University of Central Lancashire: Sourcing in Competitive UK Education Sector

University of Central Lancashire: Sourcing in Competitive UK Education Sector

As a leader in higher education in the UK, The University of Central Lancashire attracts students from around the world. However, filling a vacancy for Schools & Colleges Liaison Manager proved to be more challenging in a competitive market. PeopleScout delivered top candidates through a high-touch executive search engagement in just four weeks.

5 Secured five strong candidates for interview shortlist
90 Reached an audience of over 90 job seekers
4 Four week turnaround from briefing call to shortlist of candidates for interview


The vacancy for the Schools & Colleges Liaison Manager position at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) had been posted to the university’s website and a leading UK job board for over 30 days with few applications received. The position was located in the West Midlands, home to many higher education institutions, creating a competitive environment for recruitment. 

Following a positive experience with PeopleScout as a job seeker, Adam Mitchell, Head of UK Recruitment at UCLan, engaged PeopleScout from the client side this time to address the challenges faced by the university for this role.  


Knowing that today’s talent market consists mostly of passive candidates, our strategy targeted individuals working within the higher education sector and those employed by private training providers. Leveraging LinkedIn and the CV Library website, we looked for professionals with experience indicating a strong understanding of the education of young people aged 16 to 18 in UK, the student recruitment cycle and the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) process.  

We also scoured the websites of other universities and colleges across the West Midlands region to identify potential candidates as well as individuals in learning and development roles at private training companies and other companies in the private sector.  

Throughout the project we continued searching to maximize our engagement within the target talent pool. We reviewed hundreds of profiles and approached 92 people, producing a shortlist of potential matches. Finally, we encouraged all candidates to provide feedback and recommendations from their networks to help us to grow the talent pool. 


Out of the 92 candidates we reached out to, a total of 49 people engaged with us, creating an engagement rate of 53%. In just four weeks, we were able to present a shortlist a of five strong candidates for consideration, who were sourced via headhunting and networking within our targeted talent pool. 

  • Reached out to 92 candidates 
  • 49 candidates engaged with us creating an engagement rate of 53% 
  • We presented a shortlist of five candidates who were invited to interview 
  • Two candidates passed to a second interview 
  • One offer was made 

“PeopleScout immediately understood the challenge we had in recruiting for a specialist position out of region and in an area awash with vacancies in similar organizations. The approach of understanding the role and the type of experience required, and then refining this through presenting a selection of candidate profiles, was excellent. I was reassured that the PeopleScout recruiter knew precisely what we were looking for. I was kept fully updated throughout, with regular conversations and emails. The shortlist provided was excellent, with all candidates suitable for interview. I was delighted to appoint a fantastic candidate who we would not have reached without PeopleScout’s efforts.” 

Adam Mitchell, Head of UK Recruitment at The University of Central Lancashire

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: The University of Central Lancashire
  • ABOUT UCLAN: The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is an international university with campuses in Preston, Burnley, Westlakes in the UK as well as Cyprus. As one of the UK’s largest universities, UCLan offers 350 undergraduate and over 200 postgraduate programs, and the university is ranked in the top 7% of universities worldwide. Their community is made up of approximately 38,000 students from more than 100 countries around the world.