Volume 04, Issue 3
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New Boeing recruitment ad campaign appeals to emotions
BY DEBBY ARKELL
Professionals seeking a career in aerospace can stop scouring the classified ads. Boeing is on the leading edge of an innovative method of recruitment advertising unlike anything the aerospace industry has ever seen.
Boeing Global Staffing last year launched a recruitment advertising campaign that communicates the breadth and depth of opportunities available at Boeing in a colorful, creative, even emotional fashion. Called the "Hope for the Future" campaign, the series of 13 ads is designed specifically to appeal to engineers and other professionals at the point where they made their decision to pursue a career in technology—when they were young.
According to the 2004 IEEE Engineer/Technology Professional Survey, 89 percent of technical professionals and technical students decided to pursue careers in technical fields when they were younger than 20 years old.
"When designing this new campaign, we agreed we'd need a series of ads to represent all Boeing businesses: electronics and communications, defense, aerospace and aviation," said Donna Wildrick, who leads recruitment advertising efforts for Global Staffing. "However, we made a conscious decision to focus on the human element."
Each ad in the series combines general elements representing Boeing businesses—for example, model airplanes for commercial aircraft or rockets for space—along with people.
The decision to focus on people in the ads helped Global Staffing make a departure from typical technical recruitment ads and "really stand out," Wildrick said.
"We're out at the forefront, using personal feelings, thought and touch, and we're bringing the human element back into Boeing," Wildrick said, noting that competitors such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman generally use product-specific ads that tend to look alike.
Boeing Global Staffing designed the "Hope for the Future" recruitment ad campaign with recruitment advertising firm JWT Employment Communications. The ads are published in newspapers, trade publications, on industry Web sites and the Boeing external Web site, directing job seekers to Boeing's "careers" site (www.boeing.com/careers).
Recruitment advertising targets "passive job seekers"—people who know what field they're interested in, but may not have a specific company or timeframe in mind. Boeing recruiters also use the ads to attract job seekers at local job fairs for hard-to-recruit skills.
The "Hope for the Future" advertising campaign was developed using research on the kind of people Boeing is most interested in hiring. It appeals to their sense of adventure at the point when they decided to pursue careers in technology and science, Wildrick said. As such, the ads must excite job seekers mentally and emotionally while clearly showing aerospace technology. The images selected for the campaign are key to its success, she said.
The strategy clearly is working. Global Staffing measures the number of "hits" the careers Web site logs when the ads are running and also tracks which publications work well and which ads are more successful.
"We are driving so much more traffic to the careers page relative to 2004," Wildrick said. "In some cases we're getting 15 times the amount of traffic we had last year, when we run an ad. It gives me a lot of hope for the future."
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