The rail industry is experiencing rapid expansion, with 400m more passenger journeys predicted by 2020. As a core component of UK infrastructure, industry expansion is recognised by the government as crucial for a successful economy.
To support this growth the rail industry – led by Network Rail – developed a new internship scheme for 80-100 unemployed or under-employed graduates. The scheme assists the government’s aims of reducing unemployment, whilst demonstrating the rail industry’s commitment to developing talent by providing graduates with valuable experience in a commercial, business-focused environment.
With incredibly tight timeframes and so many partners across the rail industry involved, we have been extremely pleased with the high quality candidates delivered by Amberjack.
Close partnership and great communication was crucial for the success of a campaign this size. This was because it not only involved lead partners Network Rail, but a further 28 rail companies.
The initial challenge was brand development. The brand name and logo had to be developed from scratch. It had to be relevant to the graduate target audience. But also meet the approval of all 29 rail companies. Crucially the new brand had to be different from existing stakeholder recruitment branding to avoid confusion.
With only 3.5 months from concept development to candidate induction, campaign timescales were tight. And recruitment for more than 25 locations made the project especially challenging. The first project initiation meeting took place in late November. At this point all that existed was a budget and an agreement on the basic principles of the initiative.
We developed an end-to-end recruitment solution for the internship scheme. This included brand development, attraction, microsite, Ambertrack Applicant Tracking System (ATS), assessment design and candidate management.
Every step of the recruitment campaign was carefully planned with our partners during a series of project meetings. The strategy we developed used a combination of market insights, experience and historical data. It was specifically designed to recruit the ideal profile of graduate the industry needed. And we branded the scheme Track & Train.
The campaign was supported by the powerful Ambertrack ATS. Ambertrack included an online application form with pre-screening and assessment questions. Applications were screened manually. Robust quality assurance procedures ensured consistency and objectivity at all times. Candidates also faced online tests and assessment centres. These were designed to ensure that quality candidates progressed through the process.
The entire campaign was managed by Amberjack’s passionate resourcing services team. Applicant enquiries were responded to immediately, delivering an exceptional candidate experience.
Recruitment for the internship scheme was a tangible success. The rail industry united under a new brand to attract graduates, many who were unaware of the opportunities the industry could provide. The rail industry has also often struggled to attract great numbers of talented women, with perceptions that it is an old fashioned, heavy sector but 30% of new recruits were female.
The marketing campaign drew more than 25,000 unique visits to the microsite. Almost 50% of site visitors registered for the programme. And over 2,500 applications were received. A total of 94 hires were made for over 25 locations. Numbers of applications exceeded forecasts, delivering an extremely competitive cost-per-hire.
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education said “This scheme is really great news for the next generation of men and, I’m pleased to say, women who will be leading and transforming the industry for years to come. More and more graduates are realising that the railways can provide dynamic, fulfilling jobs at a time of not only unprecedented investment in our existing networks but as we also embark on the creation of a truly national high speed railway network.”