Apple follows Microsoft’s novel approach to attracting tech talent. 

There’s little doubt that the 21st century workplace is a very different environment than previous generations experienced on the job. In every area of industry, new innovations and labor practices have changed the setting, so it should come as no surprise that the process of looking for and applying for work should change, too.

Only a few decades ago, finishing school and beginning the job hunt meant reaching out to companies that were hiring, filling out multiple applications by hand, mailing them to the HR department, and hoping to be called for an interview. Now, job seekers have online networking tools, the ability to find and apply for jobs with a one-click process using a saved resume file, and more.

Apple hides secret job advert to attract world's best tech talent

Apple hides secret job advert to attract world’s best tech talent.

Outside the box

But imagine for a moment being on the inside of the company, the poor lackey whose job is to numbly sort through the influx of “this looks fun, I think I’ll apply for it” applications. The newfound ease of the application process might be maddening to some companies, especially ones that are looking for talented, think-outside-the-box creative problem solvers.

Crack the code

Several reports have shown how companies, especially some of the tech giants, are fighting back against the generic application. Multiple sources have cited a “hidden job offer” from Apple, embedded inside an unadvertised website. An IT researcher discovered the job offer, but states he is not the right person for the position.

Australian firm Big Commerce didn’t bother hiding its job posting, but rather wrote the contact phone number in a complex code. More than 1,600 applicants cracked it and responded via Skype.

Invite from Google

Perhaps the most futuristic example happened to Max Rosett, who worked as an engineer at Google. Rosett was not actively seeking a job at the time, but rather, posted several related Google searches that triggered an “invitation” from the company. Based on his search queries, this invitation popped up and contained the message, “Are you up for a challenge?” Rosett solved the resulting puzzles and was offered a job.