The situation

Publicis Sapient, a digital transformation consultancy, had won several large projects and identified hires to be made across User Experience, Visual Design and Design Strategy. Hires ranged from senior to director level.

Two of the internal recruitment team had moved on leaving the studio in a tight spot. The business was also keen to set minimum standards on gender balance for all senior hires.

Futureheads ON were referred to Sapient’s Talent Manager to discuss placing a team onsite to help them through this period of change.

The business needed market experts to source the best talent in a niche candidate short market who would fit the demanding world of a digital consultancy. We also needed to make sure our approach reduced the time needed by busy stakeholders during the project, whilst ensuring it remained on track. In addition, we wanted to free up the Talent Manager to find new permanent talent partners.

Our goals were to:

  • Deliver permanent hires across UX, Design and Strategy
  • Reduce the number of freelancers being used
  • Increase female hiring across the studio
  • Free up time for the talent manager to hire our permanent replacements

Our approach

Due to urgent project deadlines, we frontloaded the project with three Talent Partners (one for each vertical) and two Resourcers. An Account Director oversaw the project working closely with the Talent Manager to ensure all obstacles were removed and the business was informed of our progress throughout. To kick start the project, the Talent Partners met with the interview panel, 25 in total, to understand their roles, experience and expectations.

To ensure we created diverse shortlists, we sifted through 7,000+ candidates from Futureheads database along with a LinkedIn search of competitor agencies to produce a longlist of 2000 candidates. This allowed us to present a high volume of female candidates to the business.

In parallel, the Account Director ran a series of interviews with female designers to understand their career path, which included working mothers to highlight the work-life balance in the studio. This was released in several interviews via a LinkedIn campaign.

Our results

  • 14 hires across User Experience, Visual Design and Design Strategy
  • 64% female hires made
  • Successful social media campaign promoting diversity

“Due to a surge in growth across the Publicis Sapient business, we had to scale our hiring team quickly to meet demand in experience, visual design and strategy hiring.

The volume of roles, short delivery timescales and the complexity of our business meant we favoured a more hands-on, embedded model, rather a traditional contingency relationship.

We needed a partner that had credibility, access to top talent and a track record of delivering in the experience, product, UI and strategy markets. As well as delivering talent, we’d also get additional insight and guidance on the market, trends, processes and salaries

Over a period of 4 months, the team delivered permanent hires from senior to director levels. The pipeline and ratios of candidates to interviews and offers remained consistently high whilst adapting well to changes in business needs. They also proactively helped us to meet our targets on gender-balanced shortlists and diversity through targeted sourcing, talent market mapping and creating marketing content.”

– Mark Hothi, Talent Manager, Publicis Sapient


If you’re interested in finding out more about how we could support your growth plans, get in touch with me at or 07843349475.

Read more about our brand new service offering, Futureheads ON, which blends onsite talent partners with our unrivalled networks to help businesses scale.


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