Tarmac, a CRH Company, is the UK's leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business. They approached Cohesion in 2015 - to discuss the implementation of their very own Graduate Programme.


“We outsourced specifically to Cohesion because they have the expertise that we want. The teams we’ve worked with have been very personable and are clearly passionate about what they do.”



Tarmac had never previously recruited Graduates – so, they began looking for an Outsourced partner with the expertise to get their Future Talent programme up and running. There were a total of 35 Graduate vacancies, across 6 different business units – Aggregates & Asphalt, Cement & Lime, Contracting, Functions, Ready Mix, and Tarmac Building Products.


“We’ve built a great partnership and I feel totally comfortable going to the team at Cohesion if there’s an issue or a question I need to ask.”


Our Relationship with Tarmac

The campaign went live at the start of October – by March, we had received over 1200 applications (with a further 1406 left unsubmitted). Towards the end of the campaign, we caught up with Emma Whitehouse, Senior Manager of Organisational Development, to see what she had to say about her experience of working with Cohesion:

"We decided to outsource our graduate recruitment last year due to a lack of internal resource and, after working on a number of roles ourselves, went to an external provider to fill the rest. For this campaign, we were looking for an expert recruitment partner with a track record of delivering excellent results.

There is a willingness, on Cohesion’s part, to meet with us frequently and work in partnership with us. They’ve been to one of our sites and seen first-hand what we do – this was great to see and shows their commitment to understanding our business.

Late last year we began working with Cohesion to recruit 35 graduates and, after seeing such great results so early on, my expectations were high when it came to assessment centre stage. Our previous assessment centre relied on our Learning and Development and HR teams being heavily involved and they organised the entire thing; this year was very different and very structured – Cohesion absolutely delivered.

Amongst other things, having a proper recruitment campaign has meant that a lot of poor quality candidates were filtered out. The quality and calibre of candidates appears higher this year. Everyone has been thoroughly pre-screened and prepared by the recruitment team at Cohesion. Last year some of our candidates turned up without the relevant documents and should have been eliminated from the process. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen this year – in some cases we’ve had too many great candidates and not enough roles to offer!

A couple of the managers have emailed to say how impressed they were with the professionalism and general structure – they couldn’t fault it.

Working with Cohesion has been a pleasure. The best thing about working with them is their people. The people I’ve been working with have made this a really enjoyable experience.

Working with them has taken the pain out of the recruitment process - I haven’t had to worry so much about the schedule or where everyone needs to be. It’s been great to be able to step back – I’ve been able to talk to last year’s grads, this year’s candidates and line managers, which I couldn’t have otherwise done. The attention to detail, structure and overall efficiency has been something to behold.”



In total, we received 1221 applications, with the majority of them being submitted around the start of December 2015. We received the most applications for Aggregates & Asphalt (411) – and, overall, two-thirds of applicants proceeded to the Video Interview stage.

We filled all 35 roles that Tarmac were recruiting for – making 49 offers in total, with 38 being accepted (an acceptance rate of 77.6%). In total, 38% of the candidates that attended the assessment centre, were offered roles – meeting the recruitment ratio that we generally work towards, 3:1.


“I would definitely recommend Cohesion as a recruitment outsourcer. We are confident in Cohesion’s expertise – they listen to us, they’re really flexible and very consultative- it really is a pleasure to work with them.”


The Hiring Managers

Hiring Managers at Tarmac were so pleased with the results we produced, that they got in touch with Emma to provide further feedback on the work we’ve done:


“The calibre of candidate was very high and we identified candidates for all A&A vacancies across operations, logistics, commercial, land & natural resources. There were further high calibre candidates meaning there were difficult choices to make on who to offer the jobs to.”


“Cohesion made a very positive impression on the assessors in terms of their input to the process, their challenges during the wash up session. The feedback was unanimous that involving Cohesion was a very positive move”


“The assessment centres were very well organised and ran very smoothly in terms of timings etc which presented a very professional image of our business and impressed the candidates.”



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