Penguin Random House’s “The Scheme”,
now well into its first year, aims to find
talent from beyond the usual publishing
pool, writes Neil Morrison.
We created The Scheme to tackle three
business challenges: to bring new talent in to
the company; to open our doors as widely as
we could to different types of talent; and to
recruit the marketeers of the future.
From the start we knew that we wanted it
to be different. This wasn’t about creating
another graduate scheme, or a recruitment
campaign. We wanted to change the rules, to show how
things could be done differently and to create an event that
would capture the attention of the people that we wanted to
hire–people who hadn’t thought about publishing before.
Our plan was to focus on the social media channels,
where we knew the candidate pool would be strongest. We
built the recruitment site ourselves on Tumblr and planned
a marketing campaign using our existing, well-established
Facebook and Twitter channels. The total cost of the
campaign was less than £500. The name, “#TheScheme”,
was a slightly unimaginative working title that just stuck.
The seven characteristics
Assessing for potential rather than experience
is hard. It’s easy to ask for a number of years
experience, or a 2. 1 degree in English or
Humanities. So we worked with colleagues
in Marketing to define the seven characteristics
of a modern marketeer, and built the
application process around them. The first stage
of the application was simply to answer seven
questions based on these characteristics. The
only pre-requisites being that you had to
have the right to work in the UK and to be
available to commence in September 2015.
We also wanted the process to be as transparent as possible.
We told people what we were looking for, how they were going
to be assessed, what the timelines were and how many people
would make it through each round. We wanted to remove
some of the mystery about how recruitment in publishing
works. We held a live Twitter Q&A to answer any questions
people had about how best to apply and answer the questions,
which in itself had more than 1,000 engagements.
By the end of round one we’d had more than 15,000 visitors
to the site, several thousand engagements on social media
breaking the mould in recruitment