Award Winning

CPL and Cambridgeshire County Council: See the difference reablement recruitment campaign

Agency: CPL

Agency: CPL
Client: Cambridgeshire County Council
Award: International Content Marketing Awards 2019 – Best Consumer

CPL Doris


The brief for this campaign was simple: to recruit 40 reablement workers over a four-month period for Cambridgeshire County Council’s social services team.

A reablement worker is someone who helps people, such as those leaving hospital, to regain their independence so they can once again live in their own home. They also enable the council to make big savings. An average intensive six-week reablement programme costs £1,600 per person, compared with a lifetime domiciliary care package of £38,000.

But in the UK’s fastest growing county – with high levels of employment – Cambridgeshire struggled to recruit care workers.

The first part of the brief to the team at CPL was to change all that.

The second was to tackle a question that our team had also been asking: “What exactly is a reablement worker?”

By explaining what a reablement worker does, CPL help to change the conversation around care roles – and increase the number of people applying to become one.

After all, the target audience for the campaign was extremely broad – it could be any adults in Cambridgeshire, regardless of their experience in the care sector. It was all something of a gamble for members of Cambridgeshire’s transformation team who issued the brief, because they had never run recruitment marketing in this way.

But the results would make the risk more than worthwhile.

CPL Cambridge Council


To learn more about the people we wanted to attract we:

• Carried out face-to-face interviews with existing reablement workers to understand their motivation, route into the industry and view of their role

• Held workshops with social care professionals to dene and establish key campaign messaging and a proposed campaign roadmap

An immediate insight was that the biggest motivator for people was seeing the positive dierence they could make in others’ lives.

This was the inspiration to create a strong and impactful series of creative executions. We looked to tap into people’s emotions – and make them want to help others.

CPL also needed a creative solution that would answer the second part of the brief: to explain what a reablement worker is.

The messaging therefore revolved around what happiness would mean for the ‘service user’ (the person needing help to live in their own home) – and explained how the reablement worker could help them achieve this.

‘See The Difference’ involved specially created personas for service users – ‘Bert’, ‘Louis’ and ‘Doris’ – and made them the stars of our adverts. They each told a story inspired by the experiences of existing reablement workers:

• Be a reunite Doris with Morris worker’ stemmed from a conversation with a reablement worker whose service user had been determined to get home to see her cat.
• ‘Be a get Louis cooking on gas again worker’ was about people’s desire to cook for themselves.
• ‘Be a get Bert dancing again worker’ reflected someone’s wish to be able to attend his local tea dance again.

We used both digital and outdoor channels. A series of adverts spanned bus stops, bus sides, petrol pumps, and digital screens inside garages and on forecourts. And a range of Facebook and Twitter ads were created, based on the persona stories.

We also needed to make it easy for people to apply for jobs. Channels were selected that reduced barriers – reply by text, apply via Facebook or community pages, phone, or visit the revamped recruitment webpages.

And we always made our personas the heroes. So the calls to action linked with the Doris campaign read ‘Text DORIS to 81888 to hear more’, and a similar solution was used for Bert and Louis.

Web pages were revamped, social media stories were published as paid advertisements, and we worked with local media to promote real stories, featuring reablement workers and residents who had benefited from the service.


If we were all proud of the effectiveness of our creative solution, then it’s fair to say we and our client were completely blown away by the results achieved with a total budget of just £50,000.

The original target had been to recruit 40 new support workers within four months. In practice, by the end of that period, 52 were either appointed or waiting to have their start date confirmed.

The initial campaign was so successful that it is now running in focused pushes for a further 12-month period.

In total, within four months, the recruitment team at Cambridgeshire County Council had:
• Carried out 1:1 telephone conversations with more than 200 people
• Received 162 applications
• Interviewed 133 candidates

And social media engagement included more than:
• 303,000 impressions
• 3,600 post reactions
• 1,143 link clicks

Alongside the positive statistics, some of the informal feedback has also been hugely motivating. For example, the council has seen an improvement in employee satisfaction driven by the positive vibes around the campaign, while the employee experience has also improved. One team member said: “I have had the four most enjoyable and satisfying weeks since I commenced the role of reablement worker.”

As mentioned earlier, our client at Cambridgeshire County Council had taken something of a gamble in investing in recruitment marketing to solve a long-term problem.

But it paid off.

As James Gemmell, transformation manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We have really enjoyed working with CPL on this campaign and have seen some great results. The team’s ideas and approach to content marketing have been hugely benecial.”

And the best result has been that more people like Bert, Doris and Louis have been able to get back to their own homes – and back to doing what they love.

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