BC Tip: Heineken's slick appeal to jobseekers

A sophisticated ‘interview’ may be designed to repel as many people as it attracts

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The feature

Heineken’s global corporate site has a separate careers site, with ‘Why join us’ as its first link. This page has a prominent invitation to ‘Take the interview or explore employee stories’. By choosing ‘Take the interview’, visitors are led into an expensively-produced feature, on its own site, that combines video with interactivity.

A smooth-talking Englishman - who introduces himself as a ‘curator of choices’ and changes his outfit many times - asks 12 questions, each with an A/B answer. The first is ‘Would rather be a) world famous or b) have strong roots?’ Whichever you choose you will be told that ‘the Heineken company offers both strong roots and world fame.’ The rest of the ‘interview’ alternates questions with patter about the company, mostly emphasising the international opportunities. For example: ‘Perhaps you’ll start your career as in legal affairs for Birra Moretti in Italy on your way to becoming brand manger of Tiger Beer in Vietnam’.

At the the end visitors are given a main ‘type’, such as Initiator, and are encouraged to apply via the careers site - a link leads to the jobs area either on the global or on the local site (vacancies are being migrated onto a single platform). Although they are asked for their country and date of birth at the start, the same service appears to be delivered to everyone.

The takeaway

Interactive suitability tests for jobseekers are well-established, but Heineken has taken them to a new level with this extraordinary feature. We say ‘extraordinary’ in its literal sense: out of the ordinary. It does not necessarily mean it is good. Indeed it is likely to send at least as many people running away screaming as it attracts. But this may well be the object: it will weed out anyone with an ounce of cynicism, and attract only those who want to devote their careers to the glitzier end of marketing. Young people used to video games may not be impressed by the technology - but even they will have to agree that for a boring old corporation, Heineken is trying very hard indeed to stand out.


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