Grad Central, a graduate recruitment service, was formed with the aim of matching graduates with the needs of businesses in a bid to retain the skills the Midlands region would need for long term economic growth.
Businesses were focusing on their bottom line and not on employing new people, making the launch of this service even more challenging. As a new business start-up, Grad Central had no brand awareness with graduates and businesses alike, facing stiff competition from a saturated recruitment market.
As well as creating a ‘stand-out’ brand personality for Grad Central and as part of the integrated approach, HROC generated news by conducting a survey of over 1,000 final year students at 8 regional universities, to identify attitudes towards the jobs market and ‘spread the word’ about the Grad Central service.
HROC also developed and issued a business survey to 6,000 SME’s, to ascertain their views on employment during the economic downturn and their attitudes towards employing graduates.
The results of both surveys, in conjunction with the visually strong and highly memorable Grad Central ‘match’ icons, were used to target all national, regional, business, student and broadcast media, as well as online and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, providing a stream of advertising, PR news stories and case studies. Video case studies were produced and hosted on the Grad Central website to boost content and SEO performance, along with weekly blogs for both graduates and businesses.
Within year 1, all key targets were exceeded, including over 18,000 graduate sign-ups to the web portal, in excess of 1,000 businesses registering to the service and the placement of over 250 graduates into West Midlands’ businesses.