A little background

2017 saw the launch of the new Hastings Direct employer proposition, Clearly Hastings Direct. This was the creative articulation of the research, findings and definition of their employer value proposition carried out during the Spring of 2017.

Since 2014, Hastings Direct had been using the proposition ‘Refreshingly Straightforward Careers’, but while it was a strong message and resonated well with their target audience of customer service professionals, it was clear that it no longer supported the current recruitment needs of the business. Where there was an increasing demand for talented, senior, commercially driven financial and insurance services professionals.

Our approach

What Hastings Direct needed was an employer proposition (employer brand) that:

  • Represents the culture of modern Hastings Direct
  • Will resonate with job seekers across customer, financial and professional services
  • Is less ‘fun and quirky’ and more ‘warm and professional’
  • Is centred on the people who work at Hastings Direct
  • Can be adapted to the media that it is being delivered through.

Ultimately, the objective of the new people proposition is to attract, engage and retain better people. So (in the short term) the success of the project would be judged on whether there was a clear rise in traffic to the Hastings Direct careers website, an increase in applications received by the recruitment team, positive feedback from applicants, a noticeable impact on their employee engagement survey scores, as well as anecdotal feedback from line managers and a decrease in the number of people leaving within the first six month of employment.

Our research

Hastings Direct identified three core audiences – customer, financial and corporate services. From here they further segmented these audiences into 15 key recruitment audiences. It was these audiences that formed the foundation of both the internal and external research, playing a key part in the focus groups, online surveys and in-depth interviews. They were also used to sense-check the results of the research, to act as a sounding board for the initial draft of the key themes and proposition, and then to ratify the core messages that were designed to engage them.

Using this research an organisational employer value proposition (EVP) was drafted, shared and agreed by not only the target audiences, but also the recruitment and senior executive teams. But while an organisational EVP is useful to have it was really the four supporting themes that resonated most with the target audiences.

Each group saying that they saw evidence of these themes throughout the business. What quickly became clear though was that different themes resonated well with different areas of the business. This meant that these themes needed to be ‘dialled up’ or ‘dialled down’ depending on the target audience that Hastings Direct we looking to engage.

These themes are:

  • Our success is built on trust
  • We’re an agile business
  • Supporting people is in our nature
  • As we grow, you’ll grow

Using the findings of the research, Hastings Direct were able to map the importance of each of these pillars with the expectations of their 15 key recruitment audiences. These were then translated into short statements and assigned to a key audience of job seekers. This message matrix would form the foundation of the creative development – a message or sentiment that would strongly resonate with its intended audience.

The creative execution

Throughout the research it was mentioned that great people at Hastings Direct has a ‘certain something’ about them. Something indescribable, but instantly recognisable. That they had a manner, approach or personality that was ‘clearly Hastings Direct in nature’. And that those people flourish in the working environment offered by the business. And so the ‘Clearly Hastings Direct’ line was born.

The story of the employee is told through their ‘doodle tapestry’. Where the icons in red represent the things that they love about Hastings Direct and the blue icons how the business has supported their lifestyle, development and career. This partnered with the employee’s image creates a unique visual story and striking visual identity.

The full visual identity consists of:

  • The employee’s image
  • Their ‘doodle tapestry’
  • The key message which is taken from the message matrix
  • The ‘Clearly Hastings Direct’ line reinforcing the people proposition
  • The Hastings Direct logo

The people proposition is now lovingly referred to internally as ‘Clearly Hastings Direct’.

That Little Agency | Employer branding | Hastings Direct | Outdoor Advertising
That Little Agency | Social Media Strategy | Hastings Direct Image

The impact so far

Having launched in 2017 the ‘Clearly Hastings Direct’ employer proposition is still very much in its infancy with the messaging still being rolled out both internally and externally. But we can already see some very encouraging trends.

  • 87% increase in website visitors
  • 16% increase in the average time spent on the website
  • 144% increase in the average number of pages viewed on the website
  • 29% increase in completed applications

It is clear to see from the data that the new careers website encourages job seekers to spend more time on the website. They are also looking at more pages during their visit. This means that job seekers are digesting more of the detailed departmental information, cultural and social content, and people stories held on the website. Which has resulted in an increase in the number of candidates passed to EngageATS to apply, and in turn an increase in completed applications.

increase in visitors to the website
increase in average time spent on website
increase in completed applications

If you’d like to know more about this piece of work, just email mark@thatlittleagency.co.uk He’ll bore you about it for hours!