Pitch and proof

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) approached our team to implement a full media strategy with the goal of recruiting for graduate customer service roles throughout their NI offices. Recruitment was to be undertaken while maintaining the overarching goal of changing the perception surrounding target candidates (as well as changing the perception that NIHE weren’t just recruiting for trades roles) within the short and competitive post-graduation time window.


With targets to improve on previous recruitment drives and deliver an increase in number in addition to a higher calibre of candidates, our team comprehensively researched the relevant target audiences. The net was spread around potential applicants who had experience and education in the customer services and communications areas as well as those with general business degrees. Focus was on those who were ready to graduate, recently graduated or currently in a role but interested in moving.


A media campaign was developed to include elements of outdoor advertising combined with a focused digital approach. Outdoor advertising was targeted around University areas (Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University) in addition to digital screens, targeted Adshels and the use of career portals. The digital strategy included campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn targeting audiences with interests or experience in customer services and / or communication. Google Search and Display was central to the campaign using very specific keywords and successful daily in-campaign monitoring and optimisation.


The campaign received approximately 500 completed applications with over 250 candidates shortlisted for interview. Interview panels noted a clear improvement in the calibre of applicants compared to previous recruitment drives. The response to the Google Search campaign was excellent, achieving 5.15% CTR (compared to industry average of 2.42%). The Facebook campaign also excelled with 5,302 clicks and a reach of 95,385 along with a 1.81% CTR (industry average of 0.47%). Overall the more targeted approach taken by the campaign had a clear and direct impact on the number and calibre of applicants reached.