Students laughing on university campus


Case study

Close Brothers

Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group. A FTSE 250 company, they employ over 3,000 people, principally in the UK.

“We have been working with TARGETrecruit for five years now. They've been instrumental in helping us to build our brand in the external graduate and school leaver market. They've also helped us to establish ourselves as a female-friendly employer and we value the professional relationships their recruiters have built with our recruitment team and our business.”

Tackling the gender gap in the banking industry

Our brief

We handle the attraction, screening, interviewing and shortlisting for Close Brothers school leaver and graduate programmes. The bank was keen to increase access to the investment banking profession for high-calibre female graduates and set us an ambitious target of a 50/50 split of male/female hires.

Our approach

Campaign data showed female applicant levels across the whole range of opportunities ranged between 18% and 35%. We suggested running a female-only event to promote working in the sector, which also highlighted the range of career opportunities at Close Brothers – from IT and compliance to asset management.

We 'headhunted' attendees to generate interest in the event, also targeting students who might not have previously considered banking as a profession. Applicants were screened and the top 30 best-fit students invited to attend the events.

The results


29 to 30 event attendees applied to the programme

80% of them passed the testing stage

14% were invited to assessment

6.8% were made offers

Target of 50/50, male/female split reached in 2015