"WHY I WORK AT CAMP"
A recruiting & branding campaign focusing on talent acquisition of college students to work at Mount Hermon summer camps
Getting college students to commit to a summer job has always been a challenge, but with a severe drop in applicants, it was time to make a splash.
Historically, Mount Hermon summer camps relied on in-person recruiting by traveling to universities and setting up a booth. An obvious problem was exposure; the recruiters were at the mercy of students who happened to be walking past the booth on that particular day. They needed a cohesive multi-level campaign from the beginning of the recruiting journey to the end of the application process.
Goals: Cohesive branding through the applicant's journey from beginning to end, stellar landing page, SEO optimization, targeted paid ads, good story-telling, buy-in, and greater product awareness.
HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE
Six months through recruiting season
Increased number in applications and brand awareness
ELEMENTS OF THE CAMPAIGN
New landing page with sub pages focusing on open positions & applicant resources
Photo, video, and graphic elements to make up an organic & paid social campaign
Cohesive to the evergreen brand, a new branding suite.
Stickers, t-shirts, mugs, booth design, posters & giveaway items to promote recruiting.
As the Creative Producer, I got to influence the rebrand and project from ideation to launch. The undertaking was exciting: a new web build, digital assets, print, product, social campaign, and video production.
I focused on researching the pain points of college students: what they cared about most when choosing a summer job, what benefits mattered most, and what roles were most exciting. I conducted interviews to establish a framework to build our story arch – what is the story we're telling to influence a student to work at camp?
After defining the story we wanted to tell, and positioning the students as the hero, I worked with designers to develop a look and color palette to guide our rebrand. We worked together to build a landing page frame, and I curated photos for each web page.
Utilizing our branding and audience data, I worked with a videographer to develop a hero video for the landing page and five informational videos for the different types of jobs they were recruiting for.
As the producer, I led the various stakeholders and recruiters to develop a recruiting plan, in person and online, that would achieve the most significant reach. I created our social media campaign strategy for multiple channels and accounts, was responsible for paid campaign management, writing copy, directing content creation, and weaving the recruiting campaign into the existing content on the various channels.
THE STYLE GUIDE
Throughout the research of learning why someone chooses to work at camp, the same answer kept popping up: the people. So, we incorporated the best part of camp into our branding – the uniqueness of each individual.
One of the key themes of this campaign was positioning the college students as the hero and Mount Hermon as the guide. How do we guide the students to have the best summer of their lives? How do we set them up for success in their future?
During our research, we asked previous summer staff to write out – in their own handwriting – why they decided to work at camp. We highlighted each person's writing in our campaign branding.
PREVIOUS STAFF ANSWERING "WHY I WORK AT CAMP"
We asked them to share – in their own handwriting – why they chose to work at camp and why they would come back.
OUTCOME & RESULTS
Ahead of schedule and under budget – our favorite combo. With our deadline bumping up to the start of recruiting season, we saw our work in action.
The campaign's main goal was to improve reach and brand awareness, followed by an increase in applicants to work at camp, both of which had a great positive outcome.
Online, the total traffic to our landing page was most substantial through search engine responses and social media links. We had a fantastic click-through rate on our PPC ads and a healthy session duration on our website. Our most utilized website sections were the hero video and the "apply now" button, which was our goal!
AS A RESULT OF OUR CAMPAIGN LAUNCH, THESE WERE SOME MAJOR WINS
Increased web traffic
From the launch of the campaign we saw a huge increase of site views of the landing page, and increased views of our product pages.
With thoughtful planning we worked hard to optimize our site from the beginning. The web page became positioned at the top when googling "camp jobs"
We saw a jump in applicants after the launch of the campaign in both in-person recruiting and through website visits. We were able to then focus on specific roles that needed to be filled rather than general recruiting.
Increased Brand Awareness
By tracking our site views and utilizing the percentage of first time applicants that had never heard of Mount Hermon, we were able to determine an increase in brand awareness through local and out of state applications.
Increased Social Media Following
With this campaign we increased our social media following by 32% over a single recruiting season. Our Instagram channels grew by +432 followers
THE LANDING PAGE
The landing page was in the midst of full company re-brand. We were able to utilize the tools and brand guide we created during the overhaul and refresh our recruiting page
TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK
I would have liked to collect better year-to-year data to guide our campaign efforts in the future.
I would utilize the collected data from applicants of where they heard about Mount Hermon and push into those areas. I would have targeted subgroups of college students to match their interests with job opportunities. For example, target swimmers for lifeguard positions, or pre-med students for camp nurse positions.
I would also have began an influencer campaign on TikTok of Mount Hermon alumni adding to follower reach and brand awareness.