Operator recruitment campaign in Transit app

Target Audience: While transit agencies are dealing with the impact of the nationwide labor shortage, transit riders are feeling the impact of canceled trips and service reductions. This campaign got the message out to riders that service is affected by a shortage of transit operators — and that their local agency is hiring. The primary goal: get the target audience of transit riders to learn more about the positions available at their local transit agency — and share openings with friends and family who may be interested in applying.

Strategy Objective:At Transit, we work hard to create tools that augment what a transit agency can do while streamlining the process in a way that takes complex and time-consuming tasks off the plate of already-overloaded agency staff. With millions of people already using the Transit app every month, we have a unique platform to connect directly with riders and bring targeted hiring messages to an audience that already knows and uses the transit agency's services. This campaign was conceived to amplify messages from agencies looking to hire – with minimal effort required on their part, and offered free of charge to transit agencies across the U.S. and Canada.

Situation Challenge: Even before the pandemic, it was difficult to hire, train, and retain skilled transit operators, mechanics, and other staff. The pandemic and the ensuing changes to the job market exacerbated this problem, escalating the ongoing labor shortage. Transit agencies are stable, friendly workplaces with competitive wages — but communicating that can be difficult, as agencies are already stretched thin and most communications are focused on core service-related changes. Getting the word out to potential hires is challenging, and this campaign was conceived to help get the word out to as many people as possible, right at the moment riders are thinking about their transit agency.

Results Impact: More than 30 agencies responded to our call to share information about open positions. We put up messages in the app in English, Spanish, and French. More than 300,000 riders saw the messages in the app, and more than 20,000 tapped through to learn more about job opportunities at their transit agency. The campaign also generated organic interest on social media, as users not only learned that their agency was hiring, but also learned about the impact the transit operator shortage is having on service.

Why Submit: During our regular check-ins with transit agency partners, we heard about how the operator shortage is forcing agencies that are already stretched thin to reduce what they are able to offer to riders. So we developed a campaign that came from the heart: we kicked it off with a message to our transit agency partners from a member of Transit's team whose father is a transit operator and sees first-hand the impact the shortage is having. We provided a default banner for use in the app, while allowing agencies to tailor and customize the in-app messages shown to their riders. By spreading the word about the operator shortage, we were able to help riders understand the challenges facing their agency while also amplifying the "we're hiring!" message from the transit agencies themselves.