2019 FINALISTS - Will Spensley Memorial Award for Innovation - PRIVATE SECTOR



In partnership with Pro Podcast Production

Allens Confidential podcast


Graduate recruitment in Australia is competitive, with future graduates telling us they make decisions based on the 'quality of the people', as this is what sets firms apart. Unless you've met those people, however, it is almost impossible to know what that means. In 2018, Allens developed a podcast, Allens Confidential, together with two graduates (and former clerks) to provide students with real insight into life at Allens. 


High-achieving students are typically time poor. Podcasting allows us to provide information about Allens in an informal, authentic way, while allowing prospective clerks and graduates to engage with our people when and where it is convenient.  


In each podcast episode, hosts (and best friends) Geneva and Roseanna interview Allens staff about their life and work. The diversity of interviewees (who come from every level of seniority and practice area) and the energy of the hosts account for much of the podcast's success. Once prospective clerks themselves, Geneva and Roseanna skilfully empathise with students and ask questions they remember wanting answered, bringing a people-centric approach to the 'opaque' world of commercial law.


Not only is Allens Confidential the firm's first podcast, it is the only podcast created by any Australian graduate legal employer. Within a week of its launch, the podcast ranked 13thon iTunes in the Australian business category. 


Seasons One and Two exceeded expectations, and Season Three is in development. As at 15 July 2019, the total number of downloads was 6,185. Downloads during the sixty days following release have also been high, often reaching between 450 and 500 downloads per episode, in that period. For example, our episode 'Innovation: what are firms really talking about?' was downloaded by 483 unique users.


All episodes can be accessed via Allens' website, PodBean, iTunes, Spotify and are promoted on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.


REA Group

AI chatbot to support recruitment 

  • Our chatbot achieved an 83% reach with our final stage candidates, 

  • with an 87% open rate when the chatbot initiated conversations, 

  • and a 25% click through rate to external content we included like videos and links to our tech blog. ​


Off the back of strong engagement with our chatbot as part of our post offer engagement strategy last year we decided to experiment with a recruitment focused chatbot experience in Facebook Messenger. Recognising our typical target audience has a significant preference for consumption of dynamic online content, we knew we had to create an experience that included a healthy dose of memes, trending giphys, and meet an expectation for rapid responses to their grad recruitment questions. We set out to design a fun and engaging chatbot experience for our potential candidate pool.


Our prototype design was tested with our current graduates and after some refinements to the chatbot’s AI to enable rapid and more relevant responses we released the chatbot to our candidates. It’s built to present all relevant content to prospective grad program candidates. We’ve designed a conversation logic path that includes organizational information, insights to the different markets we operate in, industry info, every little bit of detail around our grad program, how our program delivers on expectations, a quiz that includes content from our community programs, a bunch of fun easter eggs, and clear answers on our recruitment process, the timeline we target, and it includes tips for each of our recruitment stages.  Importantly the conversational tone of the chatbot reflects our graduates and is built with specific content our graduates wanted to know before they applied to our program. Our chatbot is now a key channel in our recruitment activities.

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Saab Australia

Subs in Schools Mentoring Program

The Subs in Schools program at Saab Australia forms the bulk of the 2nd year of our graduate program. Subs in Schools is a fabulous opportunity for the graduates to develop leadership skills, soft skills and technical skills in a project centric environment. They must manage multiple stakeholders, their own time as well as the progress of the student project groups that they mentor.


Subs in Schools is a competition run by ReEngineering Australia for students to design and present the best Submarine or Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). Saab Australia Grads mentor student teams from multiple schools with their real and challenging engineering projects. Our graduates provide technical guidance, keep the project on track and push the teams to achieve excellence. Saab supported teams took a clean sweep at the SA state finals in 2018 and achieved podium places at the national level. These results are a credit to the skill and hard work of the teams and their mentors.


In order to provide first class technical leadership, the graduates are primed with courses in competition fundamentals, 3D printing and computer-aided design. We push their boundaries and encourage each graduate to continue exploring beyond the fundamentals throughout the program. Each graduate invariably encounters unique challenges to which the students must apply and hone their own engineering judgement process.


Subs in Schools is an exemplar program built on continuous innovation, and dovetails perfectly into the Saab Australia Graduate Program. This capstone project combines STEM outreach with graduate leadership development in a complex project environment. This is a great opportunity for current and future graduates in Saab Australia to develop and grow their capabilities.  



Westpac Group

In partnership with Host/Havas

Graduate Career Matching Tool 


It’s a world of choice at Westpac! 


We appreciate that choosing a Graduate Program can often be a daunting and overwhelming task, particularly when the program website is full of business-talk. 


This year Westpac Group took their Graduate Website to the next level and included the addition of a new ‘career matching’ quiz to allow candidates to make an informed decision on which Graduate program to apply to, based on their interests. The tool allowed candidates to swipe right if they would love to ‘Build innovative technology solutions’ or swipe left if ‘understanding world markets’ wasn’t for them (as an example!) 


The interactive quiz then displayed suggested programs to apply to, based on their interests. Candidate experience is always a priority and this fun, interactive quiz no doubt made an overwhelming experience somewhat easier.