Adidas has heralded the success of its iPhone recruitment app after becoming one of the first graduate employers to use such a method in the UK.

The app, which was designed to reinvigorate the company’s graduate recruitment process and align the customer and employer brand, has been downloaded 7,000 times since it went live last October, said Jennifer Cunningham, recruitment manager at Adidas Group UK.

“When students think about Adidas they think of our product innovation and we really wanted to link the employer branding piece in with the consumer perspective,” Cunningham told PM.

“The graduate market is very technically savvy and the app idea was killing three birds with one stone – by updating our recruitment process, being innovative and new to the marketplace, and attracting the type of candidates that we wanted.”

The app includes an RSS feed to live vacancies, departmental overviews and videos shot at the Stockport head office to convey the working culture of the organisation.

Adidas is hoping to encourage students to apply for its graduate scheme in specialisms including product marketing, communications, HR, IT and finance.

Describing graduates as “an amazing way to feed the business”, Cunningham explained that Adidas was increasing its UK graduate intake to 23 this year, and introducing a second tier to the scheme for “top-level candidates”. These recruits will spend two years on a rotational programme in different departments rather than the standard 12-month scheme.

Although candidates cannot apply directly for the graduate programme through the app because of the small user interface on the iPhone, Adidas is collating data on how many applicants acknowledge that they were persuaded to apply because of it.

More detailed feedback on usability and the clarity of the employer brand message will be gathered from candidates attending assessment centres for this year’s graduate intake later this month.

“The app does truly represent our brand in terms of the look and feel of it, and it will hopefully put us on the map in terms of being innovative and forward thinking in our approach to recruitment, and position us as an employer of choice,” said Cunningham.

The success of the graduate app means Adidas is looking to grow it into a wider “careers app”, which could be launched across all its global markets.

The company is also considering rolling out the app – which was developed with recruitment communications agency SMRS and software developer Ravensoft – to staff recruitment for its retail operations.

Cunningham added that the decision for businesses to launch direct graduate recruitment apps was likely to become more popular.

“In general, mobile recruitment technology is going to become very high up on the agenda, along with web 2.0,” she said.