Inside the Candidate Experience: 3 Revelations from Our 2023 Report

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory

When it comes to applying for and accepting new jobs, candidates have more options than ever before. Companies with poor candidate experiences will lose out on the top talent as employers battle for the best prospects.

So, how does the average candidate experience stack up against candidate expectations?

According to PeopleScout’s most recent research, less than two in 10 candidates rate their experience as excellent.

For the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, we used our proprietary Candidate Experience Diagnostic to audit the candidate journeys of over 215 organizations worldwide. Then we compared this to data gathered via a global survey of over 2,400 job seekers.

Research report

Inside the candidate experience 2023 report

The findings reveal a significant gap between candidate expectations and the reality they face while looking for jobs, gathering information to support their decision, and applying.

Here are three surprises from our research:

1. Less than half of employers show information about the organization’s mission, purpose or values on the career site

Yet, they’re in the top considerations for applicants when deciding to apply.

Your takeaway:

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values—especially Gen Z and Millennial workers. In fact, one in five Millennials state that an organization’s goals and mission are their top priority when considering a job. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your candidates.

2. Just half (53%) of organizations provide an opportunity for candidates to register their interest or to sign up for job alerts

Even fewer (39%) prompted candidates to join a talent community.

Your takeaway:

Modern job seekers are more sophisticated than ever and are looking to grow a career, not just apply for jobs transactionally. In fact, on average nine months goes by between a candidate engaging with an employer and applying for a job. Maintaining a talent pipeline lets you build a relationship with your talent audience and ensures you get the best talent, not just those who are looking at the time a vacancy arises.

3. 44% of organizations did not provide an opportunity for candidates to give feedback on their experience

Plus, men are more likely than women to be aware of opportunities to provide and receive feedback during the recruitment process.

Your takeaway:

This is a major oversight for many organizations. If you’re not leveraging surveys to gather feedback from all of your candidates, you are passing up valuable insights that might help you enhance your employer brand, lower attrition and shorten your hiring cycle.

The candidate experience is a hot topic, and most talent leaders I speak with appear to recognize the value of improving the candidate journey. However, this research demonstrates that organizations still have work to do to live up to the standards of today’s job seekers. My hope is that our recent findings will mobilize talent acquisition teams to put real action behind their words and make bold moves to improve their candidate experience and speed up the pace of progress.

To get the full research and more actionable insights, download the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

During a unique time in the market with remote and flexible work options becoming the norm, this multinational chain of family theme parks required help hiring for critical in-person roles including customer service, performers and lifeguards across two of its major U.S. theme parks. PeopleScout helped hire over 1,500 workers using recruitment marketing campaigns and our talent advisory expertise.

1,500 + hires made in just six months across two locations
reduced drop-off by streamlining the application process
reduced drop-off by streamlining the application process
30,000 clicks from recruitment marketing ads across social media and online display networks


This multinational chain of family theme parks required help hiring a variety of roles across its California and New York resorts including customer service roles, performers and lifeguards.


PeopleScout conducted in-depth market research to determine the biggest challenges the client faced when recruiting for their theme parks and resorts. We identified remote work, “candidate is king” and higher pay as the three main challenges facing the client. Here’s how we solved each:

Challenge #1 — Remote Work:

More people want flexibility. Front-line and hourly positions are less attractive to candidates after the growth in remote work during the pandemic.

Our Solution: We leveraged the client’s “play” branding to emphasize the fun and rewarding aspects of working on-site at one of the theme parks. This was fed through into recruitment marketing creative and copy. 

Challenge #2 — “Candidate is King”:

With open positions outnumbering candidates for much of recent memory, today’s candidates know their worth, and the Great Resignation is proof that people are less willing than ever to settle.

Our Solution: By testing alternative job titles, improving job copy, and reaching out on different channels, we were able to widen our reach and pool of candidates. We strategically targeted candidates most likely to apply for the roles, such as those looking for seasonal or part-time jobs.

Challenge #3 — Higher Pay:

When faced with increased living costs, candidates are demanding higher pay.

Our Solution: The client was not in a position to raise wages for these roles. So, we got creative by restructuring job copy to better position the client’s competitive benefits. By quantifying these benefits and putting them front and center on job postings and recruitment marketing materials, we were able to generate interest without raising wages.


  • In the first six months, we were able to fulfill our goal of 1,336 hires in California & 190 in New York.
  • The client’s previous application had up to 22 sections where the candidate had to input information. PeopleScout optimized and shortened this candidate journey by employing a variety of channels including Indeed One-Click, Indeed Hiring Events and This reduced the application abandonment rate.
  • PeopleScout restructured job descriptions to create job advertisements. In other words, we rewrote the copy to focus on the value the client and the role have to offer their employees rather than what the client wanted from candidates.  
  • PeopleScout performed A/B tests to determine which job titles would help reach a wider pool of candidates. For example, we found that “Waterpark Attendant” received almost 300 applications in the first week, while “Lifeguard” received only 15.
  • Social outreach using Facebook, Instagram and Google Display Network resulted in 4.1 million impressions and 30,000 clicks across the California and New York audiences.


  • COMPANY: Multinational chain of family theme parks
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 1,500+
  • LOCATIONS: Over 10 theme parks around the world

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

PeopleScout helped this waste disposal company source, attract and hire drivers, administrative roles and technicians with RPO, recruitment marketing campaigns and compliance support.

16,000 annual hires targeted
957 offers made over two career day events
38 % improvement in key SLAs in just 30 days

A leading waste disposal and environmental services company faced significant challenges sourcing, attracting and hiring talent for vital full-time frontline roles including CDL drivers, technicians and administrative roles.

Scope and Scale

As a result of continuing skills shortages in high-demand roles, the client found it increasingly difficult to source talent with the required skills, credentials and experience to fill business-critical roles. The client required a full-cycle RPO solution to support its internal team in making 16,000 annual hires across North America. What’s more, the client sought a consultative partnership with ongoing strategic guidance and best practice implementation across the client’s talent sourcing program.


PeopleScout has partnered with the client for nearly 14 years supporting full-cycle, end-to-end roles and recently, the client required additional support for partial-cycle hiring. PeopleScout deployed a flexible RPO solution to source and deliver a continuous slate of qualified candidates into the client’s talent pipeline. PeopleScout also provides the client with recruitment marketing support, detailed talent market insights and expertise on program compliance.


  • PeopleScout’s team executes talent sourcing strategies, provides guidance on how to tap into talent channels and helps the client develop grassroots recruitment marketing campaigns to reach the right candidates.
  • PeopleScout developed a custom SLA dashboard and performance reporting via Affinix Analytics which highlights roles that aren’t getting as much traction and optimizes channel usage and ad spend accordingly.
  • With the additional scope, PeopleScout ramped up its team of 47 to 284, with specialized global support spanning India, Poland, UK and the U.S.
  • PeopleScout Talent Advisory team conducted a two-phased research project, including an exhaustive candidate persona framework based on interviews with the client’s current employees, for insight into their talent audience to develop highly targeted creative and messaging.
  • PeopleScout created a new employer branding and recruitment marketing strategy, and dedicated marketing experts from PeopleScout manage all the client’s social media accounts.


  • PeopleScout’s team finds qualified candidates in niche skill sets despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting talent shortages.
  • PeopleScout’s full-cycle RPO solution targets an average of 16,000 annual hires for extremely difficult skill sets, improving business outcomes across the enterprise.
  • Implemented new channels including Indeed, Appcast, geofencing, social media and more which allow the team to instantly post jobs to multiple job boards at one time.
  • After just 30 days of launching the SLA dashboard, the client saw a 38% improvement in SLAs including the interview-to-offer ratio, candidate outreach timeframe and offer extension timeline.
  • PeopleScout helped with the planning and execution of two career day events with over 1,900 attendees and 957 offers made, resulting in two of the best career day events the client has ever had.


  • COMPANY: Waste disposal and environmental services company
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Advisory, Affinix
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 16,000
  • ABOUT THE CLIENT: As a leading waste disposal company in North America, this organization has over 45,000 employees supporting over 20 million residences and businesses with their waste and recycling needs.

Dow: Supporting Graduate Recruitment in EMEA and India

Dow: Supporting Graduate Recruitment in EMEA and India

Dow: Supporting Graduate Recruitment in EMEA and India

Dow, a leading materials science company, turned to PeopleScout for recruitment process outsourcing for their graduate recruitment program across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.

15 countries and 5 languages
63 candidate NPS score (considered “great”)
25 % of candidates were female


Dow has been at the forefront of materials science for 125 years, pioneering new ways for science to make the world a better place. Due the specialist nature of the talent they need, Dow’s in-house recruitment team was at capacity executing a high-touch hiring process and needed support recruiting for their internships and graduate programs in EMEA. They turned to PeopleScout for a global RPO solution spanning 15 countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE and the United Kingdom.

They needed over 100 interns and graduates from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Dow was competing with several other employers in the region for this talent. Plus, the implementation period was compressed from 12 weeks down to five, so we needed to act fast to engage these future innovators.


The PeopleScout Talent Advisory team built a bespoke microsite, featuring real graduate employees, that brought the Dow culture and their career opportunities to life for their young audience. We also polished job descriptions to resonate with the audience and posted job adverts online, leveraging LinkedIn in some cases to expand the promotion of more specialized roles.

Working as an extension of their in-house team, we conducted phone screens and scheduled interviews for Dow hiring managers. Processing over 6,000 applicants, our multi-lingual delivery team in Poland conducted over 1,200 phone interviews in English, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.


We filled 134 graduate and intern vacancies. Candidate feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS) coming in at 63, which is considered “great.”

“I would definitely suggest Dow to anyone because I had a very good recruitment experience. The company and the position were introduced to me in very detailed way by the recruiter. So, I believe my ambitions and goals are aligned with Dow’s expectations.”

Candidate Feedback

Another key point of success for the graduate recruitment program is that more than a quarter of candidates were women, despite their underrepresentation in STEM fields.

“PeopleScout has been fast in responding to every email, and it’s clear that they value meeting their clients’ needs. The roles they’re working on are very niche and technical, but they’ve been able to align to what hiring managers need.”

Hiring Manager at Dow


  • COMPANY: Dow
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • LOCATIONS: 15 countries across EMEA, including Belgium, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE and the United Kingdom
  • ABOUT DOW: Dow’s (NYSE: DOW) ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

Leveraging Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Supercharge Talent Acquisition

Recruitment marketing is now an essential strategy as the talent acquisition landscape is more competitive today than it has been at any point in history. Specifically, the global talent shortage stands at 40 million workers and is forecasted to reach more than 85 million by 2030, costing employers around the world more than $8 trillion in lost revenue. This means that, to stay ahead, employers need to implement new strategies and reimagine what talent acquisition can be; talent leaders need to be able to draw in candidates in the same way that brands draw in consumers.

To make that process even more difficult, the types of offerings that job-seekers want from a potential employer has shifted dramatically in the past few years: According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report, since 2019, there’s been sharp growth in members posting about the following topics:

Recruitment Marketing

The data is clear: Candidates are seeking employers that can provide flexibility and a greater work/life balance. As a result, organizations that excel at highlighting a company culture that’s compatible with current talent market trends will remain competitive in the hunt for talent.

As a talent professional, you may not think about marketing as a recruitment function. However, a large part of ensuring that your talent pipeline is stocked with the best talent involves making sure that your organization is an attractive place to work for candidates. Thus, recruitment and marketing need to work together. The job of a talent acquisition team is more than just hiring great talent; it also includes attracting talent and enticing them to commit. In this four-part section, we’ll cover how employers can leverage modern marketing techniques to recruit and better engage candidates at each stage of the recruitment marketing funnel.

Recruitment Marketing and Hiring Strategies Part One: The Case for Implementing Modern Digital Marketing Strategies

Typically, consumers require engagement across multiple touchpoints before deciding on a purchase—and it’s up to an organization’s marketing team to facilitate engagement at each stage of the sales funnel. Job-seekers are no different and often need multiple interactions with an organization’s employer brand before applying for a role; in this case, it’s the job of the talent acquisition team to facilitate these interactions throughout the recruitment funnel.

Granted, the stages of the talent acquisition funnel depend on an organization’s hiring practices, but we can make some generalizations. For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover three vital functions in the recruitment marketing process: 1) attracting active and passive candidates, 2) converting candidates and 3) closing candidates. During each of these functions, talent teams need to properly engage and nurture job-seekers with the right recruitment marketing strategies. Below, we outline smart recruitment marketing strategies for sourcing passive candidate and active candidate engagement.

Talent Attraction: Sourcing Passive Candidates

According to LinkedIn, 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates, with the remaining 30% of talent actively seeking jobs. With that in mind, the first—and arguably most important—function in recruitment marketing for talent acquisition teams is to determine a strategy to attract candidates. Of course, candidates may already have some idea of your organization as a consumer brand, so the main objective of this stage is to introduce your organization’s employer brand to job-seekers for the first time to improve recruiting passive candidates.

At this stage, your engagement with candidates should be designed to gain and retain their interests, with the hope of converting them later in the recruitment marketing funnel. As such, building employer brand awareness and providing positive candidate experiences is key. For instance, consider how candidates will perceive your organization through the channels listed below. Will they have a positive view of what it’s like to work for your organization? Do they get an accurate picture of your company culture?

sourcing passive candidates

Converting Passive Candidates

The main marketing priority for talent acquisition teams during the passive candidate conversion stage should be to steer candidate interest into action, thereby converting them from job-seekers into active prospects in the talent pipeline. This step occurs when candidates gain a positive impression from the touchpoints they encounter in the attraction stage.

Fortunately, there are various methods for converting candidates. For example, they can sign up for a newsletter, register for an event or request job posting updates via your career page. And, while they may not have applied to any of your open positions yet, they’re interested enough in your organization to provide their contact information. Similarly, employers can also leverage talent communities to convert candidates looking to connect with other professionals in their industry. Remember, to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), just make sure to collect two types of consent when collecting personal data (such as email, phone, address, name, etc.) from applicants.

Additionally, at this stage, keep in mind that you’re asking candidates to provide your organization with two of their valuable resources: Time and personal information. Next, at the conversion stage, you’re asking for contact information, but only a small amount of time. Then, to get to the next stage, candidates will have to give your organization even more of both. Therefore, in the touchpoints listed below, consider what the experience is like for candidates; is it positive and easy enough to get someone to a closing stage?

sourcing passive candidates

Closing Candidates

During the closing function in recruitment marketing, talent teams are managing a flow of vetted and engaged candidates with a goal to turn these candidates into applicants. This means that candidates are willing to take the time to complete your application and provide you with a significant amount of personal information. Notably, the candidate is also making an emotional investment in your organization; they’re excited for this role. As such, they could be setting themselves up for disappointment if they don’t make it through the process. For this reason, it’s important to consider what you’re asking of candidates to help get them through the closing process.

Furthermore, while closing prospects, your recruitment marketing materials should aid the candidate’s decision-making process by informing them of open positions, inviting them to recruiting events, or even proposing a virtual meet-and-greet where the candidate can casually meet with members of your team. Think about the touchpoints listed below and how candidates will experience them. Likewise, communicate about your interviewing and hiring process upfront for a more seamless experience for both candidates and hiring managers.

how to engage passive candidates

Closing Candidates

In parts two and three, we’ll go into greater detail on how talent acquisition teams can leverage modern marketing techniques to intelligently engage candidates at each stage of the recruitment marketing funnel.

Recruitment Marketing and Hiring Strategies Part Two: Creating Talent Acquisition Content That Engages Candidates

Content marketing has fast become a go-to channel for marketing teams looking to generate interest in products; gain leads; drive organic traffic; and build a library of informative and in-depth content for clients and prospects.

However, attracting both active and passive candidates with content isn’t limited to just marketing to potential customers; rather, recruitment departments can also harness the power of well-crafted content to convert job-seekers into applicants. In fact, content marketing can help talent teams engage top candidates in a number of thoughtful and meaningful ways that intersect with a job-seeker’s interests.

Effective content for recruitment marketing can also make a difference in moving the candidate along to the next stage. In particular, content marketing as a talent acquisition strategy should focus on engaging job-seekers with relevant articles, white papers relevant to their career interests, webinars, videos, or podcasts to help a candidate navigate through an employer’s recruitment funnel. When brainstorming recruitment content, look at industry publications and professional groups on LinkedIn to identify current topics of interest for candidates in your industry.

In Part Two of this section, we’ll discuss how to create relevant content and ensure candidates are able to find it.

recruitment marketing strategies

Recruitment Digital Marketing: Considering Different Types of Talent Acquisition Content

An effective content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types to fill various channels and appeal to different types of candidates. That’s because some candidates may prefer to watch a video, whereas others would rather read an article. Likewise, some may like to learn in bite-sized pieces, while other appreciate an in-depth article. With that in mind, below are a few types of content to consider adding to your mix.

Recruitment Marketing Ideas: Leverage Your Career Blog

Your organization may already have a blog where the marketing team regularly posts content for your potential customers. In the same vein, consider a blog on your careers site to better educate and engage candidates about what it’s like to work for your organization.

Then, when generating blog articles, keep in mind that each piece of content needs to be of value to the reader. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 66% of marketers prioritize their audience’s needs over their sales message when creating content. In contrast, 88% of the most successful marketers prioritize audience needs over sales messaging.

To that end, consider:

  • Interviewing employees across all roles and asking them to describe how they got to where they are today
  • Sharing news about exciting projects
  • Featuring hiring managers to discuss the hiring process and post updates on upcoming events

Similarly, if you have strong writers on your team, ask them to write short blogs about their experiences.

Video Content

Video is a great format for recruitment content that often boosts candidate engagement. Take the booming popularity of video-based social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram as evidence that this is a particularly influential type of content for young workers. Video is particularly powerful on social channels, so consider amplifying your efforts by encouraging colleagues to act as employee brand ambassadors for your organization on their social channels. Besides, job-seekers trust an organization’s employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.

If you’re just getting started in video, don’t worry about high production quality. Due to the popularity of tools like Zoom during the pandemic, as well as the proliferation of video on social media, candidates are used to watching basic videos. In fact, the authentic feel of these types of videos can often yield even higher engagement than professionally produced content.

Micro & Social Media Recruitment Content

Talent teams are stretched thin, so consistently creating long-form content may be challenging. So, if your team lacks the bandwidth to create long-form content, consider shorter, “micro content.” This might include sharing small bits of entertaining or informative news or industry updates with candidates on social media or micro-content platforms.

Social media, in particular, is perfect for micro content, with 94% of content marketers using social media platforms to distribute content. This content could include fun moments from the workplace, employee testimonials, or short videos of the company participating at a career fair or a conference. Essentially, content marketing is an opportunity to explore as many different ways to connect with your audience as possible; just remember to stay on brand and keep a consistent theme with language and design. This way, prospects will enjoy a more uniform and cohesive candidate experience.

SEO & Recruitment Marketing: Leveraging Search to Source Talent

global recruitment marketing

If you take the time to create content for candidates, it’s important to make sure that they can find it easily. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing—and doing so can help drive job-seekers to your careers page organically. In particular, well-optimized pages rely on homing in on and deploying the right set of keywords, as well as tailoring metadata for search and making sure the pages load quickly.

When done right—and in conjunction with high-quality content—SEO can lead to a great deal of traffic and conversions on a career site. Plus, leveraging SEO as a talent acquisition strategy makes sense, as 226 million job-seekers use Google each month to begin their job search. What’s more, 51% of all content consumption comes from organic traffic. Accordingly, with employers across the globe struggling not only to source and recruit talent, but also to increase retention, a smart SEO strategy is an integral component in the recruitment marketing arsenal.


Meta titles and meta descriptions are the two fields that show up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is the page you see after typing something into a search engine like Google. Metadata makes it easier for Google to spot and index your careers page content on relevant search results pages. For this reason, your meta title should be clear so job-seekers immediately know the title and location of the job opening when they visit your page. The meta description is the caption beneath the title that describes the web page’s content in more detail. A tailored meta description helps Google and job-seekers quickly identify and interact with your content in the way that you intend.

When creating a meta description, try to stick to the following guidelines:

  • Limit it to no more than 155 characters.
  • Keep it clear and concise, with a call to action for job-seekers.
  • Reference the language of the page you’re working on to really nail your metadata.

Keyword Research

Although it can be time-consuming, researching and choosing the right keywords can also help you obtain greater visibility from qualified job-seekers, as well as increase organic search traffic to your site.

Begin by understanding which short- and long-tail keywords job-seekers use to search for jobs relevant to your company. You can also research which keywords your competitors are using in their job postings, as well as more comprehensive content, to inform and expand your keyword list. Notably, this may require job titles and descriptions to be altered. While you’re at it, pay close attention to keyword intent—the reason for a job-seeker’s search. Ensuring that this is part of your SEO recruitment strategy guarantees that keywords are aligned to your broader business goals. Additionally, if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, utilize locally focused keywords in your content to better reach quality candidates in close proximity to you.

Content marketing can also fuel other parts of the recruitment marketing mix, and email is the perfect channel to start expanding your content marketing program. What’s more, content and email marketing campaigns can complement each other by increasing the sharing of content and expanding reach. In the next section, we’ll offer tips on how email marketing can give your content a boost.

Recruitment Marketing and Hiring Strategies Part Three: Email Marketing & Talent Acquisition

Email marketing has been around for decades as an effective means of prospect engagement. However, that doesn’t mean that you can just throw together an email, send it out and expect great results. Nowadays, prospects are savvy about techniques deployed by marketers and may become annoyed or tune out marketing messaging that’s done incorrectly.

However, when recruitment marketing email campaigns are successful, recruiters can engage candidates at the right cadence. According to a DataBox survey, 33.3% of marketers said they sent weekly emails, while 26.7% sent monthly emails. In this case, recruiters can leverage the expertise of their marketing teams regarding send times, email schedules and other data points to ensure that content is optimally delivered. Plus, well-cadenced and timely emails ensure that your employer brand is in front of prospects at the right time, making your employer brand more memorable to prospects looking to shift careers.

Furthermore, email recruitment marketing can be an effective strategy for distributing your marketing content to candidates, as well as building additional trust in your employer brand. Notably, 77% of consumers preferred email marketing over other methods of permission-based advertising. And, email marketing often produces results because the audience has opted in to receive marketing materials and wants to hear from you. (Plus, they can choose to opt out at any time.)

So, in this article, we’ll cover the different types of emails that you can use to interact with candidates; how you can use your content marketing collateral to boost the influence of your emails; and how to craft effective messages.

Types of Recruitment Marketing Emails

Email Newsletters

Marketing teams often send email newsletters to prospective and current clients to update recipients on company news, content, products, and other company updates. Similarly, talent acquisition teams should also consider creating newsletters to keep candidates warm.

Specifically, your newsletter could share thought leadership pieces from your organization, webinars, job events and more. You can also use email newsletters to share the content marketing pieces you’ve created for your careers site. Or, link to articles on your careers blog or a video interview you’ve posted with a current employee. Periodical newsletters and other helpful content will also keep your employer brand top of mind and increase the likelihood of your talent community recommending you to a member of their network.

Job Application Invitation Email

The first time many candidates hear from an organization is when a recruiter or sourcer reaches out inviting them to apply for a specific role. These types of emails are common, and your recruiters likely already send them frequently. However, they can be made more effective.

For example, the goal of your email copy should be to gain a prospective candidate’s attention in the first sentence. Therefore, crafting an engaging, but brief introductory sentence or two helps the reader understand who you are and why you’re reaching out.

Typical recruitment emails often begin with an introduction of the recruiter, such as: “Hi, I’m a recruiter with {employer}. We have an open position you may be interested in.”

Instead, consider opening with: “Hi {Name of Candidate}, My name is {Your Name} and I noticed that your experience in X could make you a great fit for Y role at Z company. Would you be interested in setting up a time to discuss Y role and Z company?”

Hiring Strategies

In the first approach, notice how the company puts itself ahead of the candidate. Alternatively, in a more personalized approach, the employer places the prospect at the heart of every communication.

Interview Invitation Email

If a candidate makes it further along in the recruitment funnel, you’ll likely send them an email inviting them to interview. And, when inviting a candidate to interview, it’s crucial that the following are included in your recruitment email:

  • Where the interview will be
  • The agenda of the interview
  • Who will be involved in the interview

Providing all of this information upfront will help everyone be better prepared, more productive and better focused on what matters during the interview. Below, we’ve outlined how to structure your interview invitation email:

  • 1st paragraph: Quickly explain who you are and why you’re emailing the candidate so they know they’re being invited to interview, not apply.
  • 2nd paragraph: Here, provide a date that’s best for your team or give a few options for the candidate to choose from.
  • Third paragraph: Offer a clear agenda to keep the candidate on track. This will also give the candidate a better idea of what to expect and help them prepare.
  • Fourth paragraph: Provide the location of where your interview will take place, including how to get there and who to ask for when they arrive. Or, if the interview will not be in-person, share instructions on how to interview virtually.

Offer Emails

Top candidates are often sent offers quickly after interviewing, so it’s important to reach out fast. The moment your talent acquisition team is ready to make an offer, be sure to include the following in your offer email.

First paragraph: Include a brief greeting and review of the interview you had with them.

Second paragraph: Get right to the point and congratulate them on the offer. Double-check everything and make sure that you’re presenting the offer in the best way possible in terms of candidate expectation, salary, benefits and work location. Many times, this information is the deciding factor as to whether the candidate accepts the offer.

Call to action: Remind the candidate that they need to take action, outlining when and how to take it. Also, include contact information in case the candidate has questions about the offer. Finally, to end this email with a persuasive punch, include a line about the candidate’s future with your organization.

Best Practices for Crafting Recruitment Emails

Subject Lines

Subject lines are arguably the most important component of an email as 64% of email recipients decide to open emails based on subject lines. Therefore, while much of your focus may be on creating the copy and imagery of your email, you should also take time to write a great subject line.

More precisely, a great subject line is short, descriptive and provides a call to action (CTA). Unfortunately, many recruiting emails are written without mobile users in mind. But, with 41% of emails opened on mobile devices, it’s crucial to keep your writing concise because most mobile devices are only capable of displaying five or six words of a subject line. Also, consider a little personalization in your subject lines. Personalized subject lines in email increase unique open rates by up to 27%, leading to an 11% higher click-to-open rate overall. Consider this option:

what is recruitment marketing?

n this example, the sender has personalized the email by referencing a career milestone, while simultaneously inviting the recipient to have a low-pressure conversation. This approach appeals to the candidate’s experience and offers the promise of a career opportunity where future growth is possible.

Body Copy

While you may be tempted to share a lot of information in your cold recruiting emails, recipients might not have time for all of it. Conversely, a study by Boomerang found that emails with 75 to 100 words had the highest response rate; so, write short, descriptive and action-driven copy and provide only the essential information that’s relevant to your candidates. Additionally, avoid buzzwords or jargon so that your offer clearly stands out.

The labor market will likely remain highly competitive for the foreseeable future, with employers battling it out for candidates’ attention. And now, more than ever, candidates understand what they want from work and are trying to find an environment where they’ll belong and grow. So, to attract talent, it’s essential to show candidates that you’re offering more than just a job—and that begins with recruitment marketing that showcases the value you provide to candidates.

Remember, the goal of talent acquisition marketing is no longer to just post a job offer and wait for applicants; it’s about fostering a community, enriching its members, and helping to nurture and encourage them to consider a career with your organization.

Part 4: Recruitment Marketing Strategy in Action: Bridging the Gap Between Consumer & Employer Brand for Vodafone

recruitment marketing strategies

A well-managed and reputable employer brand can go a long way in helping organizations recruit better talent, improve hiring metrics and position an organization as an employer of choice in their industry. In fact, according to Glassdoor, 92% of candidates would consider changing employers if they were offered a role within an organization that had a good reputation. As a result, a strong brand can improve cost per hire by up to 50%.

Moreover, Glassdoor found that the benefits of a powerful employer brand extended beyond recruitment; consider that nearly 30% of candidates have resigned within the first 90 days of starting a role, citing misalignment between the employer and their employer brand. Conversely, organizations that actively invest in employer brand improve their turnover by as much as 28%.

At PeopleScout, we pride ourselves on our ability to partner with clients to hire top talent by building a strategic talent acquisition architecture with employer branding at its heart. So, in this article, we present a real-world example of how PeopleScout’s expert team of talent advisors provided employer branding guidance and delivered a recruitment marketing strategy for the campaign that attracted, engaged and hired the best talent for multinational technology conglomerate Vodafone.

Changing Minds

When an organization’s brand is a household name, there’s often an overlap in sentiment between consumer and employer brand in the minds of the public—an association that can sometimes come with unforeseen complications. This was the case for PeopleScout client Vodafone. Its reputation among the UK public was one of a mobile phone retailer and nothing else—a perception that hurt the organization’s ability to become an employer of choice among young people.

However, behind that perception, Vodafone is a multifaceted innovator in the technology and communications industry with a mission and purpose to make the future a better place. With this knowledge, it was up to PeopleScout’s team to reshape Vodafone’s employer brand in the minds of its target demographic: Newly graduated job-seekers who shared the company’s passion for improving communities and the lives of their customers.

Hiring with Purpose

In employer branding, purpose is the key to unlocking the way that an employer engages with job-seekers. Now, more than ever, job-seekers want more from their employer; they want to feel a sense of belonging and that the work they do has meaning and provides a sense of personal development. In fact, according to research from Blue Beyond Consulting of knowledge workers aged 45 and younger, 52% said they would quit their jobs if their employers’ values didn’t align with their own.

Notably, Vodafone’s future hiring strategy was focused as much on purpose as it was on placing great talent in the right roles. Its purpose was to address high levels of youth unemployment head on by committing to hire up to 100,000 young job-seekers with digital workplace experience. Then, Vodafone set another ambitious goal: To support the development of digital skills in 10 million young people, given that one in five candidates in their target demographic stated that they felt underprepared for the digital economy.

To help Vodafone meet its bold vision of the future, PeopleScout needed to craft an employer brand with multigenerational appeal to attract candidates from Millennials to Gen Z and beyond. Ideally, these candidates are achievers with ambitions beyond working in mobile phone retail. As such, Vodafone’s employer brand campaign had to engage imaginations and change its audiences’ perceptions by presenting itself as a major tech company—not a retailer—and by building its reputation as a youth employer of choice for ambitious job-seekers.

Audience Insights: Leveraging Social Media to Reach the Right Audience

Social media platforms are one of the most broadly used channels for employers looking to build and improve their employer brands. Of course, this isn’t surprising when your factor in the following: 25% of all job-seekers use social media as their primary tool for job-searching and seven out of 10 18- to 34-year-olds report having found their previous job through social media. The case for social media recruiting is clear, but how can employers effectively integrate social media strategy into their employer brand?

For Vodafone, we found that 90.4% of the brand’s target audience regularly used social media. On top of this, 91% of all social media users accessed channels via their mobile devices. With this in mind, we developed a mobile-first, social media-friendly campaign. Additionally, further research showed us that many students with the right background and personal qualifications didn’t apply due to a lack of confidence. Therefore, we needed a message that was bold, relatable and empowering.

Meanwhile, just as important as the audience insights were the strategic considerations. Candidates are also customers; when buying products, they expect a streamlined, user-friendly, friction-free process. And now, they have the same expectation when making career decisions. So, we made every touchpoint (especially applying) as slick and easy as possible.

Granted, no contemporary attraction approach can be just about advertising; long-term connections are far more powerful. So, central to our strategy was helping Vodafone engage in conversations, initiatives and support with high-potential university students throughout their full university lifecycle. In short, the strategy was to start on day one, not year three.


There are a variety of strategies you can employ to share your employer brand with candidates, but storytelling is one of the most powerful. From career sites to job-search platforms, there are plenty of opportunities to tell interesting, unique stories that capture the attention of job-seekers and entice them to apply. But, knowing exactly what stories to tell—and how to tell them—is not always easy.

So, our message for Vodafone’s campaign aimed to capture the spirit of change and possibility, as well as draw on the opportunity for young people to have an influence on the world for the better. For instance, the visual elements of the campaign approach used photography that reflected our target audience, combined with bold headline statements. Similarly, social and site content featured current grads and interns sharing their advice for the next generation of Vodafone employees.

Campaign Highlights:

  • A six-month social media strategy targeted to mobile users
  • A #GenerationPossible video at the heart of the campaign
  • A campaign matrix of 104 social posts with 20 mini videos/GIFs

Supporting Executions

Our research identified that our target audience felt like they weren’t good enough or lacked the skills to take on these roles. So, we created a series of videos featuring current Vodafone graduate recruits and interns. These videos explored Vodafone life, wellbeing, social responsibility, innovation, assessment center and other advice to help prepare candidates for the interview process.

Hiring Strategies: Spreading the Employer Brand Message

Apart from social media, we also organized a series of 41 on-campus events to connect students directly with Vodafone employees. We also carefully targeted campuses with the highest female-to-male ratios for tech degrees as a way to help increase female applications.


The campaign comfortably exceeded Vodafone’s expectations:

  • Vodafone generated more than 16,000 applications, performing 60% above its targets.
  • PeopleScout’s campaign helped improve diversity, increasing female applicants by 23%.
  • We increased Instagram post impressions by 89.3% (post-campaign vs. pre-campaign).
  • Social media drove strong engagement and provided more than 1.5 million Facebook impressions, as well as 6.8 million impressions on organic posts on LinkedIn.
  • PeopleScout also deployed a hyper-targeted paid Facebook campaign that produced 390,510 impressions and 2,541 clicks—all from the audience we wanted to target.

These numbers are backed up by audience sentiment: We significantly improved Vodafone’s reputation as an employer, jumping 27 places in the TT100 rankings. As a result of this success, Vodafone also asked us to develop the concept for its apprentice campaign audience and roll it out through a new assessment process design.

Civil Service Fast Stream: Boosting Diversity with a Bold New Influencer Campaign

Civil Service Fast Stream: Boosting Diversity with a Bold New Influencer Campaign

Civil Service Fast Stream: Boosting Diversity with a Bold New Influencer Campaign

As one of the largest employers in the UK, the Civil Service doesn’t struggle for applications for its Fast Stream graduate program. However, as the entity that supports the government in implementing policies, it fights against perceptions that it only employs people from elite backgrounds. The Civil Service Fast Stream turned to PeopleScout for a bold new recruitment marketing campaign to improve diversity amongst its early careers talent.

3,200 + Increase in Applicants from Diverse Backgrounds
18,056 Views of Influencer Video on YouTube in Less Than 48 Hours
351,304 Impressions Across Social Media via Nano-Influencers


The Fast Stream aims to be the most inclusive graduate scheme in the UK and has a goal for the diversity of its workforce to help ensure that every government department reflects all of the communities they serve. However, research they commissioned revealed a misperception, particularly amongst those within underrepresented diversity groups, that the Civil Service Fast Stream represents the elite and is not diverse.
Whilst they weren’t in need of more applicants, they needed to increase the diversity of their candidates.

They turned to PeopleScout for a Talent Advisory solution that counteracted the perceptions of the Civil Service as being “stuffy,” “outdated” or “inaccessible.” The campaign needed to show the Civil Service Fast Stream as accessible to all graduates, regardless of their background, and increase representation of applicants from specific diversity groups to better reflect communities in the UK.


Taking a Cue from Consumer Marketing

Given the high number of applications the Fast Stream receive year-on-year, and the campaign objectives to diversify them, we made the strategic decision not to proceed with a traditional graduate media campaign.

Instead, we turned to online influencers.

While widely used in consumer marketing, influencer marketing is relatively new to the recruitment space. It was certainly innovative for the Civil Service and definitely not one our target audience would expect them to use.

Finding the Right Influencer

Identifying the right influencer, with the relevant following, would help us to:

  • Increase credibility with underrepresented groups
  • Remove perceived barriers around government work and the type of people who can get involved
  • Ask the right questions—those on the minds of the target audience

We found Vee Kativhu, an author and influencer who fit these criteria. Vee started her YouTube channel after getting into Oxford University and realizing that, as a black woman, she was a minority. She uses her platform to help those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds get access to the best information and advice so that anyone can achieve their dreams, no matter their background.

Continuing our theme of telling real-life stories, Vee spent a day with three Fast Streamers and produced a “day in the life” video, which she posted to her YouTube channel with over 250,000 subscribers. She also promoted the video through her Instagram and LinkedIn profiles.

We also engaged 12 diverse nano-influencers, with targeted followings, to reshape and share the video among their networks—further expanding the reach.


The campaign boosted applications from their target demographics by over 3,200, including significant increases in interest from candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds, from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, from the LGBTQ+ community as well as those with disabilities.

Vee’s video received 18,056 views in less than 48 hours. It went on to achieve over 36,000 total views with over 1,200 likes. Over the four-week social media campaign, Vee and the nano-influencers achieved a combined reach of 351,304 impressions and 2,436 engagements.

“Such an amazing video, Vee! Super informative, and I love the positive approach to a more diverse Civil Service.”

YouTube comment

By taking an innovative approach to reach their target audience, the Civil Service Fast Stream received a cost-effective campaign that delivered on their diversity recruitment goals.

“Our new attraction strategy, particularly in the innovative use of working with influencers, really captured our vision of a skilled, innovative and ambitious Civil Service equipped for the future—one that reflects the country we serve.”

Talent Acquisition Leader at the Civil Service

“I love the new look and feel of Fast Stream attraction, especially as it’s generating feedback that ‘you don’t normally see this kind of thing in the Civil Service.’ Bold, different and refreshing.”

Talent Acquisition Leader at the Civil Service


  • COMPANY: The Civil Service Fast Stream
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 1,000+
  • ABOUT THE CIVIL SERVICE FAST STREAM: The Fast Stream is an award-winning graduate program for the Civil Service, developing talented, high-potential people to become future Civil Service leaders. Annually, the program recruits approximately 1,000 people from around the UK across 15 different leadership and specialist development schemes.

Global Talent Acquisition Strategy: Time-to-Hire Cut in Half

PeopleScout Cuts Time-to-Hire in Half with Global Talent Acquisition Solution for Manufacturer


PeopleScout Cuts Time-to-Hire in Half with Global Talent Acquisition Solution for Manufacturer

A global manufacturer of engineering solutions turned to PeopleScout for global recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) to fulfill their need for highly specialized, hard-to-find industrial engineering talent at their manufacturing sites, innovation centers and service centers across 16 countries.

50 % Average Reduction in Time-to-Hire
16 Countries & 9 Languages
16 Countries & 9 Languages
Scope Expanded After Exceeding Hires Target
Scope Expanded After Exceeding Hires Target

Scope & Scale

The manufacturer engaged with PeopleScout for a global RPO solution to make 150 hires for over 30 of their sites across 16 countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

For most of their hires, they were seeking specialty talent with expertise in engineering and industrial design. These skills help build equipment for businesses all over the world that focus on chemicals, air and water treatment, mining, pharmaceuticals, marine, construction and other industrial applications.


The client came to us after their previous RPO provider failed to deliver on the manufacturer’s global talent acquisition challenges. With some requisitions still open after 500 days, many of their site managers had taken recruitment into their own hands. Each manager had their own approach which resulted in a disjointed candidate experience and high levels of frustration for hiring managers and internal stakeholders. The global talent acquisition leader had very little visibility into time-to-fill and cost-to-fill metrics from country to country and wanted to see a consistent process across all regions that showcased their employer brand. 

The manufacturer also had growing concerns about the future of their labor force. With the average age of an engineer in the mid-50s, a huge portion of the global engineering workforce is due to retire in the next 10 years. The client needed to get ahead of this by recruiting talent with specific engineering skills to prevent a future talent gap.

However, engineers are highly sought after, with 63% of European manufacturers indicating the engineering skills shortage is making it harder to find qualified workers. The manufacturer needed candidates with unique experience in mechanical engineering and automation and who also matched their language requirements which varied by country and role. So, attracting these rare engineers—and convincing them to make a move—meant we had our work cut out for us.


Our diverse, multilingual and multicultural delivery teams in our Bristol and Krakow delivery centers plus remote teams got to work executing an end-to-end RPO solution. They sourced, screened and evaluated candidates in English, Swedish, German, French, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Using Labor Market Insights to Inform Strategy

With competition from other well-known, international companies in certain markets, some roles were particularly challenging with over 200 similar open positions across competitors in one location alone. The PeopleScout Insights Team was commissioned to conduct in-depth research across markets and uncover potential candidate motivators that would give the organization a competitive edge.

In one case, our market data indicated that the labor pool for engineers in Czech Republic is small. So, we approached the client with the idea to expand the geography of our search to include candidates who lived across the border in Poland who could commute. By doing this, we filled business-critical automation engineer roles that saved their productivity levels. 

Global Process Meets Local Expertise

We created a global process to meet the requirements of the global talent acquisition leader and then worked with hiring managers in each region to adjust our approach to account for nuances like culture, job role and labor market across their sites.

Applying our team’s deep regional expertise, we adapted our strategy in each location, using the appropriate databases, job boards and online and offline marketing tactics to reach the right candidates for every role in each country. For example, in smaller cities, we knew it was less likely that blue-collar candidates would be seeking employment via online channels, so we took out ads at bus stops.

For other roles, we increased awareness of organization’s employer brand through targeted recruitment marketing efforts on job boards and social media. We also partnered with local universities to get in front of students who were looking for their first jobs after completing their studies. 

Talent Pooling with a Focus on Diversity

Because most engineers in Europe aren’t actively looking to change jobs, our recruiters found most success through proactive headhunting. By engaging directly with passive candidates via social media, email and phone, they filled many existing requisitions and created talent pools for future vacancies, which reduced the overall time-to-fill.

Since women remain underrepresented in engineering fields across Europe, the manufacturer put great importance on increasing the number of women engineers they hired. In addition to adjusting the verbiage in job descriptions to make them more inviting to a wider variety of candidates, our recruiters paid special attention to reaching out to women by targeting online groups for women in engineering and women in tech.


In the first year, we surpassed the initial target of 150 positions to deliver 245 total hires across 30 sites with a quarter sourced through proactive search and engagement. We filled the 500-day-old roles and reduced the time-to-hire by approximately 50% on average through our talent pooling efforts. In the process, we won over sceptical stakeholder groups, including the client’s EMEA engineering leadership. In the second year, we’re growing our partnership with over 300 hires projected.

In one instance, we were asked to source specialist inside sales talent. These individuals needed IT experience, manufacturing experience and to be fluent in German. With such specific requirements, advertising wouldn’t have worked, but because of the talent pool we built, we filled these two positions in less than three days.

“We have forged an excellent relationship with the PeopleScout team. They fully understand our challenges and needs and are able to meet our recruitment requirements in an efficient and professional manner.”

– Talent Acquisition Manager


  • COMPANY: Global Manufacturer
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • LOCATIONS: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom

Sainsbury’s: Transforming a Traditional Retail Role with Recruitment Marketing

Sainsbury's: Transforming a Traditional Retail Role with Recruitment Marketing

Sainsbury’s: Transforming a Traditional Retail Role with Recruitment Marketing

As customer experience becomes the battleground for retail differentiation, Sainsbury’s turned to PeopleScout to help them hire the next generation of store managers.

19,000 Applications Received in First 12 Weeks

Beating our Target by 171%

4,500 Hires Made

Exceeding the Target of 2,400

1 M Candidate Engagements

as Part of the Campaign

Shopping habits have changed. And in the highly competitive UK retail sector, customer experience can make or break results for retailers. To capitalize on this, Sainsbury’s, one the UK’s big five supermarkets, decided to transform one of its traditional roles—and reimagine store management in the process.

Their goal? To create a simpler, more rewarding experience for staff and customers alike. Sainsbury’s wanted to replace the traditional role of retail store manager with a new role, Customer & Trading Manager.

This new role gave managers the freedom to get out of the weeds and really lead teams—creating a new era of retail management. This required new skills and a different mindset. Some of their retail professionals would be able to transition into these new roles but some wouldn’t have what it takes. So Sainsbury’s turned to PeopleScout to help them attract new talent from the outside.

Turning Negatives into Positives

From the start, we faced some significant challenges:

  • The role was entirely new to the market, so we had to explain the new, unfamiliar employment proposition clearly to audiences both inside and outside of retail.
  • The role of retail manager had an image problem. It was seen as a transactional role that often saw you stuck on the registers.
  • The media was confusing the issue. We needed to counteract several misleading, negative reports of large-scale retail redundancies.

Sainsbury’s considered this to be one of their biggest recruitment challenges. They asked us to challenge and overturn negative public perceptions of retail management, introduce an entirely new type of role and hire 2,400 managers, from 24,000 applicants—in just six months.

The Core Message

First, we took apart the job profile to challenge the requirements. It was clear that the single most motivating benefit of the role was the potential to be a leader and to get the very best from a team. This suggested that the best candidates for this new type of retail role didn’t necessarily need retail experience.

We wanted to reconnect people with the emotional core of what’s great about management. It meant presenting the role—and Sainsbury’s—in a new light. So, we stripped away the language associated with the day-to-day tasks and instead put the focus back on employees as people.

We developed an overarching campaign message, Leading Starts Here, to clearly state our employment offer.

And to bring it to life, we used the following concept as our organizing thought: We all need someone to inspire us.

This universal, relatable truth was what used to capture the moving stories of individuals who have overcome huge obstacles—everything from low self-esteem to disability—with the help of inspirational leaders.

Making it Authenitic

Video was our chosen vehicle. Our diverse cast reflected Sainsbury’s approach as an inclusive employer and included people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, people with common mental health issues and people with disabilities. While some of the responses were scripted, the strongest were spontaneous reactions to the simple prompt, tell me about someone who inspired you.

The campaign featured a blended approach of active and passive channels on- and offline:

  • Active channels included Indeed and a wide variety of other job boards as well as Google Search and Google Display Network.
  • Passive channels included billboards in key locations near major offices, newspapers, social media and other online destinations.
  • We used geo-location and behavioral targeting on search and social media to put our videos in front of audiences across the hospitality, travel, cabin crew, leisure and care industries.

We created 69 individual pieces of artwork, a campaign landing page with the hero video and an in-store toolkit, which included pull-up banners, poaching cards, posters, leaflets and stickers —everything a store needed to amplify the campaign.

The Results

  • Less than 10:1 application-to-hire ratio of high quality candidates.
  • Over 19,000 applications received in first 12 weeks (beating our target by 171%).
  • 4,500 hires made, exceeding the target of 2,400.
  • 69 content pieces produced.
  • £71 attraction-cost-per-hire achieved.
  • Close to 1 MILLION people engaged with the brand as part of the campaign.
  • After 12 weeks, the campaign had generated 376,986 clicks across online paid media. This has been achieved at an average cost per click of just £0.59.
  • The core film has been played 462,168 times and counting, receiving extremely positive feedback, praising its inclusive message.


  • COMPANY: Sainsbury’s
  • LOCATIONS: 600+ supermarkets across the UK
  • About Sainsbury’s: Sainsbury’s in the second largest supermarket chain in the UK. Their focus is to bring high quality food and household goods to consumers in-store and online, supported by their brands, Argos, Habitat, Tu, Nectar and Sainsbury’s Bank.
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Vodafone: Overcoming a Powerful Consumer Brand in Graduate Recruitment

Vodafone: Overcoming a Powerful Consumer Brand in Graduate Recruitment

Vodafone: Overcoming a Powerful Consumer Brand in Graduate Recruitment

To overcome misperceptions about their mission, Vodafone engaged PeopleScout for employer branding and a recruitment marketing campaign to support its early careers recruitment program.

16,000 Applications Received, Beating our Target by 60%
23 % Increase in the Numbers of Female Candidates
27 Places Jumped on the Times Top 100 Rankings

Counterintuitive as it sounds, strong consumer brands can hinder recruitment. Applicants can get an idea of what to expect that doesn’t match the reality of the careers experience being offered. This was the case with Vodafone. For consumers, the organization is a high-profile mobile phone retailer. But, behind that perception sits a multifaceted tech innovator with a mission to make the future world a better place.

In order to achieve this, Vodafone turned to PeopleScout to help it become a youth employer of choice, because changing the future meant gaining the buy-in of those who would be influential within it for years to come.


As part of our research phase, we took a deep dive into Vodafone’s future jobs strategy. The client wanted to overcome high levels of youth unemployment by providing up to 100,000 young people with a digital workplace experience at Vodafone. Plus, given that one-in-five young people say they feel under-prepared for the digital economy, the business set another ambitious goal to support 10 million young people with access to digital skills, learning and employment opportunities.

So, how could Vodafone attract Millennials, Gen Z and beyond? These generations are big achievers whose ambitions soar higher than working in mobile phone retail. We needed an attraction strategy and recruitment marketing campaign that changed their audience’s perceptions about Vodafone and all the different kinds of careers—and impacts—they could make there.


Vodafone asked us to create a campaign that would spark conversations and stand out as part of their instantly recognizable brand. They needed to generate 10,000 applications to fill 150 graduate roles and 100 intern/industrial student placements across the business. Plus, the overarching goal was to change misperceptions of Vodafone, showing it as a major tech company, not a retailer, and build its reputation as a youth employer of choice. Importantly, we were asked to reach a more diverse audience and increase female applications.


Of our target audience, 90.4% regularly used social media. On top of this, 91% of all social media users access channels via mobile. So, we developed a mobile-first, social media friendly campaign. Further research revealed that many students with the right background and personal qualifications were put off from applying due to a lack of confidence. So, we needed a message that was bold, relatable and empowering.

Just as important as the audience insights were the strategic considerations. Candidates are also customers. When buying products, they expect a streamlined, user-friendly, friction-free process, and they had the same expectation when making career decisions. So, we made every touchpoint (especially the application) as slick and easy as possible.

No contemporary attraction approach can be just about advertising. Long-term connections are far more powerful. So, central to our strategy was to set Vodafone up to engage in conversations and initiatives with high-potential university students throughout their full university lifecycle. In short, the strategy was to start on day one, not year three.


Our message, #GenerationPossible, aimed to capture the spirit of change and possibility and draw on the opportunity young people have to make an impact on the world for the better. Our visual approach used photography that reflected our target audience combined with bold headline statements.

Social media and career site content featured current grads and interns sharing their advice for the next generation of Vodafone employees, with a #GenerationPossible video at the heart of this campaign. Our six-month social media strategy for mobile consisted of 104 social posts with 20 mini-videos/GIFs. We posted, tracked and analyzed this content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Get to Know Us Videos

Our research had identified that our target audience felt like they weren’t good enough or lacked the skills to take on these roles. So, we created a series of videos featuring current Vodafone graduate recruits and interns. Filmed in and around Vodafone’s main campus, these videos gave real-life insights into what they could expect when it came to work, wellbeing, social responsibility, innovation, the assessment center and the interview process.

Campus Events

Away from social media, we built a series of 41 on-campus events to connect students directly with Vodafone employees. We carefully chose our campuses based on those with the highest female-to-male ratios for tech degrees, as a way to help us drive up female applications.


The campaign comfortably exceeded Vodafone’s expectations.

  • We generated over 16,000 applications – beating our target by 60%.
  • We increased the number of female candidates by 23%.
  • We increased Instagram impressions by 89.3% (post-campaign vs. pre-campaign).
  • We saw 1.5 million Facebook impressions.
  • We gained 6.8 million impressions on organic posts on LinkedIn.
  • We created a hyper-targeted paid Facebook campaign which produced 390,510 impressions and 2,541 clicks – all from the target audience.

These numbers are backed up by audience sentiment. We improved Vodafone’s reputation as an employer significantly, jumping 27 places in the Times Top 100 rankings. As a result of its success, Vodafone asked us to develop the concept for their apprentice campaign audience and roll it out through a new assessment process design.


  • COMPANY: Vodafone
  • ABOUT VODAFONE: Vodafone is a British multinational telecommunications company. They provide connectivity and digital services for over 300 million people to work, learn, stay in touch with friends and family, access healthcare and more.
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