Winners 2022

Take a look at our 2022 winners and shortlist.

TMP Worldwide for London Borough of Hillingdon

Faced with a brief to demonstrate the potential for people to make a positive impact by working for the London Borough of Hillingdon, as well as showcasing local attractions, TMP Worldwide hit on the catchline “That’s the Hillingdon feeling”. 

The starting point was to speak to employees themselves, understanding the challenges they face and the sense of achievement they get from their work. 

The campaign drew on two photoshoots; one of the borough’s employees and the other of its own properties and local landmarks. Some creative art-working made staff appear as giants, conveying the sense of satisfaction they derive from their work – the Hillingdon feeling – and encouraging others to dream big about what they could do too. The visuals and accompanying text focused on both individual roles and more general opportunities, outlining the potential for people to grow with Hillingdon. 

The initial aspiration from the client was to make the borough “stand out in a big, bold and unmissable way”, and the suite of imagery certainly did that, while also meeting the borough’s core vision of putting its residents first. 

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign showed a good use of their own people, properties and landscape”


Ascent Group - TechNET Immersive

Havas People - Discover

CA3 for DHL Parcel UK

Faced with a desperate need to recruit drivers but unable to pay the rates some competitors were offering, DHL Parcel UK partnered with CA3 to showcase its credentials as an employer and just why people might want to work for the company. 

The project started by interviewing 16 drivers, who spoke about why they chose to stay with DHL Parcel UK and what mattered to them. A recurring theme was the idea of a “great drive”, eliminating points of frustration that other drivers often endure, and stressing elements such as independence, a quality vehicle and a £1,500 joining bonus. 

The resulting “Enjoy the drive” campaign followed a three-phase process, starting off with engaging illustrations and animations across print, radio and social media channels, including Facebook and TikTok. Potential recruits then went to a campaign landing page on DHL’s website, while a number of short videos were used to then convert those who had shown interest but not followed through into applications, either through the website or job-boards. 

As well as generating impressive stats and click-through rates, the campaign delivered 1,510 applications for drivers and a further 1,600 Facebook leads who were contacted by DHL directly. Partly as a result of the initiative, DHL Parcel UK was able to make 160 job offers, while attrition rates among LGV drivers fell by almost 50 per cent compared to the same period a year before. 

Judges’ verdict: “Judges were impressed at the fact they were recruiting in one of the most difficult markets with fantastic results. The campaign was across different channels, while thinking two steps ahead, building the future pipeline”


Commercial Services Group Recruitment Division - Hampshire County Council

Havas People - Maersk

Pink Squid - Cleveland Clinic London

ThirtyThree - Pizza Express

ThirtyThree for Accenture

With Accenture’s stated desire to be the most diverse company in the world, ThirtyThree was tasked with increasing graduate applications from under-represented groups, specifically women and students of African-Caribbean heritage. 

Persuading students they could be just what the consultancy firm was looking for was compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant confidence levels in general were low in an uncertain jobs market. A further complicating factor was the fact Accenture had no fewer than 10 graduate programmes, making it hard for those who were interested to find the one that was right for them. 

ThirtyThree set about building a campaign that would expand the audience beyond the traditional white male, create practical content to help engage students and demonstrate the potential of Accenture as a place to build their future. 

A series of 20-minute films with recent graduates from diverse backgrounds as influencers helped to raise awareness on social media, while a “Discover the Difference” initiative presented potential candidates with a representative scenario and then directed them to either text or a film showing people who had made similar choices. 

Finally, the firm repeated its online Accenture Live event first run during the pandemic, which gave students the chance to ask recruiters what working there was really like. 

The campaign helped attract 17,000 applications for the 2023 pipeline, with increases in the numbers of female (42 per cent), black (3 per cent) and likely lower social economic (30 per cent) candidates. For that year group, 57 per cent of successful applicants were women, and 22 per cent came from a black heritage. 

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign managed to convey a broad message and used influencers powerfully as they couldn’t be onsite in campus. Recruiting across 10+ programmes, there was consistent, on-brand messaging”


Blackbridge Communications - AVIVA 

Blackbridge Communications - Baker McKenzie

Creed Comms - Jaguar Land Rover

Meet & Engage and AMS - Rolls-Royce

Radancy - M&S

ThirtyThree - Accenture

ThirtyThree - Allen and Overy

TMP Worldwide - Civil Service Fast Stream

Havas People for Pfizer

Designed to recognise campaigns that have appeared out-of-home using ambient media, posters, campus events or outdoor installations, this category acknowledged the initiative of Havas People as it sought to hire for more than 200 positions for Pfizer Singapore. Although well known as a global brand, Pfizer had not recruited in Singapore for some time, and the jobs would be in the highly competitive market of the island of Tuas. 

But this also presented a localised audience, and Havas embarked on a project to discover the different routes technical and chemical engineers took from the main island to work. It identified 80 sites, including six bus stops, and one central bus route that would give it maximum impact with commuters. 

The resulting campaign made use of existing employees already working with Pfizer and drew on the potential to make a difference by helping to create life-saving medicine, including the recent Covid-19 vaccine. The slogan drew on two phrases: “Don’t just make it”, followed by “Make (history/a difference/it possible)”. 

Havas estimates the visuals were seen 71.8 million times, including 5.3 million from the bus alone. This was complemented by social media initiatives. On the back of the success of the initial four-month programme, Pfizer opted to extend by a further two months. 

Judges’ verdict: “A great challenge that presented a great opportunity and delivered great results. They even researched the different routes technical and chemical engineers took from the main island to scoped out the best media locations to help maximise footfall and brand exposure – well done!”

Symphony Talent for Sky

As an organisation that had previously made good use of open days and events when targeting early-years talent, Covid-19 meant Sky had to adapt its recruitment technique to reach people in their homes in 2021. Working with Symphony Talent, it wanted to bring the company to life remotely, while also demonstrating its open and inclusive culture, in a way that would also draw in talent once the pandemic had subsided. 

The initiative sought to stress the opportunities that were available at Sky as a result of its business and culture, and Symphony started by finding out what was important to its target audience. The research found transparency and honesty, real stories from real people, visible diversity and hybrid working were very much the orders of the day. 

Using the strapline “At Sky you can”, the campaign featured a virtual campus tour, mini-videos with graduates and apprentices from different backgrounds, and an interactive “programme matcher” to help candidates identify their next steps. This was promoted through a teaser video pushed out on social media, paid promotion in online publications, as well as a digital career brochure which could be shared with parents and guardians, all designed to drive traffic to the careers page on Sky’s website. 

The results were tangible: almost 20,000 applications, resulting in 400 hires, and a 64 per cent increase in year-on-year sign-ups for its virtual events. 

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign was innovative during difficult times by showcasing a range of digital tools such as using VR software to show candidates and new employees the office space and what they are buying into as a career pathway”


Havas People - MARS

Meet & Engage and AMS - Rolls-Royce

TMP Worldwide for Kent Care

This recruitment campaign for Kent Care sought to dispel misconceptions about the potential of adult social career as a career choice, seeking to establish it as the “vibrant, vital and meaningful profession that it is”. 

The way in which TMP Worldwide sought to do this was by focusing on the role carers play as in people’s lives, describing them and those receiving care as “a family who are not related”, before asking if it’s something the viewer could do. It also stressed the potential to develop a career, opening the door to “possibilities not yet dreamed of”.  

The film delivered tangible results, with 410,000 people watching it, and 185,000 doing so in its entirety. Kent County Council’s career site received 8,500 campaign clicks, resulting in 300 applicants. But, in the words of the award entry, the real results were cultural, empowering carers to have pride in their work and recognise the value of their achievements. 

Judges’ verdict: “The judges felt the script reflected the audience the campaign was trying to attract. It was very powerful and emotive”


CA3 - DHL Parcel UK

Creed Comms - CTS

Havas People - WSP

That Little Agency - Toolstation 

ThinkMarsh Studio - Ward

WeLove9am for Signature

In a competitive market suffering from staff shortages, care home provider Signature needed a new career site to help attract candidates. 

WeLove9am conducted internal and external research through focus groups and employee surveys, to find out how current staff and candidates felt about the business. It then used this insight to develop the “Wake Up To Better” concept, which would become the new employer brand. Key themes included team spirit, purpose and compassion. 

The new careers site reflected these elements through positive imagery, videos and value statements designed to intrigue candidates and encourage them to apply. A social media campaign drove awareness of the new site, promoting individual jobs and including dedicated landing pages for people who had previously shown interest but not applied for a role. 

The new site now receives around 12,000 visitors a month and has led to a 60 per cent increase in direct applications. This has also seen spend on recruitment agencies and advertising fall by 42 per cent, while 90 per cent of existing employees now say they feel more committed to the business as a result of the campaign. 

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign had neat functionality within the website, was well researched, and had great benchmark stats”


Camino Partners

eArcu - IWG 

Havas People - IHG Employer Website 

WeLove9am - Jewish Care

Penna for GCHQ

When the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency GCHQ sought to overhaul its careers website, it turned to recruitment firm Penna for inspiration. After conducting research on both the existing site and those of competitors, the decision was taken to put live jobs at the heart of the new site. Content cards appear in each frame, based on specific searches from candidates, offering more information on roles and a direct link to application forms. 

Employee value proposition research helped inform the look and feel of the site, which led to a particular emphasis on outlining what GCHQ does. Central to this was the strapline “Together With Purpose” which aimed to stress the collaborative nature of GCHQ and appeal to a wide demographic of candidates from diverse backgrounds; something that was further enhanced by an emphasis on staff-led affinity groups outlined under the line “A Mix of Minds”. 

Analytics for Penna’s career websites suggests 65 per cent of visits come from mobile devices, so a strong emphasis was placed on this. Content cards were designed to be mobile-first, while videos were included in vertical format and with sub-titles, to cater for those watching on mute. Case studies and podcast stories of GCHQ staff were also used to help bring the site – and careers – to life; something that represented a radical departure for GCHQ. 

The site has received more than 350,000 visits since its launch in January 2022, with GCHQ saying it is confident “this will improve the experience for potential candidates and provide an excellent shop window for careers at our organisation”.

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign had strong personalisation, a well tailored, lovely website, and amazing research which was then well applied to the website, which focused on career-page content for specific roles”


Radancy - Adecco Group 

Symphony Talent - Peraton 

Symphony Talent - We Work 

ThirtyThree - Mayer Brown

Stafford Long & Partners for DNV Energy Systems

Bringing together two very different and potentially conflicting business areas – one in renewable energy and the other in legacy oil and gas – into one company was the challenge that faced DNV Energy Systems and its internal communications agency Stafford Long & Partners. This was compounded by the need to bring together a new executive leadership team, the global nature of the new business and the fact that the world was in lockdown. 

Stafford Long & Partners set about developing communications strategies for three disparate groups of employees: “ready believers”, “potential believers” and “sceptics”, which would be underpinned by a central message: “Forward Faster Together”. New channels were set up to help engage and motivate employees, including Yammer and a new intranet, where employees could ask questions. Executives also took part in live feeds, where they could engage directly with staff. 

Alongside this, employees also took part in three-minute videos where they outlined what they did in the new business, to help people to get to know each other. This was complemented by a series of case studies outlining projects where the two business units had come together to solve a particular issue. 

A final part was to train and engage 200 leaders in DNV Energy Systems on the new business and the progress being made, so they could inspire others. This included the use of interactive virtual summits and a bespoke virtual event hub where participants could chat and network. Impressively, employee engagement rates remained consistent despite the challenging circumstances, with staff reporting a high level of understanding around how much they understood the strategy. 

Judges’ verdict: “This was a very close decision, but this campaign won because it delivered to a global audience, bringing in a larger audience in challenging circumstances. This resulted in people feeling part of a new business, enhancing a successful merging of two very different companies”


CA3 & Eli Onboarding - Autism Unlimited 

Reward Gateway


Blackbridge Communications for Lloyds Banking Group 

In the current uncertain climate, Lloyds Banking Group wanted to encourage students and their loved ones to look after themselves and each other, and to encourage a spot of kindness. The campaign was notable in that there was no other motive, and it was not directly linked to recruitment or any other metric. 

Blackbridge Communications worked with the business to create a calendar of social media content, centred around health and wellbeing. Content ranged from recipe ideas to breathing exercises and meditation sessions, with some linking to Lloyds Banking Group’s Feel Good Fest webpage, where students could access more wellbeing resources. Other posts were more thematic, stressing the benefits of seeing the good in other people rather than reflecting on oneself. 

The campaign was pushed out over social media channels including Instagram and Facebook, and featured a mix of real people, including some from Lloyds Banking Group’s early-careers cohort, and animated characters. 

The results took Blackbridge Communications by surprise. More than two million people saw the campaign content on Facebook alone, with hundreds of thousands more on other platforms. People also engaged with content, watching videos or clicking through to the Feel Good Fest page. 

Judges’ verdict: “By putting people first they created a positive outlet for students – covering everything from recipe ideas to live meditation sessions so it’s not surprising the campaign performed so well.”

Havas People for MARS

Early talent in the US knew about brands such as M&Ms, Snickers and Whiskas, but they didn’t know they were made by Mars. Even if they did, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector was not seen as an attractive destination for many. 

That was the challenge facing Havas People; something that was compounded by a tricky process to apply to become an intern, fatigue among applicants with Zoom calls throughout Covid-19, and a small budget. 

With a brief to create a compelling virtual event, Havas People sought to learn the lessons others had experienced during Covid-19. This meant making use of gamification to encourage audience engagement, using a largely pre-recorded video to avoid technical issues, and speaking to existing interns through focus groups to test the messaging ahead of creating the content. 

The event itself played on the secretive nature of Mars, particularly around how it creates products, using a family vault as a centrepiece that would open into different rooms, each designed to help students with their application. The 20-minute film relied on students to answer questions in virtual polls, meaning they had to continually engage. An energetic host presented the film, at the end of which there was a live Q&A session. 

Email invites went out to 65 participants and the intriguing nature of these ensured a 100 per cent attendance rate, compared to previous years which had averaged just 15 per cent. All students engaged with the film, and 93 per cent stuck around for the live Q&A. 

Judges’ verdict: “Amazing live experience; a creative, educational, remarkable experimental solution on a small budget”


Avanade - Italy’s Academy for Girls

Symphony Talent – Sky

Pink Squid for IBM 

In a competitive market, IBM wanted to position itself as an attractive destination for modern graduates, showcasing its role as a leading cloud computing and AI firm. With a presence in 178 countries and a global recruitment audience, social media would be the most effective way to reach potential recruits. 

Pink Squid was brought in to help push the new employer brand, “I am IBM”. The agency chose to use seven employees to become “everyday influencers”, with each one representing one of IBM’s personas, ranging from “knowledge seeker” to “problem solver”, and coming from different countries. Influencers were given personalised briefing packs and asked to create their own “hero” video, outlining what defines them and their accomplishments. 

Using the footage, Pink Squid then put together more than 100 videos, with one everyday influencer taking over the “life at IBM” Instagram page each day. A public vote helped determine the order in which video clips were shown, helping to generate interaction and breaking down any corporate stigma that may have been associated with the brand. 

The final stage was a personalised landing page where viewers could find out more about the role in question and IBM as a whole. The campaign reached graduates from around the world, with videos attracting three times more views and generating four times more interactions than average. 

Judges’ verdict: “An on-brand and well executed campaign”


Blackbridge Communications - Babcock

Blackbridge Communications - Lloyds Banking Group

Havas People - Maersk

Havas People - WSP

ThirtyThree - Royal Mail 

TMP Worldwide - Civil Service Fast Stream

Content Marketing Pod, Podcastr, Studio29 for Cygnet Health Care 

In a demanding sector, mental health and social care firm Cygnet Health Care wanted to help drive engagement among its existing staff as well as stand out in the market as a potential employer. Working with Content Marketing Pod, Podcastr and Studio29, it chose to do this by giving its employees a voice. 

The starting point was to talk to staff – through conversations and content workshops – to find out what they liked about the company, which would become the basis of its employee value proposition and employer brand. This was then reflected in 21 episodes played across three podcasts, which enabled staff to talk directly to listeners about their stories and what they enjoy about working in the sector. 

The first podcast – “Changing lives” – was targeted primarily at existing staff, covering themes such as resilience and creating a sense of belonging. The other two were more career-specific; the second – “Why we care” – aimed at nurses, and the final one – “The OT life” at occupational therapists (OTs). The latter was accompanied by a microsite dedicated to wider content aimed at OTs, which also included a chance to find out about career opportunities. 

The employer brand, meanwhile, was promoted using social media, recruiter communication with candidates and through both internal comms and employee advocates. A recent employee survey found 82 per cent said they enjoyed working at the company, and 223 nurses and 52 occupational therapists have already started at Cygnet in 2022. More podcasts are in the pipeline.

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign provided authentic content, was specific, well targeted and resulted in great employee engagement. This demonstrated a strategic use of audio and they really utilised their employees when talking about the technical aspect of their jobs”


Blackbridge Communications - Capital One

WeLove9am - The Breakfast Show

Jupiter Sparks for RWE Renewables 

With a pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2040 and invest €50 billion in the process, energy firm RWE Renewables needed to attract talent across six core areas of the business: engineering, analytics & digital, offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and storage, and commercial analysis. But with a reputation as a major fossil fuel polluter, it needed a change of image to attract the right people. 

Jupiter Sparks’ concept was to drive awareness of RWE Renewables as a force for environmental change, using employee stories on the company’s LinkedIn site over a 12-month period to help drive candidate engagement. Working with division heads, it created six candidate personas; one for each area of the business. 

Three sets of content clusters were created for each persona, with each one centred around a core hub topic (such as “knowledge” for the commercial analyst, which broke down into “logic”, “learning” and “impact”). The content itself was wide-ranging, including How To guides, podcasts, animated videos and LinkedIn articles. 

The campaign led to more than 20,000 new followers on LinkedIn, with 83 per cent coming from the defined target audience. Visits to the careers site improved, and the conversion rate of applicants increased by 25 per cent. Employee engagement on social channels also increased dramatically, up by 478 per cent. 

Judges’ verdict: “Strong content marketing and strategy with an interesting process”


Blackbridge Communications - Lloyds Banking Group 

Chatter Communications - ASDA 

Penna - MI5, MI6 and GCHQ

Stafford Long  & Partners - DE&S

Makelove Agency for Cortlex

IT software firm Cortlex brought in Makelove agency to help it find developers who don’t like to be bossed around, fitting in with the company’s emphasis on a high degree of autonomy in a business with no group heads. With social media bursting with job ads for developers, makelove sought to create a visual concept that would “set the brand apart” while also emphasising the high level of individual ownership successful applicants would have. 

The agency drew comparisons between the leadership qualities of potential employees and famous people, objects or processes. Examples included the biblical figure David and Pinocchio, accompanied by a question – and answer – around what they have in common, accompanied by the slogan “Own your ownership”. In terms of design, use was made of a grunge style, including rugged fonts and collage aesthetics, while the flexible concept meant it could be adapted by Cortlex to put its own variations on. 

The campaign was launched in Minsk and Vilnius, where Cortlex is based, including through posters displayed prominently in the cities. As a result, the brand has become more recognisable, while the number of responses to job openings increased by 24 per cent compared to the previous year. This has also filtered through into more relevant applications, with seven out of 10 now falling into that category, compared to a previous figure of five out of 10, leading to a fall in the cost of attracting a candidate.  

Judges’ verdict: “A humorous and daring campaign that ended with an increase in the number of applicants and a reduction in cost per attraction – win, win!”

CA3 for DHL Parcel UK 

In 2021, large-goods vehicle (LGV) drivers were in short supply in the UK, affecting supply chain operations, retailers, all kinds of businesses and consumers, forcing the country to a grinding halt.

Facing its busiest year ever, DHL Parcel UK also needed drivers but wasn’t in a position to offer skyrocketing salaries. How could it attract skilled drivers who cared about more than a big pay check? 

First, they needed to understand why their current drivers chose to stay at DHL Parcel. Then they needed to engage with skilled drivers outside the company in unexpected ways, including social channels not typically used for LGV driver recruitment. They learned that LGV drivers are active on social media in their downtime at truck stops and motorway services across the UK, for instance.

A three-stage attraction process – Connect, Consider, Convert – drew on multichannels to spread the DHL Parcel message and resulted in the final campaign, “Enjoy the drive”. The campaign captured the no-nonsense style LGV drivers like and highlighted many of the complaints drivers have about other driving roles as well. Also included was information about what they could expect from DHL Parcel UK instead – a well-maintained fleet of lorries, no long trips, and a £1,500 ‘welcome’ bonus, to name a few of the benefits.

Judges’ verdict: “A clear winner…very unique.”


Blackbridge Communications - AVIVA 

LEAP Create - CGI 

LEAP Create - CGI 

makelove - Drone Ecozone

Opus Talent Solutions – Nology

TMP Worldwide for Westminster City Council 

With a new employee value proposition based around the theme of “All kinds of extraordinary”, Westminster City Council needed a way to get across the inspiring work its employees undertake, and what makes it different to other local authorities. 

TMP Worldwide adopted a storytelling approach, using the journey of one individual, known only as Shofa. Shofa uses her own personal tragedy – her brother’s early death after suffering with mental health problems – as motivation to set up the Westminster Youth Market; somewhere local teenagers can learn about business and develop their entrepreneurial skills. Her message is that every young person needs a vision, and the support they need to follow their dreams. 

The film was shot using an anamorphic lens to help draw the viewer in and offer a cinematic experience and sense of immersion in the story. Part of a wider initiative aimed at inspiring a diverse range of candidates, it helped contribute to more than half of offers at a senior level being made to women, and 37 per cent of senior level vacancies attracting a BAME candidate; up seven per cent year-on-year. 

Advertising costs have also fallen by more than 40 per cent since the launch, with many vacancies now being filled first time. 

Judges’ verdict: “The campaign was well scripted, well executed, raw and authentic, which resulted in its effectiveness. The campaign is now actively used internally”


Chatter Communications - Severfield

WeLove9am - Leyland SDM 

WeLove9am – Signature

TMP Worldwide for Kent Care

With a challenging target of recruiting 100 adult care workers when the sector was experiencing a hiring crisis, Kent Care turned to TMP Worldwide to help demonstrate the potential of working for it, as well as the diversity and variety of its employee base. 

The solution would lie in the use of video, using a film to get across the stories of real people working for the council, conveying the highs, lows and everything in between. TMP Worldwide was keen to steer clear of traditional care home imagery, and instead used shots and scenes that focused around the themes of bravery, dignity and pride; somewhere someone would be proud to work. 

The videos used a mix of VHS style imagery and stock footage to draw a link between the past and present, picking up on the rich life history of those receiving care, while highlighting the kindness, compassion and empathy of those helping them. 

The film was primarily designed to be rolled out in schools but also picked up a wider audience across different age groups. As a result of the campaign, Kent County Council was able to fill the 100 vacancies, while 185,000 people watched the video in its entirety.  

Judges’ verdict: “Effective messaging with a proper call to action, and a great script”


CA3 - DHL Parcel UK

Creed Comms - Jaguar Land Rover

LEAP Create - CGI


Blackbridge Communications for AVIVA

Aviva is on a mission to attract top female students, graduates and experienced hires into digital careers. But with only 15 per cent of tech roles filled by women, according to PwC, it had its work cut out to convince talented individuals that this was the career for them. 

To illustrate how women aren’t given enough exposure and encouragement when it comes to tech, Blackbridge Communications hit on the idea of a filmed social experiment. It invited five girls, aged 6-8, to a film studio with two rooms; one filled with dolls, tiaras, make-up and an oven, and the other with technology, including coding games, VR headsets and robots. 

The girls entered the first room and were then asked about their career choices, coming up with things such as make-up artist, actresses or teachers. When they came out of the second room, their answers had changed. Now, they wanted to be scientists and technologists. 

The message was that, with the right exposure, women could at least have the choice of moving into technology careers. It certainly made an impression. On LinkedIn alone, the film received more than 10,000 views and over 700 reactions, as well as receiving a number of highly favourable comments. 

Judges’ verdict: “This campaign tackled a grassroots issue. It was very innovative around pre-conceptions of diversity and the whole campaign was a clever and brave approach. The judges commented it was one of the most memorable campaigns, and totally unique as it stood out for not obviously pushing a big corporate message”


Havas People - WSP

Pink Squid - Just Eat Takeaway

Pink Squid - Veolia

ThirtyThree - Army Strong 

TMP Worldwide - Circle

TMP Worldwide - Westminster City Council

Pink Squid for IBM 

Too impersonal, too big, too dated – multinational IBM recognised these descriptions as too often aligned with their company.  But colourful and meaningful terms such as ‘kindness’, ‘curiosity’, ‘courage’, ‘possibility’ and ‘being unapologetic’ resonated instead with their employees around the world when describing themselves as individuals. 

IBM realised that to attract the imaginative, forward-thinking and daring people it wanted to hire, the company’s employer brand needed to better reflect its 350,000 employees and the 178 countries in which it operates.

Launched in 2021, the “I AM IBM” campaign to turn its faceless, grey employer image around focused on the IBMer, localisation was fundamental and promoted its intrinsic diversity that could not be ignored. It had to speak multiple languages, support global activity and showcase motivational stories of local individuals, across all of IBM’s localities.

Using tools such as postcards and videos populated by user-generated content, the campaign also drove modern, internally-aimed vehicles such as a narrative-led Employer Brand Storybook to engage leaders and focus their strategies on the IBMer.

Also, four video-led and engagement-focused learning modules took IBMers through the People Story and how to collect and produce their own stories, so the diversity of IBM would be clear for all to see on the outside.

And it was clear: the campaign’s appeal was reflected in increases in views and interactions with IBM across social media channels, demonstrating the power of authentic IBMers.

Judges’ verdict: "A clear winner...very impressive as it balanced the importance of localisation while dealing with a global brand."



Havas People - AXA

Pink Squid - Veolia

Studio 29, Content Marketing Pod, podcastr - Cygnet Health Care

Symphony Talent - DSM

WeLove9am – Signature

Symphony Talent for Sky 

Entertainment and media company Sky has traditionally taken on large numbers of early-career talent, including apprentices and interns. But Covid-19 meant open days, tours and events were not an option. 

It turned to Symphony Talent to develop a compelling campaign that would resonate to candidates in their own homes. The result was “At Sky you can”; a digital experience that made use of real stories from Sky employees to demonstrate the unique opportunities that the firm offered young talent. 

The campaign included a 360-degree tour of Sky’s campus, combining panoramic images of key locations with videos from current apprentices and graduates, from different and diverse backgrounds. An interactive programme-matcher helped people work out the most appropriate scheme for them, based on their interests and experiences. 

A teaser video went out over social media, while a digital campaign brochure showcased the company to potential applicants’ parents or guardians, knowing the vital role they play in helping with early-career decisions. 

The campaign led to almost 20,000 applications and a huge 64 per cent increase in sign-ups for Sky’s virtual events, and ultimately 400 hires. 

Judges’ verdict: “They developed a Covid-19-proof Early Careers campaign that brought Sky to life, remotely!”

Symphony Talent - Orkla

Meet and Engage and AMS for Rolls-Royce

The main objective of the Power Series was to attract, inform and support candidates from more diverse backgrounds to understand the opportunities available at Rolls-Royce, and then provide ongoing support and encouragement through the recruitment process.

The campaign was based on Rolls-Royce’s commitment to engaging with a more diverse audience, focusing on people who may think a career with them is out of reach. In addition to addressing ethnic and gender diversity, the company wanted to look at neurodiversity – especially through their early careers activity as there is already a focus within Rolls-Royce on neurodiversity at a mid-to-senior level. 

An example of the tools used in the campaign: To help break down pre-conceptions about who could build a career at Rolls-Royce, a series of events – The Power Series – was created and themed around powerful human traits, single words that a diverse audience could recognise in themselves. The traits were also chosen to reflect the Rolls-Royce brand values. For instance, Courage spoke to neurodiversity, Belief was focused on women from Black Heritage backgrounds and Wisdom centred on sustainability. After the first event, a Power Series event was run every three weeks.

Awareness of the events, which were open to anyone, was supported by audience targeting and Rolls-Royce’s own partnership with Care Leavers Covenant (a charity looking after 18-year-olds who are leaving the care system), among other measures.

And the results? 1,605 students engaged with the initiative; 1,475 people attended the events, 63% applied for opportunities at Rolls-Royce and 37% said they were “very likely” to apply.

Judges’ verdict: “unique…enabler of the recruitment process and showcased a modernised recruitment system while being straightforward”.


Amberjack - Virgin Atlantic 

Blackbridge Communications - AVIVA 

Opus Talent Solutions - Nology 

Radancy - EY Better Verses 

Reward Gateway's EPIC DEI Strategy

ThirtyThree - Accenture

ThirtyThree - Kingfisher 

TMP Worldwide - Civil Service Fast Stream

Tonic - Deutsche Bank

TMP Worldwide for Heathrow

Security officers play an essential role in running a modern airport, but a demanding job and unsociable hours meant Heathrow Airport was struggling to fill positions. This was further compounded by the fact that long security clearance times meant applicants could be waiting for weeks before hearing if they had got the role, by which time many had found other work. 

TMP Worldwide was brought in to recruit 400 officers over six months, which quickly grew to 1,000 as demand for flying grew in the wake of the pandemic. The brief was to get people through the screening, interview and assessment process in days rather than weeks, and also to significantly increase the diversity of applicants. 

With lockdown meaning in-person recruitment events were not possible, the entire process was run virtually, with TMP designing video-based tests to give candidates an idea of the roles and test skills such as spatial awareness and observation. This was followed by live video or telephone interviews, while candidates were kept engaged using a new careers portal that would update them on their application. Regular phone check-ins and personalised emails also helped to keep candidates warm.

The initiative was also significant for the measures taken to ensure no one was disadvantaged, including providing the choice between a telephone interview or pre-recorded audio submission, meaning people could prepare for pre-determined questions. This helped remove the risk of subconscious bias. 

Candidates certainly appreciated the efforts, with 94 per cent providing positive feedback, and a net promoter score of 70+. From the airport’s perspective, Heathrow was able to hire the staff it needed to run effectively at a time when many others were struggling, and to improve its diversity; 48 per cent of the new hires are female. TMP Worldwide is currently working to source an additional 1,000 security officers as the need continues to grow. 

Judges’ verdict: “This was a really amazing campaign, a clear winner showcasing recruiting into a difficult role at a difficult time, which was very impressive”


CA3 - DHL Parcel UK

eArcu - Dee Set

Havas People - Maersk

LEAP Create - CGI 

Penna - Homes England Graduate Campaign 

TMP Worldwide - Ministry of Justice 

TMP Worldwide – NHS


Compass Recruitment Solutions

Compass Recruitment Solutions (CRS) operates four brands across different sectors: Compass Associates, Compass Executives, Compass Life Sciences (CLS) and Compass Corporate Services. 

In 2021-22, the business rebranded itself from what was Compass Holding Group; a process that went from launch to completion in just eight months. It also separated out its life sciences offering from Compass Associates in response to client feedback, leading to the creation of CLS. 

The in-house marketing team played a vital role in supporting this, overseeing the creation of more than 500 pieces of social media content, 60 blog posts, more than 40 pitches or proposals, and 12 events, as well as the day-to-day requirements of the five brands. The team doubled from two to four people, and helped contribute to a significant increase in turnover. 

As well as this, the team took responsibility for bringing the marketing design function in-house, allowing Compass Associates, CLS and Compass Corporate Services to use the service, which had previously only been available to Compass Executives. This led to cost savings and a more professional feel to the various brands. 

The success of the team is reflected in the number of additional requests it now receives from consultants for additional content, which range from salary surveys and candidate packs to social media posts. 

Judges’ verdict: “The entry was built on an effective team, which had a good strategy and was valued internally”

Engtal – Biotal

Chatter Communications for Readability

It’s not just the content of recruitment campaigns that’s important, but making sure that they can be read and understood by a diverse audience. Recruiters often miss out on talent because masculine-biased copy has put people off, or overly-long sentences have deterred those who don’t speak English as a first language. Others may struggle with reading in general; the average reading age in the UK is just that of a nine-year-old. 

Chatter Communications developed its Readability tool to analyse web text using artificial intelligence (AI), checking for readability and highlighting any gender-bias. It works on existing websites but also links in with content management systems to highlight any potential issues before text goes live. It makes suggestions on how things could be improved, flagging up long sentences and use of the passive voice. 

The impact this could have in the world of recruitment is demonstrated by a study Chatter Communications conducted among 230 job ads. Just two were found to be “easy to read” and only 5 per cent were truly gender-neutral. Over half (55 per cent) required the reading skills of someone with a degree-level of education. Addressing these issues could significantly improve the number and quality of applicants, which should also lead to more diverse and gender-balanced workplaces. 

Judges’ verdict: “This entry is technology-innovation personified, featuring amazing use of AI to develop well rounded content”


CA3 & Eli Onboarding - Autism Unlimited 


eArcu - Dee Set

eArcu - Paddy Power

Hologic – SMRS

Meet & Engage - HSBC

Meet & Engage - Royal Mail


For ThirtyThree, the Covid-19 pandemic and associated remote working represented a chance to adapt, not just to the new normal but to the way in which the business would operate going forward. 

The company sought feedback from employees, clients and the wider market, and totally rebranded itself as a consultative and creative agency. This was embodied in its ThirtyThree Ways of Working publication; a collection of values that defined and celebrated the company culture. 

Most significantly, ThirtyThree reacted to the pandemic by pledging early on that everyone would keep their job, scrapping targets to remove the threat of redundancy that hung over almost every business at the time. In fact, during Covid, the business grew, taking on 40 new people – including two sponsored apprenticeships – and promoting a further 40. 

Other important measures included creating a dedicated learning and development hub where employees could access more than 50 live sessions, which was supported by an interactive channel and external training programme. Once the world started to open up, the business invested in club memberships to allow people to come together again and held collaboration days in its parent company office. 

The business also expanded its RisingFigures initiative to encourage more diversity in the recruitment sector, and created pro bono social content for a refugee charity. 

All this meant the business was able to thrive during the pandemic and beyond, increasing profits, retaining all its clients and attracting 44 new ones in the UK and US. 

Judges’ verdict: “Totally rebranded from top to bottom to ensure they were answering what their clients needed”


CA3 for DHL Parcel UK

In 2021, the UK was plagued by driver shortages, prompting significant increases in the salaries offered as companies battled to find the staff they needed. DHL Parcel UK was in the same position, but couldn’t pay the wages others were, although it did introduce a £1,500 joining bonus. 

The challenge for CA3 was to come up with a campaign that would entice drivers to work for the business, as well as ensuring it held on to existing staff. It did this by finding out what mattered to the drivers they had, and why they stayed with the business. In interviews with 16 drivers from across the country, it became clear that a great drive and being able to get on with the job were important, and poor-quality vehicles, long hours and changing shift patterns were very much frowned upon. 

Armed with this information, CA3 launched its “Enjoy the drive” campaign; a series of website adverts, social media posts (including TikTok), billboards and print/radio promotions stressing the benefits of working for DHL Parcel UK. Alongside this, the careers page on the website was updated to include employee voices and information on how to apply. 

Those who had engaged with adverts, social media or visited the website but not applied were also presented with a retargeted campaign of video adverts, designed to turn interest into applications. These received an impressive click-through rate of 7.8 per cent. 

The campaign proved hugely effective in driving traffic to the website, and ultimately resulted in 1,510 applications, and 1,600 separate leads through Facebook who were then approached by DHL Parcel UK. At the start of the initiative, there were 131 vacancies, and by the end of it DHL Parcel UK had made 124 hires; an increase of 25 per cent on the same period the previous year, with the impact continuing to this day. 

Judges’ verdict: “An outstanding campaign which is the epitome of the recruitment marketing awards”