- Zack Whittaker, cybersecurity report for CNET, said he recently discovered a hidden advertisement for an engineer on Apple’s website, according to the BBC. The ad said Apple is looking for "a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component." Key qualifications included knowledge of modern server technology and distributed systems.
- Whittaker happened upon the ad while looking into data sent from iPhone apps on the company's website. The ad has since been either removed or moved elsewhere, the BBC reported. Whittaker told the BBC he does not plan to apply for the job.
- Companies have used "hidden" messages in recruitment campaigns as far back as World War II, the BBC reports. In recent years, Dyson, Google and GCHQ made news for similar disguised attempts at recruitment.
Given the shortage of tech talent, some companies are taking unique approaches to find the workers they need. Problem-solving and programming often go hand-in-hand, so coding challenges or puzzles can be effective ways to garner interest and attract talent compared to traditional methods.
Last year, Uber began sending people a coding game to play during their rides. The game, "Code on the Road," tests the coding skills of Uber riders in cities that have large concentrations of tech workers, including Seattle, Austin, Boston, Denver and Portland. When riders accepted the test, they received three coding problems to solve. If they scored well, riders were prompted to get in touch with Uber.
Google also used similar methods in the past. The company set up a programming test that launches when someone searches for specific programming-related terms.
For CIOs looking for tech talent, such as games, are a fun and interesting way to attract potential tech employees. It also gives potential recruits a positive connection with firms, an advantage in the ulta-competitive tech talent market where workers can demand high salaries.