The Brazilian company Semco, run by Ricardo Semler, has always been a key inspiration for Happy. And visiting their site just now, I came across this great idea: Date Semco. The aim is simple, to get to know people before they have jobs for them to apply for.

We rarely advertise jobs at Happy, or use recruitment consultants. Instead we have a simple sign-up on our web site for people to register their interst in a job here. The result is that we have had over 2,000 people on the waiting list and, when we need to recruit new trainers, we often get over 100 completed application forms from just one email. Crucially this approach targets people activiely interested in Happy, rather than those happening to be reading the job pages (in a newspaper or online) when your advert is there.

There isn’t a lot about Date Semco on their web site, but I love the concept. Imagine having open days for potential recruits, maybe special events to get to know them, and keeping actively in contact – building relationships and getting to know people for when you next want to recruit.

The idea apparently came from Semco’s “Out of your mind” committee. This meets regularly to discuss weird ideas, ones to which the only sensible response is “You are out of your mind”. Another great idea – just imagine how much fun it must be on the committee and I bet some innovative products and approaches result.

Semco – truly inspirational even after all these years.

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