Recruiting while your employer brand is on fire

Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam B.V. is the largest independent fuel storage terminal company in the Port of Rotterdam. The liquids for the petrochemical and food industry are stored in the 300 tanks with a total capacity of 1.600.000 m3. Transport takes place via (sea) ships, tank trucks, railcars and pipelines. The terminal also has a distill facility to separate liquids.

What was the situation?
In 2012 Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam B.V was negative in the headlines, because of a series bad incidents at the terminal and the many safety inspections from the government. At the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 the organization was struggling with two issues: increasing the quality of the organization by hiring new staff and meanwhile reducing personnel costs. This resulted into a new challenge: making a positive turnaround in labor market communication and meanwhile filling a large number of vacancies to attract qualitative candidates.

Which approach did Odfjell took?
Odfjell asked VONQ to help and participate in the strategic discussions about how to deal with the recruitment challenges. VONQ proposed a recruitment strategy based on 3 components:

  • Bespoke Job marketing approach
  • Target group campaign with targeted mailings and
  • Target group campaign with Google marketing

Key focus for the campaign was to increase the  Employer Branding and Employer reputation, generate industry awareness and fill the open positions with highly skilled people.

The key message
The results of the campaign were immediately visible. We received many applications, both highly qualified and somewhat lower quality. The number of applications, but also the number of clicks on our website was enormous and this indicates that our vacancies were being viewed and picked up by our target audience. In other words, our job marketing has been taken to a higher level. Applicants literally quoted Odfjell’s ambitions about turning from a straggler into a front-runner in the area of safety. Applicants bought into the key message, which made this campaign so successful, applicants understood the key message and really wanted to contribute to the refreshed Odfjell and their objectives to become the safest terminal of Europe.

What results have been booked till now
The campaign has been running since the end of May and Odfjell has already received an amazing online exposure. There have been a total of 705.600 displays of the banners on relevant channels, whereby there were 3.368 visitors on the site. Here we can make a split between the Google Marketing campaign: 66.4% of the number of visitors, the target mailing: 2.39% and the job marketing campaign 31.2% of the number of visitors.
To date 363 people have applied and Odfjell has gone from 9 vacancies to 5 vacancies in early stage. In addition to finding the right  candidates, Odfjell has taken a real leap in improving its employer branding. Odfjell get’s back via the different channels, such as trade associations, unions, etc, that their vacancies and company name are extremely well visible on online channels and in the market. This way Odfjell has been able communicate a clear and coherent message. One which explains that Odfjell has taken a new direction.

Ralph Brasker
Chief Marketing Officer at VONQ