How to target recruitment to educations in the Danish Defence


The Defence Personnel Agency is responsible for ensuring a sufficient number of qualified applicants to each of the educations in the educational program of the Danish Defence. The educations are diverse and appeal to different types of young people the ages of 15 to 26. Some are basic educations for learning fundamental skills, while some are higher educations to train the leaders of tomorrow. This means, that the recruitment and marketing of each of the educations has to be tailormade – i.e., defining key messages, visuals, channels etc. for each education. Therefore, the Defence Personnel Agency wants to carry out a complete analysis which covers the lifestyle, behavior, and characteristics of different segments within the target group for the Defence’s educational program. The main purpose is to have a tool that targets recruitment even more thus making it more operational and effective. Furthermore, the analysis founds a basis for developing a new communication strategy and for future prioritization of resources.


The Defence Personnel Agency and Epinion developed and conducted an analysis with an explorative approach. The analysis took a full view of the target group for The Danish Defence’s educations; what defines their educational backgrounds, interests, relation to the Defence, job considerations etc. Also, the analysis was designed as a potential analysis. Based on the analysis, it was possible to estimate the number of persons with no, low, medium, and high potential in the population. The main part of the analysis focused on the candidates with medium or high potential, while these are the most relevant candidates to get a deeper understanding of and to target recruitment to. The aim was that our insights be broad and representative but also nuanced and rich. Therefore, the analysis was based on a fused approach, respectively using multiple data sources and methods – survey data, digital ethnography, and online behavioral data. In the end, we assisted the Danish Defence in anchoring and implementing the segmentation in the organization, centrally and locally.


Based on the analysis, The Defence know and understand five segments which are relevant to their external recruitment effort. The five segments differ remarkably when it comes to attitudes, preferences, and consideration regarding educational and career choices. The analysis also maps the decision journey towards an educational choice, and through this, when to approach the target groups most effectively with communication about the Defence’s educations. Overall, the segmentation makes a valuable tool for the Defence Personnel Agency in targeting messages and campaigning. The survey and online behavioral data consisted of 2,250 responses from 15-26-years-old and first year students in the Danish Defence. In the digital ethnography, we followed 20 young people in a week and got close to their everyday life. The digital ethnography gave us a full understanding of the different segments and considerations about their current and future studies which can be difficult to rationalize upon in a focus group or IDI.