- Jaguar Land Rover announced its first hire via a code-breaking recruitment challenge done in partnership with the Gorillaz mobile app, per a joint press release. Gorillaz is an award-winning virtual band — its four members are cartoon characters — that released its sixth album, "Humanz," in April.
- Daniel Dunkley, a 23-year-old from Gloucester, U.K., became the first user to meet the code-breaking challenge and sign on with the team. The challenge remains open, however, as part of the automaker's search for the "next generation of electronic and software engineers," per the release.
- Part of that search will continue at Jaguar's first-ever Tech Fest event, running Sept. 8-10, at London's Central Saint Martins art, design and technology college. Aspiring code-breakers can visit a pop-up Gorillaz garage at the Tech Fest to give a crack at a puzzle that will test technical ability, logical thinking and memory, or can just complete the challenge on the Gorillaz app to win the chance for an interview. A promotional video for the contest is available to view below:
Gorillaz and Jaguar's partnership points to the innovative ways brands can leverage mobile technology and apps, in particular, not only to drive engagement but also seek out new talent in high-demand areas like coding. The jobs contest is just one component of the Gorillaz mobile app, which launched ahead of the release of "Humanz" earlier this year and has proven a success with over 400,000 downloads, according to the release.
The app, developed by Gorillaz with the agency B-Reel, guides users through the band's virtual house and different rooms that include AR/VR and 360-degree video activations. Jaguar's piece of the real estate is the garage, which it occupies with Gorillaz' lead guitarist and virtual brand ambassador Noodle, who helps it to deliver code-breaking challenges via alternate reality games.
While companies like Google or Microsoft are huge draws for tech talent, auto brands might have more trouble attracting those types of hires coming from an industry that has, in the past, been more focused on specialties like manufacturing. This is a growing issue as cars demand more sophisticated software.
By gamifying its recruitment process via a mobile app — and partnering with a popular pop band like Gorillaz — Jaguar Land Rover has clearly caught the attention of promising young coders. The brand has interviewed over 50 participants in the effort, according to the release, and offered jobs to 13 candidates along with Dunkley.