Following the announcement of the closure of HP Ireland’s inkjet cartridge manufacturing plant last February, which will see 500 employees made redundant in early 2018, HP asked Cogs & Marvel to create an event that would expose their experienced staff body to recruiters from the tech, pharma, automation, management consultancy, ICT, and medical device industries and show their employees that their future is HP’s top priority.
The brief was to take a typical careers fair, where companies advertise themselves to an audience of prospective recruits, and turn it on its head: we needed to create an event experience to highlight the unique talents of the 500 employees and make them attractive to the biggest companies in the country.
Our goal was to create an event experience that would result in real job offers for the HP staff. To do this we needed to understand the cultural landscape within HP and the target audience.
There was a negative perception among the long-serving HP employees, a feeling that they had become institutionalised after 20 years with one company, which was shared throughout the industry. The HP staff were lacking in confidence in their own abilities. HP wanted to empower them and showcase their people to the wider industry as leading innovators in their fields.
The announcement of the plant closure came as a shock to many, and some were in denial about what was happening. HP wanted to motivate their people, to make them feel excited about the potential opportunities.
Networking and job hunting after being in one position for so long is difficult. HP wanted to create an organic environment that people would feel comfortable in, allowing HP staff to secure as many new contacts as possible.
HP wanted to honour their Irish legacy through this event series, to show their commitment to their staff to the last. The careers fair, as the last in an education series for the employees, needed to prove that the skills they had learned with HP would stand to them.
Reviewing these challenges, we determined that the experience needed a carefully crafted story that not only emboldened the job seekers but also positioned them as the highly skilled prime candidates the recruiters were after.
The Concept and Execution
We created an experience around the idea of the fingerprint: an identifier for who you are and, by extension, what you have to offer. No one else has your fingerprint. No one else has your unique skills and talent. No one has your story.
The individuals were the focus of the event, helping the HP staff tell their stories to recruiters and potential employers. We provided a forum where they could take the time to talk to and connect with recruiters, personalising them and proving they have more than a job title on a CV: they have experience.
Throughout the venue, we profiled key pieces of work done by the HP staff that they could reference when networking with the recruiters. Each HP staffer wore a poken device with their name badge, preloaded with their resume and contact details, to share their details simply with new connections and job prospects.
A motivational programme ran throughout the day, where staff could learn from performance psychologist Gerry Hussey and take part in one on one career coaching sessions.
The 500 employees had the opportunity to meet and network with 73 of the biggest international brands based in Ireland, such Amazon, Accenture, Apple, and IBM. The enthusiasm of the staff and the feedback of the recruiters and employees was seen across social media, proving the event an invaluable stepping stone in their path to their next career opportunity.
At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.
Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.