Precision Hiring: Sourcing Niche Skills in Higher Education


Precision Hiring: Sourcing Niche Skills in Higher Education

As a leader in higher education in the UK, this British university was seeking a niche role for their student casework team. Battling a tiny talent pool in their local area, they turned to PeopleScout to help them find the right hire.

1 Niche Role
71 Candidates
46 % Engagement Rate
1 Hire Made From Our Headhunted Candidates


A British university had tried recruiting for a role in their student casework team on two occasions. They found a successful candidate who, unfortunately, withdrew at the last minute. Upon further reflection they decided they required a more senior candidate so rewrote the job description for a Deputy Head of Student Casework.  

The role was very specialized and had niche requirements and criteria. So, the university engaged PeopleScout to help them source the right candidates with our Talent Sourcing solution, part of our Amplifiers™ suite. 


Following a thorough briefing and benchmarking, we had a clear vision of the priorities and an understanding of what the client was looking for. Our strategy targeted individuals who had: 

  • Previously managed a team of people 
  • Strong background in complex student casework 
  • Experience working within higher education 
  • Knowledge of academic and statutory framework guidelines 

Since experience working in a university setting was essential and with only three other universities in close proximity, we knew our talent pool would be limited in the immediate geographical area. So, our search extended across the whole of the UK to identify candidates who would consider a relocation for this office-based role. 


We identified and approached 71 potential matches, and 33 people engaged with us, achieving an engagement rate of 46%—well above the industry average of 18% to 25%.  

A shortlist of eight candidates was presented to the client, comprised of both candidates within a commutable distance to the university as well as those willing to relocate for the role.  

Following interviews conducted by the client, the university hired one of our relocation candidates who was headhunted by our senior recruiter.  

“We are very pleased indeed! Very interesting that all candidates said they weren’t actively looking for a new role, so clearly we needed to work with PeopleScout.”

Client Feedback

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Leading British university
  • INDUSTRY: Higher Education
  • ABOUT THE CLIENT: As one of the UK’s largest universities, the client offers 350 undergraduate and over 200 postgraduate programs. It is ranked in the top 7% of universities worldwide with students hailing from over 100 countries.