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Hat trick of awards for Business School graduate

Ulster University Business School graduate Keith Houston’s innovative approach to recruitment has resulted in a hat trick of awards both locally and internationally.

Keith, who has just completed an MSc in HR Management at the Business School, is currently Graduate Recruitment Consultant and On-Campus Liaison with Northern Ireland’s largest IT company, Allstate Northern Ireland.

Recognising the importance of attracting next generation IT talent to Allstate, thereby keeping the company at the forefront of a rapidly changing technological landscape, Keith introduced a new approach to recruitment.  Called ‘Insights’, his concept took the form of a week-long voluntary program  designed for first year undergraduates.  Potential employees are exposed to all aspects of Allstate and in turn Allstate is able to raise awareness of its culture, brand and job opportunities within the company.

Not only has Keith’s concept brought promotional and financial benefits to Allstate locally, but the group’s parent company has now introduced placements in Chicago as well.

His initiative has resulted in a run of awards which began in May when he claimed the Outstanding HR Student of the Year title at the 2018 CIPD NI HR Awards in Belfast.  In September, he added another gong with the Michael Kelly Outstanding HR Student Awards – Advanced Level at the CIPD People Management Awards 2018 held in London.

Completing his success story to date Keith, whose MSc was achieved with Distinction, will, in early 2019, be awarded the Labour Relations Agency Prize for producing an exceptional dissertation as part of his course.

Ulster University Business School Course Director, Jeanette Harrison, explains,

“Keith has been an exemplary student right through the two-year MSc program.  His thirst for knowledge is insatiable and he has had a very positive impact on his fellow classmates.  Even more important is the tangible difference he has made to his workplace Allstate, bringing real business benefits through his radical and practical approach to IT recruitment.  He is an incredible role model for our students and we wish him well in his future career.”

Jim Norris, Head of Human Resources at Allstate adds,

“Keith is a prime example of how we encourage all our employees here at Allstate to own their own careers by complimenting their work with continual personal development.  By maximising on his flexible working hours, he has managed to combine his hands-on experience with formal education to gain further skills that not only develop him as a HR practitioner, but also benefit Allstate to ensure that we attract the top talent across Northern Ireland and maintain our place as the top IT house in the Province.”