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RPO case study: airline launches tailored hiring and talent marketing strategy.

two women stand at a customer service desk

Leveraging talent brand helps leading airline attract thousands of candidates

a major airline based in North America

To support rapidly increasing business, the airline needed to quickly hire more talent to keep up in a highly competitive hiring landscape.

The airline implemented a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program, including a robust talent marketing strategy and creative platform, to attract qualified talent.

key results
The talent marketing strategy generated nearly 27 million impressions, 1.3 million clicks on job postings, and 55,000+ completed applications for station attendant positions alone within just a few months, while growing Google ads CTAs to 20.53%, surpassing the 5.46% industry average.

as demand takes off, hiring needs to fly high

Like most businesses in the travel industry, COVID-19 introduced unprecedented challenges to this airline when travel greatly diminished. Yet, as the pandemic subsided in 2022 and demand for flights grew rapidly, the airline suddenly faced a new challenge: quickly ramping up teams to make sure they could help people and businesses to reconnect again.

In particular, the airline needed to fill over 4,000 station attendant positions across three main hubs throughout 2022. From refueling a plane to loading luggage, pushing the aircraft off and much more, station attendants are essential to the daily operations and keeping planes safe and running on time. But it was not only station attendants; many roles became critical, from call center agents to flight attendants and other key positions.

While such jobs had previously been highly desired, and the company is a well-known and well-respected employer, the post-COVID talent landscape made filling these roles uncharacteristically difficult. With increased competition for talent from businesses across all industries, and jobseekers empowered like never before, the company recognized that it needed a new approach to attract talent and showcase the exciting careers they can have in the airline industry.

making personal connections with potential candidates

To address this challenge, the airline partnered with Randstad Sourceright to launch a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program, including a robust talent marketing strategy for its station attendants and other key positions. Recognizing the need to get candidates’ attention by standing out from competitors, the program focused on how candidates experience the airline’s employer brand. This included conducting robust internal and external research to create a personalized talent brand for station attendant candidates. The program also involved market analysis to design and activate multi-channel advertising campaigns and develop creative assets, including campaign pages, social media ads, Google display banners and job ads.

Each asset was created to convey a consistent message and theme focusing on how the airline helps to connect people. Designed to highlight the important role station attendants play in making connections (both literally and figuratively), the tailored campaign enables candidates to fully experience what it is like to work as a station attendant. The multi-channel approach focuses on the importance of the role and its diverse and exciting responsibilities while highlighting privileges such as travel allowances and career advancement.

With such a tailored and agile talent attraction strategy, the company sought talent across its main stations, spanning more than 10 job families in 22 locations. Additionally, it held numerous virtual and in-person hiring events to further reach potential talent.

Throughout these initiatives, the company promoted its employee value proposition through the lens of being able to make meaningful connections for people. In fact, the whole employee experience was designed around connections: travel programs that give employees and their families special rates and fares, the flexibility to choose part-time or full-time schedules, well-being support from mental health to financial wellness and career development opportunities.

The airline has also increased its use of data and analytics to remain competitive in a challenging talent market. For instance, the hiring team uses market data for specific locations to adopt the talent attract strategy to better resonate with local talent.

reaching new heights through talent marketing

“Through these efforts, the airline has been able to stand out in the labor market and attract and hire the talent it needs to run its operations seamlessly,” said Tindy Robleto, head of Client Partners, North America for Randstad Sourceright.

For its station attendant positions, the airline’s campaigns have resulted in nearly 27 million impressions, more than 1.3 million clicks on job postings and more than 55,000 completed applications. Based on the strength of its assets, its Google ads resulted in a CTA of 20.53%, far surpassing the industry average of 5.46%. Overall, 20% of all applications were sourced through these talent marketing efforts, demonstrating the importance of a talent branded campaign within the recruitment mix.

With regard to its other key roles, the company has had similar success. Overall, its job ads garnered more than 425,000 clicks, while resulting in an extra 17,000 completed applications.

Faced with the challenge of rapidly ramping up hiring for essential positions, the company focused on its unique employee value proposition, tailored by job family via a talent brand, and targeted attraction marketing activities, to overcome a difficult hiring landscape to attract top candidates.

Learn more about the importance of creating talent brands that resonate with your target audience.