Crimson Case Studies

Bespoke IT Recruitment Service Supports Student Accommodation Provider’s Growth Strategy

UPP IT Recruitment Agency

The Customer

University Partnerships Programme (UPP) is at the forefront of providing affordable student accommodation, academic infrastructure, and support services, aiding universities in managing their estates efficiently. The organisation has over 800 employees and manages in excess of 32,000 rooms, either operational or under development, assisting 15 UK universities to optimise their physical assets and enhance the student experience.

The Challenge

With ambitions for expansion, UPP aimed to bolster its IT team to support a range of technology-driven projects integral to this growth strategy. These included a pressing GDPR compliance project, upgrades to internal systems (finance and HR), and implementing Microsoft Office 365 across the board.

Following a strategic partnership with the technology and business change consultancy, Embracent Ltd, UPP sought to fill seven key IT positions: a Project Manager, Business Analyst, Business Systems Manager, SharePoint Developer, ICT Information Security Manager, First Line Support Officer, and a fixed-term contract Project Manager, all required to expedite the growth strategy projects.

The Strategy

A comprehensive, customised recruitment plan was deployed to ensure the swift onboarding of the necessary personnel. The strategy included managing hiring managers’ schedules for prompt interviews, regular update calls, pre-screening of CVs, and conducting preliminary competency-based interviews using online platforms.

The recruitment process encompassed an exhaustive search, leveraging both a dedicated fulfilment delivery system and extensive personal networks to identify the best candidates for each role.


Within just eight weeks from the initial brief, all positions were successfully filled, including the completion of notice periods for new hires. This expedited recruitment process enabled UPP to press forward with its critical growth strategy projects efficiently.

The tailored service provided ensured that most new hires could start simultaneously, facilitating a smooth integration into the team, underscored by a communal evening meal to foster team cohesion from day one.

The Customer’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.”