Archive for July, 2010

It’s not how much you’ve got to spend…

…it’s what you do with it that counts. Two weeks ago, following the ‘scooping’ of 5 out of 16 CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards by the Army, the recruitment comms industry had a bit of a ‘storm in a teacup’ about how easy (and dull) it was that such a big budget campaign had achieved this. We don’t quite understand this. Sure, a generous budget can help your idea along in many ways – from quality of execution to the media used to ‘broadcast’ it. But one thing money can’t buy is the ‘big idea’. Without this, no matter how much money you throw at it, it won’t be effective, achieve results and definitely will be missing the walk in the spotlights.

Then last week was the other side of the recruitment coin. A recruitment comms agency launched itself with a special offer – ‘up to 50% off design and print in July’. Now times have been tough but selling yourself ‘cheap’ is no way to build a ‘serious’ quality reputation. As a business partner. As Employer Branding experts. In fact, in any way as a ‘serious’ proposition. Actually, I’m wrong. You can get a reputation but is it one that you’ll really want?

So there we have it. On one hand the recruitment comms industry complains when big budgets win kudos and with the other there are offers of cut-price solutions. Can’t have it both ways.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…Recruitment Effectiveness

i am tv controller

The fifth (and final) in our week of blogs about all aspects of recruitment as demonstrated by our nominations at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards 2010:

What would attract six ‘creatively-minded’ individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds to join a unique internship at ITV Studios? To learn, understand and develop Global TV formats and programming. And all on a minimum budget. Yes, there was no army-sized wallet to dip into here. (But many congrats to Skive for what they did – no sore losers here.)

What we did do here was stretch the budget to its maximum impact with a multi-media campaign including on-campus posters, digital advertising targeting diverse communities, some social recruiting via Twitter and a stand alone microsite.

i am tv web

In just two weeks, the website (the only place containing information on the internships and how to apply) received over 1,800 visits in just 2 weeks.

Even though, the vacancies were in London it also received visits from 33 countries from all four continents – including students from 26 worldwide Universities. Interesting, when the campus posters only appeared in 5 London ones.

We had Twitter conversations with like-minded candidates from across the globe too. Plus the Tweeting wasn’t ‘Bot-feeds’ of links to the microsite, we engaged in general TV topics and created trending topics such as #TVTuesday to generate more interest and appeal.

i am tv twitter

So the results? Well, unlike the average internship (or recruitment process in general) ITV Studios weren’t interested in just your average CV and covering letter application. (In fact, we actively discouraged them.) No, the call was for ‘creative’ applications. And they came in their hundreds. Shoes. TV sets. Films. You name it (and you probably can’t some of them), ITV received them. 50 applicants made it through to the assessment workshops and the final successful six shone from there.

And that brings the curtain down on our ‘whole recruitment experience’ week. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it a useful insight into what and how we do ‘our stuff’.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…Candidate Experience

Nandos Graduate

The fourth in our week of blogs about all aspects of recruitment as demonstrated by our nominations at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards 2010:

Nando’s. What more can we say about them that as a restaurant you don’t already know? But as an employer? Did you know they’ve been accredited Three stars in the Best Companies Award for 2 years running, been an Investor in People for 10 years and this year have been voted No.1 in The Sunday Times Top 25 Large Companies To Work For. So they must be doing somethings right. Their candidate experience being one of them.

After 18 years of continous growth, they still need to recruit great restaurant managers but Nando’s has the added challenge of recruiting great managers who can also live the Nando’s values of Pride, Passion, Family, Integrity and Courage.

Nandos bottle pack

This is the challenge that we faced developing great attraction campaigns and an ‘information’ pack for every management candidate prior to an assessment day. From the very first point of attraction – be it in print (yes, that can still be effective), digital advertising or online listings – the Nando’s culture and style needs to shine through. The ‘information’ pack enhances this with more tasters of the Nando’s lifestyle, including a bottle of Nando’s sauce and a voucher to enjoy a meal in a restaurant. What better ways to experience what it’s really like to work there? Fall out before assessment days/interviews is another issue familiar to hospitality, so we developed a range of ‘reminder’ materials to combat this.

Overall, at every step of the recruitment process, the Nando’s employer brand sells through the culture and values. The actual assessment days continue this journey with an informal, fun but professional experience. With a trial shift and even ‘expeditions’ to local restaurants, the candidates are in no doubt what Nando’s, and the Nandocas, are truly like. It’s an honest, true to life experience for every candidate.

So what did we ‘experience’ at the CIPD RMA’s last night? Well, the winner was andsome and Nando’s. Pretty good result all round.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…Employer Branding


The third in our week of blogs about all aspects of recruitment as demonstrated by our nominations at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards 2010:

Zizzi ristorantes are run the Italian way – passionate and homely with a little flair. Each one’s a bit different – think Robert De Niro with a regional accent. They now have over 100 restaurants nationwide and employ over 3000 people.

Historically, like many in hospitality, Zizzi had relied heavily on Recruitment agencies. They needed, and were in position to capitalise on, much more direct recruiting. It was the ideal opportunity to create an employer brand that, in harmony with the Zizzi consumer brand, stood out effectively in the competitive hospitality recruitment market.

Working closely with HR, Operations and Marketing, together with much research among the people of Zizzi, we created the employer brand strategy of ‘You’re behind our success’.

Zizzi Invite

Simplistic, you may say. But that is truly the case here. The marketing strategy was built around Zizzi people make the difference in the restaurant and to the customers. So naturallly, we wanted everyone attracted to the organisation to feel that they are unique and part of the Zizzi family. That they are working in their own business/restaurant. That their passion and ability are responsible for their (and Zizzi’s) success – whether as a Manager, serving as a Team Member, working in Head Office or cooking in the kitchen.

The creative reflects this – building on the personal ‘dreams’ that are the foundation of your success in life. ‘Personal’ photos and thoughts are built into the campaign. As is a Ready-Steady-Go message, using colour and approaches to build excitement as candidates travel through the recruitment journey.


After just 12 months from having no real ‘identity’ in the recruitment marketplace, here are some of the results from the Employer Brand:
– Staff Turnover has decreased dramatically
– Candidates pro actively approaching Zizzi
– Attracted higher calibre of candidates applying
– Massively reduced dependency on recruitment agencies
– Lower drop out rates at assessment days and interviews
– Large reduction in the amount of offers declined
– Employer reputation has increased through heightened awareness

Let’s hope we get such a good result in Best Employer Brand tonight.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…Diversity


The second in our week of blogs about all aspects of recruitment as demonstrated by our nominations at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards 2010:

In 2009, ITV overhauled its approach to Diversity by introducing a new strategy – one all about Talent. It’s main aim – to attract and develop a diverse talent pool. Obviously, Diversity at ITV is essential to generating varied ideas and ensuring programmes are authentic and representative of the ITV viewing audience.

Working closely with ITV, we helped develop a brand and communication strategy that would convey the importance and value of diversity in the search for the best talent for the business.

Externally, the Talent strategy was built through various initiatives and schemes such as the ‘Foundation Placement Scheme’ and ‘Enabling Talent’ which successfully attracted and developed new diverse talent while changing the perception around who works for ITV – which is built around industry legacy and onscreen portrayal.


Internally, ‘Talent Champions’ were recruited from all areas of the business to act as ambassadors for ITV – both internally and externally. Each one championed a specific equality strand to raise diversity awareness and promote ITV’s activities externally. All to help ITV attract new recruits from the whole spectrum of diverse backgrounds.

Creatively, the challenge was to avoid using the ‘usual’ diversity clichés and tokenistic ‘equal opportunities’ approaches that most organisations deem appropriate. The communications had to be ‘real’ and believable – to both potential candidates and existing employees.

ITV Diversity ad

Since the strategy was launched there has been a significant rise in the number of applicants with disabilities and more disclosure around sexual orientation from applicants. While internally, the strategy as created an environment of opportunity – all around finding and developing the best talent rather than ‘diversity’ being just a corporate responsibility.

And that’s why we’re hoping for a good reaction in the Diversity Award category tomorrow night.

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