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31St May 2019

Trainees at Work: Bringing Design Thinking to HR Marketing

The Trainee Programme stands as a great mix of activities – rotations, off-the-job activities, periods abroad – but it’s also about work, and taking care of the Programme itself.

That’s the reason why new Trainees are welcome to join a working team, with the goal of improving the Programme itself! Four teams are active – HR Marketing, Networking, Onboarding and CSR. Every team is self-organized, and has a leader chosen by other Trainees. Today we’ll discover the HR Marketing team: you have me, Antonio Mineo, current team leader, to tell you more about our team.

The idea for the team was born out of Trainees themselves: we have great experiences, and we wanted to talk about it! We started writing articles – externally for the ŠKODA Career Blog and internally for our employee magazine, among others – with the goal of familiarizing you, future Trainees, with our Programme, our daily lives and our experiences!

With time, the blog has become an essential point for every new candidate to gather information – and more and more, it has become a channel for older Trainees and employees to keep up with us. This was the spark to re-think about our work in the team, and the editorial path of our platforms.

Because of this, we had the chance to organize with the team our first Content Strategy workshop. Thanks to the cooperation of multiple departments, we developed a workshop concept, based in Design Thinking techniques.

We set up the workshop in three main phases: Vision, Review & Prototyping. Learnings from the workshop, then, were funneled into a testing phase: this article itself is going to be part of our learnings!


We started by analysing our work, asking ourselves a very basic question: Who are we? What are our values?

Six values were selected:

  • Open-minded
  • Friendly
  • Innovative
  • Visionary
  • Ambitious
  • Contemporary

All of these values sum up the Programme in our eyes, and guided us throughout the day. Defining the values for the Programme proved to be vital: we nailed down what the Programme stands (and will stand) for, the points of contact with the ŠKODA brand, and what makes us special in the brand.

Setting the values let us proceed with a “Content Mad Libs” exercise: in pairs, teams were driven to come up with needs and solutions from the perspective of the different users, which we had roughly identified previously. Stepping in the shoes of our users let us empathize with them, making us understand how to push our content further in their direction.


Creativity is nothing without feasibility: that’s why the Review phase was all about reviewing our User Journeys.

With help of our ŠKODA HR Marketing colleagues, we analysed the quantified results of our pieces online. We identified recurring patterns from our users (e.g.: preferred channels of fruition and landing, format preference) which then guided us to a moment of reflection and discussion.

This allowed us to create a first “bottle neck”: we were able to review the work done in the Vision part of the workshop and prepare us for the idea generation in the next phase.


Getting in the prototyping phase meant nailing down the lessons from the Review and going into a carefully tightened space for a conclusive idea generation session. A Brainwriting, followed by a grouping exercise, let us come up with different coloumn concepts – followed by a final review of the Mad Libs sheets to verify our first assumption in light of the findings.

After the workshop, a deep analysis of the concepts brought us to a new way to look at our content, separating it into different identities serving different users across their journey.

Keep on following us to see the strategy in action, and maybe help us achieve it: are you ready to come join us in our ŠKODA Trainee team?

Antonio Mineo

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