Recruitment Matters- May/June 2021

Page 1


The growing case for prioriঞsing inclusion p3 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

The diversity problem within recruitment p4 LEGAL U PDATE

Recruitment Issue 92 Ma ers May-June 2021

No jab, no job? p6 DI VE RSI TY AND I NCLU SI ON

Creaঞng a trans posiঞve workplace p8

Umbrella companies

Umbrella companies need to be regulated


n April, the Loan Charge All-Party Parliamentary Group released its report following its inquiry into how contracঞng and freelance working should operate. Its findings highlighted that IR35 in the public sector had already driven the proliferaঞon and use of unregulated umbrella companies and related arrangements, which in some cases included ‘disguised remuneraঞon’ and tax avoidance schemes. When the REC gave evidence to the APPG, we repeated our long-standing call for government to regulate umbrella companies, and for that regulaঞon to be strongly enforced. This would solve many of the issues highlighted by the APPG, and they echoed the REC’s call in the report. But recruiters also came under fire, with accusaঞons of agencies demanding kickbacks from umbrella companies for

@RECPress RM_May June.indd 1

being added to a preferred supplier list, and pushing workers to use specific companies. The report also cited a general lack of transparency over deducঞons, fees and contractor pay. The REC Code of Professional Pracঞce requires members to act with integrity, transparency and to the highest ethical standards – and the APPG publicly said it is likely that REC members are not the issue. That means that the wider recruitment sector must make sure we are doing all we can to treat candidates well. That’s just basic business pracঞce. “As an industry, we need to step up and make sure that compliance and fair treatment are our watchwords,” said REC Chief Execuঞve Neil Carberry. The REC is commi ed to promoঞng the highest standards in recruitment, and there is a role for us to play here, leading the industry from the front. We

Making great work happen

will conঞnue to provide members with best-in-class materials, such as updated template documents, due diligence processes and advice infographics for candidates. We’ll also conঞnue to work closely with organisaঞons like the TUC and representaঞves from bona fide umbrellas to try and ensure there is more ethical pracঞce by umbrella companies. Neil Carberry added: “The general principle that we must all strive for is a balance between the highest levels of compliance, being clear and transparent when giving candidates and workers informaঞon, and managing the commercial realঞes of today’s supply chain. “That balance can be achieved – and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the ones who don’t abide by the basic principle of fairness when doing business are the ones who won’t survive the long haul.” 18/05/2021 18:18

Leading the industry

the view... We have to walk the walk on inclusion, says

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execuঞve


e all enjoy the coming of spring – but even more so this year. We weathered the latest lockdown be er than economists predicted, and the vaccine programme and re-opening of businesses are a real boost. Maybe, just maybe, some form of normality is within reach. But what sort of normality? Certainly a different one. REC members have reported a posi ve start to the year, but we can all see an emerging challenge – not in the supply of roles, but ge ng people to those jobs. Partly because of a smaller pool of available labour, and partly the development of new roles in fast-growing sectors. As an industry, we have a huge role to play in suppor ng this transi on. But in all this change, there is one issue that we must keep focusing on: inclusion. A genuinely diverse recruitment industry with a focus on inclusion will be essen al to mee ng client and social expecta ons. We will need all the talent the UK has to make sure our economy recovers and grows sustainably. The representa on of women and ethnic minori es on the boards of large companies has increased – but progress has been slow, and even slower below board level. And inequali es in employment are part of the reason for the dispropor onate impact that Covid-19 has had on some communi es. We can make a massive difference – by working to convince more reluctant clients to take inclusion seriously, and by building our ability to advise clients on how to bake diversity into the hiring process. But as well as talking the talk, we have to walk the walk. There is no be er way to demonstrate the importance of diversity and inclusion to a client than through your own, first-hand experience. And we s ll have further to go. It’s why diversity and inclusion is a key theme of this issue of RM. And it’s why one of our key campaigns this year is a push for progress on diversity and inclusion within our own sector. It’s not enough to promote good recruitment prac ces to other businesses – we must also prac ce what we preach.


The death of the Industrial Strategy Ornella Nsio, Campaigns & Government Relaঞons Manager


n March it was announced that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng had scrapped the government’s Industrial Strategy Commi ee. The decision to disband the commi ee has created confusion and uncertainty over the government’s commitments to the ambi ons contained within the strategy itself. Founded by Theresa May in 2017, the Industrial Strategy was supposed to be a long-term plan designed to boost produc vity and earning power across the country. It focused on the five founda ons of produc vity: ideas, infrastructure, places, business environment and people. Kwarteng has now confirmed the crea on of a new Build Back Be er council as part of the Plan for Growth strategy. But the axing of the Industrial Strategy has le many worried that the government is adop ng a more ad hoc, laissez-faire approach to suppor ng economic growth. Now that the UK has le the EU, it is impera ve that the government develops an industrial strategy that looks beyond the short-term recovery from the pandemic. The labour market in par cular requires a long-term vision. More considera on is needed on the protec on of workers’ rights and alterna ve ways of working to ensure the UK workforce is opera ng as effec vely as possible. As part of this, the government should put together a long-term framework for what the country's future workforce will look like. The labour market has survived tough mes – however, it cannot build back be er without a sense of direc on for the future.

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil


Recruitment Ma ers May-June 2021

RM_May June.indd 2

18/05/2021 18:18

Leading the industry

the intelligence... Could the pandemic be an unexpected driver for diversity and inclusion?

Diverse businesses are


By Atanas Nikolaev, Research Manager While there has been a lot of effort and progress made on diversity and inclusion in the UK, many organisa ons are s ll failing to make use of all the talent available to them. This challenge is more pressing than ever as the UK economy struggles with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the skills shortages that pre-date it. Those companies that make D&I an integral part of their culture and succeed in using more inclusive hiring prac ces will likely see commercial success. Research by McKinsey indicates a significant correla on between financial performance and the diversity of a business’s leadership team: diverse businesses are 15% more likely to achieve above average financial returns, and this rises to 35% for those in the top quar le for racial and ethnic diversity. Research has also found that employee produc vity is strongly linked to high levels of D&I in their organisa on.

more likely to achieve above average financial returns, and this rises to


for those in the top quarঞle for racial and ethnic diversity.

More diverse teams bring a broader range of experiences to the table

New research suggests that anonymised job applicaঞons rose by


across the UK in


Why is this the case? As we indicated in Diversity is good for business, more diverse teams bring a broader range of experiences to the table, leading to more crea ve solu ons and higher-quality decisions. It’s not just about it being the right thing to do – be er inclusivity means firms can be er meet their employees’ needs and produce be er products and services. Progress con nued over the past 12 months, with organisa ons in industries ranging from infrastructure, professional services, chari es, and finance leading the way on anonymising their applica on prac ces. New research suggests that anonymised job applica ons rose by 271% across the UK in 2020. The pandemic has also driven many firms to think about inclusion in a broader sense, how they can improve employee engagement and recover be er from the effects of the pandemic. As Covid hit, the Ford Motor Company was quick

to recognise the different needs of their workforce and especially their neurodiverse employees. It facilitated internal roundtables for support, encouraged engagement in cross-organisa onal groups and invested addi onal resources in increased wellness checks from counsellors, as well as in flexible leadership and coaching. Similarly, AIG vouched to leverage cogni ve diversity to drive innova on and reduce business risk, introducing loca on-specific nomina on and training programmes to bring through future talent, as well as employee resource groups focusing on women and underrepresented groups. With the UK’s economy opening up again, we have a chance to create a more inclusive labour market and help boost the recovery. It’s important that recruiters recognise the vital role they have to play – both in advoca ng for inclusive hiring prac ces with their clients, and also increasing diversity and inclusion in their own businesses. May-June 2021 Recruitment Ma ers

RM_May June.indd 3


18/05/2021 18:18

Diversity and inclusion

big talking point

Be the change you want to see Recruiters need to get their own houses in order before they can drive the scale of change UK business needs on diversity and inclusion. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity”.


t’s a quote from pioneering female pilot Amelia Earhart that sits proudly within the pages of the latest report from the Helen Alexander Review on FTSE women leaders. The data itself shows that firms in the FTSE 100 and 250 have succeeded in passing the five-year target of having 33% women on boards – although there’s plenty of emphasis that this was a target, not an end goal. The latest survey results from the Parker Review – tracking progress in the ethnic diversity of FTSE 100 boards – are not so dressed up. But they s ll reveal significant progress: 74 companies had ethnic representa on on their boards in November 2020, compared to 52 in January. Recruiters will be instrumental to some of this improvement: responding to client demands, now that diversity and inclusion are high on their agenda; educa ng them; challenging them; and providing those all-important diverse shortlists. But how many recruiters have turned the mirror on themselves and asked the hard ques on: how inclusive is my business? And how many of those have then taken the concerted ac on needed to improve it? 4

Recruitment Ma ers May-June 2021

RM_May June.indd 4

It’s one thing to know the theory, quite another to lead by example

The recruitment industry s ll fares badly when it comes to stereotypes. And looking only at gender where most progress has been made, there’s s ll a problem at the top. Last year, female representa on at board level was in single digits for many recruitment firms, despite two-thirds of them having more than 50% women at support staff level and two-fi hs having more than 50% at recruitment/resourcer level. The REC is currently working with APSCo on a full diversity and inclusion audit of the industry, to kick off a campaign designed to increase diversity and inclusion within the sector. The idea being that if you don’t measure it, you can’t change it. “Like many sectors across the UK, the recruitment industry will be facing

“Like many sectors across the UK, the recruitment industry will be facing scru ny around its diversity and inclusion.”

scru ny around its diversity and inclusion. But recruiters need to be able to demonstrate best prac ce in how they nurture diverse and inclusive workplaces of their own in order to be the experts they need to be for clients. Clearly some in the industry are making strides in this area but there are many who need to step things up and the REC is keen to help our members on this journey. We will have more to say on that soon,” says Shazia Ejaz, Director of Campaigns at the REC. “When the industry has achieved systemic change for itself, it will be far be er placed to do even more to help clients and build a more produc ve and equal workforce for the future.” At the core of the REC’s campaign will be a package of support and resources to educate and empower members, to help them understand the legisla ve framework shaping D&I, the business and moral case for suppor ng it, and the ways they can be er their own prac ces to become leaders in D&I. “We also want to recognise where progress is being made, because we know this isn’t easy. And we will celebrate the extraordinary work many members are already doing to drive the D&I agenda. Because if we can learn

18/05/2021 18:18

from each other and replicate that success, we’re halfway there,” adds Ejaz.

Your client will expect you to act

There are plenty of ways your business can benefit from greater diversity. You’ve probably cited them to your clients: be er access to talent, reputa on, market compe veness, be er financial performance. But Amanda Fone, founder at F1 Recruitment, injects a bit of urgency behind why recruiters themselves will need to act: very soon, your clients will be demanding it of you. “This is not going away, and if you fail to act and you can’t demonstrate how seriously your business takes D&I, it’ll leave the door wide open to your compe on,“ she says. “How will you respond if a client asks you how diverse your own team is? Clients should be asking that – and they will be.” Fone adds that her agency has won more business in the past six months than in the past 17 years, because she’s worked hard to become an expert in D&I – commi ng to it, and being seen to

RM_May June.indd 5

take ac on both in the marke ng and PR sector she works in and internally. In fact, she says, the visibility of their external ini a ves – which include NoTurningBack2020 and the Back2Business Returners programme – has helped her recruit diverse talent for her business, because people believe the agency’s approach to D&I is authen c. But even then, it’s taken eight years for her to get the truly diverse team she’s so proud of.

Change your processes, change who you hire, ask your people

Joanne Lockwood, founder of SEE Change Happen (who goes into more detail on transgender inclusion on p8), agrees with Fone. “While everyone is in the same posi on, you can get away with winging it to some extent. But there will be a point you need evidence,” she says. “And in order to do the right thing, to reach your own inclusion goals, you have to accept that you have to change how you operate, and change how and who you hire. If you realise the way the market is going, you’ll realise it’s worth

inves ng in training, hiring different people and rewarding people in different ways.” It’s something Guidant Global realised nearly four years ago, when a client asked for help to put on an inclusion week. “We didn’t feel we could help clients more broadly un l we put our own house in order, which we did,” said Charlo e Woodward, now Head of People, Global Managed Services and lead on ED&I at Guidant Global’s parent company, Impellam Group. At the heart of Guidant’s strategy is the INfluence programme, which combines a mix of content, ambassador groups, workshops and events, and involvement from outside experts, to tap into internal advocates, educate from within and create an inclusive environment. They now use it at a group level to start conversa ons with clients, or to support clients’ own ini a ves. But INfluence wasn’t launched un l the company had asked its own people what they thought and what they wanted to learn more about – and because employees feel they own the end result, it’s an approach Woodward believes can work for all companies, big and small. “This is not just about winning new business,” says Woodward. “It’s because it’s the right thing to do – people are demanding it, and without it, there’d be an amazing amount of talent we wouldn’t be able to a ract into the business.” And that, too, is the point. If firms must be er represent their consumer base or the communi es they operate within to succeed in the future, then it follows that recruitment companies need to hire people from the backgrounds they hope to place with clients. “We need to have the conversa ons about what we can do as an industry to make recruitment a profession that people from lower social backgrounds and ethnic minori es want to join,” says Amanda Fone. “We have to make it more appealing. It can be a job for life. When you look at the entrepreneurial spirit within black, Asian and minority ethnic communi es – and how that would benefit the recruitment industry – there’s a massive opportunity to get bright youngsters into the sector.” May-June 2021 Recruitment Ma ers


18/05/2021 18:18

Workplace safety

legal update Can employers insist their workforce get vaccinated? By Jane O'Shea, REC Solicitor


he ques on of mandatory vaccina ons is complex. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) employers must take reasonable steps to reduce workplace risks. Failure to comply is a criminal offence. Yet the employer must very carefully balance their health and safety obliga ons with the rights of their workforce. There will be a wide variety of reasons employees might be unwilling or unable to have the vaccine. It may be because of a medical condi on, a disability, pregnancy or on religious grounds. Generally speaking, employees have a duty to follow lawful and reasonable instruc ons given by their employer. However, it would be very risky for an employer to take disciplinary ac on against an employee who refuses to take the vaccine. This is especially the case where the refusal is based on a protected characteris c because that could lead to a

Demonstrate you know your candidates’ impact the best The REC is helping members to understand the impact they make in partnership with The GC Index. To discover your impact, go to www.franklinhacke recmembers 6

Recruitment Ma ers May-June 2021

RM_May June.indd 6

discrimina on claim under the Equality Act 2010, unless the employer can objec vely jus fy its decision. There may be some limited circumstances where the employer's instruc on could be regarded as reasonable and lawful, including where: • vaccina on means protec ng the health system, i.e. by vaccina ng hospital and care home staff, the health system as a whole can be protected • the workplace cannot be made Covid-secure, such as airports or other places with a large volume of people passing through • home working is not an op on, for example the police force and security personnel. It is important to remember that each industry sector and workplace is different and while a mandatory vaccina on policy could be considered reasonably necessary in the healthcare sector, this might not be the case for sectors where home working is an op on. Whatever the sector, employers should listen to concerns and be sensi ve with employees who choose not to be vaccinated.

As organisa ons begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that each new hire they make delivers the business impact needed to achieve their objec ves. But how do you define business impact? Business impact is the tangible contribu on an individual makes towards the achievement of business outcomes. According to research by The GC Index, every individual has a powerful package of impact based around five roles: The Game Changer – Crea ng original ideas The Strategist – Making sense of things The Implementer – Ge ng things done The Polisher – Swea ng the detail The Play Maker – Orchestra ng rela onships

In most circumstances it will be be er for employers to support staff to get the vaccine rather than making it a requirement. This support can be best achieved through advocacy and effec ve communica on. Employers should think about how they can implement measures now to ensure their workforce are well informed, as this will be really important in the coming months. Such measures may include a clear accessible implementa on plan, allowing for paid me off to a end vaccina on appointments, and monitoring and keeping risk assessments up to date. The REC will con nue to track the evolving landscape and keep members up to date on developments.

Understanding the energy a candidate has for these roles allows you to show your client how and where they will focus their efforts once in post – how they will make a tangible difference to the organisa on. The problem is, many recruiters don’t measure the impact their candidates make. The standard blend of skills, experience and personality profiling gives li le insight into whether candidates can make the right impact. So it stands to reason that the recruiters that understand the impact their candidates will make be er than their compe tors are the ones who will build the most produc ve, valuable and commercially beneficial rela onships in the post-pandemic marketplace.

18/05/2021 18:19


Natasha Crump, Environment, Social and Governance Director, Amoria Bond If you have a company purpose, commit to it. It has to reflect where you are and where you are going as a business. We refreshed Amoria Bond’s purpose last year and Progressing Lives Everywhere runs through everything we do internally and externally. It is a commitment to our people, clients, candidates, and wider community. The company holds itself accountable to it, the fact they’ve hired me to the board is testament to that.

It must be visible and tangible. Our three global sales MDs started with the company as trainees. We’ve got clear progression paths mapped out for all our people – Group Services as well as our sales teams – and with non-management

RM_May June.indd 7


What I know

Behind the scenes with REC members, on operaঞng with purpose

routes too. It’s reflected in the incen ves and benefits we offer. Over the past 18 months we’ve made D&I a real priority to build a genuinely inclusive working environment where everyone has the same opportuni es to fulfil their poten al and progress, introducing ini a ves like our companywide programme for female employees, ASCEND.

It needs to be sustainable. Our Charitable Trust holds the company accountable to the value we place on giving back and making a sustainable impact. It’s created a legacy all employees can be proud of – progressing lives beyond ourselves. It differen ates us and a racts great people to the business. In turn, fuelling great service for our clients and candidates.

Julie Stewart, Director, TD Group

You got involved in a local response to the naঞonwide PPE shortage at the start of the pandemic. How? I volunteered my services to the Silverstone Tech Cluster when recruitment fell off a cliff. I wanted to give back to the NHS a er all their hard work. I helped coordinate around 50 suppliers who offered thousands of items of PPE which they had available (masks, gloves, scrubs, etc.). We helped put local GP prac ces, care homes and medical centres in touch with suppliers un l they received PPE orders from the government.

Playing your part in the local community is important to you… Yes. We’re also involved in a career

speed networking ini a ve at a local school – over Zoom this year – which gives students the chance to ask ques ons about our career paths. Recruiters have got the right tools to do things like this and the kids benefit hugely from it.

What lessons have you learnt from the past year? Never give up, keep plugging away and be open minded. The recruitment industry is very compe ve, but we’re now collabora ng with other recruitment businesses and helping each other out when we’re busy. It is something we’ve never done, but the biggest lesson has been about the value of pulling together. Nothing is off limits.

May-June 2021 Recruitment Ma ers


18/05/2021 18:19

Diversity and inclusion

A focus on belonging By fostering a culture of inclusivity for trans people, you get it right for everybody, says Joanne Lockwood of SEE Change Happen


oanne Lockwood sold her IT company four years ago, because she couldn’t face transi oning at work. She gave up hun ng for another job a er six months because she didn’t fit anywhere. She’s now an inclusion and belonging specialist, and she also advocates on LGBT+ and transgender awareness, speaking professionally on the issues and solu ons, and providing consultancy and training. While the spotlight shines on gender and race, and some progress is being made, the same can’t be said about the treatment about trans people in the workplace. In a YouGov survey, 65% of trans people said they don’t feel safe or confident to be open at work about their iden ty. That’s up 50% on five years earlier.

The recruitment hurdle “The needle isn’t moving,” says Lockwood. “There are just as many people who feel they have less chance in the job market and the applica on process. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence where people have felt they were doing really well, un l their diverse gender iden ty became known.” She blames the con nued emphasis on culture fit and affinity bias. “In most cases, it’s not down to the corporate policy, but the individual hiring manager or recruiter,” she says. And changing that will depend on the alignment between the recruiter and the client on diversity and inclusion – that they are willing to play the long game, and they’re not just a er the quick fix. “Organisa ons need to start looking at

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 May-June 2021

RM_May June.indd 8

their culture, their vision, their values first, because too many rush to market to hire themselves out of a situa on, without cleaning the tank of toxicity,” she explains. Workplace barriers Although many companies will fall in line with the idea of targets and measurement when it comes to D&I, Lockwood believes there’s a general fear around collec ng demographic informa on when conduc ng all-important employee surveys. As a result, companies might shout from the roo ops that 85% of their employees are happy – but they know nothing about the 15% that aren’t, who, in all likelihood, could cons tute 100% of the minori es in the business. Trans people in the workplace are par cularly affected by con nued nega ve portrayal in the media – something that is s ll not challenged in the way that portrayals of race or gender would be, Lockwood con nues. She adds that there’s nervousness around the stereotypes of poor mental health and homelessness. That makes transi oning at work even harder than it is already. But an ac ve trans inclusion strategy – which includes lunch and learns, visible queer role models, and ac ve CEO support – will help promote understanding and acceptance. But there’s another way of looking at it, too. The individual

transi oning will be facing a whole load of personal issues around their family, rela onships, and their life which they can’t help but bring into the office. They will need mental health support – just as other colleagues may need it for a myriad of other reasons. They may find hormonal changes hard to deal with – just as someone going through the menopause might. They may find it difficult to adjust – and there you can draw comparisons with someone who has experienced lifechanging trauma. “The response should be no different to someone who has just said they’re having a baby. There’s s ll going to be an OMG moment as this is not a well-trodden path. But it’s one that needs to be on the map.” At its heart, a trans posi ve environment is one where the company cares that all its employees have a sense of belonging. As more firms realise that, fewer trans people might feel like they’re the wildcard of the recruitment process.

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 Pip Brooking 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.

18/05/2021 18:19

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