RPO Case Study: Hiring niche talent at scale and controlling costs to support a tier 1 professional services firm launch two new innovation centres

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RPO Case Study: Hiring niche talent at scale and controlling costs to support a tier 1 professional services firm launch two new innovation centres

RPO Case Study: Hiring niche talent at scale and controlling costs to support a tier 1 professional services firm launch two new innovation centres

Sourcing top candidates quickly to fill niche roles for new business innovation centres in London and Manchester.


A multinational professional services organisation needed support to attract, hire, and place candidates for a significant number of niche roles, across several job grades. These new roles were created due to the roll out of new technology innovation hubs across the UK, named Ignition.

The Challenge

Our client planned to open brand new innovation centres in both Manchester and London, and needed an expert RPO partner to scale up in these key areas. The centres required a high number of new employees, across several different job grades. Candidates were required to be sourced and onboarded in a short timescale, to stay in line with the project timeline for the launch of both hubs. Several positions were also highly niche, including co-facilitator roles, and it was vital that candidate shortlists were aligned with the firm’s equity, diversity, and inclusion targets.

The original client-defined recruitment process consisted of minimum three face-to-face stages, including a 6–8-hour test, due to the niche nature of the roles. In the past, this thorough process was fit for purpose as recruitment volumes were relatively low, at circa two hires per month. However, the hiring volumes needed to scale up and meet the demands of the new centres which meant that a new process was essential. Furthermore, the client had traditionally engaged agencies to recruit for roles of this nature, which would have carried a significant increase in cost if the same approach had been taken for the large volume of new centre hires.

Our Solution

Lorien designed and implemented a bespoke RPO programme to manage the end-to-end recruitment drive, including the introduction of a more streamlined assessment and interview process. We worked in close collaboration with our client stakeholders to set up effective new assessment centres. These centres covered the recruitment of multiple roles and seniority of job grades simultaneously, which allowed the client to streamline the recruitment process and reduce time to offer.

Using a variety of inclusive channels aimed at identifying and attracting both active and passive talent, Lorien successfully sourced candidates who were then invited to an initial 30-minute interview with a hiring manager. If successful, they moved onto the selection stage – an in-person assessment centre. Those candidates that performed well at the assessment centre were then invited to a follow-up informal session with the Ignition Performance Lead before final offers were made.

The assessment centre experience was praised by candidates, who described it as engaging and exciting. They specifically enjoyed being immersed into our client’s team culture and were impressed by the clear drive to provide opportunities for career growth and development.

At the beginning of the project, the only available assessment centre location was in London, due to the Manchester innovation site still being in development. The Lorien team spent time with any candidates based in the North West to ensure they were fully engaged with the job opportunity, and were committed to making the journey to London as required for further assessment. We worked with our client to ensure travel costs were covered for any candidates making the journey from Manchester to London for the assessment centre day, and kept in regular contact during the pre- and post- assessment centre ‘keep warm’ period.

During the process, Lorien’s expert sourcing partners attended meetings with client stakeholders and our dedicated Recruitment Business Partners to ensure the recruitment campaign was efficient and in-line with the client’s shortlist goals. Weekly calls between the enterprise-wide Technology Performance Lead, the Ignition Operations Director, and Associate Partner were also implemented to update and flex to fit any changing recruitment needs. Plus, at the end of each assessment day, post-interview sessions were held with the entire recruitment team to discuss key outcomes and provide feedback to improve the process.

The Results

Working in partnership with our client, we ran a sizable attraction campaign and end-to-end recruitment process which achieved a 100% offer acceptance rate from candidates who attended the assessment centres. We were praised for delivering a timely, smooth, and high-quality RPO project, whilst providing an engaging candidate experience. The firm’s hiring experience was elevated successfully, driving efficiency and compliance by reducing time to hire and interview schedules.

As the quality of candidates was extremely high following the completion of the first assessment centre, our client introduced additional roles in order to make further offers to top talent. We also drastically reduced agency costs by focusing on a direct sourcing strategy for all role types, achieving a 100% direct sourcing rate.

Following this project, Lorien has successfully continued to support the growth of Ignition. We now assist with recruitment drives for senior hires, in addition to the current scope of our RPO service.

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