JWT Amsterdam and Opel launch experimental recruitment campaign to attract more female car salespeople

Only 4% of car salespeople in the Opel dealership network are women. In order to create greater diversity on the shop floor and inspire women to consider a career as a car salesperson, Opel has joined forces with recruitment partner Randstad to initiate a new, experimental campaign, conceived and created by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam.

A recent survey with over 1,000 Dutch citizens revealed that about 60% of Dutch people describe the profession of car salesperson as male.

J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam worked with Opel to introduce a fictitious company, Jade, specially for the purposes of the campaign. Jade’s design had a different look and feel to Opel’s corporate identity – but the job description was identical to the one featured in the Opel advert. The aim of this experiment was to reach a greater number of female candidates than male candidates. The recruitment campaign for Jade attracted 41 female and 15 male applicants within a fortnight, compared to 8 female and 76 male candidates responding to the Opel vacancy.

Both vacancies were promoted in an identical way, by means of adverts in a daily newspaper, social media posts and vacancy websites. In total there are 15 sales roles available at 10 participating Opel dealerships at present.

Bas Korsten, Creative Partner, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam said:  “Our challenge as an agency is to keep finding new ways to get people to look at things with fresh eyes. This is especially important for old-fashioned notions, like the idea that it’s always a man who will sell you your car. In this situation we decided to turn old school thinking on its head. Quite literally.  Of course there’s the realisation that this experiment won’t bring the much sought after balance straight away, but this project has proven to be the start of a conversation around the subject. And hopefully the start of the solution.”

Jeroen Maas, PR Manager Opel said:  ‘As a commercial business we’re always looking for talented individuals. In practice, though, only 4% of car salespeople in the Dutch Opel dealership network are women. We badly need female applicants in order to increase that percentage, as well as to meet changing needs on the part of customers. Opel aspires to be an employer with ample room for diversity in its dealerships, which are still male-dominated. By running this experimental recruitment campaign, we’re hoping to be able to fulfil this need and we do seem to be doing so, given the higher number of female candidates. And we’re hoping to keep inspiring them to apply to work for us in the future too’

‘Adopting this experimental approach initiated by Opel enabled us to reach a completely different target group, which included a greater proportion of women. The first interviews have now been held and the application procedure will continue with seven suitable candidates – a particularly successful outcome. By way of this campaign in conjunction with Opel, we’re hoping and expecting to be able to get more women with a talent for sales enthusiastic about a sales role in the car industry.’ said Maurits Speksnijder, Director Randstad Consultancy





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