IBM UK work under IBM, a multinational information technology company, specialising in cloud platform and cognitive solutions, operating in over 170 countries and employing more than 380,000 professionals, making them the largest technology employer in the world. A Key part of the IBM Business is delivering into National Security work, looking for people with high level DV Clearance. However, identifying people with the right clearance and skill set has been an ever increasing challenge for the Business.


IBM UK approached Sanderson G&D in the hopes that their problem would be solved. The challenge was in identifying DV Cleared technical resource for West Country and London locations on both a permanent and contract basis. Also, there was a process challenge with lengthy recruitment time lines, with many candidates being lost during process. IBM were looking for Sanderson’s support to increase the flow of suitable applicants and to work with the Business to improve process and overall candidate experience.


Firstly, there was a series of roundtable meetings with key stakeholders to fully understand the challenge. We then presented back our findings and thoughts around how to improve process, which included:

  • Enhanced use of the IBM brand in the National Security Market place.
  • Closer working relationships with key technical stakeholder.
  • Detailed briefings on challenging technical roles.
  • Identifying immediately available contract resource whilst a long term perm option was lined up. 
  • Streamlining of the interview process, to one stage local meetings.
  • Pre-approval of challenging roles to increase speed of offer.
  • Detailed review of the candidate experience fed back to the Business to aid continues improvement.


The above action delivered a 40% increase in DV hires over a 6 month period with a workable blend of permanent and contract resource. It also reduced the time to hire from previous process, enhanced candidate experience and helped elevate IBM’s presence in the sector and on customer sites.

“Sanderson Government & Defence were brought in to offer a reliable, and quality service model that would offer resource solutions of the highest standards, in a business environment with short supply of labour and high demand for the skills required, when a growth in headcount was required. Sanderson have continuously provided us with great talent, sourcing candidates best suited to our roles, that have a unique ‘fit’ that ties in with the rest of the businesses culture and ethos.”

Rachel Parkin (UKI Public Sector Operations Manager)