Sourcing niche talent at scale to accelerate Digital Transformation

A large financial institution in Southern Europe partnered with an Armstrong Craven Major Programmes team for an initial 6-month project.


A large financial institution in Southern Europe partnered with an Armstrong Craven Major Programmes team for an initial 6-month project. A major strategic focus for them was to accelerate their digital transformation in order to compete with others in their sector who had become "online only".

The Challenge: Sourcing talent for multiple tech roles

To enable this transformation, our client had to complete the hiring of 40 new tech roles, ranging from Network Administrators to Security Architects and Data Developers. Traditional recruitment methods were not bringing in the volume of quality candidates required and paying traditional recruitment agencies on a fee per placement was both unpredictable and expensive.

Our Solution

Our Major Programmes team specialise in sourcing scarce and niche talent at scale by using headhunting methodologies. The dedicated team on this project consisted of four expert tech Talent Sourcers plus a project leader. Within 3-4 weeks, the team were delivering 12 - 15 qualified and assessed individuals into the talent acquisition pipeline every week. This allowed the internal recruiters to strengthen their shortlists with proactively sourced (headhunted) candidates alongside their direct and internal applicants and recommendations. Our team was also focused on finding diverse candidates and individuals from direct competitors as proactive sourcing is the only way to engage these talent cohorts.

The first stage was to create an in-depth talent map across the target roles and locations using all of our market-leading sourcing skills and technology. Due to the short timelines on the project, we also took the opportunity to approach this talent as we went along, ensuring we started attracting candidates from the earliest point for maximum efficiency. We engaged with the best talent in the market, thoroughly qualifying each candidate to confirm their skills. During the engagement phase, we took the time to fully understand the career goals of each individual before submitting them to our client’s internal recruitment team, ready to interview.

The Results

The project was hugely successful, with 276 candidates submitted into the project and a map of talent to support future growth also delivered to the client.

Our client has since moved away from using their traditional search partners and is looking to grow their dedicated Sourcing team at Armstrong Craven. As this relationship has matured, we are seeing ever-improving results as our teams partner more completely and integrate with their culture, constantly overachieving on the agreed submission-to-offer ratio.

Our Sourcing team has also been supporting with niche senior hiring beyond the original scope of our project. Having dedicated resource has allowed our client to take full advantage of having a team of headhunters who now understand the complexities of their organization and can sell their opportunities and employer value proposition to prospective scarce and senior candidates.

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