University of California

Strategic recruitment for a top university system

Attracting Top Talent Requires a Thorough Marketing Plan, Executed Perfectly


Schools such as UCLA, UC San Diego, Berkeley, and others, are members of one of the most prestigious university systems in the U.S. — the University of California system. The University's fundamental missions are teaching, research, and public service.

In 2016, however, the UC system was in need of a major overhaul of its forty-year-old financial and HR systems to fully support the people who carry out the UC mission every day. Sweeping changes needed to be made to secure business-critical information in one central location.

In 2016, it began work on one of the most ambitious transformations the education world had ever seen. Already one of the leading job creators in the state, the University of California broke ground on a radically reimagined business services and employee administration center that required hiring more than 400 qualified employees across 11 unique job categories.

The idea for this new transformation centered around the notion that the new UCPath Center would handle payroll, benefits, and human resources transactions for all UC employees across every one of the systems’ nine campuses. It was a task of staggering complexity, and attracting all of the necessary talent in the time frame required would need a herculean marketing effort.


The UCPath Center’s ambitious hiring plan called for an equally ambitious marketing plan. In order to reach the sort of talent needed to realize the Center’s vision, a comprehensive brand awareness campaign was required, along with a multi-platform marketing approach that leveraged email, social media, content marketing, video production, and more.

Collateral across a range of media needed to be created rapidly. It included:

  • 62 blog articles
  • 80 videos
  • 2,000+ social media posts
  • 100+ email campaigns

While speed was important, it couldn’t come at the expense of quality. The UC system’s previous marketing efforts set a high bar. The tenor for the talent attracted would in many ways be set by the quality of the marketing messages, and so it was critical they spoke to the right audience and communicated properly.


Before hiring could begin in earnest, the UCPath Center needed a brand image that would resonate with potential candidates. Beacons Point rolled out its Blueprint strategy and set to work establishing brand standards that felt entirely appropriate and cohesive with the UC system’s existing branding, while still elevating it to occupy a unique position among the system’s various campuses.

Beacons Point then built a custom campaign website using the newly designed logo and brand identity. With this basic collateral in place, the BP team felt it was necessary to establish precise characteristics for the sorts of people needed to fill the 400+ open jobs in the newly established department. To properly hone UC’s marketing messages, they formulated six buyer personas that sufficiently captured the breadth of the required talent.

With UCPath Center’s hiring audience established, work began on formulating targeted marketing assets that included strategic content development, email marketing and lead nurturing, and a tiered digital marketing strategy.

Beacons Point felt video would be a crucial component to a campaign designed to attract human capital, and so they built a library of video content that highlighted the unique stories of UCPath Center employees, highlighting UC’s culture, and the benefits of working for the system.

The team also focused heavily on social media, developing a massive arsenal of social posts that engaged prospects on multiple platforms. This included blog content, social posts, and lead magnet content for job seekers. Throughout the process, they established exacting milestones and consistently measured their progress against them, with appropriate reporting and goal checking in place.


The campaign ran for more than two years, starting in September of 2017. In that time, Beacons Point’s recruitment marketing program accounted for 23% of all UCPath Center applications, and 24% of all the employees hired during that period. This was the second-largest source of hires.

Data demonstrates that the marketing program was three times more effective at producing quality employees than the top application source, 100% of the employees hired as a result of the two-year program were deemed "quality" by the UCPath Center and still work there today. This was a major boon to the organization, in the form of reduced turnover and training costs.


Over 8 million impressions


Over 120K website sessions


More than 22K emails sent


55% average email open rate


32% average email click-through rate

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[They] developed a strategic recruitment campaign that exceeded our hiring goals and dramatically increased our online visibility. They were fantastic; their communication efforts were above par. Beacons Point always went above and beyond.

Jennifer Mushinskie
Jennifer Mushinskie
Communications Director for the UCPath Center

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