11 Examples of Extreme HR Practices


Marketing departments are known for thinking outside the box, sales teams have perfected the perfect pitch, why can’t HR departments have just as much fun being innovative with their hiring? Dr. John Sullivan in part 2 of 13 More Bold and Outrageous HR Practices That May Indicate Your Approach is Too Conservative looks at 13 different companies stretching the bounds of recruiting to hire and maintain their top talent. Not all of them may be for you, but it certainly makes you reevaluate what “bold” really means.

11 Extreme and Unique HR Practices

Outrageous Benefits are becoming the norm

It seems like Silicon Valley is all about one-upping the next company in terms of benefits. Two of the most unique HR practices have become the benefits offered by Google and Netflix. Google revealed it’s amazing death benefits for every employee. If an employee dies, then their spouse or domestic partner receives 50% of the employee’s paycheck each year for the next 10 years! Death is nothing to joke about, but Google’s death benefits are to die for!

The next unique HR benefit practice comes from one of my personal favorite companies, Netflix. All companies have paternity and maternity leave, but few offer what Netflix does. Netflix provides unlimited maternity and paternity leave for an entire year!

Limited Term Employee Contracts

Everyone knows that most managers have the ability to fire poor performing employees, but Revel Hotel and Casino will only hire employees to a term of four to five years. After the contract expires, they force employees to reapply. They claim this ensures that employees work harder to ensure customer satisfaction.

Unlimited PTO as a regular HR practice

More and more companies have been adopting an unlimited PTO policy, and why not? Top performing employees bust their butts working day and night for your business, and when they need a vacation they should get it. You shouldn’t force your employees into the office each day only to accrue half a day of vacation per month. Unlimited PTO plans limit employee burnout and help keep them fresh when they need time off.

Employer Branding as a Weapon

Top employers are leveraging their employer brand as a tool to generate more high level talent than their competitors. It’s not about just being bold, but using it to showcase customer wins, company culture and more.

Internal Marketing Experts for HR Departments

With the digital age came a bold, new world. Online marketing took the world by storm, and now it’s taking over HR. HR practitioners now have data and technology at their fingertips that gives marketers some real toys to play with. Job boards are search engines that can be gamed with SEO, PPC ads can be used to drive more candidates for jobs, marketers are being used to create copy for employer branding pages, and promotions and incentives are being used to drive corporate hiring awareness. Best of all, there’s now data to back up the effectiveness of these campaigns.

Technology based HR departments

HR used to be a spreadsheet and word doc department. Now, there’s employee review software, gamification performance tools, applicant tracking systems, job marketing and advertising, and analytics to measure performance. The modern HR department will be led by practitioners that have a grasp on these new HR practices that leverage technology to get things done.

What’s the job? Oh it’s a secret??

Company’s like Apple are known for keeping their jobs a secret to prevent competitors from assessing their next initiatives. Would you apply for a secret job? Some candidates are turned off by this, but others may find the secrecy exhilarating.

Ridiculously Ridiculous Cafeteria Food

You read that right. Food so ridiculous it received two ridiculous’ in a single heading. Dropbox is known for having one of the most incredible free cafeteria menus for employees. Items like home made ramen, yakitori, poke, duck confit grace the cafeteria of Dropbox. Jealous? I know I am.

Outsourcing HR Functions

Outsourcing HR functions has become a new normal for growing businesses. One of the more popular options is recruitment process outsourcing, which is proven to lower internal costs. Outsourcing various functions helps to lower internal overhead, allowing your HR team to become more effective and easily scale needs based on demand. When it comes to software you pay for what you use, why should your recruiting or other functions be any different?

Outrageous Referral Policies are a Unique HR Practice

Data shows that referrals are statistically better employees and proven to have a higher retention. That’s why businesses have created outrageous referral policies that can yield thousands of dollars in bonuses for employees. If you spend $5,000 on a referral program and get better quality employees, then your onboarding costs year/year will be lower, and productivity will be higher because they’re a better cultural fit. This can save you hundreds of thousands in recruiting costs!

Severance Packages

These aren’t just for employees who are terminated after dedicating years. Some companies are now offering employees the opportunity to take severance packages to get the hell out of the company. Businesses believe that if you’re not dedicated to working here, then get out. They want passionate employees who are motivated to show up and give 100% every day.


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