Helping a world leader in recruitment enhance its services with analytics

Helping a world leader in recruitment enhance its services with analytics


PageGroup set in motion a strategy to dramatically improve its market analysis, in order to better anticipate and respond to clients’ evolving needs. “Much of the market analysis publicly available prior to this project lacked granularity, breadth and was often survey based. External figures didn’t always reflect our operational experience”, according to the Director of Sales Insights, who led the project internally. “We wanted to use the data to have clarity about the UK job market, where there are opportunities for us, and to identify our strengths without relying on ‘gut-feel’”.

PageGroup subscribed to a third-party market intelligence provider and received large amounts of raw data (3 million+ rows per month) listing details of online job advertisements. They needed to make sense of this raw data, with insights on the year-over-year growth in activity by region, by job group, and also by competitor to assess “share of voice”. In addition, the client wanted clarity on the most in-demand skills in the market.

PageGroup also wanted to combine this market data with their own internal data, and with ONS employment statistics to derive a market presence by region.


The data in this screenshot has been randomised and competitor names concealed.

In Power BI, we developed a model connected to the SQL Server with market intelligence data, and to the Excel files with the client’s internal mappings. We created the relationships between these different sources so that the model could be sliced and diced using the client’s own regions and job disciplines.

From this model, we designed 9 dashboards based on a detailed requirement gathering with the Sales Insights team. Each dashboard has a specific angle, for example: competitor analysis, top skills. We created insights that had never been made available to the business previously, presented in intuitive, simple visualisations. For example, because the market data contains thousands of distinct job titles, we gave users the ability to search for a keyword from the job description, such as “SEO”, to filter the competitor analysis to all jobs containing the word “SEO” in their description.

The dashboards were distributed to a large audience through the Power BI service platform. In one workspace, some of the dashboards, intended for external use with clients, are now available to approximately 400 employees, including 50 core users. A second workspace is intended for a more restricted group of MDs and nominated Directors. It gives deeper insight into relative activity levels and market position.

Key benefits & Return-on-Investment

The information available in the dashboard has been put to use in many practical ways to serve PageGroup’s business operations. The Sales Insights director shared with us a few examples of questions that consultants are now able to answer quickly and more precisely:

  • Understanding the structure of a market that we are not in. Which job boards are used, what is the salary and job distribution?
  • For a client considering relocating. What is the supply of labour like in those areas? Which other companies would they be in competition with for those roles, how do the salaries compare?
  • Why is a client having difficulty recruiting and retaining certain roles, do they need to reconsider the remuneration and package?

The data is also available on a self-service level. It’s easy for consultants to access and customise the output as required. There is also a time saving for the Finance and Insights functions as data is more quickly available. Time previously spent on data manipulation can now be dedicated to supporting the consultants, and to new insights.

“Can I just go on record to say what you’ve put together really is a seriously great tool and one that I suspect will be essential usage moving forward.”

David Mann – Operating Director

Within a week of launch, and with only a week of hits, the most widely used dashboard already ranked 8th of 800 reports available across the global organisation and had over 1,200 hits.

Page Group won’t measure a monetary return-on-investment for this project, but the Sales Insights team expects the dashboards to have immediate benefits on the bids and tenders process, and on client relationships.

“This has been built in response to the MD request we made at the start of the year for sector and client data. They have done an incredible job.”

Graham Lucas – MD