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The story behind ‘Scrap the CV’, Team Lewis' tool that shook up agency recruitment

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By Awards Analyst | writer

December 5, 2022 | 5 min read

Team Lewis won at The Drum Awards for Agency Business 2022 in the Best Disruption of the Status Quo category for its ‘Scrap the CV’. Here, we find out more about how the agency is transforming recruitment.

A still from the Team Lewis 'Scrap the CV' ad campaign

Team Lewis' CV-rejecting recruitment campaign won big at The Drum Agency Business Awards / Robbie Noble via Unsplash

The world of work has changed considerably over the last few years, but creative PR agency thought that recruitment hadn’t changed with it. With the great resignation taking hold, it decided to completely overhaul its recruitment strategy. It ditched CVs and cover letters, replacing them with a system focused not on what candidates wanted to ‘do’, but what they wanted to ‘be’. Combined with a major marketing push, the switch-up netted over 6m views worldwide, and almost 20,000 registrations.

The brief

Back in October of 2021, the ‘great resignation’ was biting and the world of work was facing another crisis. Global PR agency Team Lewis has long tried to think differently about talent, with an existing charitable foundation, academy and masters program. It decided that it needed to overhaul recruitment too.

Aiming to remove the complexity of the standard recruitment process and find talent unencumbered by the archaic limitations of job roles and focus on education, it would focus on aspiration instead. It would also put the full force of its ‘marketing multiverse’ behind the changes in a major PR push, intended to stand out from the crowd of competitors all doing recruitment in the same way.

Hear what the winners had to say about their award-winning work above.

The idea

Scrapping the CV’s role in recruitment, the cornerstone of the idea was a recruitment site that asked: “what kind of ‘ER’ do you want to be?” That’s ‘ER’ as in ‘thinker’, ‘doer’, or any other word ending in -er a user would care to submit alongside their name and LinkedIn profile.

Using creative technology, this streamlined the recruitment process. Those with relevant entries were contacted by the recruitment team; troll responses like inappropriate language or racism were met with educational links.

Being a PR agency, it was also a fame play. Pushing out videos and all sorts of other content across paid, earned and organic channels, the campaign would also drive brand recognition inside and outside the PR industry.

The results

Across platforms, the campaign reached 6 million people, generating 100,000 interactions. Almost 20,000 people shared their details to apply.

For recruitment, this has meant over 800 call-backs, 160 interviews and 30 hires – as well as a “bank” of 50 applicants waiting for the right role.

The campaign’s landing page has become the most visited page in the Team Lewis site history, while the month it went live became its highest-traffic ever.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Agency Business 2022. You can see all the winners here.

The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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