Changing Perceptions Across Asia with a New Employer Brand for a Beverage Manufacturer 

Changing Perceptions Across Asia with a New Employer Brand for a Beverage Manufacturer

Employer Branding in Asia

Changing Perceptions Across Asia with a New Employer Brand for a Beverage Manufacturer

A global beverage manufacturer and distributor engaged PeopleScout for a localized EVP and employer brand to boost their reputation amongst emerging talent in several markets across Asia.

Situation 

This global beverage manufacturer and distributor engaged in an internal strategic review of their corporate vision and purpose, which led to looking at their corporate brand and strategy for the future. The company’s people and culture team delved into how to ensure everyone in the organization is aligned with the strategy and how they could contribute to the business’s future success. Having developed a global employer value proposition (EVP) to support the strategy, a critical part of the roll out was to ensure it resonated with the specific cultural nuances of the APAC labor market, spanning such diverse countries as China, Japan, South Korea, India and Vietnam.  

The client engaged PeopleScout’s Talent Advisory team to localize their overarching EVP and employer brand to make it relevant for the candidate audience in each APAC market. It needed to be flexible in order to help them navigate cultural differences, target specific talent segments and address local recruiting challenges. 

The majority of the organization’s recruitment in APAC is for early careers and graduate talent, with roles in sales, marketing, product development, technology, consumer insights and more. There were five main challenges at play: 

  1. Emerging talent viewed working for this organization as a short-term option, not as a destination for a long-term career. Misperceptions about consumer goods brands in the region meant that people saw the beverage manufacturer as a place where early careers talent thrives, rather than where all talent thrives.
  2. In some Asian markets, there’s a lot of pressure on early careers employees to choose the right career. The consumer goods industry is not seen as a prestigious career path. 
  3. Cultural sensitivities around alcoholic beverages—which this client specializes in—created an additional challenge to overcome in some of their Asian markets. 
  4. The beverage manufacturer owns a portfolio of multiple well-known consumer brands and different brands are stronger in different markets. But, the client’s corporate employer brand itself is not well known. They needed to find a way to capitalize on their consumer brands to create recognition for their employer brand. 
  5. The beverage manufacturer was struggling to recruit for emerging roles in fields such as digital and data science, as their brand was not associated with these types of jobs. 

We set out to create a new employer brand that would help the client better manage candidate expectations, inject authenticity into their messaging and solidify what they had to offer emerging talent in APAC. 

Solution 

We started with a comprehensive exploration of data from multiple sources including competitive analysis, industry benchmarking, employer review sites, campus surveys, employee engagement surveys and exit interviews. Through the rigorous analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, we identified gaps and opportunities for each market.  

We also conducted visionary interviews with leaders in APAC to understand how they were executing the corporate strategy locally and how local culture in their various markets would impact this vision. This helped us to understand the aspiration for the employee experience and the behaviors that the business needed to achieve success. 

Then, we spoke to employees across key talent groups and demographics through a series of focus groups to understand their real working experience. From conducting previous projects in Asia, we knew that we had to be creative in the ways we gathered insights to respect cultural norms while still gathering good intel. We came away with a clear picture of what attracted and motivated talent across career stages and cultures as well as what could lead to attrition. 

With this in hand, we built an EVP framework that laid out the “give and get” for employees in each market. The framework was designed to leverage the corporate EVP whilst being flexible enough to resonate in each country. Certain messages could be dialed up or down to match the attractors and motivators for talent in each country. We rigorously tested the framework with employees in each market to stretch and test each brand pillar and ensure the EVP was both robust and future-proof.  

The next stage was to bring the employer brand to life with a universal creative platform for the APAC business tied to the manufacturer’s consumer brands in markets where the group brand was unknown.  

To create sharable content for the client’s careers site and social media channels, we interviewed more employees, gathering stories to boost authenticity through both written and video content.   

Outputs 

As a result of the employer brand engagement, PeopleScout produced the following outputs for the beverage manufacturer: 

  • A robust, validated EVP framework with clear promises for talent in each Asian market. 
  • Insights into key attractors and motivators for each talent segment to inform their future sourcing strategy. 
  • An employer brand and messaging framework to inform talent attraction campaigns. 
  • Localized recruitment marketing toolkit for each country to activate their new employer brand for various languages and cultures.  
  • A roadmap for people and culture initiatives to drive employee engagement and retention. 
  • Recruitment marketing collateral to support campus recruitment in China for the next academic year.  

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Global beverage manufacturer
  • INDUSTRY: Test
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • LOCATIONS: China, Japan, South Korea, India and Vietnam

Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

One of the largest construction, property and development companies in the United Kingdom engaged PeopleScout to design and build a new assessment center to boost diversity amongst their early career talent.

93 % reduction in candidate pool through new situational application sift stage
81 % pass rate after bespoke assessment center

Situation

Over the past several years, this privately owned development, property and construction organization have increased the hiring of early career talent across multiple functions and departments. With a focus on increasing diversity and inclusion across their business areas, the early careers intake process was identified as an important way to achieve this. They wanted to create an assessment center that was unique, created a positive candidate experience and delivered quality, diverse talent who demonstrate behaviors in-line with their culture.

This client’s early career schemes recruit for a large variety of roles in many different business areas. However, they needed all candidates to go through the same assessment center, so the new assessment design needed to balance the needs of all departments and efficiently assess individual people. Plus, they needed adaptable exercises and scoring which could be appropriate for both apprenticeship and graduate scheme applicants.

This organization wanted the assessment center to create an excellent candidate experience and for candidates to feel like they gained a valuable experience in the process. The format needed to be engaging and fun, showcasing their values and the kind of work they do.

Solution

We took a phased approach to our assessment design solution for our client.

Discovery Phase

Our discovery efforts consisted of gathering information from stakeholders across the company. We ran focus groups with current early careers talent and conducted visionary interviews with senior stakeholders. We also facilitated focus groups with the internal early careers recruitment team.

Through these sessions, as well as carrying out desk research on the job descriptions, we gained an understanding of skills and experience required from early careers employees. Then, we defined the key issues in the current assessment framework and came up with the concepts for the new assessment center to better the client’s needs.

Through the discussion it was decided to have three distinct exercises which followed the same story but didn’t rely on each other. In the previous assessment center if candidates didn’t fully understand one exercise, it would have a knock-on effect on their ability to carry out the next one.

We decided on an overarching fictional project scenario to thread throughout all exercises at the assessment center which was applicable to all business areas. It would also act as a realistic job preview.

Design Phase

We designed a new assessment framework consisting of:

  • A bespoke new situational application sift process
  • A new video interview stage
  • A bespoke assessment center

For the assessment center, we designed a new group exercise, a case study presentation exercise and an interview. We designed a unique group exercise and case study exercise for apprentices and graduates and the interview was applicable for both.

I addition to the designing the exercises themselves, we created scoring guides and candidate briefs for all exercises. Plus, we generated a timetable for the day of the assessment as well as[PG2]  a briefing presentation so the client could inform candidates at the beginning of day of what was coming.

Testing Phase

We started with a pilot assessment center to test the new process. Members of the PeopleScout assessment team facilitated a virtual assessment center day, during which internal stakeholders acted as the assessors and current employees played candidates. This was hosted on TopScore, so the client was able to stress test their virtual platform of choice.

After the pilot, we ran focus group feedback sessions with a group of the assessors and a group of the mock candidates to gather insights and perceptions on the materials as well as anything which could be amended to aid understanding. Finally, we held a debrief session with the members of the company’s early careers team to get clear on what amends we would make.

We implemented our client’s feedback and sent the finalised materials to the client, ready for the real assessment centers. We ran a “train the trainer” session for their assessors so they could execute the assessment center going forward.

Results

This organization received over 3,800 applicants for their early careers programme, and the new application sift stage allowed the client to filter down their candidate pool to 239. They also felt confident in the quality of the candidates who made it through to the assessment center, with 81% passing. Plus, when looking at pass/fail ratios, we saw no adverse impact at assessment center for gender, ethnicity or disability.

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: One of the UK’s largest construction, property and development companies
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory

Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

Early Careers Recruitment

Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

PeopleScout embarked on a strategic project to revitalize the graduate recruitment program for one of Australia’s largest development and construction companies. Through our early career talent expertise, we brought in more innovative approaches to candidate engagement and elevated the graduate recruitment experience, cutting renege rates in half.

18 Weeks Cut from Time Spent of Recruitment Activity
50 % of Graduate Hires Identified as a Woman
50 % Reduction in Candidate Drop Off & Reneges

Situation

One of Australia’s largest development and construction companies had a graduate recruitment program consisted of a short burst of marketing and campus engagement (six weeks), two recruitment phases in March (16 weeks) and August (12 weeks) and a long “keep warm” period. This approach heavily impacted their HR and recruitment teams as well as a line manager resource. Plus, the long recruitment process and keep warm periods resulted in drop off or renege rates of up to 30%.

They engaged PeopleScout to help them create a more efficient graduate recruitment process, while ensuring they connected with bright emerging talent.

Solution

Seeking to strengthen the connection with students and to drive more efficiency, we executed an early careers talent solution that shifted the focus of the campaign—adding more meaningful campus engagement (24 weeks) and one short, sharp recruitment window (10 weeks).

Laying the Foundation

The first step PeopleScout took in updating the program was to conduct in-depth job analysis interviews with a variety of stakeholders including: high performing graduates and interns, their line managers and visionaries across the business. This allowed us to develop a robust success profile, which defined what good looks like now and into the future.

Then we reviewed and updated the early careers value proposition and updated the campaign materials to tap into candidates looking to build a purpose-driven career. We also tailored our approach to ensure we connected with the client’s target diversity groups.

We created an always-on expression-of-interest portal for the client which allowed us to build a talent pool for the whole academic year. With the Affinix™ Student Engagement Platform, we delivered tailored content and shared employee stories showcasing ‘a day in the life’ and career journeys. This helped us to drive interest and change minds about a career in construction and property by myth-busting common misperceptions.

Campus Engagement

Recognising the importance of genuine and authentic communication, we identified graduate ambassadors across the breadth of the business. Moving away from pure reliance on careers fairs and job boards, our campaign involved the delivery of 38 student engagement events, including site tours, “meet the team” sessions and panels with female leaders leveraging our ambassadors.

Recruitment Process & Candidate Assessment

Now, having driven engagement with the target student population, it was important that the recruitment process was also effective, efficient and engaging. Our client had been following the traditional path of online testing, group assessment centres and hiring manager interviews to deliver their graduate program. But there was opportunity to ensure the process amplified their brand, provided candidates a realistic job preview, and levelled the playing field for all, enabling candidates to demonstrate their potential.

Using the insights from the internal client stakeholder interviews during our discover phase, we implemented the following changes:

  • Completely redesigned the assessment framework.
  • Adopted a CV-blind approach which helped to reduce unconscious bias.
  • Implemented a skills assessment in place of previous cognitive tests, which provided a more holistic view of the candidate, tapping into their motivation, cognitive strengths and behaviours, and measured the candidate against the client’s success profile.
  • Provided candidates with meaningful feedback reports, giving candidates an overview of their strengths and areas for development.
  • Revamped assessment centre exercises to bring the client’s construction project world to life, with candidates working together to deliver solutions involving the client’s core areas of focus, like community and sustainability.
  • Used our virtual assessment centre technology to encourage participation, especially for working candidates, rural candidates or those unable to afford the travel who previously experienced barriers during in-person events.
  • Leveraged our technology to improve accessibility for candidates with a disability and for those with ESL requirements.

Results

  • Reduced time spent on recruitment activity from 28 weeks down to 10 weeks.
  • Achieved client diversity targets, with 50% of graduates hired identifying as women (compared with 15% of graduates with construction and engineering degrees identifying as women) and 3% of graduates hired identifying as First Nations (compared with 1% of graduates with construction engineering degrees identifying as First Nations).
  • Reduced candidate drop off and reneges from 30% to 14%.

“The process was very well run, and we had strong candidates. Thank you for the hard work and efforts with this program. It was a very thorough process with great results.”

Client Feedback

The enhanced engagement and innovative approach to assessment had an amazing impact on the client’s candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS) with candidates rating their experience at 65, which is considered great. Candidate feedback was incredibly positive with a sample of feedback below:

  • “Very modern and innovative approach to the regular interview process. Allows busy applicants to complete in their own time.”
  • “The interview process was very innovative and provided additional insight into the role.”
  • “Overall has been a great experience. The assessment provided me with feedback that I can take into account in the future.”
  • “Very user friendly interface and didn’t feel demeaning or intimidating.”
  • “Thank you for making it such a smooth application process. I really appreciated all of the support provided, and I’m looking forward to working in such a supportive work environment. I also really appreciated the quick turnaround time for my application.”

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Large development and construction company
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Affinix

Rethinking Early Careers: Strategies for Graduate Recruitment in 2023

As the world changed over the past three years, college and university students had their lives transformed by the pandemic and recovery. Those experiences have changed both their expectations and behavior when it comes to the recruitment process.

So, as an employer, how can you respond to find, engage and hire the best graduate candidates?

In this episode of Talking Talent, Kate Buchanan, PeopleScout graduate program manager in our Sydney headquarters, joins to share strategies for early careers hiring in 2023.

In 2020, university students saw their entire lives move online. From college classes to job interviews, the path to their future was virtual. Now, the world has shifted again, but some changes became permanent. Technology still remains central to the process; however, the process cannot remain fully digital.

In recent years, many employers experienced increased ghosting and saw more candidates dropping out of the graduate recruitment process. While a fully virtual hiring process moves candidates quickly from application through assessments to offer, it lacks a personal touch. When the process happens completely online, graduates don’t have the opportunity to build relationships, making it easier to ghost employers.

So, how can you respond and ensure those strong candidates stay engaged through their first day on the job? The key is building a process that combines technology and the human touch—with both the speed and ease provided by technology and the relationship building that happens when recruiters work directly with top candidates.

In this interview, Kate shares best practices from recruitment marketing through onboarding that help talents leaders build connections, decrease candidate fall out and minimize ghosting. She explains how the right technology at the right points can improve the candidate experience and make graduates feel like they are already part of the team before they even start.

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

Situation

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.

Solution

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.

Results

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

At a Glance

  • 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 www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

[On-Demand] Overcoming Graduate Reneges and Maximizing Your Impact

[On-Demand] Overcoming Graduate Reneges and Maximizing Your Impact

From PeopleScout in Partnership with GradConnection

When Generation Xers and Millennials ascend into leadership positions to replace Baby Boomers, mid and entry-level positions are left vacant. For organisations looking to fill the gap left by retiring Baby Boomers, recruiting and hiring talent from universities is a significant first step.

However, many employers struggle to recruit college graduates. What’s more, challenges in grad recruitment right now such as reneges, low applications and breadth of diversity persist.

PeopleScout in partnership with GradConnection discuss the topic of how to ensure you have a successful recruitment drive and the tools Graduate Managers need to succeed in our on-demand webinar, Overcoming Graduate Reneges and Maximizing Your Impact, we examine some of the best practices and strategies for attracting, recruiting and hiring recent graduates.

This 30-minute webinar session covers:

  • The importance of candidate pre-engagement

  • Securing top talent

  • Supporting Grad Leaders and teams for success

 

Speakers:

Kate Buchanan, Talent Advisory and Early Careers Lead, PeopleScout

Alex Tyrrell, National Account Manager, GradConnection

Delivering Cost Savings and a Healthy Return on Investment for a Rural Healthcare System

Delivering Cost Savings and a Healthy Return on Investment for a Rural Healthcare System

Delivering Cost Savings and a Healthy Return on Investment for a Rural Healthcare System

A major rural healthcare system turned to PeopleScout for technology-powered healthcare RPO enhanced by a recruitment marketing campaign, resulting in a $4+ million cost savings.

77 % reduction in nursing recruitment spend, totaling $4+ million in savings to date
97 % new hire retention
98 % hiring leader satisfaction score

Situation

This healthcare provider was having trouble sourcing and hiring for nursing roles in North Dakota, a rural state heavily impacted by ongoing nursing shortages, forcing the client to rely on travel nurse staffing providers to deliver talent to support rural healthcare recruitment. The reliance on these staffing providers proved expensive, with the client paying an average of $73 an hour per locum nurse in contrast to paying $34 an hour on average per full-time nurse. Traveling nurses also work on 13-week contracts, meaning that the client receives temporary talent and less value for their recruitment spend.

To improve talent acquisition costs and attract hard-to-hire candidates, the client needed a full-cycle healthcare RPO partner that could streamline the hiring process and build a strong recruitment marketing program. PeopleScout’s RPO program started with nursing hires and now spans 90% of the client’s clinical and non-clinical hiring, including aides, clerical workers, interns, leadership positions, RNs, LPNs, professional services, technical roles and therapists.

Solution

Build a Local Recruiting Team

PeopleScout built a local recruiting team balanced with virtual support. This enables PeopleScout to work directly with the client on-site with the increased efficiency of a virtual team.

Develop Improved Employer Branding and Location Branding

PeopleScout partnered with the client to understand their employer value proposition and employer brand and then built out recruitment marketing materials to showcase the strong culture and cutting-edge medical facility. The recruitment marketing campaign also included messaging on the benefits of working in the rural area, like the strong university presence, short commute, low crime and sense of community.

Target Recent Graduates

The client partnered with PeopleScout to focus their efforts on hiring recent graduates from local universities. This helped the client get ahead of the competition and train new employees in their RN Residency Program.

Implementing Hiring Bonuses

PeopleScout advised the client to implement a $10,000 hiring bonus for new nurses to ensure their employment offers were competitive based on industry data and research.

Implementation of Affinix and Streamlining Recruiting Processes

PeopleScout implemented our proprietary technology Affinix™ which helped the client streamline recruiting processes through tools that supported management of direct sourcing, panel interviewing and an expedited offer process—decreasing time-to-fill rates.

Results

Cost Savings

After implementing PeopleScout’s full-cycle healthcare talent acquisition solution, the client reduced its nursing recruitment spend by 77%, totaling $4+ million in savings to date. 

Lowest Nurse Vacancy Rate

PeopleScout helped the client achieve their lowest nurse vacancy rate ever — 1.3%. The client also achieved a 136% increase in hiring new graduate registered nurses. The client reduced its use of traveling nurses by 68%, and for the first time, was able to hire nurses willing to relocate for the position.

Process Improvement

With PeopleScout’s expertise, the client achieved 97% new hire retention and 98% hiring leader satisfaction scores for exceptional performance. The client was so impressed with PeopleScout’s results hiring nurses that the client now outsources 90% of their hiring to PeopleScout.

Enhanced Employer Branding

PeopleScout leveraged the client’s strong employer value proposition and was able to partner with the healthcare provider to create an enhanced suite of employer branding materials that feature real employees. PeopleScout also used a comprehensive approach to reach candidates, including social media, campus recruiting and paid search ads.

Client Feedback

“We are so impressed with this partnership, and it’s a significant improvement from our past recruitment practices. We feel so confident working with a partner who ‘gets it,’ and we are excited about the quality of our candidate pool.”

Client Feedback

“Out of the three nursing jobs I have obtained in the past, this was by far the most professional and friendly hiring process that I have been through. It was a pleasant change.”

New Hire Feedback

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Rural healthcare system
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Advisory, Affinix
  • ABOUT THE CLIENT: This American nonprofit healthcare system has served portions of the Midwest for more than 130 years. It employs over 3,500 health professionals and support staff.

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.

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.

The Future of Graduate Recruitment is Digital

The graduate recruitment process has grown increasingly digital in the past few years, but the entire process for 2020 was held online due to the pandemic. However, the virus didn’t create this change; it simply sped up a process that was already happening.

As a graduate resourcing consultant, 2020 is my fourth graduate recruitment cycle. I currently work on the Lendlease team at PeopleScout, supporting our client by sourcing bright minded graduates who will help to shape and deliver the future of the construction and property industry.

And, despite the uncertainty in the world right now, I am confident that this move to digital graduate recruitment will stick.

Graduate Roles are Still Important

Graduates are the future of every business. Lendlease has a two-year graduate program, and the people hired for those roles use that program to grow their skills and experience before moving on to other roles within the business. We have even seen some of those graduate hires grow to become senior leaders at Lendlease.

Furthermore, it is critically important to continue recruiting for graduate roles during this uncertain time. Graduates futureproof the business by bringing in diverse, new talent with different perspectives, new ideas and an understanding of current trends. By actively filling these roles, we are preparing for the future beyond COVID-19.

But, the Graduate Recruitment Process Needs to Change

Normally, the planning for a graduate recruitment cycle begins in the previous year. For 2020, we started planning in November and December of 2019. We prepare through January and February, and then the campaign goes live in March. In previous years, we would attend career fairs, flying to different universities and presenting information about Lendlease in person. Throughout the next few months, candidates would apply and interview online, and finally attend an in-person assessment center.

But, in 2020, we needed to adapt rapidly. We stuck with our normal timeframes, but moved the entire process online – career fairs and assessment centers included. Earlier this year, I attended one of the virtual career fairs.

The fair was run by a university, and nearly 1,500 students registered. We advertised on social media to get students excited to speak with Lendlease. On the day of the fair, about 300 students visited the digital booth – making it one of the most popular. I was able to present to larger groups of students at once – something that isn’t possible at a traditional booth. Students also came with questions, which I was able to answer and talk with them about one-on-one.

The virtual fair I attended was held using Zoom video technology, along with the help of a third-party provider to ensure everything ran smoothly on the day of the event. Each employer had a unique booth and logo, so students could easily identify them and talk with employer representatives. Many graduates registered to come talk with us, allowing us to target hundreds of students in just three hours without having to travel.

Best Practices to Make the Transition Smooth

For the process to be successful, consider the types of technology you use. For virtual career fairs, the university may already have a preferred platform. However, you will still need to consider virtual interviews and virtual assessments. At PeopleScout, we use Affinix™, our proprietary talent technology. With Affinix, we can schedule and conduct virtual interviews – live or recorded – on a candidate’s own time.

Likewise, it is important to focus on communication. Graduates want to hear from you. Something as simple as a message to check in can be powerful. Communicating with candidates, even if it means admitting you don’t have all the answers, builds trust in an uncertain time.

Graduate Recruitment Won’t Go Back

With the COVID-19 crisis, we are always facing new surprises. However, with graduate recruitment, the surprise was how well the process worked – even with changes taking place under a tight timeline. We had to adapt quickly, but we saw that the digital process works. Students responded well to online career fairs. We saved money by avoiding air travel and lodging. We communicated with and assessed candidates in ways that kept everyone safe.

Based on our experience, 2020 won’t be a one-off year in which graduate recruitment looks different than normal. It will be the first year where digital graduate recruitment is normal.

COVID-19 Series: Recruiting Graduates Without a Campus

As organizations around the globe confront the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, even the most seasoned talent leaders find themselves in uncharted territory. We’re talking to our experts here at PeopleScout about the issues that are most pressing during this uncertain time.

We are focused on the safety of our employees and clients, friends, families and loved ones. However, it is important for many organizations to keep their talent acquisition functions moving – whether to provide essential services or to serve our communities by providing jobs. Many organizations are also now adapting to a newly virtual workforce.

In that spirit, this podcast shares insights from PeopleScout Resourcing Consultant Zuzana Sevcik on how to recruit graduate candidates when students aren’t on campus.

Zuzana is currently working on our Lendlease team in graduate recruitment to source bright-minded graduates that will help to shape and deliver the future of the construction and property industry.

She has an educational background in Business and HR and successfully established and managed a start-up company. Now Zuzana has discovered her passion for graduates and is currently working on her fourth graduate recruitment cycle.