Published on 03/07/2023
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Charlotte Sutton, business and management student, Aston University
  • Charlotte Sutton is currently studying business and management at Aston Business School
  • She secured a work placement with Marubeni Komatsu Ltd, working predominately within the HR department
  • Charlotte came up with a way of improving the time it takes hiring managers at the company to bring candidates onboard.

An Aston University student has successfully introduced more efficient practices at the company in which she completed a work placement.

Charlotte Sutton, who is studying for a BSc in business and management, completed her third year placement with Marubeni Komatsu Ltd (MKL), a company which distributes construction and mining equipment in the UK, working predominately within the HR department. 

Although her placement was intended to explore several other areas of the business such as marketing, operations and analytics, she soon realised her skillset was well suited to HR, and wanted to stay in the department longer to continue learning and developing. 

Charlotte was set the objective of reviewing the company’s recruitment process. 

She noticed small changes that could be made to its automatic tracking system which is also used by external recruitment agencies. 

She found a key issue during the recruitment process was candidates withdrawing before contracts were exchanged, largely due to delayed response times from hiring managers. Charlotte began to produce weekly recruitment reports to hold hiring managers more accountable for the delays in process

Charlotte Sutton, now in her final year at Aston Business School, said:

“Immediately after sending the first report, multiple shortlists were returned by managers. 

“When I started sending out the reports on 27 January 2023, there was an average time of 31 days for a hiring manager to respond to a CV, and by the eighth week of sending out the reports, the average time to view CVs went down to 12 days. This average number is continuously reducing as a result of the reports I continue to send out, which has been a significant success for the recruitment process and my placement. 

“The placement year opportunity provided by the Aston University business and management course has really helped me to become a more independent learner and young business employee. 

“Support is always there if required, however you are trusted to use your own initiative and make the most of the opportunities the course provides. 

“I have really enjoyed taking everything I have learnt to date and implementing it in a business environment. 

“The placement has also helped me to learn from professionals in the workplace and provided exceptional work experience to assist my future career.”

Dr Leonidas Anastasakis, head of operations and information management department at Aston Business School, said:

“It gives me great pleasure to see the contribution that Charlotte has made during her placement. 

“Being passionate for the work she was doing and being motivated to make a difference; she has been able to apply the analytical skills that earned in the first two years of her studies at Aston Business School (ABS) to innovate the processes in the organisation and improve their efficiency. 

“She is an exemplar of the commitment, hard work and effort that ABS students put in their studies at ABS. During my placement visits I have been able to witness the professionalism of our students but also appreciate the contribution of our staff to equip the students with valuable skills and knowledge.”

Victor Chang, professor of business analytics at Aston Business School and University supervisor of Charlotte Sutton, said:

"We have periodic discussions and I have a good level of understanding about her role and her tasks.

"I provided Charlotte advice on what to focus on her work and how to maximise her efficiency.

"I am glad and proud to know her achievements."

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

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