Working with Recruitment Agencies to embed soft skills learning in the curriculum

Our partnership with Hays, a multinational recruitment agency with offices in Ipswich, started in June 2023 and has already had a huge impact on our delivery of Careers and Employability skills for Business and Technology students.

Hays has demonstrated a commitment to aligning their expertise with our teaching and learning goals and playing a pivotal role in shaping our students’ future careers. We have actively engaged with their specialists across a number of sectors including IT, Technology, Business Support, Finance and Marketing.

We are delighted that in such a short timeframe we already have 23% of our Business and Technology students directly connected with Hays (18 CVs reviewed; 6 interviews completed; and 1 graduate placed in high skilled employment) – a real success story, and something both Hays and University of Suffolk are keen to build on.

“Partnering with the University of Suffolk allows us to support local individuals with the very best of skill sets to support businesses within Suffolk, skill shortages are rife and with the growing competition with areas such as Norfolk and Essex – this allows us to retain talent within Suffolk and build on these moving forward. It has also allowed us to connect with bright, energetic and determined individuals that we will be able to support and place when their courses finish. We want to help the students find the right pathways and stepping stones to where they want to be. We can help them break down the process into bite-sized chunks as it is very overwhelming leaving the education system.” Leon Scott, IT Recruitment Consultant at Hays

We’ve successfully co-delivered practical and interactive sessions for students of all levels. Hays has supported eight events and curriculum sessions including a keynote address at our Technology Industry Day delivering valuable Labour Market Information on the local Tech sector. Popular sessions have included ‘Developing a winning LinkedIn profile’, ‘Succeeding at Assessment Centres’ and the opportunity to attend a CV Review Clinic and receive personalised feedback on their CV and career goals.

Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with confidence levels rising by over 30% during the Assessment Centre workshops for Business Management students. Academics have also praised the sessions which has helped to reinforce skills teaching.

Leon was a fantastic help during our 1-1 session, providing valuable advice to help highlight relevant work experience, and to keep my CV concise and easy for recruiters to read through. Highly recommend!” Oliver

I found Hays Recruitment very friendly and supportive. Their years of tech industry knowledge and how to get your foot in the door is very helpful and has shown me how to make my CV stand out”. Conor

More student feedback

Read more feedback from our students, including their thoughts on the CV Clinic and qualitative feedback from reflective practice.

CV Clinic Student Feedback Qualitative Feedback from reflective practice
Stairwell in the Waterfront Building

The integration of real-world industry insights has significantly enhanced our ability to tailor career-orientated sessions that resonate with students. So much so that 95% of students rated the curriculum sessions excellent or very good and 23% of students have directly engaged with Hays following the curriculum sessions. Most impressively following the Assessment Centre session students reported that their confidence level had grown from 4.67/10 to 8.50/10.

As well as delivering fantastic support for our students, Hays is instrumental in supporting Careers, Employability and Enterprise (CEE) staff in building labour market information. Their Salary Guide is into its 10th year and they have delivered a training session to the CEE team on how to use the guide to extract useful statistics on recruitment and retention trends which are particularly useful in our own interactions with employers and students.

Meeting our strategic objectives to growing embedded employer engagement in our curriculum, our collaboration with Hays Recruitment has not only enriched our current practices but has designed a blueprint for future innovative employer engagement within our curriculum from other organisations, which will continue to enhance the employability of our students.” Amy Carpenter, Head of Careers, Employability and Enterprise