High Street stalwart Zara is asking candidates to predict the future as it aims to recruit new talent with skillsets ready for the future of fashion.
Zara, part of the Inditex Group, started the ‘Zara Data Challenge’ two days ago looking to recruit new tech-savvy talent.
The challenge forces applicants to use a dataset provided by the company which includes information about sales, stocks, SKUs and products that individuals must use to predict fashion sales.
It comes with a warning though: “We won’t make it easy for you,” a company statement read.
“There will be some business restrictions.”
This recruitment method, that Zara is using to find future talent, is called gamification – using typical elements of game playing to get candidates to engage with a likely business scenario or elements of the day job.
It’s not the first time Zara has used this technique. In 2017, it ran a programming marathon to recruit technological talent.
The ‘hackathon’ gave candidates 24 hours to use software to solve a business challenge.
What will interest any recruiter is that both of these examples of Zara’s recruitment tactics give candidates a flavour of how the firm view themselves and operate.
Zara, according to retail analysts, is agile and digital. Its parent firm, Inditex, recently renewed a collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the aim of continuing developing together technological research lines.
One of the collaboration’s main aims is to develop new ways of analyzing data that can be applied to business.
In the instance of the ‘Zara Data Challenge’, the recruitment task mirrors what all staff are expected to do at the firm: predict new trends and respond to customer wants.
Analysis of Zara explains the firm’s success is centred around short delivery times on new fashion offerings – with all staff expected to provide data and insights on what customers want.
Yet, it isn't not the only firm that's gamifying recruitment.
Nationwide has also done similarly. The bank's graduate recruitment process now includes a Crystal Maze-style escape room – testing candidate’s skillsets.
At the time Nationwide rolled this out, Recruitment Grapevine’s sister publication, HR Grapevine, spoke to the bank’s now ex, Director of Resourcing, Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill.
She said that the gamifying part of their process actually helped attract candidates to apply and improved their employer brand.
With many recruiters undeniably in a ‘war for talent,’ this might be the best way forward when it comes to looking to grab the best talent - ensuring your recruitment campaign stands out and is appealing to candidates with the skillsets you want.