WPP: WelcomeTalent

Close up of the side of a mans head blurred in the background with 'Welcome to the HR Dressers' overlayed in yellow text

WPP: WelcomeTalent

Diversifying the Belgian communications industry

Despite Brussels’ standing as the second most diverse city globally, the communication sector lacks representation from individuals with diverse ethnic backgrounds. In response, WPP launched the WelcomeTalent initiative to bridge this gap, inviting people with raw creative talent into the industry.

Recognising the need for an innovative approach to talent acquisition, WPP introduced an extensive awareness campaign to meet diverse talent. Departing from conventional talent sources, such as schools and industry networks, WPP delved into local shops, restaurants and streets to discover hidden talent within diverse communities.

Creative writing can be a job written on a pink background, with images of creative things people have made

The campaign aimed to dismantle unintentional barriers within the industry by reaching diverse communities through various touchpoints. A dynamic DOOH campaign showcased artistic expressions in public spaces, noteworthy copywriting and strategically crafted signs. Additionally, an online campaign highlighted talent from diverse ethnic backgrounds, sharing compelling stories of how individuals were able to transform their skills into successful careers, all to showcase the opportunities within the industry.

To further extend its reach, WPP tapped into the influential role of hairdressers, who are often trusted advisors to their clients. In a pioneering move, numerous Brussels-based hairdressers were trained to act as unconventional HR recruiters – or "HR-dressers”. These stylists were equipped to identify talent among their customers, fostering unique talent-spotting efforts through salon activations.

Supported by industry and media partners, the WelcomeTalent campaign secured €700,000 in free media. On social platforms, it garnered 1.5 million views on TikTok and nearly 350,000 complete views on YouTube. Collaborations with a diverse community of influencers generated an additional 60 million impressions. Sponsored media space in newspapers and out-of-home advertising further boosted the campaign's reach, culminating in over 3 million impressions.

This approach proved successful, with the campaign recruiting 35 students into the WelcomeTalent mentorship program. The program is designed to transform words into action by supporting young, diverse talent at the start of their careers. Each student began an internship at one of WPP’s agencies, guided by a personal mentor. They benefited from training days focused on enhancing their professional skills and personal development, including networking, building confidence, and public speaking.

The campaign not only successfully reached new audiences to attract the best and most diverse talent to the media and communications industry but also offered concrete career opportunities to young people at the start of their careers.

Read more about the WelcomeTalent initiative here and to register your interest in future editions of the programme, visit www.welcometalent.be.