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Shonette Laffy


Deputy Editor

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“Encourage young talent into the business by sharing inspiring success stories”


Making those first few tentative steps into the job market is a daunting prospect. With more focus being put on apprenticeships and full time work as an alternative to university, there is more need to prepare those leaving education for the workplace.

There is also a growing responsibility for employers to demonstrate their value to young recuits, whether it be through their company culture and purpose, or what development opportunities are available in the business.

Costa launched their month-long 'My First Job' campaign in June 2016 as a marketing and recruitment initiative to highlight the career opportunities that a first job in the hospitality industry can present to young people, and how Costa is a leading first job employer. 

We spoke to Priya Farish, Global Talent Director at Costa, about the 'My First Job' campaign, to find out how they appeal to younger job seekers, and how it has impacted their recruitment and development process in the company.

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: What was the main reason for implementing the 'My First Job' campaign? Where/who did the idea come from?

Priya Farish, Costa: We launched the “My First Job” campaign this summer to reinforce 16-25-year olds that the skills they gain in their first job will benefit them throughout their working life.

The objective of this campaign was to demonstrate the career opportunities that a first job in the hospitality industry can present.  It is inspiring to think that our Master of Coffee once worked part-time in our Gatwick airport store and now oversees the quality of our coffee in over 3,000 stores across 31 international markets.

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: Do you view the 'My First Job' campaign as more as a marketing or recruitment project?

Priya Farish, Costa: The “My First Job” campaign served as both a recruitment and marketing project for Costa as it provided us with the opportunity to encourage young talent into the business by sharing inspiring success stories through our Costa Career YouTube series and free regional skills workshops.

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: What has been your biggest success within the campaign so far?

Priya Farish, Costa: The four-part Costa Career YouTube series has been particularly successful with over 1.5 million views across our social channels so far and a really positive response online.

The majority of the career website traffic came through jobseekers watching the content online.

This has encouraged us to re-evaluate the way in which we engage with future recruits as the majority of the Costa Career website traffic came through jobseekers watching the content online.

The Costa Career series will continue to live on our social channels and will hopefully inspire more viewers to visit our Costa Careers page and apply for a job.   

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: How has the campaign been received, both internally within Costa and by potential recruits?

Priya Farish, Costa: We have seen a positive response to the campaign within the business and from potential recruits. We have had a particularly good response from our employees who enjoyed seeing our UK & Ireland MD, Jason Cotta change into a barista uniform and take part in the “Boss vs Barista” challenge.

We also saw some great engagement with jobseekers who attended our free pilot workshops in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester. The sessions were dedicated to helping young people increase their confidence through coaching programmes to develop and hone the all important skills that employers seek, particularly in the hospitality industry.

Overall, the positive impact of the “My First Jobs” campaign has been apparent on the Costa Careers webpage where we have seen an increase in traffic and a 45% uplift in job applications since the campaign launched in June.

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: Has the campaign changed the way recruitment & recruits are seen by the company?

Priya Farish, Costa: At Costa, we are proud to say that people are the most important ingredient to the business, each bringing their own unique blend.

The Costa Career series showcase the range of talent and different types of people who work within all areas of the business. Whether it’s the Barista who goes the extra mile to please a customer, a reality TV star showing off his barista skills, our Coffee Tasting Expert or our managing director Jason Cotta showing off his own coffee skills.

It demonstrated a clear appetite within the business for creating & using video to appeal to future recruits.

The approach taken with this campaign has also demonstrated a clear appetite within the business for creating and using video and online content to appeal to future recruits. The campaign has shown that this type of engaging content appeals to this audience and is something we will be looking at doing more of in the future.

Shonette Laffy, HRZone: What are you looking forward to next in the course of the campaign?

Priya Farish, Costa: I am looking forward to hearing from a new wave of recruits who have been inspired to apply for a job at Costa through this campaign. We hope to see lots more 16-25-year-old olds come through our doors as University students seek employment this September.

At Costa, over half of our store teams consist of under-25s so it is extremely important that we continue to recruit and nurture young talent in the business. Each week, Costa provides more than 110 young people their first step on the career ladder and we are committed to promoting over 13,000 team members to the next level.

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Shonette Laffy

Deputy Editor

Read more from Shonette Laffy

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