It’s difficult recruiting good chefs. It’s even harder to find excellent chefs who are prepared to be Chef Tutors at a Cookery School – even one based in the kitchen of the two Michelin Star restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, surprisingly enough. So much so, that after 18 months searching, using trade websites et al – a completely different approach was needed.
The solution was a microsite selling this unique opportunity. That’s normal enough. The use of a LinkedIn group to encourage informed debate and interest. For many, that would be quite innovative. But who would have considered the use of Social TV for such a niché target audience? Exactly.
Now, as am sure everyone knows, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is the brainchild and passion of Raymond Blanc. Not only a celebrated chef but a highly regarded TV chef, whose programmes inspire working chefs as much as the public at large. They love watching for hints, tips and inspiration. And chefs, as we know, are more visual than word lead. They like to experience first hand. Quickly. Efficiently.
So, with dual screening becoming popular – this is almost 12 months ago, we’re talking about here – and a growing use of social media channels by the target audience – the newest BBC2 series by RB, The Very Hungry Frenchman, seemed to be the perfect vehicle to see what Social TV recruiting could achieve.
We know it needed more than just a series of Job Tweets during the broadcast. So, @RBCookeryTutors the special created Twitter account, did more than that. It became the social media commentator of the TV programme. Live tweeting throughout the programme. Commenting about the on-screen events. Mention how inspiring it must be to work with RB. Chatting to viewers. Encouraging hashtag trending. Talking about the similarity of learning about French cuisine and teaching in a Cookery School. It engaged people. For the whole hour every Wednesday between 8-9pm for 5 weeks.
And every evening we did that, we received questions, comments and direct messages from Chefs interested in the opportunity at the Cookery School. In fact, one of the ideal chefs discovered by this approach, direct messaged 5 minutes after the first programme had finished. Ohh la la.
@RBCookeryTutors has been shortlisted, alongside our work with @EAT_careers, for the Best Use of Social Media at the RADs 2013. We were so pleased by the results when it happened, so we’re hoping for a good result on Thursday night.