So last night, a few of us attended the Recruitment Society event: Graduate Recruitment – My World of Windmills, Competitions and Doing Things Differently. The speaker was Vicki Spindler, Graduate Resourcing Manager at Tesco, and the event was held at Cass Business School, City University in London.
After a short train delay and a bit of map-reading confusion, we finally found the venue. Being a bit late, we had to sneak in the back, after the presentation had started. I did manage to get some notes on the main points though.
- Vicki stressed the importance of getting to students early, not just targeting final year students.
- The aim of Tesco’s graduate campaign was to move away from their “cold and corporate” image.
- Tesco wanted to be in the hearts and minds of students, to educate them about the content of work and the culture of the company and to above all, do things differently.
- The Tesco Business Game was launched as a competition to make it fun, active and engaging. A bit like The Apprentice, it showed students how they do things within the business, with the message “did you know you can actually get a job doing this?!”. 49 out of 50 students applied.
- Vicki also stressed the importance of the Employer Brand.
- On a small budget, Vicki was looking to do something original and innovative to hook in the students. Her team went to two universities, armed with branded plastic windmills to give out to students. The windmills had codes on them which when checked-in rewarded random winners with Tesco vouchers. Over 2 days, Vicki received 381 entries. She found that even though a lot of the students weren’t interested in talking about graduate schemes, she managed to change the Tesco image from “cold and corporate” to “original and quirky”.
- Social Media appears to have played a small part in her campaign. The hashtag #DiscoverTesco was a bit of an afterthought, but Vicki was very excited to have received 8 mentions associated with the campaign from students on Twitter.
The key messages from Vicki’s experience were to start early, to be fun and creative and to show the people behind the brand.
There wasn’t much of a focus on social media, but it’s interesting to see what other people are doing.