There's a pecking order in the agency world, and interns usually sit at the bottom of the food chain. But at Havas Worldwide Chicago, we take a different view. Through our semi-annual "Intern Drafts," we aren't looking for typical paper-pushing, copy-making, abuse-taking interns. Instead we seek out the brightest, hungriest, most creative minds because we hire them to do real, important work, both for us and our clients. We know that modern brand-building must happen through social channels, and the same is true of agency-building, so we hit Instagram to recruit the best interns via a social media challenge.
We came up with the hashtag "#iamheretotakeyourjob," a rallying battle cry of the virtual kind. Participants looking for a summer internship could use this hashtag, in tandem with Instagram posts and videos, to grab our attention, challenge our current employees, and, well, take our jobs. To be considered, applicants had to choose one of our 12 agency leaders to target, posting photos and videos proving why they were better-suited for the role and how they would improve the position if given the chance. The hashtag was bold, scrappy, and fearless, like we wanted our interns to be, and inspired funny, creative, and downright bizarre posts from over 200 applicants.
In just 10 days, #iamheretotakeyourjob garnered over 800 Instagram posts and netted us a whopping 133% increase in followers on the platform. More importantly, we snagged 14 social media-savvy rockstars for the summer, hiring half of them on as full-time employees in the fall.
Staying on the cutting edge of digital and social media is more than a philosophy we offer to our clients–it's a practice we employ in every aspect of our agency. Since we are always looking to creatively push the innovation envelope, we wanted to translate this attitude into the social realm when thinking of a way to hire our fresh talent. We were looking for a fearless batch of social media buffs who wouldn't be afraid to step up, show off, and prove their worth to Havas Chicago. The millennial target from which we sought to draw our interns needed to be socially savvy, fierce, and smart, in addition to creative and advertising-oriented.
We came up with the hashtag "#iamheretotakeyourjob," a rallying battle cry of the virtual kind. To be considered, applicants had to target one of our high-profile agency big-wigs, barraging them with posts about how they would do the job better when they were hired on. Don't feel bad for these big-wigs: they were able to comment on submissions and fire back posts of their own. We wanted only the toughest, hungriest, most clever interns to make it into the draft. They could not be daunted by confrontation.
To hook the most popular candidates who had a clear mastery of the digital world, we partnered with the social currency experts at Popular Pays, who specifically targeted Instagrammers with at least 50,000 followers. Their social status instantly earned them an internship. The social expertise they had employed for themselves would only serve as an asset to both our agency and our clients.
In just 10 days, the hashtag #iamheretotakeyourjob garnered over 800 Instagram posts and netted us a whopping 133% increase in followers on the platform. But, more importantly, we snagged 14 social media-savvy rockstars for the summer, and gained exposure and access to their 295,000+ followers across a range of networks. A heavy focus of the internship program was a real-time documentation of their experiences and growth throughout the summer, and how they made sure to leave their own lasting impacts on the agency. Not only have they schooled Havas Chicago in social best practices, but half of them were hired on full time and are indeed able to say, "I am here to take your job."
The #iamheretotakeyourjob Intern Draft challenge is one-of-a-kind. It pushes applicants to use more than just a resume and cover letter to earn a spot at our agency. We want the best and brightest, and we want them to prove to us that they are what we want--not just write it on a piece of paper. Through this draft, we combined elements of the physical and online worlds, making for an interesting, multi-media challenge. It calls for the use of many mediums, skill sets, and ideas, and has never been for the faint of heart. If our interns can survive the draft, we're pretty sure they can survive anything. We haven't been wrong yet.
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