Strategic Positioning of an East Midlands Graduate Recruitment Service for Sustainable Competitive Advantage

McCracken, Iain Nicolas (2006) Strategic Positioning of an East Midlands Graduate Recruitment Service for Sustainable Competitive Advantage. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Fairfax Management Consultants were awarded a contract by East Midlands Development Agency to develop to commercialise a regional graduate recruitment service. FMC launched HotProspects in July 2006, with an innovative recruitment model within a homogeneous market, FMC hopes to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage that will ensure the success of HotProspects.

The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the East Midlands' graduate recruitment market, to inform the positioning of HotProspects to deliver sustainable competitive advantage. Although secondary research exists on the East Midlands' economy and the recruitment market generally, research does not exist on the East Midlands' graduate recruitment specifically. Primary research has been conducted to better understand both the market demand and the nature of the competitive threat. The primary research has been completed using a valid quota sample and employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques.

A literature review has been completed around the key issues inherent within the title, including sustainable competitive advantage, buying behaviour, professional services firms and customer value. Of particular interest in the analysis of HotProspects is the work of Scholes and Johnson (1999) on core competencies, which has been used as a key analytical framework.

The recruitment market is densely populated with firms delivering a somewhat homogeneous service. The market employs a variety of methods to resolve vacancies, with recruitment agencies a popular choice. The research demonstrates that there are a number of frustrations evident, particularly concerning pricing and promotional activity. The HotProspects service is well positioned currently, and appears to add value to customers beyond the competition. With a strong dependence on promotion effectiveness and technology, HotProspects must work hard to maintain its position.

The research conducted as part of this dissertation is useful in informing FMC of the most effective positioning of HotProspects to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. However, there are two key limitations with the research. First, the resources available limited the size of the sample questioned and, as a result, although interesting, are not statistically robust and a larger research project would be beneficial. Second, the complexity of the competitive threat requires more detailed evaluation to gain a more accurate picture. To maintain the competitive advantage research must be ongoing to understand the dynamics of East Midlands' graduate recruitment market.

The results of this dissertation have been submitted to the FMC board of directors and the HotProspects operational management team. The findings are to be implemented and will directly impact the positioning of the HotProspects' service.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Recruitment Competitive Advantage Positioning Services
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 23:23

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