To develop an authentic and inspiring employer brand for the University of Sheffield. Following a bespoke piece of competitor analysis and a benchmarking exercise we established that the University of Sheffield had no clear external employer brand. This was putting the University at a disadvantage in the national and international competition for talent.


A classic approach using thorough research and stakeholder engagement was the basis for this project. We held focus groups with internal stakeholders and external audiences. We analysed the perception versus the reality of working at the University, hiring challenges, the culture and vision as well as conducting a full audit of current recruitment communications and how any brand collateral was used.
Finally, we investigated the quality and perception of living in Sheffield, something that would be of particular relevance to international attraction campaigns.

TMP used the corporate brand as a launch pad to create the new employer brand. The new employer brand differentiated the University of Sheffield from its competitors and profiled the University's achievements. It was key that the employer brand resonated across a multitude of communication channels given it would be pivotal in developing their Resourcing & Communications Strategy for 2013-2015.
The proposition 'Pursue the Extraordinary' was chosen by The Vice Chancellor and his Leadership team of Pro VCs.  The new employer brand concept was brought to life using a case study.


The employer brand was launched internally and externally with a comprehensive Tool Kit provided to explain the methodology, expectations and execution to fully exploit the benefits a robust brand can achieve in the marketplace. We have also implemented a number of measurable elements to ensure that the new brand achieves all our pre-agreed KPIs.

The campaign generated a total of 375 applications - 31.3 applications per post compared to 15 per post in the previous campaign.  Some departments over recruited due to the quality of the candidates they saw.

An academic from the University remarked on the campaign - "It's absolutely right for the university, that's what it's all about, whether it's an academic pursuing their research or a student pursuing their studies."