Recruiter June-July 2020

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June/July 2020

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters


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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals



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THE BIG STORY: 2O22 Commonwealth Games Recruiting for the Friendly Games in Birmingham 21 Game Changers 2O2O The people and technology shaping recruitment’s future 28 Temporary retention CJRS and agency workers

recruitment industry... ... and brings recruiters together as they help each other through the crisis TALES FROM THE FRONT: From headhunter to cleaner Stacey Wilkinson has discovered a new-found respect for low-paid jobs Briefing-to-appointment times extended The latest Recruitment Sector Barometer findings reveal how Covid-19 has affected the hiring process Start-up Spotlight: Pineapple Recruitment As lockdown got under way, Marc Linley and Dan Ware decided to launch the Bournemouth-based recruitment agency Contracts & Deals Recruitment in lockdown... Living and working in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

E COMMUNITY 33 Social Network 34 The Workplace: Guy Hayward

35 Workplace Innovation:

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Agencies improve Covid-19 schemes Business Advice: Alex Arnot My brilliant recruitment career: Rachel Dalboth, The FIRM Movers & Shakers Recruiter contacts The Last Word: Alan Furley


TRENDS Tech & Tools Virtual careers fairs



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Kieran Smith, Driver Require Soundbites


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t’s about eight weeks since I’ve been to my official workplace in London. No commute, and the streets and parks of my little city are much quieter and cleaner than they were just a couple months ago. And queueing outside supermarkets and other stores is now a habit, while ordering some necessities online has become even more of a habit. Possibly because of a childhood spent living in US military communities abroad, which involved shops with limited supplies, shopping by post, the geographical distance of friends, and a feeling of curfew in mid- to late “This move evening in current conditions don’t toward greater tremendously agility will surely seem weird. help the UK What is exciting, emerge a more however, is seeing early signs of productive workplace change: nation from a new agility for recession. Let’s businesses and individuals alike in seize this day” the increased value of transferrable skills and increased knowledge sharing. While government figures reiterate we’re headed for recession, this move toward greater agility and a ‘thinking on your feet’ approach toward flexing organisational boundaries into new directions will surely help the UK emerge a more productive nation from recession. Let’s seize this day.

DeeDee Doke, Editor

Pandemic resets industry and brings recruiters together BY DEEDEE DOKE

THE PRECIPITOUS DROP in hiring in most sectors since the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent business slowdown has brought on “a moment of reset” for the recruitment industry, says Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). In a phone conversation with Recruiter, Carberry was reflecting on potential changes for the sector with ongoing effects from the UK-wide lockdown and how his organisation must help recruiters meet the evolving challenges. “It will be a big chunk of work to do, to talk about the good the industry does,” Carberry said. “This is a moment of reset… I do think that there will be a national debate about taxation and tax structure and what great work is. “Our campaigns need to move on to support that and make sure that, as our expectations of what the British economy is post-Covid … the voice of the industry is heard loud and clear.” At the moment, the REC’s discussions with government are consumed with immediate issues, such as the future credit insurance market. “The credit market insurance that we’re coming back to will look very different to the one we left behind – in terms of the credit-worthiness of clients agencies might be willing to take on. So we’re talking to government about how do we make sure that their credit insurances hold up to the recovery of the market.” His discussions with REC members have suggested, he said, that people are “starting to coalesce around plans. They’re starting to have conversations with clients – and not just in terms of when they’ll start hiring again for things like perms, but also what sorts of roles they’ll start hiring”. In the midst of the dark cloud of uncertainty, Carberry said “a kind of silver lining” had emerged: sharing conversations have been occurring between recruitment business leaders to swap problems and solutions. A key role for the REC is facilitating such discussions, he said. “Helping people talk to each other was one of the most powerful things I’ve seen, actually enabling members to talk to each other in a feedback forum or other get-together, talking about what’s worked and what hasn’t. “Traditionally, we have this image in the industry of a bunch of recruiters in the room talking about how everyone’s had the best quarter ever… I think there’s an honesty in the conversation at the moment, which is really welcome, and I do think people are helping each other.”


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AS OF 13 MAY 2020

From sipping cocktails with entrepreneur Richard Branson (below), Stacey Wilkinson found herself scraping chewing gum off the floor in Tesco

TALES FROM THE FRONT: From headhunter to cleaner BY COLIN COTTELL

HEADHUNTER STACEY WILKINSON is proud to list her job as a cleaner in prime position at the top of her LinkedIn profile. Not many others in her position would call attention to this role, one so different than her usual headhunting turf. But that is exactly what Stacey Wilkinson, founder of Techsearchers, has done. In December, Wilkinson, from Manchester, was enjoying the high life on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private getaway spot. However, the last couple of months have marked quite a change for Wilkinson, who has seen her income slashed by between a fifth and a 10th of what she was earning previously, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. “If somebody had said to me three months ago that I would be cleaning toilets at Tesco, I would have laughed in their face. I don’t mind admitting it at all, that I was one of those smug types who probably thought I was better than



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‘that type of job’,” she acknowledges. However, since taking the cleaning job, Wilkinson says, her attitude has changed. Wilkinson decided to take the job with an industrial sanitisation company working in a Tesco store after work at Techsearchers dried up. “It was partly to give back, partly for my mental health and partly to keep the money coming in as well,” she says. “Everything was turned on its head mid-March. I just had to do something to keep busy, as I live by myself and am not the stay-at-home type, so I was really concerned about loneliness and isolation setting in. It’s about resilience and adapting to a changing environment... and I am enjoying the contrast, to be honest.” When Recruiter spoke to Wilkinson, she was in the final week of her temporary job as a cleaner, and would soon “be ramping up” her headhunting business. However, although her time working as cleaner was only brief, she says the effects on how she operates her

business when it is up and running again will be permanent and profound. “I have always counted or discounted job applicants based on CVs and career histories, but now it doesn’t matter what people have done in the past anymore,” Wilkinson says. “I even put my Tesco cleaner role on my LinkedIn profile, because I wanted to prove a point. From now on, each time I get those hiring managers asking me ‘What’s this gap?’ and ‘That job isn’t relevant’, I will be sticking two fingers up because those things [attitudes] don’t matter anymore; it’s what value people are adding at the moment, and what they can add going forward.” She adds with self-deprecating humour, reflecting on her own past attitude: “I have egg on my face, don’t I? I don’t think that I am above scraping chewing gum off a shop floor at all now – I don’t think any of us are. It has definitely taught me not to judge a book by its cover, though I think we’re all guilty of doing this.”


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“It is going to be absolutely vital that we have a workforce that can be redeployed quickly and efficiently.” LORD FORSYTH OF DRUMLEAN, C H AIR O F TH E H OUSE OF LORDS ECON OM IC A FFA IRS FIN A N C E BIL L S UB-COM M ITTE E

“Our inquiry found these rules [IR35] riddled with problems, unfairnesses and unintended consequences.” DR JOHN SULLIVAN R EC RU ITM E N T A N D H R E XPE RT

“Key [candidate] attraction factors will shift to employee virus protection, medical benefits, sick leave, and job security.”

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PIN NEAPPLE RECRUIT TMEN NT BY COLIN COTTELL With Covid-19 still a live and present danger, launching a brand-new recruitment agency might not appear to be the most obvious, or indeed sensible, thing to do. But that is exactly what Marc Linley and Dan Ware, co-founders of Pineapple

Recruitment, have done. The Bournemouth-based agency launched on 14 April, before the UK had reached the peak of the pandemic crisis. “It was an idea that we had a couple of months previously, and it was kind of building in the background well before the Covid-19

Covid-19 extends briefing to appointment time for recruiters MORE THAN HALF of the UK recruitment companies currently working roles as the Covid-19 business slowdown continues are experiencing longer times than usual from briefing to appointment, according to the Recruitment Sector Barometer May 2020. The Barometer, run by MyNonExec in association with Recruiter, reports that a record net one in five recruitment companies are also noting an increase in debtor days, potentially further exacerbating cashflow issues. Other findings in the Barometer: A small majority of respondents to the Barometer expect their temporary and contractor desks to outperform Q2 2019 in Q2 2020. Recruiters are maintaining their fee rates in spite of the current crisis. The number of recruitment companies citing a shortage of candidates as one of their top three challenges has dropped to just one in four from an average of 69%. More than four out of five companies that are more than 12 months old now expect net profit for the next 12 months to be less than for the previous 12 months. “As the impact of the pandemic is really felt in Q3 and potentially Q4 2020, this could place a real strain on recruitment companies’ liquidity,” said MyNonExec’s Alex Arnot, “especially of those that invested to accelerate their growth in anticipation of Brexit uncertainty easing.”

outbreak,” says Linley. “Every time I opened up an email it was someone, or a friend of mine, or a colleague that had been made redundant or just lost their job, so quite quickly we thought it might be the perfect time.” Linley agrees there isn’t currently a massive demand for staff in the contact centre industry in which the new agency specialises, but he is confident that as the lockdown restrictions are

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eased and people get a better picture of what the next few months look like, demand will increase. “We have been blown away by the number of people and businesses getting in touch with us,” he says. Although Linley says that in the current climate setting targets is difficult, “if we can launch successfully now, everything we do going forward is going to be a lot easier”.


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Connektd Mazuma, the online accountancy firm for small and micro businesses, is partnering with Connektd, a global platform matching up freelancers and event production agencies across the world. Launched in 2018, Connektd matches local freelancers to event projects globally, taking away the need to fly in people to an event on the other side of the world.

IPSE IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has partnered with motoring association The AA. IPSE members can now access The AA’s business breakdown services.

Resume-Library US job board Resume-Library has partnered with global management solutions company BullseyeEngagement. Users will be able to access millions of active US candidates within Resume-Library’s database, without the need for any engineering on the BullseyeEngagement site.

Frontline Recruitment Frontline Recruitment has won a string of new contracts since the Covid-19 lockdown. The company has been working with an NHS Trust, supporting key workers in the NHS and healthcare sectors. The company has also seen increased demand from its e-commerce and food industry partners, winning several new contracts across the business supporting the local supply chain. Frontline has its headquarters in Nottingham, and offices in Derby, Hull, Leicester, Mansfield and Weymouth.

C did Candidate.ID d t ID Recruitment software firm Candidate.ID has announced a further investment of £630k from Blackfinch Ventures, taking total the external investment to £1.63m in 15 months. According to Candidate.ID, this investment will allow it to focus on doubling revenue this year, while further progressing its machine-learning programme.

DaXtra Technologies DaXtra Technologies, an intelligent recruitment solutions provider, and Sense, the automated communication and engagement platform built for the staffing industry, have announced a new partnership, creating an automation solution to supercharge recruiting teams to streamline sourcing, make more placements and grow their business.


Wagestream Income streaming provider Wagestream has announced two partnerships to give workers access to their pay. Innovise, the technology specialist that provides workforce management solutions to the facilities management (FM) and support services industries, has formed an exclusive partnership using Wagestream’s Timegate platform. The platform will give workers in FM,



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guarding and cleaning roles access to their pay when they want it. In addition, burger chain Honest Burgers has joined with Wagestream to give its 730 staff help to access their furlough pay early during the pandemic. Wagestream’s new solution, designed for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, means it will pay furloughed workers 50% of their accrued ‘furloughed pay’ on demand.

Cross Country Healthcare US healthcare recruiter Cross Country Healthcare is collaborating with low-cost US airline JetBlue to provide free flights to healthcare providers travelling to New York to help fight the Covid-19 crisis throughout the state. The airline is also working with many community non-profit partners, as well as non-government organisations, to help get medical professionals and supplies to the places where they are needed most.

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15/05/2020 11:24


RECRUITMENT IN LOCKDOWN… Here is a round-up of some of the most popular recruitment news stories while living under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic since the May issue of Recruiter was published A P R I L 2 0 2 0 •‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒→

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One of the practical problems of the pandemic is ensuring readers get to see their issue of Recruiter. So, as we reported, May’s edition of Recruiter was published in a digital version – as will future issues if the lockdown continues. “With the industry following the advice from global governments, and recruiters closing their offices across the UK and the world, we have decided the best way for our readers to still receive their May issue of Recruiter magazine is through a digital edition,” said Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke. Doke reminded readers that Recruiter wanted to hear Tales From the Front about the work recruiters were doing during the Covid-19 crisis to support their local community, the UK and the service providers and businesses working through the current conditions which some have compared to wartime. Send your stories, pictures and videos to recruiter.editorial@redactive. or through WeTransfer. “So stay safe, stay healthy and look out for your favourite recruitment magazine to help see you through the Covid-19 crisis!” Doke said. More:

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TALES FROM THE FRONT: ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO Abi Dunn, founder and managing director of hospitality recruiter Sixty Eight People, shared her experience with Recruiter about the devastating effect the coronavirus has had on her business… It’s been almost four weeks now since I lost everything. The highly-successful hospitality recruitment business I established just over 12 months ago in the heart of Manchester’s glorious Northern Quarter – a business that employed six hugely talented individuals – came crashing down in the space of seven hours one fateful day in March. It took the rest of the hospitality sector perhaps a week to follow suit, but by the end of the craziest seven days in history, most of us had been completely decimated. Over the past few weeks, I’ve fought back the tears, I’ve sat staring at walls thinking ‘What on earth do I do now?’, and I’ve tried to ignore the articles that say it may take ‘years’ for my beloved hospitality industry to recover from this cataclysmic turn of events. Finally, I’ve arrived at a point where I want to start thinking th about how my team and I can come back from Covid-19. C So how do we move forward from here? • ‘Dig deep and believe in your vision and mission more m than ever’ • Accept that the post-Covid-19 landscape is a vastly diff d erent one • Refocus, adapt and innovate your offering. In conclusion, I urge any recruiter in a similar boat with w a meaningful purpose to dig deep. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to challenge the status quo, to niche n your business, to add true value to your customers and a to come back bigger than ever before.

At the end of the month, recruiters who had been made redundant as a result of the Covid-19 crisis were urged to look close to home when considering their next move. CRM and software company Firefish is leading a campaign for recruiters who have lost their jobs – but have not been furloughed – to #getbackinthefight by starting their own recruitment agency. Wendy McDougall, CEO of the Glasgow-based business, said: “As a recruitment software supplier, we are speaking with recruiters all day every day, so we can see what’s going on in the industry more than anyone. There are thousands of excellent recruiters out there who have just lost their jobs due to reasons totally outside their control.” McDougall said Firefish was committed to helping ambitious and talented, redundant recruiters “get back in the fight” by starting up their own recruitment businesses. More:

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6 MAY 2020

FDM GROUP HIRES NEARLY 200 DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ‘Recruit, train, deploy’ specialist FDM Group has hired 182 new employees during the official Covid-19 lockdown. The company has multiple offices globally and traditionally delivers its training courses in classroom environments inside its physical offices. However, the company moved its nearly 6,000-strong corps of employees to a remote working environment 6 with full IT operations in place within just four days. More:



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TECH FIRM PLANS TO CREATE HOME-BASED CONTACT CENTRE JOBS IN THE UK In the middle of the lockdown, a US-based global customer experience tech firm has announced plans to create thousands of new remote jobs across the UK. TTEC is set to hire over 3,500 new contact centre employees for its work-from-home programme, according to BDaily. The US firm specialises in the design, implementation and delivery of customer experience solutions for a range of brands. Based in Colorado, TTEC uses proprietary technology to remotely support and assist customers with service and technical needs across channels including chat, messaging, email, social and voice. It operates in a variety of countries in EMEA and elsewhere around the world. 4 MAY 2020


WHAT’S YOUR REMOTE WORKING PERSONA? Working remotely can be a new experience for some recruiters. New research from global recruiter Robert Walters has identified three separate personality types that are emerging from recent weeks of working from home: The Workaholic; The Daydreamer; The Unwilling Recluse. The Workaholic is described as “works compulsively or over the hours required, and at the cost of their sleep, family time or personal life. A workaholic in this period is someone who enjoys their work and sees it as structure or differentiation to their day or feels compelled to do it to prove there has been no change to productivity since home working has been introduced. The biggest threat to a Workaholic is burnout”. The Daydreamer is “easily distracted from tasks by activity in the home. Daydreamers find themselves in a cycle of an unfocused and then refocused mindset multiple times a day. The natural wandering of the mind can often mean that projects or work is delivered differently to how managers may have expected. Job satisfaction for a daydreamer can often be quite low as a result”. And finally, the Unwilling Recluse is “victim to the extreme comfort of the home setting. The ability to stay in the same hoodie for days, avoid small talk with colleagues and hide behind emails as their main form of communication can lead remote workers down a slippery slope of isolation”. More:

Find more daily news stories at

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7 MAY 2020

IS WORKING FROM HOME THE REAL LIFE OR IS IT JUST FANTASY? Finally, we brought you news of how technology specialist CPS Group is weathering the coronavirus storm. Although remote working in lockdown can be a complete change, the CPS team has adapted well. So well, in fact, that the company thought what better way to lighten the mood than show the entire CPS team working from home, having fun and at the same time fundraising for NHS Wales. Co-owner and director Spencer Symmons told Recruiter: “We haven’t furloughed anyone, so we wanted to show our guys having some fun working from home while also raising some funds.” So go to the full story (below), sing along, and if you enjoyed the talents of the CPS Superband, why not drop a few pennies to the Swansea Bay University LHB Charitable Fund and other related charities? More: https://bit. ly/2WlJQVX


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Virtual careers fairs Don’t stand so close to me BY SUE WEEKES

Careers fairs are among the face-to-face events that have disappeared from the calendar since the outbreak of the coronavirus. As with many traditional events, there is an online equivalent. Although not new, they continue to evolve with parallel contemporary developments to their in-person equivalent. All-in-one platforms are emerging that help employers through each stage of the process. One such product is provided by HR technology company XOR, which ‘produces’ the entire virtual hiring event from start to finish and makes use of technologies such as AI.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Typically, a virtual careers fair will take the form of a scheduled online event. Candidates are sent a link to join and can interact remotely with recruiters via their smartphone, tablet or PC to learn more about a specific job or opportunities using live chat or video. Such events eliminate geographical boundaries for talent, and also remove some of the hefty costs that are associated with attending a bricks-and-mortar event. XOR currently reports increased interest from employers for its dedicated Virtual Careers Fair product,

which can also be used by recruitment agencies and universities.

TARGETED APPROACH Consider what you want to achieve from the event and what sort of candidates you want to attract. A big advantage of an online careers fair is that you can extend your reach for talent – literally worldwide – but it is important to target your audience. Aida Fazylova, CEO and co-founder of, says one of the challenges of a virtual career fair is being able to effectively manage conversations with multiple candidates. “Ensure recruiters are allocating and using their time to speak with

qualified candidates,” she says.

BRAND AND PROMOTE Global lockdowns have seen an increase in virtual events, so branding and promotion are vital to differentiate your hiring fair. Brand and promote it with the same detail as you would a traditional fair and ensure your messaging and style is consistent with the employer brand. Fazylova recommends sending WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or emails to candidates in your applicant tracking system (ATS) as a great way to re-engage people who have already shown interest in your organisation and then to promote the event using similar

C H AT B OT S I N R E C R U I T I N G Chatbots have moved away from their gimmicky image to become a valuable tool for collecting information on candidates’ skills and basics like contact details, screening candidates by using customised questions and answering frequently asked questions. It means a careers site can be manned 24/7 across different time zones. I M AG E | S H UT T E R STO C K

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channels. The XOR platform allows recruiters to create branded registration pages to capture sign-ups.

step for candidates before the event ends.


Virtual career fairs can be used as a stand-alone solution or integrated directly with a recruiter’s ATS. Fazylova explains that the strongest integrations will enable recruiters to create profiles in the ATS, based on prospective candidates who register and attend the virtual career fair, and then attach a transcript of their conversation during the fair directly onto the candidate profile. The public health crisis brought by Covid-19 has forced organisations across all sectors to use remote tools to establish new ways of working and, if used effectively, it’s likely that virtual careers fair tools could find a permanent place in the recruiters’ armoury in the new-normal – when it arrives. ●

To ensure maximum value from the event, pre-screen candidates to ensure they are suitably qualified for the positions that are available or will be in the future. XOR enables employers to automate this using an AI chatbot. You can set up a pre-screen with customised questions and weight the answers to emphasise the skills you value the most. During the event, the platform uses live chat and video to interact with candidates, then automates interview scheduling to convert the best candidates. Fazylova says the latter avoids a common pitfall of employers of not creating a clear next



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Survive, and then thrive Finding your way in a volatile future BY KIERAN SMITH

nly a few weeks ago few of us could have foreseen the current crisis – lockdown, furlough, shutdown. It’s definitely not business as usual. The market has disintegrated, and most of us are battling to survive. Here’s what we’re expecting: ● We will be in a prolonged recession with a debt-laden government. Austerity will be the word: higher taxes, lower levels of business and consumer spending, and inflation. ● Manufacturing companies will likely restructure their supply chains to manage risk, adding local second-source suppliers and building more buffer stock. This will smooth out variability and reduce some agency requirements, while producing opportunities with the new local suppliers. ● We have seen the value of key workers recognised over the past few weeks. Perhaps there will be a move to protect their wages… perhaps even proposals for a ‘NKW’ (National Key Worker wage or levy). ● We also expect to see a levelling of the playing field with IR35 reform for the private sector, raising the cost of professional blue-collar agency workers. ● Companies will bring back ‘in-house’ agency workers who cover ‘normal operations’, leaving just the variable element to be covered by agency. ● We expect more enforcement and regulation of disreputable players, encouraging greater compliance. Consequently, we expect a more ‘open-book’ regime with agencies covering mainly variable requirements and a recognition of the value added by an agency, together with commensurate margins.

KIERAN SMITH is CEO of driver recruitment specialist Driver Require.

But first, to survive the current crisis and to provide a strong, healthy foundation for greater resilience in the volatile future, we suggest: ● Cash is king: No matter how much effort and investment you have put into your business nor how much your future business opportunities could be worth, if you have run out of cash, your business is valued at nothing. If you can, renegotiate your debt position. But if you run out of cash, and you have no source of friendly short-term financing, your business could be in trouble. ● Cut costs early and don’t procrastinate. Taking those tough decisions and erring on the side of caution means that you are prepared for the worst, (while still hoping for the best). Swift, decisive cost-cutting will give you competitive advantage over those who delayed the inevitable and spent too much. ● Avoid unnecessary risks. Large companies will try to extend their payment terms, effectively making you their bank, where you share their business risk but have no control over them. The longer the payment terms, the larger the debt and the higher the risk of their business failing. Don’t be tempted to trade with high credit-risk clients with long payment terms unless you know your client is a safe credit risk. The worst thing that can happen when you are operating hand-to-mouth is for a client to cease trading leaving you with substantial debt, and you suddenly run out of cash. Private equity-backed companies should be avoided unless they offer short payment terms because they are known to be ruthless and will close down a failing investment without a thought for its creditors, ie. you. ● Keep to your values and principles. In these testing times, you must stick to your principles and not compromise on your values. Treating your clients, employees, candidates and partners fairly will be remembered and repaid with trust and loyalty and will ultimately give you competitive advantage. And finally… ● Maintain your agility. Ensure that you have the resources and the capability to react quickly to any opportunity as it arises. When cutting costs, always think about how quickly you can reactivate your operational capability. ●







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WEBCHAT REDUNDANT RECRUITERS URGED TO ‘GET BACK IN THE FIGHT’ Now is as good a time as any to a) address the structure of the recruitment firm that you are about to start and b) address the service offered by your recruitment firm that will place you at the forefront of recruitment consultancy (actual growth-related consultancy, not only vacancy filling). Richard Mackie

What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far from the coronavirus pandemic?

INDUSTRY CRITICISES PUBLICATION OF HOME OFFICE IMMIGRATION GUIDELINES Given there is going to be widespread unemployment, I hardly think shortages of candidates for jobs in retail and logistics is going to be an issue. Arguing for immigration when we have close to full employment is one thing; to make that argument now when we are facing an economic depression is rather thoughtless. Paul Atreides


“The greatest lesson I’ve learned so far is that we all needed time to jump off the hamster wheel and take stock in order to improve business and life. I introduced Zoom into my business three years ago but only now are we using it for entire company daily meetings. Previously I could have pushed it through but it was never a high enough priority – people were ironically always too busy. We were also spending fortunes on classes and staff dotted around the country to provide a national service. Now we are holding several workshops per day with up to 43 attendees joining in one go last week. The candidates have a choice of times; they also get focused one-to-ones after. Again we could have done this sooner but there were always staff objections and concerns. Now we’ve done it everyone loves it.”


“The biggest lesson is that remote working is completely achievable for most people and online collaboration will be the new reality for many industries moving forward. The pandemic has changed how companies physically work and interact. While some employers may not have previously been open to allowing staff to work from home, they now realise that the work is still getting done – in many cases, productivity is much higher. Take away the long commutes, forced lunch breaks, pointless meetings and the need to wear a suit, and in most cases you’re left with a happier, more relaxed, better rested, more productive workforce. The UK recruitment industry includes some of the country’s most agile and adaptive companies that quickly dealt with this crisis through creativeness and swift technology adoption. Virtual recruiting is very much going to be the new norm from millions of previously underused home offices.”


“Our brand essence has always been Ability with Agility, which underpins the values we live and breathe as an organisation. These have been truly tested during this unprecedented time in the ways we work together, and the ways we work with our clients. We’re proud of the way the team responded so quickly to a new way of working – setting up communication channels on a local team basis and the wider business. But importantly, keeping the team spirit alive through social engagement through chat groups, virtual lunches, Friday quizzes and so on. Retaining that positive spirit, accepting and adapting to change, and embracing new agile ways of working with each other and clients. I have personally been blown away by how well the business has adapted to remote working, and in particular how everyone continues to respond as the situation evolves.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 15

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CREATING A LEGACY The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham seems a long way off, but strategic recruitment manager Kesh Ladwa has been beavering away to find the 1,200 people needed for the Friendly Games. Colin Cottell spoke to him to find out more any people working in recruitment are passionate about sport – but how many get to combine that passion with their passion for recruitment? That is exactly the privileged position that Kesh Ladwa has found himself in. A big football fan and table tennis player who also helps organise the Leamington Spa Half Marathon, Ladwa is loving every minute of his role as strategic recruitment manager for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. “You have got sports and recruitment, and I am putting these two things together. It’s a job made in heaven isn’t it?” says the proud


Brummie, speaking to Recruiter by phone from the Games’ offices in Broad Street in the heart of England’s second city. Named Recruiter’s 2017 In-House Recruitment Leader of the Year, Ladwa was encouraged to apply for the Commonweath Games position while in his last role at Nationwide Building Society. And the opportunity of heading up recruitment for such a major event in his home city was just too good to turn down. “It would have been wrong not to have been part of the Commonwealth Games in essence,” he says. “It’s a celebration of sport, a celebration of community and


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Kesh Ladwa ● Nov 2018 to present – Strategic recruitment manager, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ● 2017-18 – Divisional head of resourcing, Nationwide Building Society ● 2015-18 – Head of recruitment, Warwick Police and West Mercia Police ● 2006-18 – Various recruitment roles, both agency and interim ● Current member of RL100 (Recruitment Leaders) Leadership Council 18 RECRUITER


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people, and I think it was just brilliant for me to be able to be part of that journey and that recruitment legacy by being able to recruit all the staff we need, making sure the organisation of the Games is inclusive, and that it is Games for everybody. And that starts with recruitment.” As one of the first 10 people recruited by the Games’ Organising Committee, Ladwa has already been beavering away for 17 months, putting the building blocks in place to ramp up hiring of the 1,200 staff that will be needed to run one of the world’s biggest sporting events outside the Olympics and certainly the largest ever held in the West Midlands. Employees will work in 17 departments across nine divisions. Roles currently advertised on the Games website include head of security operations, head of venue transport, head of events services and energy zone manager, with many hundreds more set to follow as the countdown to the Games begins in earnest. Although Ladwa and his team won’t have any responsibility for recruiting the 10,000 Games volunteers, which will be handled by another department, he says the intention is to work collaboratively once the person heading up that effort has been appointed.

Blank paper While relishing the opportunity to work on a project with such global scale and describing it “as one of the highlights of my career”, Ladwa is not afraid to admit the job has presented him with new challenges. “When I came in there was no technology, no process; there was literally a blank piece of paper,” he says. Indeed, when Recruiter spoke to Ladwa in April, much of that planning and preparatory work remained to be done, including final sign-off of the applicant track system (ATS), with applications still continuing to come in in the traditional format of CV and covering letter.

Ladwa says he is confident that the ATS, provided by Gi Group, who won the contract to become the Games RPO [recruitment process outsourcing], will make a big difference. Not only can it be tailored to meet the Games’ unique requirements, it will reduce admin and enhance the candidate experience by making it easy to apply for jobs. Other technology actively being considered includes chatbots and assessment tools aimed at addressing the needs of people with disabilities and those from other disadvantaged backgrounds. While starting from scratch has its challenges, on the flipside it also gave Ladwa the opportunity to create exactly what he wanted, unconstrained by the usual legacy issues that face anyone who joins an existing recruitment function. “We were able to say how we are going to recruit new staff, bring them in, and decide on the processes and technology, even on the strategy of bringing in an RPO – all those things that in an existing organisation you will only be able to tweak,” he says.

Back to basics “The great thing was being able to go back to basics and literally practise what you preach,” says Ladwa. So while many recruiters blithely talk about end-to-end recruitment and being ‘hands-on’, for Ladwa that was literally the case. In in the early days when the organisation was hiring for senior roles, he says he was personally involved in every aspect – first sourcing candidates, then being the first to interview them. And even meeting successful candidates at reception on their first day at work. Building the function from scratch also meant that he was unencumbered by historic issues such as lack of talent or poor processes. “We had the roles, we knew what we had to go to market for. We just had to create something which was brilliant and was the right way of doing things, and which fits right with the Games,” he says.

Dan Challis, GI Group’s UK business development manager, led the company’s successful tendering process in the summer of 2019. Challis says he is hugely excited to be working on such a prestigious event, and one of the biggest contracts of his career. “It’s a unique opportunity for us,” he says. However, along with the prestige and the size of the event, he accepts that recruiting for the Commonwealth Games brings its own unique demands. “The two things that are pivotal to the Commonwealth Games are equality & diversity and local talent,” says Challis. “We need to ensure that we deliver an open recruitment process that is open to everybody, so we are really trying to tap into every single talent pool that exists in the local area and across the West Midlands.”

Local people, local jobs From the start, ‘local people for local jobs’ has been high on Ladwa’s agenda. In the early days, he explains, he made it his personal priority to network with different local communities and to build relationships with community leaders to promote the opportunities the Games bring. Although skills, knowledge and experience are obviously important, Ladwa says, a priority is to recruit people first from the local area, then from the region and then nationally.


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“We are focused on making a difference to Birmingham and the West Midlands. Everyone is welcome, along with their different life skills and experience. We are looking for great people to be part of a great Games.” Ladwa has identified a number of core attributes that are, if not compulsory, highly desirable in candidates. While a love of sport would be great, he says what he is looking for is “passion”: “Passion for the Games, passion for community and a passion to deliver a successful Games.” While raising awareness of the Games, especially among people who may not have heard of them or know anything about the Games, is vital, Ladwa says it is also about inspiring them to apply for roles. “That is already proving effective,” he says, “because a lot of individuals in the community have a passion for sport for starters, they have a passion for the West Midlands and a passion to be drawn in to something where they have a connection.” The ‘local jobs for local people’ message is one that clearly resonates with Challis, who explains that the focus on local talent incorporates not only how roles are advertised and marketed but also “being agile in understanding the extent of any gaps in that marketing, or in a particular demographic or geography.”


Commonwealth Games key facts ● First held in 1930, Birmingham 2022 will be the 22nd Commonwealth Games.

● Held every four years, the Commonwealth Games are often referred to as the ‘Friendly Games’. ● Para-sports are fully integrated into the Birmingham 2022 sports programme. ● At the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games around 1.2 million ticket were sold. ● 71 nations and territories are eligible to participate. ● Around 6,500 athletes and officials are expected. ● Population of Birmingham and wider metropolitan area is 4.3m.

Right skillsets However, Sam Vaughan, Gi Group programme manager for the Games, acknowledges that it won’t be easy to balance the desire to hire locals against the skill levels and experience of someone who is not a local, but might have may have worked at Commonwealth Games in Scotland, for example. “It’s coming up with a shortlist that represents both skill and location,” he explains. That said, Ladwa acknowledges that there will be some

roles where because of the specific skill set required, it will be necessary to source talent from outside the UK. In addition to working with Jobcentre Plus, apprenticeships will be a key component of upskilling local people, along with work experience, as well as supporting people through workshops. However, when it comes to building that all-important employment legacy on which the Birmingham Games will undoubtedly be judged, Ladwa says that whether people take up jobs working for the Games themselves or are able to take up jobs elsewhere is in a sense immaterial. “The key point is that any contact we have with people leaves some sort of mark on those individuals to improve their skillset and build their confidence in some way shape or form so they are better able to apply for jobs,” he says. As part of the drive to build an employment legacy that is inclusive, Ladwa says the Games is a Disability Confident employer, so people with a disability who meet the minimum job requirements will be guaranteed an interview. No specific targets have been set at this time for particular minority or disadvantaged groups; however, it remains a subject under discussion. Even when the Games are over and the athletes have gone home, the efforts to build Birmingham 2022’s employment legacy will continue, with Gi Group contracted to provide outplacement support to the Games’ own staff. At the time of speaking to Ladwa and his Gi Group colleagues, there were still 826 days to go until the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opens. While that might seem a long way off, Ladwa knows that every second of every one of those days counts if he and his team are to deliver the talent needed for a successful Commonwealth Games. “We haven’t got the luxury of time,” Ladwa says. “The Games are happening, the clock is ticking.” ●


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GAME CHANGERS 2020 The people and the technology that will shape future recruitment


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Sue S ue W Weekes eekes showcases showcases five ve game-changing game-changing p products roducts tthat hat a are re helping helping rrecruiters ecruiters rredefi edefine ne their their own own and and the the industry’s industry’s future. future.

TECHNOLOGIES REDEFINING RECRUITMENT Technology continues to reshape and radically alter how recruiters do their jobs. The pace and level of change shows no sign of abating and, in what is once again an increasingly unpredictable and volatile world, organisations from every sector are becoming more reliant on the potential efficiencies, as well as latent agility and flexibility.



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A new breed of marketplaces is shifting power to the candidate in the recruitment process, giving them far more control over where and when they look for their next job. They make use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to help match them to roles, which can all be done from a smartphone. And such an approach aligns perfectly with the expectations of the generations entering the workforce.

Killer product: MeetFrank, a “secret recruitment app” for employees to make themselves available on the job market on their own terms, without the risk of being discovered. It aims to democratise the job market, identifying for individuals who wants to hire them and how much they are willing to pay. Jobseekers remain entirely anonymous and the employer doesn’t receive the applicant’s personal information unless they declare interest in the job. Co-founder and CEO Kaarel Holm felt the industry lacked a good “talent side” experience.



Hiring is getting faster and faster and some sectors demand it. We are seeing the rise of solutions that are aligned to the platform economy with highly streamlined processes. According to research by the TUC and the Foundation for European Foundation Studies (FEPS), nearly one in 10 workers now do “platform work” at least once a week and a fifth of UK workers are notified digitally if work is waiting for them.

Killer product: Hela Job, a highly disruptive platform that aims to instantly match jobseekers with jobs in sectors such as hospitality. Candidates are pre-qualified and interviewed, and then go on the platform to look for work. An employer posts a job, and the jobseeker can see the salary offered, location and travel time. They click ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ on their smartphone, and the first person to respond gets the job. Founder Ioannis Antypas claims a hire can be made in as little as 30 seconds.

“It is too much focused on solving employer-side problems. MeetFrank believes that our main customers are the app users (talent side), and we build our entire experience around that,” he says, explaining that AI (Frank in this case, a machine-learning and chatbot combo) is a friend that helps to highlight the best options for an individual from a large pool of data. “It reduces the risk of missing out on a good opportunity.” First launched in Estonia, the company has become one of the fastest-growing recruitment/HR start-ups in Europe with more than 300,000 users and 5,000 business accounts. In December, it announced the closure of a €1.5m (£1.38m) funding round, and the company is using the capital to launch a feature that aims to open up international borders and help global talent relocate for work. “Currently the global talent pool is too biased towards location, instead of attracting the best talent,” says Holm. “We want to match people to companies that align with their views, values and aspirations.”

Also look out for: is another marketplace-based product that uses AI and AR to bring talent together and aims to replace the CV with data-led profiles which, as well as qualifications and skills, showcase an individual’s personality traits.

As well as providing a fast and efficient recruitment tool, Antypas wants to address pain points that often exist in the temporary work market on both sides. For instance, candidates often spend several hours waiting to be interviewed, only to be asked a couple of questions. Meanwhile, location-tracking technology in the app enables the employer to check the individual is on their way to them, reducing risks around no-shows. It also provides both sides with a degree of accountability: if expectations fall short on either side, a reporting feature allows them to deliver feedback through the app. The product has been updated since its soft launch at the end of last year and is being rolled out in a number of UK cities and locations. Antypas reports high demand for the app, which, he says, has grown since the COVID-19 outbreak as more people are being made redundant and then having to turn into other methods of employment. “The world of work is fundamental to human survival,” he says.

Also look out for: Tempo, which says one of its hires was made in 27 minutes. On average, a hire takes less than a week.


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THE RISE OF ROBO RECRUITING Chatbots are in common use in recruitment but we are also seeing the rise of robo-recruiters that claim to be able to remove the human bias. The jury may still be out on whether they can achieve this, but recruiters who ignore the power of AI and algorithms to make a positive impact on the recruiting world may find themselves behind the curve.

Killer product: Tengai Unbiased grabbed the headlines last year as the recruiting robot who claims to remove cognitive bias from the recruitment process. Unlike the more chatbot-based robo-recruiters, Tengai, developed by Swedish recruitment company TNG and Furhat Robotics, looks like a robot, which also made some people question whether it was more of a gimmick than a real solution to a real problem. In March this year, though, Psychometrics Sweden AB finalised an independent validation study of Tengai in which it was judged “without human interference” and able to “conduct and measure standardised and objective blind interviews”. Tengai is programmed with diversity & inclusion software to evaluate each applicant’s interview answer in an objective way. Unlike some humans, it doesn’t apply any previous knowledge about the candidate. Dr Anders Sjöberg, CEO at Psychometrics Sweden, said he was sceptical about using AI to mitigate unconscious bias, especially when developed to recreate human abilities, but added: “The validity study confirms that Tengai can ask questions that correlate to work performance and interpret the answers independently, without any help from humans. This means that Tengai is validated and should be used to achieve a more unbiased interview process,” said Sjöberg. “It is a first step towards replacing the traditional job interview with an unbiased robot interview – Tengai.” Tengai made its first appointment in May last year when Swedish municipality Upplands-Bro used the robot in the recruitment of a strategic digital co-ordinator. Also look out for: VCV, an AI-powered platform that conducts automated screening calls and video interviews with face and voice recognition. It boasts impressive metrics, with its average recruitment process taking two minutes to screen 250 relevant CVs, three minutes to interview 50 candidates via phone, three minutes to schedule interviews via chatbot and 35 minutes to watch seven video interviews and select three candidates for the hiring manager.


Recruiters who ignore the power of AI and algorithms to make a positive impact on the recruiting world may find themselves behind the curve



The use of games to help assess candidates is far from new but they are starting to become a more embedded and trusted part of the recruitment process. Moreover, advances in data modelling predictive analytics is helping employers to use them in a far more meaningful way. Killer product: wants to help employers create “an army of perfect hires”. It enables employers to evaluate the traits and abilities of their highest performing employees by asking them to play the games first. From this benchmark scores can be set for candidates. Games include Dotto, in which candidates are tasked with building a structure that aims to assess traits such as planning, problem-solving, goal orientation, self-reflection, endurance and capacity, and


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Many in the recruitment sector are yet to recognise the potential for cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledger blockchain technology to disrupt the sector but there are an increasing number that do. Several blockchain-based platforms have emerged in the last two years, while specialist technical recruitment firms focused on the blockchain/crypto sector are becoming established, which is likely to further spread the use of cryptocurrencies as a new currency for some recruiters when it comes to reward.

Killer product: HireVibes, co-founded by former agency and in-house recruiter Daniel Dunne, runs on the blockchain technology EOS.IO and uses the cryptocurrency HireVibe Tokens (HVTs) for rewards. HireVibes describes itself as a sourcing, referrals and employer branding tool that enables organisations to find the right people “in a social and cost-effective way”. At the heart of HireVibes is what is called “a decentralised autonomous community” (DAC) made up of candidates,

CurioCity, in which they navigate a car to reach a pre-set goal while facing unexpected challenges. The latter is designed to test candidates in areas such as analytical thinking, learning ability, flexibility, accuracy and speed. The abilities and traits positions required will dictate which games are played and whether they need to focus on more than one game. Employers are provided with a shortlist of the candidates ranked on how close they came to the benchmark score by the top performers. They will also receive insights of the candidates’ on-the-job abilities. worked with Magyar Telekom to support a new HR strategy for retail sales to build a salesforce that focused on customer support. Magyar Telekom assessed more than 100 existing employees and the analyst team created a benchmark profile fit for the new requirements. The approach helped the company decrease time-to-hire by 80% and significantly, customer satisfaction by 20%. It also reports that new team members became high performers within three months.

employers and other stakeholders but which anyone can join because it runs on a public blockchain rather than a private one. Employers can set rewards to incentivise people to apply directly and refer suitable candidates to positions. Job listings are free, and the reward is only paid when a hire is made. Dunne always felt that a portion of the agency fee should go to the person doing the role. The minimum reward level is set at 6% with 3% of that going to the jobseeker, 2% to the HV community and 1% to charity because it was also important to the founders to build in corporate social responsibility. HireVibes initially focused on roles in the cryptosector when it launched last year but it already has branched out into other sectors, with roles currently posted on the site including those in marketing, auditing, and even carpentry and joinery. It is extremely early days for communities like HireVibes but without doubt similar recruiting ecosystems will emerge.

Also look out for: Zinc, a blockchain-based automated reference checking tool, which allows candidates to own and control their own reference data. Zinc tokens are redeemable for services on the platform.

Also look out for: HireVue, which combines AI, game-based challenges and video-interviewing to deliver what it claims is a scientifically validated approach to getting the best candidates.


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With this being our 40th anniversary celebrating the world of recruitment marketing, we are ready to make the celebration bigger and better than ever before! The RMA’s pride themselves on creating an atmosphere where you’re recognised for being on the top of your game by your industry peers! The awards have developed over the years and now has 28 categories, showcasing the best individuals and teams across the recruitment marketing industry. For more details and to see the full list of categories, visit


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Recuiters’ key role in the recovery p2 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

Prepare for life a[er lockdown p4

Recruitment Issue 86 Ma ers June-July 2020


How to make redundancy decisions p6 PRODU CTS AND TRAI NI NG

Upcoming training and events p8

Pandemic response

Recruitment industry steps up to the Covid-19 challenge

one year. • The 100% business rate discount was extended to many employment businesses in England. • The government turned its a en on to key issues around how to fire up the economy again, including credit insurance.


ovid-19 has tested the resolve and resilience of recruiters across the country. Despite the biggest crash in demand for staff in the 22-year history of the Report on Jobs, the recruitment industry has stepped up and demonstrated the transforma ve role it plays across the country in good mes and in bad.

Impact on policy Policy makers have recognised the expert insight that recruiters bring to the table. Working across industry with other sector organisa ons, we secured the Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme, the Business Interrup on Loan scheme and business rate support to help firms through this unprecedented crisis. The Chancellor specifically thanked

@RECPress RM_JUNE-JULY 2020-NEW RP-2.indd 1

business groups for their support. In early May, the REC hosted a Zoom conference between recruitment business leaders and Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry, to discuss how to make government support work more effec vely for agencies and temporary workers. This dealt par cularly with the hot topic of holiday pay on furlough, and par cipants urged the government to publish further advice. Other areas in which the recruitment industry has had a big impact in recent weeks include: • The digital right to work and DBS checks were given the thumbs up. • New IR35 rules on taxing contractors were deferred for

Impact on the frontline The recruitment industry is responsible for helping millions of people to find jobs in organisa ons that need their skills every year. Covid-19 brought that important role sharply into In early May, focus as recruiters launched the REC campaigns to mobilise thousands hosted a Zoom of workers into frontline roles – in conference with Nadhim hospitals, supermarkets, food and Zahawi, drink manufacturers, and logis cs Minister for Business and companies, among others. Industry There will be lessons from Covid-19 for our own industry and for the whole country. One of these is that the recruitment industry has a bigger impact when we all work together. Record numbers of people are Introducing using resources on our website, the REC’s new including our Covid-19 hub, and website, making we’ll con nue to support the it easier to get industry to thrive and help the what you need. country recover.

Making great work happen 13/05/2020 15:19

Leading the industry

the view... Recruiters have a key role in the post-Covid-19 recovery, says

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execuঞve


s I write, May is ge ng under way. We’re well into the lockdown and the indicators from the government’s daily briefing cau ously suggest the peak of Covid-19 infec ons may be behind us. We are turning our a en on to what recovery looks like. Be er days will come, but the shape of the recovery – and our new normal – are both up for debate. We explore that in the Big Talking Point on p4. The recovery might be more of a ck shape (the 'Nike Swoosh', as economist Rain Newton-Smith puts it) than a fast bounce-back. It is likely to be much more robust than a er the Great Recession of 2008/9. Being ready, and ge ng close to clients’ changing needs, is the priority for many REC members now that cashflow planning is done. When the dust se les, big commercial and government debates will con nue. The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening, leading to a more digital, automated, dispersed and flexible workforce. Our industry has a major role in helping companies and workers to make that transi on. There are also powerful lessons for poli cians and business leaders about security, sustainability and ethics. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has talked about tax changes and I expect to see shi s in regula on and welfare rules too. The idea of a new deal at work is likely to gain trac on. We shouldn’t fear that debate – our industry promotes prosperity and should be at the heart of this new deal. But we must set out why that is. As the crisis passes, this must be the longer-term mission of the REC.

“The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening”


New normal prioriঞes Sophie Wingfield, Head of Policy at the

REC, outlines the top post-crisis challenges


t takes a while for a new government to get into the mindset of governing, and for the opposi on to get hang of campaigning. In the policy world we are experiencing something similar. Covid-19 changed the policy landscape and the issues we thought we would be deba ng now have changed. Some themes remain, but we’ll be looking at the policy landscape through a different lens: • Tax. The government will be looking at tax to recoup the costs of coronavirus support. IR35, affec ng how we tax contractors, hasn’t gone away. Ensuring the new tax landscape is fair is an important challenge. • Regulaঞon and enforcement. We want the government to priori se the regula on of umbrella companies, and to take a sensible approach to enforcement generally – par cularly given the number of policies rolled out fast during the crisis. • Employment schemes. Ensuring that employment schemes to deal with job losses work with our industry to kickstart the economy is a top priority. • Skills and future of jobs. Covid-19 has accelerated changes already happening. It’s great that the Department for Educa on has launched an online portal for skills training. The recruitment industry has an important role influencing these changes. • Immigraঞon. The government has promised a new system in January 2021. We’ll be calling for a delay, so the new system can take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. The recruitment industry is ideally placed to help kickstart the economy. We’ll make sure the government works with us, so businesses can reopen and people get back into work.

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


Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

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Leading the industry

the intelligence... Major trends to watch as the labour market recovers By Josh Pren ce, REC Research Officer The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous and rapid impact on the jobs market. As we think about recovery, it’s important to look at the trends and ask what these mean for how we work in the coming months. Employer confidence fell The first major trend was the big drop in employer confidence and hiring as the crisis hit the UK. Business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 37 percentage points between February and the beginning of April, according to the REC’s JobsOutlook survey. The number of permanent and temporary placements and new job pos ngs also fell significantly. The good news is that once the economy opens up, employers will start hiring again. However, we should not expect this rise to be as quick as the ini al fall. Economists such as the CBI’s Rain Newton-Smith expect the

recovery to be spread over many months and shaped more like a Nike ‘swoosh’ than the le er V, as she outlined on an REC podcast.

37% Business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 37 percentage points between February and the beginning of April

The impact on different industries While the economy and jobs market as a whole declined, there were big varia ons between industries and occupa ons. Demand for staff in the health and care sector rose in March and April. According to labour market analysts Emsi, almost 2,000 online job pos ngs for care workers were added between 7 March and 15 April. Meanwhile, demand fell in almost every other sector, with retail, hospitality and construc on among the hardest hit. The number of online job pos ngs for sales and customer service occupa ons fell by 37% between 7 March and 15 April, more than any other occupa on. Again, we expect to see these areas recover as the lockdown is li ed and construc on sites and

What are employers doing to support the mental health of their staff during Covid-19 Mental Health Awareness Week kicked off on 18 May. With so many of us working from home in lockdown, three in four employers are worried about staff performance and wellbeing. Here’s how they’ve responded.


have allowed staff more flexibility to deal with sickness in the family.

67% have run virtual staff socials. 61%

have reached out to vulnerable staff on a personal level.


have offered more flexible working arrangements, such as flexible hours.


circulated informa on and exercises promo ng wellbeing to staff. Survey of employers in the Good Recruitment Collec ve, conducted between 1-15 April

2,000 online job pos ngs for care workers were added between 7 March and 15 April

retailers return to work. Other sectors, such as hospitality, will probably take longer, if they cannot reopen fully while social distancing measures are in effect. Recruiters’ role in the recovery As we emerge from this crisis, agencies have a huge part to play. Some industries will recover faster than others, and many people will want to move into new roles and sectors. Recruiters can help these transi ons by iden fying transferable skills and recognising alterna ve op ons. Their insights will be invaluable to clients looking to hire quickly and kickstart opera ons. This crisis will end. As an industry we can show the world the value of good recruitment by preparing to help businesses and the economy recover.

Overall, employers are confident about the future How confident are you that the economy and your business will bounce back?

14% Very confident 79% A li le confident– it will take me

7% Not at all confident JobsOutlook survey, conducted between 1-9 April

June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers

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13/05/2020 15:19

Back to work

big talking point

Life a[er lockdown

What will change about how we work a[er the Covid-19 pandemic? And what role will recruiters play in helping to rebuild our businesses?


he global coronavirus pandemic has turned everybody’s lives upside down. Never before have economies across the world shut down to this extent in peace me. Recruiters have already played an important role in helping frontline industries respond to the crisis. As we come out of lockdown, we must help businesses to get back up and trading. We’re just star ng to see what this new world might look like, but the outlook may con nue to be hazy for some me. The million-pound ques on is what will recruiters need to offer their clients and candidates to help them thrive again?


percentage point fall in confidence about hiring and investment decisions between March and April, reaching a record low of -21.

250,000 fewer online job posঞngs between 7 March-1 April.

-47.1% fall in hiring rates in recreaঞonal travel roles adverঞsed.

-25.8% fall in entertainment roles



of surveyed businesses in the UK conঞnuing to trade reported that their turnover had decreased by more than 50% from 6-19 April.


of key workers said their work was impacted by Covid-19 – 39.6% of these said they were concerned about health & safety. 4

Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

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How did we get here? A few months ago, business was booming. The labour market was flying high and most people’s worries were about skills shortages. How fast things change. The REC’s Report on Jobs in May showed the steepest decline in permanent appointments and temp billings in the survey’s 22-year history. The REC’s 'JobsOutlook' survey showed the biggest drop in employer confidence in the economy, although respondents were more posi ve about prospects for hiring in the near future. Some sectors have suffered par cularly badly – the retail, travel, hospitality and entertainment sectors have been hit hard with thousands furloughed or made redundant. The path ahead looks difficult, with poli cians sugges ng that venues such as pubs and theatres may not open un l the end of the year. By contrast, employment in sectors such as healthcare, food and drink manufacturing, and logis cs is holding up well. Regions are also affected unevenly. London, with large numbers of employees in financial services, has seen a drama c increase in homeworking.

On the other hand, regions more dependent on tourism, factory work and sales have suffered terrible job losses. What can recruiters do? During the crisis, many recruiters stepped into the breach. Ini a ves such as Feed the Na on UK (#feedthena on), run by Staffline Recruitment and PeoplePlus, offered interviews and free online training to find a large, temporary workforce for supermarkets and farms. Many other recruiters offered their professional services to frontline industries such as healthcare on a not-for-profit basis, helping to ensure vital workers were in place quickly where they were most needed. In the longer term, however, we will need to innovate to help UK businesses reboot, meet new areas of demand, and help people in struggling sectors to recognise their skills and find work. How will life a[er lockdown look? Nobody can say for certain, but here are some indica ons. Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC, is certain that the role of recruiters must become “much more strategic than what went before”

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Top ps for thriving a er lockdown

and they will need to offer clients more advice and support. It will be some me before many businesses restart full opera ons. Some sectors will emerge quickly, while others will have to circumnavigate social distancing requirements and border controls. The government’s policies on health and its support for employers will influence the ac ons, performance and staffing requirements of many organisa ons for the foreseeable future. Recruiters in all sectors need to watch closely and plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios. Chris Moore, chair of the REC and CEO of Let’s Be More, points to three important factors that will affect recruitment in the near future. First, any regula ons imposed by government in response to the crisis, such as new tax rules. Second, new informal rules set by society, such as distancing and working from home. And third, the way businesses in every sector respond to this new order. “The new normal for recruiters will be set in this landscape, and the successful ones will be those quick to grasp this and evolve accordingly,” he says. Long-term sectoral changes could be accelerated by the crisis – the airline industry, for example, may never return to pre-Covid-19 ac vity because of environmental targets and employers’ increased

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use of conferencing tools. Other sectors' experiments with automa on could accelerate shi s in staff requirements. A higher level of service Simon Conington, CEO of BPS World, says that Covid-19 signals “a world with more flexibility about where and when people are working and more blurred boundaries between work and home ac vity”. To respond to this, he says recruiters need to increase their ac vity and level of service to succeed. “Recruiters need to educate themselves and offer advice if they want to be a recruitment ‘consultant’. “This advice should be based on factual research mixed with a recruiter’s insight and interpreta on,” he adds. He recommends asking customers more about the insight they require and passing on informa on about trends and examples of best prac ce. For recruitment trends and insight check the REC website. Heather Salway, HR director at nGAGE Specialist Recruitment, argues that recruiters will need to be more client- and job-focused. “If there are fewer vacancies available, the recruiters that win will be the ones with the strongest client rela onships, as clients will turn to the recruiters they trust,” she says. “Managing costs through this transi on phase will be

• Reflect on your strengths. • Consider how you can do what you are the best at. • Create mul ple plans and use scenarios to assess possibili es. • Review data from credible sources. • Establish closer rela onships with clients, take me to understand their thoughts and ideas, and the pain points they an cipate. • Stay close to clients without pestering them. Allow them to buy what they need, when they are ready. • Ensure you can work remotely and flexibly and assume your clients can too. • Watch and learn from the most-affected sectors – your clients may be next. • Stay on top of costs and conserve cash. • Analyse your business from all angles and decide what to stop doing, what to change or start doing and what to con nue. • Don’t ignore the candidates – recruiters with the best will differen ate and win. • Help clients understand how to a ract and retain the best talent. Work with clients to refine their Employee Value Proposi on. • Help clients to understand their workforce needs and provide the best ways to deliver the people they require, at the right me. challenging as we try to strike a balance between what the business needs during the ‘ramp-up’ phase and ongoing cost commitments,” she warns. A new start? Chris Moore suggests that recruiters see this as “an opportunity for a new start – very few sectors will simply release the pause bu on pressed in March 2020 and carry on from where they le off”. He recommends asking ques ons including: Which sectors and segments will you focus on and why? What size and shape should you be to thrive in the new normal (which may involve tough decisions)? And when will business levels rise again in your sector? What is clear is that all recruiters must look ahead and ask which skills will be needed in their ‘new normal’, where the demand will come from and where the people with these skills will be found. The answers may be very different from a few months ago. June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


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legal update What to consider when you have to make redundancies By Jane O’Shea, Solicitor at REC


hen the economy was paused, the Coronavirus Jobs Reten on Scheme was introduced to save jobs and businesses by covering 80% of the wages of furloughed staff. This level of support is unprecedented, but it is temporary. The economy will return to growth, but not overnight. At the me of wri ng, the scheme is set to end fully in October. When it does, many employers will face difficult choices, and some will have to make people redundant to stay profitable. Here are some issues they should consider. What is redundancy? Redundancies occur when an employee is dismissed because there is no longer a need for them to do their job. There can be several

Want to be your own boss? By Nathan Golby, Director, Flo Backoffice Solu ons


Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

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“Redundancy is genuine only if the job no longer exists”

reasons for this. In the near future, it is likely to be because employers need to cut costs or close businesses. A redundancy is genuine only if the job no longer exists. Redundancies should always be the last resort and dealt with sensi vely.

What to consider Employers must have good reasons to make redundancies and must follow fair procedures. They must: • Consider offering alterna ve employment and voluntary redundancies. • Issue as much warning as possible and start a consulta on with employees. • Select the posts to be made redundant fairly. • Have an appeals process for employees who feel they have been selected unfairly. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ me? Recruitment is a versa le industry, so you’ll never be short of op ons – including se ng up your own business. Moving from being a recruiter to a owning a recruitment business is no simple feat. Your experience in recruitment is a benefit, but driving your business from the front seat takes much more than determina on. In uncertain mes, it can be tricky to take this leap, but there are companies that can support you, despite external unknowns. Four things to keep in mind when planning your transi on. 1. Access to reliable market insights. It’s important to keep up to date, but it’s even more crucial not to become too absorbed in news updates. Maintain a balanced

Who is redundant? If a business needs to make people redundant to con nue trading, it must use a fair and unbiased selec on process. This should consider each person’s: • Standard of work. • A endance records. • Disciplinary records. • Skills, qualifica ons and experience. • Teamwork and co-opera on. Diverging from objec ve criteria could lead to a claim for unlawful dismissal or discrimina on. Redundancy pay Employees who have worked con nuously for an employer for at least two years are en tled to contractual or statutory redundancy pay. If the employment contract does not cover it, the redundancy payment is statutory and the amount depends on the employee’s weekly pay, age and length of service. Look at the government’s redundancy calculator here. Employers should get legal advice to understand their obliga ons, employees’ rights and fair procedure. The REC legal guide has a selec on of FAQs on this topic and our legal helpline will answer specific queries.

perspec ve. Focus on key facts from reliable sources. 2. Think long-term. Difficult trading condi ons can offer genuine business opportuni es. These may require an open mind, diversifica on or a new focus, but those who are proac ve can reap rewards. Maintaining a long-term view can add las ng value. 3. The numbers game. Focus on the figures – stay lean and keep a clear account of costs, spending and longer term forecasts to ensure your business remains viable. 4. Keep your contacts book up to date. Rela onships are essen al. Talk to peers, reach out to a mentor and communicate with poten al clients and candidates to ensure a quality sales pipeline.

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Inspira on


Behind the scenes with recruiters on the front line

Ciara Campbell, Head of Healthcare, MPA Recruitment in Northern Ireland, on lessons from the Covid-19 crisis Your six offices provide staff for private and NHS healthcare organisa ons. How has the pandemic affected you and the way you work? Our whole team is working at home giving an around-the-clock service to provide urgently needed frontline healthcare staff. We’ve adapted amazingly well in an incredibly short me to meet rapidly increasing and changing demands. We have to comply with stringent standards, and a few months ago I would have been worried about not being able to meet poten al workers face to face, but it’s worked brilliantly. We’re onboarding about 30 people a week and it’s taking us about 10 days, where it used to take up to six weeks. All interviews are now done by video and all our training is online. It helps that DBS and ID checks have been accelerated,

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as has the registra on process with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

So business is booming? Not en rely. We’re extremely busy recrui ng frontline healthcare staff and are working with our clients to understand what they need from us. One private healthcare organisa on has asked us to take on all its recruitment ac vity, which is a huge job. We hope to develop these closer partnerships beyond the crisis. Fortunately, we decided to introduce online training as part of our expansion plans in January and this has helped us to ramp up our opera ons quickly. However, we have also had to divide our workers into those who go into Covid-19 wards and those who work in the community and in care homes in order to protect pa ents, staff and the public. This limits

our flexibility and that of our workers. In addi on, we have staff who work in support jobs and in social work or day-care situa ons which have closed. We also have staff who cannot work in frontline roles for personal or family reasons or who are self-isola ng.

What are your main challenges and how are you responding to these? Our primary concern is the safety of our staff, so we must provide support and be accessible for them at all mes. We operate an on-call service outside office hours so they can contact us at any me with clinical concerns or fears about their health. We also run video supervision sessions so they can talk freely to us. And we work closely with our clients to ensure that all our staff have full access to personal protec ve equipment (PPE). Like everyone else, we don’t know what the

future will bring, and we will need to reassess our risks regularly as things change, but we are posi ve that we can adapt, and that we will con nue to grow.

What will you learn from the crisis? Are there any solu ons to current problems that you will con nue to use in future? We are immensely proud of all our staff and of our team. Everyone has been working incredibly hard and achieving great results. The crisis has taught us how quickly things get done if people and organisa ons work together. It’s also been great for building rela onships with clients and they are recognising our contribu on to the sector. Video interviews and online training have worked brilliantly, and we will con nue to use these in future. The whole process is seamless, more accessible and much more efficient.

June-July 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


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Products & training

Learn at home Make the most of lockdown with an REC online course With so many of us at home, now is the best me to invest in yourself. REC is offering a 25% discount on all our online recruitment courses. What sets REC's recruitment training apart is the quality and creden als of our recruitment trainers who have decades of experience between them. From beginners to experienced leaders, there is a course for everyone. Sign up for your selected training at Recruitment Management Management Essen als: Best suited to a recruitment consultant aspiring to become a manager. Learn how to perform the du es of a recruitment manager, iden fy and adapt different styles of leadership, and become an effec ve team leader. Advanced Management Skills: Enhance your leadership skills and improve your performance as a recruitment manager. Learn how to adapt to change, deal with poor performance and conflict, and how personal behaviour impacts team mo va on, performance and commitment. Balancing Act: Find the balance between managing a team and hi ng your targets. Focus on team leadership, performance management and delega on, and iden fy how a team leader or manager should organise and effec vely manage a team. Recruitment Fundamentals Introduc on to Recruitment Prac ce: Learn to develop successful client and candidate rela onships, recruitment

Recruitment Ma ers


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

Recruitment Ma ers June-July 2020

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selling, legisla on that affect recruitment and understand how the industry works. Candidate Sourcing and Management: Suitable for in-house and agency recruiters. Learn how to improve candidate a rac on and referral rates, gain insights on using social media and online job adver sing and develop communica on skills to help build and retain professional rela onships. Comprehensive Interviewer: Suitable for in-house and agency recruiters. Develop the skills needed to plan and conduct interviews, whether face-to-face or over the phone, to match the right talent with the right roles. Essen al Skills for Permanent Recruiters: Everything you need to know to run a permanent desk – the longterm recruitment process, taking job descrip ons and person specifica ons, developing client rela onships, a rac ng quality candidates and placing the right candidates into the right roles. Essen al Skills for Temporary Recruiters: Walk through every step of a temporary placement, from due process and legal requirements for temporary workers to finding the right candidates for the roles. Recruitment Markeঞng and Sales Mastering LinkedIn: Learn how to create and perfect your profile and engagement skills, and use LinkedIn to a ract new candidates and engage exis ng ones. Social Strategy and Branding: Understand how all recruiters need to use

social media to be brand ambassadors and really engage your audience. Successful Account Management: Establish a focused approach to managing important sales accounts and develop a greater understanding of your clients. Telephone Sales: Learn how to use the phone to build rela onships and win business using a posi ve and confident approach. Recruitment Law Understanding the Essen als. From GDPR to contract law and health and safety, learn about essen al legisla on that affects all recruitment prac ce. Recruitment Law: Advanced: Explore at a deeper level all essen al legisla on that affects recruitment prac ce, including the 2003 Conduct Regula ons, data protec on and the Employment Agencies Act. Recruitment Law: Managing PAYE Temp Workers: Learn about the statutory rights involved with payment and benefits for both workers and employees, family-friendly and working me legal rights, the principles of employing or engaging young workers, and the implica ons of the Agency Workers Regula ons. Recruitment Law: Supplying Limited Company Contractors and IR35: Learn about the different types of limited company contractor and the implica ons for contractors, the employment business and hirers.

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor: Ruth Pricke Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209

© 2020 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

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Government schemes to prevent wholescale redundancies have been well received – not by all of the contingent workforce, however. Colin Cottell looks at the situation, especially for those in the public sector

ith around 6m staff across the UK already furloughed, the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), designed to avoid large-scale redundancies, is widely regarded as a success. Under the scheme employers can receive a grant from the government allowing them to pay up to 80% of an employee’s regular salary. However, all is not well with the scheme when it comes to temporary workers. With many contingent workers unable to work because of Covid-19, the CJRS is letting them down, leaving them with only reduced income or no income at all. A case in point: A locum radiographer no longer working because of reduced demand for his skills during the pandemic told Recruiter that two umbrellas firms aren’t paying him anything at all currently, while another is only paying him 80% of the National Minimum Wage.


Public sector problems Many recruiters and umbrella companies agree that there are myriad problems with the furloughing scheme. However, it is in the public sector – where two separate schemes designed to ensure that temporary workers, who are unable to work because of the virus, continue to receive an income – where recruiters and umbrellas say the problems are greatest. “We very much welcomed the spirit of the job retention scheme, but the rules are ambiguous and very much open to interpretation,” says Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Public Services. It is a sentiment shared by many across the temporary worker sector, who say that while they support the principle of supporting workers during the crisis, the scheme fails to take into account the unique characteristics of the sector. Julia Kermode, CEO of the FCSA (Freelancer & Contractor Services Association), acknowledges that some furloughed temporary agency workers and contractors are receiving far less than their usual income. She says that as many umbrellas structure their contracts so that payment is made up of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) plus a discretionary bonus, her members’ hands are tied. Government guidance specifically excludes any discretionary element when calculating claims under the furlough scheme, so umbrellas must restrict their payments to 80% of the NMW, and not 80% of a worker’s usual salary, she explains. Structuring contracts this way allows the worker to have continuity of employment and work on different pay rates for different employers but under the same umbrella, she says. This in turn gives them full statutory benefits and rights, such as sick pay. Kermode says the risks to umbrellas of paying 80% of full taxable pay are too great. “They might not get it back from the government, or if they do get it from the government, they might have to repay it,” she says. And Kermode rejects the idea of retrospectively amending the contract with the contractor by removing the term ‘discretionary bonus’, allowing the umbrella to increase


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the size of payments. “That would probably be viewed as fraud by HMRC because it would be seen as an attempt to get more furlough pay,” she says.

Under your umbrella Graham Fisher, Orange Genie’s group managing director, says the reason why many umbrellas structure their payments in this way is primarily historical. “It enabled us to get the contractor tax relief on their expenses,” he said, “and second, if the end customer or agency failed to pay a contractor, we would pay out of our funds.” Terry Hillier, CEO at payroll services and workforce management company People Group Services, reckons that more than nine out of 10 umbrellas base their payments on the NMW. According to his calculations, the difference in pay between a teacher, whose furloughed pay is based on their full pay, and a teacher paid on the basis of the NMW, is £240 a week (£576 compared to £336). Having removed the discretionary bonus in 2018, his company was able to increase payments by topping up the NMW with a compulsory guaranteed bonus in line with revised guidance issued in early April. Other umbrellas such as NumberMill are also paying out on 80% of gross pay. “I think it is what the government meant in its guidance, and I think it is the right thing to do,” says CEO Louise Rayner. The issue of NMW is not the only problem with the furloughing scheme. According to Fisher, umbrellas are also faced with a number of costs which they are unable to claim back from the government, and therefore risk their own financial health. These include the Apprenticeship Levy, holiday pay as well as administration costs associated with making furloughed payments.

Mixed education messages However, beyond these problems with the CJRS scheme that are being experienced right across the economy, those operating in the public sector say the situation is even more difficult, with education and supply teachers hit particularly hard. As a result of additional guidance on paying contingent workers during Covid-19 issued by Department for Education (DfE), “there is an added layer of complexity”, says Randstad’s Short. Although the guidance notes based on information published by the Cabinet Office in April advises schools to pay supply teachers on assignment 80% of the contracted hourly rate at the point schools closed, instead of furloughing staff, Short says in some cases this is not happening: “Some schools, and many temp workers, are not aware of this guidance and some are citing funding issues for not being in a position to follow the scheme.” Hillier says he believes only seven or eight of the supply teachers on his books are getting paid through the Contingent


“Guidance notes based on information published by the Cabinet Office in April advises schools to pay supply teachers on assignment 80% of the contracted hourly rate at the point schools closed, instead of furloughing staff”


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THE TWO SCHEMES Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ● Employers can claim up to 80% of an employee’s regular salary up to £2.5k a month. ● Discretionary bonuses not to be included. ● Continuing uncertainty over whether holiday pay should be included in amount claimed. ● Apprenticeship Levy and administrative costs not included in grant amount. ● Employers have the choice whether or not to participate.

Contingent Workers Scheme (based on guidance published by the Cabinet Office in April 2020) ● Applies to central government departments, with other public sector bodies “encouraged to apply the approach”. ● Designed “to protect the contingent labour supply chains, ensuring suitable skilled and experienced workers are available not just at this critical time of need, but also into the future”. ● The agency invoices the hirer – 80% of their gross pay up to a limit of £2.5k a month. ● Recruiter continues to get their margin. ● Continues up to natural end of the worker’s assignment. ● Includes workers who are sick or in isolation so worker does not need to apply for SSP (Statutory Sick Pay). ● Can be applied to PAYE, Umbrella workers, and workers with their own PSCs.

Worker scheme. “For the scheme to work, the most important thing is that the school pays the agency; however, because many of the staff in schools that would normally administer the payments are off work, this is not happening,” he explains. Both the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) agree that the scheme is not working as it should, with schools asking recruiters to furlough supply teachers, which is contrary to government guidance that the public sector should not furlough contingent workers. “It is important that all public sector bodies follow the Cabinet Office’s guidance. It is a scheme designed to support agency workers and suppliers at this difficult time, says Tom Hadley, the REC’s director of policy and campaigns. “Yet many agencies have said that there has been a reluctance from some schools and NHS Trusts to use the scheme. “While the Cabinet Office’s guidance isn’t mandated to the entire public sector, Whitehall is strongly encouraging all public sector bodies to adopt it,” Hadley continues. “The reason this guidance was issued was two-fold – to support contingent workers in the public sector and to protect supplier revenue at this difficult time.”

The right scheme? Short says having that explored the DfE’s Contingent Workers Scheme for all workers contracted to schools on a regular or long-term basis, she believe this option is potentially financially more rewarding for Randstad’s teachers in comparison to the average payment they would receive via furlough. “In light of the skills shortages, especially within STEM, we strongly believe that a school is in a stronger position to retain their supply talent when they reopen if they follow the DfE guidance,” she adds. Short suggests that the furlough option should only be explored where head teachers decline to participate in the DfE scheme. “This has unfortunately had an impact on the time lag for some workers being considered for furlough status,” she says. At the time of commenting, less than 10% of Randstad’s teachers had either not been furloughed or were not on the DfE’s contingent scheme, and Short says that Randstad “was working round the clock to verify outstanding cases”. Roland Sheehan, client relationship director at TFS Healthcare, says problems with the Contingent Worker scheme are not confined to supply teachers. Despite his efforts to encourage take-up of the Cabinet Office guidance among NHS Trusts, so that that agency nurses who are off sick or must self-isolate can continue to get paid, there continue to be problems, he says. Not only are the guidelines not mandatory, says Sheehan, “it is hard to get engagement from NHS Trusts”. ●


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Unprecedented times lead to extraordinary acts of kindness, as our recruiters have shown… L-R: SmithCorp managing directors Jonny Edwards and James Hodkinson were blown away by their staff’s generosity on the night of The Big Night In


Swift Temps Ltd Really interesting! Thanks for sharing @RecruiterMag – it’s going to be challenging for many businesses that’s for sure... #workplace #employers #HR #humanresources #COVID19UK

SMITHCORP STAFF STAY IN AND DONATE £45K+ TO UK CHARITIES Bristol-based education recruitment group SmithCorp has raised a staggering £45,832 as part of the BBC’s The Big Night In campaign to support UK charities through the Covid-19 crisis. As it would have been the recruiter’s annual charity ball on the same night (23 April), The SmithCorp Charitable Trust donated £25k, and invited staff to pledge as much or as little as they wished to. If staff wanted to make a donation on the night, they let the charity trustees know. The trustees then emailed them each hour to update everyone on how their fundraising was going. The group – which is made up of recruitment companies Boston Rose, Edgware Associates, Education StaffBank, jjFOX, Omnia People and T15 International – raised nearly £46k on the night. We’re also blown away by the generosity of the team during lockdown – an amazing achievement!

Refs blow whistle on HMRC’s understanding of IR35 status rules ContractorCalculator Strong headline @RecruiterMag! #IR35 #HMRC #Offpayroll #Tribunal

SOLOMON PAGE HELPS WITH RESOURCES FOR FRONTLINE STAFF IN NEW YORK In response to New York’s First Responders Fund, US executive search firm Solomon Page expanded its 2020 charitable contributions to help support frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Solomon Page will be contributing 5% of its quarterly profit in support of the fund, which will provide healthcare workers and other first responders with the right equipment.

GOODMAN MASSON – IT’S GOOD TO TALK! During lockdown, finance and technology specialist Goodman Masson’s housing and development division has rolled out a volunteer programme ‘We are free to chat’ within the #socialhousing sector. Staff members have been volunteering to speak to residents who are living alone during this difficult time. Well done, everyone!

Pineapple Recruitment We’ve been highlighted in @RecruiterMag New To The Market feature! Let us know if you’re interested in working with us, we are currently placing people affected by COVID-19 for free as we want to do our bit for our local economy! @RecruiterMag


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The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


some weeks it will stop me jumping on a plane to visit offices overseas. Finance directors will love the cost-control impact, and on-demand communication will flourish, I am sure, with the human physical connection that of course you generate face-to-face irrespective of location. I can’t imagine going back to overseas one-to-one catch-up meetings being on the phone ever again. Maybe I was late to this game, but it has changed how I work. And whatever happened to Skype?! Has the spotlight and attention to employee wellbeing ever been so high? It’s a world and industry that has exploded over the last two or three years, although I’d often wondered just how seriously it has been taken. Now? I think it will change forever. For all the right reasons, businesses have been forced to think about their people – especially their mental and physical health. There are so many examples of what businesses have been doing in lockdown: • Vox Media hosts a daily story time for parents with children • Momentum Worldwide

“The world may have changed overnight, but when the sun shines again we may have found a new way of working” shares remote mindfulness, nutrition and fitness sessions • Goodway Group hosts a half-hour ‘Family Fun Friday’, with magic and music for their employees and children • Cubeiq runs high-intensity interval training in bi-weekly virtual classes • PubMatic’s HR team host virtual trivia nights • SmartyAds staff watch TV series together in the evening. The list goes on and on. And somehow, I was roped in to running a Tuesday lunchtime ab session across Microsoft Teams for the business... I love it! Our own Wellbeing@ Home programme has been great. Under the Stay Active, Stay Connected and Stay

THE WORLD HAS been turned upside down overnight... in a quite astonishing way. As a sector, 2019 was a record year for recruitment and most businesses within it. We went from expectation of that trend continuing to a stark cliff-edge reality that work as we know it might never be the same again. 2020 is certainly a different year than we were all expecting, although for all the challenges around furlough and reduced hours, what we do know is that the ‘sun will shine again’. So, do you think the world of work will irreversibly change or will we migrate slowly back to how we have always worked? I remain divided. My home office has rotated around my ‘home office’, the kitchen, the living room and my new favourite spot, the garden. I never thought I would say this, but I miss the Barbican in the City of London. Could I work from home every day of the year? Absolutely not. However, when I asked the same question to my ‘Best Man’, whose working life is in technology sales, he said he absolutely could. The world of Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Houseparty I like. No doubt

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

Healthy brands we run virtual coffee mornings, movie nights a weekly book club, daily recipes, 9am mental health sessions, photo of the week competitions and much more. My personal favourite is our Covid-19 challenge on Strava – a club where you walk 19km a week. So the world may have changed overnight, but when the sun shines again we may have found a new way of working, and a collective spirit and desire to look after each other in a new and exciting way. ●


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Agencies improve Covid-19 schemes to help staff, temps BY COLIN COTTELL

WHEN CHANCELLOR RISHI SUNAK announced the government’s furlough scheme on 20 March, it is likely that few people in recruitment had heard the term, never mind understood what it meant. But less than two months later, two of the UK’s leading staffing companies have shown not only that they can implement the basic idea to support those unable to work because of Covid-19, but also that they have the capability to develop and finesse the idea. While many recruitment agencies have struggled with the government-designed Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Contingent Workers Scheme for the public sector, employment agency Reed designed and launched its own schemes to support and enhance the government’s, allowing it to pay its temps who qualified. Developed in less than three weeks, and launched on 16 April, Richard Smith, director, business transformation, says Reed is already paying millions of pounds a week to between 20-30% of its 30,000 or so strong temp workforce. “The main problem was, you get the guidance from government and then you have to put it in place, and to enact the rules you have to have quite complicated systems in place. So, we had to develop all of our IT and payment systems to make sure we obey the rules of the CJRS, and those of the public sector scheme,” says Smith. “We were really keen to try and support the workers as quickly as possible.” But at the same time, he says, it was vital there was full compliance with the rules, “so there was no chance in the future there would be any questions about why we had furloughed people”. Smith says a big issue with the government’s public sector scheme, which works on the basis of clients completing time sheets, was applying the cap of 80% of average gross salary up to £2.5k a month: “We put a system in place that allows us to apply the status to the worker and then apply the cap.”

And to comply with the rule that no worker can work for an employer while furloughed, the system ensures that no Reed consultant can place a furloughed worker into a role without the central team changing the worker’s furlough status. Reed’s public sector scheme also provides the end client with detailed management information, such as who is in the scheme and just how much it is costing them. Harvey Nash is another recruiter that has taken the original furlough scheme and enhanced it – this time for the benefit of its own staff by launching a new site on Microsoft Teams. “It was really important to us that our furloughed staff, whilst not working, were still able to feel part of the Harvey Nash Group family. We wanted them to keep up to date with the latest news, as well as have opportunities to learn and grow throughout their time away from work,” says Bev White, CEO Harvey Nash Group. Developed with the help of the company’s IT Solutions division NashTech in Vietnam, the platform is unique because of “the content that is published on it, and the partners we have worked with to deliver this”, White explains. “Alongside all the usual HR and Harvey Nash company information you’d expect, we have also partnered with Wagestream, a product that allows employees to draw down their accrued earnings; Uhubs, providing personal development training; and a variety of other training providers. Every week there are things to do, things to learn and ways of staying engaged with our business. “The platform acts as an entry point to all of this, and provides a calendar of events where people can sign up. Over time we will also be adding further content,” White says. “So far, the platform has been extremely well received, and we are really pleased with the way it has allowed us to engage with our furloughed employees.”●

“We had to develop all of our IT and payment systems to make sure we obey the rules of the CJRS”


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ASK THE EXPERT The pandemic will result in a pretty horrific second quarter for many recruitment companies. Staff are being furloughed or laid off as recruitment firms look to weather the storm of clients implementing hiring freezes and going under. Unsurprisingly candidates are also reluctant to move. As restrictions ease and the economy picks up recruitment companies that lay the foundations now will find they grow far more aggressively than those who simply batten down the hatches. Here are the actions I would prioritise now:

Alex Arnot The SME Coach

Business development work 1 Create a redundancy support service: why not offer a






6 Clients to candidates: when you check in with clients give them the opportunity to raise the issue of potentially becoming a candidate. If they were using you to recruit they probably rate you and so you should be well positioned to represent them.

Candidate nurturing Candidates may no longer be in such short supply but when the market starts to pick up it is going to be competitive. Even though we’re on lock down many candidates have more time and freedom to chat than they have had in a long time so take the opportunity to build relationships. I’d suggest: 7 Share useful resources with your database: e-shot your candidates with a repackaged version of the redundancy support services mentioned above; create industry briefing notes aggregating what clients are telling you about the market and recovery times; provide a helpline advising candidates how to keep relevant or approach a job hunt in the current market. Even if candidates don’t need the services, they’ll remember you for doing it. 8 Set yourself virtual networking targets: recruiters who are doing virtual breakfast meetings, catch up coffees, remote lunches, “afterwork drinks” are finding that they are getting great responses at the moment but why not add a twist… run an online cocktail class; an online quiz or organise an industry-wide charity initiative. ● This isn’t the time to relax. The more supportive, proactive and visible you are at the moment the better you will do as the market picks up. ●

free or paid for career consulting service that clients can refer staff who are being laid off to. For example, research relevant online training (free and paid) that will upskill staff or keep their skills current; organise 1-to-1 online career counselling sessions; deliver free CV reviews; set up a mentoring scheme; etc. Push your ‘unicorn’ headhunting service: now is the time for clients who have been struggling to fill roles where candidates are traditionally scarce. With many firms implementing pay cuts for staff who haven’t been furloughed there is the opportunity to pick up exceptional talent without having to pay over the odds. Offer restructuring & recruitment planning services: this can be free or paid for. Many organisations will appreciate advice on restructuring their business short term as they navigate the pandemic – especially when combined with point 1, this can generate a pipeline of prospective candidates. Encourage clients to look beyond the crisis and to create a hiring plan – this is an opportunity to pre-close: offer a discounted rate in exchange for a small retainer now or a three-week headstart when the client starts recruiting for the role. Become an industry hub: with no tested playbook for the current situation many industries are experiencing far greater levels of collaboration and information sharing than ever before. Position your company as a facilitator, bringing people together via virtual networks, conferences and social (virtual) events. Even if the co-operation doesn’t last your relationships and your reputation as an industry leader will. Deepen your relationships at clients: all your work will likely be in vain if your contact is one of the crisis’ casualties so use the services above to establish multiple contacts across the business... ‘Which of your colleagues might also be interested in [xxxxxx]?’

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


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“Recruiters are great at coming together to help each other out. There is a real sense of community out there at the moment” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job? To be a pop star! The dream came to an end when I tripped over my microphone wire during an audition aged nine. I do still sing – I just don’t let many people hear it nowadays!

This sounds made-up but is 100% true. I did work experience at Nokia in HR and recruitment and loved the recruitment part. They offered me a temporary role after I finished sixth form. I was devastated when it ended, went into a recruitment agency and said “I want to work in recruitment at Nokia”. The recruiter said “erm, that’s quite specific” and I said, “I’ll wait”. As I said it, the fax machine went and it was a role for a recruitment officer at Nokia in another division! I got the job and stayed there five years!

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment? One of them is my current boss and colleague, Emma Mirrington. She has some amazing recruitment experience. She is one of the most level-headed, smart people I know and I’ve always admired the way she lives up to doing business right by doing the right thing.

What do you love most about your current role? I get to do many of the things I love – strategy, training, presenting, writing




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

RACHEL DALBOTH, Strategy & capability director, The FIRM

RACHEL DALBOTH – while also using my 22 years of recruitment experience. And I work with an amazing team.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career? Going into my first management role at Unilever. I had wanted that step up for so long and whilst it was a lot harder than I had anticipated, going from a local to global role, and leaving operations behind, I learnt a lot!

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why? It was a bit of both to be honest. Someone came in for a fairly senior role, but it quickly became clear we were not going to hire them when they started talking about being addicted to radioactivity and then checking

the room for a bugging system…!

What would you regard as your signature tune? My dance-around-the-kitchen song is probably This Is Me from The Greatest Showman.

What has been your sanity go-to during the lockdown so far? Wine! No, seriously – walking in our local nature reserve with the kids. It’s so pretty this time of year and it’s good for the soul to breathe in some fresh air and get back to nature.

What have you learned about recruitment during lockdown? That recruiters are great at coming together to help each other out. There is a real sense of community out there at the moment. As told to Roisin Woolnough


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THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL STAFFING COMPANIES (APSCO) The trade body has announced its new Representative Committee that will be responsible for shaping the strategy and direction of the trade association until 2022. APSCo’s new committee members are: Barry Cullen, founder and director, Introprotect (affiliate representative); Caroline Vooght, director, Expion Search & Selection; Chris Dunning-Walton, managing director, InfoSec; Doug Rode, senior MD, Page Group; James Wakefield, CEO, Cobalt Recruitment; Paul Kirby, CEO, Darwin Recruitment; Richard Bradley, MD UK & Ireland, Kelly Services; Richard Harris, chief legal officer, Robert Walters Group; Sachin Ruparelia, CEO, Camino Partners; Simon Clarke, CEO, Harnham; Stephen Rookes,


commercial & legal director, NES Global Talent; Thomas Way, MD UK & Ireland, SThree; Zoe Lewis, MD Professional Services, Methods. APSCo’s permanent members are: Ann Swain, CEO, APSCo; Samantha Hurley, operations director, APSCo; and Stephen Hill, financial director, APSCo.

DEGREED The workforce upskilling platform has appointed Janice Robinson Burns in a new role as chief career experience officer. Burns will use her extensive experience as an executive in HR, learning, product management and as a career thought-leader (spanning over 30 years) to become a

Talentmark, a specialist and executive recruitment solutions provider to the global life sciences market, has appointed Joubert Guelcé director of Resourcing Solutions (project-based and non-retained search). Guelcé joins Talentmark from supply chain staffing firm Proco, where he led the EMEA business focusing on leadership positions in life sciences. Before Proco, he spent five years with i-Pharm Consulting. Originally from France, Guelcé has enjoyed a varied and interesting career, which includes a stint as goalkeeper for Paris Saint-Germain’s junior team and several years as a professional dancer, before moving into recruitment. He will be based in London, reporting to Kafait Ali, CEO of Talentmark.

strategic adviser for the Degreed community.

its board of directors with the appointment of Greg Andrews as CFO. He joins Fircroft from Calder Group, a privately-owned pan-European engineering group, where he was group finance director.

FIRCROFT GROUP The technical engineering recruiter has strengthened

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

HEIDRICK & STRUGGLES The global executive search firm has appointed Laszlo


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


Bock to its board of directors as an independent director. Bock is a co-founder and CEO of Humu, which helps chief HR officers unlock the potential of individuals, teams and organization by using AI-driven technology. He is also former senior vice-president of people operations at Google.

IBEX RECRUITMENT Sam Shad has joined the IT consultancy as co-founder to help with launching and expanding the outsourcing recruitment part of the business. Shad previously worked as a senior in-house resourcing manager for the past decade.

KORN FERRY The global executive search and organisational firm has welcomed Shane Cragun as senior partner in its advisory practice. He is based in Korn Ferry’s London office.

MTHREE The tech talent specialist has appointed Justin de Ferry as head of client services, managing teams across the UK, the US and Asia. He has more than 20 years’ experience in recruitment

and executive search, establishing Boundary Talent International in New York before joining mthree.

PEDERSEN & PARTNERS The global executive search firm has appointed Jonathan Whitehead to the ASEAN team as a client partner. Before joining Pedersen & Partners, he served as country manager for a global search firm based in Vietnam.

ROBERT WALTERS International professional recruitment group has announced that non-executive chairman Carol Hui has joined the board of construction materials company Breedon Group as a non-exec director from 1 May.

SERVICE CARE SOLUTIONS The recruitment specialist has made a number of promotions. Ann Mackin is promoted to credit controller supervisor from senior credit controller – finance department; Jack Windsor, Natasha Ward and Oliver Parkinson have been made senior recruitment consultants from recruitment consultants – construction, social work and mental health divisions, respectively; and Lynsey Walker is now HR co-ordinator from HR administrator – HR department.

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

Contributing writers Colin Cottell, Sue Weekes, Roisin Woolnough Production editor Vanessa Townsend

Art editor Sarah Auld Picture editor Akin Falope ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 6231 Senior sales executive Joanna Holmes

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

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



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“It shows how far we still are from having a D&I agenda that is anywhere near to being effective”

Alan Furley Does Covid-19 present us with an opportunity to address inequality at work once and for all?

t was maybe on the sixth day of lockdown (so, so long ago!) when it occurred to me that women must be set to be the worst-affected by lockdown and this virus in general. My wife and I were sitting on the sofa talking about what the world of work would look like in the future, both of us agreeing it will be very different. She works in the NHS and so as a key worker this has meant we have ongoing nursery care and are able to fairly equally share work and home juggling (though she may feel differently). But we appreciate it’s very different for a lot of other people. While many women will still be able to work, there is a serious consideration on how this will affect them after we go back to ‘normal’. According to government stats, 40% of employed women work part time, compared with only 13% of



men. So, women who are in straight relationships would be most likely to be the ones earning less, meaning men’s roles will surely have taken priority. Despite a pretty deep dive search into the same info for women from minority backgrounds I couldn’t even find what this looks like (I’d be very happy to hear from someone who knows). But even this aside, women are likely to have been ‘pushed back’ into the household caretaker roles that keep the fires burning and the world turning but are not regarded as economically viable or valuable. Parental roles in the situation where the man’s job has taken priority will have fallen squarely on the shoulders of mothers – I’m not saying that dads out there are not doing their bit, it’s just that this is how we, as a society, are organised. In

some respects, a bit in the dark ages! Looking into this further and it transpires that 90% of lone parent families in the UK, which represents about a quarter of the total number of families, are mums. Again, I’m not saying dads are not or would not do more, but we are potentially facing a crisis of women not being able to get back into work for a long time as the market bounces back due to the complex nature of childcare and available work. I’ve seen some great examples of entrepreneurs stepping up, pivoting and helping our efforts in the fight against Covid-19, and happily celebrated these heroes. But maybe men have been given a disproportionate chance to be in this position. Let’s make sure to remember the heroes, often females, that are staying at home. We must keep this front of mind, especially as

recruiters, and be active participants in addressing this important agenda, to ensure that the work that has been done in these areas for decades is not lost. We must approach the ‘recovery’ period, where business and communities come back to life, with a fixed mindset on how this will impact immediate decision making and long-term search initiatives. Improved flexible working will be part of this, but it’s also important we don’t overlook those who have limited ‘work’ experience in this time as they were the natural choice to step back. After all, it shows how far we still are from having a diversity & inclusion agenda that is anywhere near to being effective – this could be an opportunity to address it once and for all. ●

Alan Furley is a director at ISL Recruitment



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Of contractors we surveyed said they have not yet been spoken to about IR35 by the business or businesses they contract for.


Get in touch with our agency support team: 01925 694 521 | |

*Conducted by Brookson Legal, between 15th April 2019 – 30th June 2019. Based on 502 Brookson contractors working in the private sector.

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