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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

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February 2017

INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 

Which are the fastest-growing recruitment firms in the UK? And who’s on top?

10/01/2017 16:36


! cut the risk, cut the admin

do you make placements in the public sector? If your candidates operate through their own limited company, new IR35 legislation for the public sector shifts responsibilities from their company to the agency. From 5th April 2017, that means more financial risk and more admin for you. You’ll decide IR35 status, collect personal data, deduct PAYE, report via RTI, pay HMRC, issue P45s and P60s... Get it wrong, and the financial risk is yours. With giant precision, we take away the risk and the admin. Join one of our free nationwide events to explore your options. Call or email us now. phone 0330 024 0946 © giant group plc 2016 giant is a registered trademark of giant group plc

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ING PORAT INCOR itment ru c e R  Matters

26 A


05 Dickson backs less reliance on agency staff Newly-appointed NHS Confederation CEO Niall Dickson favours recruiting more permanent staff for the NHS 06 Autotrader tries an Awesomobile route to attract sought-after staff Recruiters from the automotive website took to the streets of Manchester in a specially customised car to seek out the elusive talent of Java developers

07 Star recruit: Sir Bradley Wiggins, eighttime Olympic medallist and Tour de France winner 08 This was the month that was... 10 Contracts & Deals



12 Insight Predictions for 2O17: 17 possible critical trends and emerging scenarios


Tech & Tools



19 Recruiter’s FAST 5O

This year sees the return of the specialists in the list of the fastest-growing privately-owned UK recruitment firms



Falcon Green: the construction recruiter topping the FAST 5O chart

32 Cyber security fears Do you have your head in the clouds when it comes to storing information?

E COMMUNITY 39 40 42 43 44

48 49 50

Social Network Employability Business Advice Careers Have those tough conversations My brilliant recruitment career: Sam SmittenDownes Movers & Shakers Recruiter Contacts The Last Word: Matthew Churchward




C 16 17

INTERACTION Agency View: Neil Clark, Nicoll Curtin Soundbites


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ow fast is your recruitment business growing? A bolt of recruitment lightning shatters the gloom of the winter months in this issue with our annual Recruiter FAST 50 when our research partners Clearwater

International put the spotlight on the 50

Dickson backs less reliance on agency staff for NHS BY COLIN COTTELL

fastest-growing businesses in UK recruitment. Our lead company this year (see p26) is an especially ambitious and fast-growing business. You’ll want to read all about it – after you’ve studied the full list of 50 and absorbed the insightful narrative by

“If you thought employability training was limited to advising on interview techniques… this will open your mind”

Clearwater about the success factors dominating the growth climate for these players. To see what innovation can bring to the market, don’t miss our report (p40) on Clinical Professionals’

exciting initiative for growing talent in the pharmaceutical sector. If you thought employability training was limited to offering CV writing skills and advising on interview etiquette, this will open your mind to the game-changing possibilities available in your own sector. How can you make a difference to candidates and clients alike? For a rundown of the ultimate 2017 predictions, the future-gazing of guest contributors Rohit Talwar and Katharine Barnett on p12 is nothing less than startling. These bold predictions for the coming year offer a feast of food for thought and debate. Stay warm in these cold winter months!

DeeDee Doke, Editor

THE NEWLY APPOINTED CEO of the NHS Confederation has said he favours the NHS recruiting more permanent staff and relying less on temporary agency staff. Niall Dickson, who officially takes up his position with the body that represents NHS healthcare providers and commissioning groups on 1 February, told a press conference in London, at which his appointment was announced: “I don’t want to cast aspersions on those that do agency or locum work because they are, and have been, vital in keeping the service going. But being in a position where the service is able to recruit permanent staff does create much more [workforce] stability. And I would say that is clearly the goal of virtually every healthcare organisation in the country.” Dickson said there were many reasons why the NHS has struggled in the past to recruit and retain more permanent staff. He said the NHS could improve by better valuing and supporting its existing staff, particularly given the current well-documented pressures they are working under. “There have been big changes in the workforce, in people’s expectations about work” – the greater prevalence of part-time work, for example – and the system would have to “change how it accommodates different expectations from staff themselves about how they will work”. Asked by Recruiter whether he was concerned that Brexit could make it more difficult to recruit the staff the NHS needs, Dickson responded: “We don’t know what the result of the negotiations will be, so we don’t know what the impact will be in terms of the UK government allowing immigration from Europe for particular professions, and so forth.” He added: “The NHS historically, you could say, has over-relied on people who have been trained in other countries, but going forward we will continue to rely to a degree on that.” A two-way interchange of health professionals between the UK and other countries in a global world “is a positive thing”, he said, adding that the government’s commitment in England to increase the number of medical places and doctors produced in the UK “is to be welcomed”. “It isn’t a question of creating ‘Fortress Britain’,” said Dickson.●


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Autotrader’s Awesomobile way of hanging out with Java candidates BY COLIN COTTELL

RECRUITERS AND STAFF from automotive classified advertising website Autotrader have taken to the streets of Manchester in a specially adapted vehicle in search of much sought after Java developers. The colourful customised vehicle, complete with company branding, LED lights and music speakers, toured the city before stopping at places where Java developers are most likely to hang out, such as the Northern Quarter and Spinningfields, new regional business quarters and home to emerging tech companies. Members of Autotrader’s recruitment team were joined by a number of Autotrader’s existing Java developers, who chatted to people about their jobs and what it is like to work at Autotrader, and handed out free bananas, orange juice and coffee. The vehicle’s itinerary was posted on social media, and people were encouraged to Tweet their music requests to the vehicle. Jane Fitzmaurice, Autotrader’s resourcing partner for product and technology, told Recruiter the aim of the Awesomobile was to engage with people and to challenge the way people saw Autotrader. “We really want to showcase our culture and give people an idea of who we are as an organisation, and to give them an insight that we are not what they think we are. “Quite a lot of people still see us as a magazine and don’t realise that we are 100% digital,” she said. “The idea was this would really catch the eye and


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“In a market like this you can’t afford to wait until people are job hunting”

really make us stand out. The immediate reaction on social media was ‘wow, what is this?’ We definitely surprised people and challenged some misconceptions as to who we are as an organisation.” Heather DeLand, head of creative at TMP, the agency that helped develop the Awesomobile concept in partnership

with Autotrader, told Recruiter that rather than a traditional approach of a billboard campaign and banners on a job board, the Awesomobile was “a more interesting way to engage the audience”. “In a market like this you can’t afford to wait until people are job hunting. It’s about engaging with people first and building the relationship even before they think about moving. It’s about having conversations rather than advertising. Why would someone respond to a job ad if you haven’t engaged them in a conversation?”

Find more daily news stories at 12/01/2017 15:21



THOUGHTS FROM… Fitzmaurice said that as result of seeing the Awesomobile, although just one person had applied for a job, activity levels and interest on Autotrader’s social media channels had increased. However, she acknowledged that it might “some time down the line” before the initiative fed through into further job applications. “There is a bit of wastage,” added DeLand. “Not everyone is going to be that Java developer but in a way, it doesn’t matter as long as it gets tweeted about and shared.” DeLand said the Awesomobile also encouraged Autotrader’s existing Java developers to play a role. “We didn’t say ‘Come along to this recruitment fair’, we said ‘Right, come along and ride in this automobile around Manchester and hand out coffee to people and talk to people’.” “It is all fine and good getting recruiters to go out saying ‘We have got jobs’, but it’s a million times better if you can get someone who does the job out and about, and they can talk in their own language and answer questions such as ‘what is the jjob, what am I going to be doing, do you like it, is it any good?’.” ●


“Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to reimagine himself as the UK’s Donald Trump appears to include the g original’s loose relationship with the truth.”


“We are all biased; it is hard-wired into us.”


“Hackers now see recruitment firms as a viable target.”



candidate ready for anything. He’s the only rider who has managed to combine winning both Olympic and World Championships on the track and road, so you know he’s a good multi-tasker. Maybe we’ll see him in retail – Sweaty Betty get ready! That being said, maybe we’ll hear him on the other end of the

line at Café Du Cycliste’s customer service desks raking in the orders for the high-end cycling clothing hub. ‘Wiggo’ loves to sing a good tune or two… perhaps we’ll see him down your nearest London local playing Wonderwall or DJing the finest tunes on Paris radio station FIP. And don’t forget his fashion experience with

Fred Perry. Will we find Karl Lagerfeld seeking him out for a sport chic aesthetic down the runway this year? After all, we know he can get a lot done in an hour, so you really do get your bang for your buck with this guy! The multi-talented Bradley Wiggins is the perfect candidate for a range of positions; the problem is, which one?”


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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 January issue of Recruiter was published D E C E M B E R •‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒→

FRI, 9 DEC 2016

MON, 12 DEC 2016



In Cuba, there is a 72-year-old woman employed to look after a pair of sunglasses in the middle of a park in Havana. Aleeda Rodriguez Pedrasa is paid 245 Cuban pesos (£195) a month by the government to stand for 12 hours a day next to a seated statue of John Lennon and, when a camera-toting tourist is ready to take a souvenir picture, she quickly places the glasses on the former Beatle’s bronze face. A few clicks later, one satisfied tourist, and the glasses are put back in her handbag away from potential light-fingered passers-by.

There has been a surge in Technology (IT & Telecoms) specialists, rising from 29 last year to 34 in this year’s Recruiter HOT 100. These mainly offer a mix of contractors and permanent placement business although some are almost entirely contract-based recruiters. This has been the long-term go-to sector for growth and it has not disappointed. Recruiter, in conjunction with Agile Intelligence, has produced the HOT 100 list of top-performing recruitment firms in the UK. Within this year’s 2016 HOT 100, in Recruiter’s January 2017 issue and sponsored by Panmure Gordon, here is the list of the top 10 technology recruiters within the HOT 100: 1. LA International 2. WA Consultants 3. Vector Resourcing 4. Rullion IT Plus 5. The Bridge (IT Recruitment) 6. Resource Solutions Group 7. Penta Consulting 8. Randstad Technologies 9. Redrock Consulting 10. Cognitive Group



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WORKERS ‘TREATED LIKE SCUM’ AT JD SPORTS WAREHOUSE – CHANNEL 4 Agency workers at a JD Sports warehouse in Rochdale are “treated like scum” and threatened with the sack if they sit down, chew gum or have an “attitude”, according to an undercover investigation by broadcaster Channel 4. Channel 4 said the sportswear retailer and Assist Recruitment operated a “three strikes and you’re out” policy at the warehouse. An induction booklet produced by Assist and given to all new workers refers to ‘strikes’ as part of their disciplinary procedure and can be issued for offences including lateness, “attitude”, absenteeism and chewing gum. Assist recruits are given “zero-hours contracts” and paid the minimum wage of £7.20 per hour. Such contracts allow the agency to dismiss workers instantly without notice. However, on its website Assist Recruitment countered: “We would like to reiterate that we categorically do not operate a ‘strike’ policy or system and our workers cannot be fired ‘on the spot’; we have a fully outlined disciplinary procedure and appeal process based on the ACAS code of practice.” The Lancashire site employs 1,500 people and operates around the clock for seven days a week. A statement issued on behalf of JD Sports Fashion and Assist Recruitment added: “We believe a large number of the allegations put to us by Channel 4 are plainly untrue. Our employees are vital to our business and their welfare is an utmost priority, so we take any such allegations very seriously. Once Channel 4 allow access to the footage and we understand the precise nature of any allegations that do prove to be accurate, we are ready and willing to investigate them fully at the earliest opportunity. Where there have been individual failures or breaches of our policies we will take appropriate action, and learn for the future.”  More:


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TUE, 3 JAN 2017

Recruitment industry’s Blair awarded CBE The founder and CEO of global talent management and management provider Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS) has been awarded a CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list. This year’s list also recognised the likes of sports stars Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, along with the world of recruitment representative, Rosaleen Blair, who founded AMS back in 1996, being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).  More:



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A recruitment consultant and professional wrestler has only just missed out on taking part in a tournament to decide the new UK WWE Champion. Later this month, the WWE will launch its UK WWE Championship with a number of wrestlers taking a part in a tournament to decide the professional wrestling outfit’s first UK champion. Recruiter can reveal Sam Smitten-Downes, senior technical consultant at Cordant Recruitment Technical & Engineering, also known as the Babyfaced Pitbull, had tryouts but was ultimately not selected for the tournament. Over the Christmas break ITV revived its World of Sport wrestling show after a 30-year break from UK screens. Commenting on the UK’s wrestling revival, Downes told Recruiter: “It’s a great time to be a UK wrestler as it’s booming and I’m proud to be part of the generation which has dragged it out of the doldrums in the last 10 years.” Ricky Martin – winner of BBC’s The Apprentice in 2012 and founder and managing director of recruitment firm Hyper Recruitment Solutions – was also a freelance professional wrestler. • For more from SmittenDownes, see p44 in this issue of Recruiter.  More:



Jo Hand, the former owner of now liquidated Middlesbroughbased recruitment firm Jo Hand Recruitment, has told Recruiter she is currently investigating newspaper claims that confidential client information was found dumped in an alleyway next to the agency’s former offices. Acting on a tip-off, local Middlesbrough paper The Gazette revealed it had found a dump of documents, which it claims contained the personal and financial information of a number of the company’s former clients. The Gazette claims the documents, dating back to 2011 and printed on letter-headed paper, were “complete, unshredded and left exposed” to the public in the back alley doorway of the firm’s former Albert Road office, and appear to be the property of Ms Hand’s original recruitment firm. Commenting on the paper’s claims, Hand, now managing director of The Human Group North East, told Recruiter a confidential waste company had been contracted to remove all confidential data when Jo Hand Recruitment moved from the Albert Road office, adding a certificate of destruction of the shredding works as proof. “We are currently looking into how this rogue bag of historical and irrelevant data from 2011 appeared in the office skip,” Hand said. “We will continue to assist in helping as many ex-steel workers into new jobs as possible, as did the old company.”  More:

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The government has appointed Sir David Metcalf as its first director of labour market enforcement. As the new director of labour market enforcement, a role first proposed by government a year ago, Sir David, previously chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee and a founding member of the Low Pay Commission, will now be responsible for overseeing a government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace and setting strategic priorities for the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate and HM Revenue & Customs’ National Minimum Wage enforcement team. According to a government statement, these three agencies are also centralising their intelligence, so that Metcalf can create an annual strategy targeting industry sectors and regions of the country vulnerable to worker exploitation. He is also working alongside the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to more effectively tackle exploitation and slavery in the labour market. Recruitment professional and trade bodies have widely welcomed the appointment.  More:


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Adecco Recruitment giant Adecco has sold its vendor management system (VMS) and freelancer management system (FMS) provider Beeline to Chicago-based private equity firm and owner of IQNavigator GTCR. Although no terms were disclosed, Beeline had previously been part of Adecco’s acquisition of US staffing firm MPS, which valued that combined entity (including Beeline) at $1.3bn (£1.02bn) in 2009.

Jo Hand Recruitment and Consultancy Jo Hand Recruitment and Consultancy has secured a six-figure investment from specialist early-stage seed fund for small businesses North East Angel Fund managed by Rivers Capital Partners that will see the Teesside-based recruiter rebrand as The Human Group. Fund manager Rivers Capital Partners revealed the new investment will safeguard jobs at the agency and create four new roles. The rebrand will also see the firm extend its services to include HR consultancy, as well as drugs and alcohol-testing services. The exact sum invested was not disclosed. In October of 2015, Hand launched the agency after her previous business Jo Hand Recruitment was forced into liquidation due to the closure of the local SSI steel plant in Redcar, with the firm owed £500k by SSI.

CXC GLOBAL Contractor management outsourcing provider CXC Global is to divest its recruitment agency service business to a management buy-out led by CEO Michelle Reilly. The agency service business will be rebranded as 6CATS and will focus on providing compliance consulting and management services for the recruitment agency businesses in the UK and EMEA region.

Medical Resourcing International (MRI) Medical Resourcing International (MRI) has been appointed as a supplier to the HealthTrust Europe (HTE) Total Workforce Solutions Framework.

Primestaff Scottish recruiter Primestaff has acquired logistics and industrial staffing specialist Direct Workforce, a subsidiary of global business Bibby Line Group. The combined business will continue to serve Direct Workforce’s clients in the logistics and industrial markets – mainly in the North of England.

One Way Construction and rail recruiter One Way has bought new office space in Liverpool. One Way, which has been in the city since 2011, said it is looking to expand into new regions to continue to meet the demands of its target markets.

DEAL OF THE MONTH a Candidate.ID company

Social Media Search Talent branding company Social Media Search (SMS) has undergone a management buy-out from senior board and executive recruiter Norman Broadbent. In a statement, released at the end of last year, Norman

Broadbent revealed the group had divested 51% interest in its SMS subsidiary to Adam Gordon Ltd, a company 100% owned by Adam Gordon, the only other shareholder in SMS and previously its managing director. According to Gordon, SMS is

also to undergo a merger this month with McRae + Co, a niche marketing business specialising in demand generation, owned by Scott McRae, and tech start-up Candidate ID – jointly owned by McRae and Gordon. The firm has also announced

it has been awarded a 12-month contract to provide candidate research and talent brand services to US multinational confectionery, food and beverage company Mondelez International’s Asia, Middle East and Africa regions.



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17 PREDICTIONS FOR 2017 Rohit Talwar and Katharine Barnett from Fast Future Publishing share their vision of what could happen in 2017, which may give the recruitment world pause for thought


016 brought global political upheaval, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the emergence of issues such as ‘post-truth’, resurgent nationalism and technological unemployment. With seismic agenda-changing developments seemingly the norm, here are 17 critical trends and scenarios that could emerge in 2017.


and sudden building collapses. Artificial intelligence (AI) betting companies will emerge, allowing betting on individual life expectancy.

➊ The presidency as a business model –

➎ Will they or won’t they? – While

Following his inauguration US President Donald Trump will regularly blur the line between national and family interests. By 2021, he could exceed Vladimir Putin’s estimated net worth of $200bn (£165bn), becoming the world’s first trillionaire.

some question the ethics of betting on life or death scenarios, advocates highlight the potential for public engagement through betting. Single interest political groups arise around the potential outcomes of specific events.

➋ Brexit brouhaha – Although


Article 50 is invoked in spring, the UK government is hampered by further legal challenges. Negotiation priorities are increasingly split between securing a sensible economic agreement and ‘protecting’ the EU’s political face.

➌ May Day – Prime Minister Theresa May calls an October general election, allowing the public to vote on her Brexit plan. In a hung parliament, UKIP is the biggest party and Nigel Farage returns to lead a coalition government.

➍ Wildcard wagers – Public event betting markets grow with an incredible rise in bets on disasters including assassinations, animals escaping zoos



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➏ AI – A range of real applications emerge ranging from intelligent assistants on smartphones to medical decision support tools.

➐ Driving ambition – China and the UK lead in allowing public driverless vehicle trials. Both governments accelerate regulatory changes, legalising fully or semi-autonomous cars, trucks and buses from 2018.

➑ Leave me alone – People will start adopting personal privacy management applications running on Blockchain* technology. Individuals will increasingly secure personal communications and information to protect it from

the likes of Facebook and Google.


➒ Corporate flight – Brexit uncertainty will drive several major companies to move their headquarters, R&D functions and operations to places like Dublin, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

10 Wealth haven Britain – The UK government will soften the Brexit blow by attracting more foreign investment and wealth. Britain will have the lowest G20 corporation taxes, massively increase tax allowances for R&D and establish UK production facilities. 11 Masters of the universe – Major technology players like Google, Baidu and Amazon will pull further from the pack with ever-smarter technology. Super intelligent ‘brain in the cloud’ solutions will extract insight from ‘data oceans’ created by the Internet of Things (IoT) and instantaneous translators will cover 50+ languages. 12 Digital dementia – Many corporations and governments remain cautious over the use of disruptive technologies like Blockchain and AI. Many of those pursuing expensive digital

* A technology that allows competitors to share a digital ledger across a network of computers with the need for a central authority. No single party has the power to tamper with the records.


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POWER POINTS: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? transformation projects will find their initiatives are eliminating the distinguishing human element and commodifying themselves.

13 Parallel worlds – A parallel universe of new ‘digital mindset’ firms will proliferate, trading with each other using Blockchain contract systems, digital currencies, deploying AI for core activities and creating entirely digital ‘zero employee’ Decentralised Autonomous Organisations.

Rohit Talwar

Katharine Barnett

14 The new professionals – Major legal, accounting and consulting firms will launch several AI client adviser applications, automating professionals’ tasks and driving headcount reduction. SOCIAL AND LEISURE

15 Technological unemployment – Smart technologies, more automation and terminating unprofitable activities will drive unemployment across sectors and countries.

16 The crumbling middle – Stalling growth, technological unemployment, The Trump effect, Brexit uncertainty and cost cutting will hit the educated middle classes hardest across the developed world, affecting everything from new car sales to private school enrolments. 17 Robo-retail – Amazon Go’s concept store roll-out will challenge traditional retail. Smartphone technology, item tracking and mobile payment automatically log purchases and debit customer accounts. Traditional competitors will be forced into near-permanent continuous discounting. ●

2017 is the year when rulebooks will be rewritten. President Trump will challenge the Establishment and precedent, and seek to remake the US in line with his own personal vision. The lack of a coherent plan, limited negotiating resources and a change-hungry public will force the UK government to create a messy Brexit and see it desperately seek to strengthen trade and political ties with the US and other parts of the world. AI and other emerging technologies will help accelerate the transformation of business and society. The range and number of hightech and high-expertise jobs will rise as new businesses and industries start to emerge. However, more jobs will be lost than created in the short term as new sectors will not grow quickly enough to close the gap. Public attention will increasingly turn to how we can assure our future, reskill the workforce and ensure people have the wherewithal to provide for their families. Fundamental questions will arise about the capacity of the education system to deliver the skillsets required to help people ensure lifetime employability. Forward-thinking recruiters will increasingly see the opportunity of stepping in to provide continuing education and support to past recruits and current candidates. Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, keynote speaker and the CEO of Fast Future Publishing where he is applying the principles of exponential thinking to create a new model for publishing. Katharine Barnett is concept editor, working on creating, developing and editing a variety of content for Fast Future Publishing.


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Search and rescue Giving recruiters what they want SUE WEEKES

Search-and-match systems use powerful algorithms to automatically match candidates to a set of criteria. Keyword searching will just return the words in a search string, but search-and-match systems use semantic search techniques (see box below) to try to understand the meaning and context of what a recruiter is searching for. Long Boolean search strings have certainly become part of a recruiter’s intellectual property, but this capability is being superseded, points out Graham Charlesworth, operations director of Search Technologies, which designs and implements search and big data applications. “There can be some resistance from recruiters but modern search-and-match is no doubt the future,” he says. “So ultimately recruiters can spend more time face-to-face with clients than searching through CVs that are completely irrelevant.”


➊ CAN WE TRUST THE TECHNOLOGY? It is understandable that some expert sourcers would rather rely on their own search techniques than on computer algorithms. Filip De Geijter, CEO and owner of search and match technology specialist Actonomy, whose technology is used in a number of recruitment platforms, explains that the intelligence in semantic search and matching systems is an “emulation of the intelligence of a recruiter”. So why not rely on it? “At Actonomy, we believe that Boolean is old-fashioned stuff. No intelligence, no interpretation, just simple searching based on words,” De Geijter says. “If recruiters really want to optimise their processes and focus on the core of their business, they should start to rely on more intelligent systems.”


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It is important to find a technology partner that has experience of building search and match applications for the recruitment sector. Search Technologies has built systems for recruitment firms such as Adecco and eTeach. Charlesworth explains that recruitment poses one of the toughest challenges for any search applications because it covers every industry. “An agency can have clients that work in every sector and it can be difficult to build a search engine that works potentially in every language and every domain with a high degree of precision and recall,” he says. “Recruiters should also ask about the provider’s depth of experience in contextual search.”

While recruiters don’t need to know how algorithms within a system work, De Geijter says it helps if they understand how they can be used for their needs. He uses the analogy of a car: “You don’t need to know how an engine works to drive a car, but you need to know how to use the gears to drive better.” Searchand-match systems need to be configured, he adds, as there is no “black box” installed that will work in all cases. “Recruiters should indicate how and what they value in profiles. Based on that, search and match systems can be configured to give optimal results.”

It is also important to make sure that your technology partner is constantly updating the system. Put simply, semantic or contextual search and match systems rely on vast dictionaries or lists of words and synonyms (see below). Recruitment is a fast-moving sector though, so they have to be constantly updated. “For instance, a ‘digital ninja’ is a new term emerging for software engineer, which will become super relevant,” says Charlesworth. “Staying on top of everything can be a mammoth task but, if you don’t, search quality will drop off.”

With social media profiles containing valuable data for recruiters, technology developers are working to integrate this information into search and match systems. Ensure the technology provider understands which social and professional networks and profile information is of interest to you. “This is where search-and-match is getting very interesting,” says Charlesworth. “You can harvest any information from these sites. You need to find key identifiers such as email address but you can then augment the candidate CV with social media content.”



SE M ANTI C O R C O NTE X TU AL SE AR C H This form of search is only as good as the dictionaries/lists of words/synonyms/terms that lie behind the interface. These can be put together manually or via machine learning. This huge resource allows the search algorithms to understand the meaning or context of the search, which should deliver more relevant results than a pure keyword search. So search ‘Java developer’, and you won’t get an Indonesian island or type of coffee.


12/01/2017 12:32




Change creates opportunity Stay confident in adversity BY NEIL CLARK

rexit and Trump are not harbingers of an impending apocalypse. Over the years, the recruitment industry has seen a lot of change. We’ve survived soaring interest rates; the millennium bug; the dotcom bust; the banking crisis. In each case, whenever we may believe the end is nigh, we arise unscathed. Change creates opportunity. I didn’t vote for Brexit – I think it has the potential to be damaging for our nation and our sector. But we must respect the democratic result and adopt a positive approach. Over the last year, 79% of recruitment agencies saw net fee income increase; the employment rate is at a record high; 72% of businesses report a strong demand for talent and our clients have maintained a confident outlook. That optimism is entirely warranted because we can still be a competitive economy outside of the EU. Having lived and worked in other countries, the UK has two main assets in its favour: our flexible approach to employment and the strength of our legal and governance systems. We are still in a period of huge uncertainty. Foreign companies are questioning whether to continue large-scale investment, but businesses are unlikely to retrench. The question is how much new investment will come to a post-Brexit UK. In a worst-case scenario in which companies do withdraw from the UK, that too will create opportunity. For


+ NEIL CLARK Performance director, Nicoll Curtin



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“We must respect the democratic result and adopt a positive position”

one thing, we have the opportunity to advise clients on the flexible recruitment strategies demanded by Brexit. We can look forward with confidence. A CBI/ Pertemps Network Group Employment Trends Survey found that the UK labour market would see continued job growth in 2017. Our creative, entrepreneurial spirit will see us continue to grow as a country and as an industry. But we cannot conflate positivity with complacency. This isn’t blind optimism and there will be challenges ahead. The future of the recruitment industry will in part be decided by its ability to embrace a more customer-centric model. For instance, Nicoll Curtin measures its candidate experience quantitatively using Net Promoter Score and the resulting feedback loop has been invaluable for our business. Ultimately, recruitment should be about solving customer problems – whether that be finding someone their dream job or recruiting that impossible hire. To remain relevant, agencies will have to provide valued services such as a depth of market insight and consulting with our clients on issues of diversity and inclusion. This coming year will also call for us to drive regulatory change. We as an industry must continue to protect flexible working and allow genuine contractors to operate as independent traders. Despite these challenges, I am more than hopeful about 2017. On the surface, I understand the pessimistic response to what has been an uncertain few months. But over the years – over the centuries – we have learned to expect the unexpected. Across the last two decades alone, we have weathered the storms of change to emerge bigger, stronger and more profitable. Businesses that are well-structured, well-run and market-savvy will continue to prosper. As soon as we are certain of US economic policy, as soon as we are certain of the terms of Brexit, uncertainty will give way to reveal opportunity. I am as optimistic as ever because I have unwavering faith in the fortitude and talent of our industry. ●


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DIVERSITY & INCLUSION TOP ISSUE IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY Regarding your article ‘Recruiters’ comments wanted on new diversity standard’ (20 December 2016), the whole issue of Diversity & Inclusion is a major one within the insurance industry. While recruiters must play their part, our clients are really the ones that need to be more open and flexible with their requirements. It is all very well saying that candidates from different backgrounds will be considered, but considering and actually hiring are very different indeed! CHRIS CROUCHER

SIMPLE ANSWER TO HELP RECRUITMENT OF OFFENDERS In response to your story ‘Change recruitment practices for offenders, says government’ (20 December 2016), there’s an incredibly simple solution: just change the dating criteria for spent convictions. DAN NEWTON

CHANGE BRITAIN: SURE YOU’VE GOT YOUR FIGURES RIGHT? Is ‘Change Britain’ expecting that leaving the EU’s customs unions will require an additional 400,000 officers to control goods movements at UK borders (‘400k new jobs if UK leaves Customs Union says Change Britain’, 3 January)? Can’t wait to apply for a public sector job... COUNTER OFFENSIVE

RECRUITERS CAN’T BE COMPLACENT WHEN VERIFYING QUALIFICATIONS In response to your article ‘Jobseekers get away with qualification lies on CV’ (12 September 2016), in the last year a worryingly high 10.1% of all education verifications processed through our website ( have come back as not verified. This show the high risk that employers and recruiters are taking when not verifying qualifications of candidates and employees thoroughly. EDWARD HALL

Do you have any employees affected by transport issues, and how have you and your business adapted? We asked recruiters based in the Brighton area, where Southern holds the rail franchise STEPHEN BARHAM D IREC TOR , H A RV EY JOH N

“In terms of jobseekers, the flow of candidates relocating from London has slowed but those already travelling to London have been much more open to making a move. Getting to client meetings by train has also proved difficult. We tend now to leave more time, making appointments later so we can work on the train. Louise (Stuart), a London recruiter, is joining us this year as she was looking to join a local firm with the right values and vision, so every cloud has a silver lining!”


“In some cases, we have had to reduce hours of work to factor in extended commuting times. I fear the greatest issue affecting productivity is the increasing worry about returning home, especially with early dark evenings. Travel time between client meetings has increased. We have tried to accommodate this by spending more on company vehicles and giving staff access to these vehicles. There has also been an increase in unplanned staff absence, where others in the team are covering extra work. We’ve introduced a new staff rota to cover these associated issues.”


“The train strikes have been massively disruptive for our staff getting into work. It’s caused a lot of unnecessary stress and has been really inconvenient. Our team hasn’t let it dampen their spirits though, and we’ve adapted to these challenges by letting employees work from home if they’ve not been able to make it in and allowed more flexible working hours. We’ve got a very dedicated team – so dedicated, in fact, that some of them run into work and get showered at the gym before starting!” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 17

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The return of the specialists WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 19

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This year saw the return of the niche recruiters for constituents of the latest Recruiter FAST 50 Rank 1 2  3 4 5  6  7 8 9  10  11 12 13  14 15 16  17 18 19 20 21  22 23  24 25  26 27 28  29 30  31  32 33  34 35  36 37 38  39 40 41 42 43  44  45  46 47 48 49 50

2016 ranking 38

7 2

6 7



24 25 13

12 18 28 32 37


46 21 20


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Falcon Green Personnel One Call Recruitment Core-Asset Consulting X4 Group Urban Recruitment MSI Group Plan B Healthcare Red Snapper Group Swanstaff Recruitment Hallam Medical Your World Recruitment Group Venturi TeacherActive Prospero Teaching STR Group Service Care Solutions Athona Recruitment National Locums Caval MC Personnel Newcross Healthcare The Shore Group ID Medical Group BRC Spencer Ogden Specialist People Services (SPS) Group Smart Solutions Recruitment Gravitas Recruitment Group Time 4 Recruitment Concept Recruitment Group Phaidon International Antal International Nurse Plus Evergood Associates Encore Personnel Eames Consulting Group Engage Education Morgan Law Futureheads SSQ (formerly Shilton Sharpe Quarry) Oliver James Associates Tailored Recruitment Services La Fosse Associates Sanctuary Personnel Navartis Roc Search IC Resources Burns Sheehan Bespoke Careers Direct Medics

Construction Industrial Finance IT, engineering, pharma Healthcare Healthcare Healthcare Professional Multi-sector Healthcare Healthcare IT Education Education Technical Multi-sector Healthcare, education Healthcare Construction Multi-sector Healthcare Construction Healthcare Construction, healthcare Technical Industrial Industrial IT, finance Multi-sector Multi-sector Professional Executive search Healthcare Healthcare Industrial Executive search Education Professional IT Professional Professional Industrial IT Healthcare Technical IT, engineering IT IT Professional Healthcare

Revenue (£000s) 19,012 29,345 12,016 14,254 42,404 56,033 24,392 20,480 19,002 19,812 98,232 11,898 25,523 23,486 46,956 35,634 38,609 13,018 19,173 10,318 89,930 28,901 165,064 15,171 97,438 46,134 78,497 20,193 13,087 35,645 33,031 19,930 45,900 23,932 53,719 32,688 32,404 40,925 10,953 24,573 67,018 29,474 41,013 105,018 29,456 24,682 13,457 17,738 12,903 27,906

Compound annual growth rate (%) 76.0% 75.4% 72.6% 68.8% 65.2% 65.1% 64.5% 64.1% 59.7% 57.1% 57.0% 53.9% 52.4% 50.3% 49.7% 48.0% 46.6% 46.4% 43.3% 40.9% 40.7% 39.3% 39.2% 38.7% 37.7% 37.4% 36.7% 36.3% 35.3% 34.5% 34.2% 33.8% 33.8% 33.5% 33.4% 33.4% 33.2% 33.1% 33.1% 33.0% 32.7% 32.1% 31.3% 31.2% 30.8% 29.6% 29.5% 29.2% 29.0% 28.7%


12/01/2017 14:38

Key shareholders



Financial year-end

Jack O'Connell, Joseph Sweeney, Kieran Nestor Andrew Chittock, Sharon Chittock Elizabeth Williamson Glenn Norris, Michael Norris, Peter Rabey H.T. Smith Settlement of 22.07.2009 Nicky Simpson Kevin Coyle Martin Jerrold Stephen Rogers Key Capital Partners Anthony Moss, Richard Phillips Brad Lamb Simon Ryder, Jagjeet Uppal Robert Grays, Lesley Phillips Richard Crawley Richard Freye Stewart London, Tina London David Cook Multiple Claire Robson, Melanie Maynard Michelle Gorringe, Stephen Pattrick Frank Ashbee, James Hobden, Lewis Johnson Mike Sacoor, Mo Sacoor Paul Howe Peter Ogden, David Spencer-Percival LDC Nathan Bowles Jonathan Ellerbeck Grant Lillywhite, Kamal Martin Concept Group Employee Benefit Trust Multiple Tony Goodwin Sovereign Capital Martin Healy Christopher Hockey, Greg Latham Matthew Eames Robert Harvey, Matthew Ellis David Morgan Gill Arnold, Charlie Hoult, Rachel Murray, Be Kaler June Barr Oliver Castle, James Rogers Alan O'Grady, Kevin Birch Simon La Fosse, Linda La Fosse James Rook James Sloan Conor Roughneen Multiple Sean Burns, Jon Sheehan Lindsay Urquhart-Turton Paul Mulvenna, Anne-Marie Flannery

London Peterborough Edinburgh London London London London London Dartford Sheffield London Manchester Birmingham London Portsmouth Preston Brentwood Milton Keynes Leeds Gillingham Totnes Hove Milton Keynes Bristol London Bradford Newport London Cardiff Leeds London London Canterbury Hertford Leicester London Watford London London London London St Helens London Ipswich Doncaster Reading Reading London London Belfast

Mar 2016 Mar 2016 Jun 2015 Sep 2015 Aug 2015 Dec 2015 Sep 2015 May 2015 Mar 2015 Apr 2015 Dec 2015 Mar 2016 Dec 2015 Jun 2016 Dec 2015 Mar 2016 Jul 2015 Feb 2016 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Apr 2016 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Mar 2015 Dec 2015 Mar 2016 Jul 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Jun 2015 Oct 2015 Dec 2015 Mar 2015 Sep 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Sep 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2015 Oct 2015 Mar 2016 Dec 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2015 Jun 2015 Jan 2016

* If the head office is not stated, then location closest to registered address used


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NICHE RETURNS Compiled by mergers & acquisitions specialist Clearwater International, the Recruiter FAST 50 demonstrates that privately-owned recruitment firms continue to deliver high levels of growth. Clearwater’s Marcus Archer and Mark Maunsell reveal the data behind this year’s findings


onstituents of this year’s 2017 FAST 50 grew by an average compound annual growth rate of 43%, marginally down from the 44% seen in 2016. The results are based on financial years ending between March 2015 and June 2016, and therefore do not take into consideration any potential impact from Brexit. Unlike previous years, when the multi-sector recruitment agencies had the highest representation, this year saw the return of niche sector specialists. Healthcare topped the sectors with a total of 14 companies, six of which have been ranked on the list at least once before. It is a market facing chronic shortages, but one that has undergone a structural change following the introduction of price caps in November 2015. While the full effect of these caps will not be reflected in this year’s FAST 50, NHS Improvement, which is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care, has a target reduction of £1bn agency spend for the year 2016/17 and increasing appetite to suspend non-core services rather than overspend on staff. This will materially impact off-framework providers moving forward. In contrast,


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on-framework and compliant recruiters remain well positioned to benefit from the huge supply-demand imbalance in the NHS, albeit likely at reduced operating margins. Education is another sector with strong underlying market fundamentals. A growing number of pupils, an ageing workforce and a significant proportion of newly-qualified teachers leaving the profession within five years are just a few of the reasons the market faces acute talent shortages. The situation is being exacerbated by long-standing prestigious institutions, like Harrow and Marlborough, which are attempting to lure UK teachers to newly-developed international operations. Consequently, education recruiters who are able to

Next year will be particularly interesting as we look to determine any impact of Brexit

access vetted and compliant candidates have been achieving exceptional growth. In this year’s FAST 50, five specialist education agencies featured, up from one the previous year. A special mention should go to Birmingham-headquartered TeacherActive, which has ranked in the top 20 for the second consecutive year. The construction, engineering and technical recruitment markets featured strongly in 2016’s FAST 50 and 2017 is no different. Collectively, the companies in these sectors make up nearly a fifth of the total and include the fastest growing agency, Falcon Green Personnel. The data illustrates how the sectors have recovered since the recession, buoyed by major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, and government initiatives in the construction sector such as ‘help to buy’. With strong growth being recorded across the professional services market in the last few years, it comes as no surprise that recruiters with expertise in areas such as compliance, legal and consulting feature in this year’s FAST 50. In fact, a total of six specialist recruiters ranked, with Phaidon International and Morgan Law appearing for the second consecutive year. Furthermore, with law firms and consultancy groups being heralded as one of the likely benefactors of Brexit primarily due to an increase in regulatory work,


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+ L-r: MARCUS ARCHER and MARK MAUNSELL, compilers of the Recruiter FAST 50 report from corporate finance house and international M&A specialist Clearwater International

professional services recruiters are well placed to feature next year. In previous years IT recruiters were under-represented in the FAST 50, which was largely attributed to the high levels of mergers & acquisitions (M&As) and a more consolidated sector, rather than incumbents failing to achieve the appropriate levels of growth. However, in this year’s table, eight specialist IT recruiters ranked. The results come as no surprise, as similar to the education market, the technology sector suffers from chronic talent shortages and inadequate

levels of investment in training. Equally, demand is high as companies attempt to remain at the forefront of technology advancement and businesses continue to push further into the digital world. Further, high profile data breaches, as seen with the likes of TalkTalk and Sage, act as a stark reminder of the necessity to invest in these areas. The UK recruitment marketplace is not only one of the largest in Europe, but it is also one of the most fragmented. Research by the World Employment Confederation (previously Ciett) suggests there are 18,000

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

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

EXCLUSIONS: Companies that have filed abbreviated accounts at Companies House without disclosing audited sales are excluded from the FAST 50. Companies whose latest available filed accounts are 2014 or before are excluded. Companies that are not ‘pure play’ recruitment companies are also not considered. Recruiters that are co-owned by foreign trade recruitment companies or where a listed recruitment firm holds a minority stake are also discounted. Finally, employment agencies in breach of required licence arrangements are also excluded at any point during the period of analysis.

DATA COLLECTION METHODS: Qualifying companies are identified through independent research, which utilises a number of financial databases, Companies House information, press coverage and other research sources. Entry submissions are therefore not required, although any firm that believes that it may not be automatically assessed in the 2018 FAST 50 may contact Clearwater International to discuss. Please email mark.

privately-owned agencies in the UK and this number is growing at a phenomenal rate. Consequently, the makeup of the FAST 50 has been shifting, as more established recruiters struggle to maintain such high levels of percentage growth and, as such, give way to a new a breed of recently formed entities. In this year’s ranking, 32 of the companies placed for the first time, with six of them having been founded in the last six years. The best example is the aforementioned Falcon Green Personnel, a business that was only incorporated in 2012 and this year topped the ranking (see p26 for The Big Story). Though the recruitment sector is one of the most active in terms of M&A, FAST 50 firms, in both this year and previous, primarily opt to develop organic growth strategies. This often comes in the form of international expansion, as is the case with Gravitas Recruitment Group, which recently expanded its presence in the US, but often also includes targeting adjacent markets, as seen by MC Personnel. An alternative growth strategy is to leverage strong balance sheets and deploy capital through engaging in M&A activity. A good example is that of industrial recruiter One Call Recruitment, whose purchase of Lincolnshire agency Epton Employment Services all but doubled the size of the group. Mark Maunsell, associate director, Business Services Market Intelligence at Clearwater International, says: “It is extremely positive to see this year’s FAST 50 report such high levels of growth. The overarching theme continues to be the severe talent shortages, particularly in the construction, healthcare, IT and education markets. Specialists in these verticals with access to extensive candidate databases have outperformed multi-sector recruiters. Looking forward, next year will be particularly interesting as we look to determine any impact of Brexit, especially if the supply of skilled EU workers is in any way curtailed.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 23

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Topping the 2017 Recruiter FAST 50 charts, construction recruiter Falcon Green is aiming to soar to even greater heights in the years ahead. Colin Cottell reports


No one could accuse construction recruiter Falcon Green, the top-ranked company in this year’s Recruiter FAST 50, of not aiming high. “We see ourselves as the Virgin Atlantic of recruitment, providing a first-class service with a first-class team,” says Jack O’Connell, one of the company’s three director owners. Although Falcon Green provides staff for companies that operate closer to CAMPBELL the ground than Virgin’s 30,000ft, its position at the top of the 2017 Recruiter FAST 50, the definitive list of the UK’s fastest growing recruitment companies, with a compound average growth rate in the last three years of 76%, is proof that it is already flying high in its own right. Although only a smidgeon above the second-ranked company, this


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L-r: Joseph Sweeney, Kieran Nestor and Jack O’Connell

Secret of success Being hardworking and honest with your clients Jack O’Connell WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 27

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has clearly not taken the edge off the achievement for O’Connell, and his fellow directors Joseph Sweeney and Kieran Nestor. “We will take it,” says O’Connell, clearly delighted, as the three men sit around a table at the company’s City of London offices. Although Falcon Green (originally Falcon Green Personnel before a rebranding at the start of 2017) only opened its doors for business in the autumn of 2012, its growth has been impressive. Starting with just five staff, within the next three-and-a-half years, staff numbers quadrupled to 20, with turnover reaching £19m in the year ending 31 March 2016. According to Nestor, the company’s financial guru, as “a sign of efficiency” the company 28 RECRUITER

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Falcon Green Founded 2012 (original name was Falcon Green Personnel) Offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham Employees 24 Year ended 31 March 2013 31 March 2014 31 March 2015 31 March 2016 31 March 2017* *Projected

Revenue £350K £6M £12m £19m £24m

Staff 5 10 15 20 24

has adopted a rough rule of thumb of £1m of turnover per employee. With 24 staff currently employed and expected turnover for 2016/17 of £24m, the company is exactly on track. Falcon Green’s client list is equally impressive, including a host of wellknown companies such as Kier, Willmott Dixon, Galliard Homes, McLaren and Bowmer & Kirkland. “We have a lovely spread of clients across construction, development, luxury residential commercial fit-out and engineering,” says O’Connell, whose role is primarily one of business development and strategy. The company is also moving with its clients as developers shift their focus from central to outer London, and to other cities, notably Birmingham and


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Philosophy of recruitment Recruit, retain, engage and develop the best people possible Joseph Sweeney

Manchester. It works with 110 companies on a weekly basis. “You don’t want all your eggs in one basket. We have a great spread and are not reliant on any one company,” says O’Connell. On an average day, the company has around 850 temps on site across much of the UK, of whom around 100 are white-collar technical/professionals, and the remainder blue collar, mainly tradespeople. “A first-class service is our mantra,” says O’Connell, picking up the Virgin Atlantic comparison theme. “It’s all about face-to-face time with our clients, that kind of personal element,” adds Sweeney, who explains the thinking behind the company’s policy of employing mobile managers and consultants. “It’s a

hands-on approach, dropping guys to sites, and making sure that clients are happy with the service. Each labour manager looks after a particular area and knows the clients in that area, and who the best operatives are to meet their requirements.” Relationships are key, says Sweeney: “Clients probably don’t use Falcon Green, they probably use Jack O’Connell because they have that relationship with Jack O’Connell.” Adds O’Connell: “We like dealing with the decision maker.” The three directors clearly believe it is an approach that works. “We have yet to lose a project or client, so our service is always hitting the mark,” says Sweeney, whose role focuses on the operations side of Falcon Green’s business. Indeed, according to Nestor the most difficult decision they have to make is turning down work. “We want to work with the best. We will always look at a company’s history and its reputation as well,” he explains. Integral to this high level of service is what O’Connell describes as “the best decision” he has made, namely, Falcon Green’s business unit system, which consists of seven business units specialising in particular areas of the market. These include two wellestablished business units, covering trades, specialists and operatives (temps), and others focused on areas that are forecast to grow fast, such as white collar (temp and perm). Cross-selling between the white-collar and blue-collar business units is an important feature, creating “a fantastic team ethic that underpins the business”. Unlike many recruiters, staff have ‘a 360-degree role’ being responsible for both business development and filling the vacancy. “This makes us very efficient as a business and is a massive reason for

our success,” says O’Connell. Hand in hand with this is how the company treats and manages its own staff. Not only are they paid around 20% more than market rate, the three directors place great emphasis on spending a lot of their own time supporting, training and mentoring them. “We could easily double the overhead in terms of staff, it would be easy to fall into that trap, but we believe we are better off investing in our people and letting them grow as opposed to putting bums on seats, which is the industry norm,” says O’Connell. “Our team is pivotal, and we have to support them and value them if they are to deliver this product,” says Sweeney. “We really empower our workforce to make decisions,” adds O’Connell. “We have an open door policy,” says Nestor. “The only three bosses are us and everybody else can come straight in and talk to us. This means we know what is going on and if there is an issue. We don’t want anyone feeling they can’t tell us anything.” Nestor jokes about the company’s horizontal management, explaining that he doesn’t mean “horizontal in the sense that we are all lying down asleep” but that it refers to the company’s flat structure. But behind the humour is a serious point, which is this lack of hierarchy with its associated “open door policy” has been pivotal to the company’s success. O’Connell points out that only five staff have ever left Falcon Green and all of these did so because they were moving home. None have jumped ship to another recruiter. Choosing the right candidate for the right client is also important, says Sweeney, which is why, rather than registering candidates over the telephone, they are asked to come in WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 29

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to the office, where they are questioned about their experience and their documentation is checked before they are allowed to go on site. “They really trust us, and we get an amazing number of referrals, the phone is literally ringing all the time with ‘I heard you are really good to work for, can I register?’,” says O’Connell. The three directors – all originally from County Cork, Ireland, and all graduates in either business or law – got into recruitment through a mixture of both traditional and unusual routes. O’Connell, who briefly worked at Merrill Lynch, and Sweeney admit to falling into it after working on construction sites in London and New York respectively during their younger days. Nestor, who worked in accountancy before moving into pubs and nightclubs and renting out golf carts, knew O’Connell back in Cork, and says he was “delighted to jump on board” when approached by him in 2012. O’Connell and Sweeney first met when both men worked for a construction recruitment company in London in the late ‘noughties’ – although O’Connell says he does not wish to endorse the company concerned by identifying it – before setting up Falcon Green. “We were just coming out of recession, and people told me it was crazy to set up a company in that economic climate, but we have gone from strength to strength,” O’Connell says. With the company sitting proudly at the top of this year’s FAST 50 that cannot be doubted. However, the three directors say this is just the start, and they have ambitious plans to kick on. Not only do they want to continue to develop the seven existing business units to full maturity, they also want to add a new business unit each year until 2022, and have set a target of

Jack O’Connell


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£50m turnover by 2022. With 90% of its business coming from the temp market, the company has identified white-collar perm recruitment as a particular growth area, and have already put a team in place to drive that growth. Despite the construction sector’s long history of ups followed by downs, as well as the potential threat that workers, many of whom come from countries in Eastern Europe, will no longer be free to come to the UK after Brexit, the three men are relentlessly upbeat about the future. “The UK and London in particular will always have investors, such as Americans, Chinese and people from the Middle East, so you are always going to have those income streams coming in,” says Nestor. That said, O’Connell accepts the sector needs to do more to get youngsters interested in construction. With this in mind, they are actively considering going into schools themselves. The company also plans to invest more in technology. And following a successful digital marketing campaign that resulted in 2,000 workers registering with Falcon Green, plans are also well advanced for the launch of a new app. This will provide candidates with up-to-date information, as well as news from Falcon Green (for example, about the company’s employee of the month), and “get them more vested in our business and our philosophy”, explains O’Connell. As the fastest-growing recruiter in the UK Falcon Green is already flying high. But if things go to plan, just like the company that inspires them, Richard Branson’s Virgin, with its plans for manned spaceflights, the company and its three directors could be about to go into orbit. ●

Joseph Sweeney

Kieran Nestor


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Issue 46 February 2017

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence

Member of the Month

Legal update and the IRP

Challenges ahead p2-3

Andy Cox of Rethink Group

Legal issues for Recruitment 2017


INDUSTRY STRONG, BUT BREXIT CONCERNS REMAIN The value of the recruitment industry to the UK economy is £35.1bn per year, according to the ninth annual report on the recruitment industry’s performance from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). The 2015-16 Recruitment Industry Trends report found more than three quarters of value added to the economy from recruitment derived from temporary employment activities. It also found the top concern for temporary recruiters was the impact of last year’s Brexit referendum result. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the report shows

@RECPress RM_FEB_17.indd 1

the UK industry is strong. “The recruitment industry is bigger than ever before and contributes more to the UK economy than advertising, arts and recreation, and the food and beverage industry. Our industry is the engine that drives the UK jobs market, enabling people to find the right job and businesses to find the talent they need to succeed,” he says. “With near-full employment in the UK and candidate availability tightening, recruiters will play an even more important role in 2017. We predict that the industry

Events and Training p6-7

will grow by between 2.9% and 6.9% next year.” The report also found that the majority of temporary and contract assignments last longer than 12 weeks. The average length of assignment is more than 12 weeks for 73% of contract workers and 61% for temporary agency workers. This suggests that most temporary workers benefit

from equal treatment with permanent employees under the Agency Workers Directive. “As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. And at the REC we remain absolutely passionate and totally committed to helping to build a labour market that works for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire,” says Green. Key statistics from the REC’s

IRP Awards Winners p8 Recruitment Industry Trends 2015/16 include: • More than three quarters (76.1%) of value added to the UK economy by the recruitment industry was derived from temporary employment activities. • There are 9,565 recruitment agencies with an annual turnover of more than £250k operating in the UK. • The top three sectors in which recruiters made permanent placements in 2015/16 are professional/ managerial, technical/ engineering, and secretarial/ clerical. • The top three sectors in which recruiters made temporary placements in 2015/16 are industrial/blue collar, accounting/financial, and secretarial/clerical. • The top concern of recruiters operating in permanent recruitment is a lack of relevant skills and experience amongst candidates. • The top concern of recruiters operating in temporary recruitment is the consequence of the vote for ‘Brexit’. For more information, visit 12/01/2017 12:45

Leading the Industry


Safeguarding free trade will be vital, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

This is the year we celebrate recruitment’s true value, says Kevin Green REC chief executive We recently held the biggest and best IRP Awards, where we celebrate all that’s great about our industry. But the recruitment industry faces uncertain times over the next 12 months: • The economy is slowing and employers are getting nervous about investing and hiring • We have a government, which doesn’t recognise the true value of a flexible labour market • We will leave the EU at some point in the future. But in the seven months on from the referendum, we don’t know the shape of the trade deal or what this means for immigration, creating further uncertainty. We could be beaten down by events or we could go the other way and talk up our industry and the difference we make. We know that we do more than help Britain’s businesses get the talent and people they need. What we do every day transforms people’s lives. • Recruiters help young people get their first job and that all important first step on the career ladder • Recruiters help those who


are unemployed get back into work. We provide advice and guidance as we know it’s harder to get a job if you’re currently not working • Recruiters help nurses and doctors who want to work flexibly but continue to support the NHS save patient’s lives • We also help hundreds of thousands of people every year land their dream job. In every hour, on every day throughout 2017, recruiters will transform lives. This is something we need to be proud of and we need to shout about. We need to spend less time talking about the odd rogue or cowboy – it’s the REC’s job to deal with them. What we need is for every recruitment business large and small to talk up our industry and explain why what we do is important, it matters and it makes a difference. Let’s make 2017 the year in which we highlight the industry’s true value to the economy, businesses and individuals lives. Follow me on Twitter @kevingreenrec


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The recent suggestion that the UK might pay for access to tariff-free trade has underlined the fact that a variety of post-EU options remain on the table. With the government poised to trigger Article 50, what do the latest Brexit vibes mean for jobs and for our industry? Emerging themes include the need for effective transitional arrangements to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ scenario of sudden change at the end of the negotiation period, and the positioning of the government’s industrial strategy as a blueprint for what the post-Brexit world might look like. Business secretary Greg Clark has announced plans to “capitalise on our strengths in artificial intelligence and robotics” and to create a competitive environment for research, innovation and disruptive tech companies with a commitment of £4.7bn by 2020-21 in R&D funding. The industrial strategy will only work if underpinned by an effective skills strategy and we will continue to monitor the opportunities this may create for specialist recruiters. Safe-guarding tariff-tree trade remains a priority for most of the organisations and employers we have spoken to, because the potential additional costs are significant. On the regulatory front, the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ raises a number questions – for example, the repatriation of powers going to the devolved nations. The debate around regulations is not just about our old friend AWR: specific issues raised in different sectors include patent laws in creative industries and labelling/packaging requirements in the food and retail sectors. The underlying message here is that employers need continuity and clarity. From the outset, the REC has called for guarantees to EU citizens already working here and for an immigration system that allows employers to access the staff they need to prosper. We will continue to make the point that this applies to nongraduate as well as highly-skilled roles and it has been encouraging to hear ministers and the CBI recognise this need. Our discussions with four government ministers at the tail-end of 2016 were a sign of progress being made to position our industry at the forefront of key post-EU debates. We need government to work in partnership with recruiters. Once Article 50 is triggered, we will get into the details that will inevitably have significant implications for the jobs market.

You can follow Tom on Twitterr ment @hadleyscomment

12/01/2017 12:46


THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, NINA MGUNI-JONES When will wages go up? Strong inflationary headwinds are heading our way. The last bulletin for 2016 from the Office for National Statistics showed that consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation, had reached 1.2% in November 2016. The increase in CPI reflected rising oil prices and currency depreciation, which had started to filter through to the high street. But inflation is still below the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%. How we feel about inflation is highly dependent on wage growth. In November 2016, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted that in 2017 CPI will grow to 2.3%, whilst average earnings will grow by 2.4%, making real

PERM REBATES RETURN TO MAKE THEIR MARK & DEBTOR DAYS RISE The latest information from the RIB Index, sponsored by Bluestones Group, shows that permanent fee rebates have become more prevalent, since Q2 2016, and have started to make their impact on recruiter earnings. Additionally, debtor days have been on the rise over the same period. Only within the significant minority of RIB Index contributors had permanent fee rebates been a feature of their business over recent years: across 2015, the upper quartile registered that they had rebated an average of

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wage growth close to zero. This squeeze on consumer spending and business profits is likely to lead to stalling economic growth. However, the last ONS labour market bulletin for 2016, published in December 2016 (for August to October), showed that the labour market remained steadfast. The employment rate remained high, at 74.4%, and the unemployment rate was 4.8%. Current pay data is mixed. The ONS labour force survey showed that on average, real average weekly earnings (total pay), which takes account of CPI inflation, grew by 1.8% in 2016 (up to October 2016). In comparison, the real average weekly (total) pay was 2.4% in 2015 and -0.4% in 2014. In the REC’s monthly survey ‘Report on Jobs’, 19% of recruiters suggested that



average salaries awarded to permanent staff were higher in November 2016 compared to the previous month. And the ONS labour market bulletin published in December 2016 showed that whilst overall average weekly earnings grew by 2.6% (regular pay), some sectors experienced much faster rates of growth, with construction experiencing a 4.2% growth rate and wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants experiencing a 3.9% growth rate. In looking ahead, the CIPD forecasts that median pay will grow by 1.1% in the 12 months to September 2017. But some sectors are forecast to


Figure 1. Median debtor days – quarterly average 48

■ Median debtor days – quarterly average



46 45 44


43 42 41

42.4 41.2


1.8% 2.4%

fare better than others, with manufacturing and production, as well as services likely to see a 2% increase in median pay, whilst the public sector are likely to lag behind with a 1% pay rise. And although one in five (19%) employers predict a pay freeze, another one in five (19%) predict a pay rise of 3% or more. So whilst pay growth next year is likely to be muted, some sectors will likely weather the inflationary pressures better than others. With the permanent fee rebates increasing in impact and average debtor days rising, it can be seen that employers (and supply chain partners) are clearly looking for additional efficiencies as well as behaving in a cautious manner towards hiring.

39 38 Q1 2015

Q2 2015

Q3 2015

3.2% of permanent billings, with the remaining three quartiles registering no impact. Since the start of Q2 2016, however, the median recruiter has been impacted, registering an average monthly rebate of 2% of permanent fees between April and October 2016. Rebates amongst the upper quartile have increased to an average of 6.6% of

Q4 2015

Q1 2016

Q2 2016

Q3 2016

permanent billings over the same period. Of additional note, RIB contributors have also recorded an increase in average monthly debtor days since the beginning of Q2 2016. At an average monthly median of 40.2 days across 2014, and 42.4 across 2015 and Q1 2016, this increased to 44.3 days in Q2 before rising to 46.6 in Q3.

Belinda Johnson runs employment research consultancy Worklab, and is associate knowledge & insight director of Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) – part of the Bluestones Group. The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry benchmarks and trends. See www.ribindex. com; 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.


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THE BEST THERE IS He generates £40k in revenue each month, starts his day at 4:20am, and is the best recruiter in the United Kingdom. Recruitment Matters meets Andy Cox of Rethink Group

Recruitment Matters: Congratulations on winning Recruiter of the Year at the IRP Awards. Has it sunk in?

building, both with candidates and clients alike.

AC: I think my approach

days to – it was unexpected. When you attend awards, you hope to do well, but it’s very difficult to know how successful you will be because it’s extremely competitive and you’re up against the best in the industry. It was a huge privilege since the IRP Awards are very prestigious.


is holistic in nature, and I appreciate that a candidate can become your next client and vice-versa. I treat everyone I come across with the utmost care and attention, treating them the way I would like to be treated. I share my values – honesty, integrity and trust – with each candidate or client at the start of any relationship and look to build on it from there.

AC: A friend of mine from uni

RM: How big was 2016 for

was working for a successful recruitment company and that got me interested. After graduating, I thought sales might be best suited to me because of my drive, determination and enthusiasm. I like knowing the better you do, the more successful you can become. But the reason I’ve enjoyed so much success in recruitment is because of the people I work with. My approach is about relationship



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RM: You were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago – has that amplified your drive?

RM: You see the big picture?

Andy Cox: It took a few

RM: How did you get into the


AC: Really big. In two months, I delivered close to £100,000 worth of business, which is unusual in the industry. I’ve always got an eye on my business pipeline, which is crucial in being a consistent performer. I’m always looking ahead to what’s coming next month and the month after that so I continually deliver a high level of performance.

AC: I would say it has. When I was younger I was a promising sportsman in rugby and football, and that was taken away from me. I had a lot of natural ability and was capable of being very successful, so I channelled that into work instead. It’s harnessed and galvanised that desire to want to do really well and be defined by my success, not by something that’s happened to me. RM: I understand you have a daily routine? AC: I start the day at 4:20am with a freezing shower as it’s the only thing that frees up my legs for a few hours. It usually means I’m at my desk between half six and seven, so I’ve done a couple of hours of work ahead of everyone else. It sounds daft, but does give me an advantage. I do work very hard and I often find myself working into the evening as well. All the people I work with have my mobile number, so

FACTBOX: Won: Recruiter of the Year, Permanent Recruiter of the Year at the 2016 IRP Awards Candidates placed in 2016: 41 Average monthly revenue: £42,000 Highest month: July - £102,000 Percentage of returning business in 2016: 70% people call me on weekends and late at night, because that’s my life and my business.

RM: And it’s working out for you? AC: This year, I managed to buy an eight-bedroomed house in Wales that sleeps 14 people. It needs a lot of work to it, which is more expensive than I thought, but it focuses the mind. I’ve already put plans in place to buy the next one. I think it’s really important to

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have a goal and something to aim for – you need that drive and determination each year. When I’m in the shower at 4:20am being blasted by cold water, it’s important to have something to focus on.

RM: Drive and determination forms only part of the equation – what else do you attribute your success to? AC: I’ve got good people skills. I take a genuine interest in the people I meet, from a

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graduate looking for their first job to a senior person who has struggled to get through the recession and needs that next role, I show them both the same level of interest. They can see I’m not in recruitment for a quick buck, I’m in it for the long game. My approach is to bend over backwards for everybody, and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. I have a candidate pack I give to each candidate with documents and advice on writing CVs, interview techniques and tips

on networking. You see them leave the office with a spring in their step and a smile on their face.

RM: It’s important to see things from their perspective. AC: Yes – it’s about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking what it would be like if I couldn’t find a job. I make sure all my candidate meetings aren’t one-offs, but the start of a lasting relationship. I make sure to keep in touch with my

candidates, even after they’ve found work.

RM: What does the future hold? AC: I want to build on my current business levels and set the bar higher. I’m considering an MBA as I’m keen to improve my business knowledge and to underpin that with a formal qualification. I think it would be stimulating, challenging and rewarding – plus, it would be a great networking opportunity! RECRUITMENT MATTERS FEBRUARY 2017 5

12/01/2017 12:46

Legal update

LEGAL ISSUES FOR RECRUITMENT IN 2017 By Lewina Farrell, solicitor and head of professional services at the REC In January it is worthwhile to look over the horizon to see what is coming towards us for the rest of the year. No doubt there will be some surprises along the way but at this stage we know of a number of legislative changes, a major theme of which will be tackling tax avoidance. • For a number of years each April has heralded yet another tax change affecting the recruitment sector and 2017 will be no different. On 5 December, HMRC published the draft Chapter 10 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, together with technical guidance which will bring IR35 changes to the public sector. In brief, public authorities will have to determine whether an engagement is ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ IR35. If inside IR35, then the engager, which could be the public authority itself, or the employment business where there is one,


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will be required to payroll the contractor, deduct PAYE tax and employee national insurance, and pay employers’ national insurance. We have a number of concerns about the draft legislation, in particular around the provisions requiring the public authority to provide information to the employment business and the transfer of liability provisions. A consultation on the draft legislation is open until 1 February 2017, with final legislation not expected until the end of March. • From 6 April 2017 a new VAT flat rate of 16.5% will apply to ‘limited cost’ companies. That includes personal service companies or ‘miniumbrellas’ supplying labour only. This is in response to a significant growth in such companies registering for flat rate VAT. HMRC expect many companies will deregister for VAT in response to the change.

• The apprenticeship levy applies from 6 April 2017 to all payrolls over £3m. Clearly this will disproportionately affect recruitment businesses because although they run some of the largest payrolls in the UK they won’t be able to avail of apprenticeship levy funding they pay in because of how apprenticeships are defined. HMRC published revised legislation on 14 December 2016, which is also subject to consultation closing on 3 February 2017. That legislation – the Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 – sets out the mechanism for calculating and paying the levy, reporting obligations and reclaiming overpaid levy. HMRC has also published payroll software guidance. • The revised Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 were published in

December. The Regulations apply to any ‘relevant employer’, namely private/ voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees on the ‘relevant snapshot date’, which is 5 April in the relevant year. Employment businesses will have to report on the pay of their temporary workers who are engaged on contracts to perform work personally and who they payroll directly. If there is an umbrella or other intermediary in the supply chain they will be the ‘relevant employer’ for reporting purposes. The first report is due on 4 April 2018 reporting on the period 5 April 2017 to 4 April 2018. All of these measures will require significant investment in payroll software, contractual changes and due diligence/audit processes. REC Legal will update members in detail on all of these developments.

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The View

Dominic Joyce is a senior recruitment n specialist at Sheldon Phillips

Q&A What’s your background and how did you get into recruitment? Friends and family and even past colleagues, clients and customers have always told me that I’d do well in recruitment. I enjoy building long-term relationships, helping people achieve their goals and ambitions, along with networking with like-minded professionals, so recruitment is a great fit for my career aspirations. Developing my skills with sales and customer service jobs along with life experience gained along the way helped me realise the time was right to enter recruitment. My friend and boss, Jamie Trick, saw I wasn’t being rewarded in my current role and saw the potential in me. He gave me an opportunity. I can say I’ve definitely found my niche within recruitment and I’m looking forward to forging a career for myself within the industry. What does IRP membership mean to you and what are the best benefits of IRP membership for you? IRP membership means a great deal to me. I was extremely honoured to be shortlisted for ‘Best Newcomer’ at last year’s IRP Awards. Being recognised by both my employer and the recruitment industry gives me an immense sense of pride, which I haven’t had in the 14 years I’ve been working. IRP’s clear goal is to help members maintain and develop their careers. Even displaying their logo on your website or on your email signature does wonders for your reputation, as I’m a firm believer that within recruitment your reputation is everything. How will you use your IRP membership moving forward? My goal is to go onto management within recruitment and support and nurture a team of recruiters. I will use the IRP as an example to tell new colleagues and people I meet within the recruitment industry what it’s given me to help develop and further my career.

Bindu Cardoza is the MD of Jascarm International and an IRP Fellow

WHAT I KNOW How did you get into recruitment? I saw an opportunity in a local paper that invited people interested in working in recruitment [to come for an interview]. I was intrigued as I have always enjoyed helping people do well so I thought I would apply and see for myself if I could do well at helping people find employment. I knew immediately in the first week that I loved recruitment and I still do as it’s my passion. Where do you currently work? I have set up my own company Jascarm International Ltd, as I have always wanted to be my own boss so that I can deliver the type of service that I visualise everyone should adhere to. What do you love about the job? The satisfaction of helping another advance in their life, empowering both candidates and clients to make the right choice for themselves, and coaching and mentoring individuals to believe in their abilities. Would you recommend that job seekers consider recruitment as a career? Yes – only if they have a genuine interest in helping others succeed, as it the reputation of the recruitment consultant that will dictate their success in the industry. The job finds you and money will follow if you have the passion to do well. What keeps you in this industry? The joy of seeing both candidates and clients happy, the monetary rewards after a long day’s work and the satisfaction of being recognised as the go-to person for recruitment support.

To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit

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12/01/2017 12:46

Events and training



Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP. Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Michael Oliver Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing

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

© 2017 Recruitment Matters. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redactive Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redactive Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduction in whole or part without written permission.


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IN HEAD TH With cyber security making headlines around the world, where can recruiters turn to ensure confidential data is secure? Information stored in the cloud may not be as safe as you think, as Colin Cottell finds out LAST OCTOBER’S HACKING of global recruitment consultancy PageGroup has brought the issue of cyber security within the recruitment sector to the fore. PageGroup said personal information including names, emails and telephone numbers of 710,000 applicants had been accessed. The firm acknowledged “an unauthorised third party illegally gained online access to a development server used by our IT provider, Capgemini, for testing PageGroup websites”. According to Keith Rosser, chair of recruitment industry anti-fraud body SAFERJobs, such high-profile incidents are leading to increasing concerns from members of the public “about how their data is going to be managed and stored”. Rosser says the lesson from the PageGroup incident is that “hackers now see recruitment firms as a viable target”. “Large recruitment companies are now big data processors and data-driven businesses,” Rosser adds. As a result, the steady drip-drip of high-profile cyber security breaches, such as that involving Yahoo in 2016, is causing concern among candidates, says Mir Ali, vice president global technology solutions at recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and talent acquisition provider Korn Ferry Futurestep.

“I don’t think they weren’t happening in the past; they just weren’t getting the coverage,” says Ali, who is based in the US and is responsible for the firm’s global technology strategy. “People didn’t understand the ramifications of having your data stolen,” he adds. Ultimately, Ali says a company with a reputation for having its data stolen could see its employer brand damaged. “Those [candidates] who are security conscious might even think twice about applying to work for that organisation. It all comes down to trust,” says Ali. While heightened awareness of the dangers of breaches of data security is a trend across the recruitment sector, according to Paul Sangster, head of sales and marketing at recruitment software provider Itris, this is happening at the same time as the sector is changing the way its holds, stores and manages data. In the past it was usual for recruiters to hold, process and manage vast swathes of data about candidates, as well as internal data, on their own computers in their own premises, many are now choosing to hold this information in the cloud (see panel on p44 for definition). “There is a growing migration from on-premises to the cloud. You only have to look at the growth of Amazon and



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12/01/2017 14:13


CLOUDS HE Microsoft Azure to see it is a very strong trend.” says Daniel Fox, marketing manager at recruitment industry candidate relationship management (CRM) software provider Microdec. These two multinationals are among the tech giants that provide cloud-computing platforms for building and managing applications and services through a global network of managed data centres. According to Fox, recruitment software packages such as CRM software are often incorporated into a more general switch to the cloud that includes accounts packages and other aspects of internal administration. The cloud’s attraction for recruiters is “ease of management, with many not having the skills to run the systems themselves”. Other benefits include being able to flex your IT capability according to demand, ‘any time any place’ access, and cost savings from not needing so many IT staff, for example. While the cloud holds undoubted benefits for recruiters, IT and software services providers are divided over whether it necessarily improves cyber security and meets rules on data protection. According to Sangster, the move to the cloud has become a bit of an obsession, with many recruiters literally having their head in the clouds when it comes to the subject. “People think ‘we will stick it in the cloud; it is not our problem’. People don’t want the IT headaches, they don’t want to worry whether their anti-virus software is up to date,” Sangster says. A lot of the time with the cloud, ignorance is bliss, but in reality ignorance obscures inherent risks. Sangster continues: “I think there is a lot more risk in the market that people aren’t aware of, or even want to be aware of.” He says the biggest issue concerns where the data is held, and a lot of recruitment software


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In association with:


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12/01/2017 09:49

"It’s really wonderful to have won an award at this really prestigious event. We are flattered that such an experienced panel of recruiters has chosen us to be category winners."

"We are genuinely honoured to be recognised with this prestigious and highly coveted award. It’s testament to the work of our whole team ."

Pret A Manger

TempBuddy 2016 winner, Recruitment Technology Innovation of theYear

2016 winner, Best Apprentice/School Leaver Recruitment Strategy

"To have won this award as an Irish business that has only been in business for five years is amazing."

"It's a great night, and I think we should keep on celebrating the best."

TTM Healthcare


2016 winner, Best Public Sector Recruitment Agency

2016 Awards attendee

"It's a great way to celebrate that the industry is alive and buoyant and to do that with your team and celebrate their hard work."


Encore Personnel 2016 Awards attendee


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Supported by:

NOW Winners announced 03.05.2017

Sponsored by:

12/01/2017 09:49


providers don’t know where that is, he says. “Probably 80-90% of recruiters don’t know where their data is held unless they host it themselves,” he claims. A related issue is when software providers share data with third parties, such as software development companies. Many recruiters also fail to check that the data is protected by the latest anti-virus and malware software, he says. Who owns the data is another issue, with some companies having to pay software providers thousands of pounds to get their data back, Sangster warns. He has also dealt with clients who cannot have a cloud solution because it goes against their insurance policies. Largely as a result of concerns over data security, Sangster says, a number of organisations continue to avoid sticking their data in the cloud because it is too risky or are moving back to an in-house server. Sangster is not alone in voicing these concerns. In 2012, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak decried cloud computing, predicting: “It is going to be horrendous… and [will create] a lot of problems over the next five years.” He cited concern over data ownership, with users effectively signing that ownership away. Microdec’s Fox agrees there is a danger that in choosing the cloud, recruiters are effectively burying their head in the sand by ignoring these important issues. Indeed, he accepts “the whole reason they move to the cloud because they are told they don’t have to worry about those things”. According to Fox, there is much work to do to educate recruiters so they can make the right choice between choosing between a cloud-based or traditional on-premises computing environment. As a result Fox says, by way of example, “some may not be aware that some hosting companies – not the one Microdec uses – do

not provide complete physical segregation of their data from other organisations’ data. Where a hosting provider is not able to provide this, this may be a reason for not choosing the cloud”. However, Fox argues that overall, better security is one of the cloud’s biggest advantages. “For our hosting provider, security is their bread and butter,” he says. “They can invest in higher level security and the best people with the technological expertise to meet the highest standards. “I feel more confident in the security of some of the world’s hosting providers than I would with a server-based system in someone’s office run by an IT manager, who doesn’t know when he last updated the system or installed the latest malware.” When considering the security of the cloud, Sangster says a good place to start is to consider only those data centre providers who have the relevant ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) accreditation. ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third-party body that an organisation has reached certain standards. For data security, ISO 27001 covering information security management and ISO 27002, which outlines practical measures and controls, are widely used. Indeed, Fox says the data centre that Microdec itself uses is ISO-certified. Sangster says using an ISO-accredited data centre is also integral to the cloud services it provides. “We only work with two or three data centres all in the UK and all ISO accredited.” There are undoubtedly good reasons for recruiters to choose the cloud, but without proper due diligence over the choice of cloud service provider, it will not necessarily result in better cyber security. In fact, it could result in worse, with all the serious consequences that brings in its wake. ●

What is the cloud? In its simplest form the cloud is just the internet, so instead of storing and accessing data over your computer’s own hard drive, this is done online. However, for other than a few micro recruitment businesses and perhaps recruiters working from home, this definition 36 RECRUITER

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does not suffice. For most recruiters cloud services fall into the following categories: • Software-as-a-service (SaaS), where the business subscribes to an application it accesses over the internet • Platform-as-a-service,

where a business can create its own custom applications for use by the company • Infrastructure-as-aservice, where companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Rackspace provide an infrastructure that can be rented out by other companies

WATCH OUT – GDPR CHANGES The introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018 (this is certain because there is no possibility that the UK will have left the EU by then) will have important implications for recruiters and those organisations that provide cloud-based services to recruiters, according to Christopher Tutton, partner at law firm Constantine Law. Whereas at present the recruiter is generally responsible for any breach of data protection rules under GDPR, cloud service providers will have direct liability. Recruiters are therefore likely to be asked to provide contractual protection to cloud service providers, for example to indemnify the cloud service provider against any losses or penalties. Also recruiters will need to apply the principle of protection by design in planning how they manage their staff and candidate data, and that will include looking at the appropriateness of cloud-based systems. For example, candidates will need to be given much more information about how their data will be processed by the recruiter, and recruiters will only be able to process data if they can show candidates gave specific and unambiguous consent, and such consent is maintained. Furthermore, the ICO (Information Commissioners’ Office) will gain greater powers to punish businesses that breach the GDPR. The current maximum fine of £500k will be increased to 4% of global turnover under the GDPR.


12/01/2017 14:13


NumberMill introduce their new service to shield agencies and end-hirers from liability relating to IR35 Legislative backdrop All agencies are well aware of the deluge of legislation that has been introduced over recent years affecting the payment of contractors. These legislative changes have been an attempt by HM Revenue & Customs to raise standards in the sector. They also are aimed at ensuring more taxes are collected and tax evasion stamped out. Unfortunately, this has had the unintended consequence of confusing agencies and contractors, as the vast technical nature of the legislative changes is difficult to navigate. Worse still, some intermediaries have introduced aggressive and heavily disguised new tax schemes into the sector, putting contractors and agencies alike at risk. Useful and relevant link: Off-payroll working in the public sector legislation – why not future-proof the private sector too? This legislation is currently aimed at contractors working in the public sector, however that many believe that the legislation will ultimately be extended to the private sector. NumberMill’s PROTECT works well in both the public and private sectors so why not PROTECT all areas of your contracting business?

Specially-developed contracts to PROTECT the agency and end hirer. NumberMill know that agencies want to ensure they are not at risk of liability for uncollected taxes. NumberMill has invested heavily in a specially-developed contract and operational practices to ensure that the agency is protected. NumberMill become the HMRC recognised

NumberMill become the provider of worker services and then engage workers under an appropriate contractual arrangement. The worker has a choice of services on offer. Where required, NumberMill Accounting will be engaged by the contractor, if they choose, to prepare their accounts, VAT and PAYE. All this is done whilst ensuring the agency is fully PROTECTED from HMRCrelated risk.


NumberMill become the HMRC recognised “Fee Payer” …and take on the HMRC liability. NumberMill will assume full responsibility for the payment of workers, correct deduction of taxes and RTI submissions. Technical expertise AND infrastructure NumberMill have the professional and technical experience and infrastructure to ensure that the contractor is engaged in the right way. Insurance Contractors engaged via PROTECT are covered by NumberMill’s insurance Conclusion Legislation is extremely complex, but the rewards in terms of tax efficiency and supply chain costs are high. The risks in terms of transfer of liability are also high. Now is the time to review your Approved Supplier List and ensure that you work with a partner that can cope with legislative changes. This way you can future-proof your supply chain, and you won’t have to switch again. ●

How are NumberMill able to PROTECT? NumberMill are a firm of genuine ACCA and IPSE IR35 Qualified Practicing Accountants. The firm was originally set up by qualified accountant Louise Rayner, former board director of a number of recruitment agencies and responsible for one of the first travel and subsistence schemes for more than 40,000 contractors. NumberMill bases its service on technical understanding of legislation, partnership with legal employment experts and by offering a wide range of compliant contractor based services. NumberMill focuses on maintaining margin, whilst minimising cost in the contractor supply chain, maximising our clients’ margins and providing efficient, happy service to contractors.

“Fee Payer” and take on liability for ensuring correct taxes are paid.

TO ARRANGE A CONSULTATION PLEASE CALL: 0333 121 2001 option 3 For further information please visit: Email:


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RECRUITER? RV_Recruiter?_AD_V11

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From bringing festive cheer to donating clothing at the end of the year, here’s what you’ve been up to outside recruitment… FULHAM FC HELPS INVESTIGO GET THE SHOE-IN AT REFUGEE CAMP VIA  Ben Reed, Scott Beckson and Tom Graham of recruiter Investigo visited the refugee camp Le Camp de la Liniere in Dunkirk. While there was an obvious need for numerous everyday items, it was winter shoes that stood out as desperately required. So season ticket holder Ben Reed approached Fulham FC about supporting the cause. Ben was invited to the training ground, where he thought he would be collecting a couple of bags of shoes. He was overwhelmed to arrive to a vast selection of Fulham shirts, shorts, tracksuits, socks and boxes of last season’s training kit. In addition to this the club’s players and staff donated over 50 pairs of shoes.


Class People’s Christmas cheer


Education recruiter Class People managed to organise a raffle competition for its schools and at the same time raise donations for its charity fund throughout December. For every booking made during the competition for schools to win £250 worth of school supplies, 50p was added to the recruiter’s charity fund. Class People raised around £150. The money was used for a supermarket dash around the local Morrisons supermarket in Cheltenham. The food collected was donated to County Community Projects’ ‘Hamper Scamper’, where it went to help those less fortunate over the Christmas period.

Cl Class P People’s l ’ operations ti manager Naomi Howells and recruitment consultant Ellis Thorne wield the trolley


RECRUITER’S DEEDEE DOKE WINS BSI AWARD VIA  BSI, the British Standards Institute, has named Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke (right, centre) its Emerging Standards Maker for 2016. The award recognises an individual who has served on a BSI committee for five years or less and who has already made a notable contribution to their committee and/or the standards-making process. DeeDee was honoured for her work on behalf of BSI and the UK at the ISO level on sustainable employability, which takes into account employee health, wellbeing and skills training, retraining and deployment. Her citation also reflected her contributions to ISO 30405:2016 (HR Management Guidelines on Recruitment), which was published in September 2016. This work involved collaboration over two-and-a-half years with international colleagues, representing academia and HR practice.

@RecruiterMag readers...complete the magazine readership survey for your chance to win £100. Click here to start  @RecruiterMag


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training academy run by pharmaceutical research & development staffing company Clinical Professionals is proof that efforts to help jobseekers into entry-level employment are not confined to those at the lower ends of the labour market. The academy, which launched in 2015, focuses on helping life sciences graduates, including those with Master’s degrees and even some PhDs, to find their first entry-level role. To date Clinical Professionals have run five academies, with between 10 and 15 graduates attending each, 90% of whom have been successfully placed into the sector within three months. Doug Stewart, associate director of hosted employment & training academy at Clinical Professionals and a tutor on the two-week academy training course, says that despite life sciences graduates being highly educated and well qualified, many struggle to find their first role, especially those wishing to get into the much coveted area of commercial clinical trials. “It is very difficult for them even for entry-level positions,” he says. “Industry is really looking for people who already have experience, whether that is through an internship or something else they have done as a student.” Stewart says the scientific knowledge of life sciences graduates is not the problem. “It’s not so much the science we need to teach – these are robust science graduates. It is more around how clinical trials operate within the regulatory framework. In general, the course covers all the legal and regulatory issues that people need to be well prepared in in order to carry out these trials ethically and within the regulatory compliance framework.” For example, one module covers patient consent, while another includes data handling. Others cover the administrative and practical aspects of clinical trials, such as good documentation practice and clinical trial terminology. The need for such a course is accentuated because these subjects are often not part of university curriculums. “Some universities have modules around clinical research but an awful lot don’t,” says Stewart. He adds the academy also helps graduates to be



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Above and right: Life science graduates taking part in one of the academy training courses. Opposite: Doug Stewart and Nikki Doyle from Clinical Professionals' academy

better prepared to answer the type of questions they can expect at interview, and “generally give the client more assurance as to their knowledge”. Kane Arical, a biomedical science graduate from the University of Lincoln, who attended the academy, says it was invaluable. “The course equipped me with the appropriate knowledge to kick-start my career within the pharmaceutical industry,” says Arical, who following the training took up a one-year placement as a clinical trials associate. “It was very intensive but the training provided was from highly experienced professionals within the industry, so they really give me an insight into what is out there in pharma. The course was very engaging with a friendly learning atmosphere,”


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Arical went on to say. Having got his toe in the door as a result of the academy, Arical says he intends to use his placement as a stepping stone for progression, initially to clinical monitor. The demand among life sciences graduates to get into pharma and clinical research, combined with the academy’s growing reputation among life science graduates, is such that competition for academy places is intense, with between 200 and 400 applying for each academy. With such competition for places, “it is a vigorous recruitment process”, says Nikki Doyle, hosted employee & academy manager, and like Stewart an academy tutor. After screening out anyone with less than a 2.1 degree, this consists of a telephone interview, which whittles the numbers down to 30 or 40, followed by an assessment day. The latter includes group exercises, with each academy trainee also having to give a presentation to the whole group. Stewart says the reaction of employers has been “pretty much universally positive”. Although the original intention was to focus purely on pharma-only companies, “there does appear to be a need for this level of trained graduate in a variety of areas linked to clinical research. The need for these graduates is pretty much industry-wide”, he says. Consequently, in addition to placing academy graduates into traditional blue chip pharmaceutical companies, many have also been placed in academic research departments, biotech companies, as well as in not-for-profit organisations, such as the National Institute for Health Research and the NHS. “We get

“It is a vigorous recruitment progress”


a lot of employers coming back to us again,” says Doyle. Typical roles graduates go into are clinical trial administrator, pharmacovigilance and medical communications. “It is really where people are looking for entry-level staff with some knowledge of the industry,” says Stewart. “Some of the large companies still do their graduate recruitment programmes, but a lot are looking to bring people in from external sources, so it does seem that we have hit a bit of a niche here.” Most enter on six-month to 12-month contracts, and then as they gain more experience this enables them to move into permanent positions. There is no cost to the graduates, although they must agree to Clinical Professionals supporting them in their job search. Once a graduate is placed, Clinical Professionals remains actively involved with the graduate, keeping in touch with them by phone at least once a month, as well as through regular face-to-face contact. “We make sure they are settling into their first role and there are no major issues, mentoring them on office life and what is expected of them,” says Doyle. “They already have a line manager at the company they are working, but we can really act as an effective middle man if they are having any particular issues that they might be reluctant to discuss with their line manager,” adds Stewart. They can also take advantage of a £1k bursary for spending on their ongoing training or professional development, for example to pay for the cost of attending a conference or a training course, or their professional membership fees. “Clinical Professionals also provide on the job training as and when required,” says Stewart. In addition to helping life sciences graduates get their first role by providing them with the training the industry needs, Stewart says he sees the academy “as an investment in Clinical Professional’s own future”. Four academies are planned during 2017, while over the next three years he says the intention is to look at extending the concept to specific roles in the industry “depending on what the demand is looking like”.●


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ASK THE EXPERT Q1: Our net profit has been between 10% and 20% for the last three years. Is that good and what can I do to improve it? A number of factors affect what is a ‘good’ net profit, in particular investment for future growth. In a typical year of investment then 10-20% net profit is OK; 20-30% is good while 30%+ is excellent. If it was a year of significant investment – ie. where you hired a lot of new recruiters and/or implemented expensive infrastructure such as new websites or customer relationship management (CRM) systems – 10% may be good if you now expect to push on to 20%+. So what is the likely difference between your firm and those with 30% profit levels? Vision, strategy, planning and discipline. Set yourself a profitability target of 30% then you will develop a strategy and plan capable of delivering 30%. With vision, strategy and plans all focused on 30% profit, disciplined execution is still needed to ensure you hit milestone targets in a timely fashion. If you miss targets, identify the reasons and address the issues both quickly and decisively. Hitting 30% net profit is not easy, especially in growing businesses. It requires hard work and discipline from the whole company but with strong leadership and commitment most firms can achieve it. Watch out for: ● inappropriate property leases – consult a lawyer or property expert ● poor senior management – take the hard decisions and invest in the coaching they need. Invest in: ● monthly structured board meetings ● staff and management training.

Q2: What should I do to break the next step in recruiter headcount numbers?


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The SME Coach

“Hitting 30% net profit is not easy, especially in growing businesses” You may experience resistance to the professionalisation of the company structure. Focus your team’s attention on getting them to buy into how they will benefit from the company’s growth and, only where absolutely necessary, force the changes through. Don’t: ● assume your current structure is scalable because it has successfully got you this far ● let a culture that will constrain long-term growth embed itself. Do: ● professionalise the company as early as possible, ideally before you reach 10 employees ● communicate how everyone will benefit from the agency’s professionalisation. Do you have a question for Alex? Email ●

There are a couple of pinch points (typically between eight and 20 employees and at 50+ employees) that trip up many growing recruitment companies. They occur because the company has outgrown the structures that previously made it successful and it has yet to adapt. Typically up to around a 15-employee business the founder(s) can directly manage everyone, enabling instinctive decision making. While a flexible approach to people management (career progression, incentivisation, working hours etc) is effective up to a certain size, you need to create structure well before the limit is achieved, otherwise the embedded culture will cause problems down the line. By the time you get to eight employees you should formalise the company structure, introduce staff appraisals and personal development plans, review your incentivisation model etc. All of this needs to dovetail with your wider business strategy and plans as well as with your cash flow projections. While this structure and accountability may feel at odds with the family atmosphere many firms nurture at this stage, you need to professionalise to grow past this pinch point and it is more effective to do so before an alternative culture becomes embedded.

Alex Arnot

ALEX ARNOT is a non-executive adviser to more than 20 recruitment companies.


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How many tough conversations are you willing to have?


Find your next move in recruitment on jobs.recruiter.


↗ ANDREW MOUNTNEY is founding partner at in-house recruitment specialist Aspen InHouse


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IT PROBABLY FELT LIKE you had a lot of them last year. Whether it was about headcount, resource, speed or spend, come the end of 2016 I’d spoken to a lot of exhausted talent acquisition professionals and recruitment consultants. While the themes were very often different depending on sector, career stage or focus of role, the common ground was the level of pressure. Quite unlike anything I had come across before and with limited day rate contract options available, the opportunity to exit stage left was not there. It’s an important theme because 2017 may hold more

challenges. Businesses are now used to higher levels of service and delivery from inhouse functions. Minimum standards have been written in stone. If you cannot match them you need to be able to explain yourself (and your function) and make a business case for what you need, likely with supporting data. TOUGH AND RESILIENT I suspect 2017 will be the year in-house recruitment got tougher. The trend for questioning and interviews focused on resilience will continue to grow. With this comes the respect that many crave in recruitment.

This is not to say that recruitment is underperforming but we now all need to know our brief. Walk into a room armed with data, experience, examples from your career and solutions, and you will get to play (maybe even at that seat at the table we always go on about) – you may even get some new toys. Turn up underprepared with ideas that have been tried and failed before, or only a request for more resource with no funding basis, and it’s going to be a really tough time. I’ve spoken with great people who understand their brief, use data well, can succinctly explain the role of recruitment in their business and ability to change with the times. But… I’ve also met plenty who can only operate in one direction, and if there’s anything blocking the way, panic sets in. To be successful in 2017 you’re going to need to demonstrate adaptability, credibility, resilience and a willingness to take on the tough conversations. If not, it’s going to be even harder. That may sound downbeat but for those well briefed, steeped in the right information and offering something to their businesses, you’re about to make yourself invaluable. You will be the ones who get the big challenges but also the opportunities. ●


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‘I guess appearing on WWE RAW at the Echo Arena Liverpool in 2014 was a moment I rememb remember most’ MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job?

Footballer – then a wrestler or a fighter.

SAM SMITTENDOWNES, professional wrestler and senior technical consultant at Cordant Recruitment Technical & Engineering

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it? I came back to live in my hometown of Leicester after living in London for a year straight after university. I went for a sales job at ATA Selection and they offered me an opportunity to get into recruitment – sold me the career benefits and potential. I think that’s how a lot of people get into recruitment, by accident.

What do you love most about your current role? The people I work with. I work in a dynamic environment with interesting people who all want to be successful. I always feel that I am learning from my managers and others as well. We are all focused to achieve individually and as a team.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? In recruitment, I wouldn’t say there’s one standout moment. It’s always nice to be recognised by your peers and clients when you make difficult placements or handle very difficult situations well. When it comes to professional wrestling, I’ve held numerous British Championships, which is an honour. I guess appearing on WWE RAW at the Echo Arena Liverpool in 2014 was a moment I remember most; going out on live TV with the world watching was quite an experience.

Do you prefer a staycation or holiday abroad? Both. You can’t beat holidays in the 44 RECRUITER

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Sam Smitten-Downes sun. Tenerife is my destination of choice. We’ve had a family apartment there since I was very young. But I also look forward to a week or so of lie-ins at home.

Outside the office, where would you like to interview a candidate or be interviewed? A relaxing environment to bring out people’s true personalities.

What’s your top job to fill at the moment? My speciality is in within power generation and the service sector. I work with some of the top key clients in my industry and service the majority of their roles.

memorable candidate make you want to do and why? No candidate has ever made me want to cry, although many have made me laugh but maybe not for the right reasons...

What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard? By a mile, the worst is: “If you were a cow in a field, what would you do?”

Make us an offer we can’t refuse Follow this guy, I guarantee you’ll be impressed! ●

Laugh or cry, what did your most IMAG ES | SHUT T ERSTOCK /ISTOCK

12/01/2017 12:40

View the latest jobs at To place your advertisement E: or T: 020 7880 7621

Consultants/Senior Consultants – Central Government Practice We’re a principal provider of resourcing solutions, including executive search, interim leadership and assessment solutions. We have a national reputation for our work across public services and are market leaders in this field. In many of our sectors, we work with 50% of the organisations operating within the market. As part of our continued growth plans we’re hiring further Consultants/Senior Consultants into our Central Government Practice to work on the delivery of executive search assignments on behalf of our clients. We’re interested in speaking to individuals who have excellent interpersonal skills that allow you to engage, interact, and develop networks with clients and candidates. You’ll be highly analytical, able to assimilate complex and detailed briefs, and be able to exercise sound judgement and integrity at all times. Experience within the industry would be highly advantageous but we welcome applications from those who are hardworking, determined, and have the desire to build a successful and rewarding career in executive search. For a confidential discussion, please contact Rob Stephenson, Resourcing Manager on 07912 466 757 or email your CV to




Experienced Recruitment Consultants Highly Competitive City Wharf Financial Recruitment Ltd is a specialist boutique agency that is looking for experienced recruitment consultants with at least 3-7 years plus experience. You will have previous experience as a recruitment consultant in Änancial services focusing in either Investment Banking, Hedge Funds, Broker Dealers, Asset Management, Financial Houses. We are also looking to expand and set up a number of NEW Desks within IT, Compliance, Risk & Control, etc. that will complement our existing setup. Therefore, we are actively recruiting consultants and teams with a proven track record in generating good revenue Ägures, professional in person, driven to win business and the ability to close deals. Suitable candidates will be entrepreneurial, well organised, able to generate and develop new and existing clients and ideally bring a portable client base. Full job description can be found on our website Please only apply if you have suitable recruitment experience and note we will only respond to applicants we would consider suitable.

Tabby Kaan City Wharf Financial Recruitment Ltd Email CV to: Tel: +44 (0)203 174 0966 Website:


Regional Manager - Financial Services Recruitment Location: Birmingham Salary: £45,000 plus significant commission, pension, health, free Gym & more This is a newly created opportunity, taking over the management of a very successful and well-established team from our current Managing Director, allowing him to focus on taking the business into the next 10 years and beyond. Due to a period of successful expansion, Idex Consulting are now looking to appoint a Regional Manager to oversee a team of experienced Recruitment Consultants based in our Birmingham Head Office. Our support in the role: To support you in managing your team, we provide our consultants with; the highest level of the market leading Bullhorn IT system, Linkedin Recruiter licences, marketing support, Researchers, Administrators and incentives including International trips, market leading commission and much more. Key aspects the role will involve: • General team management and motivation • Key account development • Identifying new opportunities, then working with the team to successfully convert these. • Overseeing team budgets and target setting • Recruiting further individuals and ensuring the team have all the necessary tools • Actively networking within the market to maintain the Idex brand / professional image

Rewards: We offer a competitive basic salary and a commission structure to achieve significantly more. We also have a comprehensive suite of additional benefits including 25 days holiday, Pension, Private Healthcare, free gym amongst others. We pride ourselves on providing a supportive and rewarding working environment, allowing every member of the business to exceed their potential. A key differentiator for us is that we don’t target our consultants on activity, rather we focus on results, ensuring that we can identify the right solution for the client or candidate, not a quick win outcome. This enables us to build long term, successful relationships with our partner clients. Right Candidate: Ideally, we are looking for an individual with a proven track record in the recruitment industry, preferably having led a team to success. Your experience could be across any industry sector, as we can provide extensive training on our key industry specialists.

For a more detailed discussion, or a confidential chat about the role, please contact Richard Martin on 07791 871 122.


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View the latest jobs at To place your advertisement E: or T: 020 7880 7621

Recruiter Jobs helping you to attract the best candidates for your vacancies.

Jude Rosset +44 (0)20 7880 7621

Recruiter Jobs is the online recruitment site for Recruiter magazine, the principal magazine for recruiting prin and resourcing professionals. You can search through a wide range of roles; from recruitment consultants to in-house recruitment, based in both the UK and International markets. 46 RECRUITER

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View the latest jobs at To place your advertisement E: or T: 020 7880 7621











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Former general manager Peter Riley has been made a director at the educational staffing specialist.

A L D ER B R OOKE : The people analytics and executive search consultancy has appointed Eugene Burke as a senior adviser to its diagnostic & people analytics team. A MR OP : The global retained executive search partnership welcomes Avo Kaasik as associate partner in Tallinn, Estonia. Gabino Stuyck also joins the firm as associate partner in Houston, Texas. Elsewhere, Sanjay Banerjee joins Amrop India as partner and country leader for the life sciences practice. He joins with more than three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industries.

C O R EP R O G R OUP: The healthcare recruiter has appointed three new members to its management team. Neil Mackay becomes operations director; Andrew Cole will be interim IT and marketing director; and Mark Flynn joins the firm as sales director. 48 RECRUITER


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digital recruitment specialist has appointed Andy Bell as managing consultant to focus on international recruitment and expanding IT services to Germany.

F RON TL I N E RECRUIT MENT: The Nottinghamheadquartered recruiter has promoted Joshua Rhodes to business relationship manager in Nottingham and Thomas Hartree to business team leader in Leicester.

Romford-based recruiter Dutton Recruitment has promoted Adam Sheekey to CEO. Sheekey, who joined the staffing agency back in 2000 as London branch manager, was previously operations director. He succeeds Matthew Davison, CEO of the firm’s parent Portland Investment, who had been acting managing director but will now relinquish that role with Sheekey’s appointment. Davison will remain Portland Investment Group’s CEO to develop the group and add new subsidiaries where possible, according to the company.

HARRI E R HUM AN CAPITAL: The talent management business welcomes Rebecca Thomas as its new head of implementation and strategic partnerships.

executive director, while founder Jo Hand stays on as managing director.


MATCHESFASH IO N . COM: The London-based luxury fashion retailer has appointed Heidi Coppin as its new chief HR officer.


The global executive search firm has appointed David Crawford as a partner in its global technology services practice.

Natalie Powell joins the Plymouth-based recruiter, part of The Talem Company, as regional manager.




rebrand to The Human Group sees Andrea Conway join to head up the firm’s senior management team, James Robson MBE join as non-

Scottish-headquartered recruiter welcomes Karen Scott, former managing director of Hudson UK and Ireland, to its board.

The executive search and leadership advisory recruiter has appointed Justin McLennan as managing partner at its Hong Kong office.

Email people moves for use online and in print, including a short 12/01/2017 14:14

Redactive Publishing Ltd 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP 020 7880 6200

UK GOVE RNMENT: Sir David Metcalf has been appointed the UK’s first director of labour market enforcement.

WI LTON & BAIN: Diletta


D’Onofrio joins the global search boutique as partner in the San Francisco office.

healthcare staffing specialist hires Alastair Rigden as director of international. He was previously business manager at global workforce solutions provider Fircroft.

R O C S EA RCH: The IT and engineering recruitment specialist has promoted Alisia Hobbs to training lead from senior sales trainer.

STA F F IN G 360 S OLUTI ON S : The Nasdaq-listed recruiter has unveiled Richard Pickard as the new CEO of UK division Longbridge Recruitment 360.

Reporters Colin Cottell, Graham Simons

Contributing writer Sue Weekes Production editor Vanessa Townsend

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

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

ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 7607 Sales manager Tom Culley Senior sales executive Josh Hannagan

RECRUITER AWARDS/ INVESTING IN TALENT AWARDS +44 (0)20 7880 6236 Events Rebecca West

WOODROW MERCER F I N AN CE : The joint venture between FDYL, a financial consultancy, and recruiter Woodrow Mercer, has appointed Martin Hibbert as associate director.

YOU R NE X T M OV E A selection of vacancies from City Wharf Financial Recruitment Experienced recruitment consultants £Highly competitive London

IDEX Regional manager Financial services £45k + signif comms + bens Brimingham City Centre


CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive a regular copy of Recruiter, the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals, telephone +44 (0)20 8950 9117 or email • Recruiter is also available to people who do not meet our terms of control: Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the World • To purchase reprints or multiple copies of the magazine, contact Abacus e-Media T: +44 (0)20 8950 9117 or email CONTRIBUTIONS Contributions are invited, but when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Articles should be emailed. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during delivery, transmission or in the editor’s hands. © 2017 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 2014 & 30 June 2015 – 18,667. is also sent to all REC members

For more jobs, people moves and career advice go to ● ● ●

biography, to p56-57_recruiter_peoplemoves.indd 57

RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 7553 Jude Rosset

Senior designer Craig Bowyer Picture editor Akin Falope

GatenbySanderson Consultants/senior consultants UK

founder of Stanton House Nick Eaves becomes chief customer officer at the permanent, interim and executive search recruiter.

EDITORIAL +44 (0)20 7880 7606 Editor DeeDee Doke

R ETHIN K GROUP : The global recruiter welcomes Lisa Mahoney as global group head of marketing.


Scan here to get your own copy of

12/01/2017 14:14


Matt Churchward Recruiter vs Robot

You can’t predict much in recruitment but one thing we can safely hang our hat on is that 2017 will bring with it hundreds of tech start-ups trying to crack the recruitment space. The word ‘technology’ is emotive to people in any sector – as is the word ‘robot’ (derived from a Slavonic word that means servitude, forced labour or drudgery). The idea of getting rid of recruiters would no doubt be met with enthusiastic high-fives by many who sit outside of our sector. One can’t help but wonder if a number of these tech solutions are actually passion projects started by thwarted former IT contractors whose sole mission in life is to put “Darren who didn’t return their call back in 1995” out of a job. Let’s be honest, the debate over technology in recruitment has two polarised views. The first camp is made up of the techies, those aiming to disrupt the industry because they arrogantly believe that recruiters don’t add value. Therefore, they think, it is easy to remove the human element of the chain and replace it with artificial intelligence. The second camp

houses many inside the recruitment industry who arrogantly believe that we are irreplaceable, and the value we add to a process is something that could never be replicated by technology. As usual I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between. But I digress, so before I head into an intellectual rabbit hole from which I am not equipped to ever find my way out, I thought I would bring it back to what this column is all about. So here goes with my Robot vs Recruiter pros and cons list.



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Robot pros: ● Are never late to work (unless they travel on Southern Rail) ● Do not cause irreparable damage at Christmas parties ● Won’t talk to you about their ‘amazing pipeline’ ● Have no interest in the nuances of commission schemes ● Won’t leave when they have just started to deliver return on investment ● Can word match a CV on ● Always hit targets Robot cons: ● Can’t influence clients

Matt Churchward is director at The Green Recruitment Company

to offer your candidate the salary they said they were willing to pay when you took the brief three months ago and that you have constantly reinforced over said three months ● Unable to grab me a red Thai curry when they are on their lunch break Recruiter pros: ● Can word match m tch a CV C on n com om ● Add noise e tto o a ssales a sfl al floor oorr ● Sometimes ess exceeds e exc ceeds target get un and ung and ● Can be young energetic allowing a l wing tthe o al old ld miserable eo ones ness a among mo g u uss to live vicariously ari us ariously usly th through h gh g h their Monday nday nd day m morning o ni g recollections ons o ons off the weekend end nd

kidnapped on company holidays, etc ● Sometimes bill nothing So if you ask me, give me a recruiter every time. I have a small child now, so life is boring enough – don’t give me robots, too! On that note, I am off to speak to our new consultant: “Alexa! Make 10 outbound business development calls ev lop e ca ls in n the next hour and ne ext h ho o ra d then play la me e Fire by Kasabian.” re b yK Kasabian. sa an ” ●

Recruiter cons: on : ● Occasionally ally al ly prone to illness, llness, ll n ss, lateness, moaning moaning, m oaning, o nin , leaving, placing lacing lacing la temps without thout th houtt a reference,, ssulking, ulki kin top drawing ng CV ng CVs, CVs V, Vs stealing databases databases, ata t base , g getting in ng

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Recruiter - February 2017  
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