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QR Code SmartphoneUsing QR codes in recruiting is a great way to convey that your company's cool and up on the latest technology, according to John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University, at ere.net. These second-generation bar codes, accessed through a camera-equipped smartphone, send users online for more information. They're cropping up everywhere and being used in all sorts of ways, including by the Salvation Army in Boston to target folks who might have no change with them when they pass their red kettles. Airbus is using them in its college recruitment of engineers. They send students to a mobile site featuring "Your Future by Airbus" concept planes, a Facebook page as well as the main Airbus careers page. Sullivan includes a long list of ways the codes can be used—essentially on any printed materials, including T-shirts, but also in text messages. A major restaurant chain seeking managers and supervisors put them on the doors of restaurants in Chicago and Indianapolis. Those codes allowed candidates to join the company's talent community from their phones, get email of potential jobs and apply later at a computer. It gave the company leads and metrics about the usefulness of the codes. In Indianapolis, 32 percent of users joined the talent community and 27 percent did in Chicago, compared with an 8 percent conversion rate at most career websites, according to RecruitingGeek. Commenters on Sullivan's post, though, say too few people are familiar with the codes and that there are better competing formats around, so using the codes at this point should be targeted toward the truly trendy. And commenter Ben Puffer offers this good advice for any recruiting initiative:

  • Know how the technology works, the benefits and issues.
  • Know the market you're targeting.
  • Know how you'll measure the effectiveness of the technology.