Graduate recruitment campaigns are a great opportunity to create fun, effective candidate experiences that bring brand and culture to life. We spoke to Dan Phillips (Brand Experience Manager) about how his team at Fletcher Building used Weirdly to do just that (and tackle unconscious bias at the same time!).
Every year around the same time, University campuses get extra crowded. Corporate recruiters buzz around, competing for the best and brightest soon-to-be graduates. Students are (understandably) nervous – often overwhelmed by the choice of where to go once they graduate. And “how to write a resume” websites get a huge spike in traffic.
Fletcher Building are well-known for their creative, award-winning graduate recruitment campaigns. For the 2015 campaign, they wanted to tackle a particularly tricky challenge: Eliminating unconscious bias.
The team needed to assess how candidates met the personality, culture and skills requirements they’d need to thrive in one of NZ’s most successful businesses. And they wanted to do that while reducing how much unconscious (or conscious) bias had a chance to affect their selection process.
Graduate Recruitment challenge: Eliminating unconscious bias (and snagging the best students)
When recruiting grads, you don’t have a lot to go on. Resumes are sparsely populated and LinkedIn profiles are (mostly) non-existent. Often, all you’ve really got is a transcript and well, the stuff you can glean from social media presences. We all remember being 18, right? Imagine the story your Facebook would’ve told about you if it existed back then.
Dan and the Fletcher Building recruitment team were keen to give these candidates the best chance to prove their potential, without leaning heavily on the traditional resume+cover letter trope.
Graduate recruitment is incredibly competitive. The biggest employers in the country are vying for the best and brightest students. Standing out is key and, as we know, these students are driven by more than just generous pay-packets and flashy perks. Fletchers saw Weirdly as a way to engage graduates in a fun, branded candidate experience right from their first interaction.
Using a Weirdly custom skin, we built a candidate experience that looked and sounded like Fletcher Building and worked seamlessly with the wider graduate campaign.
The custom quiz allowed the recruitment team to rapidly screen based on how well these candidates would complement the company culture Fletchers is building. Rather than just measure people against how well they match the current team culture, Weirdly allowed Dan and his crew to look at how candidates would help to enhance and evolve the Fletchers culture in a positive way.
“Our Weirdly quiz provided an awesome, memorable entry point for our candidates – they got a better understanding of what it might be like to be part of the Fletcher Building team, and we got to see how well they could positively influence our culture”
That’s pretty great on its own, but the magic really came in turning the campaign blind. Because the team wanted to tackle unconscious bias with this campaign, Weirdly’s custom skin also allowed us to block all identifying demographic information from the recruiting team during the screening process, including names, gender and contact information. That means the Fletchers team could be sure they were screening purely on how a candidate answered the questions.
How did Weirdly fit into Fletcher Building’s Graduate Recruitment process?
Weirdly sat right at the beginning of the recruitment process in this case. The custom quiz was the first application point for candidates, with our dashboard the place the Fletcher’s team did their first round of screening.
With identifying data obscured, the recruiters filtered over 600 applications down to a long-list of 100. Those 100 were then sent onto Winsborough for full psychometric testing.
From there, the long-list was reduced further to the top-50.
Those candidates were then invited – via Weirdly’s video integration – to submit a short video. True to the blind campaign theme, those videos were run through obscuring software to hide the candidate’s identity before being added to each of the top-50’s Weirdly profiles. And from there, our top-50 became a top-40 (triggering Rick Dees themed flashbacks for anyone who was a teenager in the 80’s and 90’s).
It was only at this point, that candidate identities were revealed and an assessment centre held.
“I hate to think how long screening from 618 candidates to 100 would’ve taken without Weirdly. The huge volumes would’ve forced us to make snap judgments and inevitably bias would’ve played into that. Weirdly was awesome for making the whole process faster and more fair”
By far the coolest bit for us was comparing Weirdly’s candidate results, with the psychometric assessment results.
Over 57% of the candidates who ranked in the top tier of the psychometric assessment, also scored in the top 50 on their Weirdly assessment. That’s powerful validation for a light screening tool like ours.
“Knowing how closely the Weirdly results were supported by our usual psychometric assessment means we can just use Weirdly as our first screening and save the more expensive, robust psychometric testing for much later in the process [with fewer candidates] – that’s a huge cost saving!”
For Fletchers, the true victory was in getting a crop of awesome candidates who wouldn’t have necessarily got through a more traditional recruitment process.
“With no unconscious bias in play, we ended up uncovering a whole lot of brilliant candidates who might have either not got through or not even applied for a place in our grad programme in the first place.”
So the graduates got an awesome candidate experience, the recruitment team got a streamlined process and we all got a little closer to helping NZ’s biggest employer eliminate unconscious bias. Sounds like another brilliant graduate recruitment campaign.
If you’re starting to plan your next grad campaign, chat to us about a Weirdly demo. If you’re keen to just jump in and have a look for yourself, it only takes 30sec to set up a basic quiz.