BGF - Intern recruitment campaign

For the 2020 intake, BGF wanted to bring on board specialist Early Talent recruiters, Cohesion, to support them in their mission to reach a wider audience whilst continuing their commitment to inclusivity.

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The BGF intern recruitment campaign was completed successfully during 2020.

BGF are an established independent investment company, and were the first investment business to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

They are very keen to promote that their greatest investment is the people that they recruit, and with over 170 talented employees, BGF firmly believe that the people and partnerships they have, are what makes the business the success that it is today.

The Objectives

BGF had previously recruited Summer Placements using their own employee networks, and recognised the added value and return on investment that Early Talent can bring. For the 2020 intake though, BGF wanted to bring on board specialist Early Talent recruiters, Cohesion, to support them in their mission to reach a wider audience whilst continuing their commitment to inclusivity.

Whilst summer internships are inevitably a short-term programme, BGF did not want to compromise on quality or candidate experience, and therefore trusted in Cohesion to create a bespoke recruitment solution for them which took their brand to market in an authentic and candidate-focussed way.

The relationship between BGF and Cohesion

Cohesion worked very closely with senior stakeholders and managers to ensure that the recruitment process was tailored perfectly for the requirements of the business, whilst the HR team worked hard to create a programme that gave their new employees the very best experience and exposure to their business.

Cohesion got straight to work building relationships with a variety of universities, engaging directly with potential candidates on a personal level. The recruitment process incorporated key BGF competencies, values and strengths all run through a simple and streamlined online platform.


The end-to-end recruitment solution included not only advertising and university engagement but took candidates on a fully-supported journey through online application, video interview, online testing and virtual assessment centre. Once offered, successful candidates were guided through a bespoke pre-boarding module giving them additional support to help them prepare for their placement.

What made this campaign somewhat trickier than usual was that it took place during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Cohesion worked very quickly and closely with BGF to organise final stage virtual assessments rather than an in-person assessment day.

The changes were well received by candidates, with tailored communications to all ensuring that despite the change in direction, quality and efficiencies were not compromised.


The internship campaign was not only delivered to original timescales, despite the pandemic, but also produced excellent results, with managers delighted at the calibre of candidates recruited.

Highlights include:

  • Applications received from over 100 different universities, and the 10 offers came from 10 different institutions
  • Offers made to 50% female / 50% male applicants
  • Offers made to applicants identifying within the LGBTQ community
  • Offers made to 40% non-British applicants
  • Offers made to candidates scoring between 1-9 on the social deprivation index
  • 100% attendance at virtual assessment centre
  • 100% offer acceptance rate

It is fair to say that the engagement elements of the process not only had a huge impact on candidates, but also added real value to BGF, who now have well-prepared interns, ready to hit the ground running.

The candidate feedback received has been extremely positive and Cohesion look forward to working with BGF over the coming months to begin planning our future Early Talent projects together.


What did the HR team say?

‘Due to the associated culture of our business and the London-centric market, we have occasionally struggled to attract and engage with diverse candidates. Since working closely with Cohesion we have been able to broaden our applicant pool, providing equal opportunities for all and have successfully offered and onboarded candidates providing improved diversity’.

HR Manager – BGF

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