After the trauma of being affected by Cancer, survivors then have to contend with a gap on their resume whilst trying to find work again.
For many recruiters, a gap on a resume is synonymous with weakness and a lack of ability. Whereas, in actual fact, Cancer Survivors are developing underrated skills such as determination, hunger to succeed, inner strength and a positive outlook. Skills that should be valued in a workplace.
Cancer at Work, a French association dedicated to this cause, asked us to help them change recruiters’ negative mindset on the disease.
Describe the strategy
According to the French Health Ministry: 1000 people learn that they get cancer every day in France, among those people 400 are workers (its means 350 000 people every year and 140 000 workers). 70% of unemployed people at the time of Cancer diagnosis had still not returned to work after 2 years. The gap in employment on their resume is a real barrier to getting back into work.
Our target was double: recruiters and patients.
Having in mind those huge and alarming figures, we decided to elevate this cause to national debate and raise everyone’s awareness about it.
We targeted the professional social network recruiters and job hunters use the most: LinkedIn. On LinkedIn 26,000 skills can be added to each profile.
We created the first LinkedIn skill that values Cancer survivors’ experience.
It is called Fighting Cancer.
Describe the execution
To make the idea bigger and to create a lot of discussions, we launched a 90’’digital film across all online touchpoints: Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter– the first film about Cancer that focused on combating the prejudice against Cancer survivors in the workplace.
Supported by dozens of patient and survivor communities, the film was intended to change the mindset of recruiters and encourage wider society to be more progressive and positive in their thinking when it comes to returning to work after battling Cancer.
We also sent 400 PR kits to journalists and key opinion leaders containing a badge to prove their commitment and a moving letter inviting them to support the cause.
One week after the launch, several doctors, HR Directors, CEOs and patients had spoken in branded content videos we also encouraged to help raise awareness of the campaign and get behind the mission.
List the results
The Fighting Cancer skill quickly spread on LinkedIn. Many people affected by Cancer started adding the skill to their profile.
Numerous newspapers and key opinion leaders welcomed the initiative, as well as several main national television channels, appreciating its importance and the necessity to challenge historic prejudices. We got more than 40 million impressions.
In partnership with the Cancer At Work organisation, we set up conferences and workshops for companies and ‘job dating’ interviews for Cancer survivors looking for work.
Even the French Health Minister took part in the campaign and praised the idea.