Recruiter - Sept/Oct 2021

Page 1


Your regular issue of Recruiter continues inside

Recuiter Ad Cover.indd 1

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

15/09/2021 10:17

REC.SepOct21_002.indd 2

15/09/2021 11:52

Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

Sep/Oct 2021

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters




Sustainability drives SThree’s STEM success

Marie Buda: tackling mental health in the office

Start-ups 2022: Going it alone in today’s recruitment world

Cover_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 1

15/09/2021 10:16

TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU PAY AND BILL With the ability to help you comply with IR35, our Pay & Bill service is specially designed to reduce the back office burden for recruiters. We handle your timesheets, expenses, billing and payroll – using our tailor-made InTime software. Visit and search for recruitment pay and bill or call 01284 772500 to arrange a free demo.

Quote RSM2021 to get advanced modules FREE for one year Experience the power of being understood. Experience RSM |

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.

REC.SepOct21_002_FALSE.indd 2

15/09/2021 16:42


R 16 A



05 Right-to-work checks to






remain digital Recruiters breathe a sign of relief as the end date for digital checks is extended until next year Huge uplift in employees joining staff networks The pandemic has led to a massive increase in the attendance of staff in network events Calculate the cost of hiring and hang the expense Recruitment expert Dr John Sullivan advises spend more, not less, on cost per hire and focus on results Call to action for HOT 1OO How has your firm dealt with the Covid-19 world environment? Submit your financials to our HOT 1OO partner Contracts & Deals


10 Workplace


Guy Hayward on nurturing the next generation of recruiter leaders, and Tara Ricks on getting ready for the candidate flood Tech & Tools The latest recruitment technology and services

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters



14 Viewpoint 15


Robin Huggins, MBN Soundbites



THE BIG STORY: 11 Most Influential In-House Recruiters In-house teams have shown resilience and creativity in recent months. Meet the individuals and Superteams 24 Mark Dorman: SThree and sustainability Ritual, responsibility and resilience: SThree CEO Dorman on leading the firm through the pandemic 31 SPECIAL REPORT: Start-ups: 2O22 Is now the right time for recruiters to take the plunge and set up on their own?

24 E COMMUNITY 48 Movers & Shakers 49 Recruiter contacts 50 The Last Word: Marie Buda


Contents_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 3


16/09/2021 13:58

REC.SepOct21_004.indd 4

15/09/2021 11:55






glittering beginning to autumn… our long-awaited, gala Recruiter Awards celebration and our annual review of the 11 Most Influential In-House Recruiters. This year, with in-house ‘super teams’ on the rise, we showcase, along with individuals, organisations that have brought in incredible firepower in multiples to take their recruitment to the moon and back. Will you agree with our choices? We’d love to get your feedback. While this edition of Recruiter is going to press too early for us to feature our 2021 Awards winners “Read about front and centre, we’ll introduce how STEM an array of them recruiter next issue. This SThree lives was an especially its sustainability special party because of the agenda” prolonged period without face-to-face contact and a feeling of release that the worst of the events of the last 18 months is now over. Now on to different challenges! But to demonstrate that Recruiter Awards winners never give up their pursuit of excellence once they’ve won, read about how STEM recruiter and winner of our 2020 sustainability award, SThree, lives its sustainability agenda, making both the company and the world a better place to be. Until November!

DeeDee Doke, Editor


Leader_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 5

Relief that right-towork checks stay digital until next year BY DEEDEE DOKE

TO OVERWHELMING SUPPORT from the recruitment industry, the Home Office has deferred until 5 April 2022 the end date for digital right-to-work checks for UK and Ireland workers. The Home Office has also initiated a review of the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital right-to-work checks in the future. In a 26 August announcement, the Home Office said: “The intention is to introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office Online


16/09/2021 15:23




checking service, including UK and Irish citizens. This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.” The Home Office went on to say: “Deferring the end date… ensures the Right to Work Scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports employers, whilst we look to implement a long-term post-pandemic solution.” The original temporary changes were made on 30 March 2020. Initially, the Home Office planned to cut off the digital right-to-work checks for UK and Ireland workers on 16 May this year, then 21 June, and then 31 August. The 26 August announcement to defer the end date until next April came as a sharp relief to recruiters, employers and employees alike as a way to cut back on business travel and expand the employment range beyond an immediate area, among other points. The adjusted digital check measures require: • Asking the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app • Arranging a video call with the worker in which they are asked to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as ‘adjusted check undertaken on [insert the date] due to Covid-19’ • The online right-to-work checking service can be used while doing a video call if the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system. The applicant must give permission to view their details.


Employees show massive uplift in joining staff networks BY DEEDEE DOKE

EMPLOYEE INTEREST IN staff networks has risen in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the catalyst of #BlackLivesMatter’s reinforced emphasis on diversity, equality and inclusion concerns, and mental health awareness, according to UK DEI leaders. “We’ve seen a massive uplift in our employee attendance of all our staff network events since the pandemic,” Jo Portlock, D&I director at Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, told Recruiter in an exclusive interview. Lexis Nexis has 35 networks in terms of geographies and chapters, which cover 15 areas of diversity. “Previously, our staff networks were run out of our five biggest offices, so we always knew we were only capturing about 50% of our employee population, and that was very skewed towards London, Atlanta (US) and Boca Raton (US), which are big locations. “But coupled with the pandemic,

people want to build a sense of community and want to stay connected, and want to think about their own self-learning,” Portlock said. “They want to find a community, and also celebrate and recognise important activities and events such as holidays.” Networks, she said, “really fulfil that need and provide outreach to a bigger, mobile community”. Cheeron Inko-Tariah, previously of the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, is founder of the Power of Staff Networks and a consultant working in the networks arena. Asked if networks divide employees into groups more than bring them together, Inko-Tariah said: “That’s an age-old argument because, by their very nature, they’re separate. But I would say that sometimes people will only communicate when they feel safe. “And if a network can create a psychologically safe space for people to communicate… and start to articulate some of those lived experiences and share those with the wider organisation or with the decision-makers to influence policies and influence behaviours, then that starts to narrow the gap between those who are under-represented and those who are in the majority group. So I don’t feel that they do cause a separation. “That’s the beauty of the network.” Inko-Tariah said that she is working on a network survey to see both how many there are in the UK but “to see the type of impact they’re having on UK plc and UK public service”.


SEP/OCT 2021

Leader_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 6

16/09/2021 15:24



Focus on filling jobs, not cost BY DEEDEE DOKE

SPEND MORE, NOT less, on cost per hire, and focus on hiring results, advises recruitment guru Dr John Sullivan. Given the hiring crises experienced currently across geographies and sectors, US-based Sullivan is urging recruiters to ignore the most commonly reported metric (CPH) to successfully fight for the necessary talent. “Damn the costs,” said Sullivan in a statement. “Because today, we are fighting a war for talent, so finding enough talent is likely the top factor

HOT 100 logo + megaphone/someone shouting out to people?

causing your organisation’s lagging business performance. “Recruiting leaders should at least for the immediate future – and when they are filling key positions – stop worrying about their CPH. And instead, focus on filling every open job faster, with better skilled and higher performing new hires,” Sullivan said. Two recruiting metrics should be examined, Sullivan said: • Return on investment (ROI) should be the No 1 recruiting metric. “In my view,” he said, “recruiters should immediately adopt the ROI calculation as one of two primary metrics.

HOT 100 call to action How well has your firm survived and thrived in the continuing Covid-19 world environment and recovery? And to what heights was its profitability rising before the great pandemic? The Recruiter HOT 100, which looks at the UK’s


Leader_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 7

Unfortunately, most in recruiting are scared away by the ROI metric because it forces them to calculate the returns or the [financial] impacts produced by recruiting. To help overcome any fear, recruiting should work with the CFO’s office to better calculate ROI.” • The No 2 most important metric should be calculating new-hire performance. Call it ‘the performance level of new hires’ and calculate it by measuring the performance of new hires after six or 12 months of working. Then you compare their performance to the average performance level of other recent hires. He went on to say that cost-cutting can cause significant damage in a number of areas: lower advertising spend; fewer referrals and cheap sources; an absence of quality sourcers; the appearance of cheap recruiting; fewer quality recruiters; reduced agency spend; a reduction in candidate pay-outs; and reduced recruiting technology. “Because excessive cost-cutting can be so damaging during today’s talent wars, I nominate the calculating and the reporting of CPH as the single most distracting and damaging exercise in recruiting,” Sullivan said. “The resulting costs of not having sufficient qualified talent are simply too great of a burden in today’s economy.”

most profitable recruitment businesses, will be published in the Jan-Feb 2022 issue. The 2021 edition could provide a significant benchmark for performance before and after the economic challenges of Covid-19 that have created

havoc for the business world or th at large. • To ensure your financials are at hand for the 2022 listings, please contact Sue Dodd at hot100@agile-intelligence. as soon as possible. The deadline to receive financials is Friday, 22 October.


16/09/2021 15:24



CONTRACTS & DEALS Compono HR software company Compono has completed the acquisition of candidate sourcing platform idibu for an undisclosed fee. The acquisition will see idibu’s candidate sourcing pipeline and insight technology integrated into the Compono HR technology platform. Elvet Recruitment County Durham recruitment agency Elvet Recruitment has doubled the size of its city offices after an investment. The construction recruiter, which launched in January, worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure £30k through the North-East Small Loan Fund.

Caval Caval, a specialist recruiter across the construction, engineering, technical, rail and facilities management sectors, has secured a £9m funding package from NatWest bank to support its “ambitious” growth plans and post-pandemic recovery.

Candidate.ID Glasgow-based recruitment technology start-up Candidate.ID has partnered with SAP SuccessFactors. This partnership follows the company’s integration with SmartRecruiters in February this year. The integration will allow existing SuccessFactors users to directly connect with Candidate.ID.

BAME Recruitment Metro Bank has partnered with diversity & inclusion consultancy firm BAME Recruitment. The community bank will be working with the specialist recruiter to attract and engage more black, Asian, minority ethnic, LGBTQ+ colleagues, as well as people living with a disability and other diverse backgrounds.

GKR London Property recruiter GKR London has has finalised the acquisition of Beeken Reeves, a recruitment company specialising in the architecture, design and built environment space. Both recruitment firms are part of James Caan CBE’s Recruitment Entrepreneur portfolio.

Greenbean Recruitment process outsourcing business Greenbean has won a contract with motorhome manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group to fill more than 200 jobs within its production and warehousing facility in County Durham.

Hays Recruitment expert Hays has partnered with specialist tech provider Odro to give over 1,800 recruitment professionals across the UK and Ireland access to video interviewing and engagement technology in a multi-year partnership. The contract follows a successful pilot programme.

ManpowerGroup Workforce solutions giant ManpowerGroup has bought ettain group for $925m (£673m). Ettain will become part of Experis, ManpowerGroup’s global IT resourcing and services brand. The acquisition will deliver IT services to the higher growth financial services and healthcare industries.


Challenge-trg Group Challenge-trg Group has acquired PMP Recruitment from investment house Twenty20 Capital for an undisclosed figure, bringing group revenues to over £750m. A Challenge-trg statement said: “The combined knowledge and experience of the group will offer specialist, bespoke end-to-end logistics solutions in recruitment, training, driving, warehouse operatives and haulage, underpinned by its own supplychain technology.”


The deal also sees Jamie Reynolds, group CEO of Cordant Group, PMP’s parent recruitment organisation, join Challenge-trg’s board to support “longterm client relationships, transition and integration”, the Challenge-trg statement said. Before becoming group CEO at Cordant in March 2020, Reynolds was PMP’s managing director and also had held the role of Cordant group commercial director.

SRI Global executive search firm SRI has acquired Marquee Search, an executive search firm operating in the sport sector. The partnership brings together Marquee’s 20 years’ North American sports expertise with SRI’s 20 years of serving the sport, media, entertainment and technology landscape across four continents.

More contract news at

SEP/OCT 2021

Contracts_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 8

16/09/2021 13:36

REC.SepOct21_009.indd 9

15/09/2021 11:56



The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


offer graduates an amazing platform and foundation for careers to begin – and this is most of us within recruitment. We can offer not just a platform but an environment that provides fast career progression, intimacy of company culture, an opportunity to stand out, develops creative and entrepreneurial thinking, and rewards handsomely for over performance. Our industry has led many with our approach to how we look after our people, and this should continue. At the core of how the workplace is changing lies the desire from people to have greater flexibility around when and where they work. No longer a figment of imagination, this approach is becoming embedded in the fabric of company culture. How we ensure that we protect the learning & development of a new generation of recruiter with no previous experience is a question that should sit at the centre of all L&D conversations – a mix of classroom delivery from the management team, webinars with subject matter experts, experiential learning, tailored 1-2-1 coaching plans and self-learning opportunities. And then there is exercise at work. It should be work’s best friend and should become part of work itself. It should become part of a working day. It touches

“Our industry has led many with our approach to how we look after our people, and this should continue” everything – performance, health, productivity, togetherness and camaraderie. Helping our people look after their own personal wellbeing and fitness must be part of the ongoing conversation and working experience. Integrating this into a daily working routine is our responsibility. So, with the ‘V’ shape bounce back comes the need for a new generation of recruiters to embrace and enjoy their careers ahead. How we meet our obligation as a sector to provide the environment for this generation to become the generation of future leaders is a question that we all need to answer. ●

IN OUR SECTOR that we know and love, the bounce-back from the barren and challenging year of the pandemic has been excitingly strong. Not a ‘U’ shape recovery but a ‘V’. With the bounce-back has come the need to find a new generation of recruiter to support our growth agendas. An opportunity to promise a new generation that they will have a career surrounded by support, reward, development and fun. An environment that will allow a career to flourish. We know all the benefits that the sector brings to people’s careers. And it all starts with the intimacy and structure of the induction experience. Structure and definition designed to set this new generation of recruiters up for success. Defining performance expectations, created to show a pathway to succeed. Frequent one-to-one meetings providing feedback opportunity on successes and areas to work on. The global corporates do all this well… GSK, Aldi, PWC and Google all populate their induction experience with clear comms, weekly structure, variety of tasks and visibility to a whole raft of internal success stories. Huge organisations that we can all learn from. Yet it is the small-tomedium business that can

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

SEP/OCT 2021

Workplace_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 10

16/09/2021 12:08





Tara Ricks COO of Elite Leaders recruiters – how is your business preparing to benefit from this increase of available candidates? ● Move fast: be tech-enabled and accelerate the processes all through the funnel. ● Focus on the candidate experience: communicate well. Continuous candidate engagement is critical. ● Compensation advice is paramount from the off: clients cannot lowball high-demand candidates and trying to damage their EVP. ● Work with clients with a strong employer brand: now is the time to be critical of where/how you spend your time. ● How clients behaved during the pandemic will heavily influence hiring ability. In this era of Glassdoor and others, candidates will seek out reviews and experiences. ● CRM: understand what your current candidate utilisation number is and develop a strategy to improve it. ● Are you using the available technology to understand where your target talent is currently working and what is of most value and most attractive for them to consider alternative roles? ● Have an excellent website: build custom web and mobile landing pages for all the relevant content, events and high-profile clients. ● AI technology is here now: make sure you have tech champions in your business who are seeking continuous improvement in your service offering. In short, recruiters face a double challenge: keep fighting through the drought, but make time to build your ark, because the flood is coming. ●

WE ARE ALL acutely aware that a shortage of candidates is hampering the dynamic jobs recovery as we continue the re-opening of society in an environment that is still far from post-pandemic. More than 700,000 jobs have been added to the economy since the start of the year – 182,000 just across June and July. With the employment rate now at 75.1%, combined with a labour pool that is smaller now than before the pandemic, our clients are increasingly feeling the lack of liquidity in the candidate marketplace. What can we do to support the ongoing and increasing demands within our clients’ organisations? Simply duplicating the usual office-based procedures to a virtual format may not be successful. Remember, with candidates in a face-to-face meeting, often the very personal, non-verbal cues and emotional intelligence come across – have a plan to continue to source this intel for your clients, in a different way, for example more competency-based interviewing and the use of video presentation technology. CRM – how you use the system in your business is critical. In my experience, at any point in time, your consultants are likely utilising no more than 35% of your candidate population. Whilst there may well be very good reasons for this, ignoring 65% of a (probably expensively) created database is not smart – understand why this is happening and plan a candidate utilisation strategy. All too often significant marketing spend is used as a very expensive way of generating updated CVs of candidates already sitting in the CRM. How we support our clients’ understanding of the current market dynamic needs to be scrutinised. Are we consulting and advising enough? Employees increasingly seek purpose in their working life, and employers need to meet this or lose to companies that will. Are we asking the Purpose question? Are their policies fully inclusive? Candidates want flexibility, values culture, purpose, learning & development, demonstrable career paths – and sometimes the ability to have a side hustle. Clients need to fully understand this and be able to clearly demonstrate and articulate their EVP (employee value proposition). The Great Resignation is a recent term, coined by Professor Antony Klotz, a university academic who studies organisational management trends. He believes that employers should expect a significant exodus of talent as the jobs market continues to be buoyant. When there is economic and societal volatility, employees tend to stay in jobs, even less than ideal ones. This means the pandemic delayed candidate resignations among those highly motivated to move on. This is great news for

TARA RICKS is a NED to the recruitment sector and also COO of Elite Leaders, the advisory and consultancy game changes.


Business_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 11

16/09/2021 12:09



INDUSTRY EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR! The UK’s biggest exhibition and knowledge-sharing event for recruiters is coming back to the NEC, Birmingham on 6 – 7 October and is set to bring together the largest gathering of industry professionals in two years. Two years ago, the UK was still a member of the EU, Boris Johnson had but recently become Prime Minister and our minds were focused on concerns which were swept away by the arrival of Covid. The transition period out of the EU over 2020 was entirely overshadowed by the pandemic, which means that this event will be the first opportunity for the industry to take stock and consider the implications of Brexit now it is


“done”. It will also give the industry a chance to look to a post-pandemic future with a workforce which was forced to adapt to new technology and employers radically changing their approach to staffing and the workplace. The return of Recruitment Agency Expo is cause for double celebration: the show’s 10th anniversary and finally meeting face-to-face, doing business whilst catching up with old friends and making new. This is a sure sign that we are well on the road to recovery and ready to face the new challenges ahead. As recruitment agencies you will carry a heavy burden in this new world order, with much work to be done.

Recruitment Agency Expo will once again deliver inspiration and information for strategic planning. It will also offer the opportunity to discover the latest technology and services from the world’s leading vendors of tools and services designed specifically to make your business leaner and fitter for our competitive world. The work you do and the people you meet today may very well have permanent and positive effects on your ongoing success and profits. The seminars this year will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing our industry. You will hear from acknowledged leaders and experts who will share their experience and advice to help you make the right decisions for your company’s future. To attend, pre-book for your ticket by registering on the event website at bimingham.

SEP/OCT 2021

Recruiter_Advertorial_Bluewater.indd 12

16/09/2021 14:29


TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES Partnership supports UK veterans to sharpen interview skills Thousands of boardlevel connections in one app BoardAi is an app designed to help organisations connect with an external adviser. It is available to members of, a network of more than 11,000 board advisers who are highly experienced at executive level. Both have been devised by tech entrepreneur Ian Wright. Wright originally launched the network in 2019 to help businesses find non-executive directors (NEDs) and board advisers via a peer-to-peer community approach. He says that throughout the pandemic he assembled and offered “virtual boards” to struggling business owners, and the insight from this identified a disconnect between CEOs and the professional advisory community that is eager to connect with them. This led to the creation of BoardAi, which claims to allow business owners to identify someone who can help them in minutes. The app already connects more than 1,000 business owners, board consultants and equity providers a week with a target of connecting 100,000 business per week by year-end.

HireVue is partnering with SaluteMyJob to provide ex-members of the UK Armed Services with career support and guidance through its platform. SaluteMyJob aims to connect former Armed Services personnel with supportive “forces friendly” employers and opportunities and is a HireVue environmental, social and governance partner. Some former servicemen and women can struggle to transition into civilian work and find interview scenarios challenging. Often highly skilled with transferable knowledge, SaluteMyJob’s network of candidates will be provided access to HireVue’s interview and assessment platform, which will allow them to practice using video interviewing technology.

New venture for rectech firm


A look at some AI services with recruiters and employers in mind

Giving workers wider access Access Recruitment has launched a mobile work app to help recruiters better engage with candidates. WorkView has been developed with input from multiple recruitment agencies and workers to identify specific pain points. Candidates can search and apply for positions on the mobile app and advise recruiters when they want to work. Among the concerns that emerged from research was stress induced by getting to an assignment, an issue Access has addressed by providing embedded maps with jobs. Completion and submission of timesheets also ranked as a major hassle. Using the app, workers can clock in and out using a QR code. Pay details can also be easily accessed from the app. WorkView can be integrated with Access Recruitment CRM and Access Pay and Bill software. I M AG E S | SH UT T E R STO C K

Tech_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 13

Digital recruitment technology firm Venn has evolved its in-house technology stack (previously known as Apteve and Revolve) into a single sign-on SaaS platform. It is designed to help marketing functions at recruitment agencies and businesses enhance their employer brands to attract and retain talent. Vennture incorporates apps such as VenntureCMS, Vennture Recruit and Vennture Media Hub, as well as a new product for dedicated careers sites. It has created an area on the Vennture dashboard to build a community that allows current and future customers to be part of the development journey going forward.

Cloud comms specialist launches recruitment package Cloud-based communications and contact centre provider Fuze is launching the first of a suite of tailored professional services solutions that kicks off with recruitment applications. The first is Fuze for Recruiting which, the developer claims, addresses the evolving needs of agency and corporate recruiters whether working at home, in the office or on the road. The solution comprises two packages: Fuze for Recruiting Essentials and Fuze for Recruiting Contact Centre. Key features include integrated calling, meeting and messaging capabilities to streamline communications and aid collaboration between recruiters, account managers, candidates and clients, and integrations with many industry applications such as Bullhorn to help reduce administrative tasks. It also claims to offer streamlined employee onboarding via Fuze Hub.


16/09/2021 15:46


Human first Forget the top dogs, talk to the humans BY ROBIN HUGGINS

o, that was Lockdown. The drift back to ‘normal’ has begun. Offices are re-opening, up and down the country, and shops and entertainment, too. We’ve emerged from a year spent in our homes, blinking in the sunlight. For some of us, the price paid has been high. Something holds true for each and every one of us, though. Nothing is going to be the same again. Life, as we know it, has changed forever and, for those of us in recruitment, this change has meant many positive things (remote working, faster selection processes, video interviews, etc.) I think another change has happened that has made the world of the recruiter a better place to be in. I’d like to invite you all to jump in the ‘Way Back Machine’ and to set the dial to April 2020. We’re at home messaging, mailing and calling – many of us with an increased sense of urgency. The bottom has fallen out of many markets. Companies have frozen hiring, processes are being cancelled, there’s an existential crisis sitting slap bang in the middle of almost everyone’s lives. Death tolls are rising, emergency hospitals are being built and, to be honest, many of us are really scared. Remember?


ROBIN HUGGINS is client solutions director at MBN


During this time, I noticed something. It was something in the babies crying in the background of telephone calls, the dogs interrupting Zoom calls, the pile of clothes in the background of yet another Teams call. It was the fact that, due to the peculiarities of most of us ‘working from home’ – we began to see into each other’s homes and, in fact, into each other’s lives. I sit here typing from my spare room – the room I worked in throughout Lockdown – which is used when my grandkids come to stay. Behind me, on every call, are a row of teddies, dolls and cuddly rabbits. On the ‘sales’ side of the recruitment game, organisations are mapped out hierarchically. ‘Influencers’ and ‘Decision-Makers’ are identified and targeted; powerful people with powerful job titles – chief, head, director, principal. People to be respected, admired, coveted – the people with the power. In the blink of an eye, in the flick of a switch, sometime around April 2020 I stopped talking to chiefs, heads of, directors and principals. I started talking to humans. Humans like me. People who were scared. Scared for themselves and scared for their loved ones. I heard their loved ones in the background of our calls. I saw kids running around rooms, sometimes crying, partners wandering by obliviously, pets jumping on tables, and more and more of the human side of who they were. I heard from humans who had lost those they loved. I told my own story, in turn, as one of those people myself. So, as we begin the process of heading ‘back’ to wherever we were before, I think we’re heading to a better place. We can’t forget what we have all seen. We can’t unlearn. The genie is out of the bottle, and I’m OK with that. Maybe it took a global pandemic to remind us. And maybe it took the loss of so many of our loved ones to enforce the point, that no matter where we sit in any company or organisational hierarchy, we’re all just grown-up scared children. We’re all Human First. ●

SEP/OCT 2021

Viewpoint_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 14


16/09/2021 12:10




“Has the reopening after lockdown in the UK lived up to your expectations?”

I read your story about tackling the driver shortage in the UK with interest (‘Pertemps tackles UK lorry driver shortage with free training’, 12 August, We have similar deals in Ontario, Canada by large trucking companies that pay low wages. Be very careful of any such deals. Find out what the pay rates are, and overnight pay and overtime pay rates. As a person who spent a lot of time working with injured and sick truck drivers, including myself in homeless shelters both as a volunteer and living in one, I would like to see protection for all new truck drivers in the UK, Canada and the US. The best companies in Ontario are paying twice the minimum wage, plus overtime after eight or 10 hours per day. In addition, they include medical care and 5% into a pension plan, or time and half on Sunday, after four years’ experience. Steve Webster


“For us at Lightning Travel – and for the travel industry in general – lockdown lifting and, more importantly, the green list for travel getting bigger by the day has been a HUGE collective sigh of relief. Agents are reporting their busiest months ever and we’ve employed our first full-time member of staff. There’s still a long way to go in terms of recovery, but it’s fantastic to be having positive conversations again and see clients changing their ways of working for the better.”


“Returning to the office has been fantastic; seeing our colleagues’ smiling faces in person rather than over video calls has been a breath of fresh air. There’s no better place for a recruiter than to be surrounded by the buzz and positive vibes of a successful high energy sales floor! After a long 18 months, it’s great to finally be able to buy the entire office a beverage to celebrate our continued growth during arguably the most challenging time of our careers. We are looking forward to expanding to our new offices in the coming months and partying at the London Bierfest, in the spirit of the Oktoberfest. Plenty to look forward to for Koda Staff !”


“After a record breaking first half of the year at Finatal, the end of lockdown gave us more drive to rebuild those key relationships with colleagues, clients and candidate. Due to the surge in demand of face-to-face meetings, we have invested in doubling our office space based in Piccadilly to encourage more collaboration. We predict the market will only continue to get stronger as companies find the right balance between office based and homebased working.”


Soundbites_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 15

16/09/2021 12:11


11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 16

16/09/2021 17:30


Welcome to the eighth 11 Most Influential In-house Recruiters. n one of the most unpredictable years ever for recruitment, our annual showcase shows that in-house resourcing teams have been both resilient and creative in equal parts in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. And 2021 has also seen the emergence – some might say ‘eruption’ – of the ‘Superteam’ in talent acquisition, in which heavy hitters have been curated into a multi-headed fighting force to take on the world. The concept first surfaced at Nationwide a few years ago, but the assembled team did not remain in place for long. Keep an eye on these teams for proof of concept this time, as well as on the individuals who continue to make a name for themselves and their firms on the talent highway. What our annual showcase proves, though, is that the UK’s in-house resourcing community is


ready to meet the challenges head-on, and support their organisations to attract and retain the talent they need to recover, grow and compete.

Method Information and data were gathered from a range of sources in the public domain. Having arrived at our selection, we then asked the individuals what they saw as their main achievements during the past year and main objectives going forward. Wherever possible, metrics such as volume of hire were collected. As always, there will be a degree of subjectivity in a list of this nature, but consistent with other years we aim to apply a set of criteria that qualifies a person for inclusion. This is primarily based on the following: the size, scale, scope and challenge of the position and effectiveness in the role; ability to be strategic and add value, and position the resourcing function central to the business; the degree of innovation or change brought to the current and/ or previous organisation; perceived influence both internally and externally; and the extent to which the individual is considered an industry visionary, trailblazer or thought-leader. Industry or company-specific challenges are also taken into consideration where appropriate.

Superteam: AstraZeneca The story of the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine is well-known but behind it is a less well-known recruitment story that also deserves to be told. Globally, the talent acquisition team numbers around 250 people and around 65 of these are UK-based. They include Maggie Spong, vice president, talent acquisition; Will Dempsey, director, global talent acquisition, external resource management, systems and processes; and Kate Wright, global talent acquisition partner, enabling functions, AZ Global. The AZ talent acquisition team’s objective throughout 2020 was to recruit a high-volume number of new roles to support both the clinical trials, as well as establishing the new manufacturing and supply chains. Additionally, it supported the set-up of testing centres in a number of key locations including at its global headquarters in Cambridge UK where it partnered with GSK, Cambridge University and Charles River Laboratories. Of course, the AZ recruitment team was no different from any other organisation in shifting to digital/virtual in a number of areas but had to do it “at lightning speed”, reports Dempsey. The pressure of high-volume recruiting in critical areas and changing the recruitment model might have seemed enough for one year but AZ also set itself the task of reviewing candidate experience, diving deeply into its offering and assessing what candidates expect of it. It has recently launched its customer experience (CX) guiding principles for the talent acquisition team and is using data to reassess its approach to acquisition to develop strategies that allow it to get “on the front foot”, says Dempsey. Following the recent acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a key area of focus in the next 12 months is aligning and integrating the team into the AZ group. Candidate experience will also continue to be high on the agenda and alongside this Dempsey says the team will be playing a vital part in shift back to the office.


11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 17


16/09/2021 17:31


AMAZON’S DYNAMIC DUO Toby Culshaw Senior manager, global talent intelligence, consumer talent operations, Amazon

Cath Possamai EMEA talent acquisition director, Amazon Worldwide Operations Recruiter caught up with Cath Possamai on day one of her new job at Amazon. She had left her role at Capita, leading recruitment for the British Army, where her main priority over the past 12 months was to lead the team and candidates safely through the height of the pandemic. The nature of Army recruitment, with face-to-face medicals and fitness assessments, meant they had to find a way to safely run assessment centres and still deliver the required number of recruits. The team managed to put 16,000 people through the centres between April 2020-March 2021. “And, to the best of our knowledge, not a single candidate or member of our military and civilian team caught Covid as a result,” says Possamai. “This delivery meant that we were able, despite the pandemic, to deliver 100% of the Army’s soldier and officer requirement of around 8,800.” During that period, the Capita/ Army contract was also extended for a further two years from the initial 10-year period. “This would have been unthinkable in the dark days of 2012-17 when the partnership was failing,” she says, adding it was the final thing she wanted to achieve before handing a team and a task she “cared passionately for” over to a successor. While vastly different from the Army, Amazon offers similar complexity and challenge, she says, and her priority is to understand as rapidly as possible the needs of the new team and how best to lead them to support the continued exponential growth in EMEA. “Having mastered fluent Army-ese over the past four years, I now have a whole new language of acronyms to learn, too,” she says.


Culshaw spent the first half of the last 12 months in his previous role at Philips “driving deeper than ever before” into the company’s competitive intelligence and seeing how rival companies were pivoting in the face of Covid-19. The second half saw this relentless champion of talent intelligence and data take up a new challenge at Amazon. The online retailer’s scale and velocity throws up unique challenges that need to be attacked with “commercially, customerobsessed” talent intelligence, says Culshaw. Resetting the strategy and operating model – as well as refining the product offering – has enabled his team to take their work to more senior leaders in a broader customer base. It is already having a measurable business impact and demand for their work is outstripping the ability to deliver. Meanwhile, the Talent Intelligence Collective, networking and peer-to peer learning group founded by Culshaw in 2018, has doubled in size to more than 1,000 members. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on recruitment but, he says, talent intelligence is particularly powerful in times of change during which time decisive, data-backed decision-making becomes vital.

SEP/OCT 2021

11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 18

16/09/2021 17:31


Erika Bernstedt Senior talent sourcing, Salesforce The multi-lingual Bernstedt (she speaks Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, German, as well as English) has been much in demand in her 13 years of working both in-house and at agencies. She’s experienced in international markets including the Baltic, Icelandic and Scandinavian regions, as well as Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Adding to that, she has an enviable track record in technology recruitment. She joined Salesforce, just ahead of the first lockdown in a senior talent sourcing role, having previously worked on contract as EMEA senior talent acquisition consultant at Dell Technologies. More than 150,000 companies rely on Salesforce’s customer relationship management system every day, and for many it will be central to growing their business following the pandemic. She swiftly set about growing the enterprise sales teams in Finland and Switzerland, mid-markets sales team in France, and the emerging and small business sales team in the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region. A challenge of the Covid-19 era is that candidates are less likely to relocate to new geographies and view it as risky to start in a new job remotely, she says. Her next challenges? Continuous growth of the diversity numbers, remote onboarding and “getting people slowly back to working in office environments”, she says.

Louise Curtis International talent acquisition, UKG UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), built from a merger of HR solutions companies Ultimate Software and Kronos, created one of the largest cloud companies in the world. UKG’s SaaS-based technology will be at the forefront of helping organisations navigate the new


11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 19

Salma Rashad El Hamalawy Director global executive search, executive search EMEA & enterprise functions lead, Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 caused many organisations to accelerate their digital transformation plans but for vaccine companies like Johnson & Johnson (J&J), timeframes for such initiatives took on new meaning. When J&J announced its plan “to supply hundreds of millions of a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine globally”, one of its immediate priorities was to bring new colleagues on board who then helped to scale the company’s manufacturing and production capabilities for the vaccine. “Given the urgency, the high volume and the tight deadlines, our new approach to digital interviews was a factor that contributed to meeting our goals,” explains El Hamalawy. She says the number one priority has been the health & safety of employees and candidates so transitioning to a fully digital process, from interviewing to onboarding where possible, was vital. Going forward, J&J also wants to further strengthen employer brand, attracting key capabilities in areas such as e-commerce, data science and R&D. El Hamalawy adds that a “strong focus” on diversity, equity and inclusion will be an integral part of future objectives.

normal and rise of the hybrid workplace. Its brand promise is ‘Our purpose is people’. Acquisition of its own people to support its growth is key and although she’s only been in-role since August, Curtis, who previously held roles at eBay and FundingCircle, is getting stuck into a new industry and “its nuances”. And, at the time of writing, she’s doing so not having met any of her team face-to-face but over camera. She’s well prepared though, saying she and her team in her previous role in Funding Circle lived through the eye of the storm with regard to Covid-19. “It was all about compassion, ensuring my team were happy and felt supported,” she says. “I feel really proud of what we achieved together to

support the business.” Covid-19, she says, has driven home the importance of worklife balance and how people “are incredibly adaptable to adversity”. “Our time in lockdown gave me time to reflect on what is important for myself and my family, and the role and organisation I wanted to work for: how we work, why we work and what we value – these were all key questions I asked myself,” she says, adding that she’s been fortunate to work for organisations whose business models she feels a synergy with and UKG is no exception. “UKG invest heavily in our people and products, so I feel incredibly proud and super excited to be working in an organisation that shares the same personal values as I do – United, Kind and


16/09/2021 17:39


Roopesh Panchasra Global head of executive talent acquisition, Uber A busy start to 2021 saw Roopesh Panchasra renew the leadership engagement model at SAP before leaving in January for his new role at Uber. He delayed the start until March to look after his elderly parents but then wasted no time in cracking on with his mission to establish “the most bionic” executive TA function in the industry. He is working directly with the Uber board and in month three designed his three-year strategic plan. This includes top-of-funnel strategies, an executive diversity programme, onboarding, team development roadmaps, KPIs and executive talent management. Panchasra says the pandemic has changed a number of things for him and how he leads: “We have incredible talent in every corner, which we need to embrace.” Going forward, he aims to help Uber evolve across TA areas that he manages but also ones that he doesn’t. “There is a lot of opportunity for a leading consumer tech business to learn from an enterprise tech business. Understanding how both environments work has been a revelation.” He also wants to help Uber executive TA to shift from being a transacting business to a holistic leadership one, and convince leaders that great talent doesn’t just sit at the “usual suspect” of companies. “My aim is to help Uber build a brand that influences leaders at the top-of-funnel way before the existence of a requisition,” he says. “The tech space is a hotbed with companies going over and above to attract talent. This creates compression, which will inevitably implode and we will be ready for this.”

Jon Hull Head of resourcing delivery, Nationwide Building Society Hull and his team have been busy revamping the resourcing service to make the shift in thinking towards a more proactive strategic offer that aligns with the HR strategy. As well as helping to build future capacity this has inclusion and diversity at its heart, something which has always been central to Hull’s efforts


Marie Helson People director, HelloFresh UK Being deprived of so many of aspects of normal life, recipe delivery box company HelloFresh brought relief from the daily Covid figures in the darkest days of the pandemic in households up and down the country. Helson and her team delivered more than triple headcount growth, opened a new distribution site and she navigated the team through an ever-changing landscape of restrictions and protection measures. Helson says she is “incredibly proud” of the team and the way it responded. “While we have felt very fortunate to be able to talk about growth and job opportunities, it has been tough, physically and mentally on many of our team and a lot of our focus has been on how to support people within work but also in their personal and family life too.” The company has changed how the team works every day, how it attracts talent, onboarding and its culture. “We are a data-driven business and we had to rapidly adapt to volatile and unexpected customer needs and supply chain challenges,” she says. “It also provided us opportunities to be able to tap into pools of new talent, people that were not able to work in their regular industry and we are proud to have been able to support them make the change.” Continued growth means sourcing the right talent is critical in a competitive and more restricted market since Brexit.

in this and previous roles. Digitising and transforming the approach to assessment for all customer-facing and emerging talent roles has led to a big leap in diverse outcomes for the graduate and tech programmes with a 50% male/female split and 35% ethnically diverse hires. Hull reports that two years ago Nationwide had zero reputation in the tech market but in the last 18 months has built a series of branding tools and interventions and taken a data-driven approach that has increased applications per role by 70%. Hull explains that retail banking margins are coming under sustained pressure

so, in an era of greater competition, resourcing delivery must help the society meet its cost challenges over the medium term. This involved a resourcing transformation programme, outsourcing the operational delivery, and creating a strategic resourcing partner role, which Hull says allows the team to focus on key priorities rather than be encumbered with delivery. Covid-19 led the organisation to announce a work-from-anywhere policy in the UK and, on an operational level, moved to a virtual assessment platform for emerging talent and volume roles.

SEP/OCT 2021

11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 20

16/09/2021 17:32


Craig Morgans Global head of talent acquisition, IWG

Superteam: EY It was prescient that at the start of the pandemic professional services firm EY decided not to make redundancies in the recruitment team nor put any recruiters on furlough. Later in the year requisition loads “absolutely exploded” says Matthew Jeffery, director, UK & Ireland (UKI) talent attraction and acquisition leader (TA2). In the Covid-impacted year, EY UKI made more than 3,500 experienced hires and 1,000-plus students (school leavers, graduates and apprentices). It is predicting a big year in 2022 and is expecting to make more than 5,500 hires in UKI. To support the business, Jeffery is seeking to build one of the most “innovative, disruptive and fearless teams” in recruiting. To this end, he has hired two previous 11 Most Influential stars in the form of Sam Ramsay (formerly of Balfour Beatty and House of Fraser), as head of experienced hires, and Becky Foden (previously of Capita and Transport for London), as head of student hire. Embedding a deep recruitment strategy into the core business strategy, competitor intelligence, pipelining ahead of demand and disruptive recruitment marketing are also all on the agenda. In the bigger picture, EY wants to encourage and spotlight future leaders in the industry and elevate their stories and brands. Applying typical Jeffery creativity to boost morale, he sent the team personalised EY celebrity messages everyday throughout December involving the likes of David Hasselhoff, the cast of EastEnders, Coronation Street and Strictly Come Dancing, while Mr Motivator created a lockdown workout for the team. With homeworking becoming the norm, more team bonding events are planned for the future.


11 Most Influential_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 21

Despite joining the international workspace company just a few weeks before lockdown, Morgans pushed ahead through challenging times with an immediate focus on defining the employee value proposition (EVP) or what he calls “the differentiator”. The team conducted interviews with senior leaders across the globe, held employee focus groups, undertook competitor and market research and sought feedback from more than 5,000 candidates across 38 countries. Morgans has always championed employee advocacy to bring employer brand to life and continues to do so, ensuring teams have both the voice and authority to bring to life an authentic message on life behind the scenes. “Bringing your teams on this journey is critical as they’ll not only believe in the messaging and the values, but honestly – and consistently – translate this when communicating the brand message,” he says. He adds that employees are “front and centre” of the brand, with a strong visual identity. The team also overhauled several legacy career websites, aligning with the core EVP of ‘Ambition Never Stops’. Covid-19 slowed down operational recruitment demands but the team still delivered close to 3,000 hires in 18 months.

Looking for an umbrella firm you can trust? Check out IWORK’s partners IWORK partners are ethical firms that offer services to support contractors, independent workers and the wider recruitment sector. “IWORK’s partners have been specially selected as they are trustworthy and committed to compliance. Look for businesses displaying the IWORK Partner logo to give you peace of mind.” Julia Kermode, Founder, IWORK


16/09/2021 17:32


60 YEARS OF PERTEMPS: EVOLVING FOR THE FUTURE As Pertemps celebrated its 60th extraordinary levels of engagement anniversary, the recruitment specialist with employees in the Sunday Times announced significant changes to help Best Companies to Work For list. It is position itself for the challenges ahead. one of only three firms to have retained From day one, Pertemps has always their place on the list for so long – and looked to promote from within. It is a the only recruitment specialist to policy that helps the business retain its achieve that level of longevity. core family values. Speaking of the recent changes, Tim And it is still in evidence today as said: “We have always been a Lifetime President Tim Watts recently people-centric business and it seems appointed Steve West as Group Chief apt to promote these individuals, who Executive Officer, while Carmen have helped Pertemps grow to become Watson became Chair of the Group. the organisation that it is today. Between the two, they have more than “Despite the continuous challenges, 70 years of service at Pertemps. managing change has always been at At the same time, Tim announced he the heart of what Pertemps does. was stepping back from the day-to-day Coupled with exceeding our leadership of the Group but will customers’ expectations and our remain a Main Board member and flexible workforce expectations, we Lifetime President of the business his have also succeeded in exceeding the mother Constance founded in expectations of our partners. Birmingham in 1961. “We have worked hard to get Pertemps remains a business where we are over 60 years and that trusts its workforce and the future looks bright, for continues to give autonomy those who work with us, for to people to make key the clients we continue to business decisions. This helps serve across the UK and for them thrive and gives them the candidates we help into the chance to reap the rewards new roles.” as the business grows, thanks to Joining in 1991, Steve West the Employee Benefit Trust, has held several operational, established in 1994. management and executive Not only does this help roles, most recently foster a strong team spirit overseeing the growth of and inspire dedication and a Pertemps’ business determination to succeed throughout the country. Steve West, Group CEO but for 15 consecutive The new Chief Executive (top) and Tim Watts, years, Pertemps has been Officer said: “I feel Lifetime President recognised for privileged to lead this of Pertemps


wonderful company and the people in it, as we move forward into the next exciting chapter. “Being the largest privately-owned recruitment company in the UK, and having brands and businesses in multiple sectors, gives us a unique perspective. We are, genuinely, a barometer for the labour market in this country. This allows us to engage with clients and speak from a position of experience and knowledge about how best to supply their recruitment solutions. “Our approach has always been based upon our business’s vision: to create a fully inclusive company, owned and driven by its people. Clients, candidates, and our colleagues are the three most important groups of people to Pertemps. Each is represented through our company logo, showing the three faces. “The challenges over the last couple of years have brought some positives. They encouraged thought-provoking

SEP/OCT 2021

Pertemps Advertorial_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 22

16/09/2021 13:36


Above and below: The recent Pertemps Awards event, part of their three-day 60th celebrations

conversations and, as industry experts, we have been able to better advise our clients and shape strategies that help them adapt and grow their businesses. “Technology remains a key tool in our armoury and the investment in this area continues. However, to make best use of it we need to continue and retain the best talent available to keep ourselves ahead in a very busy and fluid marketplace.” Carmen has been with the business since the 1970s rising through the ranks after joining as a secretary. She joined the Board of Directors aged 30 and has always been a staunch advocate of equality and diversity, wholeheartedly believing that everyone should have equal opportunity to shine and progress. The new Chair of Pertemps Network Group said: “People are at the heart of everything we do. We are witnessing a ‘sea change’ in people’s expectations of their employers going forward, with ESG becoming a major focus for UK businesses. “Our committed investment towards people continues, not just for our employees, but also the communities we serve. We are continuing to aid our clients to achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion objectives through promotion of both our and their social values. Collectively, we can – and must – proactively help everyone to reach their full potential. “With the changes in the current and future recruitment landscape, the development of effective training is of paramount importance. We have developed numerous partnerships that facilitate professional, personalised, innovative and data-driven learning experiences, to ensure we are creating economic opportunity and are equipped for the future ahead. “Over the years, we have enjoyed one of the highest staff retention rates of our industry, with most of our senior management and board members having come up through the ranks and with hundreds of our contingent workers having been with us for 10 years or more. “We recognise it’s important for employers, such as ourselves, to acknowledge that our workforce is evolving and will play a pivotal role in the future of our economy.”


Pertemps Advertorial_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 23

16/09/2021 13:37


SThree CEO Mark Dorman has got the global STEM recruiter through the pandemic by sticking to its sustainability goals. DeeDee Doke spoke to him about leading the company through the global crisis eeping to a routine made all the difference to SThree CEO Mark Dorman while he juggled global commitment as the Covid-19 pandemic raged. “It’s very easy to let things blend into one another,” agrees the Connecticut, US-based Dorman during an online conversation in August this year. “You have to make sure that you’re looking after yourself because it’s very easy to get sucked into the machine [the screen] that I’m looking at right now – simple things like, you know, my workout regime, communicating with people not just on work but on other parts of life as well. “And simple ritualistic things – even at the worst when everyone was growing a beard and wearing a t-shirt, I’d shave and put on my shirt,” he says,




gesturing to the crisp white office-proper shirt he’s wearing. “That’s me coming to work, and I could separate it [work and off-duty] out. It is a bit of a ritual thing, but it helped me, that’s for sure.” Sustainability on a personal level – and sustainability is a hallmark of the company that Dorman has led since March 2019. SThree won the Sustainable Recruitment Company of the Year in the 2020 Recruiter Awards by, among other points, aligning its business model to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which in turn has provided a foundation for a range of organisational activities and priorities at SThree operations around the world (see box, p27). SThree’s moves include: Reducing airmiles by 5% in 2019 through challenging the travel decisions of colleagues

SEP/OCT 2021

Mark Dornan_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 24

16/09/2021 14:30


“I couldn’t be more proud of all the people at SThree and their resilience and their hard work”


Mark Dornan_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 25

16/09/2021 14:30


Each staff member has 16 hours of paid volunteering leave every year, enabling them to strengthen their local community through skill sharing and contributing time. Against a target of 1,500 hours in 2019, staff volunteered 2,495 hours in their local communities Implementing new recycling stations with signage to improve waste management 51 African girls from low-income backgrounds are at university studying STEM subjects, thanks to the SThree Foundation’s partnership with 10 STEM organisations in key markets.

Responsible working However, the Sandhurst-educated Dorman is quick to credit his predecessor, former SThree CEO Gary Elden OBE, for leading the company into prime environmental, social and governance (ESG, formerly corporate social responsibility) position through such works as establishing the SThree Foundation, the group’s registered charity, in 2016.


SUSTAINABILITY AT STHREE The company’s business model is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which in turn influences the company sustainability strategy. The company sustainability strategy has three goals: Reducing absolute carbon emissions by 10% by 2025 Supporting community projects that engage and inspire 200 people from diverse backgrounds to access STEAM education, training and careers Empowering colleagues to use their time and skills to strengthen their community through 1,500 volunteering hours. “I’m building on the shoulders of giants,” he says. “Here, we have a long history of what used to be called Corporate Social Responsibility. So, we’re building on that as well as being environmentally conscious.” Of ‘sustainability’, Dorman says: “We don’t see it as an ‘initiative’. It’s core to who we are as a business. It’s bringing it to be a central component of how we operate, given it fits exactly with the kind of talent and the purpose that we have as an organisation. It’s really just an extension of an overall strategy.” The strategy and its results are attracting positive attention. This

year, the company was ranked 69th out of 300 in the Financial Times Europe’s Climate Leaders 2021 rankings, with one measure showing SThree had reduced its core emissions 18.8% year-on-year between 2014-19, aligned with revenue growth. Client reaction has been favourable, too. “More and more,” Dorman says, “clients are asking for some of these activities: What are you doing on your carbon footprint? Do you have a diverse pool of people that I can pull from to actually place within the job or placement that I have?” Also, Dorman notes, clients want to know SThree’s position on “certain topics, and more and more it’s being asked for directly; we’re more than happy to deliver that”. Because carbon emissions emerge more heavily from energy-intensive industries like manufacturing than they do from recruitment agencies, SThree focuses its carbon-reducing activity around travel. “There are conscious choices around how and when to travel, then what type of travel you’re going to undertake so do you take a train versus a plane and the difference between the number of tonnes of carbon used by that kind of travel or doing events,” Dorman says. “The other piece is our footprint and the technology we use. And then the last piece, which as you know is longer term, is working with our landlords in terms of their energy sources.” And, Dorman says, he has just had an internal conversation about

SEP/OCT 2021

Mark Dornan_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 26

16/09/2021 14:30


company cars and, in addition to reducing their fleet, “how fast can we get the entire fleet to be electric during the coming year”.

People power Driving forward the sustainability agenda is also about incentivising SThree staff to “make positive choices”, he acknowledges. While the company already employs “a pretty passionate group of people that are very focused on these topics”, increasing headcount also brings SThree into contact with potential employees who care, Dorman says. The 16 hours of volunteering offered to each employee is one aspect of the company’s two-tiered approach to contributing time to the communities they serve.

Mark Dornan_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 27

Contract 76% Permanent 24%

There’s centrally-organised volunteering “so that people can come and understand you at a corporate level, the organisations that we’re working with”, Dorman explains. And there’s volunteering at the local office level. For instance, recent floods in Belgium and Germany prompted SThree employees in nearby offices to work directly with local organisations that were supporting people affected by the raging, catastrophic waters. Asked about SThree involvement in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow this autumn, Dorman refocuses the question around what the company is doing about climate change, full stop. “We’re helping to build green skills,” he says. SThree’s renewable energy business is growing 37% year-on-year, he adds, and the goal is to double the renewables business by 2024. “We think we’re well on track to doing that because we’re focused on a sustainable future.” And with the worst days of the pandemic likely behind us, what does Dornan see as its lasting impact on SThree? “Even through that time,” he says, “our purpose has never been more relevant. I think the way in which we probably changed the most is our ability to rely on our people and trust our people to be flexible and work in a more dynamic way than we had in the 'past’. “As we think about aligning again with our ESG strategy and with diversity, equity and inclusion within a hybrid environment, we will be able to access different talent than we had before in our business, in more flexible and diverse ways, and we’re very excited about the opportunity to do that. “It’s pretty exciting that we’ve come through what we’ve come through... I couldn’t be more proud of all the people at SThree and their resilience and their hard work.” ●



STHREE Q3 2021 TRADING UPDATE Group net fees up 29% year-on-year to £91m Contract net fees up 27% year-year to £68.6m Permanent net fees up 36% year-on-year to £22.2m

Sector mix – Q3 2021 Technology 46% Life Sciences 24% Engineering 20% Banking & Finance 7% Other 3%

Division mix – Q3 2021

16/09/2021 14:30

Advertisement Feature

Looking for an Accredited Member? FCSA launches new accreditation logos to reinforce transparency for the supply chain The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) announces the launch of a new suite of Accredited Member logos; one for each of the current payroll intermediary services it awards accreditation for: The FCSA Accreditation logo with its distinctive orange crest is recognised by agencies, end hirers, and contractors as confirming the highest standards of compliance for the payroll intermediary companies that successfully achieve it.

However, as the FCSA’s membership grows and it responds to market demands by developing new codes for emerging business models, the FCSA identified a need to make it more transparent for its supply chain partners to see exactly what services each member has successfully achieved accreditation for. The new logos will replace the former generic FCSA Accredited Member logo as illustrated below with immediate effect.

Accredited Member

REC.SepOct21_028-029.indd 28

15/09/2021 11:58

Greater transparency for agencies, end hirers, and contractors in support of due diligence checks The benefit of launching this new branding structure is so that our member firms can only display the accreditation logo for the service it has been awarded accreditation for.

“Transparency is key for our supply chain partners, which is why the FCSA is always looking for ways in which it can reinforce this.”

The FCSA has also been listening to agency partners who routinely get in touch to run checks on group or subsidiary company names. These will also shortly be listed for each member firm on the FCSA’s online Directory of Accredited Members, again making it easier for the supply chain to undertake those important due diligence checks. Only companies that have completed the FCSA’s stringent pre-requisite and due diligence checks and robust independent, evidence-based assessment can use the FCSA Accredited Member brand marks.

Phil Pluck, FCSA Chief Executive

Agencies, end hirers, and contractors searching for an FCSA Accredited Member or checking the accreditation status of a company can visit the FCSA’s online Directory of Accredited Members at any time via its website

REC.SepOct21_028-029.indd 29

15/09/2021 11:58

Do you work for the best Recruitment Company? Are you a Diversity & Inclusion Champion? Do you know a COVID-19 Champion?

ENTRY DEADLINE 1 October 2021 L@RecruiterAwards

| #investingintalent AWARDS ENQUIRIES:

REC.SepOct21_030.indd 30


15/09/2021 12:00


Supply chain compliance and ethics p3 B I G TALKI N G POI N T

What will be the legacy of Covid-19? p4 Issue 94 Recruitment SeptemberOctober 2021 Ma ers


The end of the job reten on scheme p6 D&I AM BASSADOR

Interview with Scarle Allen-Horton p7

Employment law

Campaign success on Right to Work checks T

he extension of digital Right to Work (RTW) checks to April 2022 last month was a big win for the REC and the recruitment industry. This was a key campaign goal for the REC and it will be a huge benefit both to recruiters and hiring businesses over the coming months. This success was hard-won and involved huge efforts by the REC campaigns team supported by, and in collabora on with, REC members. The temporary change to RTW checks was announced in March 2020, and it soon became clear that this brought massive benefits to our industry. Since then, we have been campaigning to make the change permanent, or at least to delay its reversal. We have now achieved mul ple delays – most recently owing to a final push in August. The decision seems to have come down to two things. In mid-August, a group of REC members, along with the campaigns team, met Home O ce o cials and shared their experiences of the digital system and how it has benefi ed them directly, as

@RECPress RM_Sep-Oct final-NEW.indd 1

well as the issues they could forsee if we went back to physical checks. Second, the REC sent a le er to the Home O ce on 25 August urging it to extend the use of digital checks un l a permanent digital solu on is in place. This le er again linked RTW checks to the current labour shortages, highligh ng how rapid checks are crucial to ge ng people into jobs quickly. The extension was announced the following day – a reminder that one

Making great work happen

last push on a campaign is always worth the effort. The fight does not stop here. This is an extension and physical RTW checks will come back on 6 April 2022. The Home O ce is developing a permanent digital checking system, and we hope to see progress on that in the six months before April. The campaigns team will con nue to engage with the Home O ce and ensure that members' voices are heard on this issue. 10/09/2021 11:20

Leading the industry

the view... Compliance and ethics are vital – especially in periods of intense pressure, says

Neil Carberry,


REC Chief Execu ve

elcome to this month's issue of Recruitment Ma ers! I hope you managed a summer break – whether you got away for a few days or joined the stayca on trend. In recent weeks, we've been thinking more and more about recruitment supply chain sustainability. The pandemic put all of this under pressure, but emerging trends suggest that this pressure isn't going to ease any me soon. On one hand, agencies face huge issues caused by labour shortages, par cularly of drivers and workers in the food, hospitality and construc on sectors. Even with furlough winding down, our surveys suggest demand will exceed supply for some me to come. This makes the job challenging – but there are huge opportuni es too. Helping clients with workforce planning, taking a lead on skills and looking at remote-working opportuni es all have their place, but make the supply chain picture more complex. We must also be mindful that when the pressure is on, the risks of cu ng corners grow. Yet agency supply chains are under greater scru ny than ever before, from clients and from the government. The focus on umbrella companies this year is one example, and we all need to be aware of the threat posed by modern slavery. We must keep the industry compliant and ethical, or others will do it for us – and risk damaging the good that the industry does. The commitment shown by REC members who got their compliance test done by the deadline this summer confirmed that many of you agree. Every agency wants to safeguard and protect the workers they place. But this requires businesses to take a long view and invest in exper se and compliance procedures that will pay dividends over me. It means ensuring your processes are robust and up to date, that you pay your suppliers promptly, and that you manage your supply chain e ciently and ethically. In par cular, ensure you’re doing all the correct due diligence on any umbrella companies that you work with – the REC has recently produced guidance to help members with this, which you can find on our website. If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil 2


Addressing labour and skills shortages Shazia Ejaz, Director of Campaigns at the REC


he news is full of headlines about empty shelves, food shortages in restaurants and the lack of raw materials. Labour and skills are in short supply in every sector, exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic, and REC data suggests these di cul es won’t ease overnight. Our latest JobsOutlook showed that employers’ confidence and hiring inten ons remain high. Although that’s a welcome indica on of economic recovery, vacancies are already at record levels. Our Jobs Recovery Tracker revealed that in the last week of August there were 1.66 million ac ve job adverts in the UK, the second-highest weekly figure since December 2020. Our three data reports are a great way to view the labour market in real me, weeks ahead of the ONS sta s cs. The REC is therefore leading a campaign on labour shortages. We want to share members’ concerns and our exper se, and work with the government to find solu ons. To date, we’ve wri en to the Department for Transport and the Department for Work and Pensions about driver shortages; and we’ve reached out to trade bodies in hospitality, logis cs, tech and the food industry to collaborate. We’ve hosted a roundtable with the Department for Educa on on Skills Bootcamps to create a pipeline of skilled workers in specific regions. Parliamentary ques ons have been asked on our behalf, and we will engage with more MPs this autumn. We are also making the case to government that workers in our asylum system could fill many vital roles if the law permi ed. The UK has commi ed to taking 20,000 Afghan refugees. They will have valuable skills and will need help to se le in the UK and to get jobs. Recruiters are well-placed to help – for example, with job searches or CV advice. If you want to get involved, contact us at

Recruitment Ma ers September-October 2021

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 2

09/09/2021 15:33

Leading the industry

the intelligence... Opঞmism gives way to a cloudier outlook for the rest of the year. By Atanas Nikolaev, Research Manager

The economic shock of COVID-19 has affected every part of the country in ways no one could have imagined. But, as restric ons gradually li ed, the economy opened and, supported by the con nuing vaccina on programme, consumer spending flew back up during the second quarter of 2021. This is one of the drivers of the economic recovery that we have seen this year, and the ONS reported an increase in services, produc on and construc on output in the same period. All this contributed to 4.8% growth in the UK’s GDP, which is now only 4.4% below its pre-pandemic level in the fourth quarter of 2019. Data from the REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey also shows that businesses' confidence in the economy rose from net -52 in the final quarter of 2020 to net +18 in May-July 2021, the third month in a row it has been in posi ve territory. Employers’ confidence


million More than 1.9 million employees were s ll on furlough at the end of June.

Businesses' confidence in the economy rose from net


in the final quarter of 2020 to net


in May-July 2021

in hiring and inves ng in their business has also risen steeply and is now at net +29. Importantly, we’ve also seen this increased confidence being translated into real-world hiring ac vity. In July, HMRC Real Time Informa on data es mated there were 28.9 million employees on company payrolls. This is up by 182,000 (0.6%) from the previous month. Further evidence comes from the KPMG and REC Report on Jobs. As economic ac vity picked up over the past few months, permanent staff appointments and temp billings rose at near-record speeds, while demand for staff hit all- me highs. However, we con nue to see a decline in candidate availability, which fell at the fastest rate since the survey began 24 years ago. Labour shortages are just one reason why ini al op mism has given way to a cloudier outlook for the rest of the year. At the end of September, we will see the end of the Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme that was introduced as a vital support measure for businesses and employees in March 2020. More than 1.9 million employees were s ll on furlough at the end of June, and it is unclear how many of those people will s ll have jobs when the scheme ends. In August the ONS indicated that only 2% of businesses were planning redundancies in the next three months, but a survey from the

The Bank of England has raised its inflaঞon forecast towards


for Q4 2021

Bri sh Chambers of Commerce put that number at 20%. The di cult condi ons also meant that in the second quarter of 2021 over 105,000 businesses closed down, the second-highest quarterly figure since the series started in 2017. And, in its latest Monetary Policy Report, the Bank of England raised its infla on forecast towards 4% for the fourth quarter of 2021, significantly higher than in its May report. In combina on with low interest rates, this is bad news for savers. We therefore find ourselves in what could be described as the ghtest labour market condi ons since the global financial crisis and, although the economy is recovering, there is s ll some way to go. Recruiters have been working flat out to fill posi ons, and their work supports £86 billion in GVA across the economy, the equivalent of 4.3% of GDP. The industry will play a key role helping workers to find new jobs and keeping businesses afloat in the coming months. September-October 2021 Recruitment Ma ers

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 3


09/09/2021 15:33

Industry evoluঞon

big talking point

Post-pandemic plans

How has 18 months of Covid-19 changed the recruitment profession? And which of these changes are here to stay?


t’s now 18 months since the pandemic struck – locking down economies, disrup ng supply chains and introducing the word ‘furlough’ into everyday conversa on. As we start to emerge from the crisis, what, if anything, has changed? Are any of the changes introduced so rapidly in 2020 here to stay, and what will this mean for the day-today opera ons of recruitment agencies? In terms of business, the answer is that it will vary widely. One key lesson from the pandemic has been that the impact was drama cally different depending on your business, sector and region. People have lost their jobs and struggled with mental health issues caused by isola on, fear and financial problems. Meanwhile, others se led comfortably into working from home, enjoyed me with their immediate family and saved enough money to cause a boom in home improvement and online shopping. City centre economies were devastated by closed o ces and travel bans, while rural towns saw house prices soar and hope that an influx of money and ongoing homeworking will revitalise their high streets. Many businesses are preparing for long-term change. Some have closed citycentre o ces and announced that staff will work from home permanently, while others, such as Apple, want employees to return to o ces, ci ng fears about reduced crea vity. More, including many recruiters, are 4

Recruitment Ma ers September-October 2021

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 4

hedging their bets and offering ‘hybrid’ working. Increasing numbers of job adverts for professionals say ‘based anywhere – work from home’. New research from Cornerstone Tax found that 24% of Bri sh people – around 4.3 million – will no longer commute into a city for their job even when business returns to ‘normal’. Workers in factories and hospitality who cannot work from home are also affected. The pandemic exposed risk around global supply chains, which is causing organisa ons to reassess their strategies. Restaurant chains and supermarkets, for example, are suffering from supply problems caused by the acute shortage of HGV drivers, and car manufacturers have been hampered by a lack of computer chips. And it’s not just drivers – there are acute labour shortages across almost every sector, which are hur ng both recruiters and their clients. Meanwhile, the number of businesses going bust was below average during the pandemic and KPMG has warned that this may lead to a sharp rise in insolvencies once government support ends.

Team spirits

Recruiters sit at the crux of these changes and uncertain es – not only must they keep abreast of the labour market and shi ing client demands, but they must also look to the welfare and working pa erns of their own staff.

Despite the challenges and stress of the past year, there are clear benefits. “When Covid-19 and the lockdown hit, all the strands of our business and the network companies were pulled more ghtly together than ever before. All our divisions and sectors were collabora ng. It did not ma er which sector you were in, whether you were focused on temporary or permanent posi ons, it was simply about suppor ng each other,” says Lisa Duncan, Director at Pertemps Network Group. “This closer working has con nued ever since. Projects involving mul ple teams that might not previously have worked together have con nued. This new level of integra on will con nue for us, allowing us to make best use of available talent and resource.” The speed with which recruitment businesses adapted to the pandemic – and the lessons they have learned about the resilience, flexibility and reliability of their own teams – is another clear gain. There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out the best in people, and recruiters at all levels demonstrated their ability to innovate and adapt for the good of their colleagues and their businesses. This has led to new opportuni es for those in junior posi ons and to renewed apprecia on from managers, who have had to delegate and trust more than in the past. “We will keep hybrid working because our experiences have shown that we can trust our people and that they will rise to the challenge and work be er for

09/09/2021 15:33


10% of Brits (3,319,000 people) have moved away from a city or urban area in the past year.

44% of Brits (16,468,000 people) feel that the impact of Coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing.

24% of Brits (4,297,000 people) will no longer commute into a city for their job post-pandemic. (source Cornerstone Tax) The total volume of UK online job adverts on 13 August 2021 was

128% higher than the February 2020 average.

The ‘transport/logisঞcs/warehouse’ job advert category remains the category with the highest level of job adverts relaঞve to its pre-pandemic level, at of the February 2020 average.


28% of Briঞsh people believe it will take a year or more for life to return to ‘normal’.

it,” explains Tina McKenzie, Managing Director at Sta ine Group (Ireland). Her company increased its bonus scheme and raised annual leave to 35 days for every member of staff in recogni on of the fact that all had “gone the extra mile” during the Covid crisis. “We should walk the talk and demonstrate what we preach to others

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 5

– you get back what you invest in your people,” she says. This is good business sense. “People are going to move a er the pandemic if you haven’t supported them well,” McKenzie warns. “When a crisis happens, that’s when you must show leadership and your apprecia on of your people.” Training has also changed. “In the

pandemic, virtual training came to the fore. Previously, we favoured the classroom approach wherever possible, but the balance has shi ed,” says Duncan. “Using online or virtual resources, people can do training at a me that suits them and in bite-sized chunks.” Training and support are important given that high levels of stress for recruitment teams are likely to con nue. Acute staff shortages will lead to di cult conversa ons with desperate clients. Recruiters will need to use all the rapid reac ons, collabora ve skills and crea vity developed in the crisis to find new talent pools and help clients find the people they need. Some will undoubtedly see major clients move their opera ons or change their staff requirements as a result of the pandemic and of Brexit. But there will also be new opportuni es to recruit people from further afield for roles that no longer require people to be based locally. This creates a na onal (some mes interna onal) market that local recruiters may not be familiar with, and they may encounter unexpected and increased compe on closer to home. However, the recruitment industry has long used technology effec vely to reach candidates in different loca ons or demographics and many recruiters implemented or improved their solu ons during lockdowns. These may need to be extended to meet post-Covid demand. Not that all recruitment will go online. “We s ll need physical loca ons to offer the best possible service and I believe that will always be the case,” says Duncan. “There are some people and companies who simply cannot work from home. However, technology offers the flexibility to give op ons.” “What’s changed? In some senses nothing’s changed. You will s ll succeed if you put a quality candidate in place and go the extra mile to ensure the candidate and client are happy,” says McKenzie. “This is the reason computers didn’t replace us in 1999 or during the Covid crisis. What people do is form connec ons – it’s all about the non-verbal messages and the rela onships you have with people.” September-October 2021 Recruitment Ma ers


09/09/2021 15:33

The Coronavirus Job Retenঞon Scheme

legal update

The end of furlough By Karen Afriyie, Legal & Compliance Adviser


n 1 March 2020 the government introduced the Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme (CJRS) in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. To help reduce the spread of Covid-19, businesses across the country were forced to close their premises temporarily, causing varying degrees of disrup on for companies and workers across the UK, and the economy as a whole. The CJRS was established to help keep businesses afloat, preserve jobs and avoid redundancies caused by the nega ve economic impact of Covid-19. During the pandemic, the CJRS allowed employers to claim wages from HMRC for employees and workers who were unable to work, or who had no work, because businesses could not operate as usual.

Ini ally, the government planned for the CJRS to operate for three months, star ng from 1 March 2020. However, subsequent waves of Covid-19 cases prompted the government to extend the CJRS several mes. The latest of these extensions was announced in the Spring Budget 2021, when the Chancellor said that it would run un l 30 September 2021. The contribu ons have also changed. Last year, the government paid up to 80% of employees' and workers' regular wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. From 1 July 2021, the government's contribu ons reduced to 70% of wages with a maximum cap of £2,187.50. As of 1 August, the government reduced pay contribu ons to 60% up to a maximum of £1,875 per month

for the hours that an employee or worker remains on furlough. As the rollout of the vaccina on programme con nues and the UK slowly returns to pre-Covid opera on levels, we do not expect the government to extend the CJRS beyond the current deadline of 30 September 2021. If it does not, then the CJRS will at last end on that date. Employers should therefore use the scheme as much as they can un l this date. They must also ensure that they keep a copy of all CJRS records on file for a minimum of six years for HMRC audi ng purposes.

Improve diversity and inclusion within the recruitment industry As Scarle Allen-Horton, one of the REC's D&I ambassadors, says: “Recruiters are important influencers” in pushing forward diversity and inclusion “both with the candidates and the organisa ons we work with”. But are we doing enough to drive change within our industry? Earlier this year, joint research by the REC and APSCo into D&I within the recruitment and staffing industry found that two in five firms (41%) don't record any informa on about the demographics of their sta . And while survey respondents 6

Recruitment Ma ers September-October 2021

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 6

generally agreed that a culture of inclusivity exists within recruitment, there was far greater uncertainty about whether sta have access to ED&I training and whether their businesses have an ac ve and evidenced ED&I programme. “Our own firms being examples of good prac ce is central to making progress,” says REC Chief Execu ve Neil Carberry. “E ec ve data collec on needs to spread more broadly across the industry. The REC will be there to help support recruiters on this journey.”

09/09/2021 15:33



Why recruiters should be the ones to ‘spearhead change’ in society and at work

What do you hope to achieve as one of the REC’s Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors?

My overriding aim is to bring about posi ve change. There is much more awareness about the need for diversity and inclusion in society today, but we s ll need to translate this into real change and I hope that I can help to push this forward in the recruitment industry. Recruiters are important influencers, both with the candidates and the organisa ons we work with. We need to support training and encourage awareness to ensure that every industry is using ethical and fair processes to a ract and retain the best talent. We should be the ones to spearhead change in society and at work.

Why do you feel passionately about this subject?

I’ve worked in execu ve search for the past 10

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 7

Scarle Allen-Horton, Founder of Harper Fox Search Partners and REC Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador years and I’ve seen how company cultures and expecta ons can limit opportuni es. I was a senior execu ve with no other support and two young children at home and I thought: “Could I be CEO of this organisa on when no one at the top looks like me?” I have two daughters and I want to make sure that they know that all opportuni es are open to everyone when they grow up.

What do you see as the key to creaঞng change?

Ul mately, it has to be about increasing awareness of the need for change and the poten al advantages for everyone in society. Too o en, the consensus of people at the top of industry is “we want someone who looks like this and has this background”. But there has already been an amazing shi in awareness and many organisa ons have

put excellent diversity policies in place. We now need recruiters and their clients to work together to understand how diversity and inclusion can benefit them, what are the main barriers to it, and what they can do to promote awareness and adopt posi ve prac ces. One good new recruit from an under-represented group can significantly influence culture and the viewpoint in an organisa on, so can bring more benefits than simply their own talents. Diverse perspec ves bring in different ways of problem-solving, which is always valuable.

What pracঞcal measures would help?

It’s got to be about reaching out to candidates in every possible way – from social media to networking events, jobs boards to personal

contacts. I believe that the progression from manager to board level needs substan al work. It’s ge ng be er, but people are s ll not reaching the top. Teaching senior managers and recruiters how to recognise and address unconscious bias is important and it’s also useful to consider tools such as blind CVs and simply including more people with diverse backgrounds in the interview process.

If you have one message for recruiters about diversity and inclusion, what would it be?

Be the change you want to see. If you’re not seeing change happening far or fast enough, then support or make the change yourself. If we all did something posi ve to make our organisa ons more representa ve of the society we live in, change would happen.

September-October 2021 Recruitment Ma ers


09/09/2021 15:33

Virtual conference

Recruitment Ma ers


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

Recruitment Ma ers September-October 2021

RM_Sep-Oct final.indd 8

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor Ruth Pricke . Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prinঞng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2020 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

09/09/2021 15:33

Special Report


Special Report C_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 31

17/09/2021 08:04

Special Report



The UK is still Europe’s leading start-up nation, having attracted €17.2bn (£14.67bn) of investment in the first half of 2021, according to start-up news and information service Start-ups are big news, with HR/recruitment tech start-ups such as Beamery and Hibob proving attractive to investors. And start-ups are such a part of the landscape that a platform catering to start-ups themselves, which claims to automate every step of a funding round, is available now to help cut the paperwork. Are you planning to make news – or even a comfortable living – by setting out a recruitment business on your own in the next few months? Read on to learn about the landscape of the UK recruitment industry – some do’s and don’ts, signposting to tax relief, a case study of an ambitious new start-up and insight from experienced hands in the start-up arena. Get ready to make 2022 your year with your own recruitment business.





When is the right time for recruiters to start a new recruitment business? With many competitors vying for a slice of the recruitment pie, now might just be the right time to take the plunge



DeeDee Doke Editor Recruiter/ 32 RECRUITER

SEP/OCT 2021

SR - Startups_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 32

16/09/2021 13:37










SR - Startups_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 33

t’s hard to think of anything good coming out of the pandemic, but as the world slowly attempts to right itself, it’s worth asking what kind of environment it has created for recruitment start-ups and whether 2021-22 is a good time to go it alone. Paul Jacobs, co-founder and director of Jump Advisory, gives an unequivocal ‘yes’. “We’re seeing and will continue to see a huge number of start-ups, not just in our own industry but across every single industry sector,” he says. “It’s a brilliant time to set up a new business because we are already coming into one of the fastest economic recoveries that this country has seen since World War II. Employers are coming back strongly and trying to make up for lost time and lost profits. They’re scaling up and taking on more staff.” Jacobs himself set up and launched Jump Advisory, a management consultancy business serving the recruitment sector, last September during the height of the pandemic and has been in business for about 11 months. “ ‘If not now, then when?’ is the cliche doing the rounds,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of movement in the labour market. People are looking for new jobs to feel secure and safe, and, of course, you’ve got the continuing Brexit situation with a shortage of staff across multiple sectors.” According to Joe Davis, founder of Recruitment Start-up Services, it’s the shift to online that has only been heightened by the pandemic that is working in favour of the small, nascent operator. “The current economic climate has made every company, both large and small, think long and hard of ways in which they can reduce their overheads,” he says. “Top of their agenda is finding and utilising a more cost-effective recruitment service instead of paying the exorbitant fees charged by traditional high-street recruitment agencies.” For Davis, operating a home-based recruitment agency that generates high-profit margins, even after reducing the fees charged to clients, coupled with minimal overheads and



16/09/2021 13:37

Special Report

“The current economic climate has made every company, both large and small, think long and hard of ways in which they can reduce their overheads” JOE DAVIS, Founder of Recruitment Start-up Services

low running costs, allows recruitment start-ups to undercut and even take business from well-established recruitment companies. It’s definitely a good time to strike out on your own then, but you need absolute self-belief, warns Alex Niarchos, investment director at Recruitment Entrepreneur, a provider of recruitment business funding. “With roughly 9,000 recruitment companies set up at Companies House last year, you’ve got to completely

believe in what you’re trying to achieve, and that you can effectively generate your own income and business, because there are just so many others out there trying to do the same thing,” he says. Admittedly, trying to find something that’s completely distinct and different is virtually impossible in such a mature industry, so it comes down to details

and content. Do your research and focus on specifics, advises Jacobs. “Look at opportunities where you’re specialising; where you’re providing a real, expert, deep experience; where you can find candidates who are in demand and capable of doing work in very specific spaces. It’s the old cliche of operating about half an inch wide and a mile deep.”

Case study: Talent Today Gary Wills is well placed to talk personally and authoritatively about the start-up landscape, having launched his own recruitment company called Talent Today in November of last year. His business fasttracks the recruitment process by shortlisting and videointerviewing candidates for IT programmes of work. Not everyone was urging him


on. “I had a few people telling me to ride the storm out, go back to my employer and just take the money,” he says. “But for some reason I just felt that if I could make it in the worst of times, then I could make it anytime. So, I decided to hand my notice in and just go for it.” Wills admits to spreading his net a bit too wide at the outset. “We went quite generic in terms

of our target audience to start with, but now I realise how important it is to occupy a niche, which is why we’re exclusively specialising in the IT project delivery world now.” However, he did do his homework in terms of what he felt was lacking in the recruitment market and the value-add he could bring. “I looked around and found it was

SEP/OCT 2021

SR - Startups_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 34

16/09/2021 13:38


Niarchos couldn’t agree more, believing that sector-specific offerings are without question a faster way to generate returns. “You often get higher fees in those markets and, because they are more niche markets, they are obviously harder for clients to find candidates for themselves, and therefore represent an opportunity to outsource that provision to a recruiter,” he says. “Where you’ve got generic offerings –and they do exist, and people still do make money from them – the reality is that they are lower-fees-higher-volume-type opportunities.” As for which specific sectors currently offer rich pickings, it’s simply a case of take your pick, bar the obvious likes of aviation and travel hit hard by the pandemic. As a funding provider, Niarchos admits to being approached from just about every sector. “We’re very key keen to engage with all markets, but obviously recruitment in life sciences and medical, and supply chain and logistics are some of the areas where we’re seeing particularly fast growth. Interestingly, hospitality at the more senior end is also recovering quickly,” he says. In trying to keep us all working from home through various lockdowns and office closures, the last year has undeniably been driven by technology, which has also created a very active sector, says Wendy McDougall, CEO and founder of recruitment and marketing platform Firefish Software.

a very cold experience on the video side of things,” he says. “Candidates were being faced with automated questions, with recruiters interviewing candidates but not actually being there present. We conduct true in-person interviews rather than have impersonal prompts on a screen. I think a lot of recruiters say they do video recruitment, but it’s quite a lazy form of it.”


SR - Startups_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 35

“With roughly 9,000 recruitment companies set up at Companies House last year, you’ve got to completely believe in what you’re trying to achieve” ALEX NIARCHOS, Investment director at Recruitment Entrepreneur

He also decided to go after the IT project delivery space after having noticed there had been no activity in this sector for a good 12 months. “My thinking was that there’s always going to be a need for digital transformation or business change, so although companies weren’t spending initially in the pandemic, I knew they were going to start spending at some point.” And what advice would

“You’ve also got a big drive on renewables again with the G20 conference coming up,” she adds, “and biotech’s doing exceptionally well.” But McDougall adds a cautionary note: “A good recruiter has to know their sector and their niche to survive. So don’t jump at something without thinking. This is an industry that you’ve got to make your own for the next 10 to 15 years that you’re in business, so you’ve got to enjoy it. That’s more important than just picking a sector for the sake of it.” Ask Jacobs about viable sectors, and he agrees that almost everywhere is experiencing huge growth, but believes the bigger question is where the candidates are going to come from. “We are in a candidate-short market and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” he says. “Every recruitment business, large and small, is being challenged by finding enough candidates to fulfil the requirements of their clients.” And let’s not forget that the new recruiters themselves may face difficulties sourcing their own staff as they scale up in such an environment. What there isn’t going to be is a shortage of other start-ups looking to get their slice of the recruitment pie. Whatever sector a start-up is planning to target, many competitors will already be vying for that space. Running a business clearly isn’t for the fainthearted, but as Jacobs says above, if not now, then when? ●

Wills offer anyone else thinking of going it alone at this time? “You’ve got to ask yourself if you can truly get new business in your current market,” he says, pointing out that many people striking out from their employers will also have non-compete clauses in place prohibiting them from sourcing particular clients for a time. “You’ve got to be able to answer the fundamental question of why would people

want to work with you. What makes you different?” Also make sure that you have a runway of cash, he counsels. “You’ve got to have at least six to nine months of money in the bank to be able to pay yourself, your family and your mortgage, because the cash doesn’t come in straightaway. If you can remove the financial pressure and can give the business your all, you’re more likely to succeed.”


16/09/2021 13:39


Agency Recruitment Leader of the Year Sponsored by RSM-UK

Andrew Anastasiou, Managing Director Pertemps Professional Recruitment

Highly Commended

Daniel Cornwell, Managing Director - SPE Resourcing

Recruitment Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Ryan Adams, CEO - Signify Technology

Highly Commended

Ryan McCabe, CEO - Odro

Highly Commended

Chris Sheard, Managing Director SR2 - Socially Responsible Recruitment

Best Candidate Experience Sponsored by The Recruitment Group

$olouuo Ľv $-Ѵ;m| Ŋ "h bm r-u|m;uv_br b|_ -rrCmb|

Highly Commended

Network Rail Signaller Experience Network Rail in partnership with Bavarde

Best Graduate Recruitment Strategy Be the Change - Police Now

Best Apprentice/School Leaver Recruitment Strategy Sponsored by RSM-UK

$! m]bm;;ubm] rru;mঞ1;v Ŋ GTR in partnership with eArcu

Highly Commended u;;m; bm] rru;mঞ1; !;1u b|l;m| Ŋ u;;m; bm]

In-House Innovation in Recruitment "romvou;7 0 (-1-m1 vo[

How Iceland saved their store leaders 24,000 hours - ;-u 0 blrѴ;l;mঞm] |u-mv=oul-ঞom-Ѵ 1_-m]; ŋ during a pandemic! - Iceland Foods in partnership b|_ u;7b1ঞ ; bu;

Most Effective Employer Brand Development

You Make the Story - Telegraph Media Group bm r-u|m;uv_br b|_ $_-| b Ѵ; ];m1

Best In-House Recruitment Team "romvou;7 0 u;;Ѳ-m1;u ŝ om|u-1|ou ";u b1;v vvo1b-ࢼom

Ѵo0-Ѵ $-Ѵ;m| u-1ঞom ş 1t bvbঞom Ŋ $_;ulo bv_;u "1b;mঞC1

Highly Commended o |omv $-Ѵ;m| 1t bvbঞom $;-l Ŋ o |omv

Highly Commended

Vodafone in partnership with Aon

REC.SepOct21_044-045.indd 44

15/09/2021 12:04

Best Recruitment Agency Marketing Team

Charlton Morris

Best Professional Services Recruitment Agency

Laurence Simons Search

Recruitment Agency of the Year – Large (100+ Employees)

Highly Commended

Best Public/Third Sector Recruitment Agency

Goodman Masson

Best Temporary Recruitment Agency

-m l;7; "oѴ ঞomv

Most Effective Back Office Operation

Morson Group


Best Candidate Care Remedium

Best Client Service "romvou;7 0 !;7 oo7 oѲѲ;1ࢼomv

Amoria Bond

Best Banking/Financial Services Recruitment Agency -l;v omv Ѵঞm] uo r

Best Engineering Recruitment Agency ersg

Best International Recruitment Agency "romvou;7 0 ѳ1-|v m|;um-ࢼom-Ѳ


Highly Commended Amoria Bond

Best IT/Technology Recruitment Agency Lucid Support Services

Sustainable Recruitment Agency of the Year Acre

Best New Agency

Sponsored by Freelancer & Contractor ";u b1;v vvo1b-ࢼom

Most Effective Compliance Operation

Seven Resourcing

Outstanding Outsourced Recruitment Organisation

Seven Resourcing

Seven Resourcing

Recruitment Agency of the Year – Micro (Up To 19 Employees) ";Ѵ;1| @v_ou;

Recruitment Technology Innovation of the Year


Recruitment Industry Supplier of the Year


Highly Commended InfoSec People

Recruitment Agency of the Year – Small (20-49 Employees)

Highly Commended Generate

Highly Commended

Sponsored by Zodeq

Suits Me

Highly Commended

Most Effective Recruitment Marketing Campaign

Signify Technology


$( rru;mঞ1;v Ŋ $( bm r-u|m;uv_br b|_ _- ;u oll mb1-ঞomv

Recruitment Agency of the Year – Medium (50-99 Employees)

Highly Commended

Sponsored by Mercury xRM

$u 1h "b ;7 ( -lr-b]m ŋ ,o;h

Seven Resourcing

Highly Commended Oyster Partnership

Recruitment Impact Award Hung Lee, Curator !;1u bঞm] u-bm=oo7

Sponsored by CV-Library

Impala Search

Highly Commended Harper Fox Partners

Headline Sponsor:


L@RecruiterAwards #Recruiterwinners +44 (0)20 7324 2764

REC.SepOct21_044-045.indd 45

15/09/2021 12:04

Special Report

THE RIGHT SET-UP FOR YOUR START-UP It may be a good time to go it alone, but to be successful means putting in the legwork first, say the experts tart-up founders typically have one thing on their minds: securing their first deal. And after that it’s the next deal and the next deal… Of course, getting business in and cash flowing is critically important but as a business owner, you are also responsible for the nuts and bolts of business operations – tax, legalities, compliance, funding and more. Recruiters need to adopt a totally



new mindset and approach to work when they strike out on their own. Helen Phillips, director at The Contract Doctor, an organisation that provides legal, compliance and back-office

services to recruitment agencies and staffing agencies, says: “You’re not a recruiter anymore, you are a business owner… The biggest thing people need to learn when setting up a company is

The UK start-up sector

4.2% 1,843 Growth in new companies

Companies founded every day

672,890 72 New companies founded

Companies founded every hour

Source: Fundsquire


SEP/OCT 2021

Special Report Feature 2_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 38


16/09/2021 12:17


Enterprise Investment Scheme or the Enterprise Investment Scheme (see column, right). It can be harder to draw on these schemes once you’ve started trading. A classic mistake that new business owners often make, according to Phillips, is setting their share value at a meaningless figure. “I spoke to someone who had incorporated their company with a million shares valued at £100 each. A lot of people don’t even know what a nominal share is – they don’t think about it. You ask people how they come up with the figure they have come up with and they say, ‘Because it sounds good’.” Although share values can be adjusted later, it does take a bit of work and the tax office may start sniffing around if there are unexplained irregularities. This kind of situation can be avoided by getting the financial set-up right at the very beginning.

TOP TIPS FOR NEW BUSINESS OWNERS Neil Denniss: Think through your business plan carefully and not with rose-tinted spectacles Put contingency plans in place so that you don’t run out of cash Take suitable advice at the right time

Get the right advice

mindset as there are a lot more obligations than just earning money.”

Get the right structure Start by identifying the best way to structure your company. Is it as a sole trader or as a limited company? What’s corporation tax and will you be liable further down the line? Will you be VAT registered or not? And so on. It’s important that the financials are sorted before you set up the company and register the name even, so that you trade on terms that will work best for you now and in the future. Leave it until the tills have started ringing, and you may regret it. For example, if you set the business up correctly, there’s the potential to take advantage of tax-efficient investment options, such as Seed

Yet not all business founders seek professional advice before starting out. Phillips says a surprisingly high number of recruitment start-ups ignore the basics and launch themselves straight in. “A lot of people bury their heads in the sand,” she says. “Many aren’t interested in it, and don’t realise it’s important – they think it’s only admin and it doesn’t mean anything. They only come to us after something has gone horrifically wrong.” All indices suggest that now is a good time for recruiters who want to go it alone to make their move. But as Neil Denniss, a founding partner of Bespoke Tax Accountants, says, it only works if people put in the legwork to understand what

TAX RELIEF FOR START-UPS The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) targets investment for early-stage companies – those with less than two years of trading history and 25 employees. Individual investors – no companies – can invest up to £100k in a SEIS business per tax year. SEIS companies can accept no more than £150k SEIS funding total. SEIS is not a source of venture capital; it is an incentive offering. The government does not provide cash. Instead SEIS provides tax relief to investors who buy shares in qualifying businesses. The intention is for companies to find it easier to attract the investment they need. There are three tax reliefs available under SEIS, each requiring that the investor is an individual who is UK tax resident. The three reliefs are: Income tax relief: Limited to £50k (£100k at 50%) per investor. The income tax can be claimed in either the tax year in which the investment was made or the preceding tax year. Capital Gains Tax exemption sale of SEIS shares: Any increase in value of the SEIS shares is exempted from Capital Gains Tax so long as the shares qualified for and retained their income tax relief for at least three years. Capital Gains Tax relief on other disposals: The capital gains on disposals of other assets can be partly exempted from CGT where the gain is matched with a SEIS investment in the same year. A maximum of 50% of the SEIS investment can be matched with a relevant gain. For example, an investment of £25k can be matched with a capital gain of £12.5k in the same tax year in which the income tax relief is claimed. Among the many conditions to be met by the company is it must be an unquoted trading company and the company’s gross asset value cannot be more than £200k before the share issue. Sources: Financial information company Swoop and Bespoke Tax Accountants


Special Report Feature 2_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 39

16/09/2021 12:17

Special Report

it means to run a business on a practical level. “There’s going to be an awful lot of people setting up a business who are going to have to be ‘Jack of all trades’ in areas they haven’t been trained in, who don’t understand how a company works, how a sole trader works… You are learning all this on the job and experience can be useful, but it can also be expensive if it goes wrong,” says Denniss. Like Phillips, Denniss advises that new business owners take professional advice early on. But in his experience, finances are often tight for start-up professionals, leading many to cut costs where they can. They either decide to manage tax and the other financials themselves or they put off sorting it out until the money is coming in. “They make a cost analysis rather than a value analysis,” he says. “And like anything in life, if you buy the cheapest or cut costs, it either saves you money or ends up being very expensive for you.”

One problem that Denniss sees time and time again is two or more business partners setting up without formalising how they intend to do business or how they will deal with various scenarios that could arise further down the line. Partners need to draw up a shareholders’ agreement when they set up the business so that differences and disputes can be resolved easily, Denniss says: “It’s what I call the birth, the life and the death of the business – the foundations of the business, what happens if someone wants to sell out… You need to cover all of this in the shareholder’s agreement so that everyone has a good feel for the rules of the game and people play by the rules. And if they don’t play by the rules, then you have the rules book to refer to.” When shareholders disagree about how to run a business or the direction it needs to take, it can cause ruptures that are impossible to heal. It can be terminal for a business. And


TOP TIPS FOR NEW BUSINESS OWNERS Helen Phillips: Realise that nothing happens overnight with back-office processes Planning is essential – don’t wait for a deal to get your processes in place Don’t set yourself up for failure – get the basics in place Know every area of your business and what other people do in case that person leaves or is ill and you must do their job

if a shareholder’s agreement isn’t in place and the business partners can’t resolve the situation amicably and fairly themselves, then Denniss says it typically ends in the law courts. “The fallout is like a divorce. There’s a lot of acrimony, fairness doesn’t necessarily prevail, and it’s the lawyers who win.” On the horizon, Denniss predicts, is a change to when assessments are made for tax. Currently, everything happens at year end, but because of Covid-19, the government is now keen to get real-time information on business finances. “I think we will get to the point of monthly tax bills, based on real-time information,” says Denniss. “We know it’s in the wind, and I can see it happening in three to five years’ time.” ●


Get the right agreement

SEP/OCT 2021

Special Report Feature 2_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 40

16/09/2021 12:17


RIP TO THE TRADITIONAL CV Video is a game changer in the world of work. So why waste time with written CVs when a 60-second film says so much more You’ve heard the saying a picture is worth 1,000 words? Well, a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words according to Forrester Research. And in the world of recruitment those 60 seconds now add up to staggering savings in terms of time and costs, thanks to an innovative new app that’s set to revolutionise the way recruiters work forever. 1 Minute CV harnesses the power of video to provide recruiters with a platform to create job postings that are sent to candidate app users based on their preferences and skill set. Applicants can create video CVs answering the questions posed, which recruiters can view, rate and save to a shortlist. If you’ve ever been wowed by an amazing written CV, then left underwhelmed when meeting the applicant in person, a 1 Minute CV will give you a far more holistic view of the person behind the pdf. Reducing the average 40 days’ searching for the perfect candidate to just 10, and cutting the average £4,000 cost by up to 700%.1

Built to disrupt The 1 Minute CV app’s inventor Kevin Barry has spent his working life thinking and looking at business challenges in a different way. Helping to successfully transform the fortunes of operations from the North Sea to Colombia via Japan then Kuwait. When he was at a turning point in his own career and found the experience of having a professionally written CV

7 reasons to use 1 Minute CV Find top applicants 4x faster Make informed decisions Avoid unconscious bias Rate and shortlist with ease View instant video references Arrange interviews in the app’s calendar Share your shortlist with clients uninspiring – and expensive – his mantra “there must be a better way of doing this” came into play. Supported by some of the best technical and creative minds in the business, Kevin set himself the task of developing an app “deliberately berately built to tdated disrupt” age-old and outdated recruitment practices. arity of Leveraging the popularity n obvious route. short-form video was an ople person”, And as a committed “people top of his mind throughout the app’s development was that 1 Minute CV should put

people first and allow each candidate’s personality to shine through. “It’s built to put the applicant to the forefront,” he emphasises. Free and simple for them to use, and enabling employers to see the person as well as their achievements. Recruiters are compelled to reply (albeit with the minimum of effort) when videos are submitted, giving applicants the recognition that Kevin believes is essential to inject greater respect into the recruitment process. 1 Minute CV recently launched in Apple's App store and Google play store. And the next step in its evolution will be a 1 Minute CV Doctor consultation to ensure candidates are putting their best face forward.

Join the revolution Watching video is the top choice for consuming information in 2021.2 With consumers predicted to spend $6.78bn via social apps and 548bn hours live streaming this year.3 In the recruitment world, all current tech trends indicate that video CVs are the inevitable next step in the job application process, with 1 Minute CV leading the way. So why rely on paper CVs? Join 1 Minute CV today and be part of the recruitment revolution. Find out more at Sources: 1 Statista; 2 Hubspot; 3 App Annie

89% of employers would 8 watch a video CV (Source: Vault Inc)


One Minute CV Advertorial_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 41


17/09/2021 08:31

or Ben Broughton, the months since March 2021, when he left permanent employment, have been truly exciting. He knows all about growing a business, having grown Premier Group Recruitment from a single office business to multiple offices. But this is the first time he has built his own business. “Building something brand new and having a completely blank canvas has been amazing. I’m taking everything I’ve learnt over the past 23 years and applying it here. The most important lesson I learnt and am applying is to look after your people, which is why our slogan is People First. Without your people, you are nothing.” The best teams Broughton has worked with in his 23-year career have always been diverse, made up of people from different backgrounds, at different stages of their working lives and with different perspectives. So, when he left his role as Premier Group Recruitment’s MD, a position he had held for over 14 years, he decided


Starting from scratch is something Ben Broughton knows all about

diversity was going to be a key focus for his next venture. Combine that purpose with his background in recruitment and Primis was born, a new company providing talent solutions to the technology sector in the UK and the US. Primis is focusing on the tech start-up market because most larger organisations will already have a diversity & inclusion lead. Then the Primis vision is to be ‘the fastest-growing privately owned talent and solution provider to the technology sector operating across the UK, US and Europe before the end of 2025’. What Broughton wants is to be turning businesses away by then. He says it will be a case of “If you’re not taking diversity and inclusion seriously, then we are not going to work with you.”

Launched in early September, Primis is on a mission ‘to improve the D&I landscape within the technology sector’. When a client engages with Primis, they sign up to three two-hour workshops. The first is the Unconscious Bias Workshop. “We get people to open up their minds,” says Broughton. “We get them to open up about their own experiences, putting them into break out rooms to talk about what their unconscious bias are.” The second workshop is on Attracting and Retaining Diverse Talent and it’s aimed at anyone with recruitment responsibilities. It covers aspects such as how to write job adverts that will attract a diverse range of candidates and how to become a change agent. The third workshop is Diversity and Inclusion Training for recruiters, covering areas such as barriers to inclusive hiring and how businesses portray themselves. Primis prides itself on its family-friendly focus. Broughton has two children and wants to be able to drop them and pick them up from school regularly and thinks it should be the same for all employees. He believes any modern business has to offer flexible working patterns and good maternity and paternity schemes. “Flexibility is key. We don’t live to work we work to live.” ●


Special Report



SEP/OCT 2021

SR - Startups_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 42

16/09/2021 13:41

REC.SepOct21_051.indd 51

15/09/2021 12:24

We’re on a mission to: Re






ĜƋĘ Ņƚų ŞåŅŞĬå ĀųŸƋ ±ŞŞųŅ±ÏĘØ ĜčĹĜƋåÚ ÆƼ ±Ĺ ĜĹÚƚŸƋųƼ Ĭå±ÚĜĹč ŞųŅÏåŸŸØ Ƶå ÚåĬĜƴåų Ƌ±ĹčĜÆĬå ųåŸƚĬƋŸ ƋŅ Ņƚų ÏĬĜåĹƋŸ ƋĜĵå ±ĹÚ ƋĜĵå ±č±ĜĹţ kƚų Ƌå±ĵ Ņü Ņƴåų ŎLjLj ÚåÚĜϱƋåÚ ÏŅĹŸƚĬƋ±ĹƋŸ ±ųå üŅÏƚŸåÚ ŅĹ ÚåĬĜƴåųĜĹč ƼŅƚų Ƌ±ĬåĹƋ ĹååÚŸ ƋŅÚ±Ƽţ ±ĬĬ ƚŸ ŅĹ× 01332 318711 küüĜÏå F {ųŅü域ĜŅűĬ F a±Ĺ±čåÚ åųƴĜÏå F %ųĜƴĜĹč F 8a : F FĹÚƚŸƋųĜ±Ĭ F åÏĘĹĜϱĬ ¼ )ĹčĜĹååųĜĹč F ÏĜåĹƋĜüĜÏ F ±ƋåųĜĹč F F

Circulation: 14,537 (July, 2020 - June, 2021) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7880 6231 Email:


REC.SepOct21_052.indd 52

Check out the latest Recruiter content

15/09/2021 12:23




“The tenacity and resilience that people have developed during the pandemic have been phenomenal” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job? I wanted to be an astronaut. Unfortunately, air sickness put paid to that dream. Then I decided I wanted to be a manager, but I wasn’t sure of what.

I was a finance temp consultant in media and information services at Badenoch & Clark. Before, I was working in retail, wanting my weekends back and to earn some money. Someone mentioned this strange industry called recruitment…

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment? My grandmother. At a time when women were not given the opportunity to work outside the home or were mostly confined to traditional female roles, she set up her own business, building up a chain of fish and chip shops. She took on a number of community leadership roles and was a trailblazer for future generations –all while raising a family, being a caring grandmother and amazing human.

What do you love most about your current role? The people I work with on a daily basis. I love seeing people progress in a personal and professional capacity. The tenacity and resilience that people have developed during the pandemic have been phenomenal.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? I have so many career highlights, from


MBC_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 45

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

NICKY ACUNA OCANA Managing director, Ambition

NICKY ACUNA OCANA the first deal I ever made to every subsequent deal – the buzz never goes. Being MD and making decisions about the direction of a company and being instrumental in developing people and their careers is what gets me out of bed every day.

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why? Every candidate who let me down and blew a client relationship that took months and sometimes years to cultivate is etched on my heart! More positively, I once placed a finance manager to work on the theatre production of The Lion King. On the day of the show’s premiere, my candidate called me up with the exciting news that she had got me a ticket! I rocked up after work, to be faced with a red carpet, celebrities and lots of cameras. Needless to say the cameras didn’t flash when I walked down but it was an amazing experience, the champagne flowed and I got to star spot in the interval.

What would you regard as your signature tune? Things Can Only Get Better. They always do.

What was your sanity go-to during Covid-19 and various lockdowns? Running – being able to be outside and have the structure and focus of doing something that needed no brain power or thinking helped save me.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic? So many things! That you really don’t need to make all the decisions yourself. The importance of having a strong team around you that you can trust and rely on has been invaluable. Also, how much I feed off people’s energy – I missed being with people and seeing them face-to-face. Nicky Acuna Ocana was speaking with Roisin Woolnough


16/09/2021 14:07

ART DIRECTION • Creed Communications - Fujitsu • Pink Squid - Vodafone • TMP Worldwide - Essex County Council

COPYWRITING (IN PRINT, ONLINE OR MOBILE) • Havas People - MARS • N&C - Ward Hampton - The Data Centre Recruiter • Stafford Long - Secret Intelligence Service MI6


Havas People - Next Careers Ph.Creative - BT Pink Squid - Cleveland Clinic London ThirtyThree - EE


AMS - Morgan Stanley Penna - Bank of England Pepsico Pink Squid - Vodafone Symphony Talent - MARS ThirtyThree - Accenture ThirtyThree - Allen & Overy

DIGITAL SOLUTION • • • • • • •

Havas People - MARS Ph.Creative - BT Radancy - EY Radancy - Siemens Stafford Long - DNV GL Symphony Talent - MARS Symphony Talent - Nexans

REC.SepOct21_054-055.indd 54

RECRUITMENT WEBSITE (BELOW £50,000) • • • • • • •

Chatter Communications - ITV Creed Communications - Iceland eArcu - Kindred Group eArcu - Mazars Radancy - Unilever SMRS - Northern Care Alliance That Little Agency - NFU Mutual

RECRUITMENT WEBSITE (ABOVE £50,000) • • • • • •

Blackbridge - babcock Pink Squid - Cleveland Clinic London Radancy - arm Radancy - Merck ThirtyThree - B&Q TMP Worldwide - Essex County Council


CA3 - GE Healthcare Chatter Communications - O2 eArcu - Macmillan Havas People - MARS MSL - AXA Health Stafford Long - DNV GL Symphony Talent - MARS Symphony Talent - Orkla ThirtyThree - AXA TMP Worldwide - King’s College Hospital

SOCIAL MEDIA Blackbridge - Rolls Royce Ph.Creative - BT Ph.Creative - NatWest Group Radancy - Mondelez International Stafford Long - GCHQ and National Cyber Security Centre • Symphony Talent - MARS • ThirtyThree - Allen & Overy • ThirtyThree - Herbert Smith Freehills • • • • •


(BROCHURE, POSTER, FLYER ETC) • Chatter Communications - McLaren Racing • Pink Squid - ICAEW • SMRS - BP


Blackbridge - Baker McKenzie Ph.Creative - BT Pink Squid - ICAEW Stafford Long - GCHQ and National Cyber Security Center

CONTENT MARKETING • Blackbridge - Rolls Royce • Cygnet Health Care with partners Springpod and Content Marketing Pod • Offended - Entain • Thrive Marketing Communications - IntaPeople • TMP Worldwide - Diageo

15/09/2021 12:25


Havas People - MARS Ph.Creative - BT Radancy - Siemens SMRS - Balfour Beatty

VIDEO (£5,000 OR UNDER) • Chatter Communications - George at ASDA • Offended - Entain • TMP Worldwide - NHS • Tonic - Pandora • Tonic - Purplebricks

VIDEO (£5,001 - £15,000) • Design102 - Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government • Penna - GCHQ • The LEGO Group • ThirtyThree - Essex County Council

VIDEO (£15,001 +) • Blackbridge - Amazon - Jump Right In • Blackbridge - Amazon - Let Your Mind Play • Cielo Talent - Societe Generale • Havas People - Next Careers • Ph.Creative - BT • Pink Squid - Vodafone • SMRS - Balfour Beatty • Stafford Long - Secret Intelligence Service MI6 - Geeks of the World • Stafford Long - Secret Intelligence Service MI6 - Thinking of People Just Like You

REC.SepOct21_054-055.indd 55



• Creed Communications - Voyage Care • HealthSectorTalent - HSC • SMRS - Balfour Beatty • Stafford Long - Secret Intelligence Service MI6

• • • • • •

EMPLOYER BRAND • Creed Communications - Fujitsu • Creed Communications - The Good Care Group • Havas People - Costa Coffee • Havas People - Standard Bank • Makelove - Leroy Merlin • Pink Squid - Cleveland Clinic London • That Little Agency - Telegraph Media Group • ThirtyThree - B&Q • ThirtyThree - Lidl

RECRUITMENT EFFECTIVENESS • Blackbridge - Amazon - Brand Specialists • Blackbridge - Amazon - Madrid Technology • Essex County Council • Havas People - Next Careers • HealthSectorTalent - HSC • Jupiter Advertising - Iceland • Pink Squid - ICAEW • St John Ambulance & Reach ATS • Symphony Talent - MARS

Blackbridge - Police Now Opus Talent Solutions - _nology Penna - Bank of England Stafford Long - Diversity Solutions ThirtyThree - Accenture ThirtyThree - Openreach

APPRENTICESHIP INITIATIVE • Black Bear Creative - Mitie • eArcu - Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) • Pink Squid - ICAEW • TheTalentPeople/GetMyFirstJob - Microsoft

TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION • CA3 - GE Healthcare • Meet & Engage – SSCL and Ministry of Justice • Radancy - EY • Stafford Long - DNV GL • ThirtyThree - Screwfix • TMP Worldwide - Ministry of Justice

15/09/2021 12:25


recruitment sector has appointed a new managing director. Thomas Andre Sola was previously managing director for the DACH operations of TechStream Group, an APSCo Deutschland member.



The job search engine has appointed James Parr as chief financial officer. Parr will work alongside the existing finance and management teams to help them grow and scale the business.

Bernice Smith joins the global crypto-currency exchange as chief people officer. Smith will develop the people, culture & engagement agenda at Bitstamp.

Anahi Sandoval has been appointed human resources director and becomes a member of the Frenchheadquartered Colas Rail executive committee. Sandoval joins Colas Rail after a 20-year international career at Schlumberger, in the oilfield services industry, where she successively held several HR leadership roles. She then joined GE Renewable Energy in 2019 as diversity, inclusion and equity director. “There are many challenges to be faced,” Sandoval says. “As director of human resources, I am personally committed to making Colas Rail an inclusive international company that promotes a working environment that is conducive to the development and enhancement of the men and women who work there.”

president, North America. Cooper brings with him more than 23 years of experience.

ANDERSON QUIGLEY The executive search firm has appointed Nicola Reames as partner, developing the firm’s presence in the fundraising and independent schools markets.

Louis Hayes-Herbert has become director of Greystone Contract, a newly-created division of recruitment company Greystone, via Greystone’s subsidiary equity business partnership option.

GANYMEDE SOLUTIONS BRIGHT PURPLE Renate Hansen has been promoted to head up a new fully-remote resourcing division for the IT recruiter. The firm has also promoted Kane Webster (above) to sales director and Jemma Brown as finance director.



The trade body for the German professional

The global staffing group has appointed Garrick Cooper as



Recruitment and workforce management specialist Ganymede has appointed Paul Cook as new head of rail operations (Scotland). His appointment follows the recent national labour contract from Network Rail.

HIGHFIELD PS The professional services recruiter has appointed

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

SEP/OCT 2021

Movers and Shakers_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 48

16/09/2021 16:03

Annie Burns as talent acquisition executive as part of the operations team, based at Highfield’s headquarters in Durley, Southampton.

NORTHERN RECRUITMENT GROUP Kirsty Russell joins the recruiter as head of talent and operations. In her new role Russell will ensure the Newcastle-headquartered recruitment business continues to attract and develop “exceptional” talent.

Redactive Publishing Ltd 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL 020 7880 6200

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

Contributing writers Dean Gurden, Sue Weekes, Roisin Woolnough Production editor Vanessa Townsend

HYPER RECRUITMENT SERVICES The scientific recruitment company specialising in life science recruitment, founded by former The Apprentice winner Ricky Martin and backed by entrepreneur Lord Sugar, has made two significant appointments. Ben Vicentuan (above) comes on board as head of talent acquisition & engagement and Luke Webber joins as sales director to help grow the company.

PAGE OUTSOURCING The recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) specialist has hired Ed Snow in the newly created position of director of implementation. Snow previously worked for Resource Solutions.

ISOURCE GROUP Matt Gaskell and Gareth Hammond have been promoted to associate directors at the technology recruitment firm.

LIQUID LINK The finance supplier to the recruitment industry has appointed Darren Levers to its board of directors.

MANAGEMENT RECRUITMENT GROUP Christopher Mackenzie joins as business director in MRG’s real estate senior leadership team. Mackenzie joins from Cobalt Recruitment where he was its UK managing director for six years.

THE RSA GROUP James Gregory has been appointed managing partner and practice leader for the life sciences executive search firm. Gregory takes responsibility for The RSA Group’s US & European biotech practice, leading the provision of human capital services in this space.

TOTALLYMONEY The credit app has appointed Liz Afolabi as its people director. In her new role she will be responsible for TotallyMoney’s people strategy and all aspects of the employee experience.

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

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

Senior designer Will Williams Picture editor Akin Falope

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



+44 (0)20 7880 6215

CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS Recruiter is the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals. To ensure each issue of Recruiter magazine is delivered to your desk or door, subscribe now at https://subs. Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the world • Recruiter is also available to people who meet our terms of control: • To purchase reprints or multiple copies, or any other enquiries, please contact or +44 (0)1580 883844 CONTRIBUTIONS 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. © 2021 Redactive Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Redactive Media Group. Redactive Media Group accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. ISSN 1475-7478

Total average net circulation between 1 July 2017 & 30 June 2018 – 14,837. is also sent to all REC members

Recycle your magazine’s plastic wrap – check your local LDPE facilities to find out how.

Scan here to get your own copy of

Movers and Shakers_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 49

16/09/2021 16:03


“This is not to say that AI will take over the job of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists – quite the opposite”

Marie Buda Use AI wisely in tackling mental health in the office. n Recruiter’s July-August 2021 Special Report, we were introduced to the intriguing case of how Hydro Energy Group was using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the mental health of contractors working on isolated, off-shore sites. As a cognitive neuroscientist working in the field of emotional and social intelligence, I am increasingly being consulted on how to use AI and other technologies to monitor well-being. For example, to track the stress levels of employees in high-risk jobs to reduce PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], or whether one can detect at-risk individuals for mental illnesses through monitoring simple behaviours such as typing speed and click rates. It is interesting that companies such as the Hydro Energy Group have taken measures using AI to



protect employee well-being. In this current Covid climate where ‘The Great Resignation’ is occurring, people are swapping jobs primarily due to burnout. Companies that make active efforts towards protecting employee well-being will find themselves ahead of the recruitment game. However, it does bring up a wealth of ethical and practical questions. Firstly, is it even possible to detect and diagnose mental health through AI? And secondly, should companies be dipping their toes into this sphere in the first place? With regards to the former, it is looking increasingly like AI will indeed play a key part in mental health detection and diagnosis. We are already seeing reports of accurate detection of depression through social media posts history. Research labs have used AI to predict fluctuations in bipolar disorder through monitoring

phone-based behaviours, such number of calls made, length of phone usage as well as typing speed. This is not to say that AI will take over the job of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists – quite the opposite. Detecting mental illness is one thing, treatment is another. While there are start-ups developing ‘therapy bots’ designed to converse empathically and display active listening, we are still far from designing effective software that can completely replace human contact and conversation. Therefore, any company that claims to be using any AI software to monitor well-being must show evidence of being able to follow up detection with relevant treatment and care. While AI shows promise in the field of mental health diagnosis, I do strongly question whether companies should use this technology to monitor worker well-being. It should

be the employee’s choice whether they share their emotional health history with their company. I can’t see any employee being comfortable having their email content scanned, or their heartbeat or breathing rates continuously analysed. Emotional well-being is a very private issue and should remain as such, lest this information be abused in some form. Technologies are at risk of security issues, and the last thing people want is their most vulnerable pieces of information being maliciously shared. AI currently shows much promise in helping us tackle mental health, and we must be equally vigilant about using these tools wisely. ●

Marie Buda is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in human machine understanding, and was formerly director of Studies in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge University

SEP/OCT 2021

Last Word_Recruiter SEPTEMBER OCTOBER_Recruiter.indd 50

16/09/2021 12:14

REC.SepOct21_059.indd 59

15/09/2021 12:26 REC.SepOct21_060.indd 60

15/09/2021 12:28

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.