2019 Winners

Congratulations to all our winners and finalists and we look forward to seeing your entries in 2020!

To view the pictures taken from the 2019 Recruitment Marketing Awards please click here

Pink Squid - Chivas Brothers (Winner)

THE GOAL: To find the right candidates with ownership, confidence and maturity from around the world to bring the brand’s future and past together in graduate ambassador roles.

Whisky lovers, explorers, those skilled in niche languages, independent and adept public speakers – these were among the targeted audiences identified as potential candidates for exciting graduate roles at Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard.

As well as the sophisticated targeting strategy, an enticing art direction was needed to attract the attention of the right candidates. Because legacy was a key ingredient to both the brand’s past and future, consideration of legacy brought a particular concept to mind: iconic statues that stand the test of time. The team decided to turn the Chivas ambassadors into statues. Different textures such as marble, stone and bronze were used to create the imposing look of statues from the past, while anchoring their models in the present with modern-day dress. “By turning them into statues, we’re solidifying their legacy and showcasing the impact you could have at Chivas Brothers,” the team explained.

A photo shoot took place at the Chivas Linn House in Keith, Moray, Scotland. All the ambassadors were individually styled by a professional special-effects make-up artist, before being filmed and photographed in lyrical poses.

 With marketing collateral including digital banners, social posts and a variety of videos, the agency scored distinct successes in increasing the quality of candidates who spoke a second language (+4%), reducing the cost per registration (-34%), reducing the cost per application (-37%), and reducing the cost per video upload (-43%).

Judges comment
‘Strong concept, with a large amount of thought gone into it. Watching the video you can see how much care, thought, planning and fun helped to create this campaign’.

Blackbridge Communications - Argos
Havas People - Next
Penna - dstl
Penna – HMGCC
Stafford Long & Partners – J Murphy & Sons
TMP - National Crime Agency


Stafford Long & Partners - DNV GL (Winner)

THE GOAL: To show an international organisation what ‘customer-centricity’ really means, and reset the staff’s mindset about how to better serve their customers.

As part of a three-year programme that aimed to turn around the organisation’s underperformance by changing internal attitudes, a content-filled event that focused on customers was organised by the agency.

It invited to the event only those at DNV GL who dealt with customers, and who could influence the future of customer accounts. An in-the-round stage and collaborative workspace encouraged teamwork and reflected customer-centricity, with messages highlighted by colourful materials and eye-catching quotes.

Featured content included contributions from four actual customers from around the world, who accurately represented the state of their customer relationships. Delegates also heard from external experts in customer experience, psychology and change, and gained internal insight from the leadership team. Day-to-day account managers led collaborative sessions.

Interactive exercises on ‘Getting to know your customer’ also played into the content mix, along with a physical puzzle that tested participants just as an escape room would do. And to top and tail the event, the agency included inspiring opening and closing films.

The results were highly positive: 99% of attendees scored the event 4 out of 5 or higher, 95% of attendees found the event very useful, and 95% would use the event’s content back in the business.

Judges comment
‘This stands out as being an idea with a real sense of ambition and a clear strategy for delivering objectives. Real thought has gone into small details to make the overall event great and focused and memorable.’

Blackbridge Communications - HCA Healthcare UK
Havas People - Cathay Pacific
Pink Squid - Harrods
Pink Squid - Legal & General

ThirtyThree - National Trust (Winner)

THE GOAL: To create a campaign to recruit the new head gardener for Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent.

The castle garden was created by poet and writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson. The couple purchased the Saxon property in 1930, and Vita transformed its grounds into one of the world’s most influential gardens. She did so by pioneering a new experimental system of ‘garden rooms’, a legacy that has been continued over the years by National Trust head gardeners.

To recruit the new head gardener, ThirtyThree had to raise awareness and reach the best talent across western Europe to find exactly the right person who would continue Vita’s legacy.

The garden’s rich history was the focus for the campaign, with insights gathered from both the writings of Vita and filmed interviews with four of the previous head gardeners. The agency created targeted posts on Facebook, using footage from the videos, to raise awareness among the target audience and drive traffic to the job role. More information was available in a candidate pack and a full-length version of the film.

To generate additional buzz, a digital experience was created using an Instagram grid where people could immerse themselves in a tour of the garden through film and ‘plotagraphs’. The interviews with previous head gardeners, along with excerpts from Vita’s writing, were woven into the experience.

Twenty-nine applications were received, 11 applicants were interviewed, and one fantastic candidate was hired.

Judges comment
‘Powerful and effective video campaign, really excellent use of plot tours and large volume of quality, effective real-life content’

Chatter Communications - O2
Havas People - Next
Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Mars
Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Philips

Penna - GCHQ  (Winner)

THE GOAL: To break down myths about GCHQ that foster preconceptions and concerns about working there – such as it being a corporate, white, male organisation.

How do you show that an organisation isn’t a corporate employer when you can’t depict the workplace or show real staff? That was the challenge facing the project creative team in capturing GCHQ’s essence and breaking down myths about it as an employer.

The choice of medium was simple, fresh, illustrated animation.

Research has shown that someone is more likely to engage with content when they know what to expect, so the team took this into account in creating the video. Everything was based on five reasons, telling the audience exactly what they’d get out of the video.

The audience was told that at GCHQ you are free to innovate, free to be yourself, free to fail, free to learn and free to live life – all with an accessible and upbeat touch.

The team also knew that they wanted to create a bank of characters and scenes they could use in the future. The characters represented all kinds of diversity – through not only cultural references or skin colour but also the personalities they displayed.

The simple, concise approach went down well, both internally (“Info was bang-on – lots you want to know,” said one respondent) and externally (“I liked that you show personality, not just racial diversity,” said another).

Judges comment
‘The concept was clearly outlined from the start as well as the key messages which directed the focus of the video. The video is clear, informative and communicates the stand-out attributes ofGCHQ and the culture’

Hodes part of Symphony Talent – Phillips
Morrison Utility Services
Stafford Long & Partners - DNV GL

CA3 and Eli Onboarding - Rolls-Royce (Winner)

THE GOAL: To increase both line managers’ engagement to onboarding and the number of buddy assignments to new starters.

The creative team wanted to demonstrate what great onboarding and bad onboarding looked like – at the same time.

The video highlights key touchpoints in a new starter’s onboarding journey – touchpoints that align with the line manager’s checklist on join.rolls-royce.com.

With a light, humorous touch, the video informs and educates, as the ‘sliding doors’ format reveals the different paths that the hero Jack’s life would take when applying for two separate jobs. The two Jacks are onboarded in two very different ways by two very different line managers.

Filmed over two days, the project required Rolls-Royce and the agency to work as one to create two videos that became one.

Since the video’s launch, the results have included a 22% increase in line manager engagement and, in less than three months, an increase of 55% in buddy assignments.

Judges comment
‘Great attention to detail on the split-screen, even the bananas on the breakfast table line-up. Clear call to action.’

Enhance Media - The Stars Group
Stafford Long & Partners – GCHQ
ThirtyThree – EE
ThirtyThree - Housebuilding Careers

TMP - Greater Manchester Nurses (Winner and Grand Prix winner)

THE GOAL: To create an authentic and powerful film that would:

  • Inspire nurses who have left the NHS to rejoin it in Greater Manchester
  • Drive those who are contemplating training for the profession to take the leap in Greater Manchester
  • Stir those who already do the job to move to Greater Manchester

Recruitment for nursing has been in crisis, hit hard by negative press, ideological attacks and funding cuts. Across Greater Manchester, hospitals were recruiting from each other, creating a costly merry-go-round which made the problem even worse.

To solve this problem, more than 16 NHS trusts, universities and care providers, as part of the Greater Manchester Heath & Social Care Partnership, joined forces with TMP to produce a single, jointly led recruitment campaign that would be centred around a film.

To celebrate the nurses of Greater Manchester, the film featured a script constructed entirely from the lyrics of legendary Manchester bands, with artists including New Order, Elbow, Badly Drawn Boy and Everything brought together.

The script became a celebration of Greater Manchester itself.

Eighteen nurses from diverse backgrounds and nationalities delivered the script to camera, and the footage was edited together with black-and-white, reportage-style photographs taken from a three-day, 13-location shoot across the metropolitan area.

Advocates for the campaign came from a wide range of influential supporters including Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

And the impact was significant: 1,582 candidates engaged with the Greater Manchester NHS and Universities.

Judges comment
‘Innovative and inspirational! The use of local bands created a new unique piece of poetry elated something bigger than the campaign itself that would touch people's emotions and feel proud of who they are and potentially working for Manchester hospitals’


Jupiter - E.ON

Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service


Tonic Agency - Metropolitan Police


AIA Worldwide - British Airways (Winner)

THE GOAL: To attract smart and original individuals from a variety of digital roles to apply to fill 30 new positions at BA.

Putting forward the proposition ‘Amazing jobs for a world-famous brand – with a bold new vision’, the agency gave BA a presence at the Silicon Milkroundabout, an annual event in East London that attracts about 3,500 tech professionals. Then AIA had to come up with a way to stand out from the 200 other companies represented at the event.

A clever way to promote the proposition and capture data came in the form of BA cabin crew, who roamed the venue, charming candidates with their customer service skills and handing out boarding passes. Once scanned at the stand, the passes offered candidates the chance to win flights to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. A space on the back captured contact details. The stand experience encouraged candidates to sign up to a talent pool on the BA careers site, allowing AIA to contact talent directly about roles.

The stand brought in the airline’s new colour themes, and a feeling of the flight experience. Plane window cut-outs revealed a film sequence of clouds flowing from one window to the next. LED uplighters were used to reflect the cabin lighting design on BA’s new fleet. To reflect the new vibe of BA digital itself, the stand featured minimalist Perspex seating and a column of red LEDs.

Driving the flight theme further was the placement of the jobs being advertised on an image of a split-flap display board.

How did it all go? About 750 people received a ‘boarding pass’, 200 applications were received, and 78 people signed up to the talent pool.

Judges comment
‘The idea was definitively  on brand making it clearly recognisable and promoted something which was very unique to the market in a way that was clever and relatable..’

Penna - GCHQ
TMP - The AA & PeopleScout
Tonic Agency - Metropolitan Police

Tonic Agency - Metropolitan Police (Winner)

THE GOAL: To leverage the 100th anniversary of the first women serving in the Met to help increase the percentage of female officers currently serving in front-line Met policing from 30% to 50%.

The objectives set forth for the agency were to create an inspirational, empowering and brave campaign, to showcase and celebrate the role of women in the modern police force, challenging stereotypes of women in policing and recruit more females than ever before.

The resulting campaign focused on strength of character – a critical quality in police officers – with headline messages that were united in their personal meaning of the word ‘Strong’. Inspirational women officers past and present were showcased – along with what ‘Strong’ meant to them personally.

Internal posters and social media, using Facebook carousels and a partnership with Stylist magazine, formed part of the drive. Following on from the celebration campaign was a series of London Underground Tube car panels that explored the different ‘Strong’ categories needed by police officers in every role and specialism. The Tube campaign was supported by Facebook and Instagram videos.

The results: research conducted in May 2019 showed that almost half of the respondents said that their perception of working for the Met had become more positive after seeing the ads, largely because the ads portrayed the Met as being an inclusive employer. Also, the number of female-completed applications went up almost fourfold over the same period in the previous year, and the number of BAME-completed applications roughly tripled.

Judges comment
This is a heartfelt entry, saturated with history and storytelling. The entry combines challenging statistics with the emotion of celebrating 100 years since the first women joined the Met.

Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Sky
ThirtyThree - Devon County Council

Blackbridge Communications - Rolls-Royce (Winner)

THE GOAL: Addressing all four of Rolls-Royce’s core business objectives with a single social media campaign, which also would bust myths about apprenticeships generally and Rolls-Royce apprenticeships specifically.

In spite of a recent resurgence in demand for apprenticeships, myths persist about their educational and training value, their value for future employment, and the value of experiences that apprentices receive.

At the same time, manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce wanted to dispel a few myths about its place in an exciting and highly competitive industry.

To knock such myths on the head, 30 videos of 45-60 seconds each were created to drive an entire social campaign across four platforms, with 14 Rolls-Royce apprentices featured as the stars. Split into pairs, each duo pulled a myth out of a hat, and proceeded to candidly discuss the ins and outs of that myth. The resulting footage was fun, interesting and engaging – which they had to be in order to be shared by the participating apprentices, their friends, parents and others reached by the videos.

The results? Nine thousand apprenticeship applications were received, in the wake of 819,604 people being reached, 289,214 views of the videos, and 1,846 link clicks. 

Judges comment
‘This is a clever campaign, using the very best channels and formats for their audience. The whole entry tells the story of the initiative really well.’

Alexander Mann Solutions - Vodafone

Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Mars (Winner)

THE GOAL: To bridge thousands of miles across continents and connect the more than two dozen Mars employer ‘reputation leads’ to each other, to give them support and a sense of community, and to encourage them to share tips and the latest activations.

The ‘Wish you were here’ campaign featured print postcards sent to all the employer reputation leads around the world, with a message featuring a part of the world where they were not located. Then they received an email explaining what the campaign was all about, and containing a map of the world, with a pin in the location of another employer reputation lead. This encouraged the recipients to ‘Grow beyond’ their home markets.

A call to action in both postcard and email took each recipient to two online resources that would help them see how they fit into the global picture.

Then the employer reputation leads received gift boxes containing a map of the world with all the locations of their fellow employer reputation leads, a notebook, a pen, a USB card with a library of digital content and a sticker sheet. This created a sense of belonging as well as giving them the status of ‘employer reputation experts’.

The employer reputation leads loved it all, following up with enthusiastic messages of thanks. And the real success? Creating a sense of community that has resulted in the sharing of ideas through specially designated online channels.

Judges comment
‘A fun, effective execution. Good use of illustration and personalisation and an engaging delivery of the content in the form of a gift box’

Havas People - BP
Stafford Long & Partners - Norton Rose Fulbright (HC)

Meet and Engage - Yodel (Winner)

THE GOAL: To create a technical solution that delivered efficiency for recruiters and Yodel but that was based around the candidate experience in a new and scalable solution.

Yodel recruits more than 6,000 drivers annually, receiving more than 1,200 applications each week – a figure that rises to 5,500 applications per week as it brings in additional drivers for its peak delivery season. As a result, the firm’s recruiting team need to hire 3,500 new drivers in just a few months.

The candidate experience had to deliver:

  • An ‘open all hours to suit you’ feel
  • Accessible and straightforward language
  • Increased speed to hire, and positive candidate experience feedback.

The agency created and deployed candidate experience bots to cover different segments and circumstances of the ‘candidate journey’. For instance, it created three bots for each of the key driving opportunities, to sit on the relevant pages of the careers website. Other bots were created to screen candidates, instead of a telephone screen, after their online application was submitted via the applicant tracking system.

In the first two weeks of deployment during the Yodel peak season, the screening bots completed more than 2,299 screenings, with only a 10% drop-out rate. Candidates completed their screen at a time that suited them, and the candidate experience score stands at ‘97% happy’. By the end of the two-week period, 197 bot-screened candidates had been offered roles.

The technology solution is innovative several ways, including its flexibility in solving different recruitment challenges in terms of candidate preference, and its ‘self-service’ design allowing resourcing teams to review, and act on, real-time candidate experience data.

Judges comment
‘This entry is a fun and clever way of dealing with a large number of applicants and guiding people through the recruitment process. Using bots means that people have 24/7 access to questions and answers and adds a level of personalisation.’

AIA Worldwide - M&S
CA3 and Eli Onboarding - RBS
ThirtyThree - Kingfisher Careers
TMP - Sainsbury’s

Digital Solution
Penna – dstl (Winner)

THE GOAL: To raise awareness of Dstl to better compete for top talent.

An ingeniously devised online game called Counter Threat was created to provide bright minds with an intriguing set of challenges, with hidden layers and opportunities to especially stand out.

Hosted on a website that also included in-depth information about the different specialisms, roles available, benefits and even the specific mindset that dstl look for, the game could also be reached by other means.

A series of programmatic and Google ads encouraged audiences to ‘know the unknown’ and gave a taste of what they could see on the website.

A complementary social campaign was designed to be completely inclusive, and stressed that such characteristics as a person’s background, lack of a university education or gender had no bearing on being hired by Dstl. “We’re just looking for excellent scientists and engineers, no matter where they come from,” one Instagram message said.

More than 6,000 people played the game for an average of three minutes. Responding to the social campaign were 7,515 people who clicked to find out more. And 8,216 people clicked on the programmatic and Google ads to visit the website, with 95% of those staying. Twenty-two people who played the game hacked it – demonstrating the right excitement and mindset to work at Dstl.

Judges comments
‘What I love about the execution of this campaign is the social ads that drive people there, the inclusive angle is clear and speaks directly to the audience they want to get involved with the game’

AIA Worldwide - British American Tobacco
AIA Worldwide - M&S
Chatter Communications – Morrisons PLC
Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Nexans
Penna – HMGCC

Blackbridge Communications - Rolls-Royce (Winner)

THE GOAL: To put a new people brand at the heart of a revised early talent campaign via a targeted audience engagement that would also set the tone for the brand’s wider roll-out. The engagement would boost applications, change perceptions, increase diversity and optimise engagement.

To achieve these aims, Blackbridge researched the two main audiences: school-leavers, and undergraduates and graduates. It then developed a three-stage narrative, ‘Connect, consider, convert’, that would take them through the candidate journey. A content matrix then set out the objectives and the kind of message to be shared at each stage: objective, call to action, audience and creative.

Keying in on the knowledge that ‘purpose’ and ‘impact’ are important to both audiences, the Blackbridge team’s next job was to develop the creative collateral to bring to life real stories about the impact Rolls-Royce has in the world.

It created three banks of images to illustrate the variety and innovative nature of Rolls-Royce’s work, to reflect school-leavers’ desires to see people like themselves, and to bridge the people and purpose approaches with hero imagery.

The end campaign included targeted programmatic advertising; dedicated content for Rolls-Royce’s careers site, editorial sites and job boards; creative for 41 social posts; 15 paid ads across four social media platforms; storytellilng through static visuals and video content on two social media platforms; and a dual-narrative brochure for graduates and interns.

The campaign has generated 38,000 applications so far and 9,000 applications for apprenticeships alone. A 12% increase in female applications resulted, too, along with strong and improved rankings in recruiting for lower socio-economic students and for Black/African/Caribbean students.

Judges comment
‘Strong people-centred concept, allows the target audience to see the practical application of what RR employees/apprentices do and the impact they could have there.’

MSL- Lloyds Banking Group
SMRS - Deloitte
ThirtyThree - Royal Mail

Stafford Long & Partners - J Murphy & Sons (Winner)

THE GOAL: To stand out in the tough construction & engineering recruitment market by capturing the firm’s family spirit, attracting talented future engineers and especially attracting female applicants in a male-dominated sector.

Images of people wearing hard hats are an all-too-common element of recruitment campaigns in the construction & engineering industry. To tell the more engaging story of this particular company, Stafford Long wanted to welcome everyone to ‘the wonderful world of Murphy’.

In creating its ‘elephant-excavating, unicycle-riding, trophy-waving’ introduction to the spirit of the business, the agency dug out the unusual and quirky stories of different projects the company has worked on: protecting endangered newts and renovating a witch-cursed viaduct, to name just two.

An exciting tool created for live events in the campaign was a VR game that explored Murphy’s offices and construction sites to spot dangers and objects out of place, alongside exploring case studies.

Other fun creative included a mindfulness colouring book distributed at peak exam time that featured company case studies, helping students de-stress and learn about Murphy, and tin cans full of edible building tools.

Facebook and Twitter channels showcase Murphy’s ongoing news stories, such as a spur-of-the-moment trip to help a local zoo.

Company leaders agreed that the creative team had brought the Murphy brand and spirit to life. In addition, applications for roles at Murphy increased by 824%, with graduate applications from women rising from 7% to 32% in one year.

Judges Comments
‘A complete departure from the norm as demonstrated by the comparative work. Clearly good trust between agency and client. In a world of hard hats, this gave Murphy a refreshingly different look’

AIA Worldwide - BP and The Smarty Train
AIA Worldwide - M&S
Havas People - Standard Bank
Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Mars
Pink Squid - Chivas Brothers
ThirtyThree - Allen and Overy

TMP - The AA & PeopleScout (Winner)

THE GOAL: To bring to life a proposition that encapsulated the spirit of the AA: ‘Ready for ANYTHING?’

From an employee perspective, ‘Ready for ANYTHING?’ sums up the opportunities and the challenges of working for the AA: going the extra mile because anything can happen, diversity of opportunity, thriving in a vibrant environment, and working in an exciting setting with great benefits.

The agency wove the ‘Ready for ANYTHING?’ tone into a new careers site, and made it the voice of the ‘AAbot’ – a cheeky chat bot that guides users on life at the AA. The bot served site visitors the content they sought efficiently, and brought to life the playful side of the business, showcasing the fun culture that people had not associated with the AA before. The bot was a hit: site traffic increased 320% and applications increased 266% over an 18-month period.

AAbot came in-house, too, featuring on the walls and windows of AA offices to mobilise existing employees as employer brand advocate. The agency launched a suite of social comms tools, allowing AA employees to share the brand on social channels.

The next step in the drive was a film to build the employer brand, and that led to two events in Birmingham and Newcastle, in which participants were invited to compete in challenges to find out if they truly were ‘Ready for ANYTHING?’ Visits to the careers site surged, and the number of applications continued to rise.

The campaign had further results: within 30 months the AA had moved from 60% agency use to less than 5%.

Judges comments
‘Amazing tone-of-voice, very different, unique, and innovative. Will help AA stand out against its competitors from a candidate point of view.’

Havas People - Crown Prosecution Services
Havas People - Next
Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Mars
Pink Squid - Harrods
That Little Agency – Toolstation

Penna - dstl (Winner)

THE GOAL: To increase awareness of how fun and innovative the Dstl is and highlight the right mindset needed to work for it, with a view towards attracting more candidates.

The agency launched an impactful awareness campaign to help Dstl reach more people. A wide audience had to be reached to cover more than 50 roles in the laboratory’s cyber and information systems division. Part of the campaign involved creating a website that was home to a challenging online game called ‘Counter threat’.

In the decision-based game, players prioritise resources to deplete threats – which is what is done at Dstl. More than 6,000 people played for an average of three minutes, and six people hacked the game to sit at the top of the leader board – exactly the kind of interaction that had been hoped for.

The game included an additional challenge. With hidden code on the cyber page, an audio message that the source was the key, and a recurring and intentional glitch, players were invited to mess with the code. Sixteen curious users figured out the hints and discovered the cheat.

The challenge was hosted on an in-depth website about the various areas, roles, benefits and specific mindset that Dstl looks for – the website had to have the right amount of information to excite curious candidates.

The creativity involved further included different navigation tools and specific designs for different devices.

The campaign resulted in 16 elite board hackers and six leader board hackers, with other achievements including 15.7,000 campaign clicks, 6,000 games played, and 418 clicks to apply.

Judges comment
‘Nice use of visuals throughout the website. Clearly thought out execution and engagement of candidates within the sector.’

AIA Worldwide - Capital One
eArcu - FitFlop
Penna - Civil Nuclear Constabulary
Pink Squid - Mercedes-Benz
SMRS – easyJet
Stafford Long & Partners – J Murphy & Sons

AIA Worldwide - Primark (Winner)

THE GOAL: The creation of a global careers website solution that would deliver increased visits and applications and operate in nine languages, integrating three applicant tracking system feeds.

The solution involved creating 11 sites, each delivering the core employee value proposition while offering a tailored local experience. With the added problem of multiple languages, the initiative required an innovative approach to deliver engaging, tailored, local content on a significant scale.

Job search was made the cornerstone of the experience. The 11 sites are driven by data, which highlights that most users want to see what jobs are available.

Job descriptions are served inside the careers site. Advanced job descriptions were used for Primark’s highest volume role, retail assistant. These descriptions help candidates understand what the role entails, both good and bad, see the key qualities, and learn about the benefits and specific location.

Featured content brought the culture and the role to life, thereby improving the quality of responses. Included was helpful information such as maps that helped candidates plot their route to work and discover local amenities.

A key element of the site was the addition of a section called the ‘Candidate zone’, featuring interview tips, FAQs, ‘Primark in two minutes’ and more.

The results: a 34% increase year-on-year in applications, 6.7 million site visits in 12 months and 3.6 million visitors clicking ‘Apply’.

Judges comments
‘Engaging look and feel which draws you in. Very easy to search and navigate around and the personal slant on the job content felt like you got a real feel for what it might be like to work at Primark.’

AIA Worldwide - British Airways
Blackbridge Communications - Anglian Water
Hodes part of Symphony Talent – Sky
TMP - The AA & PeopleScout
TMP - Sainsbury’s
Tonic Agency – Barclays

Tonic Agency - Metropolitan Police (Winner)

THE GOAL: To help the Metropolitan Police recruit about 2,000 additional officers over 12 months to take on the job of policing London. A series of audio ads were part of an integrated campaign.

The ads featured the voices and stories of real, serving Met Police officers each explaining why they do ‘the job’. By highlighting the many different motivations of serving police officers to make a difference to the lives of Londoners, they brought to life the campaign messaging that ‘Whatever your reason to become a police officer, it’s the greatest reason in the world’ and reinforced the overarching campaign narrative of ‘Do something real’.

Insight from specialist media strategists, planners and buyers firm Wavemaker was used to select five London radio stations on which to run the ads: Heart London, Kiss (London), Absolute Radio, Capital and Sunrise Radio. Research conducted on behalf of the Met between 13 and 22 May 2019 also suggested that the ads were perceived as easy to understand and clearly promoting officer recruitment.

The integrated campaign helped to drive a significant year-on-year uplift in registrations and applications, with roughly three times as many registrations received between September 2018 and May 2019 as in the equivalent period the previous year, as well as more than tripling the numbers of both female and BAME-completed registrations over the same period.

Judges comments
‘Great way to engage with the audience. It uses an emotional but truthful approach that feels real and connects with the audience, giving them first-hand reasons to join.’

Penna - GCHQ
SMRS - Deloitte

Stafford Long & Partners - DNV GL (Winner)

THE GOAL: Behaviour change – changing the mindset of a challenging audience.

DNV GL is an international consultancy helping governments and organisations transition to sustainable energy sources, and it was under-performing. Most of its 150 energy experts, across all levels of seniority, did not fully understand the phrase ‘customer-centricity’.

So as part of a two-day, immersive event, the creative team created a game to explain what was stopping DNV GL becoming more customer-centric – and followed the game up with an extensive discussion session.

Inspired by escape room-style challenges, the team procured 20 miniature filing cabinets, drilled holes and attached a variety of high-tech locks to create the game, ‘Unlock tomorrow’. Several materials, some relevant to each puzzle, some seemingly not, were placed inside. The team also created a companion iPad app, housing questions for each puzzle.

Five separate challenges were created, using materials that ranged from audio to a UV torch, a code written in Morse, Braille and binary, a mirror, and other physical elements contributing to the thought puzzles for testing the participants.

At the end of the event, the following feedback was provided: 95% found it very useful, and 95% would use the event content back in the business. The cabinets were packaged up and sent to the company’s offices around the world, to continue engaging teams worldwide.

Judges comments
‘Strong concept with a lot of thought having gone into the challenges created and how they communicate important information to an otherwise unengaged audience.’

Havas People - Bank of America, The Cyclone
Penna - Security Services MI5
TMP - The AA & PeopleScout

TMP - Government of Jersey (Winner)

THE GOAL: The Government of Jersey needed to recruit permanent social workers, team managers and senior practitioners as part of an effort to reduce its reliance on agency workers. Elements of this overall goal were shifting negative perceptions of life in Jersey and cutting the expense of agency workers.

The campaign was launched against the backdrop of huge changes to social care structures on the island, caused by a damning report into historical child abuse dating back to 1945.

To attract the best candidates, the campaign started with the proposition ‘Let’s be honest.’ Jersey needed to be shown as a desirable place to live and as presenting an opportunity for candidates. But prospective employees needed the truth about the past, while being given a sense of ambition and positivity about the future. Jersey also had to review its housing and relocation offer, to combat concerns about moving to the island.

A diverse campaign began with an open letter to social work professionals from Jersey’s new director general for children that appeared as a full page in the Guardian, the Jersey Evening Post and Professional Social Work magazine. The letter admitted the failures of the past, but positioned the radical restructure of care in Jersey as a unique opportunity for candidates and a chance to improve children’s lives for generations to come.

Other channels used to send the message were recruitment events, online collateral and site content.

The project was tracked by number of candidate interactions, applications and hires. At job fairs in Birmingham and Manchester, for instance, 263 candidates registered their interest. The Government of Jersey was extremely pleased with the campaign and its results.

Judges comments
‘Clear strategy based on direct and honest messaging - aligning directly with objectives of the business’

AIA Worldwide - British American Tobacco
Blackbridge Communications - Rolls-Royce
Creed Comms - Vodafone
Health Sector Talent - Belfast Trust Nursing
SMRS - Yodel

Hodes part of Symphony Talent - Nexans (Winner)

THE GOAL:  To create an interactive brand experience with extraordinary flair that would build the client’s reputation among potential employees and build pride among existing employees.

Nexans is one of the biggest companies that few people have heard of, working on exciting projects around the world. The company specialises in cables and cabling solutions.

The ‘Amazing, actually’ digital campaign is an interactive brand experience that aimed to bring to life the work it’s possible to be part of at Nexans. A microsite hosted the interactive brand video, with other elements of the digital campaign including a multichannel digital and social media programmable and retargeting strategy.

At the heart of the campaign is a website hosting an interactive CGI experience that sends users on a journey around the world with Nexans projects – for instance, at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, in a canoe on the Amazon River, and among the rooftops of Dubai. Their CGI host whisks users to unexpected destinations of their choosing via Nexans cables, and they discover intriguing projects with each choice made.

A range of video, gif and still image content promotes the site. A programmatic and retargeting approach was used to serve the content across LinkedIn, Facebook and banner advertising.

Results included more than 400 job applications – although direct hires were not the campaign’s primary objective – and more than 5 million impressions among targeted professionals.

Judges comments
‘Enjoyed the interactive video and the 360 degrees Facebook version. The presenter was an excellent choice and the creative was very well executed.’

Havas People – HMPPS
Penna - dstl
Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service
ThirtyThree - EE
TMP - Greater Manchester Nurses
Tonic Agency - Metropolitan Police

Blackbridge Communications - Campaign Jobs (Winner)

THE GOAL: To hire a copywriter – and write a job posting with a difference for a mid/senior conceptual copywriter showing candidates that if they joined the company, they would get the chance to do truly original work.

The dryly humorous ad was intended to show potential candidates that the company understood the pain copywriters often go through to commit their craft, as well as playing to the skills they ply to create something new and imaginative.

The posting ran for one month, garnering 87 applications and striking a familiar chord with many who saw the ad. “This is the sort of job ad that makes me wanna write with the writers who wrote it,” said one Twitter commentator. A shortlisted candidate wrote, “About the job description you posted for a copywriter: best write-up I’ve ever seen. Whoever penned it is a genius. I don’t care about the details – the JD [job description] makes me want the job. If it had been an ad for a floor sweeper, I’d still apply.”

Oh, and by the way, Campaign Jobs hired a copywriter.

Judges comments
‘What I loved about this concept is that it has really captured the profile and personality of an agency writer. The tone of the copy and the style of writing so effortlessly brings to life what a creative writer is all about and what they have to do. It's very honest, very funny and very clever.’

Havas People – HMPPS
TMP - Greater Manchester Nurses

Neil Fox - Tonic Agency (Winner)

From gritty, diverse and real expressions of what it’s like to work for the Metropolitan Police to visual impressions of the highs and lows of the bipolar condition, Neil’s work captures the essence and the breadth of the people and issues that are central to the campaign at hand.

As well as leading the creation and design of Tonic projects, this year Neil, a new father, has also taken on – and won – new business pitches including a disruptive and brave new recruitment campaign for global law firm Dentons.

Tonic co-founder Mark Horley said of Neil: “I’ve never known anyone care – or worry for that matter – so much about making sure that every single piece of work is the best it can be. Neil Fox is one of a kind.”

Judges comment
‘This entry showcases the outstanding quality of the creative work that has been produced, and not just the stunning visuals but also his contributions to important and brave campaigns which have achieved success.’

Andy Holden - AIA Worldwide

Craig Morgans - The AA (Winner)

WINNER: Craig Morgans, director of talent acquisition, emerging talent and employee experience, the AA

The sheer scope of change that Craig has instigated since 2018 has been phenomenal.  He’s transformed a fragmented recruitment function previously driven by non-experts, who relied on a ‘post and pray’ advertising set-up that resulted in an exceptionally low calibre of applications.

Projects he’s led on include a hugely successful employer branding. He’s launched a new careers site with heightened candidate experience that has delivered a 320% increase in site traffic and a 450% increase in candidate applications, and implemented a new managed service provider for contractors, saving more than £2m in its first 12 months. He has also launched an apprentice scheme.

Perhaps even more impressive have been Craig’s attraction results after conducting a comprehensive mapping of competitors and market knowledge – 100% direct sourcing and delivery of 140 hires.

According to one of his colleagues: “His vision is clear, and his motivation to constantly develop and be the best is due to his leadership.”

Judges comments
‘From the supporting evidence alone, it is clear the impact that Craig has had and the changes he has instigated. The projects he has led have been thoughtful and successful, developing innovative solutions to deal with senior leadership’s frustrations.’


Sophie Holmes – Sky
Faith Jackson-Garbett - WAA Chosen
Colin Jellicoe - Morrison Utility Services
Melissa Moore - Bupa Care Services
Heather Walker – SAP

Emma McCormack - Tonic Agency (Winner)

With a multi-dimensional approach to her craft, Emma pushes the parameters, ensuring all creative reflects its given medium, encouraging brands to position themselves differently and to use social and experiential advertising uniquely.

Whether it’s planning social content, writing copy for print or exploring unusual ways to use digital, she’s immersed every step of the way. With her solid understanding of the graduate recruitment market and social trends, she easily jumps into prospective candidates’ shoes and develops fresh new ways to speak to these discriminating audiences.

One of Emma’s stand-out projects has been the next round of the RBS Graduate Table, to bring an interactive arcade game to life on campus, making each user’s experience unique. She’s also successfully carved out a distinctive space in the over-saturated law market with the Dentons graduate pitch, both helping to win the business and supporting its growth.

She is a relative newcomer to the industry, and her colleague Lucy Adela-Smith has said of her: “One can only imagine where her talent will take her.”

Judges comments
‘Emma’s versatile writing style as demonstrated by the wide range of projects she has worked on, made her the perfect candidate for this award. Her passion is clear from her entry and the campaigns she has worked on seem to have achieved great success.’

Aimée Treasure – VHR (Winner)

Leading a marketing team of seven, Aimée has filled the past year with a variety of achievements and initiatives on behalf of VHR, which serves the aerospace & aviation, Formula One & automotive, engineering & defence, and marine industries across 45 countries.

Among her numerous achievements has been generating a 500% increase in new clients over the firm’s previous annual marketing average, running campaigns for large global airlines and an aircraft manufacturer in which the most successful of the campaigns, redesigning the company’s website and rebranding which led to a 122% increase in website visits in 18 months, and implementing a new social media strategy that generated 296% more Facebook engagement than VHR’s most engaged competitor.

She is spearheading VHR’s Fair Labour Alliance Initiative in partnership with the Department for International Development, Amnesty International, Humanity United and King’s College London. In 2019, this role involves travelling around the world to visit migrant workers and tell their stories, with a view to researching and writing market reports on the impact of unethical recruitment practices.

Also included in the initiative is hosting an event in the UAE for business leaders to share their recruitment challenges and create ‘best practice’ ethical recruitment guidelines.

Judges comment
‘The credentials and background of Aimee speaks for itself in proving her success. She has made an impact by growing VHR’s marketing strategy, creating strategic partnerships and working with large clients.’


Colin Barnett – TMP

Billie Kessell - Tonic Agency

Alex O'Connor - AIA Worldwide

Peel Ports Group (Winner)

THE GOAL: To recruit 250 new staff across several disciplines, skills, backgrounds and levels including from beyond the traditional port community. The objectives were to increase the overall volume and quality of applications, and increase the breadth of experience and backgrounds offered by candidates.

Launched in February 2019, the campaign ‘The ingredients to make a great port… are great people’ brought to life the idea that a successful business is made up of a variety of different, yet complementary, ingredients.

To illustrate the themes, high-quality ‘hero’ collateral was created, which also reflected the import and export of various food and drinks products and other cargo through the company’s ports. Elements of the campaign included videos, a web landing page, infographics, job descriptions, posters, banners and more.

Another key part was an integrated media campaign which included a national campaign, a press announcement aimed at Liverpool media to attract local talent, social media assets, and a paid social campaign using geo-targeting to target specific candidates and skill sets across social media platforms.

The campaign was a success – for instance, Peel Ports received more than double the number of applications in the first months of the campaign than it did in the two previous months. Leads were converted into real hires, with 36 new staff joining within the first two months of the campaign going live.

Judges comment
“Clear winner in this category, this small but mighty team has shown such a proactive approach to providing information in an easy and creative way for candidates.”

Goodman Masson
Samuel Knight International

Tonic Agency (Winner)

Great people. Great creative. Great thinking.

That’s how some people might characterise Tonic, with clients speaking to this agency’s success in setting a new tone and direction for their businesses.

Others might point to the agency’s impressive track record of achieving 17 wins out of its past 20 bids for new business.

Its creativity has shaken up public perceptions of organisations that are looking to find skills and talents in places they might not previously have looked. At the same time, Tonic’s connectedness to today’s world has helped organisations with global reach benefit from localised approaches that give these massive companies a human face.

Add to the ‘Great people, great creative, great thinking’ proposition another way of looking at Tonic, while borrowing a phrase from one of its outstanding campaigns: People with passion ‘doing something real’.

Judges comments
‘Looking at the entry it is clear how much this agency has achieved. They have produced a large turnover that is well deserved based on their impressive list of clients and campaigns.’

AIA Worldwide
Creed Comms