The Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support was struggling to attract and retain people for child protection roles in regional WA.
In addition to meeting the stringent qualification requirements, successful candidates must also understand and accept the realities of working in remote communities.
We created a new recruitment experience which features a simplified user application process and immersive content that illustrates what it’s like to live and work in the Department’s regional outposts.
The Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support relies on its skilled and passionate workforce to continue its valuable work within the community - which means attracting and retaining the right people is vital. In a new partnership with this government department, we set about tackling a recruitment challenge with a number of different complexities.
The Department found it was struggling to attract skilled and qualified candidates for child protection positions in regional Western Australia. First up, the potential pool was relatively small due to the qualification and experience requirements - the Department initially requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology or a relevant qualification in Human Services. Secondly, even those that were suitable sometimes turned out to be unprepared for realities of working in regional areas, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can arise from employment in remote country communities, which made staff retention difficult.
Together we delved deeper, via:
- Landscape analysis, investigating how similar organisations were successfully attracting their candidates
- Web stats analysis, which highlighted that the Department’s website was experiencing high bounce rates as confused users tried to find the information they needed
- Business stakeholder reviews, in which Department members solidified the qualities they were looking for in future employees
- Video interviews with regional staff, who highlighted ways to improve retention and the pain points they remembered from the application process, including a lack of communication with prospective candidates along the journey
We translated our findings into a thorough strategy, and as a group quickly identified the need for a fresh digital presence that worked much harder to arm potential candidates with the facts they needed to make informed decisions - and to guide them through their application.
With the help of insights, interviews and video diaries from real child protection workers in country WA, we planned a rich, engaging content program that would highlight a career in the Department as ‘more than just a job’ and inspire applicants with stories of the emotional rewards of living and working with children and families there. At the same time, a combination of media - including a series of ‘day in the life’ videos filmed on location - would set expectations with honest portrayals of work and life in these close knit country communities. We needed to tell the ‘real story’, by relaying the career’s enormous rewards and the positive difference Department employees make to the vulnerable - but also work to avoid any misconceptions applicants might have.
These videos proved to be a crucial tool in our communication suite, allowing us to capture the true essence of each town as a Department employee showed us around and discussed their work there. In collaboration with the Department and a filmmaking team, we went through casting, location scouting, concepting and storyboarding to ensure we captured the most useful footage on shoot day.
Simultaneously, we designed a new experience that would create clear and streamlined pathways for interested candidates to apply or register their interest. This formed the centrepiece of a newly developed microsite, which was collaboratively scoped so it would sit seamlessly within the Department’s existing technical ecosystem. Powered by third-party job feed integration, we scoped functionality to display vacancy listings via a dynamic map, which would then continue the loop by directing users to multimedia information specific to that role and location - as well as encouraging them to register their details for future opportunities. A social media feed also pulls in the latest updates from the Department’s official channels.
A hard-working microsite
The Department’s new employment microsite plays host to our line and sinker digital solution: it draws in potential applicants by educating them with role and district information, then converts them into real applicants via vacancy listings, user friendly interactive maps and links to apply.
Our creative design direction uses colours inspired by the very environment that Department employees told us had been instrumental in drawing them to country WA. A card-based layout creates a modular and dynamic visual solution.
Content that tells the whole story
Through our collaboration with the Department, we’ve brought child protection job opportunities to life, with in-depth picture galleries, detailed information about roles, location guides with input from real employees, links to useful community resources and documentary style videos that all work together to create an immersive storytelling experience.
The video series treads the careful line between giving a balanced and honest view of life and work in these locations, without undervaluing the joy, benefits and fulfilment current employees feel while living there. B-roll footage and voiceover set the scene of each community, positioning each town as a character in its own right, while face-to-camera interviews see Child Protection Workers recounting their life-changing work with depth and emotion.
Applications made easy
By simplifying complicated routes to application we’ve simultaneously lessened any apprehension or chance of abandonment for potential candidates. The Department’s new user-friendly recruitment system got to work quickly: within just two weeks of launch, 15% of users had already clicked through to apply for a role, with yet more signing up to receive vacancy updates and join the Aboriginal Employment Register.
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