Quick Overview


  • Workshop Planning and Facilitation
  • Recruiting Campaign Strategy
  • Persona Development
  • Story and Messaging Strategy
  • YMCA of Greater Vancouver Recruiting Campaign

    The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is dedicated to community, and to helping children and families reach their full potential. Within the larger organization, the Healthy Child Development Department, passionately supports several programs, including the Kids Club Before and After School Child Care program–a program that annually hires hard-working, dedicated team members to guide Kids Club activities and to inspire and support kids and their parents.

    The Challenge

    The marketing team at the YMCA of Greater Vancouver approached Forge & Spark to help them create and execute a recruiting campaign that would result a high-quality pool of candidates and successful hires. As importantly, though, they needed to bring together key stakeholders outside the marketing department—the folks that actually work directly with the kids, who hire the candidates, and who oversee the programs—to ensure that all of the stakeholders involved had a say in, and felt committed to the same strong strategy.

    The Work

    Working in close collaboration with the YMCA marketing team, we planned and facilitated two half-day strategic workshops that brought together a carefully selected group of people who work closely with, and care deeply about, Kids Club and the people needed to support it.

    The first workshop served as an overarching Discovery session that both looked at examples of successful recruiting campaigns by similar organizations and competitors, familiarizing the team with possibilities for a successful story campaign; and that identified the group’s highest-priority campaign goals and their targeted audience for the campaign.

    Armed with insights and a clarified set of personas for the campaign, the second workshop then dove into our recommended campaign approaches, looking at suggested content, channels, and strategies to use to reach and connect with the group’s ideal audience. We also collectively identified the people needed to execute the campaign, as well as some of the tools and operational challenges we’d have to address in order to achieve success.

    The Outcome

    We delivered a Story Campaign Plan to the team that documented the goals, target personas, and recommended story and messaging strategy for the recruiting campaign. The plan outlined a suggested ‘user flow’: the most likely scenarios by which the target personas would find out about and apply for the Kids Club openings; as well as a detailed Channel Plan that outlined how channels including the YMCA website, a new set of landing pages, and channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Indeed postings, and good old fashioned posters could be best used.

    The next phase will see us supporting the YMCA team in executing the campaign itself, providing consulting and hands-on production support in designing a central landing page, and producing a suite of sample social media posts for use on Instagram, Instagram/FB Stories, and Facebook, which can be emulated / added to by the internal team. We will also be creating a Campaign Style Guide for the team with clear direction on the types of posts, frequency, and messaging, and will set up a reporting template and deliver two reports—training the team in their use. The idea: to set up the team for ongoing success in hiring the perfect candidate for Kids Club this year, and in years to come.

    Why We Love Them

    The level of honesty, trust and respect that the team showed one another, and us, during the course of this project threw us for a loop—everyone involved has been warm, kind, and generous, while displaying a rare passion for kids, community and their work. This is purpose-driven work at its finest. We’ve been honoured to help.

    Check out more of our work here—and feel free to reach out to discuss ways we might customize a virtual workshop for your team, or support you in crafting a content or recruitment campaign.