Winners 2021

Take a look at our 2021 winners and shortlist. We look forward to seeing your entries for 2022!

Winner
TMP Worldwide – Essex County Council

THE GOAL: To attract talent on an ongoing basis to Adult Social Care in Essex, creating a talent brand, ‘With Us You Can,’ that reflected the work they do, using their people to represent the breadth of roles and diversity of places in Essex and the challenges that go with them.

The arrival of Covid in March meant that became impossible, and the creative team decided to explore the use of illustration instead. After the leadership team chose an illustration style, we asked those in the Social Work and Occupational Therapy teams to provide photos of themselves. We used these and key places in Essex to design a series of images that capture the essence of the ‘With Us You Can’ talent brand.

Before the campaign, ECC had struggled with applications. They needed tangible results in terms of applications and quality hires to support their residents. The campaign delivered an increase in applications, interviews and hires to the delight of the service and the leadership at Essex County Council.

Judges felt that the step change from where they had been to where they are now was impressive. ‘They deserve the win.’

Shortlist
Creed Communications – Fujitsu
Pink Squid – Vodafone

Winner
Havas People – Next Careers

THE GOAL: To become the largest online fashion aggregator in Europe, the ‘Amazon of fashion retail’, by the end of 2021. Next have the infrastructure to achieve this: they have the footprint, the warehousing, the logistics, the fleet and the resources. The problem is that everything Next need is in place – except 100 developers. They have struggled to attract the quality of experienced developers they need. In just over three months, we’d need to hire 100 Senior and Lead developers.

We had to get developers excited about the opportunity and tell the story of what working at Next was like. We took inspiration from something developers use every day – the scrum board. We used it to create the centrepiece for our campaign, a vision of how Next was going to revolutionise the retail space.

The vision board tells the role that IT and developers play at Next, and it was made by a team of stylists, artists, the studio team and developers. With social distancing guidelines due to Covid-19, only four people could be in the studio at any one time. Ahead of the launch, we released a time-lapse teaser video that showed the work that went into creating the board; a four-episode video series featuring 14 of Next’s developers; bitesize content for social; and developer profiles. The social and video campaign was supported by programmatic. We used a prospecting and re-targeting approach that raised awareness that Next was hiring, and at the end of 2020 adding in new targeting lines to reach developers at retailers like Debenhams and the Arcadia Group, which were facing difficulties.

We also targeted audiences through specialist media such as Technojobs and CW Jobs. All collateral pointed candidates to the dedicated Developers hub, where they could watch all the videos from the campaign, learn about the roles, read employee stories and apply.

The campaign ran for 18 weeks, resulting in 137 hires by the end of January 2021, surpassing the target of 100; 17 more offers are currently with candidates. There were 74,760 visits to the campaign site, more than 130,000 organic views of the time-lapse teaser video; and 1 in 13 visitors to the site applied for a role. The campaign has been so successful that it has been adopted to attract Systems Engineers and will be adapted to promote the whole of IT’s offering and attract candidates beyond developer roles. The vision board has become a permanent feature in Next’s IT department.

The judges felt this campaign was good and effective.

Shortlist 
Blackbridge Communications – Amazon - Brand Specialists
Blackbridge Communications – Amazon - Madrid Technology
Essex County Council
HealthSectorTalent – HSC
Jupiter Advertising – Iceland
Pink Squid – ICAEW
Reach ATS - St John Ambulance
Symphony Talent – MARS

Winner
Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

Shortlist
Havas People – MARS
N&C - Ward Hampton - The Data Centre Recruiter

Winner
Ph.Creative – BT

THE GOAL: BT have been at the forefront of security technology throughout history. However, the confidential nature of our high-security services for nation-states, governments, and businesses has been a secret amongst tech talent – meaning the best talent hasn’t been considering BT as an employer of choice.

We partnered with employer brand agency Ph.Creative (Ph.) to disrupt the Security talent space with a standout TA campaign, using a mixture of physical, digital, experiential and audio content.

The Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, but we pushed ahead with this campaign and even extended it to onboard graduates and apprentices in this time of uncertainty. The campaign concept carried a lot of weight internally, imbuing a sense of pride and unity in our current staff when we really needed it most.

We designed a campaign around: ‘We Are The Protectors’, an epic story, a battle of good versus evil, bringing to life the breadth of the Security roles and the impact they make through drama and cinematic storytelling. The main elements included:

  • An unbranded code breaking challenge, hosted on the r/puzzles subreddit of Reddit;
  • A high-production dramatised film, We Are The Protectors, giving insight into the security we provide in domestic life and across the infrastructure of global modern society.
  • An outstanding escape-room experience for graduate fairs.
  • Podcasts, blogs and quote images.
  • Remote onboarding and virtual induction of our graduates and apprentices.

The campaign was hugely successful. It was embraced by everyone in Security, used as the cornerstone to develop the Senior Leadership team’s strategy for the business in 2021, and given kudos by our CEO in his address to the Group.

The judges liked the fact that there was a plethora of different channels; the extent of the campaign and channels put it on top. BT won in terms of the campaign, and the different channels and strategy.

Shortlist
Havas People - Next Careers
Pink Squid – Cleveland Clinic London
ThirtyThree – EE

Winner
CA3 – GE Healthcare

THE GOAL: GE Healthcare (GEHC), a leading global medical technology and digital solutions innovator, have been at the centre of the fight against the pandemic since it began. They hired over 5,000 new staff over 12 months, people they need to be at their best and able to join the fight as soon as possible. To achieve this, a new way of onboarding hires was required. 49% of employees said in 2019 that their joining experience needed improvement. The moment a candidate transitions to an employee is a pivotal moment in their career; it has to make them feel valued and aligned with the business from the outset, drive a sense of belonging, set them up for success and improve first year retention.

GEHC put together a diverse global project team, encouraging and educating teams around the globe to put the new approach into daily practice. They launched welcometogehealthcare.com at the end of 2019, offered in eight languages across 150+ countries worldwide.

GE Healthcare’s new hire technology has delivered real business results. By the start of 2021, 92% of new hires were engaging with the portal globally, supported by 75% of People Leaders. On average, new hires visited the portal five times before day one, spending 8m 09s each time. Over 125,000 page views were logged, and after the homepage and checklists, messaging is the most visited area of the portal. Internally the percentage of ‘engaged’ employees increased by 10% between 2019 and 2021, driven by new joiners.

These high levels of engagement have delivered real business results. 88% of incoming talent in Q1 2021 felt more engaged, informed and aligned to the organisation in Week One thanks to the portal, and 81% felt it helped them onboard more quickly. 74% of People Leaders said it provided the support they needed to assimilate new hires.

GEHC also tracked a reduction in voluntary attrition within the first 12 months of employment by 24%, resulting in cost avoidance of approximately $8.3 million.

Judges felt this was by far the only dedicated tech solution, and by far the winner. ‘It really stood out. The portal was really well done with the languages as well. They really thought about the audience.’

Shortlist
Meet & Engage – SSCL and Ministry of Justice
Radancy – EY
Stafford Long & Partners – DNV GL
ThirtyThree – Screwfix
TMP Worldwide – Ministry of Justice

Winner
Radancy – EY

THE GOAL: We wanted to raise awareness of our school leaver, undergraduate and graduate programmes; engage with a diverse mix of students, particularly women; feature the EVP messaging ‘It’s yours to build’ and align to our ‘NextWave’ strategy; and build brand awareness for EY’s regional opportunities.

Our goals were to achieve 50/50 male and female applications; an increase on YOY applications, an increase on YOY regional applications, and an increase in social following and engagement from students.

The pandemic meant our physical plans for a university campus approach had to change. We developed a strategy underpinned by personalisation and the EY EVP ‘It’s yours to build’, creating an augmented reality campaign focused on the students – calling it Project You.

Our EY Project You AR Experience was innovative in its responsive design, easy user experience (with no apps to download) and personalisation that turned students into creators. Tailored to EY’s EVP ‘It’s yours to build’, the idea educated participants that a career at EY means building your own path, as they built their personal artwork. It was an original way of turning what would’ve been a campus event into a bespoke virtual experience for students across the UK.

We achieved our goals: 15% of signups were converted to applications; 50% are female applications; 9% of total applications are at offer stage, 60% of which are female; there is a 7% YOY application increase, and a 6% YOY increase in regional hotspot applications.

Judges liked EY’s augmented reality, that was easy to use and personalised. ‘They used all social media channels. No one else used augmented reality, and so they were talking to a much bigger audience.’

Shortlist
Havas People – MARS
Ph.Creative – BT
Radancy – Siemens
Stafford Long & Partners – DNV GL
Symphony Talent – MARS
Symphony Talent – Nexans

Winner
TMP Worldwide – NHS

THE GOAL: Our brief from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust was originally to mark 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, but then coronavirus happened, and what started out as a film to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth became a passionate call to the nation, voiced by relentlessly passionate NHS advocate and brilliant actor Maxine Peake, and championed on social media by politicians across the spectrum.

With the pandemic came the #clapforourcarers phenomenon. There was a deluge of ‘thank you NHS’ videos. MFT needed more nurses, so our film couldn’t afford to get lost in all this noise. It was inspired by a question that no-one was asking: what happens when the clapping stops? And our script had one uncompromising, underlying message: thank yous are not enough.

The judges liked the film, because it talked about the clapping and trying to find a better way of thanking NHS workers, and spoke to what happened when the clapping stopped. Twitter results were good, and the film raised awareness of recruitment to the NHS, and that recruiting is particularly important because of the last couple of years.

The film had to work within restricted timescales and the limited scope for filming fresh content; the messaging had to challenge without being antagonistic and stir up emotion without falling into the maudlin tone of the cliched ‘thank you NHS’ films. It had to remind people that the NHS will still need our help after the crisis. It challenged people to think beyond the clapping and left our surprising call to action ­– encouraging people to join the NHS – until the very end.

The film achieved 4,542 views on Twitter, 4,500 views on YouTube, 43,700 impressions, 57 retweets and 84 likes. Beyond this, we felt we’d used our skills and resources to raise awareness of long-term recruitment problems that were being felt before and during the crisis – and would continue to be felt after. We’d found a better way to say ‘thank you’.

Shortlist
Chatter Communications – George at ASDA
Offended – Entain
Tonic – Pandora
Tonic – Purplebricks

Winner
ThirtyThree – Essex County Council

THE GOAL: Essex County Council asked us to help them raise their social care profile and recruit more social workers to support the county’s children and families. We knew we needed to create something honest, something unexpected, something untraditional, that reflected ECC’s values and behaviours, that moved away from all the social care clichés – and felt real. A film that didn’t shy away from the realities of a social care role at ECC, but also inspired viewers to understand the rewards of the work. That didn’t feel like ‘just another council video’ and that challenged misconceptions in order to paint a picture of why social work really matters.

Since launch on 18th December 2020, it’s been viewed over 10,000 times for over 30 seconds, driving hundreds of click through to website. It was viewed over 2,000 times, 20% to full duration and 50% to half duration, which is remarkable for a film of this length. There have been 801,130 impressions so far.

The judges thought this entry was a massive standout, one of the few campaigns this year they wanted to watch again. It was on point, beautifully put together, with empathy, emotion, real-life situations, and actual social workers. It ticked all the boxes. They were truly impressed with what had been achieved.

Shortlist
Design102 – Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Penna – GCHQ
The LEGO Group

Winner
Blackbridge Communications – Amazon, Let Your Mind Play

THE GOAL: Our job was to help three core Amazon business areas in Madrid – Amazon Business, Books Tech and International Technology – find a new approach to recruiting an approach that would bring its Software Development Engineer (SDE) role to life for more of the right candidates. On the back of extensive testing with 136 of these SDEs, we focused on what they consider to be the most compelling reason to work with Amazon: the way you’re encouraged to push the boundaries and ‘Let your mind play’. We developed a video mixing live-action and animation that really brings ‘Let your mind play’ to life.

The film shows a number of real-life Amazon SDEs going about their day as if playing in a giant video game, seemingly accumulating points as they interact with the animated doodles, and reaching new levels as they let their minds play, using a diverse mix of in- and outdoor scenes to capture the reality of life and work at Amazon in Madrid.

Impressive results included 1,764,586 impressions, 6,748 complete video views, 22,012 clicks, 1.25% click through rate (more than double the industry average) and €0.37 cost per click (over 20% lower than the industry average).

There was a 137%  increase in the conversion rate for relevant, high-quality external applications from the year before. Over the past three months, 136% more SDEs have joined from other parts of the Amazon business than over the same three months in 2020. There has been a 79% year-on-year increase in applications from female candidates. There was a 65% increase in applications from Spanish nationals from 2020 to 2021.

The judges thought the film was nicely cut, and an agreed winner.

Shortlist
Blackbridge Communications – Amazon, Jump Right In
Cielo Talent – Societe Generale
Havas People – Next Careers
Ph.Creative – BT
Pink Squid – Vodafone
SMRS – Balfour Beatty
Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Geeks of the World
Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), People Just Like You

Winner 
Havas People – Costa Coffee

THE GOAL: For decades, Costa Coffee had built a reputation for being the UK’s favourite coffee shop. Then the Coca-Cola company bought them, and they now had their sights set on being the world’s most-loved coffee brand. The challenge was to build a new employer brand that repositions who Costa are; to embed employer branding across all our communications and channels; launch the new employer brand internally alongside our new values, and get 16,000 team members excited about our future. We had to challenge and change the behaviours of our top 100 Leaders to become the drivers of change, and share authentic stories of our people and give audiences a feel for what it’s like working at Costa.

To do this, we shadowed employees, interviewing them and hosting workshops. We found they were excited about the change but didn’t know what it would mean for them. We needed people to know they now worked for a smarter, faster, bigger and braver coffee brand. Which is how we landed on a four-word call to arms: ‘Now is the moment’. We launched it at the Leadership Conference, having asked team members from across the business to record their challenges to the Leadership Group.

Then it was rolled out to the team members using The Soundtrack, four bespoke tracks inspired by people’s ideas, designed to make them feel the values of Courage, Passion, Warmth and Trust. At the annual conference, the top 100 Leaders were put to the test in a Voice style challenge, the Leadership Voice, where they had to pitch to the judges how they would change their approach to a current project, taking into account the new behaviours.

When the pandemic arrived, Costa committed to keeping everyone in their job, guaranteeing them 100% pay. We created communities through Teams and WhatsApp, and introduced daily dance-offs too. Team members delivered care packages to hospitals, and one million free cans of Costa Coffee to key workers. We created a LinkedIn campaign utilising user-generated content from team members. Then as stores opened, we rebranded and relaunched Costa’s Internal Development Programme Move on Up for store roles. Inside Out is Costa’s wellbeing team, which in the second half of the year, sent out weekly communications with practical advice to team members. We created bespoke awards to reward those who committed to making the most of the moment in front of them.

Results included 444,000 visits to the career website, consistent with 2019, despite the hiring freeze due to the pandemic; 120% increase in LinkedIn followers since launch, up to 98,000; 10,000-plus store members reached with the Move On Up programme; 34,000-plus engagements through the LinkedIn Brand Awareness campaign, and 187,000 video views from Costa’s first ever paid social campaign on LinkedIn.

The judges loved the new employer brand. ‘It was absolutely great for cultural fit, and the execution was clean. It was very clear what their objectives were.’

Shortlist
Creed Communications – Fujitsu
Creed Communications – The Good Care Group
Havas People – Standard Bank
makelove – Leroy Merlin
Pink Squid – Cleveland Clinic London
That Little Agency – Telegraph Media Group
ThirtyThree – B&Q
ThirtyThree – Lidl

Winner
Pink Squid – ICAEW

THE GOAL: Accountancy used to be seen as the route to the top, but other careers including consulting, banking and tech have become more attractive. The stereotype of boring beancounters in blue suits staring at spreadsheets puts people off. So it was up to the industry body and qualification provider, ICAEW, to challenge what people think accountants do and inspire the next generation.

Pink Squid’s creative approach repositioned accounting not as a career but as a skill that can get you anywhere, using the creative tagline ‘We get you there.’ Their mission was to persuade great early talent to take an ICAEW qualification, and to change how people view accountancy, build the brand and develop a diverse pipeline for the future by challenging school students, those at university and their key influencers with messages on channels where they’d never seen accountancy before.

The judges liked how they took the ICAEW brand and applied it throughout the brochure, using lovely soft colours derived from their main logo, using a variety of infographics and timelines, and creative and clever ways to display information.

The design was good and well laid out, they added, providing everything you would want to engage with a younger audience.

A survey of 16,121 current university students by High Fliers rated the brochure the best in the country, outperforming the Big Four accountancy firms and other non-accounting graduate employers.

Finalists commended the straightforward, clean layout of this brochure and its detailed

content, and felt it provided a clear insight into the accountancy profession and what’s required to gain the ACA qualification. The brochure’s colourful graphics were particularly well-received by graduate job hunters and helped to counter the stereotypical image of accountancy.

 

Judges felt they did a really good job, taking the ICAEW brand and applying it throughout the brochure, using the lovely soft colours of their main logo with many infographics and timelines. ‘These are clever and creative ways to display information. It’s a decent design, laid out how a brochure should be laid out. It has everything that you would want to engage with a younger audience.’

Shortlist
Chatter Communications – McLaren Racing
SMRS – BP

Winner
TMP Worldwide - Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

In 2018, we created a campaign to promote the newly established MFT and inspire nurses to join them, creating ‘Unsung’, a film celebrating the nurses of Greater Manchester, composed from the lyrics of the city’s bands, from Oasis to New Order, The Stone Roses to Everything Everything. In 2020, during the initial Covid-19 outbreak, the UK needed to combat a critical shortage of nurses. We decided to relaunch Unsung as an outdoor poster campaign to engage and attract people to train as nurses or return to the profession.

We created messages based on lyrics from Manchester bands to drive local awareness and inspire people to join MFT. We used outdoor advertising to reach an audience that was unlikely to discover MFT using social. We drove people to the existing MFT microsite where they could understand routes into nursing within Greater Manchester.

The messaging was also designed to inspire others and act as a reminder that there’s always something we can do to help, however big or small.

Across the digital poster sites, the ads were displayed over 100,000 times, reaching many hundreds of thousands of people, all through donated media. The posters were widely shared on social, generating lots of additional free PR. This combined activity led to a 15% increase month-on-month in traffic to the MFT nursing site.

The judges said this makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Emotive, emotional and eloquent. Great unity and a great cause, for the nurses of Greater Manchester!  

Winner
Radancy – Siemens

THE GOAL: Before they meet Siemens, engineering, computer science and business students tend to think it is just that company who makes phones and dishwashers, rather than a global engineering and technology power. The goal was to design an experience that positioned Siemens as a master of ‘connected mobility’ – pioneering the digitalisation of intelligent, sustainable transportation for an autonomous world.

An online event was our only option in a pandemic, and it had to work that much harder to completely redefine Siemens in the minds of some of the UK’s smartest students. Sustainacity Racer was a virtual event, bringing 60 students out of isolation and into each other’s homes via Microsoft Teams. They worked in teams to design a futuristic, interconnected transport network –  the kind you’ll see in ‘smart cities’ 50 years from now. Their objectives were to ensure their designs were environmentally sustainable, software driven and cutting edge.

The judges liked that they were looking for very specific skills, mainly women. ‘It was a clever idea and well executed. It was small, but produced good statistics.’

Students had to navigate a tough brief to show their problem-solving ability. They were competing for the grand prize of an internship or graduate programme interview – not to mention the prestigious SustainaCity Racer trophy!

Of 60 students who attended (19 of whom were female), 11 hires have been made so far, the rest of which will be made in 2021. Just under half of the entrants were offered interviews. 85% of entrants said the event changed their opinion of Siemens as an employer. 91.12% said they learned something about Siemens as a result of the event.

Shortlist
Havas People – MARS
Ph.Creative – BT
SMRS – Balfour Beatty

Winner
Blackbridge Communications – Baker McKenzie

GOAL: To give a taste of trainee life at a corporate law firm and to offer a chance to sit alongside current trainees as they work on the kinds of challenges they could face in the future, and to do this in a fresh, engaging way.

Given the rising popularity of podcasts, Blackbridge decided it would be the perfect way to go. But instead of following the usual group chat or Q&A podcast format, they asked a Partner to set a challenge for three current Trainees. And in each case, because the Trainees couldn’t prepare for the challenge in advance, it meant listeners could join them and ‘play along’ as they worked through it, in real-time. One of the biggest challenges was to do this against the backdrop of Covid-19 and a nationwide lockdown, which they achieved by recording the episodes remotely and giving live direction to the participants in five locations.

The judges felt it changed the way in which you think about podcasts, turning the traditional format on its head, and turning it into a practical, enlightening experience by having senior lawyers talking about how to get into this career. It was very specifically targeted and highly effective because it wasn’t trying to play a numbers game. It helped people to understand what corporate lawyers did by creating several scenarios. There was very good feedback from the students.

The podcast was downloaded well over 3,000 times, surpassing all expectations and helping Baker McKenzie jump up from 59 to 52 in The Times Top 100.

Shortlist
Ph.Creative – BT
Pink Squid – ICAEW
Stafford Long & Partners - CyberFirst

Winner
That Little Agency – NFU Mutual

Our SmartSearch system enables people to search for jobs directly from the home page, and directs visitors towards pages and blog articles it thinks will be of interest to them. People are drawn naturally to good design, and we made sure users get the feeling that NFU Mutual is a warm, engaging and inclusive employer. We’re sparing in the use of blocks of copy, we’re brief but focused, concise but clear, using bespoke photography to help visitors picture themselves working in the business. We also used social media and application forms designed to be completed on a smartphone.

The new system, at a cost of £27,000, has delivered improved performance and improved conversion rates in the first six months: a 29% increase in visitors, a 58% increase in time spent on site, a 40% increase in numbers of pages viewed and a 71% increase in mobile views. 68% of all visits resulted in a job search; 65% resulted in at least one job being viewed; 32% resulted in an application being started, 27% resulted in an application being completed, and 84% of applications were completed.

Judges liked this entry, which they felt was very clever. It delivered value for money and was a worthy winner. ‘Others in this category didn’t pay as much attention to making it work on all formats. It did everything it set out to do and was a clear winner.’

Shortlist
Chatter Communications – ITV
Creed Communications – Iceland
eArcu – Kindred Group
eArcu – Mazars
Radancy – Unilever
SMRS – Northern Care Alliance

Winner
ThirtyThree – B&Q

THE GOAL: When the world ground to a halt for the first time in history due to Covid-19, there was one trusty brand who refused to stand still. After helping B&Q launch their new employer brand, Together We Can, we needed to make sure every candidate and B&Q colleague could live it online. So we built them a careers site using our own smart careers site technology, Mercury, that would help users get to know B&Q, without a foot ever crossing the threshold.

Mercury pulls job data out of the B&Q ATS, parses the content of the job and then publishes it to the site, surrounding it with rich employer brand content. Our newly built careers site scans the content matrix and dynamically pairs content to the right pages, meaning that no matter whether candidates were driven to our site via social, job boards or simple search, they can enjoy a seamless user journey, a personalised and responsive user experience, and feel completely immersed in B&Q’s employer brand.

Since our data launch in December 2020, we’ve seen 2 minutes 19 seconds average session duration on our JD pages, 156,284 applications from 204,228 job description visits, a 15% increase in sessions per user since launch, 22,572 video plays and 33.3 applications per hire from a total of 4,683 hires.

The judges felt it was a really strong entry, and it would have been a hard job to try and condense a lot into such a small space. ‘Offering the personal journey was the only way they could it, and they did it really well. It was the only entry that did that. It was clean, clear and exactly what we want to see in this category. Ultimately people just want to see if a job is available. It needs to stay focused,

Shortlist
Blackbridge Communications – babcock
Pink Squid – Cleveland Clinic London
Radancy – arm
Radancy – Merck
ThirtyThree – B&Q
TMP Worldwide – Essex County Council

Winner
Springpod, Content Marketing Pod and podcastr - Cygnet Health Care

THE GOAL: Mental health and social care recruitment is tough; the right talent is hard to find, and there are roles anyone could do on paper, but the reality on the ward is very different. To recruit the right people, we needed to go beyond job ads to build a talent pool ready to join us now or later.  The Talent Pool Content Series is our long-term commitment to content-driven marketing.

We used stories to give a candid view into what it’s really like working at Cygnet. Experts in their field shared their opinions and advice. Service users showed how lifechanging our careers are. We shared advice to help people make a decision that’s right for them, and we used events to help people learn more about themselves.

The judges picked out this entry not just because of its creative aspect, but because there was a really strong cohesive strategy about what they are doing and how they are doing it, with lots of content.

There were 227 pieces of video, audio and ad content in 12 months, 9,427,103 targeted reach, 949,143 video plays on Facebook and 90,981 YouTube video views. There were 1,310 Talent Pool signups, including 35 nurses and 37 Care and Support roles, with 53 completed applications in our ATS, and a forecast of 32 hires.

 

Shortlist
Blackbridge Communications – Rolls Royce
Offended – Entain
Thrive – IntaPeople
TMP Worldwide – Diageo

Winner
Black Bear Creative – Mitie

THE GOAL: The goal was to raise awareness of Mitie as an excellent employer who offers best-in-class apprenticeships. In November 2020, Mitie launched their apprenticeship programme with a recruitment campaign to attract diverse candidates from minority and BAME groups, as well as to encourage young women into STEM roles. Our strategy included highly targeted ad placements and a strong presence on key national job boards. We also delivered an immersive brand experience with Mitie’s first virtual recruitment exhibition. We asked candidates to prepare a five-minute presentation on any subject, giving those without much or any work experience the opportunity to showcase their passions, interests and character. A community of colleagues will support our apprentices as they progress with their career.

Not only did we use the new market collateral for the attraction and recruitment campaign, but the material also flowed through our whole programme and has become the brand for our Technical Service Apprenticeship cohort. We had a staggering response to our stand at the National Apprenticeship virtual event, and an overwhelming response to our attraction campaign, with 1,614 applications, of which 766 progressed through to first stage; 68 candidates were interviewed, and 16 apprenticeship roles offered and accepted across Technical Services. This was the highest percentage increase in female and BAME candidates at every point through the recruitment process. We also secured a strong pipeline of quality candidates for the September 2021 intake, which is already showing an exponential increase in female and BAME applicants.

The campaign has been so successful that other business units have expressed an interest in emulating our programme. We have also been approached by a number of external agencies including Black Professionals in Construction (BPIC) with whom we are now collaborating.

The judges felt the digital adverts were good.

Shortlist
eArcu – Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)
Pink Squid – ICAEW
TheTalentPeople/GetMyFirstJob – Microsoft

Winner
Blackbridge Communications – Police Now

THE GOALBlack, Asian and minority ethnic communities are still woefully under-represented within the police. Some 14% of the UK population identify as minority ethnic, but only 7.3% of officers are from minority ethnic backgrounds. Police Now is an independent social enterprise with a mission to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.

We created a graduate attraction campaign that would open a conversation with the wider community around the issues of diversity and racism within the police; build a sense of trust by acknowledging current problems; voice a genuine desire at all levels within the police to change the situation for the better; and engage and inspire potential candidates by highlighting how they could help to lead that change.

Our solution centred around a compelling 60-second film. It begins with some hard-hitting stats about the way minority ethnic communities view the police and the criminal justice system. Then Police Now Co-Founder and Trustee, Lord Simon Woolley and several neighbourhood police officers from the graduate programme add their voice to the call for change. In the final frames, the film encourages graduates to join the Police Now programme and be part of the new generation of officers who’ll lead that change.

We released a series of in-depth interview films, where people from across the organisation shared their thoughts about racial inequality and the importance of Police Now’s work. We rolled out a comprehensive on and offline marketing strategy, programmatic and social campaigns and work by our partner Employer PR agency, Harpswood, to gain coverage in the national press. All activity pointed to a campaign landing page on the site, which featured the films, along with more details about the graduate programme and how to apply.

The result was a 2020/1 cohort that was by far the most diverse to date. 27% of graduates holding offers to start the programme in August identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic, the best result ever for national police recruitment, and an increase of nearly 60% on the previous year, more than double the 11% hired through standard entry police force recruitment, and well above the 14% of the overall population who identify as minority ethnic.

By recruiting graduates from different backgrounds, we are not just addressing the current lack of representation within the police, we’re also building a movement of future leaders who’ll tackle racism, bias and discrimination wherever it is found.

Judges felt that this campaign was quite apt because of what has been happening in the last couple of years, attracting more graduates and diversity, having a really significant impact and good coverage for the work they did. It made a good case and there was good execution. ‘This one touched a nerve and worked well.’

Shortlist
Opus Talent Solutions – _nology
Penna – Bank of England
Stafford Long & Partners – Diversity Solutions
ThirtyThree – Accenture
ThirtyThree – Openreach

Winner
Radancy - EY

THE GOAL: With spring on the horizon, we needed to create a campaign to promote EY’s student opportunities. The impact of Covid-19 meant our approach needed to change. With no physical events possible and our hiring targets at the same levels as 2019 (1,300), we needed to adapt and replan our attraction campaign to have an entirely digital first approach – a huge adaptation, given that 90% of our activity had typically been face-to-face.

We designed a series of springtime virtual events that would help students look after their wellbeing in practical ways and get them talking about EY. We launched EY&You: Spotlight on Wellbeing in February 2021. Five virtual events from 1-5 February each focused on a different aspect of wellbeing, from mental health and motivation to positivity, confidence and mindfulness.

We created an internal microsite for the event, used social media, email and advocacy from EY recruiters, leaders, graduates and apprentices. We worked with celebrity influencers, media partners, universities and brand ambassadors.

The events had the following breakdown: 10% EY information, 50% influencer involvement and 40% fun. We engaged with students on social media and collected data to measure candidate engagement and involvement, as well as stats and positive feedback. We encouraged candidates to stay in touch and register to programmes from internships to graduate programmes, from Consulting to Assurance, and ran an email campaign calling for feedback.

We had 24,700 signups, 75% of them female. There were 7,470 attendees across all the events, with 1,000 new followers across all channels, 2,057 engagements across all channels, and a reach of 284,000 across all channels. There were 8,500 unique visitors to the EY&You landing page, while 99% felt their perception of EY had remained the same or become more positive; 95% would be interested in attending similar events with EY; and 64% felt they would be more likely to apply to EY. EY jumped 6 places to 6th in the Times Top 100 ranking. FY22 registrations following EY&You were as follows: There were 141 registrations, 64% of them female, 49 students graduating in 2021 (76% female), 51 students graduating in 2022 (65% female) and 24 students graduating in 2023 (75% female). 43% of students registered to Consulting, 59% of students registered to Assurance, and 61% of students selected regional offices.

With no physical events possible but the same hiring targets as the previous year, huge adaptations were needed. Their entirely digital first approach delivered exactly that! Placing wellbeing at its core this well rounded campaign wedded naturally to its virtual environment; and generated solid results.

Winner
HealthSectorTalent – HSC

THE GOAL: The Department of Health in Northern Ireland began to face a severe staffing crisis during the pandemic. Our brief was to create and manage a talent attraction campaign within 72 hours to rapidly build a talent pipeline for Northern Ireland’s health and social care system across eight separate stakeholders and two staff groups, clinical and non-healthcare, to protect the NHS and save lives. We devised a robust talent attraction strategy.

Health and Social Care (HSC) is the publicly funded healthcare system in Northern Ireland, created separately to the NHS, but considered part of it. Our first challenge was to build a recruitment brand to convey the urgent demand for staff and resonate with the public as the health service’s employer brand. The campaign was branded as the ‘HSC Workforce Appeal’, and we added the Workforce Appeal as a sub-brand for this specific campaign. We used the iconic mural in West Belfast, in honour of the NHS, by artists Marty Lyons and Mickey Docherty, to create an association with the NHS and capitalise on its growing support during the pandemic.

Tight deadlines meant creation of a careers website was not feasible and so we created a landing page using the domain www.hscworkforceappeal.co.uk. Our campaign marketing pack included a short, animated video, social media account details, branded banners for website and social media, content to support the posting of banners on social media and details of the hashtag we created for the campaign – #NINeeds.

The HSC Workforce Appeal was soft-launched on 28 March 2020 to test the recruitment technology and applicant flows, and attracted over 4,000 applications before being officially launched by the Minister of Health on 29 March.

It was supported by a recruitment advertising campaign across radio stations, social media, and shared content via social media and PR, including BBC television and radio. The campaign used Facebook and Twitter to manage direct communication with candidates and other interested parties, such as volunteer groups.

The HSC Workforce Appeal was initially designed to support the first wave of Covid-19 and ran from March 2020-June 2020. Due to the success of the first campaign, it was asked to manage the second wave from October 2020 to March 2021. Over the campaign lifetime, it generated 22,690 applications and filled 3,120 vacancies. It also supported the recycling of candidates into additional three-month fixed term contracts; 804 additional contracts were delivered, bringing the total to 3,924.

The judges said given the need to create something really quickly, the results were amazing, and it was a really strong entry. They commented: ‘It wasn’t just people responding to Covid, they were having to find staff for all niche jobs.’

Shortlist
Creed Communications – Voyage Care
SMRS – Balfour Beatty
Stafford Long & Partners - Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

Winner
Pink Squid – Vodafone

THE GOAL: In the midst of Covid-19, when 81% of graduates were concerned about job prospects, we needed to show them that Vodafone is the place for pushing boundaries. Particular focus was placed on hiring for schemes struggling with quality applicants – Tech, Finance and Business. We also wanted to create awareness amongst first- and second-year students. One of our biggest challenges was to get as close to 50:50 female and male applicants as possible, and to have enough quality applications to close the campaign before Christmas.

Our research found that Vodafone is a place where success and failure are both celebrated, and where spirited behaviours and important causes are supported. Visually, we wanted to show Vodafone in a new light that supported the activist mindset.

We used bold typography, animation and music with angst. Vodafone are at the core of changing lives, and so stories of building digital equality, helping the NHS and tackling climate change became the basis of our copy.

We used attention-grabbing channels and messaging, with motion first and native content, to attract people who weren’t actively searching for Vodafone, but were identified as a good fit. We then measured their engagement to test and optimise the campaign.

Over three million impressions delivered over 30,000 visitors to our microsite. They spent an average of 6-10 minutes engaging with the Vodafone ACT UP content, which became a filter for the right attitude. The application closed six weeks ahead of target, with nearly 2,000 applicants and 44% female applicants.

The judges liked liked the diversity theme. ‘They focused on behaviours and were unapologetic about who they were looking for. Their stats were great, and they had really good results. They closed the campaign early because it was so successful.’

Shortlist
AMS – Morgan Stanley
Penna – Bank of England
Pepsico International
Symphony Talent – MARS
ThirtyThree – Accenture
ThirtyThree – Allen & Overy

Winner
TMP Worldwide – King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

THE GOAL: Our initial objective back in early December 2019 was to develop a ‘Why King’s’ message platform for a Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) and Nurses talent brand. The problem was an overall feeling of a lack of wider support and recognition, particularly from non-clinical senior management.

And there wasn’t a strong sense of unity across the five sites within the Trust. We needed to build a stronger sense of Team King’s and encourage advocacy. We needed to address this with an internal recognition and engagement campaign, something genuine and clear for all to see and feel proud of, on a Trust-wide scale.

We designed an internal communications campaign that would recognise Nurses and HCAs, and be an authentic showcase for role-modelling King’s behaviours and values, including ‘Always aiming higher’, ‘Working together’ and ‘Inspiring confidence in our care’. Kings loved the idea so much they wanted to extend it to staff in all roles across the Trust.

As we were developing the campaign, Covid-19 struck, and the nation began clapping for the NHS. Gathering comments made about individual staff by their colleagues, we created personal thank yous and general ones to all teams. As soon after the first wave as was allowed, we safely photographed and filmed people from across a range of clinical and non-clinical roles, representing all King’s sites. Using the NHS brand secondary colour palette to create artwork that would stand out from the usual NHS blue, we installed 30 pieces of eye-catching collateral, including a 100 sqm projection onto the outside of the hospital at their central site in Denmark Hill, across King’s sites over one weekend. As the second wave hit, what had started as an idea to recognise and celebrate those who brought the King’s values to life evolved to become a big, bright morale boosting salute to the whole of Team King’s. It became a wider message for all – thank you to all of you, for everything  and whatever comes next, we’re all in this together.

There was a 50% increase in the number of recognitions made by staff to their colleagues following the campaign, and 13,159 thank you letters and badges sent out to all staff. Launched on November 30th, this uplifting campaign delivered such a feeling of belonging, camaraderie and engagement that King’s are extending it. The campaign has been instrumental in building a greater sense of pride

beyond individual teams, to pride in the Trust as a whole.

The judges felt it got staff all talking and appreciating each other, and was a joy to read. ‘It was very visually pleasing. The NHS is only just starting to get the credit they deserve because of the pandemic. This was rewarding the heroes behind the scenes, done in a creative way  – more than just a simple thank you. It was telling stories and bringing them to life – stop and stare moments. If you were walking down the street and you saw that, you’d stop and stare and engage with the execution of the campaign. There are a lot of divides between NHS staff, but this campaign brought everyone together. It’s been tugging on our heartstrings over the last two years.’

Shortlist
CA3 – GE Healthcare
Chatter Communications - Virgin Media O2
eArcu – Macmillan
Havas People – MARS
MSL – AXA Health
Stafford Long & Partners – DNV GL
Symphony Talent – MARS
Symphony Talent – Orkla
ThirtyThree – AXA

Winner
Radancy – Mondelēz International

THE GOAL: Research showed that people recognise their brands, but not Mondelēz International. We realised we needed to address this problem to help attract future talent. We chose Instagram as one of our platforms because it would allow us to reach a large, targeted audience through paid media, allowing us to build a pipeline of talent for Mondelēz’ core hiring needs; and it is a platform that is human-centric, helping us to build positive sentiment towards their employer brand. Our goal was to shift external perception from ‘Monde Who’ to ‘Monde Wow’.

Our three objectives were: Creating the right gut feeling towards Mondelēz International in order to influence how people think about them as an employer; crafting communications that are authentic, honest and heartfelt; and using paid media to create the right opportunities on the platform to be listened to.

We tracked the effectiveness of our social activity by creating a reporting platform called DASH, breaking down our targeting into 11 personas that matched key hiring needs in the six main business regions.

Since the EBP launch on September 16 2019 to May 2021, on Instagram we have achieved: 43,265,401 impressions, 567,409 engagements, 3,323,532 video views, increased followers by 25,989, and 91,438 clicks to the careers site.

Judges felt that this entry was a standout. ‘Other entries went across the board, but this one was multi-news, multi-platform, it really got into the power of what Instagram can do. It got into the mechanics of social and got great results, gaining loads of new followers. It spoke to everyone.’

 

Shortlist
Blackbridge Communications – Rolls Royce
Ph.Creative – BT
Ph.Creative – NatWest Group
Stafford Long & Partners - CyberFirst
Symphony Talent – MARS
ThirtyThree – Allen & Overy
ThirtyThree – Herbert Smith Freehills

Winner
CA3

What makes us different? The first is our purpose – great work, great relationships. Our clients rely on us to create fantastic work that delivers real ROI. We achieve this by getting to know them inside and out, and building a relationship that makes CA3 a true extension of their team. This leads to happy clients, and we’re proud to say, a 5.0 star rating on Glassdoor.

Number two is Eli, our onboarding technology, which enables our clients to build great relationships with their new hires, helps their employer brands hire and keeps their line managers in check, too. In 2020, when Covid-19 hit, Eli became even more indispensable by doing what it does best – delivering very engaging onboarding experiences, adapting and evolving to overcome all the challenges the pandemic and lockdown presented.

Our clients include SmartestEnergy, USS and GE Healthcare. We have not lost a client in over five years, and Eli has 100% client retention. We have also picked up nine new clients in the last 12 months.  Turnover in 2019-2000 was up by 14% to £608,280. In the last 12 months we have increased our headcount by 20%. We also picked up seven awards, four of them Recruitment Marketing Awards.

The judges said that with the mantra, ‘great work, great relationships’ CA3 continually evidenced their passion and professionalism during a difficult time, working closely with organisations in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 – this commitment led to 100% client retention, acquiring several new clients whilst investing the time, effort and money in developing their very own onboarding technology. Well done!

Winner
ThirtyThree - Essex County Council

ThirtyThree and Essex County Council won the Grand Prix for their video in the £5,001-£15,000 category.

The judges felt this was a standout entry, that they could have over-complicated it but didn’t do so. ‘It just worked. It was not even the most expensive, yet they managed to produce something great.’

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