Crimson Case Studies

Ardagh Group Access Exceptional IT Talent In a Candidate-Driven Market

Ardagh Group IT Recruitment Agency

IT Recruitment Customer

Ardagh​​ Group is a global supplier of sustainable, infinitely recyclable metal, and glass packaging for brand owners worldwide. They operate 65 metal and glass production facilities in 16 countries, employing 20,000 people with sales of approximately $10bn. As market leaders, Ardagh continually innovates and improves its products, services, and employee experience. Sustainability is at the core of their business strategy; Ardagh also organises projects that enrich local communities.

The Background

Demand for environmentally friendly products and services like packaging has risen across the globe. Ardagh has also acquired other businesses and implemented SAP success factors. Driving innovation, quality control, and measuring elements such as sustainability and customer experience are essential for Ardagh. Therefore, Ardagh needed IT professionals to help them manage their infrastructure and build new systems that support their ambitious plans, but how and where would they find the right people?

Ardagh needed a strategic IT recruitment partner. An Ardagh employee recommended Crimson, having worked with the IT recruitment agency. Ardagh first reached out to Crimson for some initial advice on the market and the placement of their global IT roles. Crimson’s consultants were happy to share their knowledge of the current market, namely the ‘candidate-driven’ conditions, and how this would impact their project goals.

Since COVID-19, demand for IT professionals has soared, creating a chain reaction termed ‘the great resignation’, causing an incredibly competitive environment for employers. As a result, crimson has seen a considerable influx of new clients and has been working with existing clients to help them navigate the changes to the market.

Crimson shared existing case studies with Ardagh to demonstrate its ability to advise leading brands such as HS2, Volkswagen Group, and Microsoft. Their experienced IT recruitment consultants also operate in a consultative manner, undertaking personalised research and providing advice on aspects such as the structure of an IT department, candidate availability, IR35, remuneration and much more.

In this market and the milestones Ardagh needed to reach, a planned IT recruitment strategy was required to reduce the hiring time and protect their investment.

The Requirements

Ardagh needed to build a team of influential IT leaders to operate permanently at the group level. They also required PMO, Project Management and Architecture. The individuals would be working within existing teams, in addition to building new functions where they would recruit personnel.

Head of Permanent Services, Ian and his team led on the permanent requirements.

“When multiple roles are involved in fulfilling multimillion pound projects, it’s even more important to ensure we understand the client, the culture, and their goals. The process needs to be planned according to the client’s timeline whilst considering the current market conditions and the availability of candidates. It’s a delicate process that requires strategic thinking and in-depth conversations with clients. We are more than happy to spend time advising clients ahead of projects, submitting state of market info, and meet with the client for them to trust us with communicating their needs.”

In the following months, Ardagh also needed specialist contract IT talent to help them complete time-sensitive programmes across architecture, project management, security, and risk management.

Head of Contract Recruitment, Paul Davis and his expert contract recruitment team led the search.

“Modern-day contract recruitment is not only about speed and quality, ensuring a compliant supply chain is a necessity. This becomes even more paramount when providing high-end Cyber Security resource to clients. Ardagh understands this importance and has always had a pragmatic way of working, which has enabled Crimson to provide quality, specialist candidates with confidence. Crimson and Ardagh were able to brainstorm early on, and our go-to-market strategy/attraction model was, in turn, well defined. We have provided best-in-class candidates to Ardagh, and we’re looking forward to working with them on their Cyber programme.”

The Challenge

Crimson is exceptionally well equipped to fulfil IT roles within tight timescales. However, market conditions and the rarity of roles often mean that Crimson recruiters will employ specialised information and tactics to source candidates. In addition, the shortage of cyber professionals is a constant challenge; the Crimson team can help employers secure cyber professionals with advice around aspects such as remuneration, employer branding and job adverts.

Attracting and retaining candidates in a candidate-driven market can be challenging for recruiters, let alone employers. Skillsets need to be well-defined; adverts need to be inclusive and benefit-driven; the package needs to be competitive, and you need to communicate with candidates more regularly than ever. Candidates may drop out of interviews; counteroffers are also commonplace – you need to be extremely well prepared in a candidate-driven market.

The Approach

Ian and Paul initially provided advice around the project goals and the market conditions, as well as evidence that Crimson are a reliable, creative IT recruitment partner. As well as utilising Microsoft teams to discuss requirements, several face-to-face meetings took place to discuss compliance, IR35, skillsets, packages, and onboarding.

The Complete List of Roles

  • Group Head of IT Security Operations
  • Group Head of PMO & Business Relationship Management
  • IT Business Relationship Manager
  • Group IT PMO Lead
  • OT Workstream Security & Data Lead
  • OT Workstream Programme Lead
  • Data Security Lead
  • Multiple Senior Project Managers
  • People Identity Lead
  • Identity Business Analyst
  • Multiple PMO Specialists
  • Security Specialist
  • Technology, Risk & Assurance
  • Vulnerabilities PM
  • Programme Finance Lead
  • Security Operations Lead
  • Operations Technology Lead
  • Financial Commercial Modelling
  • Cyber Technical Project Manager
  • Architecture Support

The Strategy

Ian and Paul spent time with Ardagh, establishing the requirements and understanding the roles and culture of the organisation. Therefore, they could go to market with a clear and compelling proposition to help them successfully secure suitable candidates.

As well as reaching out to its vast community of IT professionals, the team used multiple tools, such as LinkedIn, to source recommendations and connections for Ardagh to explore. Crimson also supported Ardagh with onboarding internally referenced candidates efficiently and compliantly.

The Result

The permanent and contract teams have placed 23 individuals with Ardagh swiftly and successfully. Crimson has established a great relationship with Ardagh; Paul and his contract colleagues host weekly meetings on-site at Ardagh to check in with contractors and the management team at Ardagh. Although Ardagh has an experienced HR department, internal recruiters, and a legal team, they still opted to work with Crimson, recognising the expertise and stability that Crimson brings to their recruitment campaigns. Crimson is thrilled that Ardagh selected them as a partner and looks forward to supporting their impressive team for many years.

The Customer’s Comments

“We engaged with Crimson to support our Talent Acquisition activities, in a very highly driven candidate market for both IT and Cyber talent, just over 12 months ago. The relationship was developed quickly, with both Ian and Paul understanding our requirements and most importantly the type of candidates that we were looking for to fit seamlessly within our organisation.

“They have delivered a professional service, provided us with great candidates and made us aware of market trends. They have, at times challenged our thoughts and approach to talent acquisition, to ensure the talent pool available to us, meets our requirements and expectations. Crimson have been a great external partner, embracing our core values of Trust, Teamwork and Excellence.”

Julian Cross-Collins, Group Corporate HRBP