They are open to innovative solutions, creative and eager to transform the world. Entrepreneurial and straightforward, they seek challenges at work. Technology and the Internet accompany them in almost every aspect of their lives, and digital media are their natural environment. Generation Z, as they are referred to, today represents a significant percentage of those entering the logistic sector and embarking on their careers. How do we recruit the creme de la creme of all talents from that group, in sectors such as tech, IT, logistics and production? The campaign we developed for Amazon is a case in point when it comes to such practices.
Recruitment of young talent starts with understanding their needs and expectations
Big corporate brands are confronted with quite a challenge today. Young people crave more than a good salary and social security. They want work that is meaningful, gives them the opportunity for building new competencies and personal growth while allowing them to implement their own ideas. A creative, imaginative environment that is open to change and understands the needs of 'generation Z' is what draws employees to today's brands. And this is the kind of environment brands need to create if they are determined to continuously recruit young people.
Yet, changes within an organisation must be followed by specific promotional activities that build brand awareness on the outside, attract new employees and show the positive image of the business in question. Actively recruiting young talent and constantly pursuing an engaging employer branding policy is an imperative these days. In such a dynamic business environment, where the employee increasingly determines the terms and conditions and crises shake the market one after the other, brands need to constantly take care of the inflow of new employees. Especially if they operate in an international environment and as a result, young people often perceive them in a stereotypical way.
A well-thought-out, creative advertising concept that speaks the language of the young on the one hand and shows the brand in a new but not oversaturated light on the other is a good jumping-off point to start a dialogue with a potential employee. With an engaging employer branding campaign, a brand can significantly reduce employee turnover, attract specialists from new areas and show that it is a place where a young person's talent will fully blossom.
Employer branding campaign based on the Amazon case study
How to increase employee retention and improve brand's image
Brands operating within the fields of manufacturing, logistics, retail and IT are often viewed by young people in a certain stereotypical, fixed way. Working in such places seems to them repetitive, automatic and lacking the option to create one's own future. However, this may not be what young people imagine. The industries referred to above are a dynamic and changing environment, in which you need to take numerous creative initiatives and strategic decisions, have highly developed interpersonal skills and be focused on continuous growth (especially if you are just starting your career or applying for a position related to human resources management).
So how do you approach the promotion of such brands to avoid stereotypical thinking and offer a fresh, inclusive message?
It's worth starting from scratch - that is, by getting to know the brand, its internal culture and the very position for which the recruitment is being held. Only then are we able to offer a message that will draw attention to the most compelling aspects of the job and reframe the stereotypical perception of the brand.
In the case of the campaign run for Amazon, the Rhapsody team spent multiple hours on trying to understand the real needs and expectations of the target audience and to grasp the true nature of the work being promoted. In developing an engaging creative concept that presented the brand in a fresh light, we were supported primarily by:
an analysis of the brand's previous promotional activities;
in-depth interviews with the client;
market research of the brand's business environment;
interviews with Amazon employees;
strategy workshops on the target group.
Expand your talent pool and bring new audience thanks to new visual language
In the course of their work, the Rhapsody team reached two conclusions. Firstly, the brand should communicate in a more aspirational, engaging way - showcasing the dynamic nature of the workplace and the full range of opportunities that a career with Amazon offers. Secondly, it needed a new language for communication - both visual and verbal - that would speak to young people in a more straightforward and digestible way.
The main challenge ahead of the creative team was to balance the messages
Once you have selected the content you want to repurpose and formulated a strategy for it, give some thought to new presentation forms. Maybe your e-book or blog post contained interesting statistics that deserve to be presented in a more appealing way? Maybe it’s worth interweaving large blocks of text with photos or videos that haven’t been used yet? Content can be repurposed in an abundance of ways and it is only the type of project and the creativity of the team working on the content recycling that determines the final result.
For one thing, they could not duplicate previous communication; they had to be more distinctive and engaging. For another, they could not stray too far from the brand's DNA. Amazon had to remain Amazon.
The first concept presented was based on photographs of potential employees depicted in a style resembling space missions or S-F films. The futuristically lit characters were accompanied by aspirational and encouraging copywriting. The overall message was close to trendy brands at the cusp of fashion, film and new technology. The message was intended to convince the viewer of the brand's strength, opportunities for growth and the unconventional challenges they will face whilst working at Amazon.
The second concept presented also reached beyond the traditional understanding of the brand, but with communication objectives achieved in an entirely different way. The main carrier of the concept was a vivid, strongly futuristic illustration showing employees in the course of their daily duties. Supporting the concept with an intriguing copy referring to the employee's future career and a universal message were decisive factors in choosing this concept and translating it into individual advertising media - banners, social media posts, posters and recruitment flyers.
Save time and reduce costs with a universal and inspiring concept
Since the campaign needed to encompass four separate roles – interns, pathways, graduates and apprenticeships – we based it around various relatable scenarios that gave a clear idea of the roles available to candidates. A set of illustrations styled as The Wired magazine or a futuristic animated series, suggested by artist Dan Matutina, did a brilliant job.
The illustrations were attention-grabbing and revamped the brand’s image.
They made it clear that Amazon understands young people, shares their way of viewing the world, and is a cutting edge and trend-setting company.
With their engaging nature, they simultaneously introduced cost savings and maximised its reach - a photo shoot would have been more costly and time-consuming for the client.
They proved so versatile that they could easily be converted into a variety of advertising formats (including animation) and easily presented in a range of languages.
Read the interview with the illustrator behind the Amazon artwork here.
Ultimately, the messages were translated into 9 different languages and the campaign targeted young people in Germany, Spain, UK, France, Italy, Luxembourg and CEE countries.
A successful employer branding campaign needs both: engaging content and sincere communication
Every recruitment campaign differs and is governed by its own rules. Despite the numerous similarities between brands involved in manufacturing, logistics or operating in the retail sector, it would be a misconception to bring all employer branding activities in this area to one single denominator (see the paragraph above where we write about a thorough understanding of brand culture).
Irrespective of the brand's specificity and the challenges of the recruitment sector, one thing is common: the young audience. It is their attention that the recruiter is seeking. They must be convinced and attracted to the company. While each time they expect an engaging and compelling message that will show them what they will be up against whilst working there, we must bear one thing in mind. Sincerity and directness of the message is something that young people across all latitudes cherish. Every brand should be mindful of this when trying to empathise with the language young people communicate with.
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