Holmes Report 19 Jul 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
If an IT company is looking for some new hirings for entry level jobs, what kind of an employment campaign would you expect to see? Boring all-look-alike ads, serious messages, formal promises of a good career, a corporate picture with a computer… right? We all know the pattern. What else could you think of, since the target is formed of people of a certain profile - IT oriented, usually perceived as introvert, very sober guys, true nerds or geeks as others call them.
When TechTeam Global, a worldwide leading provider of IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing services, started a recruiting campaign to hire good IT as Technicians in its team, we saw things a bit differently.
Realizing that no matter the working domain, any professional is, first of all, a normal person with common expectations regarding their job – to have nice colleagues, a fair boss, a good working environment, our “CRAZY ABOUT COMPUTERS” campaign jumped, as its name says, out of the ordinary and became an unconventional pursuit of all the passionate for computers!
After a long series of difficult hiring efforts to find the best candidates, we were asked to develop an HR communication campaign that would ease up company’s mission. No easy job for us.
As a global IT services outsourcer, TechTeam Global constantly needs to hire people for their support teams. Romania is a worldwide known hub for IT professionals, this is why there a constant battle among international companies to hire the best working force on the market.
Unfortunately, the awareness of TechTeam Global is smaller than big IT names like Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, which are of course much more interesting and “sexy” for an IT profile employee.
Also the employment conditions within the company are not outstanding (average not big salary, hard working hours, night shifts), all these causing us additional challenges in creating the best campaign.
RESEARCH CONDUCTED PRIOR TO EXECUTION,PLANNING PROCESS AND STATEMENT OF OUR OBJECTIVES
The main objectives of our campaign were to: attract young IT professionals (English and French proficient) to apply for a job @TechTeam Global; create public buzz around TechTeam Global as a great environment to start a career; position TechTeam Global as a friendly and open minded employer, a workplace for people with a "get it done" attitude.
Measurable goals: get at least 500 IT professionals apply at TechTeam Global within one month; at least 10,000 IT professionals to find out about TechTeam Global and its recruitment campaign; get at least 3,000,000 impressions in online media about the hiring campaign.
All these objectives, outrunning the specific need for hiring a certain number of people and asking for a creative campaign with a strong employer branding component, lead us to research the target and the company very thoroughly.
We searched for anything that would help us convince these people to apply for a job at TechTeam with the same eager as if they were applying for a colossus like Microsoft and get to work for Bill Gates.
First of all, we made a assessment of the target, since we were convinced there was more to find out about these geeks than urban legends say. We had informal interviews and focus groups with IT professionals, trying rather to find out more about their habits, what they like, how their life is, what their interests are, rather then to ask them questions about what would make them apply for a job at TechTeam Global. The main conclusion: IT freaks are human too! ? Despite their criptic domain, they are still normal people who want to have a nice job, friendly colleagues and work satisfactions, just like any one of us.
Searching within TechTeam Global’s values and internal realities we discovered the most valuable detail that later gave us the golden strategic idea: @TechTeam the working environment is, in fact, very pleasant, people work and help each other as one, the offices look very friendly and homy, the atmosphere is no rigid at all and everyone really likes working with computers!
OUR STRATEGIC APPROACH
Finding such valuable insights, we wondered: why treat IT people as the abstruse and hard to talk to? Why not considering them funny, open, sociable persons willing to have a great job and nice colleagues, people who want and appreciate a good place to work?
What we did was to create a campaign that would show people all it took was to be good enough to get hired, and in return the company would treat them great! Our campaign was called “CRAZY ABOUT COMPUTERS” with the slogan: If you’re crazy about computers, we’re crazy about you! Wouldn’t you want such a job place for yourself? ?
Our campaign was a complex mix of online and offline word-of-mouth creative tactics, with little classic PR, but supported by digital buzz in the most relevant points of contact with our young target.
The first thing we did was to take care of the “visual clothes” of our campaign. We created a cartoonish key visual, pointing out in a humorous way that a crazy-about-computers person would even risk their relationship with the lover just to spend as much time with their beloved PC.
The campaign started with a PR Stunt in the most crowded areas in the city, frequented by young people in our target – public squares, going out areas. Besides these spaces, we also went to the most relevant IT campuses and universities (in Romania a student already has good working experience from the first 1-2 years of college). Since our target seemed to have seen it all the creative idea was to approach them in a funny and memorable way. So imagine some walking computers on the streets passionately looking for somebody to be crazy about them and make a perfect match @work! This was in fact a pretense to give people some funny job anouncement stickers and make them listen carefully to our messages. 5,000 stickers vanished in less than 6 hours, and the amazing thing was that people actually put them on their windows in campuses, creating a big outdoor campaign for TechTeam Global!
Besides the buzz we got in the real world, much more important was what we got in the virtual one! Since IT specialists spend a lot of time online, we took advantage of all the online places they could be found – social networks, news websites, blogs, online communities, forums.
One very relevant component of our campaign was to involve the current employees of TechTeam in point what a great workplace they have and to show that they are also crazy about computers, just like the people we were looking for. We created a Fan Page on Facebook where the TechTeam employees posted pictures with expressing their love for computers and encouraging people to join their team.
Knowing that young people are very receptive when it comes to challenges, we organized a contest for expressing the love for their personal computers by uploading pictures! The most popular picture, which won a very cool prize, had more than 200 likes!
We also involved the top 5 most relevant IT bloggers who announced on their blogs about job openings @TechTeam, pointing out it’s a cool and warm place to work. The messages also went on Twitter, joining the conversations we also initiated on hashtags such as #job or #hiring, talking with people about their jobs, what they like about it, what they would improve and so on.
We didn`t forget about online communities either, as we addressed Softpedia – the biggest online forum in Romania and “Lucrez in IT”, the top social network dedicated to IT professionals. They announced on their website that TechTeam was looking for young people crazy about computers! We also used online banners on the most important recruiting and professional websites in Romania, had an IT professionals targeting campaign on Yahoo! Messenger and sent a direct emailing to 6,000 IT professionals.
And since no hiring campaign cannot escape from communicating formal details about the job requirements and carreer oportunities, we presented all this on a dedicated webpage, www.crazyaboutcomputers.ro, a simple and efficient manner to inform the candidates and to give them the possibility to actually apply for the job.
In less than a month, our campaign succeeded in surpassing all its objectives and bring the company very valuable CVs not only for the current hiring flight but also for future ones.
• 2,000 applicants @TechTeam Global within one month (300% over the initial objective)
• All vacancies ocupied with top level IT professionals
• 50,000 IT professionals were directly informed about TechTeam Global and its recruitment campaign (500% over the initial objective)
• 9,500,000 impressions in online media (3 times bigger than the initial objective).
Much more important was the quality of the resumes the client received. Due to the valuable hirings TechTeam made as a result of our campaign, “Crazy about computers” became a platform to be activated whenever the company is looking for new working force. We already implemented the first replica of the campaign, at the end of 2010, only 4 months after the first wave. The results were again outrunning all expectations. And hope to do more in the future! ?