Shreyas Kulkarni

Indeed takes on referral hiring with a new campaign

Made by DDB Mudra, the video and print ad campaign illustrates the pitfalls of informal hiring

Job portal Indeed’s new campaign strikes a three-ad blow on India’s penchant for hiring folks from first-party sources; “I know the person, trust me” if you may.

The 20-second ads and a print ad, the brainchild of DDB Mudra, focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and how informal processes lead to losses than gain.

“74% of SMBs preferred hiring through personal or known references because it is easier or quicker,” states Nishita Lalvani, director, Indeed India and SEA.

In contrast, a huge portion of jobseekers (67%) prefer finding jobs through democratic job sites or portals as it gives them more access and freedom to choose from a host of job opportunities, says Lalvani. This indicates the hiring disparity between SMBs and job seekers.

So why are the SMBs not streamlining their hiring processes? Says Indeed’s director, “SMBs do not have the time or resources to spend on hiring. Many SMBs are micro-SMBs and don’t have dedicated hiring partners with 33% of them indicating this as a challenge.”

Things, however, are not too dark for the employers. She says job postings in India are at an all time high. "We have bounced back from the pandemic and in fact, right now, on Indeed India, we have 67% more jobs than we did just before and going into the pandemic." Indeed's research shows SMBs are set to create over two million jobs in the next five years.

Indeed takes on referral hiring with a new campaign

The campaign is live across India with a focus on six cities: Bangalore and Mumbai (83% each), Chennai (75%), Hyderabad (71%), and Kolkata (69%). In terms of sector preference, IT (39%) leads, followed by hospitality and food (24%) and e-commerce (23%).

The three ads are of 20-seconds in duration each. This is in contrast to a regular-sized one as come to expect from brands.

Says Sooraj Pillai, “When you have a fertile insight like this, as a creative person, one would like to explore multiple facets of it versus doing a large formatted film which will tell the philosophy… This just automatically warranted multiple stories to be told and hence we instinctively felt it needed multiple films." He is a senior creative director at DDB Mudra and led the project.

When asked if the length of the ads (20 seconds) was intentional keeping in mind the new-age short-video consumer, Pillai disagreed. “We felt these stories could be effectively told in 20 seconds so why bother making them lengthier than that? It is not the duration which decides the story, it is the story which decides the duration.”

Indeed takes on referral hiring with a new campaign

Accompanying the video ads is a print ad which tries to catch a reader’s eye with a massive grammar error in the copy. One has to read the fine print to understand Indeed’s ad purpose. However, considering the fact that many people only glance the newspaper these days, there is a high chance they will miss the relevant messaging.

Pillai is not too worried. He feels the print medium is unique where the ad makers have a short duration in terms of attention span time “so disruption plays a huge role. Second, it is tough to play a story or convey witty humour in print. That is exactly what we wanted to attempt and it allowed us granular details in the market.”

He goes on to explain that the moment the reader sees the mistake, disruption is covered and when the realisation hits him/her, “we wanted that smile to be conveyed and that is why we decided to go quite lateral with the print ad versus going rational.”

Asked if one should be on the lookout for more campaigns from Indeed, Pillai responded in the affirmative. "The great resignation was a huge revelation, and considering quiet quitting came right after that, the job seeker and search market will be active. Every brand will be expected to communicate something and Indeed will have a point of view."

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