Take yourself back two years, to a time that seems like a lifetime ago. A time when Covid-19 had begun causing destruction for people, businesses, and everything in its path. As one of the largest tourism operators in Aotearoa, Ngāi Tahu Tourism were no exception, with many of its attractions placed into “hibernation”. After the peak of the pandemic had passed, and it was time to hire back much-needed employees, Ngāi Tahu Tourism reached out to Haines Attract to assist with a strategic recruitment campaign. Hiring candidates from the domestic target market proved challenging - especially when they were competing for candidates from all other tourism and hospitality operators. New Zealand's borders opened much later than other countries like the UK, Canada and Europe, meaning New Zealand tourism and hospitality operators were essentially at the back of the recruitment race for international candidates.
It was our job to come up with a strategic recruitment approach, one that would speak to Ngāi Tahu Tourism's unique values and offerings, including the importance of belonging, adventure, and connections.
We needed to immerse ourselves in Ngāi Tahu Tourism's world and kōrero (talk) with their kaimahi (staff) directly to delve into what it truly means to work for this iconic business. And to do this, there was no better way than to meet the team kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face). We felt a huge sense of whānau and belonging, allowing us to connect with the overall purpose and values that Ngāi Tahu Tourism represented. This was crucial to provide the best strategic recruitment approach.
We held focus groups and conducted on the ground research to gather insights into what it's like to work at each of the ten individual tourism businesses. This research helped us develop a choice of three overarching concepts that would resonate with the target audience. What resonated with us were the elements of adventure seeking the kaimahi enjoyed, and how working at Ngāi Tahu Tourism felt like a second family. Ngāi Tahu Tourism chose to launch with our concept of: “Indulge your senses.” This concept embodies elements of wanderlust, curiosity, and adventure-seeking, while also showcasing the sense of belonging that Ngāi Tahu Tourism kaimahi valued. This was their point of difference, and what set them apart (and will continue to do so) from other competing organisations both in New Zealand and internationally.
Using this concept, we created multiple videos for social platforms and the Ngāi Tahu Tourism careers website, including a two-and-a-half-minute hero video, and seven social edits focusing on different ideas. The social videos were intended to be quick and to the point, to capture candidates' attention and drive them to the careers page, where they would then get an insight into everything else. We also created a TikTok with an authentic, user-generated feel to blend into organic content and drive high engagement.
In terms of media strategy, our insight and recruitment experience meant we could conduct an in-depth analysis into the target audience, which gave us a good understanding of where our potential candidates spend their time. This allowed us to resonate and engage with them on a higher level, by ensuring that we get our videos and content in front of them on a variety of different platforms they're using. It's this continued exposure that eventually drives candidates to take action.
The indepth understanding of Ngāi Tahu Tourism and their target audience meant we were able to provide the perfect solution that aligned with the overarching reason people love working there. Ngāi Tahu Tourism employees embrace the fact they are part of something special, with a true work purpose of contributing daily to the wider Ngāi Tahu whānui. We were able to connect like-minded people with an organisation that would become their second family - their whānau - the place they belong.