University of Reading – UNDERSTANDING A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR

The University of Reading has established a strong leadership position in the Thames Valley. Its ambition now is to strengthen relationships with local business across the region. This would require the expertise of a brilliant Commercial Director, someone who could find new ways to create a place where start-ups and corporates thrive.

SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS
• ATTRACTING AN ENTREPRENEUR TO HIGHER EDUCATION
• SECURING A PERSON WITH A PASSION FOR BUSINESS GROWTH AND THE ABILITY TO KNOCK ON DOORS
• FINDING SOMEONE CREDIBLE TO ACADEMICS AND BOARDS ALIKE

SCOPE AND SCALE

The landscape in Higher Education is changing, while uncertainty over student fees continues. Now, more than ever, universities have to think and act more globally and digitally. They have to become sustainable, and achieve a competitive advantage. The creation of the new Commercial Director role was the University of Reading’s response, and it would link all external income, generating the strategic activity that would enable growth and transformation.

SITUATION

This new role had a series of attractive propositions. Firstly, there was a great deal of scope to define and lead on the implementation of the university’s new commercial strategy. Secondly, the university was opened-minded about their ideal candidate’s background, because what they were looking for was someone truly passionate about the link between great education and great job opportunities, for future generations. Thirdly, this role offered the chance to develop exciting links with local business and the corporate world, helping to position the University of Reading as the region’s leading partner for research, talent and innovation.

SOLUTION

TMP took a detailed brief from the Chief Financial Officer, who had a very clear vision around what she needed and why. It was immediately clear to us that she wanted to meet candidates with a strong entrepreneurial flair. She was also keen for us to find people who not only understood research, innovation or technology, but could also bring fresh ideas to the table. We felt that both the level and newness of this opportunity would make it highly appealing to proven entrepreneurs. That’s why we managed a combined search and advertising campaign to access exactly the right talent. We managed all applications through the University ATS (applicant tracking system), and we handled interviews and screenings of all applicants. We then made our recommendations to the university, reducing the time it took to shortlist.

RESULTS

• 29 identified
• 6 interviews
• 1 hire

“We have worked with TMP for a number of years and have found their service to be both helpful and effcient. TMP have taken the time to understand our organisation and its ambitions, and they have supported us in being able to attract the right candidates. They keep us well informed and work hard to deliver positive results. We would certainly work with TMP again.”

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