Jisc

Deputy Chief Finance Officer

Jisc are a membership organisation, providing digital solutions for UK education and research institutions. Their vision is for the UK to be the most digitally-advanced higher education, further education and research nation in the world. In January 2019, Jisc merged with Eduserv to form a unique powerhouse of world-leading expertise, providing technology support to more than 20 million users in the UK and internationally.

Their support to the UK education and research sector encompasses the provision of shared digital infrastructure and services across UK universities and colleges, as well as offering trusted advice on digital technology. Jisc help the sector save time and money by negotiating deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers at a crucial time for the education and research sectors.

Allen Lane were one of a select group of agencies tasked with recruiting to Jisc’s newly created Deputy Chief Finance Officer (CFO) vacancy, a role which required presence in both Bristol and Harwell (near Didcot).

Brief/Problem:

Allen Lane played an active role in shaping the newly created position, acting as a sounding board to the recently appointed CFO. A finance leader with excellent people management skills was required, a robust individual capable of delivering operational excellence alongside sound financial and management accounting experience.

Jisc’s presence across the UK dictated a need to attract applicants based near to their Bristol headquarters, with applicants also happy to undertake weekly travel to their Harwell office. Applicants with current or recent exposure to higher education, further education or research were of particular interest to the client.

Approach/research:

In February 2020 we went live with our marketing campaign to publicise the opportunity across all of our channels. A headhunting strategy was implemented to target passive job seekers, particularly those based near the Bristol area.

The strength of Allen Lane’s database ensured prospective applicants already registered with us were also approached, particularly those with a background in education and research. At each engagement with candidates we were able to convey the opportunity and context of the opportunity, having worked so closely with the hiring client from the outset.

The timing of the process coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, so a shift towards remote interviewing and assessment was required. Allen Lane were able to advise Jisc’s HR team to ensure a fair process was established which would still allow our client to hire with confidence. Our ability to engage effectively with our candidates also ensured commitment throughout, at a time when many job seekers were delaying their next career move.

Results/achievement:

The strength of our shortlist meant 70% of applicants interviewed at the 1st stage were provided by Allen Lane, despite engagement with other agencies and Jisc’s attempts to hires to the role directly.

Following a successful 2nd stage interview, Allen Lane’s candidate was offered the position, which was promptly accepted. For the successful candidate, relocation to Bristol was required for the role. Not only was the newly accepted role career progression, but it also complemented personal aspirations to move away from London.

Register Interest

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