After gaining independence from the main Sky brand, Sky Betting & Gaming wanted to raise their profile and build a strong employer reputation in their own right. They were growing fast and had over 200 live opportunities, including many hard to fill Software Developer roles.
When they were named in 67th place - up 27 places from 2016 - in the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies’, we spotted an opportunity to position them as an employer of choice to the best tech talent, while using some pretty innovative technology ourselves.
We realised that there was a huge gap in the recruitment process that we could fill with an AI chatbot, built on top of the Facebook Messenger platform, to give candidates instant replies, 24/7, about life at Sky Betting & Gaming.
But the tricky part would be creating a bot that had an engaging personality and was also credible enough to deliver essential recruitment information on all kinds of topics. Enter Jeff Stelling, the host of Sky Sports Gillette Soccer Saturday and brand ambassador for Sky Betting & Gaming’s consumer portfolio.
In the early days, we watched lots of YouTube videos and experimented with different written styles to figure out how best to capture Jeff ’s true persona, before opening up the bot to select Sky Betting & Gaming employees to put it to the test with full blown conversations.
During testing, AskJeff was invited out for a pint, got stuck into conversations about the footy, knew the best place for a bacon butty, and even learned how to sing songs in addition to being able to answer the usual recruitment questions - which meant he was more than ready to be let loose on unsuspecting candidates.
AskJeff offers an interactive, responsive and thoroughly innovative experience from the moment a chat begins, right up until a candidate’s first day at work. And it’s all thanks to the personality, the language, and the voice we gave him. Since launch, it’s had hundreds of conversations with people at various stages of the recruitment process (and at all hours of the day), saving the recruitment team tons of time and adding real value to the business.
But our favourite part of the story is that there’s been more than one occasion where someone speaking to Ask Jeff has mistaken him for the real Jeff Stelling!