Lancaster University is one of the top universities globally, and is a top 10 UK University with over 12,000 students on campus and a network of graduate talent.

Connecting students

Employers are increasingly looking for graduates to demonstrate workplace experience and not just academic achievement. The Employment Recruitment Service are connecting students and graduates with temporary, part-time and internship job opportunities to help give them a competitive edge. The international student base brings a global perspective to smaller businesses, contributing to business growth, with the added reassurance for employers that all the right to work checks have been completed, are compliant and auditable. 

The Employment & Recruitment Service (ERS) was established in 2014 with the aim of:

• Providing quality employment opportunities for students and graduates, enhancing employability upon graduation

• Providing support (alongside the Careers Service) to help students be successful in attaining job opportunities

• Reducing usage (and associated spend) of external recruitment agencies

One of the key aims of the ERS is to increase the employment opportunities of graduates and in 2018, Lancaster was ranked 3rd in the UK for employment prospects, first in the north-west, compared to 17th in 2017 (Times and Sunday Times). New marketing materials and better internal collaboration has led to a record year (2018) of external engagement with the Service facilitating around c 24000 hours per annum placed locally.

Using Eploy to enhance employability

The ERS operates as an on-campus temp agency style service for University hiring managers and other local and national employers. They also manage on behalf of the University, the majority of on-campus casual contracts and temporary work filled by students. ERS are responsible for compliance, contract administration and the electronic timesheets for graduate workers. 

Eploy’s cloud-based recruitment platform is used to provide a first-rate recruitment agency service to candidates and enable ERS to provide a fully managed service for employers. Using Eploy, ERS can access a wide talent pool, identify work checks, pre-screen and shortlist candidates to be interviewed by the employer to fulfil a range of positions that contribute to long and short-term innovative business growth and productivity.

Students can register with the ERS via the website using Eploy’s candidate portal to search and apply for vacancies, create profiles by uploading their CV, check the progress of applications and sign up to job alerts to get automatic notifications of new vacancies. Clever search filters are used to drill down on relevant vacancies by type (industry, location, mile radius or postcode) and position, to find the most relevant jobs.  

At this early stage of registration, information such as visa requirements, Right to Work and National Insurance number can be obtained to ensure compliance. Eligibility to work and compliance regulations are an important part of any University agency service and the University can now ensure that all the necessary documentation is provided and can be retrieved when required.

Candidates undertaking temporary part-time roles can submit timesheets online through the portal for approval, with automated reminders to prompt action that can prevent delayed payments to students. 

Hiring managers across all University divisions now have increased exposure to the talented student population, which was a disconnect previously. This has a massive impact on the entire university feeling connected to contributing to delivering students’ success.

Measurable Results 

Having Eploy’s e-recruitment platform has reduced manual administration through the automation of the recruitment journey. Tasks such as action reminders, job alerts and notifications, as well as the creation of a database of students with automated CV uploads, has provided a commercial advantage. 

The dashboard displays within Eploy are tracking recruitment performance. They are defined to measure success and chart progress, as well as provide an overview of activities including number of vacancies, applications, interview stages, tracking marketing and agency spend and sources that generate the most registrations and applications.

Being able to effectively build relationships with external companies and employers is providing extended opportunities to students whilst creating a revenue stream for the University. Roles undertaken by students working in SME’s are varied, offering invaluable work experience to the student, who in return can significantly impact business growth.

“We are able to demonstrate safe, well-paid, developmental work opportunities right here on our campus and in the local area which improves our attractiveness. The majority of roles that were once given to external agencies to fill are now managed internally, with around 75% of all individuals signed up for ERS being students. With the remainder assisting with wider engagement with the local community and a potential route to a more substantive role within the University.” Helen Crowther, Employment & Recruitment Services Manager

• Since the launch of the Employment & Recruitment Service, Lancaster has seen external agency spend reduce by over 95%, bringing the figure to just a few hundred pounds for specialist roles. 

• The service has grown rapidly, seeing the total number of engagements year-on-year grow from 4,433 in 2014/15 to 10,994 in 2017/18, an increase of nearly 250%. 10,325 of the engagements in 2017/18 were undertaken by Lancaster University students, equating to 94%.

• Lancaster aims to support local SMEs who are new to working with graduate and student talent. The ERS has successfully placed over 26,000 hours of student and graduate talent into the local SME community. 

Alongside the financial benefits, the University are winning the hearts and minds of students in reinventing the perception of recruitment agencies and the often-negative connotations associated with agencies. Employers are benefiting from the international student talent and the global perspective they bring. Employers also have the confidence that all the right to work checks and visa restrictions have been verified and are compliant and auditable.  

Chris Bogh, Chief Technology Officer, Eploy commented “Seeing how ERS are using Eploy to deliver value across the recruitment journey with continued commercial success is fantastic. They have a solid candidate experience and fully managed service for employers where the results speak for themselves”. 

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