HR University Logo, Teaching the Business of HR; and CHCO Council seal



Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Marketing and Outreach - Quick Response (QR) Codes
What are QR (Quick Response) codes and how can they be used as a recruiting tool?

Quick Response (QR) Code Example
You have probably seen them as you maneuver through your daily routine but may not have known their function. These codes have been around since 1994, but it wasn’t until recently that they were repurposed as a marketing tool. Look around and you will discover these pixelated squares in magazines, newspapers, coupons, flyers, on boxes and even t-shirts! When scanned using a Smartphone QR Reader, the code provides high-speed mobile access linking to things such as; a website, video, text or email, all while you are on-the-go.

So what does this have to do with the Federal Government? QR codes offer a cost-effective way to attract talent and build your agency brand. Used as part of your marketing and outreach strategy, these codes allow you to highlight your specific brand, realistic job previews, web pages, benefits or any other information of interest to the job seeker. Consider the last time you were at a recruiting function and someone asked you for specific information. If you were like most, you referred them to your agency website; something they access when they are at home away from you. What if you could offer an electronic copy of all your supporting material, in real-time? You can! QR codes provide immediate access to online material, creating instant gratification and leaving a strong first impression.

Front of a sample business card with a generic Federal government recruiter's contact information. Back of a recruiter’s sample business card with a QR Code for the USAJOBSRecruit website.
By now you are probably wondering how much investment is required to add a QR code to your recruiting campaign. You are in luck; it is both cheap and easy to do. Codes can be created in a matter of minutes from any computer with Internet access. There are dozens of websites that offer the use of their QR code creators at no cost. Once the code is created, you can attach it to any document, presentation, email, banner or flyer. The potential costs would only come from any printing you have done. A limited number of sites offer free tracking analytic data. This allows you to see where your codes are being used, how often they are scanned, and help you determine your return on investment (ROI).

Ultimately, these codes offer the opportunity for on-the-spot education. This helps applicants make informed decisions and encourages them to ask questions before they apply. An informed applicant leads to a better hire which helps your agency to retain talent.

Recruiting with QR Codes (click here to view the presentation). Adobe Acrobat Icon