City of Zurich: QR Code, Construction, Engaging Information

by Etienne Besson on 30 July 2013

in Recruitment

A QR code on a construction site in Zurich. A minisite with engaging information. And interesting ideas for recruiters.

QR code on Werd building ZurichWhen I walk home from work I often pass the back of the Werd building in Zurich. And there’s this billboard featuring companies involved in a construction project. But the thing that got my attention is the QR code.

Until now I didn’t really pay attention to it. I assumed that it was one more failed attempt at trying to be cool by using a QR code. I mean, who would scan a QR code that’s 4 meters (approximately 13 feet) up in the air? And would it even work?

Live Testing

Today I simply couldn’t resist anymore. So I took a picture of the billboard from across the road. Yes, I may be (or most certainly am) a QR Geek, but I don’t want to get run over by a car… So here’s the picture:

2013-07-29 19.15.27

Then I crossed the road and took another closer (and careful) picture:

I admit that I was surprised, but the QR reader on my Android phone was actually able to read the code and here’s the URL:


What’s really cool, is that the website I accessed was fully mobile-friendly. Here’s the first screen I saw. Okay, the “Geschaeftshaus Morgartenstrasse” was a bit cut off, but that’s a detail:

The first part was a quick history of the building and what they’re intending to do with it. Then they added information about who is in charge of the construction project, who will use it once it’s finished, the budget (8.3 Mio CHF) and how long it will take (until June 2014).

Amongst other things, they show a picture of what the building looked like in the 70s and a mock-up of the offices that will soon be available for rent.

At the bottom of the page they encourage the visitors to share the page with their friends and online contacts through Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Email.


Why Recruiters Should Be Jealous

Nobody cares about construction works. Well, at least until they have to use the back entrance in order to access their office or they sit at their desk and it sounds (and feels) like somebody’s trying to bring down the whole building with a drill (trust me, I knooohoow whaaat it feee-heels liiike…).

But the people working for the City of Zurich managed to make this interesting. If somebody bothers to scan the QR code, they will

  • get information about what’s going on
  • learn about the history of the building
  • see what it will look like once it’s done
  • be encouraged to share the site with their friends and contacts

Of course, what I totally love is that the website is mobile friendly (QR codes are usually scanned with mobile devices, after all) and they added a call-to-action to share the link on social media.

Now isn’t this what many recruiters are dreaming about?

But It’s Not About Recruiting?!?

No, this has nothing to do with recruiting. Although, they could have added a link to open positions…


  • you could post a billboard in front of your office with a QR code, maybe even add a picture of the QR code to Foursquare
  • and then you could create a mobile-friendly page telling the story of your company
  • and feature some of your co-workers, what they do all day, why they like working for your company and what they expect from their future colleagues
  • mention your open positions in a way that links to the story of your company and the presentation of your colleagues
  • add “share” links to social networks
  • and encourage people to apply, ideally without an online form that takes 30 minutes to complete and has mandatory fields asking for unnecessary information

Now if some state employees could do this for an old and a bit boring building, how hard could it be for a cool company?


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