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Introducing Haven Talent: engaging young talent with North Sea Port

The City of Ghent got in touch with us to build an online learning tool, giving job seekers and students a better understanding of North Sea Port, its activities and the work opportunities it offers – in a unique and intuitive way.

Most people envision a port as a place where ships dock, trucks park and vehicles full of goods are loaded and unloaded. That’s certainly a part of what happens at North Sea Port, a major harbour north of Ghent, Belgium that stretches 60 kilometres to Vlissingen, NL, which serves as a gateway to other major ports around the world. However, there is much, much more going on.

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Not just a place where ships load and unload

There are plenty of diverse activities happening, companies collaborating and jobs to be performed at North Sea Port. Businesses large and small in domains like manufacturing, green energy, chemistry, logistics, food, produce and more aren’t simply looking for manual labour. Also prized are skilled employees in IT and systems architecture, business development, sales, HR and a number of other domains. After all, many diverse roles are required to run a high-tech business park.

On that front, the North Sea Port, the City of Ghent and VDAB, teamed up on a new initiative aiming not only to educate young job seekers about the port, but also to inform them of a wide variety of job opportunities that may interest them. We came on board to help with the concept, design and development of a mobile app/website and accompanying communication campaign.

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Recentring job searches around real user needs

One challenge associated with traditional vacancy platforms is that users need a clear up-front understanding of what they are good at to find relevant jobs – an approach that we decided to abandon in this project after performing a series of research exercises. Instead, we developed a job-matching function driven by questions that are posed by a virtual assistant.

Thanks to Evi, this virtual assistant, we built a system that makes job suggestions to users that they may have never thought of before, exposing them to the diverse career opportunities available at the port through a process of discovery, rather than prior knowledge.

Content that grows as you go

To make sure that the City of Ghent can easily manage the content on the platform, we also set up a Craft CMS (content management system). This serves as a centralised content container to which they can add new assets, quizzes and jobs via a simple interface. In this way, we gave City of Ghent personnel the power to grow the tool themselves as they see fit, in pace with their needs – no additional outside help needed.

Another important target audience for the platform: kids interested in learning more about the harbour and what happens there. We created a series of quizzes that kids can take to test their knowledge and feed their appetites for knowledge.

Finally, to boost awareness of the platform among its target groups, we also put together a communication campaign that centres around the recognisable character of the virtual assistant. With Evi as the focal point, we develop content tailored to each target group, introducing users to Talent Haven and inviting them to join in a way that suits their needs and preferences.

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