QR Codes for HR & Recruiting

Recruitment Strategies Using QR Codes

QR Codes: A New Tool In The HR Recruiting Process

Yesterday, I received an intriguing new tool for executing  effective recruitment strategies– my new shiny business cards arrived (back side pictured above).  In many ways they are your standard business cards that include things like my company logo, Twitter ID, my email address and even Google Voice number with one tiny exception.  I’ve included a QR Code on the back of my business cards.  For those of you are not aware, a QR Code stands for Quick Response Code and is essentially a bar code that can be quickly and inexpensively made allowing smart phone users to scan the code to provide access to anything within the confines of the internet.

And for the purposes of my business card, recipients can scan my QR Code on my business card and upload my contact information to their phone.  All it takes is a QR Code Reader app installed on your smart phone.  Interested parties scan and download my contact information saving them the hassle of having to scan my contact information at a later date or adding my card to one of those expensive and dusty business card binders.  This greatly facilitates the HR recruitment process.

When I began researching the uses  of QR Codes in my recruitment strategy, I was surprised to find how easily and affordable they are.  Within less than five minutes I had four different QR Codes for two separate purposes using no-cost QR Code Generators like Jumpscan and Delivr. And with the magic of Photoshop, I added a QR Code that contained my contact information as well as a second for a printed brochure that directs scanners to my company website, Xceptional HR.

When it comes to HR and Recruiting, I believe QR Codes provide tracking and analytics features that companies can’t get from bit.ly links placed on brochures, signage, and other marketing materials.

Recruitment Strategies Using QR Codes

  • Job Openings Posted by QR Code. Depending on the number of job postings you have or positions that are hired in large quantities, these QR Codes can be customized by url.  Imagine custom codes for custom positions.  This idea isn’t as far-fetched as it seems.  While shopping for flowers over the weekend at the nursery, I realized that all the annuals had QR Codes contained within them their information cards.  I can scan to learn more information about the flower.  Similarly, I can use QR codes in the HR recruiting process by easily disseminating information to job candidates.
  • Custom Tracking and Analytics. One of the many frustrations with social media and social recruiting is the inability to control or monitor the success at which people are viewing your job openings, social media profiles and what website they originate from.  Since QR Codes can be created quickly similar to a bit.ly link and are also track-able, you can provide solid analytics and candidate source information making things like source to hire much easier to track during the recruitment process.
  • Talent Funneling. QR Codes can be used like lead funnels but for candidates in the recruitment process as well.  They can scan your bar code at an event or website to join your talent community.  Companies like AT&T are using QR Codes in this manner foregoing the cheap trade show giveaways for a larger item like a big screen television.
  • Internal Communications. Likely one of the biggest frustrations from some of your employees is the inability to find information contained with your company website or internal portal.  A QR Code can lead your employees directly to your annual enrollment information or to a specific video for them to learn more.  With QR Codes for recruiting the sky is the limit.
  • Integrating Text. Scanned QR Codes can send text messages as well.  As an HR professional, you can quickly update your employee emergency contact list or use texting to remind them of looming HR deadlines, office closures, and other emergencies.
  • The Cool Factor. These tools are great to generate conversation and exchange information.  For the Oklahoma HR Conference, my conference blog squad will be custom t-shirts with QR Codes that lead directly to our OKHR State Council Blog.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the founder of Workology, a digital resource that reaches more than a half million HR and workplace leaders each month and host of the Workology Podcast. Jessica lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of furry family members.

Reader Interactions


  1. Carrie says

    Beautiful post! 🙂

    We have been using the QR codes for almost 2 years at our job fair events for AT&T. They are located on our Job Fair Displays, as well as our handshake cards (along with an SMS short code) and they direct job seekers to our Talent Network so that they can give us basic contact information & positions of interest, on the spot at an event, via their mobile phone. This is a great way to keep candidates warm and be able to reach out to them after an event without having to worry about collecting resumes. The fact that they are entered in monthly drawings for cool prizes doesn’t hurt either & yes, keeps us from having to waste money on give-aways that most people just stop by for regardless of interest. It makes events & people sourced from these events trackable!

    We are also using them on our business cards and my new ones (which direct people to my LinkedIn profile) should be here soonly!!!

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says


      Thanks for the comment. I like the idea of having a LI QR Code on your business card. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a website or blog with a bio or information listed. Plus, it’s easy for someone to add you to their network very quickly.


      I’m glad you are using them and think it’s very cool that you were brought up on stage during SHRM Talent & Staffing. You are certainly ahead of the curve!



    • Charlie Isaacs says

      There is a new spin on QR codes…the code actually generates a customized menu that is displayed on the smartphone (currently Android or iPhone). There is a “rapid builder” app that allows you to build a customized smartphone menu in a couple of minutes. Several HR functions (or personal functions) can be built into a smartphone and the code can be scanned (or the Employee ID entered) to bring a custom menu down to the smartphone. The “soft-launch” is at http://www.aluc-it.com.

  2. Chloe says

    Jessica.. great post. And Carrie, thanks for sharing how you are incorporating them into your recruiting efforts.

    I received my job-seeking business cards with a QR code right before I headed to San Diego for the SHRM Talent and Staffing conference. It created such a buzz throughout the conference, that Pam Greene, Chief Membership Officer for SHRM and the emcee for the conference, called me up and had me explain what my business card was all about! My code simply contained my contact information but I too have a second version that directs scanners to my online resume at Scribd (which of course is mobile ready).

    About 3/4 of the room in San Diego had heard of QR codes and I’m guess many are now figuring out how to use them in their recruiting. I can’t wait to see a follow up post with more recruitment examples and success stories. As for me, it generated conversation, job leads and elevated my personal brand.. so a big win for me as a job seeker!

  3. Emily says

    Hi there,

    Using QR codes is all very well, but you need to track them as well. We use Free QR Code Tracker as it’s 100% free to create and track your QR codes. You can track multiple campaigns for however long you wish – http://www.FreeQRCodeTracker.com Signup and see what you think!

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks for the information. Both the QR Code tools I listed in the article offer tracking options as far as the numbers of scans. You are right that folks should have some sort of metrics attached to look at the number of scans or lead capture information.


  4. Michael Olivas says

    QR Codes are awesome! I take them a step further and integrate the company’s logo and color. Custom QR Codes have an 80% higher rate of scan than traditional back codes. I have designed Custom QR Codes for restaurants, business cards, Facebook “like”, iTunes store and many other urls.

    If you are interested check, http://www.coolrcodes.com


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