This campaign impressed due to the degree of research and planning – a textbook example. The robust initial research determined a digital-first strategy which transformed an archaic recruitment process into an innovative and effective new approach which saved taxpayers’ money and addressed the health board’s staffing crisis with several key appointments. This campaign engaged not just its target international audience but the wider community within and around the area. It is already being recognised as best practice and being shared by other health boards. A digital campaign that drove real world outcomes, #JoinCwmTaf was a stand-out winner.


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Winner entry:

Brief and objectives:

Recruitment of NHS staff is a UK wide problem with health boards across Wales and the wider UK competing to attract a limited workforce. In Cwm Taf there are specific challenges in recruiting medical staff, with particular difficulties in:

  • Paediatrics
  • Accident & Emergency
  • Trauma & Orthopaedics
  • Pathology
  • Radiography

Having previously relied on traditional recruitment methods, mainly costly advertising in the BMJ, which had been proving to be stale and unsuccessful, jamjar worked with Cwm Taf University Health board to deliver an innovative recruitment campaign.

jamjar was tasked with:

  • Designing, developing and delivering a six month communications campaign, targeting medical staff in the UK and overseas (particularly Pakistan, India and Egypt)
  • Positioning Cwm Taf as an employer of choice with the aim of generating awareness and applications for hard to fill posts

Rationale behind campaign, including research and planning:

In order to get a better understanding of the target audience, we:

  • Researched top ten universities for medical courses, distributing an online survey to graduates
  • Surveyed Cwm Taf staff to find out what they enjoy about working for the health board
  • Surveyed medical staff employed by other health boards to find out what attracted them to their current job, perceptions and awareness of Cwm Taf, where they consume news etc
  • Used previous insight from a HR focus group for overseas medical staff

The insight revealed that when medical staff from outside of Cwm Taf are looking for jobs it’s the role itself, career progression and the location of the health board that is important to them.

While Cwm Taf staff identified that what they liked about working for the health board was the camaraderie amongst the team, the community spirit and career progression.

Reflecting the above, we developed a campaign concept and strapline that centred on the letter C:

‘C is for….Cwm Taf UHB. Care to join us?’

Messaging was developed with Cwm Taf’s workforce and communications teams focussing on Cwm Taf’s:

  • Camaraderie, caring and close-knit teams
  • Culture of supporting and empowering staff
  • Community spirit that is inherent of the South Wales valleys
  • Cutting-edge facilities
  • Location close to the city, coast and countryside
  • Continuous professional development and career progression opportunities.

We also researched best practice recruitment campaigns from outside the healthcare sector to see what we could learn and bring to the table. This research revealed that the army had achieved success in recruiting new military personnel through virtual reality. We felt that this could be exploited in our campaign with our digitally savvy audience in mind, particularly because Cwm Taf had already committed to attend a number of job fairs throughout the country but didn’t have any marketing collateral to take.

Strategy and tactics, including creativity and innovation:

Our research dictated that digital communications was going to be the most effective way to reach our target audience.

Utilising the concept, we created content for which is where all internet traffic was directed. It was the main shop window for selling the benefits of working for Cwm Taf and highlighted current jobs.

In what we believe is a first for a UK health board, we created a 360-degree video to give potential new recruits the chance to get a glimpse of what Cwm Taf has to offer.

Showcasing its health park, general and district hospitals, prospective medical staff can immerse themselves into life at Cwm Taf.

With panoramic views of Cardiff city centre, the Brecon Beacons and the Heritage Coast, the video also gives those looking for a career change the chance to visualise themselves living in south Wales.

We then used Cwm Taf’s biggest selling point its staff to capture additional video content and photography, choosing ‘champions’ in roles which are notoriously hard to fill.

8 case study videos and an overarching campaign video ‘C is for….’ were created.

Tactics for the campaign included:

  • Targeted advertising via Youtube – identified from our research as the main channel for viewing medical related videos
  • Social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter – identified as the main social channels used by our target audience
  • Sky Go – because our insight revealed that our target audience enjoy watching programmes including Walking Dead and The Wire on demand
  • Google display network remarketing and managed placement advertising – giving us full control in hand-picking which websites we wanted our ads to be displayed on
  • Regular blog content for the campaign microsite

From our research we also knew that prospective medical staff get alerted to job opportunities through word of mouth referrals from current staff, so we held a number of employee engagement events.

Implementation of tactics:

May/June 2017 – Research and planning – Surveys/focus groups; concept development; filming/photographing champions.

July 2017 – Launch (to tie in with graduation dates) – Microsite ‘go live’, news release distribution, main campaign video premiered on social channels, employee engagement events.

August-December 2017 – Maintain momentum – Social media activation, drip feeding campaign videos and blogs, Sky Go advertising, Google Display Network advertising.

Measurement and evaluation:


  • C is for…. – 84,673 views
  • Case study videos – 23,334 views

Google advertising UK

  • 4896 clicks
  • 806,824 impressions
  • 354 conversions

Google advertising overseas

  • 9212 clicks
  • 4,234,731 impressions
  • 327 conversions

Sky Go advertising

  • 162,287 impressions
  • 6011 clicks
  • 7% CTR (Sky Go average click through rate 0.7%)
  • 94% – percentage of 100% ad viewed

Social media (organic)

  • Facebook reach 136,813
  • Facebook reactions 2,767
  • Facebook clicks 9,697
  • Twitter reach 436,648
  • Twitter reactions 2,475

Social media advertising (Facebook)

  • Reach 190,009
  • Video views 97,061
  • Reactions 414
  • Clicks 2704

360 video

  • VR headsets have been taken to 10 events and the 360 video has been viewed approximately 1,000 times

Google analytics

  • 9962 sessions
  • 8518 users of which 65% were from the UK. The three most popular countries after the UK were Pakistan (16%), India (13%) and Egypt (4%) – countries highlighted in our original brief to target
  • 15286 page views

The campaign was viewed by over 6m people.

There has been a 53% increase in applications for hard to fill jobs that were previously listed several times prior to the campaign – 56% of applications from UK-based medical staff, 44% from overseas.

To date Cwm Taf has successfully filled 16 hard to reach posts, including one job which had been advertised 6 times.

Budget and cost effectiveness:

Cost per eyeball £0.010 (campaign cost/OTS)

In terms of cost-effectiveness, we have created a recruitment campaign which has longevity and can be expanded on for future workforce development needs.

Through this campaign, we have been able to prove to the executive board the effectiveness of a targeted digital campaign. As a result, additional budget has already been secured for a campaign targeting therapists and radiographers.