GKN Aerospace Recruitment Marketing Campaign -

GKN Aerospace Recruitment Marketing Campaign


Dawson Walker partnered with GKN Aerospace, the largest Tier 1 aerospace supplier, to raise the profile of its employer brand in the Netherlands and attract new hires to the sustainable aerospace village they are developing.

Hiring over 1000 new people to one location is no easy feat. See how we strategically and creatively helped GKN Aerospace increase their job application by 37.5% in less than 4 months.

The Challenge:

GKN Aerospace is a global Tier 1 aerospace supplier. In the Netherlands (NL) in the area of Papendrecht, GKN Aerospace is on a rapid growth trajectory (900 people to 2,000 by 2024) to become a sustainable aerospace village and is thus a recruitment “hot spot”. 

Dawson Walker’s objective was to raise the profile of GKN Aerospace as an employer of choice locally and to attract new hires. 

GKN Aerospace is in a very competitive recruitment market, the Dawson Walker team had a very short turnaround time to increase its visibility and the talent pool. 

GKN Aerospace logo in dark blue and yellow
Blue sky with grey clouds and a aeroplane in the sky.

The Solution:

Dawson Walker worked with GKN Aerospace on:

  • A creative marketing campaign concept
  • Social media advertising and organic campaign
  • An out-of-home advertising campaign
  • A digital programmatic campaign
  • A search engine marketing campaign
  • A fit for purpose landing page
  • A local event opportunity
  • Internal communications
  • Photography and film content
  • Design and copy

Our process was to focus on in depth qualitative research. Our discovery included 1:1 interviews with key stakeholders and focus groups with the Talent Acquisition team and on-site employees.  

The deep dive research gathered by Dawson Walker on an intensive two-day visit, brought to light an employer deal and shaped a creative brief:  

Making aerospace sustainable is the future for us.

It comes with fantastic challenges and amazing opportunities. Together we will do it (safely). 

This inspired the creative team at Dawson Walker who delivered a single-minded hook and a startlingly powerful creative concept and marketing message:

Making Aerospace fit for the natural world.

The next step in our process was to turn this recruitment marketing concept into recruitment materials; The film and photography team at Dawson Walker interviewed five GKN Aerospace people who would become the faces of the campaign. Our designers crafted amazing visual representations of Making Aerospace fit for the natural world.

Three images side by side. First image on the left in a split of an aerospace taking off and an owl in the woods flying towards you. Middle photo is a side view of a plane split the left is the back of a plane and the right is a bird in green. The last photo on the right is a photo from a bird's eye view with the top of the plane on the left and on the right is a shark's tail in the ocean. All three imagery have GKN Aerospace logos at the bottom.

The Launch

Dawson Walker launched the recruitment marketing campaign both internally and externally. 

Externally – through a combination of:

  • Out of home advertising on roadside digital posters
  • Wrapped electric buses
  • Community event sponsorship
  • Online targeted social and programmatic techniques
  • Dedicated landing page (microsite)

Internally - through a combination of: 

  • Workshops
  • Town Hall briefings
  • Email communications 
  • Posters  
Three photos. First photo on the top is a bus showing the GKN Aerospace work of a plane and a bird. Bus is a long bus on a grey road. Two photos underneath this photo: Left is a billboard poster of a plane and a bird showing GKN Aerospace. Other photo is another billboard showing plane and shark with GKN logo.
Screenshot 2023-05-19 at 09.32.17
Two billboard photos side by side. Photo on the left is an aeroplane with a shark's tail. Photo on the right is an aerospace with a bird's head. Both photos are on a turquoise coloured board. Both have GKN Aerospace logos on it.
Collage collection of images of different people in offices, factory, sat down. Very bright and colourful images of people.
Two photos on top and three screen shots down below. Photo on the top on the left showing the sea in a night time view. Photo on the right showing a hand a mobile phone with a social media post. Three photos at the bottom: two showing different men working in a factory and the middle photo has an aeroplane and a bird flying towards you. Both have writing on each imagery with GKN Aerospace logos.

Check out GKN Aerospace's hero employees in action in a series of films where they talk about their role, the importance of sustainability in aerospace and working in Papendrecht.

The recruitment marketing campaign revealed the hidden gem that is GKN Aerospace. The bi-lingual landing page ensured a seamless candidate journey that was enriched with authentic stories. Internally our purpose was to encourage retention and referrals. 

The Result:

The ultimate result is that GKN Aerospace in Papendrecht is now attracting talented individuals with over 50 new starters every month – a number that is growing as the message continues to amplify organically.  

Sarah Da Veiga, VP Talent Acquisition & Strategic Workforce Planning, GKN Aerospace.

“With this campaign we have dramatically increased our visibility externally as an employer and our journey to sustainable aerospace in a business-critical location.

Internally it’s helped us to engage and inspire our workforce who are our best advocates. This is having a tremendously positive impact on our hiring.”

Image with statistics

Future proof

Dawson Walker have since developed GKN Aerospace’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and the “natural planet” creative work is part of the new employer brand and is middle of three pillars and has quickly become the most popular at GKN Aerospace 

Diagram in the shape of a house showing together we raise. Dark blue external with purple, blue and red colours within on blocks of blue at the bottom.

John Pritchard, President Civil Airframes, GKN Aerospace

We've created a social media storm, we’re talking about transforming our brand and we’ve done this in the Civil business in a big way in Papendrecht with “Fit for the natural world.

It’s doing such a great job, great visuals - everyone can understand it. 

Find out how Dawson Walker uncovered GKN Aerospace's Employee Value proposition (EVP) and discovered what makes them an employer of choice. GKN Aerospace’s Employer Brand.

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