products: Well thought-out and timely communications to applicants can dramatically decrease candidate frustration and disappointment and help maintain a positive brand image.
  • Re-purpose: For companies such as retailers or restaurants, consider incorporating consumer offers. For example, a retailer could provide a 20%-off coupon as a way of thanking candidates for their interest, recognizing that the process is time-consuming and encouraging them to reapply later. Many companies spend a huge dollar amount on marketing and advertising to drive sales. So when appropriate, why not capitalize on the high volume of applicant flow?

The preliminary thoughts outlined in this two-part blog post are just examples to illustrate how one can start thinking about this trend in the context of their own domain. Sometimes looking at an old problem from a different angle can spark interesting ideas. So give it a try. Take a few minutes and think about how you can act more “circular” in your efforts. You might just be able to turn something typically negative or neutral into something of value.

Pete Price, a strategist and experience planner at JWT INSIDE, keeps up with trends and the impact of technology on recruiting while always ensuring that audience needs are met and considered. While involved in brand development, his passion is on bringing them to life in a way that is meaningful to the audience. With a focus on the entirety of the candidate journey, efforts include research, messaging architecture, UX, and brand activation. Contact Pete at

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