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How do you communicate a trainee management program in a way that really appeals to GenZ?

2023 is the year when top employers could no longer avoid the reality generated by the labour market: GenZ have become the dominant source of talent. This is especially true for the programmes offered by most of the top international employers to train future managers.

What are management trainee programmes?

Special programmes aimed at young professionals, developed by international companies to generate a steady flow of young managers who bring a new breath of life to different areas of business. They promise an accelerated career pipeline, supported by resources of various kinds, from training sessions to mentorship and the opportunity to make an impact in business from day one.

What are the issues facing these types of programmes?

They also come with their own set of disadvantages that end up discouraging potential candidates: the recruitment process stretches over several months, in several stages of assessment and practical tests. And participating in the selection process offers almost nothing in return, with many being left with the experience of failure as their first lesson in starting a career.
The last 2 years have seen a demographic shift that employers are trying to adapt to: GenZ have reached the age where they have become ideal candidates for these programmes, even though they were developed for a 100% millennial profile, most of the time.

How are GenZ different from Millenials in terms of trainee management programmes?

  • Purpose: For GenZ, the promise of a job in an international company is no longer enough, they prefer companies where they can make a real impact.
  • Authenticity: GenZ are the generation that no longer believes in classic corporate communication, they favour employers that showcase the real side of what the company is all about.
  • More transactional: Compared to other generations, GenZ need to understand and constantly receive something in return for their efforts – it can be anything from know-how to validation or even financial rewards.

How did we make a multi-award winning campaign for Coca-Cola HBC, taking all these things into account?

We innovated recruitment and turned it into a learning experience in itself. All program candidates and not just those admitted were able to attend webinars, meet with senior managers, access professional development materials, and receive personalized feedback and career counseling. Our goal was to make candidates feel valued and seen by the company, regardless of admission to the program. And to make the experience complete, we partnered with reputable academic institutions and even offered competency certifications.

Bring your own magic: The programme’s new communication platform that was based on authenticity, where the main actors were real employees, graduates of the program.

The campaign had a simple key message: the goal of the candidates, once in the program, would be to integrate their unique vision into the company’s business, their own little bit of live-impact magic into everything Coca-Cola HBC does.

How did we ensure the success of the campaign? Campaign co-created with Gen Z, triple biometric tested

The campaign has included GenZ since its inception. In collaboration with CEMS (Global Alliance in Management Education), a workshop was organised with the participation of several talented GenZ.

The main objective of this workshop was to create space for constructive discussions on our initial concepts and to devise new approaches that really resonate with this demographic.

Given the long-term use of the campaign’s visual direction, our objective was to ensure the effectiveness of the materials in terms of visuals, clarity of message and high declinability across formats. All visual proposals underwent rigorous testing using advanced eye-tracking tools to optimise their visual impact.

The results?

The campaign won awards both nationally and internationally for the way it managed to innovate the recruitment process in a way that is truly relevant to GenZ. As well as being recognised by a wide range of industry professionals for the innovation of its approach, it has managed to generate 6 times the number of candidates than expected.
But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that the employer has managed to offer candidates something that no other top employer has done before: provide the professional support that any early-stage professional needs, for all applicants!