It’s just a few weeks until we celebrate the RAD Awards, recognising the best of the best in the recruitment advertising industry. Here we profile the employers and agencies shortlisted for the Digital Experience for Early Talent award, sponsored by LinkedIn.
At Sky You Can – Symphony Talent
As a leading entertainment and media company, Sky takes on a huge number of early careers roles every year. These range from interns and apprentices to graduates and work experience placements. However, the pandemic threatened to stop this flow of talent, with open days, tours and events called off. Sky needed to develop a compelling digital campaign to bring working at the company to life and encourage applications.
At Sky You Can made the most of user-generated content, promotions, teasers and much more via the medium of candidates’ smartphone screens. Content had to appeal to disparate audiences, and the campaign hinged on the fact that Sky offers a unique combination of opportunities not available elsewhere.
Winners will be announced on 26 January at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The campaign included a bespoke 360 tour of Sky’s campus, with panoramic images of key Sky locations, incorporating interactive elements such as videos from current graduates. Mini videos featuring real graduates and apprentices from different backgrounds – shot at Sky and at home to reflect hybrid working – reinforced the culture. An interactive ‘programme matcher’ means candidates can choose the best programme for them.
The campaign saw almost 20,000 applications and a 64% increase in sign-ups. From this, Sky made 400 hires. It attracted more than 11,600 followers on social channels, 1039 applicants attended virtual events and the talent pool more than doubled in size despite the pandemic.
EY Internship of the Future – Cappfinity
Tech talent plays a vital role in helping EY to deliver solutions for clients, even though it is not perceived to be a tech business. This meant the firm needed to change its perception to become more competitive in the war for talent. The company has seen a 94.5% growth in tech consulting roles, needs to fill 20% more graduate vacancies and improve gender diversity.
The EY Internship of the Future was designed as the first virtual reality programme for interns, offering something unlike anything else in the market. The intern follows a five-week journey using their own headset, from an initial client meeting with an explanation of the challenge, culminating in a ‘pitch’ to senior EY stakeholders, having learnt, planned, and prepared their solution in a purpose-built VR setting.
Interns can explore the virtual EY world, including a VR learning ‘cinema’ where they can play games and a ‘wellbeing island’ for meditation and reflection. The way this was presented was designed to communicate EY’s culture in a fun and inclusive way that resonated with early talent but also showcased the firm’s values.
All interns completed the five-week programme, and 92% said their understanding of EY improved. The offering has improved diversity, with 68.4% of interns female. Many interns reported better understanding of client projects and business needs and 83% felt their communication skills had improved. Perception improved of EY for more than nine in 10, and 83% would describe the company as ‘tech-centric’. There are now plans to expand the VR internship for school leavers.
Pot Noodle Internships – Raptor Marketing/GradBay
In 2021, Pot Noodle decided to partner with GradBay and Raptor marketing to tackle the rising problem of youth unemployment. The result was a new platform for jobseekers called Pot Noodle Internships.
The platform offered 150 paid internship opportunities in ‘alternative’ industries including film, music, gaming and publishing. Users could apply with a short video rather than a CV, and inclusivity was a top priority, welcoming those who may not have received prior careers advice. The digital hiring platform used images and video content from each hiring company to boost engagement, and employed a job advertisement gender decoder, readability checker and candidate visibility settings to ensure greater diversity.
To promote the website and the range of opportunities on offer, Raptor and GradBay created a two-day live streaming Virtual Alternative Careers Fair event, hosted on Twitch, a popular platform among the Gen Z audience. A stream on getting into the music industry resulted in a 630% increase in internship applications. Featured companies offered real-time careers advice and the event included challenges. Raptor recruited and trained 30 student brand ambassadors that actively promoted the site at universities, uploading bite-sized content to social media. Free merchandise was also offered to the first 1,000 users to sign up to the website.
Over the duration of the Virtual Alternative Careers Fair, the site accumulated 3,500 applications, and 150 young people are now in direct employment. Many have been employed in a full-time capacity after their internship, showing a lasting positive impact on young people’s career prospects.