4 Ways Ikea can Inspire Your Recruitment Drive

4 Ways Ikea can Inspire Your Recruitment Drive

After revealing the ins and outs of NASA’s recruitment process, I’ve decided to reveal the nuts and bolts of the world’s leading flat pack furniture and household essential provider, Ikea.

Over the past decade, the Swedish-founded multinational group have evolved from relatively unknown to a household name.

And despite having in-demand products and a clear ethos based on simplicity, their winning formula has also relied on the wonderful customer service they provide every customer.

With this in mind, I’ve assembled four key methods they use to make their recruitment campaigns.

These are all as simple to maintain and put together as their products.

Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to implement a few of your own.

Assess everything

To bring in over $40bn in revenue in 2016, Ikea’s employees must be doing something right.

One of the key differences between Ikea and its competitors is their attention to detail.

After all, you could have one of the best products on the market!

However, if you have a team of unprofessional employees, you run the risk of putting a customer off your brand for life.

Whether this is hiring a helpful customer-facing store assistant or getting the right marketing executive to find innovative ways to drive the brand forward, every element is important in creating something customers love and trust.

To get the right employees and ensure that they are a right fit for the company, Ikea follows a three-step recruitment process.

These are:

  1. Assessment centre
  2. Second round
  3. Personal interview

The key process here is the assessment centre stage.

What do they do?

During this part, Ikea invites ten applicants to participate in several group and individual tasks over the space of a couple of hours.

This includes problem-solving and simple assessments.

Once this is complete, Ikea then invites two or three applicants to the next stage of the interview process.

Candidates also get an opportunity to ask the hiring manager how they performed and ways they can improve going forward.

This whole assessment centre idea is particularly useful if you’re hiring for a position which doesn’t require a degree or a vast amount of experience.


Because this can help you sort the contenders from the pretenders.

It’s also a great way of seeing how candidates work under pressure, as this isn’t a normal process they can prepare for.

If you want to implement this process into your business, I’d suggest getting a couple of current employees to run their finger over the batch of candidates.

They’ll offer an unbiased opinion and be better placed to recognise who’s a good fit for the company’s culture.

Advertise effectively

When it comes to advertising, it’s easy to get carried away and start splashing out money on a variety of job boards etc.

Instead, try utilising what you’ve got.

In Ikea’s case, they once sneakily included a job advert flyer inside every pack of furniture.

So, the only cost of the campaign was for their in-house design team to put something together and the resulting print costs.

The result? Well, Ikea’s direct job advert approach resulted in 4,285 applications and 280 new employees!

In your business, think about something that you already offer or sell your customer or clients.

For instance, a bank could add a small line of advertising on a customer’s monthly bank statement.

Or if you have a shop or office, hanging up a ‘Hiring now’ flyer in the window may not look sexy, but it’ll probably generate a few responses.

Give it a go.

Artificial intelligence is paving the way

As well as soft drink giant Pepsi and the hair product brand L’Oreal, Ikea are also using the artificial intelligence solution, Robot Vera.

Developed by a Russian company, Robot Vera allows Ikea to sift through CVs.

It also searches for essential qualities before they even reach the assessment centre stage.

The other cool element about this AI software is that it has the capability to interview hundreds of potential candidates via video or voice call at the same time!

This enables them to establish who is best suited for a certain role.

Just think of all the hours the HR save on calling, screening and interviewing candidates.

Naturally, if you run a small business, committing to an expensive piece of AI might not be feasible or even required.

To get the most out of it, you should only look into it if you’re recruiting new employees on a monthly or frequent basis.

Simple is better

Just like their products, the hiring managers at Ikea don’t try to ask a series of complicated questions to throw off their candidates in the final stages.

Instead, they try to keep things light and relatively informal, as they believe this will help them get to know a candidate a bit better.

To help you with this, take a look at our icebreaker questions.

These are designed to put a candidate at ease and get them talking more freely.

Summing up

So there you have it!

While Ikea’s recruitment process isn’t as complex as NASA’s and Google’s, it does offer an interesting insight into how to effectively narrow down masses of applications.

Try streamlining your processes like Ikea in your business.

There’s a high probability you’ll not only find more qualified professionals, but you’ll save a few quid in the process too.

(Maybe you can use the extra cash to pay for some more furniture for the office!)

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