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Gen Y Recruitment Insider: Behind the scenes with Kobi Gulersen at MasterCard Canada

Did you miss our Gen Y Recruitment Insider event last week? Don’t worry. We’ve summarized the top tips from our first two Gen Y Recruitment Insider presentations.

Yesterday we published the main messages from Nancy Moulday’s presentation, and today we’re egg-cited to bring you the key points from Kobi Gulersen’s presentation on the innovative MasterCard Canada summer intern campaign.

Kobi Gulersen, Director of Digital Marketing, MasterCard Canada

Kobi Gulersen, Director of Digital Marketing, MasterCard Canada

The project

For the first time, MasterCard Canada decided to hire summer interns. It made the job application process a contest, and the prize was employment. Students were required to use social media to submit a cover letter, résumé and the URL to an original online creative component (video, photo, website, etc.).

Recruitment from the marketing perspective

As a marketer, Kobi had a new take on the recruitment process. He approached the process like an ad campaign, selling the MasterCard brand to a social media savvy student audience.

Threefold mission

1) Target the best and brightest students in Ontario
2) Differentiate MasterCard’s internships from other summer jobs – positioning the opportunity as “cool and unique”
3) Complete everything in one month (April)

Promoting the contest

MasterCard used a wide variety of promotional tools including QR codes, YouTube videos, Twitter hash tags, Facebook posts, Google shortcodes, Flickr, Google search and maps, a TalentEgg campaign, email and some on-campus activity.

MasterCard Canada on TalentEgg.ca

MasterCard Canada on TalentEgg.ca (click to enlarge)

TalentEgg campaign

Kobi found that TalentEgg was an extremely effective channel to reach students. The TalentEgg website was taken over by MasterCard branding. TalentEgg also featured an interview with a current MasterCard Canada  employee to help students prepare their applications. Kobi says it’s all about creating content that students find interesting. A typical, boring job posting won’t engage students.


500+ applications later, the pool was narrowed down to 30. The Top 30 applicants were invited to the MasterCard office to participate in a case competition, from which five finalists were selected. In the end, the students who singularly nailed the creative component were not necessarily right for the role. A careful review of the résumés and CVs was still important in the decision-making process

Next time around

Kobi said it would also be ideal to start sooner in the recruitment cycle and expand the target audience to all of Canada.

Not just recruitment

The promotion was a great way to not only recruit, but also build brand awareness amongst a young audience. During the campaign, MasterCard’s Facebook following dramatically increased to include the 18-24 population.

Use your marketing department

Kobi recommends that HR and Marketing departments team up to change recruitment into a brand building “youth strategy.”

1 Comment

  1. Of all the summer internships and jobs I applied to this year, this MasterCard internship was by far the most challenging, exciting, and fun process. Firstly, it was great that this opportunity was open to students of all disciplines, not just business-based. As an arts student myself, I noticed that most other marketing positions were limited to students enroled in business programs. Secondly, having to submit a creative component, although a lot of extra work, really allows candidates to show their capabilities above and beyond what can be shown on paper. And finally, the case competition and group interview day was a great experience. It was great getting a chance to meet, network, and collaborate with the other candidates!

    Thanks Kobi and the MasterCard team for conducting such an innovative digital internship campaign. I noticed it did wonders for MasterCard’s social media presence in terms of followers and likes, as well as interaction/engagement on Twitter and Facebook, especially in the Gen Y target market.

    I do agree though, that in future years, the entire campaign should be pushed forward in terms of timing! 😉

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