How Lidl received 375 job applications in 2 months only 

With 8,000 stores in over 23 countries, Lidl is one of the largest supermarket chains in Europe. Despite their considerable size and broad international reach, the brand is still experiencing rapid growth and has an imperative need to hire fast and effectively. We spoke to Marco Dalmeijer, a senior employer branding specialist at Lidl Netherlands, who shared the story on how Lidl is finding a solution to their challenge and attracting qualified supermarket managers while effectively activating their employer brand.
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Lidl: 8,000 stores in over 31 countries

Lidl is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Europe. Despite their considerable size and broad international reach, the brand is still experiencing rapid growth and has an imperative need to hire fast and effectively. We spoke to Marco Dalmeijer, a senior employer branding specialist at Lidl Netherlands, who shared the story on how Lidl is finding a solution to their challenge and attracting qualified supermarket managers while effectively activating their employer brand.

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The challenge

“Because of our rapid growth, we are always looking for new colleagues to work as supermarket managers.”, Dalmeijer lays out as the main challenge.

However, due to their scarcity on the market, qualified supermarket managers are both difficult to find and hard to attract.

 “With our specific target group (supermarket managers) in mind, we considered utilising a very wide spectrum of online media channels where we can create multiple touch points with our desired audience. The media channels we selected with the help of VONQ, ultimately forming the right media mix for our desired audience, were the following: social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn), banners on niche job boards, mobile advertising, and a Google display, search and remarketing campaign. Having selected the right media channel mix for our audience, we then decided to set the campaign duration to two months, with a continual on-the-go campaign optimisation from VONQ whenever necessary.”
– Marc Dalmeijer, senior Employer Branding specialist

As a result, Lidl managed to attract its desired audience through a candidate journey funnel – all the way from Awareness (understanding what it’s like to work at Lidl) through to Action (applying to work at Lidl), following the well-established AIDA-funnel model:

The solution

1. Storytelling to boost employer brand

Storytelling was used to give candidates a realistic picture of what to expect from Lidl as an employer. Part of the campaign content creation included encouraging current employees to share their experiences and views of the company. Dalmeijer explained that the storytelling campaign created a positive reaction and enthusiasm among the company’s employees.

“They all started to share their stories on social media eagerly, which created a lot of buzz internally. One thing that really resonated with the majority of our employees was the internally adopted slogan “Together we Lidl.”

The employees’ stories were then shared through online media channels, including a newsletter, followed by a link to the job. The newsletter solely accumulated a total of 472 clicks to the landing page.

2. Banner ads to reach passive candidates

2. VONQ suggested Lidl make use of sharing banner ads relevant to the target audience’s niche job boards, such as Distrifood. Dalmeijer further explains:

“By using banner ads on niche job boards, we finally managed to reach all those passive candidates, who are not necessarily looking for a new job, but are open to new opportunities.” 

Both banner ads and storytelling proved to be highly effective for Lidl recruitment efforts, from the initial Awareness stage to having a genuine Interest and expressing Desire to apply. The results were 11,007 clicks to the landing page of the job ad.

3. Social Media and Job Marketing

The use of different social media channels was greatly successful. It served as a platform to share job banner ads and company branding videos. We reached a total of 205,880 people, with 3,100 clicks on the job ad, and 684 clicks on the company’s video. 

Both generic and niche job boards (e.g. location-specific job boards) were deployed to distribute the job ads further. The latter was an essential addition to the media channel mix, as it appears that store managers tend to search mainly at a regional job level. 

In summary, using a variety of media channels was essential for targeting the right talent, as it helped create multiple touch points for that target group: both active and passive candidates within a region of choice. Overall, there were eight job boards that resulted in 374 ‘apply’ clicks, with 1 in 4 candidates completing their applications. 

Campaign results
in 2 months only

857.605

total reach of people

27.298

people redirected to website

375

applications

In the following months, Lidl recruiters started witnessing an increase in the quality of incoming applications. “Thanks to the recruitment marketing expertise we have gained, we are now reaping the fruits of being able to successfully target our desired audience. Within a short period of time and with a limited budget, we have achieved success in both strengthening our employer brand and successfully targeting our desired audience. Our recruiters claim that even after the campaign has ended, the number of supermarket managers that find us thanks to organic search are still increasing.”
Marco Dalmeijer
Senior Employer Branding specialist

The Case Study at a glance

Download here a compact overview of the case study as a PDF file.

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