Randstad recently rebranded with ‘Human Forward’ as their new brand statement. As part of this change, they wanted video content that resonated with candidates and clients in a manner that was both honest and engaging, showcasing the new ‘Human Forward’ ethos.
In the past Found have created an array of animated and fact-based explainer videos for Randstad. Channelling their new ethos, we pitched an on-brand personal interest style video series around the topic of returning to work after long periods of absence.
Getting back into the workforce after a long period of absence, whether enforced or by choice, can be daunting. People face several barriers, from having an out of date skillset and explaining their CV gap, to the prospect of returning to an office environment after a life-changing experience.
Our in-depth research demonstrated that there was a clear opportunity to create video content covering a diverse range of life and work experiences. Bringing this series to life would support candidates searching for advice around the topic of returning to work as well as positioning Randstad as an authoritative voice for job seekers looking for guidance.
The main challenge we faced was sourcing genuine and interested subjects to interview. Due to the amount of focus on individualised storytelling, not to mention the financial investment required to produce this kind of video series, it was vital to engage in a rigorous selection process. Having a way of clearly collating and reviewing potential participants with compelling and inspiring stories was necessary so that we could begin to focus on liaising with the individuals who were happy to be interviewed in their home and whose stories translated well on camera.
'Our business is based on people. Real connections aren't just made from data and algorithms - it takes empathy, intuition.
Working in partnership with Found we were able to explore themes that were topical and relevant that no-one else in the market owned. Away from any corporate/commercial success, the return to work campaign has given some of our video participants a valuable and life changing platform to share their voice and make a real difference to others.’
Gemma Umney - Head of Communications & Content - Randstad
Using our SEO expertise, we were able to establish the topics with the highest search volumes, cementing in our minds that the public was asking questions or looking for advice and supports around these themes.
From the themes researched, we selected six to focus on: maternity leave, redundancy, retirement, mental health, serious illness, and prison time.
In order to find participants that we could, firstly, film within a specific two-week window in London and, secondly, who had an emotive story to tell, we decided to post our call-out as far and wide as possible. We reached put to bloggers and online publications related to each theme and exhausting both our and Randstad’s social reach and client databases.
As we decided to recruit for participants across six distinct themes, it was essential to meticulously collate everyone’s details and written accounts for careful consideration. We included a link to an extensive survey in all of our publicity, allowing us to make an initial selection of individuals who we wanted to talk to in further detail.
In order to discuss the project in more depth, and to get more of a sense of how individuals would come across on camera, we arranged phone interviews with a shortlist of participants. Talking though our planned filming technique and what would be required of the subjects, as well as hearing them talk about their experiences first-hand, was vitally important. It became immediately clear who would come across engagingly while telling their story and who didn’t.
For Randstad to see our chosen subjects and hear a sample of their stories, we asked out shortlisted candidates to email us a brief video capturing their experience on camera.
Together with Randstad, we selected the final participants who we believed represented a good cross-section of the topics. We arranged to interview and film the subjects in their homes over two weeks, telling us their account of returning to work after a prolonged period of absence.
Debuting with a combination of emotive, inspirational video and accompanying practical written content on a bespoke content hub, Randstad was suddenly able to speak from a position of authority, guiding and supporting employees in returning to the workforce. Randstad not only promoted the videos via social channels online but also played them at conferences, using the videos to engage with both clients and candidates in new and innovative ways.
This series exceeded expectations, performing organically on and offline. The result? Extensive press coverage for the campaign with features on BBC News, Sky News, The Sun, and Daily Mail, to name but a few.
Our intuitive and unique visual storytelling approach to this commonly experienced but overlooked topic produced an evergreen series of content that has proven invaluable to Randstad.
Since completing the first series of 10 videos and due to them receiving such positive feedback, Randstad further commissioned Found to produce an additional three videos adding to the serious illness theme. Watch Randstad's Return to Work series below.
Nothing can prepare you for the shock of being struck down with serious illness. Terry talks of his struggles as a young plumber suffering a massive stroke and how he managed to gradually build up his strength and get back into the workplace.
Natalia sadly lost her first baby at almost full term. In this honest interview, she tell us how she dealt with telling colleagues and friends and discusses her gradual return back into the workforce and the challenges of returning to work after having a still birth.
Mental Illness is a huge killer in the construction industry with figures as high as two constructions workers taking their own life every day in the UK. Construction worker Dave tells of about how he realised he needed outside help and the difficulty of talking about mental health in such a tough and male dominated industry.
With a peaceful retirement on the horizon, Janey’s son is sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer however, due to drug induced mental illness refuses to seek any treatment. As his condition deteriorates and he sadly dies Janey returns back to work to help raise awareness around the side effects of drugs amongst young people.
‘Raising awareness of our services as a recruiter through engaging video content has generally been difficult, and through the subtle messaging in the videos we were able to achieve this, while at the same time still telling an interesting and emotional story. The Return to Work videos are relatable to many, and this is why they were so well received - both externally and internally, by stakeholders who have high expectations. Well done Found!’
Marc Heley - Communications and Content Manager - Randstad UK