Recruiting to specialist roles - Kingston & Sutton Councils case study

23rd January 2019 | JGP

Recruitment is challenging enough at the best of times but when faced with the need to recruit to numerous specialist technical roles at once, the challenge can seem insurmountable. We speak to a significant number of employers in this position, often also trying to overcome the added issue of luring candidates away from higher salaries elsewhere, particularly private sector organisations.

This was the case for Kingston and Sutton Councils, who were looking to lead an exciting digital transformation across both authorities. They would need their shared ICT service to be the driving force of this transformation, however two failed recruitment campaigns had prevented any real progress.

Their offer to candidates was strong – not only would successful candidates have the chance to join at an exciting time, but the councils offered a collaborative and dynamic working environment and a host of other benefits.

They came to JGP needing to initially appoint to ten roles, these included highly specialised application, analyst and development positions as well as ICT Project Manager and Business Manager posts.


It was quickly established that the key to this campaign was telling Kingston and Sutton’s story properly. Whilst it was clear that the councils couldn’t necessarily compete with central London private sector companies in terms of salaries, we were confident that there were plenty of other factors that would appeal to the right people.

We began by re-writing all of the job adverts to ensure that the key messages were clear. We also supported the councils in putting together an over-arching welcome pack that went into greater detail in terms of the councils’ plans and what was on offer to new recruits.

Next, it was all about getting in front of the right people – there’s no point in getting the messages right if the candidates you want don’t see them.

We ran an attraction campaign on Google and LinkedIn, using in-depth research and past candidate data to inform every decision on how best to reach the right people. With a set budget and ICT keywords notoriously expensive to bid on, we constantly monitored the campaigns in order to make best use of it. This allowed us to ensure that all vacancies received sufficient traffic.

The campaign saw significant levels of traffic driven to all the vacancies, resulting in 12 appointments with nine of the ten positions filled (one with multiple appointments), in some cases with multiple candidates. Considering the difficulties the council had previously experienced, this was hailed as a significant success.


• 1,001 Google Clicks

• 300 LinkedIn Clicks

• 90% success


"For us, JGP are the obvious choice when it comes to advertising the majority of our vacancies, they're creative in their approach and worked with us to provide the best and most tailored attraction strategy for each role on a case by case basis - they recognise one size doesn't fit all"

Ali Spurling – Recruitment Consultant, HR Shared Service

_“If you consider the investment in time and energy required to recruit, it is worthwhile investing in doing it right.

We’d had a number of failed recruitment campaigns, wasting significant amounts of time. With JGP, we were able to fill almost all of our roles with good quality candidates first time round. They used the advertising budget really well, utilising the channels they knew would work. The ATS was easy to use and the data was clear, and we got great account management throughout the process. We will be using JGP in the future which is probably the best endorsement I can give!” _

Paul Whittall – ICT Business Change Manager

For more information on how we can help you recruit to specialist or hard to fill roles, visit