Rally Awards Recruitment Marketing

8 Lessons from the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns

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Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

Dive into the success of 6 Rally Award-winning Recruitment Marketing campaigns and learn 8 important lessons for how you can apply these innovative and creative strategies to elevate your talent attraction plan.

8 Lessons from the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns
5 (100%) 5 votes

Attracting top talent in today’s competitive job market is no easy task. Companies face the dual challenge of not only reaching potential candidates through crowded job boards and noisy social media channels, but then compelling candidates to consider changing jobs. This is where the power of effective Recruitment Marketing comes into play.

So each year, we recognize the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns in our prestigious Rally Awards competition. In this blog post, we look at the winners in the 2023 Rally Awards who set new benchmarks in creativity, strategy and impact. Their Recruitment Marketing campaigns proved that innovative approaches in talent attraction can expand an employer’s reach, significantly shift perceptions and fill open positions quickly and cost effectively.

Let’s take a closer look at each winner and the strategies that propelled them to the forefront. You’ll walk away with fresh ideas in storytelling and digital marketing tactics that will make your career opportunities and employer brand resonate with today’s job seekers.

Rally Note: Join us to see who will win a 2024 Rally Award at our Virtual Awards Ceremony on April 25, streamed Live over LinkedIn. Come honor the winners and celebrate Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding practitioners everywhere!

2023 Best Recruitment Marketing Campaign (Large Team)

First Place: Northrop Grumman — “Overheard at Northrop Grumman”

Northrop Grumman’s “Overheard at Northrop Grumman” campaign brilliantly shattered aerospace and defense industry stereotypes through humor and relatability. By launching the first serialized comedy show on LinkedIn, the campaign showcased a more approachable and innovative side of Northrop Grumman, challenging the perception of the defense sector as a bureaucratic “black box.” With over 35 vignettes published every 2 months, Northrop Grumman humanized the industry and its employees, significantly enhancing brand consideration and social engagement. The campaign redefined what’s possible and produced an unprecedented success in how the defense industry uses social media for recruiting.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: Targeted vignettes across social platforms, precisely engaging tech talent, showcased Northrop Grumman’s innovative culture against industry stereotypes.
  • Quality: High-quality, engaging content blended humor with professionalism, revealing a relatable, human side of the aerospace and defense sector.
  • Innovation: Creative use of serialized comedy to attract and connect with potential candidates, setting a new precedent for recruitment in the industry.
  • Results: Marked increases in site visits, job seeker engagement, leads and hires highlighted the campaign’s impactful strategy and execution.

Second Place: Boston Consulting Group — “Beyond is where we begin.”

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) clinched second place with their standout “Beyond is where we begin.” campaign, designed to redefine BCG in the eyes of job seekers globally. Facing the challenge of low awareness and differentiation among talent increasingly drawn to the tech sector, BCG set out to position itself as an employer that goes beyond the expected, emphasizing innovation, impact and growth. Their human-centric campaign utilized authentic visuals and relatable language across an impressive array of channels, creating a rich tapestry of BCG’s commitment to its employees and the wider world. With results showing a significant uptick in careers site visits, talent community engagement and application conversions, BCG’s campaign demonstrated the power of Recruitment Marketing to attract diverse, top-tier talent by authentically showcasing an employer’s mission and values.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: BCG redefined its market presence to appeal to job seekers, leveraging a global, integrated narrative that emphasized innovation and societal impact, capturing the attention of tech talent.
  • Quality: The campaign’s high-quality, engaging content and strong visual identity resonated globally, with a storytelling video effectively humanizing the BCG experience.
  • Innovation: BCG’s campaign stood out for its creative platform, showcasing genuine stories of diversity and inclusive career paths.
  • Results: BCG’s campaign yielded impressive recruitment outcomes while creating an employer brand story rooted in its authentic commitment to values and impact.
A BCG employer brand design template.

For its global Recruitment Marketing campaign, BCG created this design template that can be localized in each market.

Third Place (tie): ChenMed — “ChenMed’s Transformative Care Recruitment Campaign for Physicians”

The ChenMed Transformative Care Recruitment Campaign for Physicians stands out as a testament to the power of targeted, mission-driven Recruitment Marketing. Tasked with elevating employer brand awareness and consideration among primary care providers (PCPs), the campaign pivoted on a new brand messaging strategy emphasizing ChenMed’s foundational pillars of mission and purpose. By harnessing a multi-touch approach that integrated awareness advertising, lead generation advertising, thought leadership content and promotion, the campaign not only supported talent acquisition efforts but also fostered internal referrals and employee advocacy. The results speak volumes: a notable increase in job site visits, job seekers, applications, interviews and hires, highlighted by a significantly higher click-through rate (CTR) in paid efforts compared to industry averages.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: ChenMed captivated its target audience—primary care providers—by embedding its mission-driven ethos into the campaign. This strategic alignment highlighted not just a job opportunity, but a calling for impactful work, effectively attracting the right talent.
  • Quality: The campaign stood out for its cohesive messaging and high-quality visuals. This consistency ensured the brand’s values were clearly communicated, resonating strongly with potential candidates.
  • Innovation: ChenMed’s approach leveraged employee stories, thought leadership and diverse content to position itself as a pioneer in value-based healthcare, engaging talent on an emotional level.
  • Results: The campaign delivered impressive results, from increased job site traffic to a surge in hires, demonstrating its effectiveness in attracting mission-driven physicians.

Third Place (tie): Labcorp — “Work that benefits others”

Labcorp’s award-winning Recruitment Marketing campaign was highly effective at attracting skilled talent and appealing to entry-level candidates in the competitive Madison, Wisconsin, life sciences and healthcare sector. This comprehensive campaign highlighted the Labcorp brand and mission, differentiated the company in the crowded marketplace and ensured a seamless candidate experience. Through a blend of traditional and digital channels—including digital billboards, bus wraps, direct mail, job board advertising, paid media, social media and career microsites—the campaign not only reached but engaged a diverse pool of talent. Key to its success was the innovative use of an employee referral program incentive, which significantly boosted referrals for critical roles. The results speak volumes: a substantial increase in site visits, new job seekers, unique leads and job post visits, culminating in a notable rise in applications and successful hires.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: Labcorp’s campaign effectively boosted brand awareness and talent attraction in a competitive market by skillfully blending traditional and innovative tactics, demonstrating a keen understanding of the Madison talent landscape.
  • Quality: Outstanding visuals and execution across media types amplified reach and engagement, capturing candidate interest and effectively communicating the Labcorp brand.
  • Innovation: Innovative media use and a unique employee referral incentive showcased creative recruitment strategies, significantly enhancing talent referrals and engagement.
  • Results: Marked increases in site visits, job seeker engagement, leads and successful hires highlighted the campaign’s impactful strategy and execution, leading to significant recruitment success for Labcorp.
Labcorp recruitment marketing campaign, Madison Wisconsin

Labcorp effectively used mainstream marketing channels like billboards in its Recruitment Marketing campaign in Madison, Wisconsin

Third Place (tie): Levi Strauss & Co. — Anthony Jones and Antonio Stephens — “Levi Strauss and Co. Behind the Seams Campaign”

Levi Strauss & Co.’s “Behind the Seams” campaign, led by Anthony Jones and Antonio Stephens, marked an innovative leap into the Thai market, setting a new standard for Recruitment Marketing excellence. With the ambitious goal of establishing a strong employer brand in a competitive, fragmented retail industry, they harnessed the power of social media and programmatic advertising to create a multifaceted campaign that resonated deeply with their target audience. By leveraging social media and the Google Display Network, they crafted a campaign that showcased the Levi Strauss unique culture and career opportunities and effectively communicated the originality and personality behind the brand. The campaign’s blend of engaging content, including a captivating personality sting film, interactive Instagram stories and insightful employee-generated content led to impressive results in hundreds of hires, proving the undeniable impact of combining a clear, attractive value proposition with strategic channel selection.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: Their strategy brilliantly highlighted the Levi Strauss unique culture and values. Their focus on sustainability and diversity made a compelling case for potential candidates.
  • Quality: The mix of high-quality brand content and employee generated content (EGC) underscored their commitment to authenticity.
  • Innovation: Their campaign featured a standout mix of engaging films and interactive content that effectively communicated the brand’s core values.
  • Results: The judges were particularly impressed by the high engagement rates and significant traffic driven to the career site, showcasing the campaign’s wide reach and effectiveness in the market.

Best Recruitment Marketing Campaign (Small Team)

First Place: Henkel — “Authenticity + Reachability = Success: Henkel’s Equation for Attracting Manufacturing Talent in a Competitive Market”

Henkel’s award-winning Recruitment Marketing campaign is a beacon of innovation for small teams embarking on big recruitment goals. Faced with the challenge of distinguishing themselves in Bowling Green, Kentucky—a city where the manufacturing industry is a major employer—Henkel launched an omni-channel marketing strategy that prioritized authenticity and strategic reach. By showcasing real employees and the unique working environment through various digital and traditional media platforms, Henkel was able to generate millions of impressions and a significant increase in traffic to their careers page, resulting in a substantial uptick in applications and hires for critical roles. This approach set a new internal standard for Henkel, proving the power of a recruitment campaign that genuinely connects with its audience and meets them where they are.

Why They Won:

  • Strategy: The judges were impressed with how Henkel deeply understood its audience, crafting an omni-channel campaign that not only addressed immediate hiring needs but promised to enhance its employer brand long-term.
  • Quality: The campaign’s execution across various channels, featuring genuine employee stories, stood out for its authenticity and engagement, elevating Henkel’s message above the competition.
  • Innovation: By leveraging a broad mix of media and incorporating real employee voices, especially through innovative channels like radio ads, Henkel introduced a personal touch that set their campaign apart.
  • Results: Henkel’s strategy tied marketing metrics to hires, demonstrating the campaign’s effectiveness in a competitive talent market.

What the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns Have in Common

Let’s dive deeper into the winning tactics from the 2023 Best Recruitment Marketing Campaign awardees and unearth 8 actionable insights that you can apply to elevate your own Recruitment Marketing efforts.

  1. Embrace Creative Storytelling: Northrop Grumman’s “Overheard at Northrop Grumman” campaign is a prime example of using comedy to shatter industry stereotypes, showcasing the innovative and human side of aerospace and defense. Consider how your organization can leverage unexpected genres or formats to tell your story in a way that stands out. Perhaps a mini-documentary series on your tech team’s biggest challenges or an animated day-in-the-life of your remote workers could capture the imagination of potential candidates.
  2. Deploy a Multi-Channel Approach: Labcorp’s comprehensive campaign spanned digital billboards, bus wraps, social media and more, significantly boosting their brand recognition and attracting talent using “regular” marketing channels. Analyze where your target candidates spend their time and tailor your content to fit each channel’s unique format and audience. A mix of traditional and digital channels ensures your message resonates across a broad spectrum of potential applicants.
  3. Champion Authenticity and Transparency: BCG’s “Beyond is where we begin.” campaign provided a genuine glimpse into the impact their employees make, using real stories and imagery. Start by capturing authentic employee testimonials about what makes your company a great place to work. This could be through candid video interviews or photo essays that highlight real employee experiences, fostering a genuine connection with prospective candidates.
  4. Craft Targeted Messaging: ChenMed’s approach in attracting mission-driven primary care providers by highlighting their transformative care model is a masterclass in targeted messaging. Identify the core values and motivations of your ideal candidates, then tailor your campaign’s message to speak directly to those aspirations. Whether it’s innovation, social impact or career growth, ensure your messaging resonates on a personal and emotional level.
  5. Leverage Innovative Engagement Tactics: Levi Strauss & Co.’s use of engaging content like personality sting films and Instagram stories to showcase company culture demonstrates the power of interactive content. Consider launching an interactive quiz about your workplace culture or a behind-the-scenes Instagram takeover by employees. Engaging content not only attracts attention but also encourages potential candidates to interact with your employer brand on a deeper level.
  6. Drive Impactful Results Through Engagement: The overwhelming positive reception and performance metrics of Northrop Grumman’s campaign underscore the importance of engagement. Measure your campaign’s success not just by application numbers, but by engagement metrics like social shares, comments and time spent on content. This will help refine what resonates with your audience, enabling you to iterate for even greater impact.
  7. Highlight Your Mission and Values: All winning campaigns made their company missions and values a focal point, attracting candidates who aligned with those ideals. Articulate your own organization’s mission and values through storytelling that showcases how employees live these principles every day. This could be through employee-led volunteer initiatives or projects that reflect your company’s commitment to diversity, innovation or sustainability.
  8. Make Data-Driven Decisions: Each campaign’s success was underpinned by strategic use of data to target messaging and measure results. Start small by A/B testing different messages on social media to see what resonates, or use data analytics to understand the demographics of your site visitors and tailor content accordingly. Continuous learning from data allows for agile adjustments that can significantly enhance campaign performance.

Remember, the goal is to not just attract talent, but to inspire and engage candidates in a way that they feel compelled to explore a future with your organization.

Inspiring You to Redefine Recruitment Marketing Excellence

We’d like to once again congratulate the 2023 Rally Award winners in the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaign category. These accomplished teams executed their bold campaigns with vision and creativity, achieving their hiring objectives while setting new benchmarks for attracting talent at their companies and in their industries.

It’s clear that the most successful campaigns share several compelling features: they weave captivating stories, integrate multiple channels, stand firm in their authenticity, speak directly to their audience, innovate with engagement tactics and rely on data to guide their strategies.

The most important lesson: don’t be afraid to redefine what’s possible in Recruitment Marketing at your company!

Rally Note: Join us to see who will win a 2024 Rally Award at our Virtual Awards Ceremony on April 25, streamed Live over LinkedIn. It’s a wonderful opportunity to honor this year’s winners and celebrate Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding practitioners everywhere!

8 Lessons from the Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns
5 (100%) 5 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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