2018 Winners

Congratulations to all our winners and finalists and we look forward to seeing your entries in 2019.

WINNER:  Havas People – HMPPS Forensic Psychologists

THE GOAL: To shift perceptions of what working within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service is like and capture the attention of an exceptionally small qualified audience.

The audience was helped to see ‘the real story inside’ through sketchy, biro-drawn illustrations and animations that you could imagine being penned by an offender – backed up with a headline structure of potential situations that the audience might face.
A ‘biting nails’ image was used across the campaign, including front print ads supporting advertorials to animated social posts and digital displays to pull-up banners at events and as one of seven images in a gallery.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Extremely expressive and designed beautifully; the feelings and emotions were captured impeccably, contributing to the impact of this campaign.”

Blackbridge Communications – CPM
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – ForrestBrown
Penna – GCHQ
ThirtyThree – McDonald’s

Art Direction

WINNER: TMP Worldwide – Royal College of Nursing

THE GOAL: To open up a misunderstood organisation to a huge new audience

The Royal College of Nursing isn’t a college – it’s a professional body and trade union that supports nurses rather than recruits them. Also, enter the head office in central London, and it seems to epitomise tradition, with its stone pillars and gigantic fireplaces. But behind the traditional façade beats a rebellious heart and a spiky spirit.

It has offered a forum for all sorts of revolution: transforming the role of women in medicine, supporting war efforts, embracing technological leaps and fighting changes to the NHS with proper union militancy. And that was the story that had to be told to an audience made up of professionals who wouldn’t imagine that the RCN had anything to offer them: with skills and experience ranging from leadership, managerial to specialisms such as technology, legal, finance and HR.

The solution was to fuse past with future, by bringing back to life through film the organisation’s past presidents who had fought it all, seen it all and done it all. Proud, defiant and rebellious copywriting designed to raise eyebrows and challenge perceptions, along with detailed photography, CGI, actors and advanced editing techniques gave these women a voice again.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Brilliantly and beautifully written phrases; refreshing to see a piece that was not only recruitment-focused but also was educational.”

Penna – MI5 Security Service
Stafford Long & Partners – Norton Rose Fulbright
Stafford Long & Partners – Secret Intelligence Service
ThirtyThree – Allen and Overy
TMP Worldwide – The AA

Copywriting (in print, online or mobile)

WINNER: Havas People – HMPPS Senior Leadership Scheme

THE GOAL: To attract 20 individuals for HMPPS’ Senior Leadership Scheme, a new three-year programme designed to fast-track candidates to functional leadership positions and potentially, Deputy Governor.

HMPPS wanted to attract candidates who could bring new thinking and new perspectives to the service. Research showed that this target audience was intrigued by the role and more purposeful work but had concerns about the way the service was being run. Their misgivings, however, were informed by the narrative in the press and on social media, rather than being based on fact.

Looking to social media to find genuine public opinion, the agency created a campaign that centred on largely critical comments that reflected the mood towards the prison service.

Highly-targeted posts, a microsite, videos of prison employees responding to concerns and even a vertical video for mobile were all elements of the campaign, that saw HMPPS meet and then exceed their target.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “A really smart approach to take negative, controversial tweets about the prison service and turn them into job adverts…Stood out – something to talk about.”

CA3 – Expedia Group
Havas People – HMPPS Forensic Psychologists
Pink Squid – Boots
Stafford Long & Partners – Secret Intelligence Service
ThirtyThree – EE
TMP Worldwide – Sainsbury’s

Campaign of the Year

WINNER: Pink Squid – Vodafone

THE GOAL: To recruit diverse top tech graduates who would normally see themselves at famous, so-called ‘game-changing’ tech companies. At the same time, research had shown the brand was a blocker for 16-to-24-year-olds.

So the dual challenge became the approach to the campaign: Vodafone was out to Beat the Game Changers, meaning the tech giants, consultancies, trendy start-ups, etc.

#BTGC (Beat the Game Changers) became a whole new company, with its own social channels, microsite and a history of incredible tech stories – which were true case studies from Vodafone.

Across a fully-paid media digital campaign, the unbranded #BTGC targeted and teased candidates, inviting them to join the biggest technology company they’d never heard of.

The microsite took them on a linear journey, unveiling more tech credentials and the roles candidates were looking for. The journey was enhanced through video, animated glitch effects, sound effects and Spotify modules.

Clicking ‘Ready to Apply?’ would display a video revealing #BTGC as Vodafone, linking candidates straight to more information and the applicant tracking system.

During the campaign, Vodafone received 8,600+ applications from graduates and 2,200+ interns, with 540+ candidates attending assessment centre, and 51 offers accepted.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Brave approach for a big, well-known brand; managed to identify issues and overcome/address these well!”

AIA Worldwide- Siemens
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Lazard
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Unilever
Stafford Long & Partners – Newton
ThirtyThree – Herbert Smith Freehills

Graduate Initiative

WINNER: ThirtyThree – Royal Mail

THE GOAL:  To attract enough applicants to build a motivated, 20,000-strong Christmas Casual workforce to work in Royal Mail sorting offices across the UK during the festive season.

So Christmas came early to Royal Mail – in August, in fact.

For one day only, an open-air cinema sprang up at Royal Mail’s working depot – Greenford Mail Centre. On the side of an iconic Royal Mail delivery lorry, a cinema screen was built to show classic Christmas films like Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street at a special festive event for Royal Mail employees, kicking off the busy season – and launching seasonal hiring.

In the warm summer sun, flurries of snow dotted the cinema viewing area, adorned with festive decorations such as 7-foot trees and outdoor hanging lights. Complimentary hot chocolates and mince pies rounded out the festive feel in this pop-up winter wonderland.

The event recreated that quintessentially British tradition of watching a holiday film with the family – reigniting the sense of camaraderie and teamwork amongst the employees who deliver Christmas together.

The entire event was filmed, generating engaging social content to announce the live roles. And the resulting numbers demonstrated a roaring success: over 174,000 people reached, over 90,000 total views, over 1,130 click-throughs, over 60,000 unique viewers, and 252 shares, 255 reactions, and 288 comments.

Best of all, the Christmas Casual targets were smashed, with over 60,000 applications.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS:  “Great authentic project, great idea for the current staff already working at Royal Mail, and great results – hired every job role!”

Makelove – ABB Group

Outdoor Campaign

WINNER: AIA Worldwide – Jaguar Land Rover

THE GOAL: To engage with much sought-after software and electrical engineering, computer science and game development students, to find the needed geniuses and to position Jaguar Land Rover as a technology leader – on a tight budget and four-week timeframe.

Believing that the best way to engage the target audience was by appealing to their competitive, problem-solving nature, the agency designed an online challenge that tested problem-solving and coding skills to filter talent and scoop the very best candidates.

Social media was also used to speak to the right people in the most accessible way and build audiences. Media banners were designed to spark intrigue, and everything was designed to be shareable.

The campaign had to be about the excitement of taking part, rather than selling a job.

Kicking off with a YouTube video, the campaign had three parts, with the user cracking a code at each step and collecting tokens along the way. They then entered their code into a special URL to get to the next clue. The journey would take users across five social platforms where they solved clues along the way.

A massive hit, the campaign received 16,556 views, and an 80% programmatic video completion rate during the first week – 20% above average.

Twenty-nine people completed the quest. Six have been hired, and many others have been placed into a talent pool for future roles.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Clever project; cohesive and flows very well; really nice piece of work from a digital perspective.”

Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Team Knowhow
Penna Plc – GCHQ
Penna Plc – MI5
TMP Worldwide – The AA

Digital Solution

WINNER: CA3 & Eploy – Travelodge

THE GOAL: To position Travelodge as a place to build a career in hospitality for target audiences such as working parents, those wanting to build careers in hospitality, mature workers and students.

A new careers website had to be quick and easy to navigate, make it easy to find jobs near home, foster engagement at the very start of the recruitment journey by catering for candidates’ different needs, and it had to integrate seamlessly with the company’s ATS.

Among the clever functions brought to the project by Eploy was geo-location used in the job search functionality that placed local jobs at users’ fingertips. The site conveyed key themes such as flexible working, employee benefits and career progression, along with a section highlighting the diverse nature of Travelodge’s workforce with different backgrounds and experiences.

After application, automatic emails containing role-specific information are sent to candidates, driving them back to important information on the careers website, such as role specifics, hints and tips for interviews and ‘What’s it like to work here?’

Since the new site went live in December 2017, conversions from started application to completion have increased from 5% to 91%, and there has been a 145% increase in completed web applications. By June 2018, British starters had increased by 17%, lowering the portion of migrant EU employees to 27% as a proportion of the total workforce – a major step in the right direction for Travelodge as it seeks to decrease its reliance on migrant EU workers as Brexit looms.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS:  “Results are impressive, and it’s fantastic to see ATS and the Careers Site working hand in hand.”

CA3 – Audley Group
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – ForrestBrown
Pink Squid – Wagamama
Stafford Long & Partners – Secret Intelligence Service
That Little Agency – Phoenix Group

Recruitment Website (below £50,000)

WINNER: ThirtyThree – National Grid

THE GOAL: To position a career at National Grid as putting power into the hands of a nation and beyond for generations to come.

“Be the heart of energy”. That was the proposition running through National Grid’s careers site. That message was reinforced by combining the elements of powerful messaging and emotive imagery.

With hero images of gigs, stadiums, transportation and smartphones, the impact of National Grid on everyday life was illustrated in challenging people to consider a career shaping the future of energy supply.

Also bringing energy to life was innovative digital design – for instance, on the homepage head, the hover-state shows a network around the cursor. Every so often, a current pulses through ‘scroll down’, encouraging user interaction. On New Talent, clicking and holding activates a ‘Be the heart of energy’ animation and on mobile, a heart beats at one’s fingertip.

The copy, images and the user experience present personalised content that is housed within expanding sections, allowing users to deep dive into information relevant to them.

The user journey reaches its pinnacle with a search-and-apply feature, which incorporates an interactive, geo-located map with third-party Applicant Tracking System (ATS) data.

Within a month of launch, the revitalised careers site’s effectiveness was evident: among other highlights, there was a 44% increase in time spent on the site, an 18% increase in female users, a 78% reduction in the bounce rate, and 1.1m page views.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Clever engagement with this specific target audience, simple but effective.”

Blackbridge Communications – Paddy Power Betfair
MSL – Lloyds Banking Group
TMP Worldwide – The AA

Recruitment Website (above £50,000)

WINNER: Stafford Long & Partners – DNV.GL

JUDGES’ COMMENTS:  “Unusual topic to tackle in internal comms, really creative, and an interesting approach to a challenging topic.”

CA3- Kerry Foods
Creed Communications – Assurant
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Team Knowhow
Pink Squid – Capgemini
ThirtyThree – ACI

Internal Communications

WINNER: Havas People – HMPPS Senior Leadership Scheme

THE GOAL: To attract 20 individuals for HMPPS’ Senior Leadership Scheme, a new three-year programme designed to fast-track candidates to functional leadership positions and potentially, Deputy Governor.

HMPPS wanted to attract candidates who could bring new thinking and new perspectives to the service. Research showed that this target audience was intrigued by the role and more purposeful work but had concerns about the way the service was being run. Their misgivings, however, were informed by the narrative in the press and on social media, rather than being based on fact.

Looking to social media to find genuine public opinion, the agency created a campaign that centred on largely critical comments that reflected the mood towards the prison service.

Highly-targeted posts, a microsite, videos of prison employees responding to concerns and even a vertical video for mobile were all elements of the campaign, that saw HMPPS meet and then exceed their target.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Clever use of social media to push the campaign.”

AIA Worldwide – Jaguar Land Rover
Pink Squid – Legal and General
Pink Squid – Nando’s
ThirtyThree – Allen and Over

Social Media

WINNER: ThirtyThree – The British Army

THE GOAL: Deliver a social campaign that drives engagement through highly shareable content.

What was needed to create highly shareable content were engaging footage and insightful information – and the reach had to return on investment.

MediaCom and ThirtyThree joined forces on the ‘mission’ to build an impactful social campaign, and brought on a third partner – online media and website brand UNILAD – to direct relevant content to the audience. With huge reach, an audience base that mapped well against the target audience group and the largest BAME following on social, Unilad was a valuable resource to the drive.

Two presenters from online network Wall of Comedy were brought in to feature in five different videos capturing the camaraderie of Army life and highlighting the opportunity to develop personally and professionally, ranging from field survival to cooking up frontline grub.

Published on both the Army and UNILAD’s channels, the five videos achieved 10m views, a reach of over 32.5m, and 80,000 likes, comments and shares. Also, the videos achieved 95% positive interactions – a real achievement for military communications – and a 675% increase in reach on the Army Jobs Facebook page.

Bold creativity, effective application and intelligent targeting combined to create a viral campaign that delivered results.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “It maximizes the platform, it is clever, funny, relevant, has a real relevance to the careers and really hits the spot. Very impressive numbers. It just works at every level.”

AIA Worldwide – Accenture
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – BBVA
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Unilever
The Tab – Rolls-Royce

Content Marketing

WINNER: Enhance Media – John Lewis Partnership

THE GOAL: An innovative way of communicating job descriptions and to increase the quantity of applications from quality candidates.

The job description is arguably the most crucial part of the candidate experience. The John Lewis Partnership requested interactive videos to bring to life the following roles: catering, contact centres, customer delivery drivers, driving, management, replenishment stock management, selling assistants, food service jobs and supermarket assistants.

The interactive videos feature real employees, creating an authentic experience for the visitor. The job description videos featured on the client’s career page and were shared across their social media channels. They highlighted the key points of differentiation in their job description, brand values and unique opportunities to engage significantly more target candidates than a text job ad or flat video.

John Lewis Partnership have seen up to 76% increase in conversion rates and up to 51% increase in conversions since using interactive video. Client feedback has been highly positive, describing the videos as “really well received by our resourcing team, hiring managers as well as candidates…the interactive elements helps really bring the role to life”. The client also said the videos were “really useful as a self-selection tool for candidates to help them decide if it’s the right role for them – much more enlightening and interesting than a traditional job description”.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “The interactivity of these videos, married with the personal profiles, added a unique and intriguing element to this campaign. It was extremely clever of John Lewis to allow viewers to connect real people to real jobs along with the capability to delve deeper at the click of a button – brilliant!”

Blackbridge Communications – Paddy Power Betfair
Curo Talent – Microsoft
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – ForrestBrown
Reed Business Information- Elsevier
ThirtyThree – McDonald’s

Video (below £10,000)

WINNER: AIA Worldwide – Accenture

THE GOAL: To articulate and support Accenture’s aspiration to be the most inclusive and diverse organisation in the world, and to start a conversation that no one could ignore.

#InclusionStartsWithI sparks discussion around the importance of a positive, inclusive work environment, making people think and stimulating them to take action in the form of a commitment on how they can make a difference to people they work with.

Featuring Accenture people, each with their own unique differences, the video sees them express what causes them unease, frustration, annoyance, pressure, anxiety, awkwardness, strain, exasperation or indignation in the workplace.

However, the video is intended to be about much more than individual experiences; it is aimed to create a movement from a moment, a means to an end and a vehicle to create positive and lasting change.

Awareness was the immediate priority, change the long-term priority. One Accenture employee said, “When I showed it [the video] to a bunch of people in Chicago, they were moved to tears.” And a potential Accenture recruit was “blown away”, said a senior manager who interviewed the candidate.

The video has received 413,000+ views, 11,000+ reactions, 2,800+ shares on Facebook, 406,210 views on YouTube, and 10,000+ mentions on Twitter.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Clever art direction, down-to-earth approach, good results. This entry has come across as genuine.”

Blackbridge – CPM
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – Unilever
TMP Worldwide – NHS
TMP Worldwide – Royal College of Nursing
TMP Worldwide – Sainsbury’s
TMP Worldwide – Surrey Police

Video (above £10,000)

WINNER: AIA Worldwide – Siemens

THE GOAL: To immerse engineering students in a digitally innovative environment, creating an atmosphere that inspired a desire to ‘collaborate, adapt and solve problems’.

A hackathon-style event called MindSphere Live!, giving teams 48 hours to build “a unique device, powered by data”, was centre stage in the recent Sir William Siemens Challenge.

Named for Siemens’ new cloud-based operating system connecting infrastructure via the Internet of Things and analysing data from the world around us, MindSphere Live! involved teams combining mechanical, electrical and software engineering disciplines to receive top marks.

The aim was to have an event in which 12 different teams worked in the same laboratory and produced 12 weird and wonderful creations that motioned and sounded in different ways, much like an art exhibit.

Seventy-two students representing 12 universities were invited to the event, held at the University of Sheffield, where MindSphere data and a mind-boggling array of tools were available for use.

One participant was “truly staggered by just how much technology and equipment was provided”. Also participants said they had learned new skills from other engineering disciplines.

The results: 25 internships and summer placements were offered directly from this event, 80 graduates were hired from the whole campaign and 94% of students who took part were either very satisfied or satisfied with the whole process.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS:  “Logical idea with impressive results.”

AIA Worldwide – Accenture


WINNER: CA3 – Audley Group

THE GOAL: To have an effective direct sourcing strategy, underpinned by an engaging and compelling employer brand in the face of company growth.

Key to the first-class experience at Audley retirement villages is the exceptional service their people deliver every day – it sets them apart from their competitors and is the secret to their success. To develop an employer brand that would attract the right talent externally, the agency conducted research across a diverse demographic of people in the business for real insight.

The insight was used to craft six unique propositions and the Audley Employer Promise, which were tested thoroughly and also had input from Audley’s CEO to ensure they were inclusive as well as inspirational. For instance, the Audley Promise read: “We will use your skill, passion and empathy to build relationships that enhance people’s lives. Together we will grow, develop and change the way people view retirement.” This was shortened to three words that epitomised how Audley did everything: The Audley way.

The propositions of Pride, Exceptional, Warm, Game-changing, Empathetic, and Growing began to be used as behaviours. That meant that the employer brand started to have a real impact on everything from assessment and selection, training, reward and recognition. The new #Respect4Carers hashtag reinforced Audley’s goals in care and resonated with carers who felt disrespected in previous jobs.

The results have been outstanding: for instance, cost per recruit has dropped by £600, time to hire has fallen from 18 days to 13.5 days, and agency spend has reduced by 48%, to name just a few.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “In a hard sector to recruit for, wide-range coverage; nice balance on customer and employees; clever, brilliant strapline.”

AIA Worldwide – Screwfix
Chatter – Sky Betting & Gaming
Hodes (Part of Symphony Talent) – ForrestBrown
SMRS – Kerry Foods
That Little Agency – Hastings Direct

Employer Brand

WINNER: Penna – Met Police

THE GOAL: To recruit a total of 180 new detectives who would include more women and more BAME candidates.

For the first time, the Met was recruiting people directly into Detective Constable roles, both first-jobbers and experienced hires with a degree who could quickly demonstrate logical decision-making skills, attention to detail and complex thinking.

The first part of the strategy was to create a compelling campaign that both excited people and advertised the fact that you didn’t need previous policing experience to apply. The aim was to show people that finding out about the opportunity would be the first in a long list of discoveries within this career.

A key aspect of the campaign was recognising that ‘dangerous’ imagery often found in police recruitment content could potentially put off female and BAME candidates, the agency focused on the ‘evidence’ aspect of detectives’ work in the advertising materials.  This showed that the role is more to do with discovery and evidence, and less about dealing with criminals and dangerous situations.

The results exceeded all expectations. The plan had been to recruit 80 detectives for a first cohort, followed by another 80 by the end of the year, but the Met was able to recruit all 160 in one go. Further: 51% of applications were from females, 33% of applications came from BAME candidates, and 84% of candidates passed the initial sift and online test.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “Creatively nice, good publicity as a result, impressive results.”

AIA Worldwide – British American Tobacco Recruitment
AIA Worldwide – Siemens
CA3 – Expedia Group
Pink Squid – Harrods
Pink Squid – Vodafone
TMP Worldwide – Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals

Recruitment Effectiveness