When Saul Colt‘s contract with the San Francisco-based software company Xero ended this August, he decided to take a less traditional route to finding his next gig.
Instead of sending out CVs and making cold calls, Colt launched a contest, #WinSaul, that flips the script and asks companies to apply to him. In a blog post announcing the contest, Colt wrote: “One extremely lucky winning company will receive the following: The best creative/experiential marketing person (Saul) in North America for a term of 18 to 36 months.”
Colt explained to Marketing that his job hunt had hit a wall and after working as a marketer and evangelist at companies like Zipcar, FreshBooks and Rogers, he’d found himself applying for jobs he felt over-qualified for. In an age when companies are quickly scanning thousands of resumes for keywords, he knew he needed something to help him stand out and figured running his job hunt as an ad campaign was the perfect way to show off his skills.
Since launching the contest on Oct. 10, Colt said he’s had about 15 serious inquiries and has met with potential employers. And, two of the brands he listed as dream gigs in the contest post have reached out to see if he’d be a good fit.
As he closes in on finding a “winner,” Colt is the one conducting the interviews with potential employers rather than the other way around. Instead of the usual HR-led interview, Colt is meeting with the brands who enter the contest for 30-minute coffee chats to see how he’ll fit within their corporate culture.
Colt said he doubts his job contest format will catch on, but would be happy to see another job seeker use it successfully. “I don’t expect anyone else to do this, but if anyone wants to, please –take this, you don’t have to give me any credit!” Colt said. “If nothing else, I hope this shows people there are ways you can subtly break the rules.”