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The Vintage Hire: How to Leverage Nostalgia to Find Top Talent 

By Catherine Rayner 


Tired of the same old recruiting strategies? How about going retro? Using nostalgia can be a smart way to get attention and connect with potential hires. Nostalgia is especially appealing to people who grew up in the 80s and 90s. By using memories and things from these decades, employers can create a sense of familiarity that resonates with job seekers.  

Why Nostalgia Matters  


Nostalgia is powerful in advertising today, especially for Millennials and Gen Z. Brands like Coca-Cola brought back old campaigns to spread joy and to show they're timeless. Nike's retro shoes attract people looking for authentic styles. 


In hiring, using nostalgia helps employers make an emotional connection with candidates. Including familiar cultural things in job ads can deeply influence how candidates see the company. Nostalgia can create genuine interest and show that a company is a great place to work in a tough job market.  


Use Retro Themes in Hiring 


When creating hiring materials, using retro themes appeals to Millennials and Gen Z. Use old-fashioned fonts, pictures from the 80s and 90s, and words that bring back good memories.  


For example, look at Airbnb's "Stay in Dracula's Castle." This campaign mixed nostalgia with unique experiences to catch the attention of potential talent. This shows how a bit of retro style can make hiring stand out.  


Add Pop Culture References 


Adding popular culture references from the 80s and 90s to messages can connect with Millennials and Gen Z in hiring. Wendy's Twitter account uses witty throwbacks and memes. Incorporating these references adds relatability and fun to employer branding.  


By infusing pop culture hiring content, companies show they're real. Companies can connect with early career candidates who share cultural interests. This approach highlights the company's personality. It also shows potential hires that the organization embraces creativity and modernity in its culture.  


Build a Retro-Inspired Company Culture  


Infuse retro elements into company culture. This can transform the workplace into a vibrant and engaging environment. Host 80s-themed parties or decorate office spaces with nostalgic items. Introduce fun-themed dress-up days that transport everyone back in time.  


These initiatives boost morale, build team spirit, and contribute to a positive employer brand. A nostalgic atmosphere allows team members to bond over shared experiences and interests. This leads to greater collaboration and job satisfaction. Embracing retro-inspired elements communicates to both current employees and prospective talent that the company values creativity, inclusivity, and a forward-thinking approach.  


Benefits and Impact 


Embracing nostalgia in hiring has many advantages for companies navigating a competitive market. Organizations that tap into nostalgic themes stand out. It's a differentiator that attracts top talent who appreciate cultural authenticity.  


Leveraging nostalgia creates an emotional link with candidates, making the company more appealing. A workplace infused with retro elements can lead to enhanced teamwork, creativity, and morale, vital components of sustained business success. It can help not only make employees happier and more involved, but also keep them around longer. 


Incorporating nostalgia into hiring efforts is a creative and effective way to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. By using retro themes in job postings, employer branding, and company culture, organizations stand out and make meaningful connections with potential hires. 


Have you used retro elements in your recruiting strategy? Let us know what you've tried in the comments.  


Ready to start your nostalgic hiring journey? Consider partnering with TalentRemedy. Our industry experts specialize in helping companies hire top talent to keep your organization successful. Contact us at or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to learn more about how our team can support your hiring needs. 


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