As the most famous and successful advertising agency in the UK Saatchi & Saatchi naturally attracted massive interest from graduates looking to work there. On the face of it this should have been a good thing, but such was the number of applicants that the task of wading through them for HR and the rest of the selcetion team to find the truly outstanding candidates was almost overwhelming.
We did away with the traditional approach used by all large agencies and corporations including Saatchi & Saatchi – requesting just a CV and covering note from applicants. Instead they were sent an art bag reminiscent of those used to transport creative campaigns to meetings for client presentations. As they flicked through the pages inside it was revealed to them that they were indeed to present an idea to a very tricky client and the idea in question was one currently in the headlines for its infamy. They had to explain in just 150 words how they planned to sell the idea.
The Graduates’ Challenge – Page By Page (click the images to enlarge)
Saatchi & Saatchi recieved fewer applications than ever before. But the standard of those that did apply had never been higher. Not only were the ideas outstanding in their originality but in coming up with them they had also demonstrated a commitment to hard work in creating and crafting their submissions. When those who were eventually hired were later asked about the task they had been sent a typical comment was “my friends received the same task as me but I really wanted to work for Saatchi & Saatchi”. This type of recruitment task was adopted by competitors while the idea picked up awards from Creative Circle, Campaign, DMA and D&AD including a Gold for Copywriting.