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.

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

The Hard Truth About Candidate Expectations vs Candidate Experience Realities

The candidate experience has never been more important. Yet, the latest research from PeopleScout shows that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their recent recruitment experience as excellent.

We audited the candidate journey of over 215 organizations around the world, giving each a Candidate Experience Quotient (CandidateXQ) score—a calculation based on 40 key experience indicators, including 15 critical factors that make or break the candidate experience.

By analyzing these CandidateXQ scores alongside data gathered from surveying over 2,400 job seekers globally, we uncovered a clear disparity between candidate expectation and reality.

Download our free Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report for the latest research exploring:

  • What candidates expect at each stage of the journey and how employers stack up
  • Where each industry is succeeding or struggling with candidate experience
  • Actionable steps you can take to improve your CandidateXQ

The Future of Work: 4 Key Factors That Will Shape the Workplace by 2030

It’s no secret that the labor market has been volatile over the last several years, and talent acquisition teams have experienced a multitude of highs and lows. In our capacity as trusted advisors, PeopleScout analyzed patterns in global workforce trends to help our clients create informed strategies for future-proofing their workforce by examining how these patterns may affect their workforce. While we can’t predict the future of work, we think there are four key factors will shape the world of work over the next decade.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is here to stay, and it will apply to everything from where and how we work to the roles we do and who we do them for. There will be no hard and fast rules about working hours and shifts in the future.

As life becomes increasingly characterized by change, employees will need to be agile—always ready to reskill. Learning becomes a constant, and we may even find ourselves counting AI robots as our trainers and mentors.

Flexibility and upskilling will manifest differently from generation to generation, so organizations must facilitate working arrangements for different demographics. Over the next decade, the generation gap will widen and then gradually close as Baby Boomers begin to settle down to retirement by blending work and leisure. Millennials and Gen Z will bring their progressive perspectives to work.

10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work

DESTINATION 2030

2. Fluidity 

Globalization will enable much more cross-border, cross-company collaboration. Project teams will be established based on all sorts of factors, not just who’s in what department or which location. People will work with talent from all sorts of specialities as they move from project to project.

Technology helps to support our wellbeing as the lines between work and home become more blurred. But with new technologies come new laws, so security and compliance will also be strategically important, especially for organizations working at the cutting-edge of innovation.

3. Focus 

Organizational culture will become more important than ever before as people make career choices based on ethics, values and purpose above things like pay and benefits. More and more employees will choose to work for organizations that have a clear purpose and are committed to working in the most ethical, sustainable and socially responsible ways.

Technology also plays a role here, in helping people focus on the work that matters to them as automation takes over the mundane tasks. However, more AI and machine learning will make some roles redundant and create many others—generating even greater demand for technical, analytical and digital skill sets across sectors.

4. Forward-thinking 

Organizations will continue to compete when it comes to creating innovative new technologies and using those technologies in the most creative ways. But they’ll also be happy to pool some resources to create a better future for everyone. 

Issues like equality and climate change will continue to grow in importance, forcing organizations to find new and better ways of making social and environmental improvements at speed.

Onward, Upward and Who Knows Where

You may feel more prepared for some changes more than others as we approach 2030, but it’s safe to say that there will be plenty of surprises that will require creative thinking in order to stay resilient.

PeopleScout will be on the journey with you to support, challenge and inspire you—no matter what the future holds.

To learn more about how we came to these predictions and see our research findings, check out our Destination 2030 white paper.

Recession, Recruiting and Resilience: Creating Opportunities for Workforce Planning Success

With signs pointing toward a global recession, employers are preparing their workforces for what’s to come. This may mean cutting back on their investment in talent acquisition, delaying HR projects or even reducing their workforce.

While economic uncertainty can lead to difficult decisions for employers, it’s also important to recognize the opportunity it provides. This may be the perfect time to assess the resilience of your workforce and invest in workforce planning to make it fare better in the long run.

Is your talent acquisition program resilient enough to weather the storm? Here are four questions to ask to find out where you stand.

1. Is your employer brand and EVP still relevant?

If you haven’t updated your employer value proposition (EVP) in the last 18 months, it’s probably out of sync with the market and what candidates want. Now is the time to sense check if it’s relevant in 2023 and beyond. Does your employer brand work for a remote and hybrid workforce? Is it an authentic reflection of what you have to offer your employees?

Even if you’re not planning to hire actively in the near future, employer branding is also important for retention. Auditing and updating your brand will help you retain your current talent and ensure you’re ready to attract top talent in the future.

2. Is your hiring process working for remote and hybrid employees?

At the start of the pandemic, if you shoehorned your old in-person hiring process into your new hybrid or remote work reality and never looked back, it’s time to assess whether that’s really working for you. Remote work often requires a different set of skills than office-based work. Is your current process helping you assess those skills to achieve the quality-of-hire you need?  

Review the competencies and behaviors you need for each role to ensure they’re relevant for hybrid or remote employees. Now is the time to update job ads and evaluate your assessment process to ensure they are in tune with the success factors that drive your business now—instead of those that drove success pre-pandemic.

3. Are you achieving your DE&I recruitment goals?

While you may not be actively hiring, now is a good time to engage with diverse communities to ensure candidates from underrepresented backgrounds make up a significant portion of your talent pipeline when you’re ready to ramp up hiring again.

Increase your visibility in diverse communities via campaigns or event sponsorships. Look into your diversity analytics to understand what’s working and what’s not when it comes to sourcing and hiring your target audiences.

4. Is it time to consider RPO?

Now is the time to re-evaluate how you’re going to market for talent, whether via an internal talent acquisitions team, staffing agencies, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or a hybrid model. Work with your procurement partner to scrutinize your spend and evaluate your options to streamline and minimize risk—including standardizing with one global RPO partner.

Just because you’re not hiring at the same volume you were before, doesn’t mean outsourcing is out of the question. Recruiter On-Demand or project RPO engagements offer flexible solutions for targeted hiring needs. An RPO partner can also offer value-added talent advisory services like market insights, employer branding, assessment services and more. Plus, once engaged, your RPO partner will be on tap to hit the economic recovery running and scale up for your hiring surge.

An economic slowdown is not the time to put your talent acquisition strategy on the back burner. Use this time to take stock and get prepared so you’re ready to bounce back faster. You’ll be able to beat your competition and create a resilient workforce that’s ready for whatever the future has in store.

Want more insight into the future of work? Check out our ebook, Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work.

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

Situation

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.

Solution

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.

Results

  • 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 Talent.com. 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.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Multinational chain of family theme parks
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • 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.

Situation

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.

Solution

  • 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.

Results

  • 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.

AT A GLANCE

  • 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.

Providing Workforce Planning Data to Support European Call Center Recruitment

Providing Workforce Planning Data to Support European Call Center Recruitment

Providing Workforce Planning Data to Support European Call Center Recruitment

Call center recruitment is essential for any enterprise in today’s customer-centric environment. A large multinational financial services provider identified five European countries where they could potentially open a bi- or tri-lingual contact center. They turned to PeopleScout—and our Talent Insights solution—to get the data they needed to understand which location had the best talent pool for their needs.

Labor market data provided for five countries
Labor market data provided for five countries
Provided data on size of talent pool and language capabilities
Provided data on size of talent pool and language capabilities
Added value with data to support DE&I and more
Added value with data to support DE&I and more

Situation

With dozens of contact centers in countries around the globe, the financial services organization wanted to simplify and optimize their operating model with multilingual hubs. The client asked PeopleScout to help them understand more about five shortlisted potential locations for these “super sites.” Time was of the essence with delivery of the insights required in just two weeks.

Solution

Our in-depth talent insights included:

  • Size of talent pool – The number of individuals working in the customer service sector in those locations
  • Languages spoken – The languages spoken by the talent pool within those locations
  • Cost of language ability – Any additional cost to hire people with particular language abilities in those locations
  • Demographic data – Age and gender data to support diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) efforts as well as recruitment marketing messaging
  • Drivers and motivators – For candidates in each market to inform go-to-market messages that will resonate with each audience
  • Channel strategy and advertising tactics – To attract these audiences on their go-to websites and job boards
  • Candidate expectations – What candidates want from the recruitment process to enable an improved candidate experience
  • Salary expectations – How the employment offer might need to vary from location to location based on regional information

The Results

The PeopleScout Talent Insights team distilled their research into an easily digestible report. For each country, the report included:

  • A high-level summary of our findings and recommendations
  • An overview of market size broken down by active and passive job seekers
  • Highlights on “hot spot” locations within each country showing language capabilities and salary expectations
  • What customer service professionals are looking for from an employer
  • Job boards and websites favored by candidates in each country
  • Demographic details including gender and age as well as education and experience levels
  • Expectations for the candidate experience including timelines, number of interviews and likelihood to negotiate offers
call center recruitment market data
call center recruitment market data

The insight PeopleScout provided for each location equipped the client with valuable information that helped confirm the suitability of a location for their multilingual contact center. We were also able to provide them with additional analysis to define their proposition, shape their talent attraction strategy and inform their salary and compensation packages.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Global financial services organization
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • ABOUT THE CLIENT: This multinational insurance and financial services company offers personal and professional insurance products as well as asset management solutions.

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

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

GLOBAL RPO

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.

Challenge

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.

Solution

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.

Results

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

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Global Manufacturer
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 300
  • 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

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.

RESEARCH

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.

THE BRIEF

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.

AUDIENCE INSIGHTS

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.

THE CORE MESSAGE

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 RESULTS

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.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Vodafone
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • 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.
Download Case Study PDF

NCA: Reaching Investigators Through Targeted Recruitment Marketing

NCA: Reaching Investigators Through Targeted Recruitment Marketing

NCA: Reaching Investigators Through Targeted Recruitment Marketing

The National Crime Agency (NCA) turned to PeopleScout for a recruitment marketing campaign to help them stand out in their search for crime fighting investigators.

15,703 Applicants Across 143 Roles
225 Job Offers Extended
800 + Candidates in a Talent Pool for Future Openings

The National Crime Agency is responsible for leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organized crime. The agency’s focus is on the big threats—targeting and pursuing serious and organized crime and criminals who pose the greatest risk to the UK. The work is hugely complex, high-level and large scale. Officers operate at the forefront of law enforcement, building intelligence, pursuing the most serious and dangerous offenders and developing and delivering specialist capabilities for partner organizations.

It could have been an impressive proposition for the 1,500 investigators and other professionals the NCA wanted to recruit. But the NCA was competing with MI5, MI6, GCHQ and police forces for this talent. The intelligence organizations could be considered “sexier” brands. The police forces are better known and understood.

The NCA had been flying under the radar and needed to arrive on the scene with a bang. They turned to PeopleScout for a confident, attention-grabbing campaign to put their employer brand front-of-mind for their target audience.

Key Research

We conducted wide-ranging qualitative interviews and focus groups with key people across the agency in order to really get under the skin of the human experience of working there.

The key insights were:

  • When NCA investigators succeed the impact is huge and far-reaching. The criminal activity they stop covers everything from child sexual abuse to illegal firearms trafficking, cyber crime, kidnapping and extortion. The police, by contrast, have to deal with everything from shoplifting upwards.
  • A lot of the criminals the NCA targets feel they are untouchable. It’s very exciting to prove they are not.
  • The work is exciting, and we shouldn’t underplay that.
  • Investigators are often serving police officers or have strong links to policing. They rarely engage with usual recruitment channels, so we needed to think differently.
  • The agency saw location as key—they were keen to recruit candidates close to the locations of their regional offices.

The Core Message

To work in crowded streets and packed transit stations, our campaign needed to have immediate visual impact. The NCA hunts the big fish of the criminal world. So, we chose the shark as a perfect visual metaphor to illustrate the level of criminality the agency handles; it’s the ultimate hidden predator with a fin that creates an emotional reaction.

Our visuals show a huge shark fin bursting through the ground, towering over well-known landmarks and wreaking havoc in recognizable, urban UK locations in London and Manchester. Each visual represented the scale of damage caused by high-level crime, while storm clouds provided a suitable dark and menacing backdrop. These visuals were complemented with a simple message: No predator too big.

Media Strategy

We focused the recruitment campaign on outdoor media to reach the widest possible audience in our target areas. We identified outdoor locations that serve police officers on their daily commute—for example, Manchester Piccadilly station and the Metro line to Greater Manchester Police HQ—in addition to specialist online media.

The Results

We rolled out the campaign for digital, data, tech and specialist firearms audiences. The results were very impressive:

29,684 candidates to the NCA landing page.
15,703 applications across 143 roles.
2,228 candidates invited to interview.
225 job offers.
825 held in talent pool awaiting job offers.

This was a hugely successful campaign which drove a large number of applications. We exceeded NCA’s expectations, raised awareness of the NCA as an alternative employer for serving police officers and improved perceptions of the NCA as an employer with a unique offering.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • LOCATIONS: Regional offices in the UK’s urban centers
  • About NCA: The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a national law enforcement agency in the UK focused on fighting organized crime, trafficking, cybercrime and fraud.
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