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Case study: How IDA exceeded its associate programme application target by 11%

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Redefining an already well-known employer brand is an uphill battle for any organisation.

Despite that, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the gold winner of the Best Employer Brand Development (in-house) category at the Asia Recruitment Awards managed to successfully redefine its employer brand.

In the process, it overshot its application target by 11% as well as gained more than 48,000 new followers on LinkedIn, which helped it attract the right talent easily.

In 2014, IDA set the stage for Singapore to be the world’s first “Smart Nation”. It is taking the central role as the technology leader to transform the vision into reality through three key pillars – build, govern and deliver.

IDA found its “build” and “deliver” roles were often overshadowed by its “govern” role, and there was a general perception the organisation was only a regulatory outfit.

After identifying the areas to address in its employer branding, IDA reviewed and redefined its employee proposition with the aim to brand itself beyond its “govern” role, correct the stereotype, and attract tech talent to join the organisation.

When IDA embarked on a mission to “influence tomorrow”, through a recruitment campaign aimed at tech-sector talent, it spiked the company’s talent brand index to 24%, ahead of its public and private sector peers.

The result? Winning gold at the inaugural Asia Recruitment Awards in Singapore in the category of Best Employer Brand Development (in-house).

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Influence Tomorrow became an umbrella brand for all of the firm’s employer branding activities, starting with a series of creative advertisements for fresh graduates, mid-careerists and specialists in data analytics, software development and design, and cyber security.

Online innovation was one of the key drivers in the execution, with the company being one of the early adopters of social media recruiting in the public sector.

Engaging the public via social media helped IDA to correct any misperception of being a “bureaucratic civil service outfit”, and also allowed its target audience to learn more about its “build” and “deliver” roles beyond “govern”.

Online marketing also had a boost, given the time-bound need to create awareness and drive applications for the inaugural technology associate programme (TAP) in 2014.

A one-month online marketing campaign was conducted via search engine marketing and display ads via key digital platforms, strengthened by targeted text and display ads for the specific audience of fresh graduates.

Experiential marketing was another area focused on, with initiatives such as informal lunches for interns and e-newsletter for scholars.

Through its Influence Tomorrow, IDA maximised its touch-points with its target audience, leveraging on a platter of media and activities to elevate its employer brand.

The increased touch-points and use of social media successfully helped correct public misperceptions.

IDA now has more than 50,000 followers on LinkedIn, up enormously from 2,000 in 2013, achieving a brand reach even greater than many of its private peers.

All of this buzz saw real conversion – with the application target for TAP exceeding by 11%, and almost two in every three employees looking to recommend IDA to a friend.

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Lau Yin Cheng, IDA’s chief of HR and OD, spoke about the campaign’s success.

“Through our Influence Tomorrow campaign, we were able to elevate our employer brand and attract the right talent in joining us to help us realise our ‘Smart Nation’ dream.

“Being real was key to our success as we were focused on sharing our people stories with different groups of audiences.”

Other than being real, a key factor of the campaign hinged on collaboration – internally across departments as well as externally with creative and media agencies – planned down to every little detail.

Key lessons learnt:

  1. Have a clear idea of how you want your organisation to be perceived.
  2. Identify how candidates perceive your organisation and identify the gap in perception.
  3. Collaborate with your marketing team on an employer branding strategy – chances are they know how to market your organisation the best.
  4. Most importantly, make use of platforms your potential candidates are likely to be on.

This case study is one of the three best practice cases included in the Digital Recruitment feature – other organisations include GroupM and Cargill.

For a step-by-step guide to implementing your very own digital recruitment programme and to have a look at the other case studies, read the full feature here.



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