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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

April 2019

INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 


Helping others to clean up their act

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05 Lead by example to tackle



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Guiding light Entrepreneur Paul Flynn used to party hard but has now cleaned up his act and helps others to do the same 24 Rocky road Avoiding the potential pitfalls of IR35

28 Community: Upstart

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12 Insight


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TRENDS How the realism that multimedia situational judgement tests provide can benefit both recruiters and candidates Tech & Tools Rather go blind: GoFindMe platform provides anonymised recruitment to help reduce bias

INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 


alcohol and drug abuse Recruitment industry professionals need to look at their own behaviour Look for cultural add, not cultural fit Why some companies are moving away from the ‘cultural fit’ approach Start-up of the Month: Greywolf Recruitment Nick Skipworth on heading polkadotfrog’s new bluecollar sister company This was the month that was... Contracts & Deals




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PeoplePlus Care Academy targets care worker shortage Social Network The Workplace: Guy Hayward Workplace Innovation: Teresa Boughey Business Advice: Alex Arnot My brilliant recruitment career: Sophie Goymer, BMC Recruitment Group Movers & Shakers Recruiter contacts The Last Word: Alan Furley



INTERACTION Viewpoint Simon Hember, group business development director, Acumin Soundbites


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new era is dawning at one of our most iconic recruitment businesses, SThree. The recently announced appointment of global business executive, technology and

Lead by example to tackle alcohol and drug abuse BY COLIN COTTELL

transformation expert Mark

Dorman, late of McGraw Hill, as the company’s CEO marks a sea change for SThree. Not only has the listed company traditionally selected its leaders from inside; recruitment has been its professional core specialism. Dorman’s background suggests that he has

“Whatever your views on IR35, make your voice heard on this critical issue for recruiters and contractors”

specialised in the

LEADERS ACROSS THE recruitment industry need to look at their own actions and behaviour to tackle the problem of alcohol and substance abuse, according to a successful recruitment entrepreneur who won the battle against his own substance abuse and alcohol demons. Paul Flynn, who co-founded Staffgroup and helped grow it into a £54m turnover international business before it was sold to Cordant Group in 2015, told Recruiter: “As a leader, you have got to be

gathering and selling of data and other forms of information, a slightly different proposition than SThree’s. Could this mean a new direction for the recruitment business, a new avenue for revenue generation, or simply

a different outlook on how to commit 21st century recruitment? To be revealed… News that arrived too late to include in this issue included the acquisition of recruitment website design juggernaut Volcanic by leading software provider Access Group, and the launch of the government’s consultation on the application of IR35 to the private sector in 2020. Whatever your views on IR35, make your voice heard on this critical issue for recruiters and the contractors with whom you have a symbiotic relationship. It’s too important to leave to the politicians to decide.

DeeDee Doke, Editor


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aware that your actions and behaviours have consequences, and send the right messages to the people you work with. You have got to own that.” He said that those who own and run recruitment companies have a particular responsibility to lead by example “because you are often working with young, impressionable people”. He added that the extension of what was understood as a company’s ‘duty of care’ meant that the days when company directors, executives and managers could go out drinking with their staff, oblivious to the consequences, were gone. “We work with people with a high sense of drive, who are very socially intelligent, who are very competitive in the pursuit of success – these are the kind of personality types where alcohol misuse can occur. I cannot say one in five; all I can say is everybody knows somebody. It affects us all directly these days.” Flynn revealed that he went through a period of alcohol and substance abuse in Staffgroup’s early years, as well as suffering from mental health problems. As a result of his own experiences, in 2016, he set up Addcounsel, a bespoke service for wealthy individuals suffering the same sort of problems (for more, see p18 of this issue). According to Flynn, recruitment industry leaders need to be “very aware” of the temptations to their staff from the workplace environment they have created, and to engage in an “honest dialogue” about alcohol and substance misuse “and the problematic behaviour that can occur as a result of being overly dependent on it”. This dialogue should also include mental health issues, such as stress and burnout linked to recruitment’s high-pressure sales environment, he said. Flynn suggested that every recruitment company should employ someone whose responsibilities included alcohol and substance use and abuse policies, and prevention and support for mental health issues. Companies should also ensure that staff have access to properly qualified and trained counsellors. At the same time, he warned that, particularly when it came to alcohol, companies and the industry as a whole faced an uphill battle: “The reality is that you can’t remove alcohol from your office. If someone has got a drink or substance abuse problem, the reality is they will find it even if it is on the moon.” The industry could work collaboratively so as to create “some kind of pooled health resource”, Flynn suggested. “The reality is that when the recruitment industry collaboratively puts its mind to something, we do some great stuff. The question is whether there is a desire to do that.”

“Every recruitment company should employ someone whose responsibilities include alcohol and substance use and abuse policies, and prevention and support for mental health issues”


APRIL 2019

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“Don’t confuse leadership with seniority.”


“We saw the havoc the off-payroll working rule changes caused in the public sector two years ago. The government still perceives it as a success.”


“The seemingly endless bickering, sniping and oneupmanship in the recruitment agency world is, to put it bluntly, embarrassing. Grown-ups acting like school playground kids.”

Find more daily news stories at 07/03/2019 09:33



Look for cultural add, not cultural fit BY COLIN COTTELL

HIRING CANDIDATES ON the basis that they are a good ‘cultural fit’ for your organisation brings its own risks, with the result that some companies are moving away from the practice and adopting other approaches, recruiters have heard. Hessie Coleman, head of people operations at online ‘challenger bank’ Starling Bank, told an audience of

talent acquisition and HR professionals at a CIPD talent acquisition event: “The risk is that it can become ‘people like me and my team’, and if you aren’t careful you end up with a homogeneous workforce.” As a result of these concerns, Coleman said: “We [at Starling Bank] have started to talk about ‘culture add’ and not ‘culture fit’.”

She identified the two factors that were the best predictors of success at Starling Bank: “They [candidates] are genuinely excited about what we are doing, and secondly they are the type of person who wants to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.” Rachel Brooks, head of resourcing at Kerry Foods, agreed that there were dangers in using ‘culture fit’ as a basis for making hiring decisions because that implied, for instance, supporting the same football team or being ‘one of the lads’. For these sorts of reason, Kerry Foods has also moved away from cultural fit – “from being a clone and everyone being the same” – to a values-based approach, she said. This had led to a switch from culture-based interviewing to interviews based on Kerry Food’s values of commitment, teamwork, excellence, entrepreneurship and value creation. “Whether you are in a finance role or a chef or in production, we want everyone to have the same core values, or people with whom our values resonate,” she said. Fellow panel member Robbie Tilleard, senior adviser, work, employment markets at social purpose company The Behavioural Insights Team – which in its earlier guise as part of the Cabinet Office was better known as the ‘nudge unit’ – said there was a trend for culture fit to be replaced by other approaches, including ‘culture add’ and ‘mission fit’.


STA RT-UP OF THE MONTH GREYWOLF RECRUITMENT Nick Skipworth has joined white-collar staffing specialist polkadotfrog as operations director and head of its new sister company, blue-collar recruitment business Greywolf Recruitment. Established agency polkadotfrog recruits into professional sectors such as office, commercial, finance and IT, while Greywolf recruits into construction, driving, engineering and industrial sectors, he explained. The two firms share central services across HR, payroll, marketing, and PR, and offices across East Anglia. “We have been

lean in shared costs and shared services, which has given us a good platform,” Skipworth told Recruiter. But he expects that it’s the firms’ shared commitment to providing a professional service – more commonly associated with whitecollar recruitment – that will make Greywolf stand out in the market. According to Skipworth, bluecollar clients welcome Greywolf’s professionalised approach to blue-collar recruitment, which has involved taking the time for site visits to fully understand client requirements through a one-to-one approach. “The consultants we

have taken on so far have all been experienced in their own field, so they can take the time and understand what the client is looking for and fulfil those needs,” he said. Skipworth’s goals for the next year are to make Greywolf financially independent from polkadotfrog, and to establish Greywolf on all of the polkadotfrog sites, he said. While there is a Greywolf presence in Cambridge, Norwich and Ipswich, it lacks a presence in Peterborough. A further goal is to ensure that Greywolf recruits across all four of its disciplines in each of the four locations, he added. WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK WWW RECRUITER CO O UK UK 7

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THIS WAS THE MONTH THAT WAS… Here is a round-up of some of the most popular news stories we have brought you on since the March issue of Recruiter was published F E B R U A R Y •‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒→ MON, 18 FEBRUARY 2019

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The Recruitment & Employment Confederation has expelled Southamptonbased recruiter ARZ Management as a member. Last October, the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) revoked ARZ’s licence after it was found to have contravened the GLAA’s licensing standards 11 times following a compliance inspection in 2017. GLAA inspectors found both the sole director Jamil Ansari and proposed principal authority Michal Chalimoniuk to be not fit and proper, with neither deemed capable of holding a GLAA licence as “they failed to demonstrate any understanding of the licensing standards or even how their business was run”. The REC revealed it had sought to conduct a comprehensive investigation including inviting ARZ to answer questions from the REC Professional Standards Committee (PSC). However, the REC claims ARZ failed to respond to the REC’s repeated requests for information and engagement within the timeframe allotted to them for complying with the investigation. The REC added the Committee was therefore forced to base its decision on the GLAA’s investigation. The findings were that they had, among other things, contravened GLAA licensing standards, not ensured all workers were given copies of their contracts, or correct calculations of annual leave or holiday pay, while not all employees were provided with payslips. More:


IR35 EXTENSION INTO PRIVATE SECTOR SET TO PUSH MANY OUT OF CONTRACTOR ROLE Vast numbers of contractors are considering ditching contracting altogether as a result of the extension of off-payroll rules into the private sector in April 2020. Research released by contractor website ContractorUK reveals that almost half (46%) of the contractors it surveyed are waiting to see what the initial consequences will be to the wider contracting market before deciding on whether to remain in contracting. The survey also finds one in five current UK contractors think they will be forced to leave contracting for a permanent role post-April 2020, while 65% are very concerned about IR35 legislation coming into effect in the private sector. Eight in 10 think businesses won’t understand how to implement the new rules effectively in the private sector, while 62% fear blanket IR35 inclusions in contracting job specifications after April 2020 will see them experience significantly higher tax liabilities. For more on IR35, see pp24-26.

A former senior local government officer has been prosecuted for passing personal information of rival job applicants to his partner. The Information Commissioner’s Office reveals the case involves council worker Kevin Bunsell, who was employed by Nuneaton and Bedworth District Council in Warwickshire as head of building control and had been trained in data protection law. In July 2017, Bunsell’s partner applied for an administrative job at the council. Bunsell, who was not involved in the selection process because of his personal relationship, accessed the council’s recruitment system and emailed the personal information of nine rival shortlisted candidates to both his own work email address and also his partner’s Hotmail account. The recruitment packs he shared included the name, address, telephone number and CV of each candidate, along with contact details for each of their two referees – breaking data privacy laws. The court was told that upon discovery of the data breach, Bunsell resigned, while his partner was fired due to her appointment being based on an invalid recruitment process. Bunsell was fined £660 and also ordered to pay £713.75 costs and a victim surcharge of £66. More:



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MON, 4 MARCH 2019

PWC CREATES JOBS WITH NEW BRADFORD OFFICE FFICE PwC is creating 225 jobs in the centre of Bradford thanks to the opening of a new Assurance Centre. The professional services firm is set to move into the office development on Godwin Street, taking 9,000sq ft of office space in the location from next month. To prepare for the move the company has already hired 60 members of staff from the region to be based in the new office, with plans to create a further 225 jobs at the site over the next few years. More:



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CLUB MED TURNS TO AGENCIES TO HELP RECRUIT MORE BRITS Club Med is adding agencies to its recruitment mix in a bid to attract more British applicants to work at its resorts. The all-inclusive holiday provider, which operates more than 70 resorts across Europe, revealed that due to an increase in winter and summer bookings by holidaymakers from the UK it is in need of more British candidates to work in childcare, at its bars and in reception. Speaking to Recruiter, Club Med talent acquisition recruiter Nicolas Van Vaerenbergh revealed that his organisation already relies on a number of job boards and links to universities to recruit for roles but will now use recruitment agencies to attract applicants from the UK with a second language and some experience of the sort of roles Club Med is recruiting for. Elaborating on the kinds of candidate Club Med is looking for, Van Vaerenbergh told Recruiter because recruits are always in contact with guests, it is seeking relationship builders that can maintain a rapport with guests and their fellow workers as these were not 9 to 5 roles.

Late payments are the bane of both small and large businesses, so how do recruiters cope with unpaid invoices? Research from invoicing software company Solna reveals the top 10 areas of the UK in which businesses are most likely to make late payments. These are: 1) West Central London 2) Bolton 3) East Central London 4) Oldham 5) Luton 6) Birmingham 7) Darlington 8) Sunderland 9) North London 10) Romford. But it appears recruiters with operations in these regions are proficient at dealing with late payers. In fact, Chris Chown, managing director, Berry Recruitment Group, told Recruiter the agency has no particular problem with late payments in the areas mentioned in the research. “We undertake appropriate due diligence on potential clients, which includes checking Companies House and reviewing their performance, and searching the internet for references to them.” A spokesperson for Cordant People told Recruiter the group regularly monitors payment trends and risks consistently, looking at a variety of factors such as the Chartered Institute of Credit Management payment trends cycle over the UK and other countries: “Overall debt is managed by ensuring that ‘all’ clients are contacted every month to ensure all invoices have been received and a payment in line with agreed terms is going to be made and or queries advised and resolved.” Sophie Milliken, MD at Smart Resourcing Solutions, said that as a small business, her agency is at the mercy of the payment terms of the customer and their terms can be lengthy. “When payments exceed the payment terms, our approach is to speak directly to the payment team. Often our contact hasn’t processed the invoice or approved it. By speaking directly to the payments team, we can chase effectively but without damaging the relationship with our contact.” More:


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TUE, 5 MARCH 2019

CONSULTATION OPENS ON OFF-PAYROLL RULES IN PRIVATE SECTOR The government has opened its consultation on implementing off-payroll working rules from April 2020. The rules are being extended to the private sector, with the consultation seeking to ensure proposed processes are suitable for the large and diverse private sector, as well as engagers in the public sector already applying the rules. The consultation is seeking views on a number of subjects including the scope of the rules and impact on non-corporate engagers, information requirements for engagers, fee-payers and personal service companies (PSCs), as well as status determination disagreements. The consultation also aims to set out how businesses can prepare for reform and lays out HMRC’s plans to provide education and support for businesses that will be caught by the changes. It seems recruiters’ preparations for the extension of the rules are well under way. Visit to see how they are preparing their businesses. More:


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HR GO Recruitment, HR, IT and digital services provider HR GO has acquired Eastbourne-based agencies Sussex Recruitment and gel Resourcing. Sussex Recruitment places candidates in permanent and temporary roles in commercial, engineering, manufacturing and financial sectors across the South-East and elsewhere in the UK. A specialist division of Sussex Recruitment, gel Resourcing recruits across occupational health, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences sectors throughout the UK and Europe. Both businesses will continue to operate from their offices in Seaside, Eastbourne.

Jarell Group Jarell Group has acquired MRN Recruitment, a specialist industrial, horticultural and food manufacturing recruiter that focuses on the Lincolnshire region. The Birminghamheadquartered Jarell Group said the acquisition would “add more than 50 new clients to Jarell’s portfolio, and will go on to create numerous new jobs in recruitment and training within Spalding [Lincolnshire] and the surrounding area”.

greenbean by NRG Accident management company Auxillis has selected greenbean by NRG as its exclusive recruitment partner. Auxillis currently employs more than 600 staff at its Peterlee site in County Durham. M Morgan Hunt New City College, a college group in East London, has appointed Morgan Hunt to exclusively manage its outsourced recruitment. The partnership sees the public sector recruiter support the college with specialist managed service technology.

Your World Recruitmentt Group G Healthcare recruiter Your World Recruitment Group has completed a number of acquisitions. These include Essex-based agency Healthcare Solution Services; Buckinghamshire-based agency Medic Now; and Scotlandbased agency Robinson Medical Recruitment.


Impellam Group Impellam Group has announced the de-merger of Carlisle Support Services Group, its wholly owned subsidiary. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Impellam said it wanted to focus more on its core business “of collaborative managed services and specialist


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staffing”, and that the de-merger would help drive margin and earnings. Carlisle would prosper from the flexibility of being an independent business, the statement continued. Impellam acquired Carlisle Support Services Group in 2008.

Parity Group Talent management business Parity Group has been awarded a two-year contract with the Department for Education. The contract, which is worth up to £4.5m, sees Parity appointed as the agile development partner to support the delivery of the ongoing digital transformation of the Funding and Contracting Service (FCS). The FCS is part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), which delivers all school and further education funding in England.

More contract news at 06/03/2019 14:27

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REALISM THAT BENEFITS BOTH RECRUITERS AND CANDIDATES Multimedia situational judgement tests are a boon for recruiters, but they can also give candidates an accurate idea of what it’s like to work in a given office BY ALI SHALFROOSHAN

job search is a two-way street. In a talent-short market where churn is a significant issue for many employers, it’s vital not only to engage candidates but also to give them a realistic view of both the role and the organisation. To proactively address these issues, many recruiters are exploring and using multimedia situational judgement tests (SJTs) – online psychometric tests that go far beyond the capabilities of a traditional application form and interview. SJTs explore how someone is likely to behave in workplace situations similar to those they would encounter on the job. Using the latest multimedia tools, recruiters can find out more about candidates’ behaviour and approach – quickly, without bias and in high volume. But how far can these tests go towards giving the candidate an accurate idea of what it is really like to work somewhere?

Appeal to a diverse base Multimedia SJTs can make the recruitment process more inclusive and accessible. PSI Talent Measurement recently worked with the Government Recruitment Service to improve the 12 RECRUITER

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provision of psychometric tests for the Civil Service, supporting its ambition to become the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020. To achieve this goal, and to be fair to all candidates, the platform was developed with a mobile-first design that is accessible to best-practice standards. As well as being able to complete SJTs remotely, candidates also have access to practice tests. This helps to reduce anxiety, and provides an accurate sense of what behaviours and activities are being measured and valued. The equal level of access – in this instance, the number of requests for adjustments by disabled test-takers has reduced by an incredible 80% – sends out a clear message that the organisation is keen to appeal to all candidates.

Get the look A multimedia approach also provides a wide range of ways to communicate that an organisation is open to everyone. Different ethnicities, disabilities and regional accents are all represented in the actors selected for the Civil Service SJTs. Care was also taken to reflect diversity across the different junior and senior roles in the scenarios portrayed. A studio specialising in green screen provides enormous flexibility with the

environments used as backgrounds. The Civil Service, for example, has a wide range of offices, some more modern than others, and the SJTs reflect this. Videos used in SJTs must reflect the reality of an organisation, and a tailored approach is the only way this can be achieved. We know that culture can be communicated visually. To ensure we were accurate, we visited Civil Service offices, observing the dress code and briefing the actors accordingly. As a result, candidates can see that the environment they would be working in isn’t completely formal, thereby giving them a valuable insight into the organisation.

Communicate culture For SJTs to deliver maximum value, they need to be accurate. To ensure that the tests and the scenarios within them are realistic across departments ILLUST RAT ION | ICONIM AGES

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Keep it real

Get results Since the launch, more than 250,000 applicants have completed the multimedia SJTs for the Civil Service, saving more than £3.5m pounds in resources. These tests have helped to fill thousands of jobs, from administrative to leadership roles. Research has shown that SJTs can accurately predict job performance (see talent). When used innovatively and creatively, they can also give candidates an engaging experience that realistically portrays what a job and the organisation will be like. ●

and levels of seniority, internal experts in the Civil Service were consulted using interviews and workshops. Inclusive language was particularly important. Feedback led to a softening of the language in some of the tests, particularly where line managers were communicating with direct reports on sensitive issues. Different organisational cultures foster different ways of working, and inclusiveness for the Civil Service is also reflected in how things are done. For example, the cultural importance of drawing on a wide group of individuals to come up with a shared solution was something that needed to be reflected and assessed. Therefore, the scenarios depicted provide the candidate with a combination of implicit and explicit cues on how things are done, the challenges they may face and the culture of the organisation.

We reviewed more than 200 job descriptions for the Civil Service, and carried out more than 60 deep-dive interviews with experts looking at what different roles involved and what behaviours were required. Scenarios were developed reflecting the most common tasks, and the most likely relationships, that candidates are likely to experience in-post. These situations reflect what it is like to work for the modern Civil Service, and were thoroughly tested by more than 4,000 civil servants internally to ensure they were realistic and relevant. Candidates who receive feedback following a recruitment process always leave more satisfied – whether they have been successful or not. SJTs make it easy to provide feedback, with each candidate receiving feedback reports automatically. The report shows candidates what competencies they have been measured against and how they have performed. This explicit sharing of competencies helps people to understand the qualities that are important for the organisation, and provides an opportunity for candidates to learn and develop.

ALI SHALFROOSHAN is managing research and development consultant at PSI Talent Measurement



Be bespoke: Every organisation is unique; creating an assessment that is built for you ensures that the individuality of your workplace and job roles are reflected.


Be your brand: Multimedia assessments provide an opportunity to explicitly and implicitly communicate multiple factors about the culture, environment and behavioural expectations of an organisation. Test designers that fully understand your business, culture and values will deliver something that reflects your brand.


Feedback is a gift: Online assessments can provide automatic feedback. This gives candidates clarity regarding their performance, the competencies/values they are being measured against, and the purpose of the test. Feedback also gives candidates the opportunity to learn and develop.


Increase diversity: Tests that are accessible, fair and representative will help you to recruit talent from a wider pool. Involve diverse experts, adverse impact analysis, and representative actors/ situations to ensure your tests are fair.


Use technology: Mobilefirst technology that is accessible to a range of assistive technologies will also make tests more accessible to individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and to disabled candidates.


Be efficient: The use of online assessments saves significant time and resources. In just over a year, the Civil Service has saved £3.5m in resources. WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 13

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ACCOU CO ACCOUNTING AC FLEXIBILITY WITH FL X SHIP SHAPE Are your PSC contractors affected by the changes to IR35? On public sector assignments now . . . Or private sector assignments in the future?

All Personal Service Companies using Ship Shape Accounting have the option to use Ship Shape Umbrella for free. That ensures they will always be compliant under HMRC rules. Contractors can accept inside IR35 “off-payroll” placements with no extra expense to their business. And move seamlessly between PSC and Umbrella PAYE payments.

Contact us now if you are handling public sector roles, or simply want to be prepared for when the changes roll out across the private sector.

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06/03/2019 12:08



Rather go blind New platform aims to reduce bias SUE WEEKES

Anonymised or blind recruitment is not new but is still far from the norm. A number of major organisations have conducted anonymised trials and run campaigns but given its potential to eradicate unconscious and conscious bias from the recruitment process, it has not gathered the momentum one might think. The recently launched GoFindMe website seeks to change this, though, by making it one of the selling points of a free-to-search recruitment platform. “I don’t think people have looked at it on this scale before,” says GoFindMe director Bryony Edwards.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Jobseekers create a free profile with details of their work experience and skillset, location and salary expectation but don’t include any personal information that would indicate their gender, age, ethnicity or religion. Employers can search the profiles for free and the individual is told a company is interested in them. If the candidate consents, they are introduced via the site and can engage in live chat within the platform before deciding on arranging an interview or the next steps. “We want companies to focus on

the things that are truly important about a person, while breaking down barriers created by stereotyping,” says Edwards. Over time GoFindMe will add other features such as giving employers the chance to send a link for candidates to do a psychometric test.

THE DIRECT APPROACH Although Edwards herself is also a recruitment agency owner, she explains the site set out from the start to be “agency-free”. This was because the founders (two business owners from the Midlands) were frustrated by the

difficulty and expense of finding candidates with the right attributes in their sectors using traditional channels. They wanted to remove the middleman and ensure the emphasis was placed firmly on skills. So only direct employers with a company registration number can access the free CV search or place an advertisement (the site will be funded by recruitment advertising).

CANDIDATE CONTROL As well as rule out or minimise prejudice, the anonymity is also designed to help the candidate remain in

A N O N Y M I S E D R E C R U I T M E N T, H O W F A R D O Y O U G O ? Withholding information such as name, age, gender, religion, as well as a photo are the first steps to eradicating bias in the recruitment process. Some also suggest leaving off information on hobbies and professional certification as it could encourage those in similar ‘clubs’ to favour these people. What’s clear is that anonymity is a grey area in terms of how far you go. I M AG E | S H UT T E R STO C K

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control. “If you are on a CV database, your name will be in the marketplace as actively looking for a role so we felt the anonymity was a massive thing for candidates,” says Edwards. GoFindMe will also be adding a calendar and diary facilities so candidates can book interviews and manage the process from within the platform.

MORE AVAILABLE CANDIDATES? In theory, anonymised recruitment broadens the talent pool because it encourages more people to apply for a job rather than rule themselves out because of age or gender. “I quite often hear people saying ‘They won’t want me because I’m over 50’ but they may have exactly the right skillset for the job,” says Edwards, who explains

that as momentum builds they will be gathering data so they can analyse the impact in different sectors in terms of creating more diverse and wider talent pools.

ULTIMATE CONTROL Of course, a platform such as GoFindMe can only go so far with eradicating bias as it has no control over what happens at the interview and beyond. Edwards hopes that by then, the candidate will have had the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do for the business. “It gives them the chance to sell themselves,” she says. “We would like to think that having heard what the individual is capable of, they will judge the candidate based on that rather than anything else.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 15

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Beyond the social network Real relationships and true industry knowledge are still vital BY SIMON HEMBER

ith 400 million members, LinkedIn – the social network for professionals – sells itself on the reach of its network and the promise of a directory of talent at the touch of a button. However, the number of candidates who are relevant and interested in engaging with a recruiter is much smaller and harder to reach. While LinkedIn is a useful tool, it should be just one in an arsenal that doesn’t ignore the importance of real human relationships and true industry knowledge. While social networks have democratised some aspects of the recruitment process by allowing candidates more visibility, they have instilled organisations with an often misplaced confidence that they can fill the role of a headhunter by using check-boxes on a LinkedIn search. However, who does the pre-vetting of a LinkedIn candidate? No one. Whereas a professional headhunter will pre-vet via a personal approach, many hiring managers, and indeed many recruiters, will ‘spray and pray’. By bombarding candidates with bland, impersonal messages, these individuals do nothing more than harm reputations.


what the client needs, a recruiter relying on LinkedIn might be heartened by a large pool of returned results – but 99% will be unsuitable. It’s understanding and spotting the nuances within a candidate’s profile or CV, and the ability to have an informed conversation, that avoids the cardinal LinkedIn sins: spamming unsuitable candidates, taking some candidates too far along the process, and wasting everyone’s time. Similarly, in a sector such as cyber security, talented and in-demand individuals expect more than a generic LinkedIn message. They expect personalised approaches that demonstrate the recruiter is savvy to their niche, and thoughtful about their skills.

Swap invitations for real ‘face time’

Recruiters should consider ditching LinkedIn as a first port of call. Instead, get out into the wild of This unfocused strategy is particularly harmful when it industry events, to add to the sector discussion. If comes to specialised or emerging industries that require very those forums don’t exist in your sector, then start particular candidates. For example, the UK is suffering from your own. That’s exactly what we did. RANT is a a cyber security skills shortage, and competition to fill roles sales-free monthly meet-up for cyber security and is fierce. These are roles that are highly technical, covering information security professionals. It has diverse specialisms. Without a solid understanding of exactly returned relationships that have delivered more than a similar investment of time and energy in LinkedIn would have done. In addition, while social networking has arguably had the biggest cultural impact in the past decade, Facebook is being spurned by ever-increasing numbers of millennials. Adweek reports that millennials make up 38% of LinkedIn, but that they are less likely to engage. This is also a generation concerned with purpose, authenticity and personalisation. LinkedIn, as it is designed and used by the majority of recruitment professionals, offers few of these characteristics. + If recruiters are going to continue to use the platform, they must adapt to the SIMON HEMBER changing expectations of candidates and the deepening specialisms of emerging is group business sectors. Most importantly, they must remember they are in the business of development director building relationships with people, not with online platforms. ● at Acumin

Sector expertise still needed


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CARE WORKERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PILE In response to your news ‘Government targets new carers in recruitment campaign’ (12 February), there are 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector. This stat alone tells you what a terrible state the sector is in. No government campaign’s going to go anywhere near resolving the issue. You can’t convince young people – or anyone – that being a care worker is for them if they don’t have the aptitude and desire to be one. Clearly, far too few people have a desire to work in care. What galls me about the industry is that those at the top earn a fortune while those wiping the arses get £7.50 an hour. At a care provider’s management offices near me, their car park is like a showroom forecourt for super cars. ALCONCALCIA

What’s the best way of handling a client that’s been rude to a candidate you have sent over for interview? SHARON LEONARD RECRUI T MEN T CON S ULTA N T – FOOD MA N UFAC T URI N G , C A ST L E EMP LOY MEN T G ROUP

“A rude client is a hard one for a recruiter. In today’s candidate-led market clients just can’t afford to be rude in an interview – their business reputation is at stake. Client feedback is a requisite but must be constructive. This is where a good recruiter can excel. I’ve turned around some tricky situations with diplomacy, but you will need this for both client and candidate. My advice: always be truthful, never be rude back, give constructive guidance and try to offer a positive outcome for all. The candidate might not end up in that role, but you can mitigate client reputation and enhance yours.”


DON'T LIMIT AI JUST TO THE 'TECHIES' While it is fantastic the news that the government is looking to boost the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) skills and talent by unveiling new industry-funded AI Masters (‘Government addresses ‘brain drain’ with new AI Masters courses’, 21 February), it’s important that we don’t present AI industry career opportunities as limited to those with these technical expertise. More than one fifth of 16-year-olds want to work in technology. To convert this passion into a much-needed workforce, it’s our responsibility to ensure that no matter what their specialism – whether technical, languages or the social sciences – they understand that there are roles and opportunities for them. Indeed, the recent WEF study on the future of work highlighted how job profiles have changed rapidly thanks to intelligent automation. In fact, the 71% of work currently done by humans will go down to just 58%. This will also be true of the technology industry. That’s why it’s key that the government and wider industry promote the broader skillsets needed for the advancement of the AI industry – particularly around creativity, analytical skills and emotional intelligence.

“This situation is something every HR or recruitment professional has dealt with at some stage. Ask both parties for their version of events. Take a view of the comment in the light of employment law. After all, one person’s ‘rude’ could just be another’s ‘direct’! On the other hand, the comment could get the client into hot water legally if it is discrimination. Either way, both parties will need a conversation – offering value-added consultancy is about tackling the hard stuff. I’ve found the client in these situations is usually mortified and often a gentle reminder is all that is needed. Just one of the joys of the job!”


“I would have an open and honest conversation with my client, relay the candidate’s feedback and gauge the response. There are always two sides to every story and it’s vital to understand the frustrations of both client and candidate, and be the intermediary between the two. On the other hand, if a client had been blatantly rude and potentially crossed a line, and I had discussed this with them and wasn’t getting anywhere, then I would escalate this above my contact’s head. If the behaviour continued, we simply would not work with that individual within that company again.”



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Successful recruitme recruitment entrepreneur Paul Flynn spent thre three years partying for it. Now, hard – and his health suffered su though, he has cleaned up his act, and is h helping elping other people tto make the same journey, he tells C Colin Cottell


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orking hard, playing hard and partying even harder have long been associated with the recruitment industry. Paul Flynn, recruitment entrepreneur and co-founder of international recruiter Staffgroup, which was sold to Cordant Group in 2015, admits that in the company’s early days, he fell into that category. “I was earning a lot of money, and spending too much of it on hard partying,” he says. “Like many successful recruitment companies, it was full of young people who were quite alpha a lot of the time. It was all about success, competition and an environment where people do party – there is nothing wrong with that.” Except, as he acknowledges, “a certain proportion will suffer from addiction or consequential mental health problems”. Unfortunately, that ‘certain proportion’ included Flynn himself. Even as he was helping to build what turned out to be a highly successful company, he went through a period of alcohol and substance misuse, experiencing its associated mental health problems. Recalling the three-year period until he “cleaned up” in 2006, he says: “You have that level of fatigue that comes with it, and the mental stress, so your decision-making is impaired, through decisions not being made with the level of perspective that is often required to run a business. It was holding back my ability to be able to function as a part-owner of the company. “One of the things I learned, being a CEO and in a position of authority, is that often people struggle, and it is difficult for them to access help. It is their job to keep the show on the road, and also there is the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse.”


Cleaning up Flynn was lucky enough to receive counselling, and also participated in a 12-step addiction recovery programme. And the business went on to prosper, growing to become a £54m turnover, £13m net-fee-income business that employed 130 staff. “I was fortunate to be able to clean up,” he admits, “and the business grew because I was able to get better before it really took off.” Indeed, he says he can actually trace the improved growth performance of the company directly to 2006, the year he ‘cleaned up’. “It was far more significant because I had a clear head,” he says.


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“I can talk their language – they can identify with the pattern of behaviour and the journey that I have been through”

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“Clean n and sober” for more tha than an 12 yea years, ars, s,, although h he still attends 12-step ep program programme am mme meetings, gs, Flynn might have de decided ssimply imp im mp ply tto o learn hiss lesson, count his bles blessings, ssings, a and nd d ccontinue on ntinu nti nue nue to devote e his time and energy y to his iincreasing ncr crreasi cre asing asi ng portfolio o of investments. Thes These curr currently ren enttly l inc iinclude includ n ude recruitment ment companies Umbi Umbilical bilical Li Life ife ea and nd Umbilical al Technology in Leic Leicester, cester, ass w well ell e ll as investments ents in AI and techno technology. ology. But rather ather than strictly confi finin n ning g that da dark ark k period off his life to the past, in May ay 2016 Flynn decided to launch Addcounsel, a busi business usines n s that at draws on n his own personal experience of substance ce and alcohol misuse, and his struggles with mental ental health. Think of a more exclusive version of The Priory, with clients ents housed separately in 13 flats, many located in London’s prestigious Chelsea and Belgravia a districts. Flynn says Addcounsel’s clients “typically typically have net worth of around £25m”, with one e client being worth about £4bn. With wealthy clients from all over the world, unsurprisingly isingly Addcounsel isn’t cheap, with fees “typically ly starting” at £45k a week. For this, they receive a one-to-one bespoke care and treatment programme mme for addiction and behavioural disorderss that includes both mental health and physical health. This gives them access to a team of 13 medical dical and health professionals, including psychologists, ogists, psychiatrists, and a range of other medical and personal support, as well as state-of-the-art -the-art physical health facilities. Addcounsel’s unsel’s ‘recovery route’ consists of four stages beginning eginning with intervention, and includes aftercare that can continue for up to two years. Ongoing support can even be arranged for clients outside the UK. “We take a long-term, holistic view on the restoration of health, because that is what it is really – it’s a complete view,” says Flynn. At the end of 2018, Addcounsel launched Behavioural Wealth, a supplementary service that consists of a two-day physical and behavioural assessment, followed by a report and recommendations. Costing a cool £20k, the service has already attracted clients including several recruitment industry CEOs, he says. Flynn is in no doubt that his own experiences have proved invaluable. “I can talk their language. They can identify with the pattern of behaviour and the journey that I have been through,” he says.

Finding their ‘why’ What some might reasonably ask is: what do people with that amount of wealth have to be

“Often people in a position of authority struggle, and it is difficult for them to access help”

CV: PAUL FLYNN • January 2018 to present: Umbilical Technology, CEO • September 2017 to present: Umbilical Life, chairman and CEO • May 2016 to present: Addcounsel, cofounder and CEO • 2016 to present: Investor in various technology and AI businesses • 2003-16: Staffgroup, managing director and co-founder

unhappy about? Flynn says wealth and riches don’t inure people from the same sort of problems as the rest of us. He cites the example of one Addcounsel client, the owner of a recruitment company based overseas that turns over £400m a year. “To the observer, this person is an incredible success. The business runs itself and they take the pay cheque.” But, he says: “What is their purpose? They have lost their sense of moral compass, they are battered, they have sacrificed a lot to get a lot of material wealth, and what are they left with?” A lack of purpose to their lives lies at the heart of many clients’ problems, Flynn confirms. “With some people, you try to get them to have a higher sense of purpose. It is something that people talk a lot about these days, for example, asking ‘What is your why?’ – the reality is that it is a relearning programme a lot of the time.” However, Flynn acknowledges that he is not a medical or mental health professional himself. “I am an orchestrator – that is the way I look at it; I work with good people.” Part of his role is to meet families, as well as referrers, such as family offices, banks and investment management companies. “I am usually the first port of call for any referrals. These people are often in a position of significant responsibility in managing the money of wealthy people, so if there is discord or fracture within the family they are often close it to – often they are seen as an extension of the family.” Many situations, he adds, “require some level of family therapy”, noting that “addiction is very much a disease of the family”. Although Flynn acknowledges that “a lot of money can be made” from his new venture, he insists this is not his primary motivation. “I am doing this because I want to help people. Anyone who I have ever worked with, or who has worked with me, will attest to that. “My view is that if you create a world-class service and provide incredible levels of care, and you focus on the care and not the cash, you have a great world-class company to be proud of,” he says.●


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IR3 5

Agencies, contractors and end clients face a bumpy ride ahead, as the changes to IR35 are extended to the private sector. Colin Cottell looks at ways to ensure a smoother journey

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mportant changes to the off-payroll working rules, also known as IR35, were introduced to the public sector almost two years ago, sending seismic shocks across the sector and its supply chain. The changes meant that when a public authority engages a worker through an intermediary, usually a personal service company (PSC), the responsibility for determining whether the IR35 rules apply rests with the end user rather than the PSC. In addition, where a PSC contract worker is inside IR35, the recruitment agency, as the fee-payer, is responsible for deducting and then paying PAYE taxes and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). In April 2020, it is widely anticipated that these same rules are set to be introduced into the much bigger private sector – although the exact details won’t be clear until the Finance Bill is published in July, says Julia Kermode, CEO at the FCSA, a membership body for umbrella companies. This follows a consultation


that is due to close on 28 May 2019. A report prepared for HMRC, ‘Off-Payroll Reform in the Public Sector’, published in May 2018, reveals how the reforms sent shock waves through the public sector, and the contractor supply chain on which it relies for supplying it with key skills. Fallout included reduced use of off-payroll contractors and an increase in gross rates paid to off-payroll contractors – albeit it in a minority of cases – as well as disputes between contractors, agencies and public sector end hirers. Some public sector employers reported difficulties in filling vacancies. And while there is still more than a year to go to the next set of changes, some fear that history could be about to repeat itself.


None of the impact should come as a surprise when, according to Louise Rayner, CEO of financial, back office and workforce engagement services provider NumberMill, many contractors are “significantly worse off ” as a result of the reforms. Rayner says that a PSC contractor earning £300 a day is around £14,000 a year worse off when paid through PAYE. The HMRC report also found difficulties in understanding the legislation and in using HMRC’s online assessment tool (CEST). Seb Maley, CEO at contractor insurance and tax advisory business Qdos Contractor, says a key reason for the problems was the knee-jerk reaction of many public sector bodies that led POWER POINTS them to making blanket assessments. “We saw a fear of doing something ● Assess the impact of the legislation on end clients wrong, and being linked with tax ● Train your consultants and account managers so they avoidance, so the easiest option can handle queries and difficult calls from contractors was ‘Everyone is inside IR35, and end clients and we are not going to ● Be ready with new contracts, policies and marketing materials engage anyone else ● Evaluate your current payroll capabilities for contractors [outside IR35]’.” ● Don’t be tempted by aggressive tax-avoidance schemes Graham Fisher, ● Outsource the ‘fee payer’ risk of an incorrect status decision to group CEO at a compliant umbrella contractor ● Do due diligence in your supply chain to avoid potential liability under the management Criminal Finance Act 2017 company ● Consider alternative models of engagement


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Orange Genie Group, adds that “everyone saw the flaw in blanket decisions”, but because the end client bears financial liability for unpaid taxes and NICs if they wrongly assessed a worker as outside IR35, “there was no other way to protect themselves”. “I see the same thing developing in the private sector,” he warns. However, experts and those providing services in the contractor sector contend that if lessons are learnt from the public sector, there is no need for history to repeat itself. And further, they argue that agencies have a key role to play in driving change and making the transition as smooth as possible.

GET PREPARED Crawford Temple, CEO of PRISM, a trade association for service providers, says the first lesson is that agencies need to act now. “The earlier they start to prepare, the better they will be at managing the process,” he says. One reason to start early is the magnitude of the changes: “Many agencies and their clients have never had to consider IR35 before, so there’s a big learning curve to go through.” Fisher agrees. “For a lot of hirers, IR35 is a foreign language, so it has to be up to the agencies to raise their awareness.” The first thing recruiters should do is engage with end-user clients to find out the impact of the changes on that client, urges Fisher. He says one agency that did this recently estimated that the client had 20 contractors, whereas it actually had 380, almost all of whom are certainly outside IR35. Matthew Brown, group CEO of workforce management solutions provider giant group, advises: “Assess PSC populations with each client and segment by role and importance to client, and then discuss with each client all the engagement options for the workers and the impact on their net pay of each option, as well as their appetite to increase rates for those most critical roles.” “Where there was a lot of success [in the public sector] was where agencies were effectively providing education to clients and engaging with them on WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 25

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IR3 5

what IR35 was in the first place, and trying to help their understanding of it so as to avoid any knee-jerk reaction, particularly a blanket assessment,” adds Qdos’s Maley. Rayner says agencies should be working with end clients to ensure that as many workers as possible are legitimately assessed as outside IR35. As she explains, it is in the end client’s own interests. “If the worker is suddenly going to be significantly worse off, make sure the end client is aware of it, and that if they take a strong stance, their competition may not,” she says. They should also be made aware of the significant saving in employment costs of around 25%, she adds. An additional reason for agencies to engage with end clients is potential financial liability, says Rayner. As a white paper on off-payroll working in the private sector by giant points out, the hirer can become liable for the PAYE taxes that should have been deducted from payments made to the PSC if they don’t take “reasonable care” in the worker’s assessment. Similarly, building an understanding with the end client and encouraging them to make a correct decision is also in agencies’ own self-interest. According to giant, under the legislation, to avoid financial liability for unpaid PAYE and NICs, the fee payer, usually the agency “should have written confirmation from the hirer outlining why the worker is


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outside IR35, and the reasonable steps they took in reaching their decision”.

INVOLVE CONTRACTORS As well as engaging with end user clients, Maley says it is vital that agencies involve contractors, as it is they who will take the sudden financial hit if deemed to be inside IR35. “Recruiters should be aware that a lot of them are already preparing for the change; they are well versed in the IR35 legislation and would want to have their say.” They should be involved not only when a decision on their IR35 status is made, but also on an ongoing basis, he says. With many contractors on 12-month contracts that will need to be renegotiated well before April 2020, recruiters need to act fast, says Temple. “If you leave it to the last minute, contractors will react in a bad way, and will feel cheated and misled,” he warns. One option for recruiters is to engage workers on models that take them outside IR35, says Fisher. “Everyone is looking at statement of work or output-based engagements,” he says, although this is not without its complications, he warns. Another solution is for agencies to set up their own management consultancy staffed by contractors. Professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley set up its own management consultancy, M3S Consulting, in November 2017. Although not set up specifically with

IR35 in mind, David Leithead, chief operating officer of Morgan McKinley Group, says the firm recognises the potential attractions this arrangement offers for when the IR35 reforms are extended into the private sector. Such a consultancy arrangement takes the responsibility for assessing whether a worker is on-payroll (inside IR35) or off-payroll (outside IR35) away from the end client, while enabling them “to still have access to the same expertise and talent”, says Leithead. If, as he expects, the private sector rules are similar to the public sector rules, he is “confident” that a consultancy arrangement will be outside the scope of the rules, and this in turn will make working for the consultancy attractive to many contractors. However, Leithead warns that setting up a management consultancy should not be undertaken lightly. “The whole premise is that control is being exerted by somebody else rather than by the end client, and that control must be with the consultancy.” For this reason, he says, the first person appointed to M3S was an experienced management consultancy practitioner. Morgan McKinley is an example of a recruiter that has taken the lessons of IR35 in the public sector to gear up and develop a solution. It will take a similarly proactive response from right across the industry to avoid the myriad potholes that recruiters will inevitably face. ●

The Recruit Venture Group hands you, on a plate, the exact resources you need to succeed and help is there throughout. Scott Saunders SaVi Recruitment Ltd. 01977 52 94 74

APRIL 2019

07/03/2019 12:24


Focusing on the bigger picture P2 BIG TALKING PO INT

What does good recruitment look like? P4 LEGAL UPDATE


Understanding how Brexit affects EU workers P6 Issue 72 April 2019


Why finding the right trainer matters P8


Working with Parliament to better support more inclusive workplaces D

iversity in the workplace has been proven to lead to better performance for organisations, and reducing the pay gap could add billions of pounds to the UK economy. The REC knows just how important it is to share how recruiters can help drive change. Last year, it sponsored the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women and Work, providing support for the group’s ‘How to Recruit Women for the 21st Century’ toolkit – launched in January. Within the toolkit, the APPG takes up the REC’s recommendation to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy to be used as a training and skills levy. Making the levy more flexible will allow many thousands more temporary workers to benefit from training. To improve fairness in recruiting and selecting candidates – allowing women more opportunities in the jobs market – the APPG has also recommended the importance of using recruitment agencies affiliated with trade associations like the REC.

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“Recruitment members all adhere to a code of professional conduct in which diversity is a core principle,” explains Sophie Wingfield, the REC’s head of policy. “Recruitment professionals are well placed to advise employers on how best they can make change happen.”

“Recruitment members all adhere to a code of professional conduct in which diversity is a core principle”

This year, the REC is again getting involved in the APPG’s work. The theme for 2019 is ‘inclusivity and intersectionality’, recognising that women are not a homogenous group. It is seeking to shine a spotlight on how different aspects of identity such as age, race, disability or income – together with gender – can affect an individual’s experience of recruitment and employment. And it will explore how a better understanding of this intersectionality can support a more inclusive workplace. Tom Hadley, the REC’s director of policy and campaigns, plans to give evidence on the business case for diversity at the first meeting of this new programme, due to take place as Recruitment Matters went to press. The REC will also continue to champion the role its members can play in helping to challenge established practices and access new pools of candidates, particularly through its Good Recruitment Campaign. Ornella Nsio, REC stakeholder engagement manager 04/03/2019 10:37


the view...

We must focus on the issues that matter, says TOM HADLEY, REC director of policy and professional services

The REC needs you to get involved, says

NEIL CARBERRY, REC chief executive


he world outside our office windows is changing fast. Whether your concern is how IR35 rules will be applied, Brexit, or longer-term developments such as adapting to technology or changing client behaviour, the external environment will challenge all of us, as well as bring opportunities. At the REC, we are all about brilliant recruitment. Helping you to navigate those challenges. When our industry does well, the whole of the UK benefits. Our role at the REC is to help the sector deliver – standing up for members as their voice; focusing on the good practice that will underpin your reputation; and helping you to grow with relevant, practical advice. Put that together and you have an industry that can take its place in the heart of the UK’s world-leading Professional Services sector. And a representative body that is truly focused on member needs. But we can’t deliver it without your help. The REC isn’t our organisation – it’s yours. We should see the world through recruiters’ eyes and develop our plans based on a deep understanding of the industry, its needs and challenges. That’s why the 2019 REC Council elections are so important. To deliver on our plans to support you, we need a Council that can advise and challenge the REC to be the best it can be – and do that with experience from a diverse range of businesses and personal backgrounds. The Council plays a vital role in guiding our strategy. A strong Council is the best guarantee you have that the REC will be getting it right for you. So, it’s my pleasure to invite you to play a role in where the REC goes next. It’s your democratic right as members to take part in our 2019 elections. By getting the right mix of elected members, your organisation can use their wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience to guide our team to improve what we do for you, every day. We are seeking exceptional leaders to help us shape the future of the recruitment industry. You have a chance to give back to the industry that you love. It’s also a little extra something for your clients to know that you are on the Council of the organisation that champions good practice and speaks up for brilliant recruiters. Nominations open on 22 April. You can put forward candidates here – and remember, when the ballot papers come out to your firm, exercise your right to vote! If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil


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The bigger picture… Take a look at our poll of more than 400 recruiters and the outlook for the labour market is relatively mixed. Just over 40% flagged real concerns, but a further 25% were ‘cautiously optimistic’, despite ongoing political uncertainty. However the optimism gauge evolves, our focus over the coming months is on driving proactive, research-led campaigns under the banner of four key themes: 1. Building a 21st century jobs market that works for everyone – Our industry can deliver a step-change on inclusion and progression. We will showcase our solutions to emerging labour market challenges. We also want to achieve high-profile partnership work on all inclusion strands and pave the way for the Apprenticeship Levy to be broadened into a skills levy that works for individuals and recruitment businesses. 2. Championing good recruitment – There has never been a more important time to champion good recruitment as a driver of productivity and growth, and to use this as a hook into the government’s good work agenda. We will amplify our Good Recruitment Campaign in a way that provides practical benefits to recruiters as well as employers and demonstrate the role of agencies in delivering ‘good work’. 3. Creating the environment for compliant businesses to succeed – We will drive a solution-focused approach to ensure a level playing field for compliant businesses and a workable regulatory environment. We will campaign for fair procurement and effective enforcement, influence IR35 changes and immigration policy, and deliver a Brexit support programme for members. 4. Taking a lead on the future of jobs – Automation, AI and evolving skills needs are priority issues for everyone. We will build on our Future of Jobs Commission to position the REC at the forefront of this debate and provide thought leadership and practical support to members. In addition to our series of white papers, we will feed into the global activities of World Employment Confederation (WEC) and drive our Future of Jobs Ambassadors initiative to help build the bridge between education and work. The political environment may be uncertain, but we want there to be absolute clarity on our industry’s role within a dynamic and inclusive jobs market. As ever, the expertise and insight of recruitment professionals will amplify this message and form the life-blood of our campaigning activities. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment

04/03/2019 10:37


the intelligence... Labour and skills shortages on the rise BY THALIA IOANNIDOU, REC SENIOR RESEARCHER


or all the recent political uncertainty, one immense challenge facing UK businesses has remained constant: labour and skills shortages. The UK has been experiencing broad-based contraction of candidate availability for the past five-and-a-half years. The number of people available to take up new roles has continued to deteriorate sharply in 2019. Shrinking labour supply, often linked to record low unemployment levels in the UK and hesitation among potential candidates to move roles amid Brexit-related uncertainty, has put significant pressure on businesses. Every month IHS Markit, in association with the REC and KPMG, survey a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. According to latest indicators of staff availability, the overall supply of available workers has further declined across the UK, and the rate at which it has done so has accelerated to a 20-month record. Specifically, the sharp reductions in the supply of workers to fill permanent job roles were seen across the four English regions, led by London. Meanwhile, the steepest reduction in the availability of temporary workers was seen in the Midlands (‘Report on Jobs’, February 2019). In addition to fewer candidates in the market, recruiters and employers point to skills and talent shortages. Indeed, the list of skills that are in short supply for both permanent and temporary staff continues to increase. Sectors such as IT/Computing, Engineering, Accounting/Financial and Health/Social Care are those most commonly reported as facing acute skills shortages.

Average monthly turnover versus last year (%) Average monthly employee total versus last year (%)

5.8% 8.6% 0.9% 2.9% 0.0% 3.9% 5.8%



Q1 2018

Q2 2018

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Average monthly turnover and total employees versus last year (%) for the median RIB recruiter: Q1-Q4 2018

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As a recent survey of of UK employers conducted by the REC reveals, shortage of suitable candidates was identified as the most pressing challenge facing UK businesses, followed closely by political and economic uncertainty. A third (33%) of those surveyed highlighted labour and skills shortages as their main challenge – with the proportion rising to almost half of respondents in the South (excluding London) and similar levels seen in the public sector. This is significantly higher than the proportion of employers (24%) that identified the shortage of suitable candidates as the main challenge facing their business a year ago. Furthermore, a study by the OECD on future-ready adult learning systems in February 2019 highlighted how digitalisation, globalisation and an ageing population are having a profound impact on the type of jobs that are available and the skills needed to perform them. What is particularly worrying is the fact that

The latest real-time information from the RIB Index shows that, having achieved a year-on-year average (YoY) monthly increase in turnover of 9.7% across 2017, the median RIB recruiter averaged a 6.8% increase across JanuaryDecember 2018. 2018 was a year of

A third (33%) of those surveyed highlighted labour and skills shortages as their main challenge. That compares to the 24% that identified the shortage of suitable candidates as the main challenge facing their business a year ago.

the UK is one of the countries with the lowest correspondence between the skills reported as development priorities by employers and the skills targeted in their training activities. For a business to thrive, it must maximise all the resources available. And the most important asset of any organisation is its people. But as labour and skills shortages intensify, economic growth is at risk. Opportunities for upskilling and reskilling are urgently needed if UK businesses are to continue competing successfully. Recruiters are uniquely placed to help employers identify relevant skills required for the changing world of work and to support candidates in developing these. To find out more about the latest UK labour market trends and to subscribe to REC’s monthly ‘Report on Jobs’ and ‘JobsOutlook’, visit

two halves, however, with the strong performance in the back half of 2017 continuing into the Q1 and Q2 2018. Thereafter, turnover growth was, comparatively, far more subdued. Unsurprisingly, the highly agile industry responded to the

slowing of turnover growth across the year by curtailing headcount growth. It is interesting to note, however, the healthy return to employee growth in Q4 2018 – either in response to or in anticipation of increased demand that will yield itself in Q1 2019 results.

BELINDA JOHNSON runs employment research consultancy, Worklab, and is Associate Knowledge & Insight Director of Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) – a strategic partner of the REC. The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry benchmarks and trends. See; 020 8544 9807.


07/03/2019 11:44


big talking point

Resourcing the right way The Good Recruitment Campaign is one of the most important campaigns the REC has ever run. Recruitment Matters explains why recruiters should be a part of it

any businesses pride themselves on their ability to attract and retain top talent. And with growing skill shortages, how they do so is high on the corporate agenda. As the REC would argue, good recruitment processes sit at the heart of it.

But what does good recruitment look like? This is the question the REC asked of a group of HR, talent and resourcing professionals from a range of leading employers and influential business bodies – including Boots, the CIPD, EY, Pepsico, Siemens and Vodafone – in early 2014. These Good Recruitment Leaders developed an aspirational charter detailing nine key principles to consider during the recruitment process – whether in partnership with a thirdparty recruiter or sourcing direct. These principles are: 1. Actively promoting diversity & inclusion 2. Applying consistent good practice equally to temporary, contract, interim, fixed-term, zero hours and part-time workers 3. Delivering a high standard of candidate experience, with ongoing communication and two-way feedback 4. Offering flexible work wherever possible


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5. Committing to the professional development of those managing and delivering the recruitment process 6. Asking recruitment partners to demonstrate their own commitment to good recruitment practice 7. Asking supply chain partners to deliver good recruitment practice 8. Helping to address youth employment, through the provision of apprenticeships and traineeships, for example 9. Focusing on process improvement, by regularly reviewing recruitment procedures with feedback from candidates (whether appointed or not) and keeping up-to-date with new recruitment approaches. More than 400 major companies, employing more than 3 million workers in the UK, have publicly signed up to this charter. But, importantly, they are not left to do the hard work on their own. Organisations that sign up get free access to selfassessment tools to help benchmark their organisation against the principles of good recruitment, and an online hub with research and guidance on topics ranging from employer branding and candidate experience to legislative changes such as the Apprenticeship Levy and GDPR. Signatories can also attend free Good Recruitment Campaign (GRC) workshops and events to learn more about best practice from industry experts and fellow practitioners.

The benefits for agency partners The aim is to encourage employers of all sizes to sign up and to ensure that recruiters receive regular intelligence and use the campaign as a hook for engaging with clients. The campaign has been designed to boost genuine partnership work between in-house recruiters and agency recruiters,

07/03/2019 12:20


PROMOTING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AS PART OF THE GOOD RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN The first principle of the Good Recruitment Campaign focuses on actively promoting diversity and inclusion, so here’s a little more detail on the work the REC has been doing on this issue to support its members and GRC employers alike.

using the best industry insight and research. The campaign is helping to bridge the gap between REC member good practice and the good recruitment practice of their clients. But the business benefits for REC members are also clear. The campaign engages employers across the UK, and in turn provides REC members with a channel to present their knowledge and value when consulting with clients about managing risk, growing profits and enhancing their brand. The campaign helps agency partners demonstrate their expertise, which allows them to establish more positive, effective relationships with existing clients – and win new business too. “Having won business as result of the Good Recruitment Campaign, I recommend all REC members offer the GRC as a value-add to all of their current and potential clients; it really opens doors and we couldn’t be happier,” says Susie Ankrett, director, Plum Personnel. “Whether you’re on the phone, at a meeting, sending an email or hosting a client event, promoting the Good Recruitment Campaign and encouraging your clients to get involved – free of charge – gives you the opportunity to stand out from the competition,” says Kuba Trzcinski, the REC’s campaign manager. “It’s an easy way to provide a better all-round service to candidates and clients and drive an even better future for our industry.”

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The starting point is simple: good recruitment practices are the foundation upon which a fair and diverse organisation can be built. And in its latest D&I research report, ‘Increasing opportunity, supporting growth’, the REC offers plenty of practical guidance for employers, HR professionals and recruitment agencies to follow to improve their processes to support better gender diversity. Explored in more detail in the March issue of Recruitment Matters, it includes clear and simple ways to promote gender diversity, good questions to ask and case studies showing the achievable differences that can be made. The REC is also in the process of developing a practical employer toolkit and accompanying whitepaper focusing on D&I as a whole. This will help your clients tackle the challenges of recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce, including how to get buy-in from senior stakeholders. Once again, the emphasis will also be on ensuring that the recruitment process is inclusive throughout the entire supply chain – and how working with partners that recognise the importance of D&I is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And on 16 April, the GRC will be running one of its regular workshops on D&I, with leading speakers in this area, and roundtable sessions where GRC signatories can discuss issues, share case studies and learn best practice. So if you’re committed to resourcing the right way, and helping your clients attract the talent they need to perform and grow, it’s never too late to get them involved in the Good Recruitment Campaign. Visit www.rec. to find out how. APRIL 2019 RECRUITMENT MATTERS 5

07/03/2019 12:20


legal update

Brexit and EU workers By BUNMI ADEFUYE – senior solicitor, REC


n light of the concerns over Brexit, we have seen an increase in the number of questions around introducing and supplying workers from the EU after Brexit. A lot of UK businesses employ staff from the EU. However, some businesses might be reluctant to do so after Brexit, and naturally EU nationals will be concerned about their future in the UK. Suggesting or stipulating that candidates from certain countries will not be considered for employment could give rise to unlawful race discrimination. Eligibility criteria should not be based on race or nationality. The Equality Act 2010, which will still be in force after Brexit, prohibits



RM_April_2019.indd 6

employment service providers (which includes recruitment agencies) from discriminating against a person, in the arrangements they make for selecting who to provide their services to. The employer is also prohibited from discriminating against anyone in the arrangements they make for deciding who they should employ or by deliberately refusing to offer employment. Despite the changes to EU nationals’ immigration status, recruiters and employers must consider applications from all candidates who meet their criteria and are suitably qualified for

My biggest irritation about Brexit has been the uncertainty. Get on with it – either way. It’s uncertainty that suffocates business. That said, here at Voyager we’re yet to see much impact. There is no shortage of enquiries from recruiters starting up their new businesses and the existing customer base seems to be solid. Although enquiries from established businesses seem to be showing a slight

the role. Doing the reverse could result in a race discrimination claim, and it is worth noting that the compensation due on a successful claim is uncapped and can include an additional amount for injury to feelings. In some circumstances it is possible to objectively justify the decision not to recruit certain individuals because of their race or nationality, provided the process and decision clearly demonstrate a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. This means that it will be lawful to require that a person possesses a particular protected characteristic such as race in order to perform the functions needed for the role. For example, you need to be a British citizen for certain senior civil service roles, such as a UK diplomat representing the UK in another country. As a way forward, to reduce the possibility of losing EU citizens, recruiters and employers can remind EU nationals of the possibility of applying for British citizenship or settled status if they meet the criteria. It will be helpful to provide the necessary details to assist them with their application – including the fact that the government announced in January that there will be no fees charged when the settled scheme commences on 30 March 2019.

downward trend. Here, it seems, the metaphorical handbrakes have been applied. I think this relative insulation we’re seeing is a lot to do with the type of customers we have and the markets they serve. Voyager’s customers are SME recruiters who typically specialise in a certain sector or sectors. Skilled sectors, where unemployment is low and talent is short; where they add real value to the hunt

for talent for their clients. In highly skilled markets that are buoyant and will continue to be so. So, I don’t have much to complain about as far as our business goes. But in terms of news and conversation, I just want Brexit to happen so I can get some resemblance of normality back. Simon Warburton, managing director at Voyager Software

04/03/2019 10:38

I N S P I R AT I O N To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit


Guidant Global on closing the gender pay gap

Adapt or don’t survive

How do you close the gender pay gap?

What tools are you using to make a change?

There is no easy fix, but the talent management sector is best placed to drive meaningful change. There are numerous ways that we can encourage more females into leadership positions. As well as working to level the playing field within our own organisations, we also have a duty to challenge our own clients and those in the wider supply chain.

We are constantly evolving how we work in order to ensure that the best person for the job is always the person hired or promoted. We encourage regular Open Blend sessions between employees and managers. Everyone receives unconscious bias training and helps champion our move towards strengthsbased interviewing. We also ensure that our employer branding resonates with the widest pool of available talent.

are needed to look after animals appearing on set – via the app, which has been a good way of getting people to sign up.

Be proactive not pushy It’s sounds simple but by listening to what people want and treating them as we would want to be treated, we’ve remained competitive despite a lot of new entrants to the market. A lot of our business comes through referrals.

Stay connected It’s easy to get stuck in a rut as an agency

We work in a beautiful barn conversion in the middle of nowhere. It’s But we try to be as easy to feel disassociated progressive as possible. from the industry. But Recently we developed we’ve found sending an app that sends push our new starters on notifications about roles REC courses helps them to our locums, and it’s been incredibly successful. understand their recruiting The more targeted we can role, not just the veterinary world – they can see their be in who we approach skills are transferable for jobs, the better the and that we’re part of response. We only share something bigger. film work – when vets

RM_April_2019.indd 7

SIMON BLOCKLEY, chief executive,

director, A1 Locums on building a trusted business

When A1 Locums launched 15 years ago, it was a very different marketplace. There were only six agencies in the veterinary sector and the majority of our clients were independent surgeries. It was all about personal relationships. At our last count there were 77 agencies, servicing predominately corporate clients. Yet we posted our highest turnover last year, so we must be doing something right.


What I know


What role do male leaders have to play in driving equality? Men, and male leaders in particular, have a vital role to play. Through building a culture of inclusivity, everyone benefits. Here at Guidant Global, 82% of our entire workforce have flexible working arrangements in place – many of these are men. Through such initiatives, women are not automatically expected to take on the ‘primary carer’ role – historically a barrier to career progression.

How do you involve your employees? As we’re a founding member of Women in Recruitment, all our people have access to events and resources to drive best practice. Our inclusion initiative, INfluence, and internal employer ambassador group for working parents help to empower our employees. Diverse teams drive increased innovation, creativity and profitability – and we are determined to spread that message.


04/03/2019 10:38


A personal approach Sometimes finding the right trainer is as important as tailoring a course to your company’s needs. Andy Schafer, senior consultant at construction specialist Trade Recruitment, explains why to Recruitment Matters You recently approached the REC for training, what were you looking for? It’s crucial that we invest in our staff and their development for their sake and that of the business. Everyone benefits from refreshing their technique, or picking up a new skill, even if they’ve been here 10 years. So I put the initial enquiry in to the REC about some telephone sales training for six of our consultants. I was keen to get something tailored to our business and our sector that incorporated some of the training we wanted to give them as well. I also wanted the right trainer with the right background, so he was on a level our staff would respect and listen to. And I wanted him to come into our business and observe the consultants to see them in action first. That’s what we got. The trainer chosen for us, Stuart Lucas, was the perfect fit. He’d worked with large companies, had a background in blue collar recruitment and he had proven results. So after talking through our objectives with him over the phone, he came in for a morning to observe. He then came back a



RM_April_2019.indd 8

week later for the training itself. First he ran a very interactive group session over 2-3 hours, covering more knowledge-based content. Then he spent time with each consultant for some one-on-one, practical training, with him listening to them on the phone, offering his insight, pointers and tips as they went along. And were you happy with the results? Even after the observation, it was great to see the motivation and change in the level of enthusiasm from our staff. They knew we were investing in them. And even during the training, you could see Stuart’s advice starting to pay off. Training will never convert into overnight success for the business, but we could clearly see – and hear – the impact just one week on. How do you ensure you keep that momentum and enthusiasm going – and that old habits don’t kick back in? The trainer followed up with some practical feedback, offering an overview of each consultant’s strengths and areas

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

Any training company could tailor a course for us, but we’re an REC member and it made sense to make the most out of it. It’s also a respected brand, and you expect what they offer to come with a stamp of quality. And how would you describe the process of setting up the training? It was a very simple process from picking up the phone to the REC and saying what I was looking for development. And we think for, to having a conference call it’s a good idea to have him with the trainer the IRP had deliver this kind of training on a selected, to inviting him into our regular basis, every few months, office within weeks – even with so he can monitor their progress alongside a continual refreshment Christmas in the way. It was time well spent. of their skills. By being so tailored, we can The Institute of Recruitment cut out all the irrelevant training Professionals represents, an off-the-shelf course would educates, qualifies and provide. By finding the right supports the careers of trainer, with the right fit, we think individual recruitment it will be more beneficial the professionals throughout more we use him. It would be the UK. Becoming a member money well spent. of the IRP demonstrates Certainly, after this experience your commitment to it’s fair to say we plan to provide professionalism and best our staff with a more consistent practice in recruitment and is and regular training programme. signified by letters attached to your title. Why approach the REC, rather than another training provider?

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Pip Brooking Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing © 2019 Recruitment Matters. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redactive Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redactive Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduction in whole or part without written permission.

04/03/2019 10:38

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10. Decide which contractors cannot afford to be lost and hence the costs of any additional tax payments that might have to be borne and by whom 11.

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SmartWork is assisting recruitment business prepare for the changes and understand the implication of getting this wrong.


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06/03/2019 12:11



conversation between an asylum seeker and the mentor who helped her with CV and jobseeking skills was the spark that led to unemployed people getting a foothold in the Scottish job market, while helping to address a serious skills shortage. Shan Saba, a director at Brightwork, a recruitment company with branches in Glasgow and Edinburgh, says the inspiration for a new training academy for the care sector, which started up late last year – and which resulted in seven unemployed people, many with physical or mental health conditions, finding work in care homes across Glasgow – goes back several years. Saba recalls how one female asylum seeker referred to Brightwork by the Bridges Programmes, a Glasgow-based charity that works with asylum seekers and refugees, told her mentor at Brightwork: “I don’t know how to work because I have never worked, and I don’t know what kind of work I want to do.” Asked what she had done when she lived in Somalia, she replied: “I brought up my family, I raised five children, and I looked after my parents who were unwell.” To which the mentor responded: “That sounds like care work to me.”

Partnership born After this happened, the Bridges Programmes came to Brightwork and said: “We've lots of other people who want to go into [working in] care.” And so the idea of a partnership between the two organisations was born, with the Bridges Programmes providing the training and Brightwork using the skills of its consultants to help place trainees into work, says 28 RECRUITER

APRIL 2019

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Saba. The resultant partnership led to several asylum seekers finding work in the care sector, he says. The two organisations were buoyed by the success of the partnership, and it became the blueprint for developing a similar programme aimed not at asylum seekers but at unemployed people who had been out of work and for whom a mental or physical health condition was a barrier to finding employment, says Saba. The resultant pilot, which began in October as part of Fair Start Scotland, the Scottish government’s first devolved employment programme, involved not the Bridges Programmes, but PeoplePlus Scotland – an employment support and training services company working with Brightwork. PeoplePlus is a sister company of Brightwork, both of them being part of the Staffline Group. A feature of Fair Start Scotland – which started up in April last year, and aims to provide tailored training and employment support to a minimum of 38,000 people who are among those furthest away from the labour market during its first five years – is that participation is voluntary, with no sanctions for non-attendance. All participants are self-referring, although IM AGES | I STO CK / B R I GHTWO R K

06/03/2019 14:32




“The care sector traditionally has always had people from different backgrounds and different demographics. The one thing you have to have is a caring nature, so a CV on its own will never give you that”

before people begin on a Fair Start Scotland programme, they are expected to attend an awareness day first. Those signed up to a Fair Start Scotland programme can receive support for up to a year.

Experts in care John Dolan, director for Scotland at PeoplePlus, says the programme devised with Brightwork gave the 10 participants on its first Care Academy a solid grounding in the basics of care work, such as how to physically handle patients. When designing the training programme, it was important for PeoplePlus to tap into Brightwork’s expertise in care, says Dolan. “It’s a partnership with Brightwork, which is a specialist in the care sector, so they developed the course to make sure the participants had the key skills and what employers are looking for,” he says. Saba says that while the participants on the programme faced many barriers to employment – such as mental and

physical conditions, difficult family circumstances and periods of unemployment – “the biggest barrier people have is lack of self-confidence”. That’s where being on a programme with eight or nine other people all in the same boat really helps, says Dolan. There was a sense “of being stronger together” among those on the training course, and as they went through the weeks together “social bonding” developed, which he says helped boost the participants’ confidence. At the end of the first four days, those who completed the training course received a certificate. As well as giving a boost to people – “some of whom have never had any qualifications before” – having a qualification “makes them far more attractive for employers”, says Dolan. After their training with PeoplePlus, participants then spent a day with consultants from Brightwork, who gave them practical advice and tips on interviews and CVs, and generally helped them to be ‘job ready’. The participants came out of the academy armed with new skills, as well as information and increased confidence. The result was that several care home providers in the Glasgow area – both public and private sector care providers – were keen to offer participants entry-level care worker roles, with seven taking up positions during the final quarter of 2018, says Saba. The care sector can be an attractive and accessible option for people with these types of backgrounds and barriers to getting into employment, Saba adds, although they must have one essential trait: “The care sector traditionally has always had people from different backgrounds and different demographics. The one thing you have to have is a caring nature, so a CV on its own will never give you that.” There is certainly no shortage of demand for care workers, WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 37 29

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06/03/2019 14:32

ˇʻʸ ˇ˅ˈˆˇʸʷ ˈˀʵ˅ʸʿʿʴ ˆ˂ʿˈˇʼ˂ˁ

ˀ˂˅ʸ ˇʻʴˁ ʽˈˆˇ ˌ˂ˈ˅ ˆˇʴˁʷʴ˅ʷ ˈˀʵ˅ʸʿʿʴ

ʶ˂ˁˇʴʶˇ ˈˆ ˇ˂ ʷʼˆʶˈˆˆʭ

ˊ˜˧˛ ʼ˅ʦʨ ˥˨˟˘˦ ˔˥˥˜˩˜ˡ˚ ˜ˡ ˧˛˘ ˣ˥˜˩˔˧˘ ˦˘˖˧ˢ˥ ˜ˡ ʴˣ˥˜˟ ʥʣʥʣʟ ˢ˨˥ ˦ˢ˟˨˧˜ˢˡ ˖˔ˡ ˢ˙˙˘˥ ˬˢ˨˥ ˔˚˘ˡ˖ˬ ˖ˢˠˣ˟˘˧˘ ˣ˘˔˖˘ ˢ˙ ˠ˜ˡ˗ʡ ʴ˧ ˜ʶˢˡ˦˨˟˧ ˪˘ ˣ˥˜˗˘ ˢ˨˥˦˘˟˩˘˦ ˢˡ ˕˘˜ˡ˚ ʤʣʣʘ ˖ˢˠˣ˟˜˔ˡ˧ʡ ˇ˛˔˧ʚ˦ ˪˛ˬ ˪˘ʚ˥˘ ˃˥ˢ˙˘˦˦˜ˢˡ˔˟ ˃˔˦˦ˣˢ˥˧ ˔˨˗˜˧˘˗ ˔˦ ˪˘˟˟ ˔˦ ˠ˘ˠ˕˘˥˦ ˢ˙ ʴ˃ˆʶˢ ˔ˡ˗ ˇʸʴˀʡ

ʶʼˆ ˆʸʿʹʠʸˀ˃ʿ˂ˌʸʷ


ʽ˂ʼˁˇ ʸˀ˃ʿ˂ˌˀʸˁˇ ˀ˂ʷʸʿ ʛˁʻˆʜ

ʹ˥˘˘ ʼ˅ʦʨ ˆ˘ˠ˜ˡ˔˥˦

ʴ˗˩˜˖˘ ˢˡ ʶ˥˜ˠ˜ˡ˔˟ ʹ˜ˡ˔ˡ˖˘ ʴ˖˧ ʥʣʤʪ

ʵ˨˦˜ˡ˘˦˦ ˧ˢ ʵ˨˦˜ˡ˘˦˦ ʶˢˠˠ˘˥˖˜˔˟ ʴ˚˥˘˘ˠ˘ˡ˧˦

ʶ˂ˁˇ˅ʴʶˇ˂˅ ˈˀʵ˅ʸʿʿʴ

ʣʤʤʪ ʧʦʧ ʣʣʣʧ ˜ʶˢˡ˦˨˟˧ʡ˨˞ʡ˖ˢˠ ˘ˡˤ˨˜˥˜˘˦ʳ˜ʶˢˡ˦˨˟˧ʡ˨˞ʡ˖ˢˠ

REC.04.19.038.indd 38

06/03/2019 12:13




says Saba. “Lots of care homes come to us looking for workers. We are still candidate-short; we need as many candidates as we can get.” According to a survey report published in December 2018 by Scottish Care, a body that represents over 400 independent social care service providers, 61% of members have carer vacancies, with 41% saying they found recruitment more difficult than in 2017.

Commercially viable The partnership also makes commercial sense for Brightwork, he says, given the steady decline in the flow of care workers into the market. Its work with PeoplePlus is part of its wider strategy “to tap into a pool of labour that traditionally we wouldn’t have looked at”. Brightwork also works with the Prince’s Trust in a similar way, he says. With seven out of the 10 participants who began the first PeoplePlus Care Academy successfully placed in work, there will definitely be more Care Academies, although there will

Mary Hepburn, a former pub manager from Glasgow, who was unemployed for six months before starting on the PeoplePlus Care Academy, says the five-day programme was useful “in giving me a new direction to go into something I have had never done before”, as well as providing her with valuable information and practical skills. Today, she works for Renfrewshire Council providing care for residents in their own homes. Hepburn says she finds the work rewarding. “You help people and you take care of them, and you have a wee five-minute chat with them,” she says.


be tweaks, says Saba. “We hope they will be a bit more focused on where we have a candidate shortage, particularly in the central belt of Scotland,” he says. Although a 70% placement rate from the first PeoplePlus Care Academy is impressive enough, in a sense that is the easy bit, says Dolan. “When somebody starts in a job, that’s just the beginning of their journey. It is not just getting people into work; it is keeping them in work,” he says. “We have to prepare people so they have longevity in the role.” PeoplePlus gets paid only after someone has been in a role for 13 weeks, he explains. So the organisation provides ongoing support to help participants with some of the practical aspects of life, such as financial budgeting. Working hand in hand with Brightwork, it’s an approach that certainly appears to be achieving results. Dolan reveals that as of February all seven who were placed through the PeoplePlus Care Academy were still in work. ●


p36-39_recruiter_employability.indd 39

06/03/2019 14:32

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@GrowthPartnersPLC @GrowthPartnersPLC @GP_PLC 06/03/2019 12:14





Keeping the Valentine’s Day theme going, recruiters have been showing how big-hearted they are with their fundraising g and volunteering g… HR GO FUNDS LIFE-SAVING EQUIPMENT Ashford-based HR GO recruitment group funded a vital defibrillator for rural Brook Primary School. HR GO employee Stephanie Read, and mother of two pupils, nominated the school to receive the life-saving equipment. The device was supplied by The Oliver King Foundation, established by Mark King in memory of his 12-year-old son who died of sudden cardiac arrest. Mark King (right) with Roddy Barrow (left), HR GO Group MD, Stephanie, Erin and Grace Read]


Suki Sandhu OBE @MrSukiSandhu Feb 21 Words can’t fathom the pride I feel today collecting my OBE from Buckingham Palace. The suit is #AlexanderMcQueen & the shirt is Burberry. How could I not wear British brands on a day like today? Thank you for all the support & love. #diversity #inclusion #business

(Below) Sarah Williams, trainee recruitment consultant at the Cheltenham branch and (right) Madeleine Mann, branch manager at the Bristol branch

dbcharlesrecruitment Want to know what a recruiter loves to read at lunchtime? #recruitmentlife #lunchandlearn #bookworm recruitermagazine Can we commend you for your great taste in reading?! ;-)


CLASS PEOPLE CAN TELL A GOOD STORY Consultants from education recruitment agency Class People, based in the South-West, have been busy inspiring the next generation to take up reading. Following on from National Storytelling Week (26 January2 February), Class People employees have been volunteering in schools to help turn pupils into lifelong readers.

Jodie Rafferty @RaffertyRes Feb 14 The Postie thought he was funny this morning telling me he had something special for me! I do love @RecruiterMag but would have preferred roses #recruitment #valentinesday, he laughed all the way down the corridor @RecruiterMag

The Recruit Venture Group allow you to make the leap without financial worry, there are no financial restrictions holding you back. Patrick Wilson Wilson Recruitment Ltd. 01604 80 85 55 WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 33

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The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


the bands Florence and the Machine, Two Door Cinema Club and BYOB. The company invited employees, members and guests to join them in a weekend filled with music, lawn games, archery, dancing and yoga, all with the intention of connection. The ‘summer camp’ for adults encapsulated WeWorks’ ethos – that the workplace is a place that brings us together, and is a place that should engage and inspire us. This is something that I support, and one of the reasons we created MyLondonWorks. PR and marketing agency Octopus Group takes its people to its Roctostock festival every year for a weekend of team-building in tents, enjoying live music and downtime together. CEO Jon Lonsdale explains: “We love getting away from the stresses and strains of the office for 24 hours, and friendships are formed.” These work-style retreats have abandoned the traditional conference-style talks and activities, in favour of bonding over a shared love of music. They are much more appealing and allow cross-team connections to

“These work-style retreats have abandoned traditional activities in favour of bonding over a shared love of music” naturally occur – especially when tagged Instagram posts are used. It’s popular in our industry to schedule a work ski weekend. Over the past couple of years we have added to our annual calendar: canoeing down the Zambezi, climbing Kilimanjaro, cycling around Machu Picchu and trekking across Madagascar. These are life-changing, unique experiences. Our golden ticket programme, where we send random mixed groups away for the day, works in every regard. We’ve sent people tandem skydiving, hot air balloon riding and abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Try them; they are not your traditional team-building events, but they are more powerful. ●

AT A DINNER party recently, a friend who works in the corporate team-building space was telling me how busy, yet competitive and saturated, his market had become. I was surprised – it is something that I no longer consider. Corporate team-building was designed in the 1980s for teamwork, bonding, cross-team communication and ‘improving collaboration’. But surely the modern workplace has changed all this. Work is so much more exciting now than it used to be, even compared with five years ago. There are so many elements that we do together now at work that the need to push an outward-bound course seems old-fashioned, and I found myself intrigued to understand if there was a modern world of team-building. Sadly, I’m not sure it has evolved that much, but I did find some super examples of bringing teams together – in particular, businesses that created their own festival-style retreats. Shared office space provider WeWork recently hosted a bonanza featuring

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

APRIL 2019

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BRING ON THE BRILLIANCE More focus on health rather than sickness absence BY TERESA BOUGHEY

↗ TERESA BOUGHEY is CEO of Jungle HR and works with executive boards and leadership teams during times of change and business transformations

“If employee wellbeing is considered a priority from the offset, the effect of absenteeism will also diminish”


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THE PHRASE ‘EMPLOYEE WELLBEING’ continues to gain prominence in the business world, with more recent attention focusing on mental health and the elusive work-life balance. However, a prevailing culture still remains that focuses upon absenteeism and sickness. It is understandable that smaller businesses are focused on the impact of absence days on their bottom line, but the fundamental health and wellbeing of employees should not be neglected in favour of a ‘numbers’ approach. If employee wellbeing is considered a priority from the offset, the effect of absenteeism will also diminish.

The link between inclusivity and wellbeing If your organisation wants to become truly inclusive,

revolutionising your approach to employee wellbeing is a great place to start. An organisation with all-encompassing wellbeing at its heart is one that is much more attractive to potential employees, especially those with disabilities or who would require extra support. By ensuring that employee wellbeing remains at the core of an organisation’s culture and policies, staff engagement, productivity and retention will all improve significantly, making a real difference to the performance and long-term future of the business.

Consider the root cause While formulaic methods of measuring absenteeism can show you the levels of absence in your organisation, the human face that is needed to determine the underlying cause is removed. By tackling the causes in your control, possible future absences can be omitted. The obvious Cycle to Work schemes, offering healthy food items and gym membership not only improves physical health, but has a great impact on mental wellbeing too. In addition, making employees aware of your company values by clearly displaying them will show everyone what is acceptable and help to stamp out any cases of workplace bullying before they manifest.

Ensuring everyone feels supported from their very first day should also help to limit absence days.

Support those returning Returning to work after a leave of absence is a daunting prospect but if you have created an inclusive and welcoming workplace, the impact of this will be lessened, as the individual is more likely to look forward to returning. Companies should consider making reasonable adjustments to ease their transition back to work. Relaxed meetings should be available for returning employees so they are transitioning appropriately back into the workplace and are able to voice any concerns they have. For example, if they have had an operation, they may require extra comfort breaks or flexible working patterns. In such cases, you could consult a healthcare professional for further guidance. Fundamentally, a healthy workforce is a happier workforce, but the business benefits are also numerous with higher employee engagement and increased productivity. Instead of only paying attention when the health of employees is suffering, be proactive and try and limit the impact before it hinders your business. ●


06/03/2019 16:21


ASK THE EXPERT “I have implemented various client and candidate engagement strategies over the last year. Do you have any tips to help maximise their chances of success? And how long should I give each strategy before I cut my losses?” Please understand that this response is broadbrush and you need to select from it depending on the objectives you are setting yourself and the strategies you are trying to implement within the context of your business.

Alex Arnot

Set strategies in the context of clear objectives

The SME Coach

New strategies should be implemented with a specific objective in mind as this helps secure the buy-in needed to make a new strategy a success. Too often companies (and individuals) are vague about their reasons for changing behaviours or don’t fully communicate their reasons to those they want to implement the strategies. For example: “We need to generate 10% more jobs on next quarter to hit revenue target. If we continue to do [current strategy] we will generate 5% more. We believe [new strategy] gives us the greatest chance of achieving our target.”

Seek help to minimise unknowns It doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel, so tap into the huge amount of experience that exists in the recruitment industry as you try to identify suitable strategies, understand the challenges of each one and identify how to maximise the chances of implementing them successfully. Question your team about effective strategies they have experience of; find a non-executive adviser with exposure to multiple agencies; and/or network with your peers.

Always plan


The most common reason well-planned strategies fail to deliver is that consultants don’t believe in what they are being asked to do and so don’t implement the plan ruthlessly. Without wholehearted commitment the new approach is unlikely to deliver to its full potential and may even be less effective than what you are doing now. Commitment will also often quickly wane if consultants don’t expect a lag between activity and results materialising, so sharing the goalposts that you are using to monitor progress towards the strategic target(s) is important.

How long should you give a strategy before cutting your losses? Depending on the specific strategy and circumstances typically it will be 10-12 weeks before new approaches consistently generate extra placements. Long before this your interim goalposts will help you calculate whether or not your new strategy is on track. Unless your inner voice is screaming unusually loudly, trust the numbers. If you are hitting your interim goals, then persist with the strategy. Even if you are missing your interim targets by a margin, then consider whether the problem is the strategy or the implementation. Remember – confidence is crucial to successful implementation. If you keep changing strategies or they keep failing to achieve their objectives, the team will stop buying into them, so plan carefully and stay the course. ●

There are four elements to implementing a new strategy successfully. Firstly, set targets to measure against, otherwise you will struggle to determine whether a strategy has been successful – unless it is an abject failure or runaway success. Secondly, break the strategic target(s) into a series of short-term goals that will give you early indications as to whether or not the strategy is having the anticipated impact. Thirdly, allocate the resources to deliver the strategy. Does it require more money? Will you need to switch resources from other activities? Will additional training be required? Finally, put in place measures so you can ensure activity levels are giving the new approach a fair trial.

Execute and reinforce

ALEX ARNOT is founder of MyNonExec and board adviser to more than 30 recruitment companies

APRIL 2019

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“My candidate was offered the role, but she declined it because she couldn’t find anyone to look after her dog” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job?

Fashion buyer – my degree is in fashion, so my dream job was either to be a fashion buyer for a designer or to work for Vogue.

SOPHIE GOYMER senior consultant, BMC Recruitment Group

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it? It was within the technology sector. I noticed a job advert, applied, and then the internal recruiter called me and I interviewed very quickly and got the job the following week. I was responsible for recruiting software developers on a temporary basis across the North-East.

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment? Nobody in particular but I have learned a lot from either ex-colleagues that I have previously worked with or current colleagues I work with. When I started out in recruitment, I had a couple of really good mentors, who have actually ended up being very good friends that I am still close to.

What do you love most about your current role? The team that I work with. We’re all very ambitious, we’re all really driven. We all support each other and work very, very hard. It’s a fast-paced job in recruitment and having a good team to work with is what I love most about my role now.

What’s your top job to fill at the moment? ACA qualified finance professionals.


APRIL 2019

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Sophie Goymer Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why? Cry. I had a very senior role last year for one of my big clients. My candidate was offered the role, but she declined it because she couldn’t find anyone to look after her dog. She couldn’t find a dog sitter for the hours the client wanted her to work and she wouldn’t leave the dog alone. It meant missing out on a £10k fee – it made me want to cry, and try and get a job as a part-time dog walker as well!

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? Just recently, I had a phone call from the CFO of a key target client of mine – something I have been working on for at least two years. He rang me on Friday afternoon, and said he had heard very positive things about me in the market and wanted me to work a role for him. He asked me if I had any suitable

candidates, and within 10 minutes I sent over some strong CVs. On Saturday morning I arranged the interviews. It was a very quick turnaround and just pleasing that my reputation had prompted the CFO of this large international company to call me with a job.

What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard? If you were going to be a DJ in the office for the day, what song would you play to motivate the rest of the team?

What is your signature dish? Fresh seafood pasta.

What would you regard as your theme tune? Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac.


06/03/2019 16:22

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06/03/2019 12:17




Janine Chidlow joins the global talent acquisition and management solutions provider as sector managing director for retail banking & consumer.

The recruitment process outsourcing provider (RPO)has appointed Klaus Töpfer vice president of business development for Germany.

International STEM staffing business SThree has appointed Mark Dorman as CEO. Dorman, previously president of higher education, international & professional at educational publisher McGraw Hill Education, succeeds Gary Elden, who had been CEO since 2013. Elden steps down from his role and the board on 18 March 2019 but remains with the firm until its AGM on 24 April 2019 to ensure a smooth handover to Dorman. Asked about his key priorities, Dorman told Recruiter: “My ultimate priority will be to continue driving the company forwards towards the goal of becoming the number one STEM talent provider. The STEM markets are set to grow and grow, and SThree’s strong place within these industries positions the group to continue cementing its leadership in these markets. We will also continue to focus on our development strategy in the US and Europe, both of which have substantial growth opportunities.”

DEBUT CCS RECRUITMENT/ INSPIRED RECRUITMENT The North-West based recruitment specialists have appointed Cezara Glynn as marketing manager.

COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL The global real estate services and investment management company has appointed Lydia Ings as UK HR director.


CHERRY PROFESSIONAL The East Midlands recruitment firm has promoted Danielle Coleman from associate director to director.


The Cordant Group firm has appointed Matthew Heath head of business development and welcomes back Bryan Flood as recruitment business manager.

The student and graduate recruitment platform has appointed James Bennett as CEO.

recruiter has promoted David Essam from general manager to operations director.

EAMES CONSULTING GROUP Luke Eeles joins the professional services recruiter as associate director in Singapore to lead its IT and technology team. Patricia Ballweg joins as talent acquisition manager.


GUIDANT GLOBAL Doug Edmonds joins the Impellam Group company as director, APAC (Asia-Pacific).


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

Phill Machell, former executive director at global recruiter Michael Page Interim, has been appointed

APRIL 2019

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07/03/2019 12:39

director at the executive search and interim management firm.

HUDSON GLOBAL The talent solutions provider has appointed new independent directors Mimi Drake and Connia Nelson to its board of directors.

CARLISLE SUPPORT SERVICES Following Impellam’s decision to de-merge from its subsidiary, the Carlisle board will be as follows: Paul Evans – CEO; Michael Shirt – finance director; Peter Gaze – non-executive chairman; Angela Entwistle – non-exec director; Philip Osborne – non-exec director.

KORN FERRY The global executive search firm welcomes Bernadette Themas as senior client partner and executive search lead for Indonesia.

LA FOSSE Adam Gohar joins the technology, digital & change recruiter’s New York practice as senior vice president and head of technology recruitment.

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



Retail analyst Richard Hyman has joined the specialist retail executive search and advisory firm as board adviser.

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

SHEFFIELD HAWORTH The executive search and talent advisory firm welcomes Sonjay Vishnupad as MD, corporate officers practice in New York; Penny Bushell as head of US operations in New York; and Ben Johnson as MD responsible for the insurance practice in London

SIXTY EIGHT PEOPLE Rachel Williams has moved to the hospitality recruiter as talent co-ordinator.

TALENTRY The recruitment marketing platform has appointed Yvonne Riedel as vice president of people.

NHS IMPROVEMENT/NHS ENGLAND The national health service bodies have appointed Prerana Issar to the role of chief people officer.

+44 (0)20 7880 6215

Reporters Colin Cottell, Graham Simons

Contributing writer Sue Weekes Production editor Vanessa Townsend

Art editor Sarah Auld Picture editor Akin Falope ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 6213 Sales manager Paul Barron

+44 (0)20 7880 6245 Sales executive Jonathan Adebayo

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

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


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: http://bit. ly/RecruiterCC • To purchase reprints or multiple copies, or any other enquiries, please contact or +44 (0)20 8950 9117

YOU R NE X T M OV E CONTRIBUTIONS A selection of vacancies from Green Cross Recruitment Recruitment consultant/ recruiter East Sussex £Competitive Berkeley Scott Recruitment consultant Leeds & West Yorkshire £30K + bonus

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. © 2019 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

OUTSOURCE UK The multi-sector recruiter has made Paul Jezzard chief financial officer.


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06/03/2019 15:02


We should be prepared to take any fire, should the gambit not pay off

Alan Furley Add a marketing mindset to your arsenal

he dust has now settled on the dispute between advertising executives on the success of the British Army’s recent recruitment campaign, with most feeling it almost hit the target, but many resolute in saying it was a desperate ploy that missed the mark. While the disagreement itself on the finer points of advertising is something best left to the professionals, it has once again shown that recruitment campaigns are much closer to marketing than we think. The evolution of the Army’s marketing to find trainee soldiers must always be bold, as it requires a clear message to hit a group of often hard-to-reach people. Now, with numerous social media channels and technical wizardry, reaching young people is easier, but honing the message is harder in a much more



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competitive environment. It’s not just my company’s world of IT and engineering recruitment that is candidate-driven. Across almost every sector, employers are having to upgrade their arsenal to attract the right talent. In this scenario, recruiters are often caught between a rock and a hard place: having to advise the clients on what their prospective employees want to hear from them, but not being able to own the employer branding and value proposition. Ultimately, however, the recruiter is the one held accountable for results. There are two key parts to creating the right tools to attack the market for your top talent: • Firstly, and for many quite obviously, creating an advert that attracts, not just describes. It’s not a ‘copy and paste’ job description. • Secondly, explaining what’s

different about the opportunity. A generic list of the benefits package with a ‘fast-growing market leader’, lacking any sense of identity, is going to interest very few – and particularly not the large part of the candidate pool who don’t have a strong leaning towards a specific employer but are open to exploring new frontiers. Often, we are called in to find the best possible talent, but there is a lack of awareness of what it is that will truly help a person make the decision to accept an offer. As a result, the communication impact is too vague or too generic to really make a convincing argument as to “why us?”. I’m not suggesting that recruiters prepare for combat and recommend a headline-grabbing, controversial campaign just for the sake of it, but rather than we arm ourselves with the best possible advice and insight as to what the

candidate audience actually needs. This means moving away once and for all from it being a numbers game – clients know that CV volume does not necessarily show success. Don’t write me two adverts for your clients that are lacking individuality and simply ticking a KPI [key performance indicators] box. Does this mean we have to be braver than we have been before in client management and guidance? Yes, probably. We’re sticking our head above the parapet and should be prepared to take any fire, should the gambit not pay off. But developing this attitude allows for the victories to be more meaningful, and for each of the individual battles to have much better sustainable outcomes for all involved. ●

Alan Furley is a director at ISL Recruitment

APRIL 2019

06/03/2019 14:35





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