Recruiter- May/June 2022

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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals



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INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

May/Jun 2022





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05 Ex-recruiter rewrites her






own career path When lockdown hit her new recruitment firm, Stephanie Oram whipped up something slightly different Talentful shares its success The recruiter is handing over 2O% of the company in stock options RPOne wins Rolls-Royce energy contract Morson’s recruitment specialist helps fill RollsRoyce’s nuclear ambitions Whyte takes over at BIE Rob Walker hands over the CEO reins at BIE Executive to Gordon Whyte Contracts & Deals


10 Workplace



Guy Hayward on creating the ideal workplace to encourage innovation, and David Savage on recruiting in the metaverse Insight Are digital right-to-work and identity checks here to stay? Recruiter investigates Tech & Tools: IN FOCUS CRM and applicant tracking systems


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INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters



18 Viewpoint 19



Andy Davies, Kingsley Gate Partnership Soundbites



Learning & Development As the battle for recruitment talent intensifies, recruiters are using online learning to train ‘rookie recruiters’ and upskill those in place 26 NEW! Case study: Forward Role and JD Sports New embedded values sets Forward Role apart from the pack 30 Business strategy The regulation of cryptocurrency can help recruiters attract new talent

E COMMUNITY 35 Social 39 My Brilliant Recruitment

Career Katrina Cheverton

40 Movers & Shakers 41 Recruiter contacts 42 The Last Word:


Alan Furley


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h, spring. And hopefully, summer is making its way quickly to the Northern Hemisphere. How are you planning to spend these lighter, brighter, longer days? And would an additional Bank Holiday help you enjoy these days every year? Signatories to a drive to create another Bank Holiday in the UK, which include the CBI, UK Hospitality, Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden and other illustrious industrialists, have said that making the holiday permanent would "provide a moment every year for individuals and communities to come together, to thank those who have “This nod to jobs contributed in ways big and small to well done also acknowledges the making our country a better place to live". increasing […] HM the Queen’s burnout in Platinum Jubilee has provided the basis for working life” the additional day off this year. It’s time for an additional holiday, as it has been for a few years. However, there is even more impetus for that additional day off because the UK’s approach overall to work and life have evolved since February 2020. As well as saying ‘thank you’, this nod to jobs ‘well done’ also acknowledges the increasing experience of burnout in working life. It may also provide the UK with a way of honouring every year the Queen’s extraordinary service to the country, particularly when her reign ends. Happy birthday, your Majesty! And happy Bank Holiday to all!

DeeDee Doke, Editor


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Ex-recruiter Oram whips up new career due to lockdown BY DEEDEE DOKE

AFTER A 15-YEAR break from recruitment, Stephanie Oram decided to launch a new recruitment business in the North-West. Her preferred talent pool was to be 50-plus-year-old jobseekers. This was in 2019. “I still had the passion and fire,” Oram told Recruiter, “I had my local training providers lined up – then, flippin’ heck, lockdown came along.” She thought to herself: “What am I going to do with my life?” As rom-com writers would put it, Oram took her destiny into her own hands. Literally. She wrote an adult novel, putting a middle-aged woman at the centre of the action, complete with “cellulite and big pants”. The comedic adventures of Ann in Wax, WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 5

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39,097 FOLLOWERS AS OF 27 APR 2021

Whips and My Hairy Bits: An Erotic Comedy of Errors proved so popular on Amazon that Oram has spun out four sequels in the Wax and Whips series since June 2020, along with two separate – but also naughty – novels with different characters. “They’re a bit rude, but women love them,” said Oram, whose pen name is SJ Carmine, of her series. “We just need to laugh!” As she was writing the series, her growing fan base would write to her, begging for details of Ann’s next salacious but awkward and misguided excursions. “They wanted to know ‘What happens next?’,” Oram said. “And they’d tell you what they wanted to happen!” Oram self-publishes on Amazon, and while book sales – both Kindle and paperback – are “nudging 5,000 copies”, she said her new career has not turned over a fortune yet. “You don’t get a huge cut from Amazon,” she said. However, Oram is loving her new business. “It was so easy to write,” she marvelled of her first book. “It wasn’t a chore. But,” she added with a laugh, “none of it was from my personal experience!” From her fan mail, she knows that the light-hearted literature she served up during the pandemic provided some much-needed comic relief for stressful times. “Ordinary, normal women needed breaks during the pandemic – a bit of therapy,” Oram said. Published in March this year, Oram’s most recent book shares quotes and comments about one of society’s very last taboos: the menopause. Asked if she regretted packing up her newly-launched recruitment agency in 2020, Oram said: “Obviously, at that time, it wasn’t to be. But the idea’s still there. If I wanted to, I could go back to it.” 6 RECRUITER

Talentful shares company’s success with its staff BY DEEDEE DOKE

TALENT ACQUISITION ORGANISATION Talentful is issuing up to 20% of the company in stock options to most existing and future employees. “The company-wide initiative demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Talentful and its leadership team to involve employees, across all its territories, in the future development and success of the company,” said a company statement. Self-funded Talentful invests all revenue back into the company to support business expansion, product development, learning and development, and enhancing employee experience. Talentful was founded seven years ago. Between December 2020 and December 2021, the company’s revenue growth increased by 157% and headcount rose by 155%. Today, Talentful has a total of five offices, and employs 300 people in the UK, Germany and the US. Commenting on the stock option announcement, Chris Abbass (below cantre), CEO and co-founder at Talentful, said: “We are making this decision because we believe everyone, as a team and individually, has the ability to make a significant difference

to Talentful’s growth and success. Every interaction our people have with each other and clients, how the team collaborates, how individuals represent our brand and the value they bring to our customers really moves the needle. “As we are entering our next phase on our journey in Europe and the US, we inevitably wanted to share our company's success with the wider team by giving stock options to the majority of current and future employees at Talentful. At the end of the day, it's a collective effort – and we want to unite every individual team member to continue on our mission of inventing the future of recruiting, and to reach future goals and milestones together. “When Talentful wins, we all win.” Talentful’s range of services include hiring to process reviews, events strategy and diversity workshops. Tech company clients scale include Alphabet, Microsoft, Deliveroo, Atlassian, Monzo, Einride, Expedia, Instacart, Miro and Waymo. With 300 talent professionals operating across San Francisco, New York and Austin as well as London and Berlin, the consultancy operates extensively across the US and Europe, and has plans to expand into APAC.

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Walker hands over BIE reins to Whyte BY DEEDEE DOKE

Rolls-Royce picks Morson’s RPOne to recruit for its nuclear power ambitions BY DEEDEE DOKE

ROLLS-ROYCE SMR HAS appointed the Morson Group’s nuclear recruitment specialist RPOne to support its largest recruitment campaign to date. RPOne will fill around 400 initial vacancies, sourcing the talent required to deliver clean, affordable and sustainable energy. Rolls-Royce SMR’s small modular reaction programme is the first of its kind in the UK, with the opportunity to develop a factory-build nuclear power plant that is deliverable and scalable at a global level, a company statement said. “Having begun the design assessment process with the UK regulators, the organisation is at a point where it needs to significantly increase its workforce, offering candidates the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology within a world-class team,” the statement said. Roles will be open to experienced nuclear professionals and emerging talent to include graduates. Adam


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Ellis, director of talent and HR at Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “We want to build a diverse team of people with a background in science, a passion for nuclear, or from a sector with transferable skills, with a diverse mix of skills and experiences. This is the most exciting nuclear programme in the UK right now.” Ged Mason OBE, CEO at Morson Group, said: “Rolls-Royce SMR has the potential to be truly pivotal in the way the UK – and the rest of the world – sources and uses power. The company is setting new standards in recruitment by opening its doors to anyone who has a passion to change norms in science. While there are several niche roles available, which require specific skillsets, others are open to those who want to help define our futures.” Part of their collaborative focus, Mason went on to say, will be “bringing multiple perceptions to the table”. He added: “At its peak, the programme has the potential to create some 40,000 jobs and generate £52bn in economic benefit.”

Rob Walker (right), who led two management buyouts of BIE Executive, is handing over the role of company CEO over to Gordon Whyte, and will become a strategic adviser to the BIE board. Walker has been involved with BIE since 2006, leading the company into private ownership through the two MBOs in 2013 and 2017. He also is well-known throughout the recruitment and executive search worlds through founding and serving as joint MD of Walker Hamill for nearly 11 years, a two-year stint as COO of Imprint, three years as nonexecutive chairman of Hexagon and three years as CEO of the Cornhill Partnership. Whyte has been a part of BIE’s senior leadership team for over 10 years, a company statement said. “Over the past six months, Rob has worked closely with Gordon in preparation for the handover to ensure BIE continues with its growth agenda,” the company statement said. “Although Rob will have a less active role in the day-to-day operations at BIE, he remains an important adviser to Gordon and the rest of the board.” Walker said he had “every faith” that Whyte would steer BIE through the next stage of its development. “I am looking forward to watching the business blossom under his leadership and providing support as needed, as I begin a less hands-on role.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 7

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Compass Group UK & Ireland Compass Group UK & Ireland has partnered with technology provider inploi to upgrade its recruitment marketing function and enhance the applicant experience. The partnership enables the food service provider to use its existing HR systems and gives them full visibility of the process. Compass said it had a 30% increase in completed application numbers since partnering with inploi.

Hirewell Prytek’s talent solutions division Hirewell has acquired technology recruitment platform Rainmakers. The acquisition will create a techenabled talent ecosystem, and will enable Hirewell’s clients to connect with technology sales talent via a digital marketplace.

iCIMS Talent cloud company iCIMS has acquired Candidate.ID, a marketing automation software built for talent acquisition. Candidate.ID enables recruiting teams to hyper-target best fit, most engaged candidates with unique lead scoring and automated marketing campaigns.

Arrows Group Global technology talent specialist Arrows Group has announced a strategic partnership with Unibeez, a SaaS platform specialising in Gen Z talent. The two companies will work together to source, train and mentor top emerging talent, “pipelining the way to a brighter future for the tech and data industry”, a Unibeez statement said.

Kingdom Medical Services Healthcare staffing firm Brindley Medical has merged with Kingdom Group to operate as Kingdom Medical Services. The merger will allow Kingdom Medical Services to expand and meet the demand for qualified professionals in the healthcare sector.

Adecco Group Adecco Group UK & Ireland will merge Badenoch + Clark’s commercial recruitment business into a new division of its LHH brand. Badenoch + Clark will then operate as LHH Recruitment Solutions and Badenoch’s public sector business based in England and Wales will become part of Adecco, known as Adecco Public Sector England and Wales.


Randstad France

Recruitment agency Randstad France has announced its intentions to acquire end-to-end digital staffing platform Side in France. Randstad says the acquisition would enable it to strengthen its market position in the growing digital staffing market and lead to a “strong” extension of its current portfolio and offer access to


new opportunities for existing and potential clients. Side was founded in 2016 and specialises in online recruitment, offering digital staffing solutions to more than 2,000 customers, with 300,000 active candidates, primarily in the logistics, trade and service sectors. Financial details were not disclosed.

The Recruitment Co Cordant People and Premiere People, both part of the Cordant recruitment group, have combined and rebranded to become The Recruitment Co. The new brand signifies Cordant People and Premiere People’s evolution from a predominantly blue-collar, industrial temporary staff recruiter to a multi-sector player with a national footprint and a £240m turnover. The merger will expand services and almost double employee headcount.

More contract news at

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The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


working. Or another way of looking at it: in a typical week, as we are once again spending more time at the office than we do at home, it needs to be an engaging environment, a place that challenges and inspires. Agile working is all part of the working experience, and we see the ‘new’ office adapting to this – booths and benches to accommodate flexible headcount, and the need for a Teams call away from the desk. Infor, the multinational software company, has redesigned its office to incorporate private booths, permanent desk space, breakout/touchdown zones and informal soft spaces, with the aim of creating a workspace that fosters a sense of community. Estate agency Zoopla agrees. Its belief is that you should spend as much love and care on what your office looks like as the care you give your home. Its office is built on themed areas, including a living room, dining room, library and even a treehouse. Maybe a visually stimulating office does indeed encourage innovation and a creative environment to work in. AutoTrader has real Minis

“Maybe a visually stimulating office does indeed encourage innovation and a creative environment to work in” parked upon the walls; Lego’s offices feature archways in the shape of Lego People; and Mind Candy employees can meet in a treehouse. So these three businesses certainly think it’s worth it. Companies are also shifting towards more inclusive workplaces, with the introduction of prayer rooms, mothering rooms and yoga spaces. Global design, engineering and management consulting firm Arcadis last year moved into its HQ, with decompression spaces ‘designed to reduce the stresses of a commute before starting the working day’. Our Multi-Faith and Wellbeing room was a result

THE OFFICE ENVIRONMENT. At home or after a commute, the lines are now blurred. We have all tried to create our own little office environment at home. Turning a spare bedroom into a study or reworking the corner of a room so it looks and feels different to the kitchen table or sofa. And as a modern progressive business the feeling of comfort, space and uniqueness made real by WeWork or The Office Group has become an equal (or is it more?) necessity than home work. The modern office? A world which embraces and encourages face-to-face interaction, learning and humour. Space where socialising enhances our working experiences and, as we now know, the main reason our people want to come into the office is to be with other people. We are now used to working from home with all the ‘cosy’ surroundings. This has redefined the way we work and how we now use the office, with fixed desks largely becoming a thing of the past. The office environment needs to match the same feeling we have when we are at home. We spend nearly 90,000 hours of our lifetime

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

of asking our people what they wanted – it’s certainly enhanced our working environment. Will a cosmetically beautiful office remain near the bottom of what is important for people when selecting their new employer (or keeping your current teams together)? Not anymore. I am in the Zoopla camp; investing in the physical working environment to support a community feel has never been so important. ●

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THE PANDEMIC HAS recast the working landscape, but while ‘where’ we work has evolved, ‘how’ we work has not. Working, especially collaborative tasks, happens in a physical 3-D environment. The technology we use to work remotely is limited to two dimensions. Productivity has survived changes enforced on distributed work by the pandemic, but the same cannot be said of collaboration. However, technology could change that, and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is betting big on it. Zuckerberg believes our frustrations surrounding the limitations of remote working won’t lead to a return to offices, but an adoption of technology that allows us to retain the freedom and flexibility we’ve grown accustomed to without compromising how we work. Much like Apple shaped our behaviours, Meta believe that if they provide the platform to support the future of distributed work they will become central to our needs.

New model recruitment?

So, what does the metaverse mean for recruitment? How we attract, hire and retain staff is inevitably tied to the success or failure of Meta (and other potential architects of the future) to entice us to their virtual worlds.

In the metaverse you can be anyone

Role play to hit the heights


MAR/APR 2022

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for a specific role, giving employers and recruiters a much better insight into how suitable a candidate actually is. It could also help identify people with potential for skills shortage areas – such as in tech, cyber or data analytics – creating a pipeline of talent that with the right development and training could begin to ease the problem. With a metaverse around them, businesses could run virtual open days, careers fairs and outreach activities. The milkround would become the meta round… and what student wouldn’t enjoy that! The networking possibilities would be enormous. GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace For the metaverse to scale, there are some initial barriers CEO, Goodman to overcome. Firstly, data privacy. MassonIf Meta is successful in

Entry issues

owning the metaverse, how many personal details will we need to share to ‘go’ to work? In addition to individual privacy concerns, can metaverse providers satisfy organisations their virtual worlds will be secure? There has been exponential growth in low-impact attacks (an 83% increase in spear-phishing attacks in one year), which will increase with instability and conflict in Eastern Europe. Distributed working means the perimeter surrounding organisations has disappeared. Any metaverse provider must build trust. However, frustrations at the current limitations of remote working will encourage the adoption of emerging technology despite the risks. The metaverse is coming at us fast, offering significant possibilities for the recruitment world. Get ready. ●

For years I sat in the boardroom and watched trainee applicants take part in a ‘balloon debate’. Candidates would roleplay as a well-known character and demonstrate their debating skills, arguing why ‘they’ should be the only remaining passenger in a dangerously overcrowded hot-air balloon. Instead of the boardroom we could virtually enter the balloon in an experience candidates would love. The metaverse will reward leaders and organisations able to imagine worlds that get the best out of people and build virtual spaces suited to their collective mission or purpose. Roleplays and tasks could be designed that were highly modelled around the key skills, knowledge and attributes

Technology evangelist, Nash Squared

If the metaverse allows us to access wider talent pools, without the limitations of homeworking, it also provides individuals with the ability to go through a process completely anonymously. In the virtual world you can choose how you present yourself. The metaverse could enable an organisation to ask candidates to interview in the same likeness, with no individual characteristics. It might allow candidates to be creative in how they present themselves, challenging the bias they’ve previously faced.

David Savage

DAVID SAVAGE is technology evangelist, Nash Squared, the new name for the Harvey Nash Group WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 11

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new study by Juniper Research has found that the number of users of digital identity documents globally will exceed 6.5bn by 2026, from 4.2bn in 2022. Accelerated by the pandemic, this growth of over 50% reflects the growing importance of digital identity checks in sectors such as recruitment and government services. A digital identity document is a digital representation of a physical identity document, such as a passport. Take the UK, for example, where temporary adjustments to right-to-work checks ending on 30 September this year are expected to become permanent. The temporary measures, introduced in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabled employers to use identification document validation technology (IDVT) to conduct digital right-to-work checks (see box opposite, Clarifying Digital Identity Terms). The study by Juniper Research – ‘Digital Identity: Key Opportunities, Regulatory Landscape & Market Forecasts 2022-2026’ – found that ease and equality of access are critical factors for the use of digital identity, especially in government services. Digital identity cards, where digital details are loaded onto an identity card, will be used by over 4bn people globally in 2026, from 2.5bn now in 2022, the study predicted. Research co-author Damla Sat said: “Identity cards have been controversial in some countries due to privacy concerns, but they are a well-established mechanism for digitising identity practices. If third-party access is governed correctly, identity cards can be at the centre of the digital identity market, but they need to be backed by robust processes.” A whitepaper accompanying Juniper’s research sets out the digital identity landscape, describing it as having “multiple interwoven elements bridging privacy/security and usability aspects in a digital identity solution”. “Identity is increasingly viewed as an ecosystem rather than an end product… Their success will depend on how



Although digital right-to-work checks have been extended in the UK to the end of September, digital ID checks are probably going to be here to stay BY DEEDEE DOKE


The UK’s temporary, pandemicinduced measures were set to end in 2021 but have been extended several times, with campaigners from the recruitment industry and other affected sectors lobbying hard to maintain the digital identity checks. In a statement, the Home Office said it had received “positive feedback” about enabling the digital identity checks and had deferred the end of the temporary adjustments to ensure employers have “sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with identity service providers, make the necessary changes to their pre-employment

checking processes and carry out responsible onboarding of their chosen provider”. The statement went on to say that the extension to the end of September “ensures that the right-towork scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports employers to implement long-term, postpandemic working practices”. It also provides opportunity, the statement said, for employers to put measures in place to enable face-toface document checks if they don’t want to adopt digital checks for British and Irish citizens with a valid passport or Irish passport card.

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Digital identity document: a digital representation of a physical identity document, such as a passport. Identity document validation technology (IDVT): Forms of technology operated for the purpose of verifying the identity of a person, whereby a digital copy of a physical document relating to that person is produced for verification of the document’s validity, and whether that person is the rightful holder of the document. Identity service provider (IDSP): a provider of identity verification services using IDVT. An IDSP may be certified to provide identity verification to specific levels of confidence, specified by government standards. IDSPs are sometimes referred to as ‘identity providers’. IDSPs act on behalf of the employer, with the employers becoming a ‘relying party’ in that transaction. IDVT identity check: this refers to the response generated by an IDSP, using IDVT, when undertaking identity verification with respect to a person.

Source: The UK Home Office

different components are integrated in quite possibly an all-in-one solution.” As technology companies further develop their IDVT products in the growing market, Juniper predicts that revenue for digital identity vendors will exceed $53bn (£40.6bn) globally in 2026, doubling from $26bn (£20bn) last year. Digital identity revenue includes third-party and civic identity apps, centralised identity schemes, and digital identity verification, and Juniper noted that increased demand for digital onboarding frameworks because of the pandemic “will accelerate the uptake of digital identity services” – as it has in the UK.


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Identity cards have been controversial in some countries due to privacy concerns, but they are a well-established mechanism for digitising identity practices Verified digital identity, where identities are confirmed as genuine using verifiable credentials, represents “the next evolutionary step for digital identity, moving from establishing infrastructure to utilising and verifying identity in practical applications”, Juniper said. “To facilitate this, we predict increasing data partnerships between vendors to provide comprehensive, data-diverse identity systems.” Verification spend will exceed $16bn in 2026, from $9bn in 2021, Juniper forecasts. “This reflects that as users migrate to digital channels, the need to verify identity digital also grows,” Juniper said. “As fraudsters exploit opportunities, verification capabilities will proliferate to wider industries and use cases than ever before.” A spokesman from Juniper Research told Recruiter: “The UK is an interesting market in digital identity terms – the UK government has recently announced a new digital identity strategy which it is developing, so it is engaging with the area, however, GOV.UK Verify [a system to access some government services, delivered through certified providers] was a difficult development and there is a natural aversion in the UK to identity cards. Therefore, the UK is lagging behind some other markets, who are further along the identity journey.” Keith Rosser is director – group risk at Reed and director of Reed Screening, who is also chair of the Better Hiring Institute and a leading advocate for use of digital identity checks. Asked what the IDVT landscape is currently looking like in the UK, Rosser told Recruiter: “The accreditation and certification process continues, but the timelines have proven it was the right decision to move the launch date back from 6 April to 30 September, as prior

to Easter there were still no certified IDSPs. I was informed directly by the Home Office that our evidential submission was key to moving those dates back. “In early March the accreditation bodies were announced by UKAS [UK Accreditation Service], who is responsible for certifying the IDSPs. The process of certification has started but as yet, we await the volume of certified suppliers needed for recruiters to go through a proper procurement exercise (and to get best value).” Rosser went on to say: “Interestingly, the Home Office backed away from mandating the use of certified suppliers and recruitment firms can choose to use uncertified firms, but there are risks associated with that and the same is not true for the DBS who have mandated certified companies. “The remaining key challenge with the scheme is the one in five work seekers who do not have an in-date British and Irish passport and will have no choice but to use face-to-face means to get a job, significantly reducing the opportunities available to them and causing delays for business. We have supported a Parliamentary briefing on this issue, which is currently with Parliamentarians.” ●


Biometrics is among the disciplines that will provide a foundation for the identity checks. This will be done through stateof-the-art techniques that rely on traits of living, physical organisms such as iris recognition, retina recognition with blood vessels, hand geometry, finger and arm veins), behavioural traits such as voice and gait recognition, and genetic data (DNA analysis). WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 13

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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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Customer relationship management and application tracking systems


ustomer relationship management (CRM) and application tracking systems (ATS) are the recruiters’ technology backbone, especially in today’s candidate-driven market. Moreover, the shift to remote working and proliferation of hybrid home-office models means such systems are central to the workflows and efficient running of agencies and in-house resourcing departments. So what should recruiters be looking for in a CRM/ATS? Beyond must-haves such as mobile integration and robust talent pooling capabilities, reporting and


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analytics are high on any modern-thinking recruiter’s wishlist while integration with third-party tools is crucial. We seek advice from three technology providers.

Role in remote and hybrid working

Any CRM/ATS worth its salt should have reporting and analytic facilities as well as the ability to integrate additional business intelligence tools if required. Wendy McDougall, CEO and founder of recruitment software developer Firefish, said the company noticed a big upturn in demand for using its integrated real-time dashboards when the world turned to remote working in the pandemic. “They provided instant access to the activities, outputs, and productivity reports of their recruiters – allowing agency leaders to keep their finger on the pulse,” she says. Andy Ingham, senior vice president EMEA and APAC at staffing and recruitment software company Bullhorn, said its research showed the number of firms with a digital transformation strategy increased from 20% in 2020 to 84% in 2022, largely

because of the pandemic. “One of the most consistent reasons we’ve seen for this shift is the renewed need for teams to be as aligned, productive, and efficient as possible,” he says. “The best ATS/ CRM systems will give recruitment teams the confidence to work to the best of their abilities, from any place and from any device.” Ingham has also observed a significant shift in expectations for custom key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics tailored to business’ specific needs. “As more agencies employ chief financial and information officers to help reach their business goals, the need for actionable insights to fuel those decisions has arisen,” he says.

Importance of plug-and-play

Ease of integration with other applications in areas such as video-interviewing, assessment, onboarding should also be a consideration. Suppliers often refer to the importance of recruiters getting the right “technology stack” to serve their needs and create all of the applications they need in one place to work seamlessly. Dan Kirkland, co-founder and director of talent acquisition software and ATS developer TribePad, says with so many good value-add tools around, plug-and-play capabilities are essential. “It shouldn’t be an opaque box that limits your workflow to just the CRM/ATS’s own features. It should allow you to easily integrate and connect your favourite third-party tools to create a WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 15

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seamless workflow across your toolset,” he says. Kirkland adds: “Your success is often about the connections you make and your CRM/ATS is no different. It needs to allow you to connect key parts of your process together, whether that’s with marketing your roles, assessing candidates, onboarding new hires or paying them.” In addition, integration with the organisation’s own website shouldn’t be overlooked as this will ensure no CVs go missing or gets lost in a central mailbox. “Which in a candidate-deprived market can be an increasingly costly business,” says McDougall.

Communication and candidate experience

Communication tools such as Zoom and Teams have become part of daily lives for both internal and external communications so look for ease of access to these through the system alongside video call capabilities. It is also vital that you are able to keep your pool of candidates “warm and engaged” adds McDougall. She continues: “By utilising automation via job alerts to key candidates, talent pools for segmented messaging and self-service for compliance, not only drives a more efficient recruitment agency but also increases the value of your business through a better candidate experience.” Indeed, recruiters must deliver on their espoused commitment to deliver a great candidate experience and the CRM/ATS should be pivotal to this. Ingham said that the majority of candidates say they prefer to work with staffing firms over online talent platforms, but 90% of talent say they wish the


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experience was more streamlined and cite poor communication as the number one reason for a poor experience. “As a result, agencies are looking to CRMs that facilitate communication and customisation to talent needs,” he says. And as Kirkland adds, this also means not taking a one-size-fits-all approach. “For example, younger generations may want to include TikTok videos on their application, while older generations may prefer something more traditional, like a CV/resumé.”

What does the future hold?

Going forward, McDougall says Firefish will continue to try to help recruiters use web journeys that convert more candidates straight into the CRM. “And helping recruiters to join the worlds of marketing and recruiting together in one platform opens up new and exciting ways of scaling a recruitment business.” Kirkland says he has been a believer in virtual and augmented reality for many years and is still waiting for the appropriate tech to make this more accessible. “But I do believe we’re a lot closer, so I think we’ll see CRM/ATSs having a complimentary place in the metaverse. Immersive recruitment is a romantic thought, and definitely won’t be appropriate for everyone, but I do see it having a place.” ●

Creating a rec-tech stack Rectec, which launched a recruitment technology comparison service last year, is broadening its offering. Rectec Marketplace aims to showcase a range of complementary technology to that featured in its comparison tool, covering areas such as analytics, remote interviewing, testing, background checks and onboarding. It wants to help recruiters create a “recruitment technology stack” to meet their needs.

Automated interview questions The video-interviewing and pre-hire assessment platform Modern Hire is launching the AI-based Automated Interview Creator (AIC), which claims to provide hiring and recruitment teams with recommendations for optimal interview questions based on job requirements to identify best-fit candidates quickly. It builds on the company’s on-demand video interview feature, Automated Interview Scoring (AIS), that uses AI to fairly evaluate candidate responses.

Candidate accessibility Dalia, a specialist in candidate experience, has expanded its suite of products to accelerate hiring by making employers more accessible to candidates. Engage aims to attract more applicants with jobseeker-focused career sites; Apply boosts conversions by transforming job applications into simplified, mobile-first experiences; Interview seeks to save time by automating interview scheduling, invites and reminders; and Rejection improves employer brand by helping rejected candidates find a job.

Beyond the CV Psychometric assessment specialist Arctic Shores and talent software developer SmartRecruiters are partnering to help recruiters look beyond the CV and better understand a candidate’s true potential. Customers of SmartRecruiters can gain easy access to Arctic Shores’ Talent Discovery Platform via API integration. The behavioural insights resulting from the online assessments will be delivered directly into their SmartRecruiters platform.


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How recruiters can be proactive on ESG Recruiters can help organisations get to grips with ESG BY ANDY DAVIES


SG (environmental social governance) is a hot topic for organisations, permeating every aspect of corporate life. That’s certainly the message I’m hearing from boardrooms. And it’s not just about doing the right thing, responding to consumer pressure and meeting the hiring demands of a modern workforce. As many firms have discovered, getting ESG wrong can easily make a significant dent on corporate reputation and performance. I believe recruiters can play a vital role helping organisations deliver on ESG, and now is the right time to be having these types of conversations with clients. This means being proactive as an adviser and encouraging discussion about the potential impacts and opportunities associated with ESG. Helping organisations horizon scan, enabling them to recognise the big picture and how ESG is likely to affect their business. It also means that we have a responsibility to stay on top of the issues involved in this complex topic in order to advise clients. In terms of board operations, recruiters can share their experience of how firms are building ESG into governance systems. I’ve encountered three main approaches, for

ANDY DAVIES is a senior partner and member of the global Board Practice at Kingsley Gate Partners 18 RECRUITER

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example. Some organisations set up a separate ESG committee reporting into the main board. Others bring in an external non-executive director to assume ESG responsibility on the board. Alternatively, firms might add ESG to the audit chair’s list of responsibilities. On the executive management side it’s becoming clear that senior ESG roles require an unusual blend of skills – exceptional communication skills, with strong business acumen, and analytical and research capabilities. People often come into ESG from risk, compliance and audit backgrounds. But historically they tend to be more back office facing and don’t necessarily have the commercial outlook or ambassadorial skills to both operate externally or drive the message internally. That’s a challenge, because you have to have the right senior people in place before building out broader ESG capability in the business. You’re not just looking for somebody to report back, either. You need people who can create a compelling narrative for ESG and evangelise it internally. Because there’s still resistance out there. Not everyone accepts that it’s possible to run a high performing profitable business while meeting ESG responsibilities. Then there’s the employer’s brand positioning. Recruiters must emphasise the need for employers to demonstrate genuine commitment to ESG in order to attract the best candidates. There’s no room for greenwashing. We’re heading towards a world where candidates conduct their own ESG audit of employers, irrespective of the level they’re joining at. Take those all-important ESG evangelists. Yes, they are attracted by opportunities to make change at scale, but they also seek reassurance that organisations and their key people buy into the ESG concept and support it at a strategic and operational level. Employers should take a lead, establishing ESG credentials, highlighting plans across the three areas and making their commitment clear in job descriptions. ESG has become a key issue. Most organisations are set on a path that takes them from having ESG as an add-on or appointing an ESG officer to embedding it throughout the business. Recruiters have an essential role to play in helping make that journey possible – and successful. ●


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WEBCHAT LEADERS: TRANSFORM YOUR THINKING In response to ‘The Big Reset 2022: People need leaders to excite them’ (14 March), if your motivation is to achieve a powerful vision, make a difference or engage in a serious endeavour that involves the need for participation, then there are several necessary steps to take. To transform your way of thinking and shift the existing view of transformation – from one of personal transformation to one of organisational transformation – something has to change. The challenge is to combine having a specific set of rules and the freedom to be innovative and creative. We have to combine the two to gain the greatest balance of control and surprise. The biggest obstacle is that very few leaders understand Organisational Transformation, and few consultants genuinely work at the organisation level. Most leadership and management effort today tends to produce only incremental improvements. Our work has helped us develop an approach that follows simple principles that help organisations realise results beyond their previous expectations. We have delivered extraordinary results through engaging everyone and providing the right conditions at the organisation level for exceptional results to occur. Adrian Brown, co-founder, McMaster & Brown

“What impact will an influx of Ukrainian refugees/political asylum seekers have on the UK talent market?” JASON BLAKEY


“I believe the welcoming of Ukrainian refugees, migrants and asylum seekers into the UK will be an incredibly positive thing for the UK talent market. Employers are currently facing the twin challenges of a national skills shortage combined with a candidate-short market, and we know that many Ukrainian refugees are highly skilled in areas that can be vital to sectors such as tech and engineering. It’s now imperative for UK employers to help create an inclusive labour market by offering the practical training and holistic support Ukrainian workers need to thrive in their new home.”


“The potential for Ukrainian workers entering the UK talent market challenges the narrative around diversity & inclusion. Do companies really want to challenge the status quo and support diverse hiring? The emotional response for those having to start afresh due to the atrocities in Ukraine really forces a response to this question. Employment of Ukrainian workers will no doubt increase diversity in companies. We’ll see firms thrive that have leaders who are focused on getting the best out of their teams. D&I is fundamental to a business operating successfully and staying relevant.” Find out more about Katrina Cheverton on p39.



“The impact these people have on any market should be a consideration secondary to their wellbeing. It’s difficult to imagine what it must be like to be forced to flee your home in fear of your family’s safety – I feel empathy for every one of them. Will it impact the UK talent market? Yes. How? Well, that’s largely dependent on numbers. Isolating the domain we operate in – technology – given the immense demand, I anticipate anyone with tech skills (software engineers and the like) will be welcomed with open arms and snapped up very quickly in the current market.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 19

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As the battle for recruitment talent intensifies, recruiters – in-house and agency – are turning to online learning to train ‘rookie recruiters’ and upskill those in place. Sue Weekes investigates I M AG ES | SH UTTER STO C K

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he pandemic will be rightly credited – or blamed, depending on your viewpoint – with accelerating the move to online learning. In reality, many of us have been happily making the shift to a more remote style of learning for decades. For instance, those of us of an age to remember the highly engaging John Cleese Video Arts training videos in the 1970s will know there is nothing new about video learning except that it used to be sold in a box rather than streamed. The actor co-founded the company back in 1972 with Sir Anthony Jay and its website reminds us that Cleese’s observation that people learn very little when they are bored and “nothing when they’re asleep” still holds true today. The duo set out to make the most entertaining, memorable and effective learning in business. Fast forward 50 years and video, online and other remote learning content, resources and methods have grown like topsy. These days, they range from large-scale, bespoke blended learning programmes to nuggets of just-in-time mobile learning that can be accessed on a phone at the point of need (see box, p24). The tendency is always to pit the online learning world against the in-person experience but they were never meant to be mutually exclusive, and the discussion is moving towards how all of the available learning offerings can be brought together and played to their strengths.

SKILLING-UP RECRUITERS No one needs reminding that the day-to-day pressures for agency, in-house recruiters and hiring managers are immense with recruiting levels so high. This means finding time for skilling-up can be a challenge but it must be met if organisations are to find WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 21

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and recruit the right talent in what is a crucial recovery period for many. Client statistics from the hiring skills platform SocialTalent, which provides recruiters and hiring managers with an extensive library of content, are testimony to the importance of investing in learning and development (L&D). “The top-performing recruiters are almost always the ones who are consuming the most learning content,” says Social Talent co-founder Vincent O’Donoghue. The company has seen an increase in demand for skilling-up new recruiters, a trend especially marked in the recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) sector. “They are facing increased demand from clients, and are trying to standardise and improve their processes across their own growing organisations, so they’re sometimes taking fairly green recruiters and 22 RECRUITER

“Online learning is by far the most cost-effective way to teach the basic foundations of recruitment” growing them quickly.” Recruitment Juice, which has provided online learning programmes to the recruitment sector for 12 years, says due to the loss of so many recruiters during the pandemic, there is huge demand for “rookie training”. “And rather than paying an expensive trainer, or even worse, using up the valuable time of a successful recruiter/manager/ director, online learning is by far the most cost-effective way to

teach the basic foundations of recruitment,” says Matt Trott, CEO and founder of Recruitment Juice. “Then use the time of the trainer or manager to answer questions and embed the learning afterwards.” Last year also witnessed increased demand for diversity & inclusion and mental health courses, he adds, which it responded to quickly. But the most in-demand topic at the moment is, not surprisingly, sourcing. “Hence for the rest of this year we are investing our entire content generation budget on candidate sourcing,” says Trott. O’Donoghue points to an increase in demand for training of hiring managers. “Ultimately, it’s hiring managers within a corporation that hire people but quite often they’re the least educated in terms of how to conduct interviews, how to recruit and how to sell candidates on opportunities,” he says, adding that online learning works well in this instance because of helping them balance training with operational demands. “They’ll engage on specific topics so it tends to be shorter, more specific online content that’s required.” Another growth area during, and since, the pandemic is digital onboarding. Louise Campbell, head of learning and development, EMEAA, at Robert Walters Group, saw many clients struggle to implement this successfully. She said it was quite common for candidates to call them within the first two weeks saying that they had made a mistake and wanted to move as they were so unimpressed with their induction. This was one of the drivers for the group to develop its own virtual onboarding programme (see box, opposite). Adam Poulter, CEO of learning provider Sponge, said it has been engaged by major international brands who are investing heavily in digital onboarding processes.

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Louise Campbell, head of learning and development, EMEAA, at Robert Walters, sees the purpose of L&D as twofold: to educate and upskill staff and to bring staff together to collaborate and reinforce the organisational culture. This became hugely challenging for many organisations during Covid as face-to-face programmes disappeared. She said the company realised that there was an opportunity for L&D to play a vital part in not only educating, but also retaining and engaging existing staff. “We listened to what our employees were thinking/feeling and adapted accordingly,” she said. Robert Walters quickly revamped its onboarding programme to become a virtual one by enlisting multiple leaders in the group to run a variety of interactive sessions on the recruitment cycle. Groups were kept small and informal, with high levels of participation. Sessions included real-


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life challenges and scenarios and lots of breakout rooms with role plays. “This ensured high levels of participation and access to multiple business leaders that traditionally would not be active in a classroom environment,” says Campbell. “It was amazing to see so many of our senior leaders enthusiastically run online training sessions and this is something we will continue long term as engagement is so high – everyone wants to hear from the most successful people in our group and gain some insight into what works for them.” The company also recognised that some people were feeling isolated, overwhelmed and anxious at this time. To address this, the company ran weekly ‘Good to Great’ webinars and opened the invitation to all staff. A huge variety of topics were covered such as resilience, health and wellbeing, time management, along with traditional upskilling

programmes. “We noticed great uptake in these sessions, as it gave people an opportunity to step away from their day-to-day business, speak to colleagues and just have a wellness check in which was much needed at the time,” says Campbell. For the most part online learning was embraced by all, reports Campbell. She cites the major upsides of online learning bringing people together and increased cross collaboration across territories, access to senior leaders and colleagues across the globe which was previously restricted by territory. But there are downsides, she says, including “Zoom/Teams fatigue”. “Although there is a place for virtual learning to continue in the future, there needs to be a blend as people really miss face-to-face interaction,” she says. “As we move back to a hybrid working environment, decide which sessions can continue virtually and which would be better face-to-face.”


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Blended learning: a blend of traditional (face-to-face/classroom) learning methods and modern methods such as online learning E-learning: learning delivered via the electronic medium. These days, almost all e-learning courses are accessed online but they were also formerly available on CD.

Just-in-time learning: a piece of learning that can be accessed at the point of need, typically but not necessarily, on a mobile device.

Microlearning: small pieces of learning that focus on as specific topic. Mixed reality learning/training: learning that utilises virtual and augmented reality, so blending the digital world with the physical one.


Mobile learning: a piece of learning delivered on a mobile device. Online learning: learning delivered over the internet. It can be both synchronous (with others in real-time) or asynchronous (pre-recorded and undertaken at a convenient time). Programmatic learning: a longer-term, blended learning programme which typically tackles an organisational need and can be ongoing.

Video-based learning: learning that utilises video to impart skills. It can incorporate animation, audio, graphics and text.

“While it’s true that digital experiences are a surrogate for human engagements, the fact remains that digital onboarding and training experiences, at significant scale, have been our success story of the Covid pandemic,” he says. “The greater cost efficiencies and the ability to reach audiences in multiple territories and languages simultaneously makes a compelling investment case for digital and a more inclusive and equitable process.” Indeed, breaking down geographical barriers was cited by Campbell as one of the chief benefits of its virtual onboarding process. Another of online learning’s strengths has always been its

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ability to tailor training in a cost-effective way, whether by empowering employees to access a programme of content from a library or working with a provider to curate, customise or tweak existing content. SocialTalent works with clients to create ‘learning pathways’ that are specific to individual learners. “This is as opposed to getting a one-size-fits-all when you’re sitting in a classroom with 20 people all at different levels of understanding and interest,” says O’Donoghue. Indeed, the empowering nature of the 24/7, always-on online world is also liberating learning from not just the classroom but the desktop. O’Donoghue urges all recruiters to take advantage of being able to access learning at any time and any place – whether it’s a TED Talk on the train or a podcast at the gym. “Any recruiter that doesn’t is missing out,” he says.

ENGAGEMENT IS KEY A downside of e-learning, especially in the early days, were the high drop-out rates. Hence, finding ways of engaging the learner has always been a priority for providers. Trott says that it has worked hard on engagement, and while there is “no silver bullet”, says gamification, such as the use of leaderboards, work well for the competitive recruitment sector. Recruitment Juice also builds in accountability and reporting via quizzes after every 15-minute episodes and also recommends an interesting mix of elements such as exercises to encourage interaction. He also recommends embedding learning into company processes by linking it into promotions, appraisal and performance management. “No matter how good your online learning is, if you don’t embed it into your company, it will fail,” he says. Linked to this, he predicts a


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future trend will be learning at the point of need. “In the future your CRM will be combined with your online learning,” he says. “So as you are inputting something on the CRM, you will be offered specific micro content that will help you with the next step of the recruitment process. This content would be mandatory for rookies and optional as you become more experienced.” This would also allow more measurement of the effectiveness of L&D. “The analytics from the CRM would suggest appropriate content to you based on your development areas,” he explains. “For instance, if your CV-to-interview ratio falls below X, you have to complete some online

“Digital onboarding and training experiences, at significant scale, have been our success story of the Covid pandemic”

content to explore the reasons for this and help you improve the ratio.” Other providers also cite the benefits of a more data-driven approach to L&D. SocialTalent provides clients with a Skills Assessment programme, whereby you can measure a team at a certain point and check in again further down the road post-training. “Not just on an individual level but as an organisation,” says O’Donoghue. “So, you could find out how one supermarket compared to another on interviewing.” Of course, this also provides the client with a measure of their learning provider. Poulter says one of Sponge’s specialities as a trusted partner to clients is to challenge themselves and to be brave in seeking to prove the efficacy of digital learning across their organisations. “It’s an increasingly shared responsibility to prove workforce enablement,” he says. “Broadcast learning, completion rates and survey responses are no longer sufficient. Now it’s all about launch – measure – iterate – improve.” ● WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 25

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Case Study


APART FROM THE PACK After pitching against much larger recruitment agencies, Forward Role’s thinking outside the box pays off in winning business


n the wake of the pandemic’s shockwaves around the world, recruitment agency Forward Role started investing heavily in innovative workplace solutions. As a small boutique agency, with 80% of its work either being exclusive or retained, creating a partnership with clients, knowing them inside out and offering solutions to their problems was at the forefront of the firm’s approach. McKinsey (2020) research shows that when companies invest in innovation during a crisis, they end up outperforming competitors by 10% on market capitalisation; and those that invest in innovation post-crisis outperform competitors by 30%. Forward Role’s managing director Brian Johnson explained: “When we were in the midst of Covid, and the 26 RECRUITER

economy was a little bit unsure, we were still getting the same questions from candidates and clients around diversity & inclusion [D&I], but also what were our green credentials? That’s when we started to think about solutions and whether we could do things differently.” In January 2021, Forward Role went into action with a new D&I strategy to embed into its candidate recruitment process for clients. In addition, the company made a separate move to support the environment through its business, by partnering with progressive start-up Greenify. Greenify helps clients to offset their environmental footprint of new hires. Now Forward Role is a tier one recruiter for JD Sports’ marketing and digital department in a partnership that requires Forward Role to recruit

across 200 roles through to September 2023. Lauren Bradley, group head of talent at JD Sports, said Forward Role’s “focus on providing additional solutions that match our own values and focus as a business were the deciding factor in choosing them”. Bradley continued:

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“In particular, the insight gained from the diversity & inclusion data that they provide as part of the whole recruitment campaign was aligned to our internal EDI [equality, diversity & inclusion] policies.” JD Sports’ own EDI approach has included the 2020 launch of an inclusivity campaign designed to educate and train staff on key topics such as equality, diversity, biases and cultural intelligence, and introducing an internal D&I forum that aims to engage, learn and promote dialogue around potentially sensitive subjects. Forward Role’s plan included securing thorough EDI reports from candidates after they had engaged with employers. This would allow their clients to know if they were an employer of choice for a diverse workforce. When the agency told JD Sports how their reports would support their internal focus on EDI with insight into the types of people interested in working for them, Forward Role got the chance to show the company just how this would work. Johnson said over 3,000 candidates were considered for roles in the JD Sports recruitment campaign, with 600 people actually responding. “Every single person we spoke to for JD filled out a questionnaire. All their responses gave an insight into the type of people interested in sports, and it showed the ratios matched against the general population.” Candidates were asked to anonymously identify personal characteristics such as age, disability, family, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and religion. According to JD Sports, Johnson said, it wasn’t about the price involved in awarding their business to a recruitment agency, but the


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“I mean, we’re recruiting 200 roles for them at the moment, so you can imagine the environmental impact for them this year” BRIAN JOHNSON Managing director, Forward Role

candidate experience an agency could provide and how they, as an agency, could support them through JD Sports’ transition of growth. In addition to this, JD Sports was keen to understand Greenify’s credentials on environmental offsetting, which not only included carbon, but also plastic waste, CO2 emission and deforestation. And under the Forward Role-Greenify partnership, every single person hired for JD Sports would be environmentally offset for a year. Within two months after making 12 hires, the environmental strategy had already had an impact. According to JD Sports’ impact report, as a result of the 12 people hired, 96 trees were planted, 152 tonnes of carbon were offset and 408kg of ocean-bound plastic waste captured and recycled. According to Johnson, the idea of carbon neutral hiring started to influence JD Sports’ internal team. He said: “Their internal team like talking about it, and they like the fact that they’re recruiting in a green way. JD Sports was one of our first clients who got on board with this in a big way. I mean, we’re recruiting 200 roles for them at the moment, so you can imagine the environmental impact for them this year.” Forward Role believes that applying more in-depth thinking and imagination to potential clients’ needs has managed to set them apart in a complicated world. ● WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 27

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Focus on value to beat price rises p3 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

Navigating the cost of living crisis p4 LEGAL U PDATE

Recruitment Issue 97 Matters May-June 2022

Who gets extra bank holidays? p6 Q& A

Using social media to attract candidates p7

Ukraine crisis

Responding to the Ukraine crisis T

he crisis in Ukraine has shocked us all as it has unfolded over the past few months. The Russian government’s actions have created a humanitarian crisis that is very close to home. It has affected the friends, family and colleagues of many of us in the recruitment industry. But through the first weeks of this terrible event, our sector has rallied to provide support wherever possible. Recruiters with operations in the region were quick to provide direct support, offering their time and resources to gather aid and supplies, and providing safe transport for people fleeing Ukraine. Many international businesses made an ethical decision to cease operating in Russia because of the country’s actions. We have also heard from many members who are running support sessions for both Ukrainian and Russian nationals in their internal teams, as well as their temp workforces, in the UK. Many recruitment companies also have links with refugee charities and organisations, including the Tent Partnership and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and are committed to helping refugees settle in new countries. The REC is working with the Refugee Employment Network, now in its pilot phase, providing support to those who need it in the UK labour market. Recruiters have also been generous with their financial donations to humanitarian relief and other support efforts. Companies including Manpower and Hays have announced large donations. Others in the sector have set up grassroots fundraising campaigns – for example, Danny Brooks MBE of VHR has raised thousands for the

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British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal – and at the REC we are also playing our part. We are liaising with the UK government about what further action might be taken, and working with the World Employment Confederation (WEC) on the industry’s international response. We are also supporting members wherever possible. We are proud to represent an industry that has reacted so warmly and generously to this crisis, and will continue to do all we can to help members. Visit www. or get in touch to find out how we can support you and your business at this time.

Making great work happen 27/04/2022 09:09

Leading the industry

the view... When costs rise, consider all options and compare the value you get on your investments, advises

Neil Carberry,


REC Chief Executive

e’re all facing tough economic times. It’s not just about costs for consumers. The cost of running a business is also rising across the board. The terrible situation in Ukraine is only adding to the economic pressure. This all comes at a time when the economy needs a jolt of business investment to expand. From our JobsOutlook survey of employers, it’s clear that the confidence is there to invest in staff, partnerships and capital assets, such as new tech. The latter is especially important for improving companies’ productivity, where British firms historically lag. But current headwinds make it vital to ensure that spend is managed well and you get a good return on investment. Over the years, job boards have been important partners for recruitment agencies, attracting more eyes to vacancies and more potential candidates. But in recent months a huge number of REC members have told me they are seriously reconsidering their partnerships with some boards that are introducing enormous price rises at a time when the numbers of candidate applications are decreasing. Ultimately, it comes down to a simple question – is this investment good value? At the REC, we are focusing on how we can help. Some of this might come through partnerships designed to reduce costs, but it is even more important to ensure your spend is efficient. If credits cost more, when do you use them? A mediastyle buying approach is helping many companies I talk to. It also helps to compare efficacy with the other tools available, from social media to your own sourcing. Expect more from the REC on this during the year. This is one of many key topics – along with client relations and the recruitment workforce – that will feature at our conference on 30 June. Sign up now! In the meantime, we are here to help in any way we can. Don’t be bullied, get in touch if you would like some support, and make sure you know that the money you spend will generate a return for you. If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil



Why do we go on about workforce planning? Shazia Ejaz, Director of Campaigns at the REC


usinesses are feeling the squeeze, but most are working harder than ever to hire skilled staff. Labour and skills shortages will be with us for some time, so long-term workforce planning is even more important. But ‘workforce planning’ means different things to different people – we mean planning so that the economy has the right workers, with the right skills and at the right time. Easier said than done. The pandemic laid bare some of the realities of our labour market and increased levels of economic inactivity. We need to think more about how to break the cycle of skills shortages and sticking-plaster interventions that are often too little too late. We want to see government and business working together in a truly collaborative way. This means a crossdepartmental forum, working in conjunction with industry experts to forecast and plan for the roles and skills needed for the future – technology and automation, digital and ‘green’ are likely to feature heavily. Our education system must prepare the future workforce with the skills and opportunities to succeed. In addition, effective programmes for upskilling and reskilling at every stage of life should be widely available and fully accessible. Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy (as the REC has long called for) would be an excellent start. We also need a flexible immigration system that can respond to labour market needs, filling short-term gaps and boosting our value on the global stage. One of its goals should be to reduce the number of occupations on the Shortage Occupation List. Workforce planning is about getting the right people – recruiters – working with the government to shape policies that affect the future flow of labour and the stability of our jobs market, so we become a high-skill, high-wage economy. It is time for government to recognise people as our most valuable asset and treat workforce planning with the gravity it deserves – in conjunction with recruitment experts.

Recruitment Matters May-June 2022

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Leading the industry

the intelligence... How well are recruitment leaders equipped to benchmark internal employees against the market? By Atanas Nikolaev, Research Manager The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey found that while firms were uncertain about the UK’s economic prospects, they were more optimistic when it came to hiring and investment decisions, creating strong demand for recruitment businesses. And staff shortages have affected every sector of the economy – including recruitment. Staffing companies are also struggling to recruit and, as in other industries, it can be hard to know what salaries to offer to attract new staff. To address the issue, the REC has partnered with Cendex, one of the largest employer-reported datasets in the UK, to provide salary benchmarking data to recruiters. This initial report, exclusively for REC members, contains data on the remuneration of key recruitment occupations in comparison with other industries. It will help you to understand the market for recruitment skills, so that you are equipped to attract and retain talented recruitment consultants. To supplement this initial report, the REC will support recruitment leaders to understand what other measures they can take, apart from increasing salaries. And, over the coming months, REC members will benefit from a series of practical guides on how to develop and engage their workforce, improve workplace culture and retain their top talent. To put things into context, the past two years have been very challenging for UK businesses. With GDP back to the levels seen in Q4 2019 and unemployment


GDP is back to the levels seen in Q4 2019 and unemployment is down to just 3.9%

down to just 3.9%, the economy has bounced back more strongly than anticipated. The rate of the recovery, however, although fast at first, has been slowing down since late 2021 and we are now facing a different threat – a drop in living standards. Inflation is now at a 30-year high and the cost of living crisis will probably be the defining economic feature of this year. The Bank of England is predicting that inflation will fall back to its 2% target at some point in 2024. And while businesses are doing what they can to meet pay expectations, the rise in inflation is seriously limiting their ability to do this.


The Bank of England is predicting that inflation will fall back to its 2% target at some point in 2024.

Some believe that inflation shouldn’t even be our main concern. According to the Resolution Foundation, weak productivity is the factor that most threatens living standards. And if we want to see meaningful economic growth, we need to make sure that productivity and wage growth perform better than expected in years to come.

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The cost of living

big talking point

Cost crunch Recruitment firms and their clients and candidates are all being squeezed by rising inflation and energy costs. What can they do to ease the pain?


ust when we thought it was safe to go out again, the price of a cup of coffee – and potentially the journey to get it – soars. In March, the Office for National Statistics reported that inflation had hit 6.2%, the highest rate for 30 years. Some of this was driven by a dramatic rise in energy costs, with predictable knock-on effects on manufacturing costs and transport, and some by shortages of raw materials and supply chain problems. This is not a blip; the Bank of England warned that the consumer price index will rise above 8% by June and will probably hit double digits this year. The transport, furniture and household goods sectors have led the way, but food and clothing prices are also rising sharply. The Bank may also have to raise interest rates, increasing the cost of borrowing for companies and individuals. It’s not a pretty picture for employers, still reeling from economic shocks caused by the pandemic. Some are also directly affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ensuing sanctions. Many are reassessing their need for large towncentre offices. Meanwhile, their current employees will be asking for significant pay rises – especially if they see new hires being offered generous incentives to join the workforce. Many of the long-term consequences are yet to be seen, and the economic outlook is uncertain. It depends partly on the duration of the war in Ukraine and how governments around the world 4

fill the gap in energy supplies. It also depends on decisions closer to home, including any further measures that might be put in place to cushion the blow of inflation for businesses and consumers. So how is this affecting recruitment companies and their advice to clients? It depends on the sector. Graeme Wolf, Director at Hexa Services, says that he hasn’t seen much impact yet. “We predominantly work in the construction sector, and freelance rates for construction workers went through the roof last year when the number of overseas workers was restricted and the self-employment income support scheme pushed salaries up,” he says. “So, in our sector, the situation has eased a little.” When it comes to his own business, Wolf accepts that office bills are rising, but his main concern is that increasing interest rates would cut into profits, because freelancers are paid weekly, while customers pay in around 90 days. Hexa’s staff salaries and bonuses, he says, are already generous. “Good consultants will be getting 10 to 12 job offers a day, so we need to be one step ahead. Our staff represent 80-90% of our business costs. If you wait for staff to ask for a pay rise, you’re too late,” he says. Jayne Morris, CEO of TPP, has a different perspective. Her company focuses on the not-for-profit sector and its customers are affected by rising costs in various ways. “Many of our candidates choose to work in this sector knowing that they could earn more in a commercial

arena, however salaries are creeping up generally, as we see in the monthly REC reports,” she says. “Donations to charities, in particular, may be squeezed, just after they’ve endured sharp falls in earnings from retail and events during the pandemic, so the third sector will see this as more of an issue than others.” TMM Recruitment’s CEO Amanda McCulloch is also seeing rising salaries affecting some of her firm’s specialist sectors. “In the north-east of Scotland there’s a shortage of applicants attracted to offshore North Sea jobs,” she says. “And onshore, we’re experiencing the resurgence of counter-offers in a tight candidate environment.” Pay inflation means many employers are having problems with retention, as staff move to try and maximise their earnings. “That’s why we encourage employers to consider the effectiveness of flexible benefits packages along with their remuneration,” says McCulloch.

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Statistics 54% the average fuel bill

increased by £693 for about 18 million households on standard tariffs on 1 April.

1.25p in the pound – the

increase in National Insurance rates for companies, workers and self-employed people introduced on 6 April.

40p per litre – the increase in the cost of petrol in the year to March 2022.

39% the increase in UK feed wheat prices in the year to March 2022.

3.8% the rise in regulated rail

prices in England and Wales (the highest for nine years).

6.6% the rise in the UK minimum wage.

5% the increase on the price of a pint of beer (average price £4.25).

This includes the hybrid working arrangements that most workers are now looking for. Morris says the expectation for home-working existed already and is not a direct consequence of rising costs, although these may affect decisions about a role that entails a long commute. Morris also shares the belief that other factors remain just as important as salaries, despite rising expenses. Her firm offers an employee-assistance helpline 24 hours a day, advice on domestic finances provided by Barclays, mental health first-aiders, and cyber security training to reduce the chance that staff fall victim to fraudsters. “We try to be transparent about our costs and the break-even point for each desk, so people know exactly where they are. Knowledge is power,” she says. “It’s

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not just about finance and the cost of living crisis, it’s about having an overall awareness of everything going on in the market at the moment.” Hybrid working is already the norm at TPP, which has just signed a contract on new serviced offices in London that meet its expected future needs – far fewer interview rooms, but new “phone pods” to enable people to talk on Zoom calls without distractions. “We are lucky because we have a fixed rate for the first year and have a cap on the increase that our landlords can charge us for the second year as well, so we will be insulated from price rises for a while,” Morris says. “I’d advise anyone currently looking at contracts for new offices to shop around and look further ahead to limit shocks in the second year.” Having worked with clients who were

feeling the pain of rising salaries last year, Wolf has clear advice for others in the same situation today. “Be blunt,” he says. “Money is not the only factor, but it is a big one for freelancers. We turned away work if clients wouldn’t listen to us about the going rate of pay. The cost of getting the wrong person will be higher in the long term. Clients will come back to you later and appreciate your honesty.” Filling that role of a trusted advisor will be key for recruiters in the months ahead. Businesses across the world will be assessing their costs as inflation continues to rise, and prioritising their spending, including on recruitment. Providing real added value and building a partnership based on honesty and trust will be the best way for agencies and their clients to thrive together during this challenging year. May-June 2022 Recruitment Matters


27/04/2022 09:09

Employment law

legal update

Additional bank holidays By Katharine Scott, Legal & Compliance Advisor, REC


n England and Wales there are normally eight bank and public holidays each year. Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland has ten. However, in some years, including this year, extra bank holidays are added to celebrate important events. From Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022, there will be a four-day bank holiday weekend in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The question of whether the worker is required to work on a bank or public holiday or not will depend on the terms of their contract. However, under the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) 2010, temporary workers qualify for equal treatment over holiday entitlement after 12 weeks on an assignment. In this case, they may be entitled to the same treatment in relation to bank and public holidays as the client’s direct recruits or comparable employees. Employment businesses will need to obtain further information from their clients on this point.

Although it is common for employees to be given the right to take these days off and be paid, it is not a statutory right. Ultimately, it is up to the employer to determine whether workers will be paid if they do not work on a bank or public holiday, and whether these days should come out of the 28-day statutory entitlement or be added to it. This should be clearly stated in the employee’s contract. In the UK, workers have a statutory entitlement to 5.6 weeks’ (28 days’) holiday per year. This entitlement includes bank and public holidays. If a worker has been employed for less than a year, they must receive the pro-rata equivalent for the employer to meet their obligations. In most cases, temporary workers will receive only the statutory minimum holiday entitlement unless stated otherwise in their contract. If the worker has qualified under the AWR, they may become entitled

to holiday above the statutory minimum if the client provides this to their own direct recruits or comparable employees. In years where an extra bank or public holiday has been added to the calendar, workers will not automatically be entitled to the extra day of holiday unless their contract provides for this. If the worker’s contract states that they are entitled to the statutory minimum holiday, they will still be entitled to only 28 days (or the pro-rata equivalent) inclusive of all the public/bank holidays. If, however, a worker’s contract states that, for example, they are entitled to 20 days’ holiday plus public/bank holidays, they will benefit from any extra public or bank holidays.

Protecting your employees’ mental health and wellbeing It’s Mental Health Awareness week and a great time to remind employees of the help and support available through the workplace. Mental health problems are all too common and the leading cause of sickness absence. It’s staggering that each year 70 million work days are lost because of mental health problems, costing employers approximately £2.4bn per year. By taking a proactive approach to support their employees’ mental health, businesses could minimise disruption, reduce employee absence and boost productivity. REC members can visit the dedicated Howden website to find out more about how to help. 6

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Five practical ways to support employees’ mental health 1. Talk It is important to have regular open conversations about mental health with your employees and highlight what support is available. Talking openly about mental health will help to remove some of the stigma and make it easier for people to reach out for support. 2. Check in Ensure that you make time to check in regularly with your employees, virtually or in person, and try to understand how they are on a personal level. 3. Training Consider training your managers and leaders to spot the signs of poor mental

health in their teams. The more knowledge around what to look for, the greater the chance that support will reach those who need it most. 4. Signpost Signpost employees to the support services you already have in place, such as counselling sessions, a Digital GP or an Employee Assistance Programme. Often employees are unaware of what is available to support them and it can be useful to send out regular reminders. 5. Free services Mental health charity Mind has a wealth of free resources that can be shared with line managers and employees.

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New opportunities

Bindu Cardoza is founder and CEO of Jascarm International Treat people as you want to be treated.

I was born in Leeds, but I have worked in five countries and have packaged Yorkshire puddings, sold insurance and supported an oncology department, as well as working in recruitment, so I know what it’s like to look for a job when you are a stranger. Candidates need to feel welcome and know they will be heard and respected, regardless of their age, race, gender or disability.

If you really want something, you will find a way to do it. As well as recruitment, I also offer motivation coaching and events because I see these as interconnected. The relationship with a recruitment professional should

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What I know

The fundamentals of good business and the value of a strong social media presence

be long-term. I started work when I was 16 and did a masters in human resource management when I was 40, so I want to help everyone know they can do whatever they want to do.

Learn from the negatives. Being bullied at school made me more passionate about equality.

Do things properly or not at all.

I closed my company in 2016 when I decided to projectmanage a new-build house and focus on my family. Now I have restarted it and will use all I’ve learnt in the past few years. You need to run a business well and operate to the highest standards – which is why I immediately rejoined the REC.

Michelle Merritt is Managing

Director of Wild Recruitment How is the role of social media in recruitment changing?

– your pages should be friendly and relatable.

We have always advised candidates to be mindful of their social media pages. We’re now encouraging employers to do the same. Currently, around 79% of jobseekers use social media in their search, and businesses without a positive presence on social media may lose out.

How should firms use social media?

Don’t forget the ‘social’ element. It’s tempting for businesses to post about products or services, but to use social media as a candidate attraction tool, you must give your pages personality. Think about what makes your business great and why people enjoy working there. Get those messages out

What messages do candidates seek?

Candidates look for hints about the company culture to determine what it would be like working there. Do they celebrate their staff? Are they charitable? Do they show positive social responsibility? Are they inclusive? Do they offer perks or rewards? What are their values? Candidates may also look at how the business engages with people on their social media pages.

Which are the top platforms?

LinkedIn is very popular with jobseekers and more candidates use it for their personal brand and to find work. They also look at Facebook for insights into potential employers.

May-June 2022 Recruitment Matters


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EC Recruitment R Mastery Academy We talked to Steve Guest to find out more about the REC’s new Recruitment Mastery Programme Tell us more about the programme The REC Recruitment Mastery Programme is a recruitment training course that educates, trains and mentors recruiters in all areas of the recruitment process. It helps to lay the foundations, breaking down each specific area of the process and enabling participants to determine the right mindset for becoming a top performer. It is a modular virtual programme that is completely self-paced, making it adaptable to fit in with a recruiter’s day job, without impacting your daily KPIs and busy workday schedule. The programme is designed specifically to address the feedback I’ve had from so many disengaged consultants over the years, who are tired of attending time-consuming courses outside the office, when they just wanted to be at their desk, billing! Each module has four to six tailored training videos between 20 and 60 minutes long. Mentees can implement and apply the different elements of the learning themeselves. The group can come together, via video call, once a fortnight. This has proved invaluable to previous learners who want to connect and share learnings. Where did the idea for this programme come from? During the pandemic, in lockdown, many

Recruitment Matters


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

Recruitment Matters May-June 2022

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recruiters were on furlough, feeling insecure and unsure about what was around the corner – this was evident on social media. I reached out to my audience on LinkedIn and posted: “I am going to clear out my diary next week and if you are in the position where you need someone to chat to, a rant, a laugh, a cry or simply a discussion on strategy and what to do next, then book in for a free one-to-one call with me and we can see what we can do!” The response to this post was staggering. It resulted in 62 live video calls with recruiters I’d never met, who were based around the world. It was evident that there was a need for an accessible, affordable recruitment training programme in the market that allowed instant access and empowered individuals to do more and be better. Tell us more about yourself I am a qualified MCIPS buyer and have spent the past 16 years as a recruitment specialist. In addition to this, I’ve opened and built new regions, brands and businesses in the UK, whilst specialising in recruiting commercial permanent placements within the construction sector.

I have built a strong reputation globally based upon my processes, procedures and having the right structures in place in order to achieve high levels of performance. I have written two number one bestselling books – most notably, my first book, Top Biller – The Life of a Recruiter, has now sold 10,000 copies worldwide and is currently the most reviewed recruitment book on Amazon. My second book is A Personal Brand Story – Top Biller to Global Mentor, published last year. Most recently, I have built and developed the 12-week Recruitment Mastery Programme, which is now accredited and working in partnership with the REC. The programme has successfully coached recruiters worldwide, from complete newcomers to consultants with over ten years’ experience. The programme is open now, so head to or call the REC on 020 7009 2100 to find out more and book your place.

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, Fora, 9 Dallington Street, London EC1V 0LN Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Ruth Prickett. Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing © 2022 Recruitment Matters. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redactive 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 Redactive Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduction in whole or part without written permission.

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26/04/2022 15:38


What does the adoption and strengthened regulation of cryptocurrency mean for recruiters, employers and the war for talent? By Ian MacRae

hen Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the government was planning to make the UK a global hub for cryptocurrencies, this paved the way for cryptocurrencies to be embedded in payment systems. While HMRC has been clear about how cryptocurrencies were treated concerning employment and income in 2018, this latest move signals the government is opening the door to wider 30 RECRUITER

cryptocurrency adoption in the UK economy. And recruiters and employers should take note because in a highly competitive war for talent, especially tech talent, cryptocurrencies can be a very desirable part of a compensation and rewards package.


Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies secured by cryptographic algorithms that make them almost impossible to counterfeit or

MAY/JUN 2022

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duplicate. Some derive their value from the computing power required to process calculations (commonly referred to as mining) and validate the transaction history, while other ‘stablecoins’ have prices pegged to the value of currencies or commodities like US dollars, British pounds or even the price of gold. Some are algorithmically derived, which means complex computer programs are used to maintain their value, while others are backed by real assets. USDC for example is backed by US dollars, while PAXG is backed by physical gold reserves. Most stablecoins are denominated in US dollars: the market capitalisation of US dollar-linked coins is over $175bn (£136.2bn), whereas sterling-backed stablecoins are only a tiny fraction of that and are not yet widely used. Sunak’s recent announcement signals a plan to accelerate the adoption of GBP stablecoins. Cryptocurrency is no longer a fringe interest, separate from the traditional economy – it is quickly becoming a core part of it. Only weeks ago, US-dollar backed stablecoin provider Circle announced a $400m deal with BlackRock and Fidelity, with BlackRock to act as a custodian of Circle’s US dollar currency reserves. Those $50bn reserves are a similar amount of foreign currency reserves that are held by Sweden or the Netherlands.

UK crypto adoption

About 6% of the UK population now report holding some cryptocurrency, which is a small proportion of the population but does represent about 4m people. Whereas in the US, about 16% of adults say they have used cryptocurrency, with 31% of people aged 18-29 report having used, traded or invested in cryptocurrency. Recent years have shown growing adoption and increasing


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“Cryptocurrency is no longer a fringe interest, separate from the traditional economy – it is quickly becoming a core part of it” integration into mainstream finance. It is now possible and relatively easy to spend cryptocurrencies using Visa debit cards provided by a handful of providers around the UK. As cryptocurrencies become more accessible, and the software to use, transfer and exchange digital currencies becomes more user-friendly, the demand has grown substantially. Popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken and Gemini make buying, using and transferring cryptocurrency much easier than only a few years ago, but there are still risks and technical mistakes that can lead to losing a lot of money very quickly.

Global battle for tech talent

Many tech companies (cryptocurrency companies included) in cryptocurrency or tech hubs like California, Texas or Switzerland are hiring remote-only talent from anywhere in the world. UK software companies will have to compete for ever-more mobile tech talent: talent that can work anywhere in the world without leaving the UK. Whether or not you think cryptocurrencies are a good investment, the value of integrating them into a reward or recognition programme is about tailoring packages to employees that provide exactly what they are looking for. The most important discussion to have is: what perks and benefits do employees value the most? What can employers WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 31

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(Bitcoin, Ethereum) or coins that are currently backed by real currency reserves 1:1 and regulated by US authorities (USDC, GUSD). There are thousands of cryptocurrencies and ‘tokens’, with more being released every day, many of which are unlikely to hold their value over the long term, and some are outright scams.


do to distinguish themselves in a global competition for top talent? Offering one or a few cryptocurrencies as part of a bespoke compensation package goes a long way in showing that the position is going to be innovative, flexible and responsive to what employees are looking for. Here are three ways cryptocurrencies could be used to make employers more attractive to prospective employees.

to offer a 100% cryptocurrency salary in the UK, but pilot testing a programme where employees can opt in to have 5-10% of their salary paid in cryptocurrency from an employer-approved list could be a good place to start. For those with less cryptocurrency experience or knowledge, it may be wise to stick to the more well-known and well-established cryptocurrencies


“Currently, it might be prudent to focus on cryptocurrencies to top up salaries, provide bonuses or incentives”

Salary and direct compensation

The first and most obvious way cryptocurrencies could be used to attract talent is by integrating cryptocurrencies into compensation packages. Given the current adoption level of cryptocurrencies and the potential price volatility, it would be unwise 32 RECRUITER

Bonuses and incentives programmes

Any good bonus or incentive package provides customised incentives that give employees the rewards that are most meaningful, or desirable to them. Retention is a fundamental concern for many businesses, so it is imperative that incentives programs are flexible, customisable and desirable. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, especially in a labour market with high inflation and employee turnover. Offering cryptocurrencies as one part of a basket of incentive options is a great way to accomplish this. The financial value is straightforward because these currencies are easily exchangeable in the same way as foreign currencies, often with lower administration or conversation fees. If 5% or 10% of your employees wanted to receive some of their bonus in yen, euros or dollars, why not provide that? Currently, it might be prudent to focus on cryptocurrencies to top up salaries, provide bonuses or incentives, but ensure the majority of an employee’s salary is paid in legal tender (although legal tender could soon include a government-backed stablecoin). For employers who are not experienced with cryptocurrencies, the technical process of sending them, or the tax and payroll implications, a small-scale one-off programme where employees can receive all or part of a bonus in cryptocurrency is a lower-risk place to start.

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Job advertisements and listings

You don’t need to use cryptocurrency in your organisation to gauge interest. If you’re cautious but curious, ask new or prospective employees (as well as current employees) if they would like to receive part of their compensation in cryptocurrency. If you’re rolling out a pilot programme, do some A/B testing in your job listening and see if job listings that offer a cryptocurrency compensation option generate additional interest. Furthermore, this type of research and testing will allow you to gauge whether people with the right skills, abilities and experience you’re looking for find this type of compensation and incentives attractive. The core question is: would offering cryptocurrencies give you an edge in recruiting the type of talent you’re looking for? The answer to that question will largely depend on the sector and role

you’re looking at. In general, offering cryptocurrency will attract more talent, but whether or not it is the specific talent you are seeking is the most important question. If you don’t ask your current and prospective talent, then you won’t know (see right). The use of cryptocurrencies is still far from mainstream, but the technology is there. It is becoming more accessible, and international regulators and lawmakers are now quickly laying the path for cryptocurrencies to become more closely integrated with the wider economy. ● Ian MacRae is author of Dark Social: Understanding the Darker Side of Work, Personality and Social Media (Bloomsbury Business), available at, Amazon, and at all good bookshops.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS Start small and gauge interest. You don’t need to invest a huge amount of money or become a crypto-enthusiast to test the waters; offer some modest cryptocurrency options for bonuses or incentives. There may be little to no interest in some organisations, with far more interest in others.

If you aren’t comfortable offering cryptocurrencies directly to employees, offer voluntary training sessions or workshops for employees who are likely to encounter cryptocurrencies in their work soon (payroll, human resources, accounting, legal). This is another good way to signal openness to the technology, upskill employees and gauge general interest.

Understand your workforce, and evaluate the interest in receiving compensation in cryptocurrency versus other financial compensation options (eg. stock plans, insurance, cash bonuses). Think about how cryptocurrency offerings could supplement, not replace, compensation and incentive schemes. Most cryptocurrencies have volatile exchange rates, this volatility is exciting to some but terrifying to others. Some people might be excited by 5-10% of their compensation paid in cryptocurrency but do not want a salary paid in 100% cryptocurrency.

Most cryptocurrencies have a public ledger, meaning it is easy to see where you are sending cryptocurrency and to confirm receipt, but some are private by design. To comply with tax and money laundering rules, along with accounting clarity it is probably best to first try cryptocurrencies that have public ledgers, are well established (eg. Bitcoin), or are regulated (eg. USDC). Listen to your employees and see which cryptocurrencies are most attractive to them. But be cautious before making a significant investment in some type of DogeyMusk420Rocket token. I M AG E S | SH UT T E R STO C K

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T: 020 7324 2764 #RecruiterAwards



BOOK NOW WINNERS Sponsored by:

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Whether it’s helping refugees, fundraising for charity, supporting disadvantaged people into work or sponsoring a new career, you’ve been busy since the last Recruiter…


Foyne Jones, an executive recruitment agency specialising in the KBB (kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms), builders and home interiors sectors, is sponsoring former Wren kitchen designer Bradley Cousins, who has turned professional boxer and better known as ‘The Phoenix’. The recruiter has also chosen as its Charity of the Year, Balls for Brains, which looks to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health through the power of team sports.


Employment minister Mims Davies (right) has opened a new headquarters in Cuckfield, West Sussex for an organisation that supports neurodiverse individuals through training and into employment. Davies saw how Thriiver supported people with impairment or neurodiversity such as dyslexia through assistive technology. Lawrence Howard (left), CEO of Thriiver, said: “There is a forgotten army of excluded workers who have a lot to contribute to our country, especially at a time of labour shortages. We have been supporting people with disabilities with technology; now we are using our expertise to offer a much wider range of services.”


Global recruiter Randstad has joined the Tent Partnership for Refugees pledge, along with 200 other companies, to provide for the immediate needs and additional support to people fleeing Ukraine. Randstad has also committed direct support to an additional 20,000 people worldwide in the coming three years alone. Since 2011, Randstad has touched the work lives of nearly 17,000 refugees, by improving their employability and promoting equal opportunities to help them to lead independent lives.


Executive search firm Invenia Group has launched The Simone Taylor Fund to raise money for charities working towards the prevention and treatment of cancer. The fund was set up in memory of Invenia colleague and friend Simone Taylor (pictured), who sadly passed away from triple-negative breast cancer at the age of 32 last August.

ASTON UNI AWARDS PERTEMPS CHAIR HONORARY DEGREE Pertemps Network Group chair Carmen Watson has been awarded an honorary degree by Aston University for her contribution to the development of employment opportunities for people from all sectors of the community. She joined Pertemps as a secretary in the early 1970s, and has always been a staunch advocate of equality and diversity, believing that everyone should have equal opportunity to shine and progress. She said: “I am truly honoured and deeply humbled to have received this degree from Aston University.”


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THE BENEFITS OF DIGITAL ID CHECKS A Q&A WITH MARTYN WHITE, HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS AND CHANNEL AT CUSTOMER ONBOARDING EXPERTS HOOYU, ON GETTING DIGITAL IDENTITY CHECKS RIGHT There’s been a lot of talk about changes coming into effect on 6 April 2022 affecting Right to Work and DBS checks. Can you explain a bit about what’s been happening?

MARTYN WHITE: So, the use of temporary remote identity checks put in place during the pandemic was due to end in April. That would have meant employers reverting to in-person ID document checking. Hardly ideal with the ongoing shift to remote working! So the Home Office initiated a review and found there was support for the move to a permanent digital option. We’re not surprised at this finding. There are huge benefits to digital ID verification – it’s quicker, more 36 RECRUITER

convenient and more secure. Up until now, it’s mostly been a manual process, which I’m sure readers of Recruiter will know can be very laborious and time-consuming and relies on employers detecting fraudulent documents. What the government consultation found was there were providers out there – like HooYu – who are already using technology like this in regulated sectors very successfully. So, for example, at HooYu, the integrity of our systems mean we’re already trusted by banks like NatWest and Virgin Money to verify their customers’ identities. As a result, the government have decided to allow remote checks to continue permanently, providing they

adhere to the new legislation. If you’re undertaking a DBS check, that will require you to use a government-accredited Digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP).

What is the cut-off date, as I understand there’s been a bit of a change on that?

MW: Yes, that’s right. The Home Office has added a transition period, which will now last until 30 September 2022. They recognised that the 6 April deadline was very challenging for some employers so they’re allowing organisations a bit more time to select an IDSP and carry out their normal procurement processes. You can still take advantage of the changes from 6 April, but you now have more time if you need it.

What do our readers need to do between now and 30 September? MW: Really, if they don’t want to go back to checking documents manually, it’s two things. Firstly, choose a certified IDSP to work with. Secondly, feel confident that the journey they’re now asking applicants to go on meets their standards and their risk, business and user requirements.

What should our readers be looking for when selecting a provider?

MW: If you’re looking for a provider to carry out DBS checks, that provider must be on the government’s certified IDSPs list. Although it’s not mandated relying parties use a certified IDSP to carry out RTW or RTR checks, the Home Office are also highly recommending it. In the last few weeks, IDSPs, including HooYu, started the certification process. So that’s your starting point – but it’s just a starting point. With the right provider, this move is an opportunity to build a much simpler, quicker, less labour-intensive and more secure process. From our point of view at HooYu, it’s not just about checking documents behind the

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scenes, it’s about creating a great user experience too. You want to be looking for a provider that will make your life – and your applicants’ lives – easier. You’re asking users to make an adjustment to the way they’re used to verifying their identity. For example, uploading images of their personal documents instead of presenting physical documents to you in person. There needs to be consideration given to how you reassure and support people going through that process and make them feel comfortable. A good provider should help you design a journey that does exactly that.

Can you talk us through how digital identity verification works at HooYu?

MW: As an IDSP, we need to do five key things to ensure compliance: (1) obtain evidence of a person’s claimed identity; (2) validate their ID documents; (3) check the identity has existed over time; (4) consult fraud alert databases, and; (5) check that the identity belongs to the person claiming it and they’re not impersonating someone else. We offer a wide choice of verification tools that achieve those objectives including document validation, online profile analysis, facial biometrics, traditional database checks and PEPS and sanctions screening. We recognise that different use cases and risk profiles call for different ID techniques. Our client portal has been specifically designed to help organisations configure settings without the need for technical expertise so you can customise, test and deploy different settings for differing customer scenarios and regulatory risk requirements. For more information or a demonstration, please do contact me on or visit our website at Martyn White is Head of Partnerships & Channel at HooYu, global customer onboarding and KYC specialists. WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 37

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The Recruitment Marketing Awards provide reward and recognition for excellence and professionalism in recruitment marketing & talent management.




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#rmas22 @theRMAwards

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“Time away from screens, in the fresh air, is so precious and so important” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job?

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it?

I joined Savannah in 2018, in a finance role. Before, though, I was part of the M&S Graduate Recruitment team and hired 25 finance team members while I was there.

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment?

Anyone who makes it look easy to have it all. Specifically, John Ellis who founded Savannah, and his fundamental belief in people, making time for them and always doing the right thing – while having some fun!

What do you love most about your current role? The variety; the fact that every day is different. Also, I get to talk to lots of interesting people, inside and outside of the business.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? I M AG E S | A L A M Y/SH UTTER STO C K

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I was determined to join the army. I read an article in the Sunday Times with lots of glossy photos and stories of adventures – that was definitely for me. I met a female army recruitment officer who told me that the best part of the job was not having to go on the adventures – just the male officers did that. That was the end of that dream! I then joined Price Waterhouse [now PwC] and became an accountant…


KATRINA CHEVERTON Being asked to take over as CEO. Having worked in recruitment for less than three years, this was a surprise. I love the responsibility and the pride in leading a successful business with an amazing team. It also proves that taking time out to do other things and working part time are not barriers to success.

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?

Any candidate who I can remember is a winner, and there are a few – largely because of their warmth and honesty. Who wants to be forgettable?

What would you regard as your signature tune? Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. I am an eternal optimist, and will look for solutions and find the silver lining in any cloud.

What was your sanity go-to during Covid-19 and various lockdowns? I walked miles, and really enjoyed the peace and tranquility around me. Time away from screens, in the fresh air, is so precious and so important.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?

I enjoyed not having a crazy busy diary; the challenge now is to recover some of that time, which appears to be seeping away again! I also realised that I could do more. I was able to invest more in my job, which I found rewarding and really helped to reaffirm that I was able to deliver in a challenging role. I also realise that being there for others is an important part of who I am; I enjoy listening and helping others. ● Katrina Cheverton spoke with Roisin Woolnough WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 39

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ACORN The recruitment firm has appointed Louise Bevan as director of operations for the public sector.

Geist who joins the board of directors on 31 May. Cielo has also promoted Kirsten Mayer to senior vice president of global talent development.



The talent-to-solutions supply chain services firm has appointed Barrie Javens as business development director.

The US-based healthcare recruiter has appointed Daniel J White as chief commercial officer.

CALIBRE ONE Jose Martinez joins the global executive search firm as a partner in Chicago office in the US.


The Amoria Bond Group has appointed David Etherington – former COO of NP Group (Networking People) and founder of consultancy and advisory company Saltwater – as its new CEO. Etherington has worked with the business for just over three years as a non-executive director and brings with him a wealth of experience. His experience within the staffing industry spans more than 25 years for companies such as TechPartners International, Capita IT Resourcing and NP Group. Delivering staffing and consultancy services into technology, advanced engineering and energy sectors, the Amoria Bond Group was established in 2006 in Manchester.

client solutions for the managed services division of the business.

from tech unicorn Deliveroo where she worked as head of people.


Jo Bean joins the fintech pension and savings provider as chief people officer. Bean has held senior HR positions at Samsung Electronics UK and more recently at Thomsons Online Benefits.

The hydrogen-fuelled and zero-emissions utility vehicle manufacturer has appointed Luisa Ferres Meyer as chief HR officer of First Hydrogen UK.



Ian Broadway joins the healthcare and life sciences executive search firm as group operations director.

The executive search firm has appointed Grant Hutchison as head of eTail – permanent division.



The fintech firm has appointed Marta Ilbak as global head of human resources. She joins Equiti

The marketing, digital and technology recruitment consultancy has promoted Rachel Wheeler to associate

CIELO The recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm has announced that its founder and CEO Sue Marks will hand over the CEO role to chief operating officer Marissa

ENCORE PERSONNEL The recruitment agency has appointed Lucy Kuc as sales director on its board. Kuc was recently head of

Email people moves for use online and in print, including a short biography, to 40 RECRUITER

MAY/JUN 2022

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director from her role as business manager.

20 years of HR and recruitment experience.



Claire Pierce and Sarah Emanuel have joined the HR search and recruitment consultancy as directors in its Birmingham office from recruiter Michael Page.

The search firm welcomes Sara Jackson as associate director. Jackson has joined Rowan’s finance team from recruiter Morson International. Also joining the firm is Lexi Graty as senior consultant, Jennie Adamson as executive researcher and Molly Chalfont Pollard as business support executive.

HEAD RESOURCING The Edinburghheadquartered recruitment specialists has promoted Lyle Ritchie to head of talent solutions.

HEIDRICK & STRUGGLES Cecilia Nelson-Hurt joins the executive search firm as its new chief diversity officer. Nelson-Hurt joins from L’Oréal USA, where she was vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

RUTHERFORD CROSS Part of the Livingston James Group, the finance recruitment firm has appointed Hazel Wynn and Derek Lauder as directors within its business. Lauder leads the interim business across Scotland, while Wynn continues to manage the Glasgow operation, focusing on permanent senior finance roles.

LEATHWAITE The executive search firm has welcomed Chris Smith. Based in London, Smith will co-lead Leathwaite’s global HR practice.

PAGE OUTSOURCING The RPO specialist has appointed Jamie Hart as director of technology solutions.

RANDSTAD The specialist recruiter has appointed Colin Monk as MD to focus on its permanent business operations within the UK and Ireland. He joins Randstad from ManpowerGroup with over

SD WORX The payroll and workforce management solutions firm has promoted Rachel Clough to UK&I lead. Clough has been with SD Worx for over two years as UK sales director.

TRITONEXEC Terri Wickett has been appointed partner in the global executive search firm’s London office to lead the firm’s HR and talent acquisition offering. She joins from Annapurna Executive.

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C O NTACTS EDITORIAL +44 (0)20 7880 7603 Editor DeeDee Doke

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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

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“Because it’s based on a partnership, with a twoway commitment, business comes back to us”

Alan Furley Why quality over quantity wins the day


f you’d told me a few years ago that at one stage in my recruitment business journey I’d be turning business away on purpose, I would have been calling security to have you removed. However, time – and specifically, the recent period we’ve lived through – has been both a great leveller and a strict teacher. Maybe this ‘getting a bit older’ stage of life also means that increased wisdom comes with more frequent aches and pains. But it is true that an outcome of studying how and why we do business has resulted in us standing firm. If business comes to us that does not have a shared commitment, we now make the decision to stand aside. The impact this has made on not just our business but also the way we feel cannot be underestimated – and it is clear this is also a product of how we have changed as people.


It makes it easier to do these things when I look at the companies we are working with. Undoubtedly SMEs are the engine room of the UK economy and, having focused our efforts on the start-up and scale-up market, we’ve learned a lot about acting on our values. And it has affected the way we view the team and, for example, what metrics like ‘headcount’ really mean. We’ve learned that headcount is not growth in itself – just as immediate promises of cash in the bank aren’t always going to positively play out at year-end. This focus has meant we’ve done a lot of deep work and potentially have been quite inward looking – though I have presumed the whole recruitment industry was doing the same thing. That was until I spoke with a woman as a potential client and she was shocked

when I explained our fee structure, which sometimes means we’re offering advice for free. Sometimes we also reduce our fee per hire if we’re retained, or even move away from a transactional ‘fee per’ model altogether to an annual commitment. The interaction did make me momentarily worry we were undercutting ourselves and question what else was going on out in the market. But when I looked across our customer base, I realised that the power of long-term thinking is paying off. Because it’s based on a partnership, with a two-way commitment, business comes back to us. I think a big part of that is why would they talk to anyone else? Assuming you’re able to deliver what you say you can, of course. This may seem like common sense – and I certainly don’t feel we ever ripped people off – but it’s been a powerful reflection

about what growth really is and how to achieve it. It’s also led us to establish new values and mission, which resulted in a full rebrand (ISL Talent if you’re interested!). Looking back on the 17 years we have been in business and the last time ISL’s identity was reviewed, it was essentially mates in a pub that created the brand, logo and some core beliefs. Now, we enter this next phase and look ahead to creating a business that, when the time is right, we would love to pass ownership of to our team. And while that may be some time away, it is good to know that future comes from making quality-based decisions today – and being proud of our business throughout the journey, not just at the end. ●

Alan Furley is director at ISL Talent

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