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Turning a global pandemic into recruitment success

Amelia Merrill is one of the most creative recruiters I know. She is right there at the outer edge of innovation and possesses the creativity of transforming ideas into workable solutions that deliver results. Amelia is the VP Talent Acquisition for Risk Management Solutions (RMS) who are owned by DMGT, the same company that owns Evenbase.  At last year’s HRTech Conference, Amelia and her team won the candidate experience award for RMS.

And she does need to be creative, because RMS is based in Silicon Valley and therefore competes for talent with the likes of Google, Facebook, and a multitude of cool and colourful start-ups.  RMS obviously doesn’t have the same brand awareness and brand recognition or the apparent attractiveness of their competitors.   So RMS has to contact a lot of people before they get one to bite.

RMS is offering sophisticated products and services for the management of catastrophe risk associated with natural perils such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and windstorms, as well as products for weather derivatives and enterprise risk management for the P&C insurance industry.

Today, RMS also leads the market in risk modelling for man-made disasters associated with acts of terrorism, and recently released the first infectious disease model to quantify and manage the risks associated with pandemic disease on the world’s population and economy.

So to build some serious brand recognition in their key recruitment market segments, Amelia and the team have come up with an ingenious solution. RMS is featured in the game “Plague Inc.” Plague Inc. is not any old game, but one of the most played games on iPhone and iPad. And RMS isn’t included in the usual advertising ways, but as a character in the game.

Have a look yourself. This video was used for the internal kick-off and explains the “Plague Inc.” to the current employees:

It is cool, isn’t it? I especially like that it is so closely linked to the actual RMS brand and its business. As Amelia Merrill explained:

“The game is challenging, fun and educational just like RMS. We could never get in front of this many people this quickly.  Over 1 million games have already been sold and they are finishing up an android version right now.  While playing the game people will see the RMS brand pop up at least 4 times and not in a cheesy way.  We are a character in the game…an expert advisor.  Lastly, our LifeRisk business actually builds similar, much more complex of course, models.  So this gives us an easy fun way to explain a part of our business to people inside and outside our industry.”

The real beauty besides the creativity is the understanding and building on some key principles of recruitment and marketing.

  • It is a great, real world example of the fact the employment branding is only a facet of the overall company brand (instead of a weird, loosely connected, separate entity)
  • It follows the traditional marketing principles of Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning & shows an in-depth understanding of the target audience.
  • It is built on the knowledge that the internal and external audience are intrinsically linked and uses this initiative to enhance and reinforce RMS’ culture – after all your employees are your most important brand ambassadors. 

But it doesn’t stop with the release of the game. Amelia Merrill and team have already planned further steps to deliver against their objectives, both internally…:

“People who have played are really excited about it.  We are about to give out free games to anyone in the company with an iPad or iPhone so they can play.  We will also be having an internal contest where an employee will create a situation which will cause the virus to react differently during game play.

… as well as externally:

“We created a game card with a code (which we just got from the printer this week) that we will be giving out at all kinds of events.  Some will be given to customers, some to employees and a lot to candidates. In addition, when anyone comes to a meeting in one of our offices they will be able to play a game while they wait for their meeting in our lobby and can of course pick up a card to download it later.

This is smart and creative recruiting. I’m especially impressed by the stable yet flexible approach, by the understanding of the fundamentals and the multi-dimensional impacts it will generate. In time, I’m sure, it will also generate the results and deliver against the objectives Amelia Merrill and the team are aiming for.

Posted in Brand, Marketing, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Media.

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