The 2021 Rally® Awards are just around the corner! The early bird deadline will be here on Jan. 31 and the final entry deadline is Feb. 15. Did you create some award-worthy Recruitment Marketing content in the past year? Did you lead or contribute to an employer branding project that helped set your company apart from your competitors? If so, you deserve to be recognized for your innovation and impact!
The Rally Awards honor and showcase the most creative and effective Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategies by individuals and teams working in-house for employers. The awards program, now in its second year, recognizes strategies with tangible results that made a big impact for your company’s talent attraction and recruiting efforts.
If you’re thinking about submitting your work for consideration this year or nominating another deserving practitioner, but aren’t sure how to package up your work, we’re here to help! We’ve pulled together 10 pro tips from last year’s winners and judges to help you create a stand-out submission for the 2021 Rally Awards. Good luck!
How to create an award-winning Rally Awards submission
Rally Awards Winner: Sunnie Rock, BAE Systems, Best Use of Video in Recruitment Marketing
Sunnie’s top 3 tips for creating a compelling Rally Awards submission:
1. Be authentic and tell a story — what problem were you trying to solve? What was your motivation or vision?
2. Don’t be afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly. What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them? Were there any surprises? What are you most proud of?
3. Provide lots of details to really bring your project to life for the judges. Our winning submission contained the best practices we applied, what we learned, the results (data) and the feedback we received — oh, and don’t forget to include visuals and graphics to help bring your story to life!
Sunnie’s winning entry: BAE Systems’ Norfolk shipyard required a large number of highly-skilled workers in many tough-to-fill trade roles. Sunnie created a strategy to capture employee stories and video content (partnering with Stories Inc.), which was then activated across landing pages, social media and campus recruitment presentations. By the end of the campaign, 30 welders were hired and joined BAE Systems. The narrative surrounding the company’s recruiting challenge and the boldness of Sunnie’s strategy, combined with her direct impact on filling key roles, made Sunnie’s work truly stand out.
Rally Awards Judge: Debbie Celado, Head of Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing, The Americas at Philips
Debbie served as a judge in the 2020 Rally Awards, reviewing nominations in multiple categories in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding. What did she look for as a judge?
Here’s Debbie’s top 2 tips for putting together a solid awards submission:
4. Show tangible metrics and results. Demonstrate how your efforts made a difference; like leading to an increase in qualified candidates, higher engagement, better visibility with your target audiences or an increase in application conversion rates.
5. Don’t be afraid to back up your quantitative results with some qualitative data points! Did you receive positive feedback from your leadership team? Hiring managers? Candidates? Adding these insights can help show how your efforts made an impact on real people.
Rally Awards Winners: Emily Rutt and Taylor Childs, Nestlé USA, Best Content Marketing Program
Emily and Taylor shared 3 tips for where to focus when you’re beginning to put together your Rally Awards submission package:
6. Start by looking at your top performing content and work your way down from there. If it resonated well with audiences, it will likely resonate with judges too.
7. Get additional submission ideas from your other team members and stakeholders. Pull in anyone who was a collaborator or stakeholder — this could be anyone from your graphic design team to a hiring manager. Having insight into other processes outside of your own can help you identify elements that will amplify your submission that you may have originally overlooked!
8. Take a 360° approach to your application by considering all the possible angles and content across the board. For example, we included components of our internal practices, external messaging and details about our ambassador network in our awards entry. Get creative with anything that really pushed your vision and message forward and show how all the pieces worked together to create a cohesive strategy.
Emily and Taylor’s winning entry: In 2019, Nestlé USA published 34 pieces of original long-form content. To amplify their content, they produced 2,349 social posts. They also leveraged their employee ambassadors who shared this content with their personal networks, which drew nearly 25,000 organic engagements. This approach led to 2x the reach and engagement with their social channels from the previous year and sustained a followership growth of 30-40% over the past 2 years.
Rally Awards Judge: Sara Erickson, Sr. Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Ecolab
Judging the first Rally Awards program, Sara looked for whether the submission provided a detailed strategic overview of the work. She says, that doesn’t just mean explaining what you did and sharing a screenshot — tell us about the “why” behind your strategy, using the following approaches:
9. Go beyond sharing a visual example and a brief description of what your objectives were. The entries that stood out to Sara were those that were really comprehensive — they outlined how the strategy was put together, how tactics were approached and the results that were achieved.
10. Make sure the data you’re sharing is purposeful. While it can be tempting to provide a laundry list of data, what really stands out is when an award submission provides data that illustrates how the project results tied back to your talent goals. Data can help us glean important insights, but if the metrics aren’t tied back to a concrete goal, they don’t really matter.
To learn more and submit your nomination, visit the Rally Awards website. The early bird entry deadline is January 31, 2021, and the final entry deadline is February 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on April 7, 2021, in a live virtual awards ceremony.
We can’t wait to hear about all the great things you’ve achieved this year, Rally community! Good luck!