THE BLOG

5 Hiring Lessons From Apple and the iPhone 5

09/26/2012 12:46 pm ET | Updated Nov 26, 2012

If you've seen a line of shoppers recently wrapping around the side of your favorite tech store, the reason is probably Apple's newest iPhone. The iPhone 5 recently burst onto the scene with much fanfare (and some complaining) as the newest device from tech giant Apple. Some analysts think the new phone could sell a staggering 10 million units over its first weekend.

Most people know Apple's rags to riches story, going from a company on the brink of destruction to revolutionizing the cellphone and music industries. When looking for advice on how to update your hiring methods to find great candidates, move your company forward, and cut down on unemployment, there isn't a much better example than Apple.

With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple is updating again. If you're using the same old tired hiring process to find candidates, it might be time to take a page from Apple's e-book and update how you recruit top talent:

Lesson 1: Let Candidates Know What You're About
Apple turned itself from a stodgy, behind-the-times brand into the place to be for the newest in technological innovation. No one is expecting your company to become the coolest in your industry overnight. It's important, however, to make sure the message of what your company is all about is getting out there for interested candidates to see.

What are your values? What is your company passionate about? Use the answers to these questions to start building up an attractive company brand to nab applicants who will fit your company like a glove. Your company website is a great place to start, but social media is the best place to roll out your new image. Connect with job seekers, stay on your new brand message, and you'll have better candidates applying for your open positions in no time.

Lesson 2: Don't Be Afraid to Embrace New Technology
Apple used to be a strictly computer-based company and was failing because of it. When they diversified into music and phones, their company really took off for the stratosphere. Just like Apple, you shouldn't be afraid to embrace the opportunities new technology can bring to your recruitment process.

We've talked about social media, but there are plenty of other new hiring technologies ready to help you find the best candidates. You might want to update your old applicant tracking system (ATS) to make sure it's easy to use for your whole team. You might also want to take a critical look at your online application. Is it too long? Are candidates clicking out halfway through?

Another new technology you can embrace is online video. Using the power of video interviewing, you can connect with candidates on a more personal level earlier than in the traditional process. Making your interviewing process smoother will go a long way to updating your overall hiring effectiveness.

Lesson 3: Never Stop Updating Your Process
If the iPhone 5 proves anything, it's that Apple is never satisfied. Just because Apple has a killer, popular product like the iPhone doesn't mean they've stopped innovating and updating. Likewise, it's probably time for your recruitment process to get a little facelift. With unemployment still hovering around 8 percent, anything you can do to make the process more efficient is a huge help to the struggling job market and your company's bottom line.

A great way to update your process is to find out more about the candidate before committing to an in person meeting or phone screen. Your time is valuable, after all, and you don't want to waste it with people who are all wrong for the position. You can ask applicants to send along a portfolio of their relevant work so you have an idea where their skill set lies. You also might want to encourage candidates to apply using video resumes, so you can "see" their personality and communication skills right away.

Lesson 4: Get People Excited
There's a reason people are lining up around the block for the iPhone 5 -- Apple makes each product release a huge production. Details are kept mum until the grand unveiling and then consumers can't wait to get their hands on the latest product. You might not be able to get candidates to line up for an opportunity to work for your company, but you do need to get them excited about your organization.

This is the time to really look at your company culture and use it to your advantage. You know your company has plenty of great perks and benefits, but do job seekers? Make sure you're in charge of your company narrative to get top talent interested. If you're excited about your company, that excitement will become contagious and infect some great candidates.

Lesson 5: If It's Not Broke, Don't Fix It
Just because you can update something doesn't always mean you should. All tech products eventually get to the point where it seems like companies are updating them merely to get people to buy the upgrade. Many have lobbed this charge against the iPhone5, which has a new operating system and power cord not compatible with older Apple products.

You need to critically evaluate your process and then only update the aspects in need of an overhaul. If your current application is yielding great candidates, don't change it just for the sake of changing things. The best systems don't throw out the old just to make room for the new.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from Apple's new iPhone 5 release when it comes to updating your hiring process to find the right people. The most important thing to remember is to never stop trying to make your process the best it can be, and never stop telling the story of why candidates should want to work for your company.

What are some lessons about updating your hiring process you can take from Apple? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.