‘Behind the Source’ is an awareness campaign launched by HackYourFuture (a coding school for refugees) that aims to reframe the conversation around refugees, and tackles the many misconceptions, stigmas and prejudices that shadow their potential when it comes to applying for a job.
It consists of seven portraits that have been hidden in the source code of the online homepages of companies, such as eBay and Accenture, where HackYourFuture graduates now work.
All people have to do is go on these websites — such as Ebay or Accenture — click ‘View Source’ in your browser to discover the portraits, hidden in the code, and, read the exceptional journeys of those who went from refugees to employees.
Describe the execution
The aesthetic of the portraits is a tribute to the "easter eggs": artworks made of ASCII and code characters that developers sometimes hide in their code. The aesthetics allowed us to ensure the anonymity required by their political refugee status, and the safety of their families left behind.
To spread the word, we started the conversation on LinkedIn, with each of our partners proudly sharing their employee’s story and inviting their own network to go 'behind the source'. We also targeted working areas and coworking spaces with wild-posting and DOOH, nudging HR, CTOs and recruiters to discover the campaign and take action.
In the end, a potential of +24000 visitors went behind the source, reframing the conversation around refugees in the Netherlands, and beyond — even getting the initiative referenced by the UN Agency as best in class. 13 new companies contacted HackYourFuture to hire graduates and sponsor the program, which eventually raised the number of graduates who successfully found a job to 120.
Deconstructing an alienating word — a label deeply ingrained in culture, in media and in public opinion — doesn’t happen in a snap, but the more we open people’s eyes, the more companies will open their doors.
That’s why in the short term, the idea was designed first and foremost to bring the discussion to the front scene. In the longer term, Behind the Source aims at tilting the playing field, urging more recruiters to take action by hiring HackYourFuture graduates or by sponsoring the program.