Client: Cranfield University

Industry: Business School


“The FMM depends upon a steady flow of high quality candidates who are passionate about ‘change’ and ‘ operations’ as our host employers will compare our Fellows with candidates from the marketplace. Since moving our core advertising 3 years ago to an Internet driven sourcing solution, we have been delighted with the higher levels of relevant response, the quality that attends our assessment centres, and the number that then accept an offer to join the FMM. A lot of the success goes down to AVASST”.

Director, FMM Programme


Cranfield’s Fellowship in Manufacturing Management [FMM*] has been running for 27 years, producing 1,000+ fellows who have championed continuous improvement and personal development in most sectors of manufacturing and engineering in the UK. In 2006 the FMM won a Queen’s Award for its contribution to higher education and its contribution to business.

Success of the FMM relies on a steady flow of high quality applicants; people who have at least 6 years leadership experience and achieved success in their careers. The big common denominator is their passion for Manufacturing and Operations.

With candidate numbers and quality tapering off the Programme Director was seeking to understand the recruitment market better, identify the talent pools, and at the same time needed to grow their intake levels [both in quality and volume].


AVASST presented the FMM with a strategy that recognised the shift in candidate profile, in particular their greater use of the Internet to find career opportunities, along with AVASST’s own views on the future of the recruitment marketplace.

After analysis of a number of strategic options that combined traditional and Internet based solutions, FMM migrated their media spend to job websites, and after two pilot projects, an annual contract was awarded.   A campaign plan was designed which took advantage of the flexibility of the Internet to reach key segments of active and passive job-seekers. The cost effective tactical advantages of jobsites were exploited, and the FMM branded advert was placed in key regional sectors at times when the maximum number of readers were on-line.

Candidates are driven into a dedicated email response site, and helpful ‘branded’ information provided to those who meet the minimum criteria, along with a bespoke personal development questionnaire that helped them to make an informed choice about applying.


The FMM reallocated its savings on advertising towards recruitment administration and assessment support. This released FMM resources to concentrate on higher value-added tasks. After 3 years (8 intakes) the FMM has enjoyed a return to higher numbers of applicants, of a higher quality, which has resulted in many more offers than for many years. Most are accepted and this results in more Fellows being placed with companies after the foundation phase. In turn this generates the revenue needed to sustain and grow the FMM.

*The FMM is a unique programme run by Cranfield University’s, School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science