Recruiter- July/August 2022

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INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

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RSM InTime

RSM InTime Innovative pay and bill software used by the UK’s top recruiters

The UK group of companies and LLPs trading as RSM is a member of the RSM network. RSM is the trading name used by the members of the RSM network. Each member of the RSM network is an independent accounting and consulting firm each of which practises in its own right. The RSM network is not itself a separate legal entity of any description in any jurisdiction. The RSM network is administered by RSM International Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (company number 4040598) whose registered office is at 50 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6JJ. The brand and trademark RSM and other intellectual property rights used by members of the network are owned by RSM International Association, an association governed by article 60 et seq of the Civil Code of Switzerland whose seat is in Zug.

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05 National digital workforce scheme to modernise employment in healthcare Digitalisation aims to transform staffing in health and social care, and attract workers back to the NHS 06 Recruiter fined for taking LinkedIn business contacts Recruiter who set up new agency criticised for not deleting contacts from previous employer 07 Hays: working for your tomorrow today The global recruiter unveils a major repositioning and staff restructure 08 Contracts & Deals



10 Workplace



Recruitment Mum Lysha Holmes answers your work dilemmas, and Tara Ricks gives the low-down on key performance indicators Insight The Firm report reveals how organisations are getting it wrong when it comes to using talent pools Tech & Tools The latest recruitment technology and services

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters



18 Viewpoint



Crawford Temple, Professional Passport Soundbites


20 THE BIG STORY Recruiter’s FAST 5O Growth may be down among the privately-owned recruitment companies in this year’s FAST 5O but the mood is positive 26 Case study: How Aspire became inclusive Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the recruitment firm 30 SPECIAL REPORT: Umbrella providers Technology protects clients and customers from cyber attacks

30 E COMMUNITY 36 Social 39 My brilliant recruitment


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career: Hollie Vignette Murtagh 40 Movers & Shakers 41 Recruiter contacts 42 The Last Word: Alan Dick


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une’s rail and underground strikes are old news now but what about threatened strikes in other sectors in the not-so-distant future? After two-and-a-half years of pent-up frustration and uncertainty from the Covid pandemic – or six if you include the Brexit vote fallout – a period of discontent has certainly arrived in the UK. And to paraphrase the Beatles, “money (alone) can’t buy us contentment”. Depending on the whims of Parliament, No 10 and any commitment to changing the laws governing the use of agency workers to cover strikers, recruiters might find themselves in the middle of the turbulence with little or no room to “The last thing recruiters need is prudently navigate the situation. As we go to a raging tug-ofpress, recruitment war over whether leaders and the REC had agency workers sent a letter to business should be pulled secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to ask the into strike government to coverage” reconsider changing the law. This may be the point of time at which recruiters learn who our true friends and supportive collaborators in government really are. As the country bounces from pillar to post in the throes of a cost-of-living crisis, a war, Brexit machinations, a PM who is appearing increasingly Trumpian, a potential Scottish independence referendum and a skills shortage too, the last thing recruiters need is a raging tug-of-war over whether agency workers should be pulled into strike coverage.

DeeDee Doke, Editor

I M AG E S | G E T T Y

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Digital strategy aims to transform healthcare workforce BY DEEDEE DOKE

DEVELOPMENT OF A national digital workforce strategy is a key part of a “radical programme of modernisation” underway at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), health and social care secretary Sajid Javid has announced. The digital health and social care plan set out the government’s vision for transforming health and care with digital technology and bolstering skills in the sectors’ frontline workforces. The national digital workforce strategy is aimed at “bridging the skills gap and ensuring the NHS remains an attractive place to work”, a DHSC statement said. Also, it is intended to: ● Grow the specialist data and tech workforce through graduates, apprentices and experienced hires, creating an additional 10,500 positions ● Embedding digital skills into university curriculums ● Providing a digital learning offer for adult social care staff, such as offering accessible training and online resources. Commenting on the plan during an APSCo event at Westminster on the day of its publication, Tania Bowers, the trade body’s global public policy director, said: “The healthcare sector is still trying to catch up on the backlog that was created during the pandemic, so any move to alleviate some of the time pressures on already over-stretched workers is welcome.” Bowers went on to say: “This latest news should help improve access to skilled workers and ensure they are deployed in the right care settings at the right time to unblock patient delivery issues caused by a lack of available resources.” She further noted: “Simplification across hiring frameworks in healthcare is still needed, though.” Bowers pointed out that APSCo had also launched its dedicated Compliance+ accreditation for the clinical and healthcare sector on 29 June “to create a consistent recruitment standard that is recognised and utilised across all frameworks, in synergy with NHS Employers”.


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Recruiter ‘wrong’ to have left with LinkedIn business contacts BY DEEDEE DOKE

A LEGAL RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT who refused to delete the LinkedIn contacts he had built up at his previous firm when he set up his own recruitment business was found to be wrong to have resisted doing so, a High Court ruling has found. James Wilson built up significant contacts during his employment at Clayton Recruitment, Preston, which had lasted until March 2022. According to Simon Bloch, partner at legal firm JMW, which acted for Clayton Recruitment, Wilson “had around 3,500 business connections on LinkedIn, the majority of which were made during Wilson’s employment”. Further, Wilson had access to LinkedIn Recruitment, a platform with usage paid for and controlled by Clayton Recruitment. When Wilson resigned from Clayton, he refused to delete the business contacts that were stored as LinkedIn connections. “He further used LinkedIn to circulate the news of his new venture,” Bloch said. Wilson had resigned from Clayton and subsequently founded Wilson Mannion (Legal) Recruitment with business partner Ian Mannion, with registered offices in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire. Clayton Recruitment, the claimant, issued proceedings in the high court for breach of contract and confidence, and applied for various interim injunctions. However, the case did not go to trial. JMW said: “Once the hearing commenced, the parties reached a compromise of the injunction application, as well as the underlying proceedings.” The judge, Sir Anthony Mann, found


that Wilson was wrong to resist deleting his LinkedIn connections as per the claimant’s demands. Also, it was held that Wilson was wrong in not providing a written statement confirming that he had complied with his contractual obligation to delete his connections. “That being said, upon the claimant achieving the deletion of the 3,500 connections, Wilson was merely complying with what he was required to do,” JMW said. The judge also questioned whether Wilson’s LinkedIn connections were “personal” as alleged and found that most of the connections were likely made in the course of his employment with Clayton. In addition to this, Bloch noted, the judge commented that despite Wilson operating the account, it clearly functioned as a business account as references to the employer were made, and his company email address was cited in the details section. Furthermore, Sir Anthony rejected Wilson’s argument that he was simply

complying with the user agreement between himself and LinkedIn, which stated that ultimately “the account belongs to you”. The judge held that compliance with a generic user agreement did not override the obligations which Wilson has under contract with the claimant. Claimant Clayton recovered 55% of its costs, and Wilson was ordered to pay £13,750, according to legal intelligence source Legal Futures. Asked what underlying guidance the result offered, Bloch responded: “As most businesses utilise LinkedIn for marketing or other purposes, this case highlights that contacts made in the course of employment should not be utilised for employees pursuing new business ventures. “Furthermore, it is essential that employees comply with their contractual obligations which may include restrictive covenants. To avoid situations such as these arising, it will be beneficial for employers to have water-tight policies in place.”

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Steve Weston, Hays chief customer officer, says Hays also is “very close” to launching a ‘train, hire, deploy’ model

Hays ‘works for your tomorrow’ today BY DEEDEE DOKE

GLOBAL RECRUITER HAYS HAS UNVEILED a major repositioning and staff restructure to meet “significant changes to the world of work”. While the company name remains the same, the new Hays tagline is, ‘Working for your tomorrow’. The business changes include consolidating its sub-brands, offering a wider array of services such as helping design and implement strategies aimed at creating inclusive and equitable workplaces, and helping customers “address new challenges they are facing such as long-term skill shortages, new job category creation… upskilling workforces, higher wage inflation and changing work habits”. A company statement said Hays is “increasingly going to market as an HR


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and Talent Services business, bringing an integrated suite of services” to its portfolio. Hays’s “seven or eight thousand major clients” around the world will be serviced directly by a client director as part of infrastructure that has been under construction over the “last two or three years”, said Steve Weston, Hays chief customer officer, speaking exclusively to Recruiter. “They will be focused on ensuring the client gets the service that they deserve… Those customers are very important to us, and in that way we have to be customercentric. “We’re not going to ignore our 30,000 other customers,” Weston went on to say, “but we have to put our solutions for that [major clients] segment of the market in a different way than perhaps other segments of the market.

And those segments require time and directors, and we’ve invested in those, and where we have invested in those, we’ve seen great benefit for both sides of that partnership.” In addition to looking at client services in terms of direct relationships, Hays also is “very close” to launching a ‘train, hire, deploy’ model in which the recruitment firm will “train individuals in a particular skill set” in partnership with customers, Weston explained. “We will be doing all the assessment, hiring, training, and then we’ll be placing them at those clients and seeing them through the first couple of years of their career,” Weston said. Research conducted in 2021 with external experts, clients, non-clients and candidates around the world has guided the company’s direction in evolving its practices, the company said.


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CONTRACTS & DEALS Foyne Jones Executive recruitment firm Foyne Jones has partnered with leading independent timber and builder’s merchant Buttle’s to provide a bespoke and outsourced recruitment solution. Foyne Jones specialises in the KBB [kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms], builders merchant & construction supplies sector. Charisma Charity Recruitment Executive director Adam Stacey has acquired Charisma Charity Recruitment from founder Jenny Warner. Charisma was founded in 2002 and has supported charities throughout the UK with the recruitment of trustees, CEOs, directors and charity managers. Warner will remain in an advisory role with Charisma.

Gattaca Workforce and recruitment solutions provider Gattaca has partnered with IR35 Pro to offer an ‘end-to-end’ IR35 solution. Gattaca will offer an end-to-end fully managed service for IR35, enabling companies to attract and recruit the most talented contractors whilst removing the risks in doing so.

Berry Recruitment Group South England-based Berry Recruitment Group (BRG) has acquired First Recruitment Services (FRS). FRS works from three locations in Sussex: Brighton and Hove, Horsham and Haywards Heath. BRG brands include Berry Recruitment, Wild Recruitment, Wild Berry Associates and Buzz Hires. FRS will operate as a division of Wild Recruitment.

Optionis Group Cloud software provider FreeAgent has formed a partnership with Optionis Group, a provider of accountancy and tax services to small businesses across the UK. Optionis will offer clients from across its core brands SJD Accountancy, Nixon Williams, ClearSky Contractor Accounting and First Freelance the opportunity to use FreeAgent as their cloud accounting system, providing them with a user-friendly method of managing day-to-day expenses, invoicing and banking.

Adzuna Job search engine Adzuna has acquired US enterprise job search engine Getwork. The Getwork team will work alongside the 100-person strong Adzuna business, accelerating Adzuna’s growth in North America, a company statement said. Getwork and Adzuna will continue to operate as independent brands with their own established communities of jobseekers.

Sky Recruitment Solutions Sky Recruitment Solutions Huddersfield has announced that it has helped Seabrook Crisps recruit more than 30 employees since late last year. The agency has helped fill roles such as prep workers, machine operators, warehouse operatives, hygiene staff and yard workers.


People2.0 US-based People2.0 has acquired the Brookson Group, a UK provider of support services to independent contractors. In a People2.0 statement, the company said its merger with Brookson will boost People2.0’s market reach and serve as a gateway to enable and support independent work arrangements globally. People2.0 is a global employer of


record (EOR) and agent of record (AOR) platform. Brookson offers accountancy, umbrella employment, legal services, financial services and independent workforce technology. The statement went on to say that Brookson’s leadership team will assume key roles in the new entity. Further details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The Jarell Group Birmingham-headquartered The Jarell Group has finalised the takeover of jobs and recruitment firm KHS Personnel and its sister company Bridge Recruitment. Both firms, which employ 17 people across their offices in Nottingham and York, will now become part of The Jarell Group, with the new owners retaining both. The deal is expected to create further jobs to boost The Jarell Group’s 150-strong workforce nationally going forward.

More contract news at

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Recruitment Mum Do you have a recruitment work dilemma? Ask our Recruitment Mum – she’ll answer questions big or small! Dear Recruitment Mum,



Recruitment Mum says: First of all, congratulations on your incredible achievements in spite of the turbulent times we have recently been through; it sounds like your consistency and tenacity have paid off. It can often be the true insight into a culture when times are tough, and it sounds like your employer is of a fixed mindset in terms of what they think has created their success. There’s a fear to change and adapt to the new way of hybrid, especially when there is obvious disparity among how people are treated. A hybrid possibility should be available equitably, not just for one group of people With regards to the ‘alpha male’ culture, if you find yourself in a minority group it is important to gain a confidante internally. Do you have an external HR consultant or L&D practitioner you can consult or confide in about your

“It sounds like your employer is of a fixed mindset in terms of what they think has created their success” concerns around their lack of inclusivity? It is champions like you who are the warriors for other minority groups: stealthily educate some of the ‘alpha males’ who seem embarrassed by your employer so you gain their support and kill their misogyny with positive change and education. With regard to the micromanagement and KPIs, the next time you sit down to have a review or update, ask them for their expectations of your activity and revenue. Then suggest that they also then understand what your expectations are of them. This will hopefully create a more equitable relationship

I need your help! I’ve worked for the same agency for six years, starting as a 180 trainee recruiter and am now one of the top billers. I’ve gone through all the company training, developed my client base from scratch, built very strong client relationships and had a very successful few years, smashing my targets each year. I earned £80k last year (and I am only 26!) but I’m not happy, and the money no longer motivates me. More recently, I feel like the leadership team have changed their stance towards all employees as the business has grown. Previously the business had that intimate agency feel; we were praised and rewarded for our hard work, but now, you can be a top biller and still get micromanaged. Your KPIs are used to beat you. Being a top performer, you hope that your company rewards you with not only great benef its but also trust and respect. Recently, I have felt like I no longer get this. The business has also remained extremely old-fashioned while most people’s working lives have gone through a huge shift post-Covid, with home working, flexible working and other perks. But at my company, certain members of the team are allowed to work from home to catch up on admin, but others aren’t, with management preaching about treating everyone equally. My workplace has this ‘alpha male’ feel and the

men seem to get a lot more respect than the women, or even a free-pass to do as they wish… All of this is really starting to get me down; it’s all-consuming and I’m constantly thinking about work… I can’t switch off. I don’t want to walk away from something so good, but I’ve got a bad feeling in my gut about this. Can you advise?

LYSHA HOLMES of Qui Recruitment is Recruiter’s Recruitment Mum

once again where you feel less the subordinate and more like a vital part of their future. Good luck and keep your strength! ●

Need a dilemma answering? Put ‘Recruitment Mum’ in the subject line and send your workplace problem in confidence to: recruiter.editorial@

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THE TERM ‘KPI’ can often elicit a sharp intake of breath, conjuring up visions of a micromanaged environment with rather a lot more stick than carrot. I’m confident in saying that most of us will have interviewed potential consultants in our time whose first or final question was ‘Do you have KPIs? I won’t work in a company that has KPIs’. This view, I believe, is damaging and unfair to a business focus that promotes visibility and allows for the celebration of successes. In the debate about the virtues, or not, of employing KPIs in the business, we can muddy the waters and sometimes forget they are merely, but very importantly, the quantifiable measure of a specific objective, over time. Failure to communicate this with clarity can mean you miss out on the opportunity to keep your team focused on trackable key targets – targets that will ensure the best possible impact on your strategic plans. As Peter Drucker famously said – and he is credited with inventing much of modern business management – ‘If you can’t measure something you can’t improve it’. As with many other areas in management, being able to clearly communicate the ‘why’ is paramount: ● Are the activities key? ● Is the performance linked to your company’s purpose? ● Is the indicator measurable, and is it data you can report on?

TARA RICKS COO of Elite Leaders

● Candidate utilisation – in a hugely candidate-driven market this is key, so it is vital to measure and understand what service and commitment to candidates each team is delivering – is this proactive, or just reactive? ● Can you calculate, and communicate, the £ value of a client meeting? Or a second interview? Use these numbers to drive activity. For managers and team leaders, GP [gross profit] and profitability per head are important KPIs that should be visible (the ‘per head’ concept can be a little opaque) – understanding productivity and how that is improving. The move from a process-focused approach and GUY HAYWARD – redefining the one makes the conversation to a more outcome-driven modern workplace manager’s job much more interesting. Each business CEO, Goodman review conversation shouldMasson be output-focused in an adult and productive style. When managers adopt an outcome-led style of communication, they are in a stronger position to create a work environment of trust and transparency. The ATS and CRM systems in our market have advanced hugely, and these advances have been more rapidly and effectively embraced during and post-pandemic than ever before. They make it significantly easier to measure and report on successes – and challenges, to a desk level. Acknowledging and celebrating successes at all stages of the recruitment process will also play to retention in the business (not to be underestimated in today’s market!). Let people clearly see and understand that not only are they doing a great job, but they are also consistently improving. ●

Picking the right KPIs for your business is a bespoke approach: pick the activities that best suit the key strategic initiatives you are focusing on that month or quarter. Start with the main areas that, with improvement, will deliver value and growth, for example: ● Client meetings ● Jobs registered ● First interviews ● Candidate registrations ● CVs sent


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As these KPIs become embedded in the business, you can start to look at conversion rates throughout the recruitment ‘funnel’ and identify your own unique company model, whether that be at company, team or desk level. Setting expectations at the conversion level will allow your teams to understand what looks good and what is improving. For example: ● Job fill rates – the data will inform you how many roles it takes to make a placement, and if your perm fill rate is 25%, what key actions need to be taken to move that up to 30%+ ● Client engagement – measure how successful the business is at filling all roles from any specific client

TARA RICKS is co-chair and COO of Elite Leaders and a winner of Recruiter’s Impact Award.


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INSIGHT s global candidate and skill shortages continue to plague employers and industries, a new report by The Firm found that while 73% of respondents in the in-house recruitment arena use talent pools and that 43% use them to manage both internal and external candidates, they are not being used effectively. Talent pools only contribute to 20% or less of hires annually acknowledged the 86% of respondents who said they used them. No respondents reported hiring more than 50% of their annual recruits from talent pooling, the report said. “Looking at these results, there’s an argument to say that talent pooling either isn’t being used effectively or it’s not an effective use of talent acquisition time,” the report said. “Given the restrictions on time and resource that many respondents flagged, it’s most likely that talent pooling needs to be given a dedicated focus, either with specific headcount or through existing teams.” Only 23% of respondents said they were good at talent pooling and a nearly a third (29%) said they were poor at it. “Respondents said they lack the necessary resources to use talent pools effectively,” the report said, citing shortfalls of people (80%), time (69%) and technology (60%). Resource planning was identified as a barrier to successful talent pooling within their organisations by 63% of respondents, and 31% identified GDPR and data integrity as an obstacle. Asked who is included in organisations’ talent pools, respondents identified sourced candidates (86%), passive candidates (71%) and unsuccessful candidates (71%). Talent pools were also made up of candidates who were appointable at interview but not the highest scorer; referrals and alumni; tagged candidates; internal employees; and ‘silver medallists’. Nearly half of respondents do not filter for candidates that reached specific stages during previous applications, the report found. In terms of tagging, The Firm survey and report found that niche skillset was



DIVE IN TO THE TALENT POOL A new report from The Forum for InHouse Recruitment Managers (The Firm) suggests that while most organisations use talent pools to fill their roles, not many do it effectively BY DEEDEE DOKE

the main segmentation preferred by 86% of respondents, with seniority and region the second and third preferences. It also found that respondents were more inclined to use talent pools to find new recruits by filtering for specific roles and skills than by filtering by target groups. Perhaps surprisingly, traditional advertising activities such as advertising a job on the organisation’s careers site, internally, on LinkedIn and on specific job boards are the top priorities in seeking to fill a role over sourcing activities such as employee referrals and checking their ATS/CRM systems. Research for The Firm report

suggested that neither in-house talent acquisition teams nor agency recruiters prioritised online/external databases as targets for searches, the narrative said. Asked what main benefits organisations see from using talent pools, respondents ranked Time to Hire, Quality of Hire and Candidate Engagement in tight order, at respectively, 60%, 57% and 54%. A staggering 91% of respondents are not measuring return on investment of their talent management activities. Other findings included: 31% indicated that their current recruitment technology and processes do not allow them to use multiple tags for talent segmentation

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DEFINING ‘TALENT POOL’ “A database of candidates who have, at some point, expressed an interest in working for your company… You can segment your talent pool into more specific pools based on locations, skills or other criteria. Segmenting your talent pool… can help keep candidates engaged and ‘warm’ by sending relevant job alerts and company updates.”


1 Advertise the job on website/ careers site



Advertise the job internally

Post job on specific job boards

Use a multi-posting service









Advertise the job on LinkedIn


Seek referrals from our employees

Advertise the job on social media



Search our database/ATS/CRM & contact matching candidates



Source: The Firm and Eploy

82% do not automate candidate engagement while 77% favour recruiter contact 74% do not have a ‘specified cadence’ for engagement with talent pools 30% do not plan ahead with talent pooling at all. The report said: “Given that 74% don’t have a specified cadence for engaging with their pools and that they are prioritising traditional methods of recruitment over talent acquisition activities, it seems likely that our survey respondents are in the same boat as most of their competition. “That is to say,” the report elaborated, “that many have set a course and embarked on the journey but still have some way to go in developing a bona fide talent management strategy that draws together and realises the potential of their talent acquisition activities.” The survey was conducted by The Firm in March and April this year in connection with recruitment technology company Eploy. Respondents came from a wide variety of industries. ●


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Search online candidate CV databases

Contact Recruitment Agencies/PSL

Use paid online advertising (PPC etc.)



Search social/ professional networks & contact matching candidates




1 Search our CRM/ ATS & contact matching candidates



Advertise the job on our website

Search LinkedIn & contact matching candidates





4 Use a multiposting service (eg Broadbean)




Advertise the job on specific job boards


Seek referrals from contacts and colleagues

Advertise the job on LinkedIn

Search online candidate CV databases








Advertise the job on social media

Give the job to 2nd tier agencies

Use paid online advertising (not job boards)




Source: Eploy UK Candidate Attraction Report 2021/22


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In artificial intelligence we trust? BY SUE WEEKES

rtificial intelligence (AI) has been building momentum in the recruitment technology world for many years and is increasingly being used to help match candidates to roles, surface top talent and predict performance. But the big question remains: are recruiters ready to trust it? Robert Newry, CEO and co-founder of Arctic Shores, which was set up to challenge the way companies identify potential candidates, says the answer is probably not, but adds, “if they don’t, they will soon find themselves in decline”. He believes that they are more in a dilemma about “how” to use it. “If it means a faster search of a database to shortlist candidates against a client brief, then happy days. It makes their lives easier,” he says. “However, we have a digital skills crisis, so it’s no longer economically sensible to keep



hiring based on experience and skills in circumstances when they are in such short supply.” Indeed, while one of the benefits of AI is to reduce time to find and shortlist candidates, it has so much more to give. And when used with other techniques and technologies, it can create a powerful hybrid that falls somewhere between filtering and assessment. Arctic Shores, for instance, claims to be able to unveil a candidate’s true potential in 45 minutes and uses a combination of neuroscience, AI and algorithms. “Companies are looking to open up to a broader talent pool who have transferable skills, which can be trained,” says Newry. These sentiments are echoed by Jack Davies of AI recruitment technology firm AssessFirst, which has developed a predictive hiring solution that makes use of behavioural assessment. He believes that what we’re seeing playing out in the job market is the

result of employers attempting to attract candidates that simply no longer exist. “They have moved to new employers, new industries or have shifted their work-life balance in such a way that they aren’t viable employees for the environment in which they once worked.” This is applying pressure on recruiters to diversify and search for candidates in different industries or who have atypical backgrounds to the current workforce. Davies adds: “Whether organisations or individual recruitment leaders are ready or not, this operational pressure is forcing their hand to acknowledge that AI is perhaps the only mechanism by which this challenge can be tackled at scale.”

Undertake due diligence It is important that recruiters do their due diligence when picking a supplier and Newry urges them to ask vendors for validation studies and proof cases as well as talk to

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existing clients of similar size or who are hiring for similar roles. He explains that Arctic Shores has always followed psychometric best practice. “We use AI in the design of our personality trait scores but not in our matching approach,” he says. “Our matching algorithm is transparent and tested for any group effect before it is used; furthermore, it is checked regularly afterwards.” Much has also been made of AI’s ability to reduce bias in the recruitment process. Once again, it is important to probe vendors on this subject. Moreover, all sectors are coming under increased pressure to be upfront and transparent about the ethical use of technologies such as AI. The World Economic Forum has set up the Global AI Council and recently praised HireVue for being the first in the industry to publish an AI Explainability statement that provides information on how its AI-based assessments are used. Websites should also provide background information as a minimum. The recruitment platform SmartRecruiters explains that its algorithms do not analyse or use any personal candidate data (name, age, gender, email address, phone number or any answers to required diversity


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questions) when calculating a match score, mitigating potential bias on any of these factors. And to avoid learning bias from past behaviour, it doesn’t factor in past hiring decisions as feedback into the algorithm, minimising the reinforcement of any inherent hiring biases. It also uses general market data to compare against customer data to offset any existing biases within the customer data.


Performance metrics

Matching top tech remote talent and roles Andela, the global network for remote technical talent, has developed a platform which it claims creates a more direct and personalised hiring experience for candidates and recruiters. Algorithms and data-driven technology powering the site match candidates to jobs but also constantly learn to refine the personalised recommendations. Candidates and recruiters can “visualise compatibility” via graphs, showing an overlap in skills and preferences.

Recruiters should also ask for performance metrics that show AI’s effectiveness. Davies says global recruitment specialist Spencer Ogden has confirmed that its workforce is 22% more diverse since using AssessFirst and its AI, specifically with more women employed in its London office. Metrics also show that new employees are making their first sales and generating revenue for the business 12 days faster when they have been recruited using AssessFirst technology. As well as surface top talent and predictive performance, AI’s ability to streamline processes and increase efficiencies shouldn’t be under-played. SmartRecruiters solutions can be integrated with its applicant tracking system and other recruitment tools to make key decisions around recruitment strategies. “AI uses data science and talent acquisition team feedback to provide deeper insights through job matching scores to surface relevant candidates from your database before you even advertise,” says Robert Symons, general manager, EMEA at SmartRecruiters. “This helps recruiters and hiring managers to make more strategic hiring decisions around where to spend their time sourcing and advertising.” ●

Taking an analytical view of talent Talent management technology specialist Beamery is launching a suite of reporting and analytics tools to help employers better understand how to retain and grow talent, as well as predict future workforce trends and achieve diversity targets. Beamery Talent Analytics has also added capabilities to track employee sentiment, with a focus on identifying potential flight risks within organisations.

Smarter onboarding Recruitment software developer SmartRecruiters’ latest solution claims to offer a “seamless” onboarding experience for new hires. SmartOnBoard allows them to find their onboarding tasks, get introduced to the team and familiarise themselves with their employer’s brand and culture through a single portal. Meanwhile, automated onboarding activities free up onboarding teams from administration.

Automating recruitment marketing at scale Cloud-based recruitment software company iCIMS is acquiring the marketing automation software Candidate.ID. It says the acquisition will enable it to bring the power of marketing automation “at scale” to the world of recruitment. Candidate.ID automates repetitive candidate engagement tasks and allows recruiters to personalise and manage candidate engagement workflows with customisable omni-channel campaigns.


29/06/2022 15:04



L-R: Steve West, CEO, Celia Perry, Managing Director, Lisa Thurkettle, Managing Director and Kent Thompson, Managing Director

The latest Top Companies listings, formerly Sunday Times Top 100, were revealed by TV presenter Dan Walker, with Pertemps given a three-star, world-class accreditation for employee engagement. This is the 16th consecutive year Pertemps has been included in the Top 100 Companies list, with this year seeing it achieve its best ever results. As well as placing 24th nationally in


the large companies list, Pertemps achieved the number one position in Scotland and second in the South-West region. It was the highest placed recruitment business in the large companies list. Pertemps Network Group (PNG) CEO Steve West was interviewed by Dan Walker as part of the national reveal, which was broadcast live from BBC Media City.

Steve said: “As an organisation that recognises that our people are what sets us apart, continuing to engage, include and listen to them is essential. “Through our ‘You Spoke, We Listened’ initiative, our staff have helped influence and shape key areas of our people and operational strategy. It has been their input that has seen our continued investment in technology and training – areas that they felt were critically important to theirs, and the business’s, development and growth, both now and in the future. “We are obviously delighted and I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their continued trust and support as we jointly look to drive the business forward.” The lists are compiled through quarterly surveys with employees, asking them to provide honest and anonymous input about the culture, leadership and support to help determine the result and enable businesses to act upon the findings. Pertemps is one of only three firms to have retained their place on the list for so long – and the only recruitment specialist to achieve that level of longevity.

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30/06/2022 09:51


Carmen Watson (right), Chair of Pertemps Network Group, with colleagues

Since 1961, Pertemps has provided expert recruitment solutions to businesses across the UK and has helped thousands of jobseekers find new opportunities, offering both immediate and strategic solutions to clients within the private and public sectors. It also specialises in Recruitment Process Outsourcing whilst offering expertise across specialist recruitment sectors. Pertemps has grown from humble beginnings to one of the largest independent recruitment consultancies in the UK, with over 200 branches across the country. Recently, the business achieved a turnover of more than £1 billion in a single calendar year. In the same year, it donated £260,000 to charitable causes. Pertemps remains a business that trusts its workforce and continues to give autonomy to people to make key business decisions. This helps them thrive and gives them the chance to reap the rewards as the business grows, thanks to the Employee Benefit Trust, established in 1994. It continues to take great steps as a business to strive to achieve its vision to lead innovation in the recruitment sector to further improve the experience of all candidates and clients, and increase the sector’s contribution to the UK economy. In January, Pertemps announced its expansion of their permanent recruitment division, with the aim of building a team of 40 to support its ambitious growth plans for 2022. The recent world-class accreditation highlighted Pertemps close-knit workforce who inspire and motivate each other every day, and its commitment to its employees’ personal development by providing

a tailored online learning platform. Pertemps understands that keeping employees engaged, enthusiastic and in the loop is key to improved performance and retention, stressing that for staff to feel part of the wider company’s vision, everyone needs to work hard towards a common goal. While employees are actively encouraged to engage and innovate through our ‘You Spoke, We Listened’ initiative to improve the business, they are also supported to take on training and new responsibilities to develop their careers. Internally, the business has been seeking to clearly lay out what they will be focusing on in the coming months by producing a three-year strategy. It sets out the key pillars of their approach to ensure they are doing what is best for the business and their people now and in the years to come, focusing on people strategy, communication, technology, business growth, and environmental, social and governance (ESG). Recently, Pertemps ramped up its commitment to the environment in line with its new corporate strategy by working with The Woodland Trust to mitigate more than 550 tonnes of its carbon emissions and pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2030, with further expansion of its hybrid and electric fleet. In addition, the business has announced its partnership with the Purpose Coalition on a Levelling Up Impact Report which will set out its contribution to the levelling up agenda in the UK, furthering its commitment to support local people through a sustainable recruitment approach, helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds and particularly those furthest from the job market.

In May, Pertemps hosted its 21st annual awards ceremony celebrating outstanding and exceptional achievement within the business. The Pertemps Awards recognise individuals whose values reflect those of its business today – established, reliable, quality, people driven and demonstrating integrity. Its awards are an opportunity to celebrate the exceptional achievements of its Pertemps Network Group stars, recognising who may have produced the best figures that year, offered an outstanding level of service or simply shown a level of effort that is way above what is expected. As well as being an exciting day out, it is a great chance for staff to network with directors, managers, consultants and colleagues. It has grown to become the social highlight of the year for many employees. The final award presented, the Connie Watts Award, is named after the company founder and carries extra gravitas. It’s handed over annually to the employee who lives and breathes Pertemps more than any other. The family element is an important one at the firm. It was won this year by Tim Hibbert, Regional Manager at Pertemps. Since the business was founded in 1961, the Watts family values are still embedded within our structure to this day. Tim Watts, son of founder Constance Watts, can still be found working tirelessly in Meriden as Lifetime President. You can find out more about Pertemps at

Tim Watts, Lifetime President and Tim Hibbert, Regional Manager


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30/06/2022 09:52


Attack of the umbrella clones – the sequel A new threat to compliance is on the rise in the umbrella sector BY CRAWFORD TEMPLE

n recent months we have seen the emergence of cloned companies. This problem has not gone away. But now there is a twist to be aware of.

What is cloning? Cloning is a process in which an exact duplicate is made. In the umbrella sector, the scam works by companies attempting to appear as if they are an accredited provider, using a name with very subtle differences to a compliant business, in an attempt to go undetected. Their fake name may be one letter away from the original name. The cloners seek to extract money from recruiters who think they are dealing with a compliant business, by telling them their bank account details have changed. It is imperative that agencies verify any requests for changes to their providers’ details and double-check bank details before completing any transaction.

How is the problem evolving? As awareness has grown around cloning, the behaviour of scammers is also changing as they work to bypass the extra checks and balances that agencies are putting in place.

Some providers have claimed to have been cloned using this emerging trend as a way of operating disguised remuneration schemes. Funds from the supply chain are funnelled through to them and are used to pay contractors (rather than just fully retained by the clone company), but in non-compliant ways that skim tax, etc.

Two common trends are: 1. A move to ‘clone’ smaller providers, who then try and set up with agencies as completely new partners. As the original providers do not operate with a wide spectrum of agencies, there is only a small possibility of a clash with the chosen agency’s existing arrangements. 2. Cloned providers are obtaining contractor leads by paying significant levels of money directly to individual recruitment consultants. Contractors are attracted by the ‘offers’ made by the cloned companies, who then introduce them to recruitment agencies as their selected umbrella company.

Advice to agencies

CRAWFORD TEMPLE is CEO and founder of Professional Passport, independent assessor of payment intermediary compliance.


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Agencies must conduct detailed checks when engaging with any new provider to ensure the provider is credible and genuine. Check the company name and the Companies House registration number is an exact match of the accredited provider. Be sure the name given for a provider’s bank account is a match for the name of the registered company. Any discrepancies should raise an alarm. Clone companies are working hard to entice recruiters to share confidential information so that these scammers can contact contractors. Recruiters must not be tempted as those who enter such dubious practices can mean that agencies are breaching a number of rules, including bribery, tax evasion and data protection. Cloning remains a real risk in the sector. But with the non-compliant providers becoming increasingly sophisticated in obfuscating their true offering and identity recruiters must stay extra vigilant. ●


29/06/2022 15:05



WEBCHAT US GUN AND ABORTION COURT DECISIONS WILL HIT UK FIRMS IN THE US Everyone is talking about the two recent US Supreme Court decisions covering abortion and gun rights. UK businesses operating in the US must plan for upcoming workplace turmoil as those legal decisions take effect. A goal of the recent ‘Bruen’ Supreme Court ruling was to increase citizens’ access to guns outside their homes significantly. As a result, recognise that many more of your employees and customers will routinely carry loaded guns. A primary consequence of the recent ‘Dobbs’ Supreme Court decision was to significantly reduce a woman’s access to abortions in many states. Corporate leaders must quickly determine what actions (if any) they should take, such as to make it easier for employees who want pregnancy-related medical help to get it. Any major disruption in the lives of female employees will hurt productivity, safety, hiring and retention. There is little time to waste. So, 1) survey your employees in the most affected states to find out what they expect in both the gun and the abortion areas; 2) benchmark a few leading firms (like Salesforce) to identify the range of actions others take in each coverage area; 3) make a business case for justifying the cost of new offerings in both areas. Dr John Sullivan

“So far, what kind of year has 2022 been for you and your business?” MINESH JOBANPUTR A MD, D ELT R A G ROUP

“2022 has been a whirlwind and we are only half way through! The momentum we carried into January has continued and we’re seeing a change in the way our clients have decided to hire. Our clients have shown a genuine commitment to get the right people by creating permanent headcount, or taking time to understand IR35 and finding the best interims available. This has allowed us to truly consult with our clients before finding a solution to their talent shortage. For our business, and me personally, 2022 has been a breath of fresh air. We’ve adapted to incorporate the best of what we learnt during lockdown and enhanced the way we work.”


“2022 has been an excellent year so far for FPR Group and we are benefiting from a significant increase in permanent placements, as well as demand for our temporary worker and contract services. During the lockdowns we purposely spent time developing our consultants and leaders through peer-to-peer learning and building goodwill equity with our clients; this investment of time has enabled us to achieve the marginal gains the market demands to find candidates, as well as galvanising our clients to act faster to secure the talent they need.”


“2022 has been a year of ‘firsts’. It’s the first time anyone has convinced their spouse to join the company, which says a lot about the brilliant culture we have built here. It’s the first time we have hired an MD of Temp & Interim. The results delivered by Mat Lane and the team have been record-breaking. It’s the first time we have sold an RPO [recruitment process outsourcing] solution by the client finding us through Google – due to our investment in all things digital. Most importantly, 5 May 2022 was the first time we were all physically in the same building since December 2019. It is now great to see our people return to the office more frequently because they want to be there.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 19

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30/06/2022 09:19


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RECRU I T E R FA ST 5 0 2022

GROWTH DOWN BUT SECTOR NOT OUT The data says that growth in the recruitment sector is down, but there is much to be positive about + oming out of Covid-19, the UK remains the third largest recruitment market globally, but despite this, the scarring from recent lockdowns is still pervasive across the FAST 50 recruitment list. An average compound annual growth rate of 26% for this year’s cohort is significantly lower than around 35% experienced in recent years and below that in 2021. Analysing the data in more detail, it is



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evident that this year’s top 50 ranked companies have not all contributed proportionately, with certain businesses driving up this average and giving rise to the widest range since 2019. However, this does come with a health warning, as publicly available data isn’t necessarily current. Clearwater’s view based on exposure to current market activity is that growth across staffing businesses is exceptionally strong, which has also resulted in one of the busiest M&A markets in recent times.

DANIEL SHRIMPTON, director at corporate finance house and international M&A specialist Clearwater International compiles the Recruiter FAST 50


29/06/2022 17:29


2021 ranking

1 2




Revenue (£000s)

Compound annual growth rate (%)

Dartmouth Partners

Professional services



Mach Recruitment



57.5% 57.4%


People Group

Construction, engineering



Challenge Group

Logistics, industrial




Sanctuary Personnel



47.1% 41.6%


Diverse Rec

Healthcare, professional services, government










Winner Recruitment

Warehouse & distribution










M&E Global





Seven Resourcing

Healthcare, education



Worldwide Recruitment Solutions

Construction, technology, renewables



ICG Global




Quest Employment

Industrial, commercial, technical




M4 Recruitment





Triangle Recruitment

Automotive, logistics




Better Healthcare Services






13 14


18 19




Trinnovo Group

Technology, life sciences



Bluestones Investment Group



25.2% 24.5%

Oscar Associates





Logistics, industrial




Next Ventures





Crewit Resourcing

Industrial, logistics, construction




Hales Group





Carrington West

Built environment




Nexus Workforce

Industrial, logistics, technical




TFS Healthcare




Oliver James Associates Group





Permanent Futures

Public sector, education, manufacturing, FMCG




Precision Resource Group





Fawkes & Reece Group

Built environment




One Call 24



16.2% 15.7%




Your World Recruitment Group




Empowering Learning





Hr Go



15.0% 14.4%



Meet Recruitment

Life sciences




I-Pharm Consulting Group

Life sciences




Direct Medics



13.6% 12.8%



KPI Recruiting

Industrial, professional services, healthcare




Tripod Group






Nes Global Talent







Kintec Group




Central Employment Agency





Harnham Group





First Technical Recruitment






SM Global Consultancy

Industrial, logistics





Healthcare, education




Interact Medical




Samuel Knight International

Energy, built environment



LHI Group




49 50



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RECRU I T E R FA ST 5 0 2022

Key shareholders



Financial year-end

Logan Naidu, Literacy Capital



Tomasz Zyzak



Shella Rushton, Christian Moffatt, Kevin McNeela



Richard Cropper, Thomas Cropper



James Rook



Tommy Love



Richard Buckingham



Leander Jain, Vishal Jain



Carla Newton, Adrian Newton



Gary Attwood Will Trust, Gordon Woodward, Stephen Piper



Richard Cooke



Mark Brown, Luana Brown, Francis Dunleavy



Adrian Treacy, Lucy Treacy



David Parker, Mark Russell



James Adams, Emma Smith



Brendan McWeeney, Helen Warren



Marc Diamond, Bonsu Sekyere, August Equity



Ashley Lawrence, Ben Adams, David Young, James Cox



Steven Pendergast



Thomas Parker, Anna Leach, Andy Morrell



Timothy Millward

St Albans


Daren Rosenfield, Richard Lacey



Gary O’Keeffe



Kilani Ltd, Nicola Fowler



James Fernandes, Simon Gardiner, Alex Kerr, Nicolas Rowe



Jonathan Taylor



Ben Cambage


Dec-21 Dec-20

Nicholas Rogers, Oliver Castle, Soho Square Capital


Thomas Liptrot, David House, Rose House



Thomas Hibberd, Mark Lloyd, Katarina Lloyd Bristol


Raymond Connolly



David Crewe, Matthew Betteridge, Rasul Chatoo



Anthony Moss, Richard Phillips London


Mohammed Azam, Graphite Capital



John Parkinson, John Parkinson, Jacqueline Burton



Northedge Capital, Hannah Donaldson



Stephen Mcananey, Issam Al-Tarafi, Steven Lamport-Went



Paul Mulvenna, Anne-Marie Flannery



Ryan Jardine



Dean Covill, Kelly Covill



AEA Investors


Oct-20 Mar-21

Rory Bowers, Nicola McCarthy, Neil McCarthy


William Palmer, Mark Trett, Paul Ponton



Simon Clarke, Polly Linton, BGF



Andrew Cartledge, Stephen Farthing



Salman Iftikhar, Michael Gadsby



Stewart London, Tina London



Gareth Richards, Laurence Romeo, Marty Bettles, Steven Young

Milton Keynes


Steven Rawlingson, Carl Moffett, Gresham House



Thomas Glanfield




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Professional services has been the best performing sector, albeit helped tremendously by the outstanding growth of first-time entrant Dartmouth Partners. The growth within this sector, and specifically Dartmouth Partners, is an illustration of the war for talent among professional services firms as demand for services re-bounded far quicker than expected in the post-COVID opening of the economy. This has been further exacerbated by a considerable increase in salaries across the sector, particularly across the City of London, a core area of Dartmouth’s operations. The construction and logistics sectors also performed very strongly having experienced a similar rapid bounce-back from the hard lockdowns in 2020. This is exemplified by both the Challenge and People Group who have experienced +50% annual growth rates over the past two years. Challenge is likely to have been boosted by the consumer shift to online shopping and the vast distribution networks that this has required. Interestingly, the UK’s warehouse and transportation infrastructure has been the fastest growing industry group, both in recent years and over the longer term¹. The past 12 months have also been a rewarding time for the construction and engineering specialist, People Group, who have benefitted from the uptick in demand for commercial construction and infrastructure projects, which have boomed following the ‘work from home’ trend proving an ideal time to undertake such developments². In responding to the surge in demand, the recruitment industry has had to invest internally to meet requirements for staffing solutions to ensure they themselves are able to find the talent to fulfil clients’ requirements. While the majority have done this internally, some


“Professional services has been the best performing sector... and construction and logistics sectors also performed very strongly” have looked for external funding and support, notably from private equity that recognise the candidate-tight market creating huge demand for businesses capable of finding talent. Private equity-backed companies now represent seven entrants on this year’s FAST 50, compared to three and four on the 2021 and 2020 lists respectively. Continuing from previous years, Healthcare has been strongly

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29/06/2022 17:32

RECRU I T E R FA ST 5 0 2022

represented with 14 companies appearing on the list, as the NHS tackles record-breaking waiting lists for patients and a narrowing talent pool due to government-imposed visa protocols. Within healthcare, this year’s cohort is skewed to health and social care (12) as opposed to life sciences (two), with the immediate resourcing demand for doctor and nurse locums exceeding the investment within Pharmaceuticals and others over the same period. Multi-sector recruitment companies remain prevalent, comprising 12 companies on the FAST 50 list in what is an indicator of the positive momentum within the recruitment market.

Clearwater expects an increase in average growth rates for the FAST 50 list next year as the current buoyant market is reflected in the next set of published accounts. The sustainability of growth expected to come through next year is the question many are wrestling with, and investment is being focused on markets with strong, long-term underlying growth drivers. Worryingly the likes of Walmart, Tesla and Amazon are three examples of companies that have indicated that they may have over hired and are now taking a period of reflection on staffing levels³. Whether such trends are representative of the wider population, especially those in the mid-market, remains to be seen.

Equally, rising inflation rates and the increasing cost of living is inevitably going to lead to some belt tightening that may start to impact the sector. ●

REFERENCES ¹ businessindustryandtrade/business/ activitysizeandlocation/articles/ theriseoftheukwarehouseand thegoldenlogisticstriangle/2022-04-11 ²Build Back Better: our plan for growth Report, March 2021 (https://assets.publishing.service. attachment_data/file/968403/PfG_Final_Web_ Accessible_Version.pdf) ³|profit-impact-20225?r=US&IR=T

METHODOLOGY The Recruiter FAST 50 prepared by Clearwater International lists the fastest growing, privately-owned recruitment companies in the UK according to a revenue compound annual growth rate over the three most recent annual reporting periods.

CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION: To qualify, companies must be unquoted, registered in the UK and not subsidiaries, although their ultimate holding companies may be based offshore. Companies which are backed by private equity or other financial investors, either minority or majority equity stake, are also considered for inclusion. All companies considered for inclusion must achieve minimum annual sales of £5m in each of their last three financial years.


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EXCLUSIONS: Companies that have filed abbreviated accounts at Companies House without disclosing audited sales are excluded from the FAST 50. Companies whose latest available filed accounts are 2018 or before are excluded. Companies that are not pure play recruitment companies are also not considered. Recruiters that are co-owned by foreign trade recruitment companies or where a listed recruitment firm holds a minority stake are also discounted.

DATA COLLECTION METHODS: Qualifying companies are identified through independent research which utilises a number of financial databases, Companies House information, press coverage and other research sources. Entry submissions are therefore not required, although any firm which believes that it may not be automatically assessed in the 2022 FAST 50 may contact Clearwater International to discuss. Please email dan.


29/06/2022 17:33

Case Study

am white, privileged, British,” says Paul Farrer, founder and chairman of Aspire, a leading recruitment agency specialising in digital media and marketing. The married father-of-three comes from a long line of solicitors. His late father was a senior partner at Farrer & Co, best known for being the Queen’s solicitors. Instead of following in his father’s footsteps, public school educated Farrer got a job at a recruitment agency, aged 23. Today he is at the top of his profession. It was the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that made Farrer aware of white privilege, he says. “The BBC and Sky documentaries and series on BLM were a humiliating recognition of my ignorance. Even living in Battersea, South-West London, in the early 1980s, which was very Afro Caribbean, it didn’t hit my radar that people faced so much discrimination. Brixton, Toxteth, St Paul’s rioters were viewed as troublemakers and criminals. Not people who were systematically discriminated against and abused by white privilege. I watched the BLM series as I wanted to understand what I was missing, why was there all this noise and I didn’t see it. Of course not, I’m white.” For true diversity to flourish we need to do more than just watch a few documentaries. Challenging bias in recruitment is a first crucial step, says Farrer. Aspire has become an APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) accredited inclusive employer. Farrer delivers two sessions and three hours of D&I training for all new starters as part of their induction. Commitment from the top is essential, he believes. He said: “A leader can create the structure, environment and investment to create the change, so in my view it starts at the top, but the change comes from everywhere and it is the employees who are empowered to create the culture that they will be engaged by.” Aspire has drawn up a new equal opportunities and diversities policy covering all employees, consultants,





Challenging bias in recruitment is the first step to addressing white privilege and diversity issues, says Aspire’s founder Paul Farrer. Rachel Masker investigates

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contractors, casual workers and agency staff. Diversity hiring is all about giving every applicant an equal chance regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability or pregnancy – all protected characteristics under the law. Farrer, who founded what is now called Aspire in 1992, said: “We have inserted diversity clauses into our terms, and everyone is clear that regardless of commercial gain we will walk away from any client that discriminates.” Recruiters have a vital role interrupting bias during hiring. “You can anonymise CVs but the most important thing our people can do is challenge selection decisions, find out the real reason why clients are not progressing the candidate. Just asking ‘why’ often does the trick,” said Farrer. “There are still many hiring managers out there who discriminate particularly against older candidates, ‘too experienced’, ‘overqualified’, ‘will be bored in the job’. There is also some gender bias against those of potential parenting age.” Hiring people to fit a company culture is “pure bias”, believes Farrer. The recruitment agency boss supports positive action, such as only progressing shortlists that are diverse. He said: “The dial is moving as heads of talent have targets to recruit more people from diverse backgrounds so instead of being discriminated against as they have in the past, ethnic minority candidates are now sought after and prioritised. “At Aspire we are deliberately targeting ethnic minority and in particular black talent – hence working with ProgrammeOne, as well as disabled candidates advertising on Evenbreak. Some people say it’s not a good time to be a white, male manager and seek a new role. That is not true, we are a long way from that.” Farrer admits to unconscious bias in his past decision-making. Currently the board of Aspire is predominately male and white. Out of five directors only one is female and one from an ethnic minority background. Farrer established and sits on an internal


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“A leader can create the structure, environment and investment to create the change” PAUL FARRER Founder and chairman, Aspire

volunteer D&I taskforce to close the gap. The D&I taskforce has set diversity targets including 50% women at operating director level and people from BAME backgrounds at all levels of management by January 2023. The racial diversity target will be missed, so Aspire is looking to recruit more ethnic minority employees with a view to their progression to management. All staff have a career pathway, access to online and face-to-face training and a personal coach. The recruitment agency has signed up to the government-run Disability Confident scheme that aims to help employers attract, recruit and retain disabled staff.

But efforts to hire a physically disabled employee have so far failed. Other initiatives include a calendar highlighting all religious festivals. Employees recently fasted for a day in support of Muslim colleagues. “It wasn’t compulsory,” says Farrer, “but those who did fast felt extraordinarily humble when considering Muslims fast for a month and we were complaining for a day. I didn’t realise you consume absolutely nothing from 4.10am to 8.20pm, no water, nothing.” Aspire undertakes twice yearly audits to monitor performance. The taskforce meets monthly to review progress on key goals. Farrer reports to the board where D&I is an agenda item. He said: “It’s not about ticking boxes. It’s about reflecting the communities we operate in and for. Hence our benchmarks are metropolitan areas and we use those statistics. By being more diverse and inclusive we will be more innovative and reduce unconscious bias in selection of candidates for clients.” ●

WHY DO WE NEED DIVERSITY? Diversity in the workforce is not only fairer but is good for business. Research from consultants McKinsey shows that firms with more women on the executive team were 21% more likely to be profitable than average, while those in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity are 33% more likely to outperform when it comes to profitability. Their findings in the report ‘Delivering through Diversity’ are reflected in other studies and white papers. They confirm that workplace D&I leads to: better performance and productivity business growth

improved problem-solving abilities increased creativity and innovation a sense of belonging that boosts employee health and wellbeing enhanced reputation as an employer better employee hire and employee retention. Under new rules, UK listed companies must publish in their annual reports whether they have met diversity targets for the representation of women and people from an ethnic minority on their boards and senior executive management teams. “Targets and quotas are blunt tools but necessary for forcing change,” says Farrer.


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Prepare now for challenges ahead p3 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

Working with clients to meet future needs p4 LEGAL U PDATE

Recruitment Issue 98 Ma ers July-August 2022

Ukraine right to work schemes p6 Q& A

Time for a new partnership with clients p7

Rail strikes

Supplying agency workers to cover strikes


s we con nue through the summer, the recruitment industry is contempla ng the possibility of a significant change to the legisla on governing our industry. For 50 years, agencies have been prohibited from supplying temporary staff to cover the work of striking employees or workers who are themselves covering for striking employees. But the UK government plans to repeal regula on 7 of the 2003 Conduct Regula ons to counter the recent wave of strikes. So where does this leave recruiters? At the me of wri ng, the legisla on has not yet been tabled. But if regula on 7 is repealed in its en rety, clients could instruct agencies to supply workers to cover any of their staff who are on strike or taking some other form of official industrial ac on. In short, they could be engaged in strike breaking. Agencies should remember that not all business is good business, and there are other provisions that they will need to consider before contempla ng sending temporary staff into poten ally risky situa ons. Other provisions in the Conduct Regula ons place a duty on agencies to protect their workers and clients from detriment. Certainly, the prospect of agency

@RECPress RM_JulAugust 2022 final.indd 1

workers having to cross poten ally vola le picket lines is something that agencies would need to take into account before considering supplying staff. The same issues would apply to clients, who have a shared health and safety duty to the staff supplied to work on their sites. At the very least, there should not be a situa on where agency workers are unknowingly sent into a strike situa on. Agencies would also need to ensure that staff are only supplied to do work that they are capable of – in terms of training and having the relevant skills and experience. If nothing else, the P&O Ferries PR disaster has shown that the use of agency workers in some situa ons can damage the reputa on of agencies and the wider industry. In consulta on with members, the REC has taken a strong line to protect the reputa on of the en re recruitment industry. REC members who receive queries from clients and candidates about supplying agency staff during strikes can contact our legal helpline to discuss the current legal posi on.

Making great work happen 28/06/2022 16:14

Leading the industry

the view... Prepare now for more disrupঞon to come, warns

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execuঞve


e’re more than halfway through 2022 and we’ve already seen significant disrup on across the world – from skills and labour shortages to soaring costs driven by supply chain difficul es. All this current disrup on can distract us from the longer-term issues – such as tech advances that change our world, or the progress on inclusion that we need to make. That’s why our REC 2022 conference was a fantas c chance to bring together business leaders and advisers from across the economy to discuss how we can face these future challenges together. We already know the outlook for the autumn is looking difficult. Infla on hit 9% in April and is forecast to go even higher. Energy prices are soaring and, as I write, there are the first indica ons that growth is slipping. One of the ironies of the current situa on is that the ght labour market may help to mi gate some consequences of the slowdown. But it’s me to start thinking about naviga ng a slower market. I’m looking forward to welcoming Greg Savage to the UK at the end of August for a session focused on thriving through the slowdown and into 2023. This is just one of the ways the REC is planning to help members this year. Content from REC 2022 is already available to members to inform their thoughts about what happens next. Keep coming to us with your issues – we aim to be the industry’s problem solvers! For me, there are three things to focus on now: know where your business creates real value and protect the teams that do it; deepen client rela ons to ensure a steady flow of repeat, exclusive work; and specialise in the fields where your clients are growing, as they change shape to meet new opportuni es. My view is that, so far, we have seen only half the economic change that the pandemic crisis will wreak. The next stage will be thirsty for the right talent, delivered in the right way, by trusted partners who understand client and candidate needs. The opportunity is there for recruiters to thrive into 2023. If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil



Umbrella company regulation: missing but not forgotten Shazia Ejaz, Director of Campaigns

at the REC


he Queen’s Speech in May was notable for the absence of two things – the Queen herself, and the long-an cipated employment bill. This would have promised several changes to UK employment legisla on. One of these was going to be the introduc on of new regula ons to police the ac vity of umbrella companies. When we realised there would be no employment bill in this Parliament, our ini al reac on was frustra on. This bill was first promised in 2019 and, without it, unscrupulous umbrella companies can undercut legi mate businesses and exploit workers. The onus on protec ng workers is le to recruiters, despite the umbrella being the legal employer since they provide the payroll service. However, we should not despair. While the employment bill would have introduced much-needed regula on, other legisla on could be introduced outside the scope of the Queen’s Speech. Various government departments have implied that regula on is not yet off the table. In a recent conversa on with REC members, Margaret Beels, Director for Labour Market Enforcement (DLME), made it clear that regula on of the umbrella market remains very much on the agenda for her body. Similarly, officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have expressed a con nued desire for greater regula on of umbrella companies. For our part, the REC will con nue to work with the DLME and BEIS in the coming months to try to bring regula on forward. We have also been working on our own review of compliance prac ces in the umbrella market. Our Project Rainfall will promote best prac ce and help recruiters to perform their due diligence when engaging with an umbrella company. Umbrella company regula on may have been missing from the Queen’s Speech, but it certainly hasn’t been forgo en – and we hope the con nued desire for regula on will lead to progress soon.

Recruitment Ma ers July-August 2022

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28/06/2022 16:50

Leading the industry

the intelligence... The net zero transiঞon is under way – don’t get le[ behind By Atanas Nikolaev, Research Manager, REC In 2019, the UK government and the devolved administra ons commi ed to a Net Zero target recommended by the UK’s independent Climate Change Commi ee. This means that by 2050, the carbon emi ed into the atmosphere by the UK will be equalled by the carbon being removed from it. Reaching this ambi ous but necessary target is hugely important and will require big changes across the economy. In terms of scale, these changes are unprecedented. However, we have already witnessed successful large-scale transi ons in the UK – for example, when we switched to using natural gas in the 1970s, and when we moved to digital broadcas ng in the 2000s. In March 2022, the Interna onal Energy Agency reported that global carbon emissions from energy and industrial processes reached a new record level in 2021, rising to 36.3 billion tonnes. This reinforces why it is essen al to act quickly, rather than wai ng and crea ng an even bigger problem that we have to deal with in the future. Progress can come in different forms, from na onal strategic shi s to eco-friendly changes by individuals. And, of course, businesses can do a lot to make a difference. More than 2,000 companies have already commi ed to the United Na ons’ Race to Zero campaign and a large propor on of those are Bri sh businesses in sectors including transport, technology and finance. But while that might appear to put the UK in a good posi on, a third of FTSE 100 companies are emi ng carbon

2,000 More than 2,000 companies have already commi ed to the United Naঞons’ Race to Zero campaign.

dioxide at a rate consistent with global temperature increases of 2.7C or more by 2050, according to Arabesque analysis. Meanwhile, others are se ng the bar high. Ne lix’s Net Zero + Nature plan aims to reduce the streaming giant’s net carbon emissions to zero by the end of 2022. The company has already changed the way it produces films and TV shows, using local film crews, electric vehicles and LED ligh ng and reducing diesel generators on its sets. Beyond its own opera ons, it is also suppor ng conserva on projects that help to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Nespresso is another familiar name making strides in this area. The coffee brand has made important changes to its manufacturing process to bring it closer to its net zero target. The company’s business opera ons have been carbon neutral since 2017 and its next step aims to remove carbon from its supply chain and product lifecycle. Nespresso is also inves ng in conserva on projects


A third of FTSE 100 companies are emiমng carbon dioxide at a rate consistent with global temperature increases of 2.7C or more by 2050. in the areas where it sources its coffee to help local farmers adapt to adverse weather events and strip carbon from the atmosphere around the farms. Obviously, these are global companies, but there are things that smaller businesses can learn from them. As long as you have a clear goal, becoming more sustainable can be done gradually via small and effec ve changes that accumulate over me. And there are many benefits for businesses that become more eco-friendly, including reduced energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint. It can also be used as an a rac on tool, as candidates increasingly look at companies’ environmental policies when they apply for jobs.

July-August 2022 Recruitment Ma ers

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28/06/2022 16:50

Facing future challenges

big talking point

Joint effort The REC conference brought together industry experts and senior HR professionals to discuss the theme of ‘Facing future challenges together’ and idenঞfy ways in which they can work together to solve the biggest quesঞons around talent procurement, retenঞon and development.


nyone hoping for a postpandemic period of calm has been disillusioned. Soaring energy prices and chronic staff shortages are adding to big ques on marks over the workforce and skills that businesses will need in future. Where we work, how we work and who will do what tasks are all in flux. Some issues need urgent ac on – chaos for air travellers over the Jubilee weekend and recent rail strikes demonstrate the risks. Organisa ons must make recruitment decisions with the expecta on of uncertainty and economic pressure in the coming months and years. To do this, they need all the help the recruitment industry can provide. This is where recruiters as consultants make a real difference, offering insights from mul ple organisa ons and sharing ideas on longer-term workforce strategies. They can also draw on long-term trends and analysis that may not be available to their clients. However, recruiters must also keep abreast of changing business needs and shi s in the labour market. They need to use their networks to understand current issues and help to predict future needs – which means nurturing longterm rela onships and ini a ng complex conversa ons. It is no longer enough to supply a candidate and take the fee without considering the future of that person and that role. It’s also me for some self-reflec on. For example, many recruiters should 4

examine their diversity and inclusion record. Does their senior management team reflect the diversity of their junior staff? Do their employees have the skills to play a broader, more consulta ve and collabora ve role? Do they understand wider economic and social pressures? Or are they incen vised to fill a gap and move on? These ques ons were addressed by speakers at the REC’s annual conference, which covered themes including diversity and inclusion, sustainability, technology and the future of skills, business growth and people development. Delegates heard from employers who explained the issues they face and outlined the support they want. One industry seeing fundamental changes is retail. Helen Dickinson, CEO at the Bri sh Retail Consor um, says that digi sa on is a par cular pinch point. “We need to think about how jobs are evolving and how we upskill everyone from computer scien sts to those working in customer-facing roles,” she says. “We also have lots to do around inclusivity and diversity. The retail workforce is wonderfully diverse, but much of this is lost at senior management level and we need to improve this.” On the front-line, retailers tend to recruit for a tude more than specific skills. But the industry needs to look at opportuni es and flexibility, share its experiences and provide role models to

encourage a more diverse group of employees to progress in future, she warns. “Good employers will always a ract people, but we need to demonstrate the opportuni es in a wide variety of roles using different skills,” she says. Neil Morrison, HR Director at Severn Trent, believes that some current staff shortages are a temporary consequence of the pandemic. However, he sees this as an opportunity to create jobs for people who have struggled to find employment because of barriers such as disabili es, geographical loca on, lack of experience or problems re-entering the workforce. “There are three things we’re doing to connect such people to jobs,” he explains. “We’ve got to inspire people, so they believe there are opportuni es. We’ve got to use appren ceships and retrain people for future careers, and we’ve got to equip them to be successful in the workforce.” This puts more onus on organisa ons and recruiters to connect with the widest variety of people, he adds. “We rely too much on pu ng job opportuni es on LinkedIn. We need to approach schools and colleges and third-sector organisa ons.” He also wants more input from recruiters. “Generally, they do what we ask them to do. A more produc ve rela onship would be one that asks what skills we need to build and suggests

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Change statistics Skills 37% of workers are currently over-skilled and 13% are under-skilled. By 2030, 7 million addiঞonal workers could be under-skilled for their job requirements, along with 900,000 addiঞonal workers over-skilled. The most acute under-skilling will be in basic digital skills, core management skills, STEM workplace skills and teaching and training skills. (Department for Educaࢼon)

Ageing workforce 62.5% – the percentage of the UK working age populaঞon in 2018-19 61.2% – the predicted percentage of UK working populaঞon by 2050-51

Net-zero commitments where we might find these. I would respect the recruiter who told me about our future skills gaps. I need insights into the labour market to plan the workforce. Some do this, but not enough.” He cites trends including increased social responsibility from employers, the need to understand micro as well as macro employment markets, and a focus on adaptability and transferable skills to improve staff reten on. “Digital literacy is more important than knowing par cular so ware packages,” he adds. Adeife Onwuzulike, Global EDI Director at Euromonitor Interna onal, argues that crucial skills gaps are already here as employers seek different skills from those they wanted before the pandemic. Others are realising that exis ng staff can do more – as they demonstrated during COVID emergencies. “We need to ask, am I using exis ng staff and skills in the best way and am I recrui ng new people I can train?” she says. And a changing workforce requires leaders who can manage performance, absence, diversity and inclusion and people development in an evolving workplace. Organisa ons should ques on whether managers have the progressive a tudes that future leaders will need. “It’s not enough to recruit someone from a different community. Organisa ons need to understand the lived experiences of people with different

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10% of UK jobs may see higher demand as a result of the transiঞon to net zero, but another 10% currently involve skills that will be needed less, requiring reskilling, upskilling or new applicaঞons for exisঞng skills. Most jobs will require some modificaঞon of exisঞng tasks as part of ‘greening’.

The circular economy could increase overall employment by 0.5% by 2030. Higher growth could occur in recycling and repair sectors.

cultures and ensure these generate real change,” Onwuzulike says. “Look beyond what people can do now and focus on what they can bring to the organisa on in the future and whether they can make the culture more diverse – in terms of thought, not just appearance.” One way to bypass bias is to ask a recruiter for their “wild card” op on, she suggests. “I say: ‘Surprise me. Show me someone who is in my blind spot.’ It’s hard to ask for someone who you don’t know exists.” She adds that organisa ons need top-level conversa ons about where they want to be, and how they want to look and sound, in future. Recruiters can help them to examine job descrip ons and ar culate what they want. “We must be honest about what we lack and ask recruiters for imagina ve op ons and alterna ve ideas,” she says. “But recruiters also have work to do – they need to ques on how they engage with different markets and whether they are themselves recrui ng people with different lived experiences,” she adds. However, Jayne Haines, Senior HR

Professional, ACAS Council Member and Chair of Women in Sport, believes we need to rethink the balance of the employee/employer rela onship – and this starts with recruitment. “Where possible we should encourage employees to ‘self-advocate’, to be clear about what they offer and what they need from the ‘transac on’ that is employment,” she says. “Companies that want the best people will need to engage beyond the standard contract and policies, and create a more adap ve and inclusive approach,” she adds. “It’s not about complex new policies or benefits, it’s about a conversa on between applicant and recruiter, discussing what mo vates them, why they work, how work fits into their life and how the organisa on can support them so they thrive in all aspects of their life.” She believes the recruitment industry is perfectly posi oned to help create this “new normal”, by working with organisa ons and candidates to create an open, equitable contrac ng conversa on from the start of the rela onship. July-August 2022 Recruitment Ma ers


28/06/2022 16:53

Employment law

legal update Ukraine visa schemes and right to work checks By Ash O’Keeffe, Legal Adviser, REC


kraine has endured more than 100 days of conflict since Russia’s invasion began. In that me over 65,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the UK to escape the war. In response, the Home Office has introduced two visa schemes to facilitate Ukrainian na onals and their families coming to live and work here. The Ukraine Family Scheme allows immediate and extended family members of Bri sh na onals and people se led in the UK to come here. Applicants must: • be applying to join or accompany their UKbased family member; • be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian na onal who is applying to the scheme; and • have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022. The Homes for Ukraine Scheme allows Ukrainian na onals who have immediate family members who can be non-Ukrainian na onals to be sponsored by UK residents

Are you prepared for digital transformaঞon in recruitment? Peter Stoll, Account Director, Marsh Commercial


Recruitment Ma ers July-August 2022

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who have suitable accommoda on, to live and work here. Both schemes allow applicants to stay for up to three years. Once in the UK, the procedure and requirements differ depending on whether the individual has a valid Ukrainian passport. If they do, Border Force stamp the passport with permission to enter, valid for six months with no restric ons on work. This will be displayed as Code 1A or Amended Code 1 endorsement in the passport. The individual must then obtain a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within the six-month validity period. A stamp or a visa gran ng permission to stay under the Ukrainian Schemes is a me-limited right to work. Employers will therefore need to carry out a follow-up check of those with me-limited permission to work in the UK. This should be done before their previous permission comes to an end. Ukrainian na onals without a valid passport may be provided with an entry clearance vigne e a ached to a ‘Form for Affixing the Visa’ (FAV). If a FAV is issued,

One of the biggest recent changes in the recruitment industry is digital transforma on. The experiences of working remotely during COVID-19 lockdowns accelerated this trend. There are now two streams to the digital transforma on of the recruitment industry. First, remote working seems here to stay, and firms are inves ng in digital collabora on and recruitment tools to ensure remote workers can access the systems and support they need, wherever they are. The second stream is the long-term transforma on of recruitment, which involves using automa on and AI technologies to streamline manual processes and drive business efficiencies. These sophis cated technologies affect everything from candidate-tracking to screening and assessment, and have the poten al to change the industry fundamentally.

a BRP is available for collec on a er arrival, and this can be used to access the Home Office online checking service. Individuals can use their FAV to prove their right to work in conjunc on with confirma on from the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) in the form of a Posi ve Verifica on No ce (PVN). Where employers contact the ECS but the individual has a BRP available, employers will be directed to advise the individual to collect their BRP and prove their right to work using the Home Office online checking service. In this scenario, ECS will not issue a PVN to provide a statutory excuse and employers should use the online checking service. More informa on on the schemes can be found in Annex F of the government’s Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks.

However, technology investments create risk, so should be paired with updated processes and systems – from con nuity planning to ensure the business can operate if cri cal technology fails, to stronger security against cyber-a acks. The es mated annual cost of cyber crime to the UK economy is £27 billion – as well as opera onal impacts, disrup on and remedia on costs, firms may face reputa onal damage and fines from the ICO if cyber-criminals are able to access personal data. Firms should invest in cyber protec on to keep data secure. Regular cyber security training for employees is vital, as 95% of cyber breaches result from human error. Cyber insurance can also minimise loss and disrup on. REC members can find out about Marsh Commercial’s exclusive offers here.

28/06/2022 16:53

New opportuniঞes

Jo Major is Founder of Diversity in Recruitment We must do more. The recruitment industry is seeing a huge drive from clients to make organisa ons more representa ve and to look at culture from an inclusivity perspec ve. They realise that they lack representa on and understanding of the lived experiences of those who don’t share the iden es of those in the business.

Cultural change is more than iniঞaঞves. Recruiters shouldn’t perpetuate the exis ng system or focus on an ‘iden ty shopping list’. Organisa ons first need to understand their culture and the experiences of people in their organisa on. Recruiters should explain why clients lack representa on.

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What I know

Seize the opportunity to forge a new kind of partnership with employers

We need the knowledge to advise clients. We are used to having difficult conversa ons when clients have unrealis c demands. We must extend the same approach to D&I. We must offer advice and consultancy and many recruiters do not yet have the knowledge and experience of D&I to do this.

We are responsible for candidates. We must ask: “If I put that woman into your senior management team, what experiences will she have?” and “If I put this trans person into your organisa on, what will they face?”. We expect to prepare candidates with informa on about skills and sector before an interview and we need to do this for D&I as well.

Tim Cook is Group CEO at nGAGE Talent

How can the recruitment industry tackle today’s challenges? We have never had a more powerful ‘right to exist’. Employers face increasing complexity, as the world of talent goes through fundamental change (global talent pools, professional gig working, increased churn, outsourcing, etc). It’s a moment in me and we need to professionalise and become strategic partners to our clients.

solu ons’ rather than just ‘recruitment’. We need to demonstrate that outsourcing makes sense and encourage organisa ons to think about talent differently. It’s not just about headcount, it’s about capacity and becoming more produc ve. This may involve more automa on and a different type of workforce. The ‘new normal’ is not the ‘old normal’, for sure.

How do we get there? It’s the difference

What must change? between a sales We need to shi the narra ve, from ‘grudge’ purchase to ‘desirable solu on’. Employers should work with us as partners to help them solve their talent challenges. To be a strategic partner, we must deliver – not overpromise. We need to offer ‘talent

organisa on and a professional consultancy. Both sides must be more transparent, honest and realis c. Do your customers love you – would they miss you if you weren’t there? Trust comes from confidence that you are reliable and offer value. It’s a twoway rela onship.

July-August 2022 Recruitment Ma ers


28/06/2022 16:53

Training and support

Transforming lives with Maximus At Maximus, we are experts at suppor ng people through challenging mes. We help people to find employment, access support and remain healthy in their workplace or community. We have helped: • 300,000 people back into sustainable employment. • 5,000,000 people move forward with their lives. • 2,000,000 people stay healthy in the workplace. • 1,400,000 people with our expert telephone support services. Our employability services aim to improve the lives of thousands of

Recruitment Ma ers


The official magazine of The Recruitment & Employment Confedera on Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT Tel: 020 7009 2100

Recruitment Ma ers July-August 2022

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people through work-related skills and training support. We deliver a range of employability contracts across the UK on behalf of central, devolved and local governments. The government’s flagship Restart Scheme launched in July 2021 and is the largest employment support programme commissioned to date. It aims to help people affected by the pandemic to get back into work by transferring skills to new or different sectors. To deliver the scheme, we work in South and West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, No nghamshire and South and East London with more than 100 community partners, including

chari es, skills providers, local authori es and mental health partners, including REC. Key to success are our collabora ve partnerships with employers and recruitment agencies. We have a large pool of pre-ve ed candidates that meet job requirements and each candidate is carefully matched to every vacancy. Our Account Managed recruitment service saves employers me and money on recruitment si ing, screening and ve ng candidates. To find out more about a partnership with Maximus, contact alice.mcdermo @ and

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor Ruth Pricke . Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prinঞng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2022 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

07/07/2022 12:24


help you manage your workers effectively by having their availability and compliance status at your fingertips, so your consultants can use their time effectively and not waste it on unnecessary admin.

Review processes to boost your candidate placement effectiveness

FOUR WAYS TO STREAMLINE YOUR TEMP RECRUITMENT AND BUILD YOUR AGENCY IF YOU’RE A PROVIDER of temporary recruitment, you’ll be no stranger to the logistical challenges this throws up. Filling temporary roles which are often shift-based and lower-wage can be challenging, especially when workers are in short supply. Standing out is vitally important to ensure you are best placed to attract and retain workers, but how do you achieve this and continually build on your successes?

Empower your staff/employees Your talent – the consultants, account managers, resourcers, ops personnel – perform a critical role in leveraging how you move forwards and keeping them productive, yet efficient. Due to the time sensitive nature of placing temps, your agency needs to be well set to manage the incoming requirements, because if you don’t place them many of your competitors will be eager to snap up the opportunity. With speed of placement absolutely crucial, ensure you involve your staff in designing processes and managing your technology. Being a dictator doesn’t empower your teams around

you – bringing them with you, involving them and growing their accountability means they’ll want to go the extra mile and grow your recruitment business.

Undoubtedly, together with your talent and your technology, the processes you embed are the foundations on which you will build your success. This trio works in total harmony so involve your talent – colleagues – in designing new processes that make you even slicker. At the same time consider your tech, so your consultants are spending more time building relationships and less time sifting through your CRM or chasing candidates for their timesheets. Slicker processes enhance your chances of growing, ensuring everyone in the business knows what they’re doing and how you can win more business and attract even more candidates so that you are less reliant on job boards and CV databases.

Use recruitment technology to help you build your temp agency

Monitor your KPIs and use data insights to know where to focus efforts

When we talk about technology, we’re sure you’ll have the hardware covered. The recruitment technology we are talking about here is your candidate attracting recruitment website, your intuitive CRM, automated screening of your candidates, real-time communication methods, the ability to pay efficiently and get insights to uplift your productivity and grow your business. Are you one of the many agencies still relying on cumbersome or siloed systems to manage your temporary workforce? There’s no silver bullet to attracting and retaining candidates, but your technology – now the beating heart of your thriving temp agency – will certainly go a long way to ensuring you place your retained candidates before the competition. Embedding the right rectech will

Do you have a handle on tracking key KPIs across your recruitment agency? Are you using insights to help you drive progress? Can your consultants surface data to see where they need to focus attention? Using insights to boost your consultants’ performance and productivity provides a glimpse into the future – training needs, learning requirements and helps identify how you can win more business. By using and applying the abilities of a powerful business productivity tool you can boost performance and identify training opportunities to add further efficiencies to your agency. To learn more about Access Recruitment’s end-to end temporary recruitment software, visit recruitment or call 0845 345 3300.


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30/06/2022 09:55


As umbrella companies increasingly rely on technology to improve and manage their transactions for customers and clients, ever-more robust systems are needed to combat cybercriminals and protect businesses



JUL/AUG 2022

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t has been a challenging 12 months for the umbrella sector. Several companies fell victim to the activities of cybercriminals, and it was hit by a widespread cloning attack. It’s no surprise that the umbrella market is a target for such attacks given the large volumes of financial transactions that take place within it every day. Moreover, the reliance on technology across business has widened the attack platform for every organisation in every industry – in the private, public and third sectors – and all are increasingly vulnerable. Just as technology is at the root of the problem then so, too, is it at the base of the cure. And this doesn’t just mean ensuring vigorous cybersecurity practices are in place – though this needs to be top of the agenda – but using the latest technology to put robust systems and processes in place to look after all aspects of the business and its operations. Indeed, in common with other sectors, umbrella companies’ health and prosperity rely on


understanding how to extract maximum value from technology to increase efficiency, win new business and service clients. “Technology continues to improve to provide the sector with more efficient tools to manage their businesses, and it’ll be increasingly important to umbrella service providers that their systems are capable of scaling to handle increased volumes in a compliant and extremely secure fashion,” says Chris Bryce, CEO of Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA). Putting in place a carefully considered digital transformation strategy that ensures the company is both future-fit and future-focused is imperative but isn’t without challenge. Companies in the sector service a complex supply chain and many are still reliant on legacy systems and even manual processes. But they must be mindful that expectations of the use of technology by agencies and contractors in this chain have raised in line with consumer experiences, as it has in all sectors. They will expect to see the use of mobile apps, portals and real-time data. Crucially, digital infrastructures need to be able to offer agility and the ability to scale up and down to meet the needs of the business in good and bad times. For this reason, Bryce believes it’s likely that cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS)


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platforms are needed to largely replace on-premise or bespoke systems. “I also believe that the systems in the market at the moment, which still largely provide just payroll processing, will further develop to cater for the entire vertical chain,” he says. “Each participant – end-user, employment business, umbrella and worker – will be able to use different views on the same platform for their specific needs ranging from managing open positions to candidate ID and Right-to-Work checking to candidate management, reconciliations and, of course, payroll processing.” Without doubt, umbrella companies’ systems must tick a lot of boxes, but the good news is the latest generation of cloud-based solutions – offering portals, mobile access and other tools – are facilitating the above scenario, enabling umbrellas to take this holistic view when planning for the future. Such cloud-based systems include the likes of Primo Umbrella, which integrates its payment and billing platform with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to run the entire business; Codapay, which makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and a raft of time-saving technology; and My Digital, which recently launched its My Digital Sync facility that seeks to eliminate the majority of manual processes between recruitment agencies and their payroll partners. Clarke Bowles, chief revenue officer at My Digital, explains that this recent development ensures data-processing and day-to-day operations are always synchronised across partnering organisations. “Consequently, many of the slow processes became streamlined making the journey from worker onboarding to getting them paid faster and free from manual errors,” he says. “This directly


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benefits the service that our clients’ contractors receive.” While umbrella companies should routinely review processes, especially when implementing new technology, it is also fair for them to expect flexibility from technology providers given the complexities that exist in the sector that include the different approaches to paying contractors and adapting to changing legislation. “There can be a dilemma for technology companies because do they present something fixed such as an umbrella module or a set of tools that can be set up in different ways to suit how people are being taxed,” says Daniel Clark, founder of Umbrella Systems, which offers a cloud-based approach. “We don’t say – and we never have – ‘here’s an umbrella module, a CIS module or a gross-to-net module’. We’ve basically got a system that says, ‘the supply chain consists of companies, contractors and agencies’ and it has sufficient flexibility to fit in with how the client works and how they are taxing people.” My Digital reports that among the most popular features of its solution is its net wages reconciliation tool, that allows umbrella companies to reconcile the net wages paid to their workers with the corresponding statutory deductions ensuring compliance, and its integrated instant payments feature. The latter enables them to pay their workers quickly and easily without the need to export payment details from the system and then logging into their bank. “They can conveniently do the payments through My Digital. This saves time and money, and makes running an umbrella company much easier,” says Bowles. He adds that, generally, umbrella companies are receptive to developments that significantly improve their day-to-day


KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS What level of security do you offer – for instance, do you have Cyber Essentials certification by the National Cyber Security Centre and do you plan to further build on this? What ongoing support do you provide and is it 24/7? How will your technology allow me to better manage the relationship with contractors, agencies and others in the supply chain? For instance, will they have visibility of information relevant to them via portals or mobile apps? How can you demonstrate that your system will help us remain compliant? How easily can I integrate with business intelligence and reporting and analytics systems – or does it have this functionality built-in? Does it allow me to gain real-time insights into operations? What is your technology roadmap for the future?

operations, create a better visibility of how the business is performing and deliver a better experience for the contractors they are serving: “We have found that the adoption rates of things like business intelligence reporting or instant payments have been high.” Indeed, ease of integration with business intelligence, reporting and analytics, CRM and other tools should figure high on any umbrella’s technology wishlist. Umbrella and construction industry scheme (CIS) payroll provider Liquid Friday says it benefits from the power of big data courtesy of its Salesforce CRM system, which has been blended with its payroll system (see Case study, right). Meanwhile, My Digital’s People Hub is effectively a built-in CRM and has a business intelligence tool powered by Amazon Web Services Quicksight that provides real-time insights into payroll data helping to make informed decisions and optimise operations. Given the backdrop of events over the past 12 months, there is no getting away from the subject

of security and, as difficult as ransomware, malware and other cyberattacks are to guard against, umbrellas can’t absolve themselves of responsibility for them. They need to put worst-case/disaster recovery plans in place and ensure their house is in order when it comes to robust password management protocols and governance. They must also ensure they know where their data is being stored and the security levels that guard it. Many software providers will have Cyber Essentials certification by the National Cyber Security Centre but some go a step further. Clark has been astonished over the years by what people “don’t ask” in terms of security and due diligence. “They hope someone else is asking the questions or sorting the problem and this is what has got some organisations into trouble,” he says. “Our solution is slightly different in that we own our own cloud. We have a government-accredited server farm with fibre lines going into the cloud,” adds Clark. “So umbrellas effectively rent the

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software and they rent part of the cloud. They can access it through their desktop or the web, but it is an underlying application on a secure platform.” As Liquid Friday shows in developing its own app to encourage communication in the supply chain (see case study), umbrellas are also themselves innovating. Orca Payroll Group is another example of being at the innovation frontline, having pioneered the real-time compliance platform The Apex, which provides agencies and businesses time-stamped records from HMRC as well as providing a full transparent audit trail each time a payroll is processed. It’s now going a step further and through


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partnerships with SafeRec and Payslip Buddy, all contractor payments will be subjected to weekly independent audits to ensure they are being paid compliantly and correctly, and they get a full audit of their payslips for the lifetime of their employment with Orca Pay Group. Orca CEO Rob Sharp welcomes such tools, and also notes that we’re seeing a shift in thinking from agencies. “They know there is technology out there in the marketplace that can bring more transparency and highlight nefarious activities, which could potentially put them in the firing line,” he says. “The umbrella industry is truly entering the era of forensic auditing.”

CASE STUDY Liquid Friday, established in 2006, is an REC business partner and an FCSA-accredited provider of umbrella and construction industry scheme (CIS) payroll. Joe Taffurelli, head of group operations and a member of the senior leadership team, said the organisation has always invested heavily in deploying technology that ensures it supports its mission to deliver the best service for clients and contractors. “We have achieved this by deploying Salesforce as our primary customer relationship management (CRM) system, giving us the power of big data with the flexibility of complete customisation of both system and process,” he says. “We utilise the reporting suite to ensure we have access to any data that may be needed to help improve our clients’ and contractors’ experience.” It has blended this with the Merit payroll system, ensuring it can provide payroll services from a recognised expert payroll software house. The Salesforce system and its level of customisation and automation has meant that Liquid Friday has been able to rapidly scale the organisation without the need for substantial investment in manpower. “This has proved extremely valuable in a candidate shortage. In addition, we have used our data, automation and in-depth knowledge of our contractors to help our agency partners with filling vacancies,” explains Taffurelli, who oversees strategy and provision of services across the group and has more than 10 years’ experience at the heart of the umbrella industry. Liquid Pay is currently building its own app, designed to keep in contact with its contractors, and encourage communication through the supply chain. “Uniquely, we will be helping our recruitment agencies more than ever with filling vacancies and matching our fantastic contractors with exciting opportunities,” he says. He adds that Liquid Friday has never stood still with technology and as well as investing in the app, is always looking to improve the CRM and assist with the development of partner software such as Merit. “We recognise that the future is going to be even more ‘ever connected’ and want to be ready to serve our contractors and agencies whenever, wherever they need us.” And he concludes: “Technology is an important, if not vital, part of the equation. However, it is the people, knowledge, empathy and care that our team provide that is the secret to our success. Technology is being developed to complement those skills and attributes, not to replace them with an app or just another portal.”


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29/06/2022 11:26


WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO? GET IN TOUCH! Whether it’s walking the length of the UK, giving tickets away or flying through the sky, you’ve been busy since the last Recruiter…

BEN QUITS JOB TO WALK THE UK FOR CANCER CHARITY DOWN-TO-EARTH RECRUITER RAISES FUNDS FOR CHARITY Despite being terrified of heights, a recruitment manager from Cornwall has leapt from an aeroplane at 10,000ft. Katy Thomas, who manages Berry Recruitment’s branch in Truro, decided to do a parachute jump to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West, which runs three homes in the region. “Although I am terrified of heights I decided to do a parachute jump because it would be the best way of raising money,” she said. “As we took off the plane door was open and I was perched on the edge. I couldn’t back out because I was strapped to the instructor.” So far Katy’s raised more than £1k and you can still donate through her Just Giving page – ‘Katy’s Tandem Skydive’.

L-r: Principal consultant Jai Vine and UMATR founder Mitchell Franklin with the £10k donation

Following his mum (pictured top with Ben) being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ben Chapman left his job at London-based recruiter Wiser to walk nearly 2,000km in 60 days, with the aim of raising £10k for the charity Prevent Breast Cancer. After setting off from Lands End, the South-Westernmost point of England, in April, Ben’s route has taken him through Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Cumbria and Northumberland before reaching John O’Groats in Scotland, the Northernmost point of Great Britain, averaging a marathon a day. “Watching my mum and close friends go through treatment for breast cancer was tough and I vowed to do everything I could to prevent anyone else suffering the way they did,” said Ben. So far, Ben has raised more than £13k but you can still donate at his Just Giving page – Ben’s Big Walk – to help fund lifesaving research on breast cancer.

UMATR GIVES £10K TO CHARITIES THAT MATTER London-based technology recruitment agency UMATR made a pledge to donate a percentage of its first year’s turnover to charities that meant the most to the UMATR team and their partners. Homeless charity Whitechapel Mission, financial education company MyBnk and men’s mental health movement HUMEN are benefiting from the recruiter’s generosity so far. And UMATR is also the official Student Sponsor of Lambda Days 2022 this July in Poland, which aims to increase the attendance of students interested in a career in tech. The recruiter will be giving away 10 free tickets.


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#rmas22 @theRMAwards



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“I had a friend whose family business was a recruitment agency and I thought I’d be good at it” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job?

An actress or policewoman. The acting world fascinated me – the thrill of playing different characters. I’m a also so very inquisitive and my attention on to detail is good, so I’d have been great at solving crimes. People thought that was the job I’d go into – I’m an ‘investigatory’ kind of person.

HOLLIE MURTAGH Managing director at Simply Education, MCG Group

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you ou come into it? I used to be in IT sales and loved d the sales buzz, but I’m very much a people person and thought I’d be better at selling in candidates to clients. I had a friend whose family business was a successful recruitment agency and I thought I’d be good at it. My first job was in a high street industrial agency.

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment? Jeff Weiner, one of the most famous business execs on the planet. He transformed LinkedIn, made it into a massive social media site for businesses and professionals. His business mantra is ‘next play’ – people shouldn’t be so caught up in today’s successes and failures but should keep moving.

What do you love most about your current role? I love seeing people shine and fulfil their true potential. The key to a successful business is having the right people in the right roles and giving them the tools and autonomy to thrive. As MD, I’m in a position to encourage and develop, create opportunities and let people achieve their very best.


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HOLLIE MURTAGH What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? Leading Simply Education through the pandemic in my first year as the new MD. I became the youngest female board director within the MCG Group three months before the first lockdown.

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why? I got a brilliant job for a sales director and the agency was set to earn a whopping £12k fee. In those days we didn’t have the checks we do now, and he hadn’t told me he had 12 points on his driving licence and so couldn’t take the job. I had to make that call to him. If he’d have been in the office, I think I’d have hit him with the phone!

What would you regard as your signature tune? I have an obsession with New York,

my favourite city, so the tune that can instantly lift my spirits and make me smile is Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind.

What was your sanity go-to during Covid-19 and various lockdowns? The nightly five-mile walks with my husband, consuming cheeky ice creams and doing daily debriefs. I’m also a qualified personal trainer, so exercise was crucial in keeping myself fit.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic? How resilient I am. I found a new level of strength and determination to keep my staff mentally and physically healthy. I also discovered that ‘imposter syndrome’ can be positive. I was in a new job, in a new group, engineering the business through Covid as schools – our clients – were closed. ● Hollie Murtagh spoke with Roisin Woolnough.


11/07/2022 11:23


ACORN The UK recruiter has promoted Emily Meredith to group head of HR. She has been tasked with future proofing the internal infrastructure of Acorn during a period of ongoing growth for the recruiter.

on the strategic direction of Baltimore Consulting.

AMS The global provider of talent outsourcing and advisory services has appointed two new directors to its board. Jacqueline Welch is executive vice president and chief HR officer at The New York Times. Franck Cohen was formerly chief customer officer at SAP and is now on the board of several leading technology organisations. AMS has also appointed Roop Kaistha as regional managing director of APAC in its senior leadership team.

CALIBRE ONE Pete Leibman has joined the executive search firm as principal. He will be based in Washington DC to help grow its consumer digital and health and wellness practices in the US. He has previously launched Stronger Talent, an executive search and consulting firm.

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), has appointed Caroline Andrews, as chief people officer (CPO). Andrews joined the business at the start of May from DHL Express, where she was vice president of HR, UK and Ireland. She was previously group head of HR at Carphone Warehouse. She will focus on developing IAG Cargo’s talent strategy globally, overseeing employee experience for a growing global workforce of 2,250 colleagues. IAG Cargo recently kicked off its largest ever recruitment drive, looking to hire 500 new employees across the business.

Scott has been instrumental in establishing Castle Accountancy & Finance in Yorkshire and overseeing the expansion of Castle’s HR and technology divisions.

CYMPHONY The Crewe-based communications provider Cymphony has appointed Emma Burkitt head of people and culture.


The executive appointments recruiter has made a senior hire within its London office. James Gershfield has been appointed head of eTail, opening a third new division within London, in addition to its FinTech and Sports divisions.


BALTIMORE CONSULTING The recruitment firm has appointed Natasha Clarke as non-executive director, permanently joining the board of directors. Clarke brings more than 25 years’ experience having started her career in recruitment at SThree with STEM specialists Progressive in 1994. She will support Charmaine Vincent


DUCATUS PARTNERS CASTLE EMPLOYMENT GROUP Accountancy and finance recruitment professional Louise Scott has been appointed as a director of the recruitment group after eight years with the firm.

Gary McKinney has been appointed partner at the executive search firm.

The hiring platform has taken on Priscilla Koranteng as chief people officer (CPO). She will report to CEO Chris Hyams. Koranteng will oversee the company’s people

Email people moves for use online and in print, including a short biography, to

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functions including HR, recruiting and real estate teams.

ROWAN EXECUTIVE SEARCH The executive search firm has made three new appointments. Tammy Hopla is appointed associate director, Jack Bottomley as senior consultant and Emma Milton as an executive researcher.

STAFFING 360 SOLUTIONS MATRIX Staffing industry veteran Richard MacMillan has joined the recruitment technology business as chairman. He had been CEO at healthcare staffing and services company Independent Clinical Services (ICS) for 14 years.

MAXWELL BOND The tech recruitment firm has made five senior hires. Steph Livingstone (associate director of client services), Gareth Hughes (associate director of business change), Mel Venner (head of performance), Lauren Naylor (learning and development manager) and Andy Holt (business development manager and IR35 specialist).


Robert Harper is promoted to president of the recruiter’s Professional Staffing (UK) business stream, effective immediately, reporting directly to Brendan Flood, Staffing 360 Solutions chairman and CEO.

STRATEGIC RESOURCES The energy recruitment specialist has promoted Gary Gray to MD. Gray was formerly the Aberdeen-based company’s recruitment and operations director.

CONTACTS EDITORIAL +44 (0)20 7880 7603 Editor DeeDee Doke

Contributing writers Rachel Masker, Sue Weekes, Roisin Woolnough Production editor Vanessa Townsend

PRODUCTION +44 (0)20 7880 6209 Senior production executive Rachel Young

PUBLISHING +44 (0)20 7880 8547 Publishing director Aaron Nicholls

Senior designer Will Williams Picture editor Akin Falope

ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 7661 +44 (0)20 7880 6231



+44 (0)20 7880 6215

THRYVE Emerging and critical technology recruitment business has appointed Sonny Ford to managing director. Promoted from permanent team director, he joined the company as a trainee recruitment consultant four years ago.

The specialist energy talent acquisition group has appointed David Waterfield as director for North America to support the company’s growth in the US and Canada.

CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS Recruiter is the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals. To ensure each issue of Recruiter magazine is delivered to your desk or door, subscribe now at https://subs. Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the world • Recruiter is also available to people who meet our terms of control: • To purchase reprints or multiple copies, or any other enquiries, please contact or +44 (0)1580 883844 CONTRIBUTIONS

RANDSTAD Myriam Beatove Morale joins the international recruiter this September as chief HR officer (CHRO). Audra Jenkins will become its chief equity officer on 1 September. Martin de Weerdt joins the company on 1 August as chief information officer (CIO).

Redactive Publishing Ltd Fora, 9 Dallington Street, London EC1V 0LN 020 7880 6200

VIRGIN GROUP Nikki Humphrey has been appointed to the newly-created role of CPO for the multi-national group. Humphrey joins Virgin from her role as executive director, people at John Lewis Partnership (JLP).

Contributions are invited, but when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Articles should be emailed. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during delivery, transmission or in the editor’s hands. © 2022 Redactive Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Redactive Media Group. Redactive Media Group accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. ISSN 1475-7478

Total average net circulation between July 2019 & June 2020 – 16,076. is also sent to all REC members

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30/06/2022 09:42


“Another benefit of remote work, incidentally, is a nearzero chance of coming anywhere near Jacob ReesMogg. Unless your name is Mrs Rees-Mogg”

Alex Dick Working from anywhere: an essential step for the recruitment industry alking about the benefits of remote working is a struggle. Not because it’s difficult to conjure up those benefits (it isn’t), nor because they’re particularly complex (they’re not). No: it’s hard to write about the positive side of remote work because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in defending the subject against a small but vocal minority who insist that remote work is a thinly veiled excuse for lazy people to exercise their sinfully unproductive practices in what must surely be seen as the end of polite civilisation. A smallminded minority, if you like. This isn’t an exaggeration: just look at a recent headline from the Daily Mail, which – in response to a Queen’s Speech that lacked the longawaited Employment Bill – delighted in this “death knell for working from home”. That’s why I’d like to focus on the positives of remote work as seen through the



JUL/AUG 2022

lens of the recruitment industry. After all, given our professional interest in placing people in good work environments, it’s especially important that we recruiters practise what we preach.

with greasy little notes. (Another benefit of remote work, incidentally, is a near-zero chance of coming anywhere near Jacob ReesMogg. Unless your name is Mrs Rees-Mogg...)

In general terms…

What about recruitment?

Broadly speaking, the recruitment industry enjoys the same displaced working advantages as any sector that only requires a laptop, a smartphone and enough WiFi to get the two to cooperate. We’re all used to the slew of obvious benefits that workers operating from their kitchen tables, local cafes and beach hut getaways enjoy, from the time and money saved on commuting to better work-life balance. These are well-worn topics, of course, and – despite their obvious and overwhelming advantages – they clearly aren’t enough to persuade the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg to stop badgering remote employees

Perhaps the reason these advantages aren’t penetrating the admirably thick skulls of the naysayers is simply because they’re too broad or vague. So, what do these benefits look like on a more practical, day-to-day level in my own industry: recruitment? For one thing, recruitment (as we all know) involves phones. If you’re in a large, open-plan office (as recruitment agencies tend to be) you face the dual disadvantages of hearing everyone else’s conversations, and – more disconcertingly – everyone else hearing yours. On another practical note, office-based recruiters tend

to have set hours – nobody wants to stay in the office any longer than they need to. This can be challenging when many clients aren’t available until, say, 6pm. Remote working lends itself to flexibility, allowing employees to arrange their days to accommodate these all-important meetings without the hassle of missing trains. Above and beyond these considerations, recruiters are human beings in a stressful, KPI-driven job. If remote working can remove some of the micromanaging and over-the-shoulder glares of bosses with high expectations, then it’s more than a perk or a privilege, but a basic mark of respect towards people who deserve to work in comfort. There’s more than one industry that could benefit from this mindset. ●

Alex Dick is CEO of Alexander Lyons Solutions

Enterprise software for recruitment firms TargetRecruit helps clients reduce recruitment costs and candidates time-to-engage, whilst generating a faster time-to-hire, enhancing workforce retention and improving your business compliance. ased CRM and Applicant Tracking Solution is fully customisable and part The cloud-based of an extensive sive ecosystem of integrated apps. From Front Office to Back Office, it combines a powerful and flexible ATS on the world’s #1 platform: Salesforce.


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