How we put the social into recruiting…Runners for ITV

The finale of our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

Runners in TV production are the ultimate General Assistant. To do anything and everything. Normally the reserve of those ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’. For all the people who’ve successfully made a career in TV from starting as a runner, there are plenty of star-struck ones who haven’t. ITV Studios wanted to attract a different candidate. People with real ambitions to make a real career in TV production – as a researcher, camera operator, Producer – who would grasp this opportunity and make the most of it.


This meant appealing to a wide audience to attract a new generation of runner. So we sold the future careers – not just what a Runner does day in, day out. It was a truly integrated campaign – advertised internally, digitally and ‘social media-lly’. The foundation was the ‘Running for Microsite’ – detailing the why, what and how to be a runner. With the added stickiness of a game where you had to ‘run for’ and catch the future roles you could move onto. This site also linked to the social media presence – dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts. You could record your ‘Running’ score from the microsite game on the Facebook page, for example.


On Twitter, we ‘sold’ the head start that being a runner would give you in future roles. Engaging a truly wide audience of experience, diversity and disability. Creating a community alive with interest and excitement, discovered by the ‘word of mouth’ of social media. On Facebook, we created discussions about ‘Dream Jobs in TV Production’ and detailed the application process. Both transparent and aspirational. As the social media ‘Community Manager’, we ran all the accounts day and night (job hunting isn’t 9 -5, after all) – even to the point of still having conversations with potential applicants minutes before the midnight deadline.


Now for some numbers. Applicants only had 14 days to run and apply for this opportunity. The social media community grew from a standing start of zero to over 600. More than 2,000 unique visitors ran to the microsite. (43% from our ‘social recruiting’ on Facebook and Twitter.) And a total of 750 applications were in the race for places.


The engagement didn’t end there. The employer branded campaign continued through the whole application process. Potential runners didn’t attend an ‘Assessment Day’ but a ‘Runner-fit- thon’.


Every communication was built around what they were in the ‘running for’ (or not, in the case of rejections). The engagement with the social networking community was as vital to this, as it was in attracting such a high calibre of candidates. Ensuring they all felt involved and passionate about the opportunity on offer until they reached the finishing line.


This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Best Use of Social Media and Best Campaign and the “It’s up for two RADs Nominations, let’s hope they really liked it, Uh Uh” list.

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