University Partnerships Programme (UPP) provides affordable student accommodation, academic infrastructure, and support services. It helps universities manage their estates efficiently and employs over 800 people, and manages more than 32,000 rooms in operation or development. UPP’s services help 15 UK Universities to upgrade their estates, make best use of their physical assets, improve services, and enhance the student experience.
UPP had plans to expand and it wanted to bring more staff into its IT team to support several technology projects within this strategy. These plans included; an imminent GDPR project, an upgrade of its internal systems (finance and HR), and the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 across its infrastructure.
UPP had engaged the specialist Technology and business change consultancy, Embracent Ltd, to help with defining a new vision for the IT function. Embracent’s Founder and Managing Director, Mark Lockton-Goddard, having worked with Crimson within several other major organisations asked the consultants within Crimson’s IT recruitment agency to proffer a solution when UPP required seven new employees for its IT team. These roles were; a Project Manager, a Business Analyst, a Business Systems Manager, a SharePoint Developer, a ICT Information Security Manager, a First Line Support Officer, and fixed-term-contract Project Manager.
UPP wanted these new employees to be appointed quickly to work on its growth strategy projects.
Naomi Southern, Consultant within Crimson’s IT recruitment agency, led the staff sourcing effort for UPP.
An exclusive bespoke recruitment plan was created and established from the start of the project to ensure that new employees could be delivered within the tight deadline. See the table below.
This process included; Crimson having control over UPP hiring managers’ diaries so appointments could be scheduled quickly, a weekly conference call update between Crimson and the hiring managers, Crimson reviewing all CVs on UPPs behalf, and conducting competency based interviews using technologies like Skype for business before putting them forward for face-to-face interview.
Naomi led a 360-degree search of the IT market, utilising Crimson’s fulfilment delivery function, and her personal network to source suitable candidates.
Crimson received UPP’s requirements in the middle of June 2017 and all the candidates were sourced and started work within eight weeks, which included their notice periods.
UPP received an exclusive bespoke service from Crimson, which ensured the speedy delivery of staff resources required to support the student accommodation provider’s expansion plans.
Most of the candidates started on the same day, with Crimson assisting with the on-boarding process and arranging a curry that evening for the team and managers to bond.
The Client’s Perspective
Edward Walters, Director of ICT at UPP, said: “Wishing to hire a number of staff we were keen to partner with a single agency, and having had pitches from other agencies and variable results in the past, the energy and honesty Crimson brought to the table was fantastic. Throughout the process they were fully engaged and clear on what they were doing and what they needed from us. Ultimately providing a stream of viable candidates and making our decision making very difficult.”
The Candidate’s Perspective
Richard Baxter, Business Systems Manager at UPP, said: “Naomi was excellent from start to finish of the job recruitment process. She was very organised and kept me informed all the way through the stages, providing advice where it was necessary and steering me in the right direction.”