Columbus is one of Norway’s least known large IT consulting companies. They define themselves as an uncorporate corporation and less rigid than its competitors. In the autumn of 2021 Columbus was experiencing strong growth and needed more qualified digital heads to manage the growing numbers of large clients and even larger, complex projects. The challenge was just that the best people were being recruited to the more renowned companies. So, Columbus turned to us to help them recruit, while also strengthening their brand in the industry
Interviews we did with the target group across companies in the industry showed that the working day of IT and tech consultants is full of tasks that steal focus from the job itself, e.g. reporting, estimation and other status meetings. This doesn’t only affect the immediate mood, but over time also wears down work effort and general well-being, and triggers frustration and stress.
Statistics from Forbes showed that in the consulting industry 80 % feel they don’t have sufficient opportunities to develop professionally or personally in their current workplace, 38 % feel “stuck” in their careers and one in four have considered changing jobs post-covid.
Furthermore, we knew that the target group know they are highly attractive. So much so that they make themselves difficult to reach (due to broad and constant recruitment efforts) by filtering out all communication that resemble recruitment. They have high professional pride and prefer to listen to their peers rather than company communication.
Columbus already stands out as less rigid than their competitors. Our insight indicated that the target group didn’t need massive persuasion, and that tickling their interest could be enough to trigger action. We decided to give them a friendly nudge in our direction to help these potentially disgruntled consultants in the industry – while also helping Columbus itself.
To broadcast Columbus as an attractive workplace, we had to break with the traditional category language – both in order to stand out from the crowd, but also to reflect Columbus’ somewhat different identity and profile. So, we launched:
Columbus’ own helpline for (slightly) frustrated digital heads.
Here, callers were offered help with typical pain points, and then let them access self-help articles suggesting small changes in everyday working life – and even major changes such as actually changing jobs. Because who says helplines only have to help the caller? There’s no reason why we couldn’t do both.
We gave the helpline a cheerful personality, and the further into the conversation you got, the more eager became its suggestions for change. This also subtly reflected Columbus’ somewhat round-edged, uncorporate profile than its more square competitors.
In the two campaign months leading up to New Year’s Eve, we covered the main underground stations in Oslo with digital boards communicating the Columbus helpline during prime commuting time. Throughout the campaign, we ran banners on FB and LinkedIn, and were strategically present via Kobler. And as a kickoff the first week we took to the streets of Columbus’ competitors, offering free coffee labelled with a simple QR recruitment message: We are looking for more digital minds – scan for a new coffee.
The campaign was shown to 3,956,726 commuters during the campaign period (+33 % of estimate).
LinkedIn yielded 122,257 views and 1,058 clicks: a click-through rate of 0.87 (+43 % above average).
In total, the campaign generated 15,000 page views and 4,600 visitors to the website during the campaign period – tripling the number of visitors compared to previous months.
The campaign goal was 40 qualified applicants by 2021. Columbus received more than double the amount: 104 qualified applicants!
“The important thing is also that we got hold of candidates for positions we didn’t think it was possible to get, and that we got hold of even better candidates than we had hoped for.”
– Arild Gilde, Marketing Manager at Columbus