Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals
INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters
TITANS OF INDUSTRY www.recruiter.co.uk
Gattaca’s Brian Wilkinson and Airswift’s Peter Searle: powering through seismic change
TIME TO CHAT Are chatbots changing the way we recruit?
PLUGGING THE GAP Invoice finance: lifeblood for recruiters
MATT CHURCHWARD Unravelling layers of recruitment
itrisâ€Ś work made easy
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C R ONT ENT S 44
ING PORAT INCOR itment ru c e R Matters
COVER IM AG E | PA L H A N SE N
05 Tech talent ‘priority’ in Brexit settlement The UK’s tech sector relies heavily on foreign talent, so any deal must factor this in 06 Recruitment now seen as ‘genuine’ career Entry-level recruiters are actively choosing recruitment as a career 06 Executive Briefing: ‘Your Big Pay Day’ Discover the secrets of a successful sale
07 Small is beautiful… …when recruiting with social media
07 Star recruit: Barack Obama, former US president 08 This was the month that was... 10 Contracts & Deals
TRENDS Insight Action, change, momentum: keys to successful customer experience in 2O17
Tech & Tools
18 THE BIG STORY Titans of recruitment
Peter Searle of Airswift and Brian Wilkinson of Gattaca give an exclusive joint interview with Recruiter
26 Mind the financial gap
Invoice financing is the lifeblood for many recruiters, but what options are available?
E COMMUNITY 33 Social Network 35 Community careers Why recruitment bosses need to back off 36 My brilliant recruitment career: Louise Helyer, TXM Technology 40 Movers & Shakers 41 Recruiter Contacts 42 The Last Word: Matt Churchward
Time for a chatbot
INTERACTION Agency View: Eileen Pacey, Select Appointments Soundbites
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WE LCO M E
he UK’s physical climate might be frigid at the moment, but heated passions and inﬂamed rhetoric about international border protection issues are igniting political and judicial stand-offs around the world
as we enter March. For recruiters and many employers, the capability to recruit talent from beyond national boundaries is at stake, whether faced with Brexit or the policies of US President Donald Trump. Stand up, recruiters! This is a time when recruitment business leaders – agency and in-house alike – have
“The capability to recruit talent beyond national boundaries is at stake for recruiters and employers”
a chance and, most importantly, the responsibility to join with employers such as Apple, Disney, Facebook and Google, and make your voices heard as the purveyors of talent without borders.
It’s also high time that operators of vetting services get busy, and improve their global reach and contact base to ensure that the right background checks can be put in place and implemented. This is so governments can have conﬁdence in allowing the right people to take their talent wherever it is required – and that the wrong’uns are better identiﬁed and contained. The need for your expertise has never been more essential.
DeeDee Doke, Editor
Tech talent ‘priority’ in Brexit settlement BY COLIN COTTELL
THE UK’S BREXIT SETTLEMENT must take into account the UK tech sector’s reliance on foreign talent, according to companies operating in the sector. Research published in December by Balderton Capital, a venture capital John Ridpath Lawrence Jones ﬁrm that operates in the tech sector, revealed the UK’s tech sector’s reliance on international talent, with 41% of UK tech ﬁrms’ founders having studied abroad, and 38% of job searches carried out outside the UK. Earlier this month US tech giants criticised US President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, with Google’s CEO warning against any actions “that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US”. Lawrence Jones, founder and CEO of internet hosting ﬁrm UKFast, told Recruiter: “As the tech gets more advanced and we develop into more specialised areas it remains extraordinarily important to have access to foreign talent as and when we need it. Denial of access to the foreign talent market could have a signiﬁcant impact on the UK’s ability to do business in advanced sectors. “While Brexit and Trump’s actions in America are of course going to impact the free movement of talent from country to country, it’s ultimately up to each business to ensure that they are prepared for whatever political changes are afoot.” Jones added companies could help themselves by investing long term in training and development. And he called on the UK government “to consult closely with business to learn what skills are lacking and which should be fast-tracked for ease of entry”. John Ridpath, head of product at tech education company Decoded, told Recruiter: “It would be hard to overestimate the importance of international talent for us.” According to Ridpath, there are strong business reasons tech companies need to be able to recruit the best talent from anywhere in world. “The more diverse you are, the better the product you can build,” he explained. Stewart Geovanelli-Harber, director technology at IT recruiter Reuben Chase, said the best possible outcome post-Brexit would be for Tier-2 skilled worker visas to be issued without the need for sponsorship by an employer, but realistically he said “that is not going to happen”.●
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Recruitment seen as ‘genuine’ career L-r: Peter Searle and Brian Wilkinson
BY COLIN COTTELL
THE DAYS WHEN PEOPLE fell into the recruitment industry by default are disappearing, according to Peter Searle, CEO of global workforce solutions provider Airswift. Searle told Recruiter that more and more of those entering the industry today saw recruitment as a genuine career. “Graduates join us now thinking they will either be with us or with the industry for the rest of their careers. In the past it used to be they fell into recruitment by default.” As people have become more career-minded, Searle said, “the professionalism of large organisations, the Adeccos of the world, means there are genuine career opportunities in companies”. These were not only opportunities governed by large
companies’ ability to allow staff to move geographically, but also to attain new skill sets. Brian Wilkinson, CEO of engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca, agreed that recruitment was now more attractive to those looking to build a career. “The job has changed,” Wilkinson told Recruiter. “The growth of different business models, such as MSPs [managed service providers], RPOs [recruitment process outsourcing] and on-site teams means there is need for a whole different set of skill sets.” One such need is for “more mature, experienced people, who want to evolve their career away from banging a phone to being relationship managers”, Wilkinson said.
Secrets of a good sale GARY BROWNING, BOARD ADVISER and non-executive director, will share insights from his recent sale of Penna to recruitment giant Adecco at a special Recruiter Executive Brieﬁng on 2 March in London. Hosted by Recruiter HOT 100 sponsor Panmure Gordon from 2pm-5pm, ‘Your Big Pay Day: Lessons from the frontline’ will also feature commentary from HOT 100 research partner Sue Dodd, Panmure Gordon head of M&A Karri Vuori and chief economist Simon French, plus
Andrew Mainwaring of Inﬂexion and Matt Siebert of Tosca. Browning told Recruiter his talk will focus on “the journey of building sustainable value and growth” for clients and stakeholders of the business. He will also reveal how that was achieved through, among other measures, services and “being slightly different”. The timing is right for recruiters to explore M&A opportunities, Panmure Gordon’s Vuori said: “Following on from a record year for M&A in 2016, with
IM AG E | PAL H AN S E N
Searle said there was growing recognition that “very small, onedimensional recruitment companies” often didn’t provide the same career opportunities as larger companies, and that branching out on your own wasn’t always the best option either. “I think people are recognising that sometimes you are better off staying where you are and climbing the corporate ladder and getting those corporate skills,” he said. Wilkinson said he had noticed “quite a few recruiters on the perm side” who after venturing out on their own were now keen “to come back into corporate life”. • For more views from Searle and Wilkinson on life after Adecco and Randstad respectively, see this month’s cover feature, p18.
surprisingly upbeat UK macro data at the moment, we are expecting a buoyant market for M&A in general with M&A in the recruitment sector typically following macro trends.” Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke said: “We are delighted to present a very exciting M&A case study with a real win-win scenario at this event. There will also be expertise shared by both public market and private investors that forward-thinking recruitment business leaders won’t want to miss.” • Attendance is open to senior leaders (C-suite and managing directors) of recruitment businesses. To attend, email Rhianna Fitzgerald at rhianna.ﬁtzgerald@redactive.co.uk.
Find more daily news stories at recruiter.co.uk/news
TORSTEN BELL DIRE C TO R AT THINK TANK THE RESOLUTION FOUN DAT I ON
IM AG E / GE TTY
“One of the hard lessons of economics over the last 15 years is that for most people the economy is basically the labour market.”
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Small can be beautiful with social media BY COLIN COTTELL
SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED COMPANIES (SMEs) can be just as successful as their larger counterparts in using social media for recruitment, recruiters and HR professionals have heard. Rebecca Clothier, talent L-r Robert Stone, Catalina Schveninger, acquisition manager at Rebecca Clothier PepsiCo, told the audience at a London HR Connection CONR AD FORD meeting on social recruitment that employers didn’t have to CEO AT BROKER FU NDING OPTIONS have “a slick employer brand strategy, or a 100% deﬁned EVP [employee value proposition] to use social recruiting as a tool, “Factoring is one of those businesses because no matter what size of business, whether you are 50 where you still have these ‘wide boy’ sales people or 50,000 people, there are always stories you can tell”. guys driving around in Audis but that is The January event featured panellists Clothier, Catalina Schveninger, global head of resourcing and employer brand not the person dealing with your client.” at Vodafone, and Robert Stone, group head of talent, McCann Worldgroup. Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke chaired the talk. Clothier continued: “It’s about having the creative idea on what to promote that will make somebody want to come and work for you.” She said that a 15-second clip of the Queen visiting her previous employer cruise ship company Carnival, which cost the company nothing, “got more views than any other video we posted that year”. “It is things like that, that are a little bit different and create a bit of excitement, that will get ROBERT STONE people talking about the company,” she said. G RO U P HEAD OF TALENT, MCCANN WORLDGROUP Schveninger agreed that SMEs could use social media just as effectively as their larger counterparts. She said a friend, who “You can cause more damage by being on owned an embroidery social media than by not being on it.” company that employed 150 staff, had used social media STA R RECRUIT very successfully by encouraging KATHRYN RILEY, at the Chicago office of dropped by more than employees to share FOUNDER AND international business 600,000 while Obama MANAGING DIRECTOR OF law firm Sidley Austin. was president. what it was like to DOUGLAS SCOTT LEGAL They are romantically And how about this work there to their RECRUITMENT, SUGGESTS and professionally role we saw advertised FUTURE ROLES FOR inseparable. recently? ‘Caretaker friends and family. OUTGOING US PRESIDENT Legal would be an couple wanted in midAND FORMER LAWYER obvious choice – that March for small fairy-tale “The easiest way is to BARACK OBAMA. global network could see castle in Loire Valley, promote an employee “Outgoing leader of him walk into any City France.’ The Obamas, who the free world Barack of London firm. Michelle will be looking for a new referral scheme, so Obama is a Harvard would come in as his home, visited France more their network does Law School graduate. senior. than any other country His wife Michelle was his Recruitment might be during Barack’s time as the work for you,” mentor when he interned an option; unemployment president…” said Schveninger. ●
THIS WAS THE MONTH THAT WAS… Here is a round-up of some of the most popular news stories we have brought you on recruiter.co.uk since the February issue of Recruiter was published J A N U A R Y •‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒→
TUE, 17 JAN 2017
FRI, 20 JAN 2017
TUE, 24 JAN 2017
APPRENTICE CANDIDATE THAKRAR JOINS FORMER WINNER MARTIN AT HRS
RECRUITER’S DILIGENCE PREVENTS SCAM AND SERVES AS WARNING TO OTHER AGENCIES
REC EXPELS VALLEY EDUCATION SERVICES FOR PAYMENT MISTAKES IN BREACH OF ITS CODE
Trishna Thakrar, one of the candidates in the latest series of the BBC’s The Apprentice, has returned to the world of agency recruitment by joining previous Apprentice winner Ricky Martin in his recruitment business. Martin told Recruiter he met Thakrar at the taping of The Apprentice and spoke to her about her future ambitions, eventually deciding to take her on as head of the ﬁrm’s IT division at his science and technology recruitment ﬁrm Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS). More: http://bit.ly/2k9W9BS
Recruiters have been urged to follow their instincts if something “does not feel right” about email communications sent from prospective clients, or risk falling victim to fraud. The warning comes from Matt Paine, technical sales director for the UK at EPSN Workforce, and follows his own agency narrowly missing out on falling victim to fraud. The type of fraud, which non-proﬁt, joint industry and law enforcement organisation SAFERjobs alerted readers to earlier in the year, involves recruitment agencies being contacted by people claiming to work on behalf of a business looking for contractor personnel. In these cases both the representatives of the apparent employer and the contractor candidates they refer to the agency turn out to be fraudulent. Victims falling for the fraud suffer signiﬁcant subsequent ﬁnancial loss when the recruiter pays the successful candidate for the contractor role for a period of time – and then doesn’t get paid by the employers. EPSN’s vigilance has also beneﬁtted another agency – a colleague of Paine’s, who works for a partner agency, he revealed. The agency in question was in the process of setting up contracts involving the same placement but was informed of the scam and avoided a loss running into thousands of pounds.
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation has expelled education recruiter Valley Education Services (VES) for being unclear on day rates, failing to pay the National Living Wage and not paying a worker for four months, resulting in a breach of five principles of the REC Code of Professional Practice. Following a complaint by a worker, the REC launched an investigation that also took in a site visit to VES. The agency was found to be in breach of the REC code, including Principle 1, respect for laws; Principle 2, respect for honesty and transparency; Principle 6, respect for professional knowledge; Principle 7, respect for certainty of engagement; and Principle 8, respect for prompt and accurate payment. Expanding on these breaches, an REC spokesperson told Recruiter VES was found to have told the complainant they were on a certain day rate and holiday pay was being accrued, but in fact the agency was deducting holiday pay from the worker’s day rate. Given the hours the complainant was working, this meant in some cases they were not being paid the National Living Wage. Recruiter contacted VES for comment but the agency failed to respond. More: http://bit.ly/2kFfRXi
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Kirkpatrick appointed CEO of Potensis Recruitment Steven Kirkpatrick, the former CEO of UK recruitment group Cordant Recruitment and managing director of recruitment giant Adecco’s UK general staffing business, has been appointed CEO of house building and construction staffing specialist Potensis Recruitment. The move follows Potensis and associated business SEAL Resource Management’s acquisition by a syndicate of investors, including Kirkpatrick himself. Kirkpatrick left Cordant in the summer of 2015. More: http://bit.ly/2kKi7fg
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EDELMAN TAKES ENTRY-LEVEL CANDIDATES ON AN ONLINE JOURNEY TO FIND A JOB
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RECRUITER TRS CONDEMNS C4 PROGRAMME FOR ‘WHOLLY INACCURATE’ PORTRAYAL Tailored Recruitment Services (TRS) has condemned a Channel 4 Dispatches programme for painting a “wholly inaccurate” portrayal of the recruitment firm. Among other accusations, the C4 programme investigating Britain’s cheap clothing industry claimed agency workers supplied by TRS to retailer Boohoo’s Burnley depot could have their contracts terminated for minor breaches of a three-strike policy. Boohoo subsequently offered the programme makers the opportunity to film its Burnley depot openly without having to rely on covert footage, an invitation the company claimed the programme makers declined. Melanie Bennett, TRS’ HR manager, told Recruiter in a statement that TRS directors were disappointed the programme makers failed to take up Boohoo’s offer. “In our eyes, the issues detailed are at best untrue and at worse portray an image of our business that is wholly inaccurate. Where our team has operated outside of process, we will investigate and take the appropriate action but we refute the majority of the claims made against our business. “We have worked extremely hard to ensure that the colleagues’ best interests are dealt with in a sensitive, professional and inclusive manner. Without that philosophy, we would not have been able to recruit and retain over 450 colleagues at the facility. We have transferred over 350 colleagues to full-time employment with Boohoo and we will continue to do that.”
Global marketing agency Edelman has replaced its traditional graduate scheme application process with what it calls a multi-platform “journey”. The new entry-level application, called Edelman Beta, will see candidates attempt to solve clues across a variety of social channels, online marketplaces and music apps to get to the end of the process. Edelman says the new approach is designed to test applicants’ understanding of the modern communications landscape through an online, multi-platform hunt. More: http://bit.ly/2lgM4Sg
IN OUR EYES, THE ISSUES DETAILED ARE AT BEST UNTRUE AND AT WORSE PORTRAY AN IMAGE OF OUR BUSINESS THAT IS WHOLLY INACCURATE Find more daily news stories at recruiter.co.uk/news
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FRI, 3 FEB 2017
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DUMP CLIENTS, RECRUITERS ARE TOLD Recruiters shouldn’t be afraid of “ﬁring” clients if they provide low value to their business, James Osborne, CEO of c coaching business Innergy, said. Speaking on the second day of the R Recruitment Agency Expo in London’s O Olympia, Osborne told an audience of a agency leaders they should regularly rreview whether they are working with tthe right customers. Osborne claimed 15-20% of clients an a agency deals with are a waste of time, ssapping their time, energy, motivation a and proﬁts. Citing the example of a global rrecruitment group he worked with that had operations in Melbourne, Australia, Osborne explained the agency in question was losing A$500 (£300) every time they made a placement with their top client. Due to the time, effort, people and resources expended, combined with tight margins, this meant they were losing cash every time they made a placement – with what they thought was their best customer. The Melbourne operation ceased working with this client and proﬁts went “through the roof” in the next quarter, Osborne revealed.
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CONTRACTS & DEALS
SRi Cheyenne Global sports, media and entertainment executive search firm SRi has completed a merger with US media and entertainment executive search firm The Cheyenne Group. The company is now known as SRi Cheyenne in North America, whereas SRi will continue to operate in other markets under the existing brand. SRi already has offices in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK.
Cross Country Healthcare US medical staffing specialist Cross Country Healthcare has been awarded a three-year contract with Vizient, a USwide network of communityowned healthcare systems and their physicians. The deal sees Cross Country act as the national provider for nursing and allied staffing, and certain workforce solutions to Vizient’s member network. The network is made up of academic medical centres, paediatric facilities, community hospitals, integrated health delivery networks and non-acute healthcare providers.
TSA Leeds-based recruiter TSA has secured an invoice financing funding package worth £4m from global bank HSBC. The firm has used the funding to open a new office in Digbeth, Birmingham city centre, which it says has been launched to capitalise on the Midlands’ “booming” rail sector that could be boosted even further by the prospect of work starting on HS2 (a highspeed railway project) in the next decade.
eTeam US-based staffing and talent management solutions provider eTeam has acquired Dryden Human Capital, the parent company of international recruiter Darwin Rhodes. In a statement, eTeam said the acquisition would enable it to increase its marketshare in London and the US, as well as providing access to new global markets. eTeam confirmed Darwin Rhodes will continue to operate under the Darwin Rhodes brand with their key team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gattaca Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca has acquired Resourcing Solutions (RS), a specialist provider of contract and permanent candidates to clients across rail, power and built environment sectors. Gattaca subsidiary Matchtech Group is to take an initial 70% of shares from RS founder and CEO Richard Lawrance and RS investor Alysoun Stewart, with the option of purchasing the remaining 30% within 12 months of completion of the acquisition. Lawrance continues as CEO, with RS’s existing management remaining in place.
Retinue Health Managed services provider Retinue Health has agreed a clinical staffing contract with five health boards across the West of Scotland. Retinue Health, part of nGAGE Specialist Recruitment, will support the boards of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Forth Valley in controlling recruitment agency spend delivered through its neutral vendor model.
DEAL OF TH E MO NTH
Argyll Scott Professional services recruiter Argyll Scott has bought recruitment empire REED’s Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore-based operations, the companies announced. A selling price was not revealed. REED CEO Richard Post said
the move now allows REED to focus on its Asian business in Korea, where the company has built up what it called a “substantial presence”. Argyll Scott CEO John Hunter said his company was committed to growing marketshare within
Asia-Pacific. “By bringing these companies into the Argyll Scott fold, the enlarged Argyll Scott business will immediately attain market-leading positions in our hub offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.” Further, he said the acquisitions
would allow the enlarged group to accelerate expansion plans in other key commercial centres across the region. “We particularly welcome the addition of Kuala Lumpur to our office network as this has long been a key strategic market,” he added.
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T R E N DS
ACTION, CHANGE, MOMENTUM: KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN 2017 CUSTOMERS
indicators (KPIs) and focus on business outcomes.
➊ Customer expectations accelerate, companies struggle to keep up: Advances in customer experience (CX) awareness will lead customers to max out their expectations of how a company should deliver experiences, belying the lack of uniform CX management and innovation in the market. Companies must be always omni-channel, customised, rapid, easy, ‘know me’ but yet private.
➍ The Eternal Question unanswered: who
➋ Service failures will increasingly require
abundant recovery: Expectations will rise around a ﬁrm’s ability to detect dissatisfaction and then speedily recover customer loyalty. Customers are now fully sensing the power of word of mouth – and the potential to grow consensus at a magnitude. Companies will need to pre-empt with passion, empathy and excel through service delivery.
➌ Beginning of the end for data gazing. This year, there will be more activity around the data collected and turning that data into action. Dashboards will be reduced to only the most critical components. A growing cohort of ﬁrms will become bored with tracking key performance
owns the customer? Firms will continue their struggle in deﬁning the difference between a CCO, a CXO and a CMO, where they overlap and where gaps exist.
➎ Companies continue CX efficiency push. Firms will spend more on technology to provide their ongoing research, dashboards, analytics and integrations.
➏ Emotion, ﬁnancial return on investment (ROI) join Net Promoter Scores as programme KPIs: A growing need to ‘round out’ the view of the customer will be enabled by improvements in emotion detection and survey-based ROI model sciences.
➐ Data strategy becomes paramount, remains elusive: Data strategy can be as important as the data you collect. However, the prediction is that companies will fail doing it themselves and will be forced to hire talent or consulting architects to make retroactive upgrades.
➑ Python grows as the ‘It’ language: SAS programmers are safe for the moment, but many will bypass R [a language and
BY LUKE WILLIAMS
environment LUKE WILLIAMS is for statistical head of CX at insights computing and firm Qualtrics. graphics] and go straight to Python. Large-scale licences for older stats packages will decline as routine activities (regression-based driver analyses, segmentation) are pushed to faster, out-of-the-box solutions.
➒ Artiﬁcial intelligence continues its upswing: The continued development of AI solutions will begin to allow increasing identiﬁcation and analysis for photos, videos, voice analytics, text analytics and anomaly detection. Applications such as service bots will continue to rise. Time-to-value on related research tool decreases and real-time analytics will start to become more available for those with budgets to invest. The space will be ripe for the low-cost disruptor.
10 Perpetual catch-up: The CX team must move quickly to be effective, but chances are you’re still focusing on 2016 resolutions: optimising your website, activating social listening, connecting the dots between customer sentiment and customer behaviour. You’re already behind, so get moving!
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T R E N DS
TECH & TOOLS
Time for a chat? Conversing with a virtual recruiter SUE WEEKES
The idea of a chatbot with artiﬁcial intelligence (AI), which mimics conversation with human beings, is enough to have some recruiters fearing for their livelihoods. Chatbots are a great way of releasing time to enrich human contact though. Sky Betting & Gaming worked with Leeds-based digital agency Chatter to create a chatbot version of its TV sports presenter Jeff Stelling. “It makes the recruitment experience more ‘always on’ for candidates and more fun,” says head of recruitment Matt Hughan. “What’s more it’s easily accessible on mobile.” And as Max Armbruster, CEO of recruitment technology provider Talkpush, points out, recruiters shouldn’t view chatbots as their replacement, but rather as the natural evolution of web forms: “It is simply more natural for candidates and employees to answer questions in a sequential manner rather than having to complete long web forms.”
WHAT CAN THEY DO?
DISPEL GIMMICKY IMAGE
REFLECT THE ORGANISATION
WHAT CAN’T IT DO?
Relieve the recruiter of many routine tasks. They can be used to engage the candidate, answer questions, provide recruiting tips, help screen candidates, schedule interviews and other administrative parts of the recruitment process. Eyal Grayevsky, CEO and co-founder of jobs marketplace FirstJob, which has created a recruiting chatbot called Mya, says it can also be used to automate passive candidate outreach work and onboarding. He adds that while the greatest return on investment (ROI) probably comes from using chatbots in highvolume, it can improve the candidate experience across all levels. Hughan says chatbot Jeff also helps to build the employer brand: “Pushing relevant content to the right people and shining a light on what it’s really like to work at Sky Betting & Gaming.”
There is a danger that chatbots could be seen as gimmicky but when implemented well they can deliver cost and time-savings and help to convert more candidates from the hiring funnel. Ike Stranathan, CEO of US-based outsourcing company Staff Virtual, claims that Talkpush’s chatbot Stanley has helped it to increase hiring volumes from Facebook five-fold. “The recruitment chatbot has become the growth engine for our company,” he says. Meanwhile, Grayevsky reckons a major benefit is eliminating the “black hole” that candidates can get lost in. “If done right, it’s truly a win-win because you can improve the speed and efficacy of the hiring process while enhancing the overall candidate experience.”
Like any member of the recruitment team, the chatbot represents the company, so its personality and behaviours must be consistent. “Adapt the tone of your bot to reflect your employer brand. Do you want your brand to be friendly? Formal? You decide,” says Armbruster. Hughan adds it can take time to perfect the personality but believes that the use of Jeff in itself marks Sky Betting & Gaming out as a forward-thinking employer. “For us, introducing AI is a great way to help support the candidate journey.” While a serious recruiting tool, he recommends making it fun and so there is no confusion whether it is a real person or not.
The chatbot is not a replacement for human contact nor lazy recruiting processes. Bear in mind that not all candidates will want to complete the application process via a chatbot, cautions Armbruster. “If some candidates want to speak to a recruiter, make sure that the chatbot is able to collect their contact info and have a process in place to get back to them asap,” he says. He doesn’t recommend asking the chatbot to multi-task and handle many different types of transactions. “Build one chatbot for initial interviews, one for onboarding and one for exit interviews.”
Conduct an in-house pilot confined to a few test candidates. “You will learn so much from that first proof of concept that will inevitably inform your approach,” says Grayevsky. The key is using a quality product that uses AI-based communication to make the experience of speaking to the bot seamless. Hughan advises “constantly iterating”. “Feed new topics, learn from conversations and add subjects where appropriate,” he says. As this area is so fast-moving, work with a specialist partner. “Don’t embark on this on your own,” says Armbruster. “Work with a vendor who can continuously improve your bot to take advantage of the innovation in natural language processing.”
I L L UST RAT I O N | I STO C K
R I SE O F TH E C H ATB OT A chatbot is a computer program with a human face that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to converse and interact with users, typically across the internet. Developments in natural language processing, whereby computers can understand language as it is naturally spoken rather than from computer code and machine learning, where computers can teach themselves to do things, will make chatbots even more valuable to humans in the future.
INTE R AC TIO N
The changing face of recruitment Are we in danger of losing the personal touch? BY EILEEN PACEY
ecruitment has always been about people. Whether you are working on behalf of an organisation or on an individual basis with a candidate, the same key rules apply; you need to match the right experience and skills, team ﬁt, personality, attitude, aptitude, ambition and location. However, due to the explosion of technology and the simplicity of doing everything online these days, this is actually getting harder. If we are not careful we are in danger of losing the personal touch. Technology has brought huge positive changes to the recruitment industry in terms of speed of communication, back office functions, candidate attraction and management. Both clients and candidates want access to new opportunities as quickly and smoothly as possible, with many believing ﬁlling a vacancy is as simple as clicking a button. But for a recruiter who genuinely cares about what they are doing, and wants to achieve high retention rates, nothing can replace face-to-face communication. Due to the plethora of opportunities that now exist on the internet, and the options available to jobseekers, people are now far less choosy about what job to apply for. Instead of matching their skills and experience to the right job, there is much more of an ‘I’ll apply for everything and just see what
+ EILEEN PACEY Director, Select Appointments, Northampton
“Technology is there to be used and to make life easier, but people still buy from people. Recruiters cannot forget this”
happens’ attitude. This results in multiple online applications, with candidates losing track of what they have applied for. Whether we are in a candidate-driven market (such as we are now) or a client-driven market due to a lack of jobs, recruitment is still about people. And yes, we have to use all the online tools that are available to us, but it’s imperative that this does not replace personal communication, whether this is over the phone, Skype or face-to-face. Even if it is just to ensure compliance, or sighting and checking original documentation, this should be the start of building a relationship with your candidates; a relationship you want to continue through their working life that can provide you with future opportunities through recommendations not only to other candidates but also potential client companies. Gaining a full understanding of both candidate and client needs is always easier face-to-face, as there is only so much you can glean from an online application. Conversations will cover current needs, forward planning, market conditions, advice and skills training, as well as dealing with any issues or concerns. This is particularly evident in today’s market, where candidates are at a premium, and where organisations are beginning to realise they may not be able to ﬁnd that perfect candidate for every available position. For a recruiter, it is much easier to convince a client to be ﬂexible about what they are looking for if they trust your judgement and also if you can tell them that you have built a personal relationship with a candidate and have full conﬁdence in their abilities. In my mind, technology is there to be used and to make life easier, but people still buy from people. Recruiters cannot forget this. ●
IMAG E | SH UTTER STO C K
I N T E R AC T I O N
WEB CH AT
RECRUITERS WELCOME PAYMENT REPORTING POWERS Regarding your article on new payment reporting powers on 1 February, would this also apply to large public sector organisations, for example? H GHAUS
If a large company uses an RPO [recruitment process outsourcing firm], will this bring them under the radar if the RPO has less than 250 staff since the recruiter’s contract will be with the RPO? What would be good to see is when the large company pays the RPO, so that it can be seen if the RPO is then conforming to its ‘pay when paid’ terms. DAVID RANDALL
WE DEFINITELY NEED TO UPHOLD RECRUITMENT STANDARDS In response to your story ‘REC expels Valley Education Services for payment mistakes in breach of its code’ (24 January), well done REC. Too often agencies live under the REC conduct banner and fail to embed best practice. With government under increasing pressure to come up with alternative recruitment options for supply in England it is imperative that our standards are upheld. AWR is not being policed enough, which feeds union discontent, and increases opportunity for lobbying against us. TIM GRIFFIN
NEVER MIND, I’LL FIND ANOTHER CANDIDATE LIKE YOU... Having watched the Adele parody video by The Highfield Company on 13 January – brilliant! She should cover Adele’s Hello aimed at clients who never pick up the bloody phone! HANNAH RYMILL
FOOTING THE BILL FOR FINDING DOCTORS FOR THE NHS Regarding your story ‘NHS turns to Greece, Lithuania and Poland to recruit GPs’ (12 January), will the NHS have to pay the skills charge? MIKE BUTLER
What initiatives do you have in place to keep energy and enthusiasm up among consultants to beat the Q1 blues? MARK GILL MA N AG IN G D I REC TOR , H EA DWAY RECRU I T M E N T
“Recruitment is a challenging industry so we keep the fun among our staff where we can. For example, Sophie and Liz nip out at lunchtime for a spot of hot yoga. They claim this brings a Zenlike calm to the afternoon! Valerie likes to cycle into work in all weathers. And I have signed up for a charity boxing match, focusing my energies on training to relieve the stress of the day. Everyone is encouraged to leave the office by 5.30pm and not answer work emails until the next morning. If none of this works then we fall back on caffeine, sugar and alcohol – after work, obviously!”
ANDY SHATWELL MA N AG IN G D I REC TOR , CH A RLTON MOR R I S
“After Christmas, we redesigned our office and made some big changes to our company culture. Firstly, we know how hard it can be to ﬁnd the time to exercise – even when it’s ‘new year, new me’ time – so we’ve given our consultants the option to take two 1.5 hour lunches a week to go along with a subsidised gym membership. For consultants that have been with us for more than two years, we’ve also stopped tracking holidays. So we’ve had no issues with keeping the Q1 blues at bay!”
TR ACY JEFFERY OP ER AT I ON S D I REC TOR , A MORI A BON D
“After the winter break it can be hard to get back into a routine. We have a number of businesswide initiatives to help the process. It starts from the beginning of January, as we’re granted an extra day’s holiday outside of our personal allowance on the ﬁrst working day of the year. As a company we also have an early ﬁnish at 4pm every Friday, which results in employees getting to see daylight at the start of the weekend! These schemes mean that we’re in the best frame of mind for the busy quarter ahead.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 17
PHOTOGRAPHY PAL HANSEN
L-r: Peter Searle and Brian Wilkinson
Recruiter: Both of you have spent a lot of your career working for massive recruitment companies. What was the attraction of joining your current smaller company? Brian Wilkinson: For me, it’s all about having the ultimate responsibility for the direction and results of the business. When you are part of a very big business you might make a decision and you have to wait six months before anything happens because it has to go through the chain of command. Now, you see things changing in days. I also like the specialist nature of what we do. When you work for an Adeccco or a Randstad by deﬁnition you are a generalist. I was very clear that whatever role I took up wouldn’t involve a huge amount of international travel. Peter Searle: When you are part of a large corporate, it’s great climbing a ladder to see how high you can climb, but there comes a point
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T H E BIG STORY T ITA N S O F R E C RU I T M E N T
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca, and Peter Searle, CEO of global workforce solutions provider Airswift, have enjoyed stellar careers in recruitment, working at senior executive level for some of the biggest names in the industry. Decades working in recruitment – including at behemoths Randstad and Adecco – hasn’t drained their drive, ambition and sheer passion for the industry, however, and recent years have seen both men take up fresh challenges. Recruiter’s Colin Cottell and DeeDee Doke caught up with these ‘two titans’ of recruitment to reﬂect on their careers, the state of the recruitment industry and what they want to achieve.
TITANS OF THE RECRUITMENT WORLD WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 19
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TH E B IG STO RY TITANS OF RECRUITMENT
Peter Searle During a long career in recruitment, Searle amassed almost 28 years’ of service on and off within the Adecco Group. Senior executive positions included responsibility for European and Asia Pacific offices of the group’s professional services companies under the speciality brand name of Ajilon, following
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T H E BIG STORY T I TA N S O F R E C RU I T M E N T
other; if you pick up the phone and talk to people, that becomes the company culture. R: When you moved into your current role, was there anything that surprised you?
Adecco’s 1999 purchase of the Delphi Group, where Searle was group managing director. In 2005, after a global reorganisation he became the CEO of Adecco UK & Ireland, with additional responsibility for South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. In 2006, Searle left to join Spring Personnel as CEO before returning to Adecco as regional head of the UK & Ireland when
Adecco purchased Spring in 2009. In October 2009, he was appointed to Adecco’s group executive committee. After leaving Adecco, Searle joined Airswift as CEO in January 2016, following the merger of energy recruiters Air Energi Group and Swift Worldwide to form a global workforce solutions company covering the energy, process and infrastructure sectors.
BW: Not really. Apart from learning about the industry, which if you have covered enough industries in your career you ﬁnd quite easy. PS: The one big difference is that in big companies you can be a little bit more ﬂexible about being able to put in things like career programmes and staff recognition programmes. R: Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the prospect of more barriers to the movement of international talent; do you see these as threats or opportunities?
where the motivation to just do more of what you did last year and go through those chains of command wanes. You have a lot of resources at your disposal, but the inﬂuence you have is limited by the size of the organisation. R: What excites you about coming in to work? PS: What really gets me out of bed in the morning is feeling part of an industry that is changing the world. The companies that we deal with, the Big Seven oil & gas companies genuinely inﬂuence society, and the way they make decisions about investing and where they put their money changes whole countries. BW: The increasing convergence between the three legs of our business: engineering, IT and telecommunications. Every engineering client we speak to is reinventing itself so they need skill sets and experience that they have never required in the past. We are in a real sweet-spot with
our two specialisms: engineering and technology. R: How has your leadership style changed since you took up your new roles in these smaller (albeit still substantial-sized) businesses? BW: I don’t think my style has changed. I have always had a pretty open consultative style and I think it is easier to deploy that style in a smaller business, where there are fewer layers between you and the sharp end. We deliberately have a very ﬂat structure, an open door culture… so it’s a very sociable, collaborative environment. It is my natural style. PS: My management style is the same as the one I employed at Adecco. We are trying to create a single culture in a global company, where face-to-face communication or picking up the phone up takes priority over sending emails. So that’s a leadership style you have to develop. If you send emails to people, they will send emails to each
PS: Governments are talking about becoming a little bit more insular, but at the same time they are talking about massive engineering projects and about growing their own homegrown industries – for example, the oil industry in the US. So actually they will be trying to move those skills around the world more than they ever did. The ability to do that compliantly under the rules that governments put in place will become even more important, so that’s a great opportunity for us. BW: International movement of talent is a tiny part of our business. Our exposure to Brexit is very limited – 150 contractors in Continental Europe out of 9,000 globally. R: What plans do you have for consolidation? PS: Our customers expect us to be there on the ground to take on more of their onerous responsibilities in terms of compliance, and to do that you have to have the coverage and the size. We probably wouldn’t go out and purchase compliance organisations but what we WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 21
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TH E B IG STO RY TITANS OF RECRUITMENT
would buy is individuals, or a smaller company within professional staffing, where there is a particular skill set. We would then grow that as a recruitment business out through the rest of the globe. BW: Every time somebody buys somebody else half a dozen people from the acquired business go off and set up their own business. So there is consolidation yes, but it’s very slow. Will we acquire again? Yes we will, but I don’t expect it to have a massive impact on our marketshare because the market is so fragmented. R: What are your ambitions for the businesses? PS: To be the biggest supplier of engineering and associated staff in the process, infrastructure and energy industries. And to be the default choice not just for customers, but for engineers so they see us as a genuine way for them to create a career. BW: More than anything else I want Gattaca to be the employer brand of choice, one that people aspire to work for, and that attracts and retains the best talent in the market. That is not some nice, ﬂuffy ambition; it’s because the longer we keep people, the better they get at what they do, which drives candidate and client satisfaction. I am passionate about that. R: How do you make a great recruitment business a great place to work? BW: More than anything it is down to creating a culture and an environment where people are working with other like-minded people, who want to spend time together socially as well as at work. They feel supported by their employer to do the things that interest them. It is all about building a positive culture that people feel part of and don’t want to leave. PS: By creating a company that is an easy place to join, and a difficult place to leave. Our mission statement is very clear: that we change people’s lives through the world of work and
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LAUNCH YOUR OWN BUSINESS
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TH E B IG STO RY XXXXXXXXXXXX
Brian Wilkinson A former executive board member of international recruitment colossus Randstad between 2008 and 2012, Wilkinson has held a range of jobs within recruitment going back almost four decades. Starting as a contract consultant at SOS Bureauâ€™s Glasgow office in 1980, his relentless rise to the top of the industry led him to join
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T H E BIG STORY T I TA N S O F R E C RU I T M E N T
that belief is built through the whole company, enabling people to be the best they can be within the organisation. We need to make sure we are able to give people the challenges they need to keep growing. Some economies are shrinking, some are growing. You have to make sure you keep a focus on everybody’s careers from an internal point of view. R: What is your biggest headache in your business? PS: The exchange rate changing every two minutes. We have had 20% swings. We have to make sure our contractors and staff are paid on time, and IT is always uppermost in my mind. BW: I struggle to answer that question. We will be rolling out a new CRM [candidate relationship management system] that I know is going to be hideous, and there will be kicking and screaming but I am quite excited by the beneﬁts it can bring. But really, I love my job, so I can’t really think of anything. R: How do the skill sets your recruiters require differ from those needed by recruiters in the corporates where you have spent a lot of your careers?
Anglo-Dutch giant Vedior as UK development manager in 1999, where his role included acquiring stakes in a number of privately held recruitment firms. After another promotion, Wilkinson held responsibility for Vedior’s M&A activity across Australasia, the Far East, India, the Nordics and Portugal. Following Randstad’s acquisition of Vedior in 2008, Wilkinson was appointed to Randstad’s executive board, where his brief included
BW: Once you get to the size of the mono brands, you are not so worried about being seen as a specialist because it is all about the brand. For our two companies – Networkers International and Matchtech – it is incredibly important that our clients see us as specialists. So that is the difference. PS: If you are a recruiter working in general staffing, fundamentally you are trying to sell personality to personality, but if you are a specialist in engineering and you have to ﬁnd someone with a very specialist technical skill set to send to a different country, then it’s a whole new ball game in terms of the knowledge you have to have. Where as at Adecco the average length of an assignment was six to eight weeks here we have people on site for two to three years. So managing people’s careers as opposed to a short-term assignment requires a whole different new skill. R: How has your approach to balancing work with the rest of your life changed? BW: I don’t think you work any less hours, but you work smarter. If I need to work from home, I work from home.
integrating Vedior’s operations into the Randstad Group, as well as responsibility for Randstad’s professionals business. Wilkinson joined engineering recruiter Matchtech Group in 2013 as executive chairman, before taking up the role of CEO, overseeing its acquisition of telecoms and technology Networkers International in 2015, and subsequent renaming as Gattaca.
I don’t institutionalise it; I don’t have a certain day of the week when I work from home. PS: The reality is you can’t compartmentalise your life into ‘this is work’ and ‘this is leisure’. I can go and sit on a beach and spend two to three hours keeping in touch with people and making sure I know what is happening in the business. You might be 70% involved but then when you go back you might be 120% involved, say in a project, so it is about the intensity of your involvement. Because actually, you never switch off; it’s impossible because otherwise you are detaching yourself. And actually if you have a passion for it, as myself and Brian do, it is part of your life. I wouldn’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it as part of my life. R: How has the role of CEO evolved over the last decade? BW: Social media. I was staggered how few CEOs respond to feedback on Glassdoor, for example. Why wouldn’t you when you know people are going to look at it when considering whether or not to join you? Why wouldn’t you respond to positive or negative reviews? Why wouldn’t you want to tell people what your company is up to via LinkedIn? I am not a social media nut, I am not on Facebook, or on Twitter – maybe I should be – but between LinkedIn and Glassdoor, I am pretty active. PS: Whereas before the CEO was just used as a sounding board, now the whole management team is seen as representing the company. You can guarantee if someone is tweeting you and asking you a question they are going to question your other team members on seven different media platforms, so you had better all say the same thing. There is nowhere to hide. You have to be on your game at all times. ●
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INVO IC E FINANCE
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MIND THE FINANCIAL GAP WITH RECRUITERS WAITING 60 days for payment, using their invoices as collateral to raise cash can be the ﬁnancial lifeblood that both keeps recruiters aﬂoat and helps them grow. “The temporary recruitment market is arguably the hottest for invoice ﬁnance in any industry sector,” says Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options, a broker. “Temporary recruitment ﬁrms have a huge amount of cash going out the door because many of them are paying their contractors and then having to wait to get the money back from the clients.” While the beneﬁts of invoice ﬁnance are generally well understood within recruitment, those providing the ﬁnance say increased competition among providers, the range and complexity of products, combined with innovation in the market, mean what was once a relatively staid and simple marketplace dominated by the big banks has moved on. Against such a backdrop, how then should recruiters go about deciding what type of product and invoice funding arrangement is best for their business? Broadly speaking there are two types of invoice ﬁnance available to recruiters. One option is invoice factoring, where
I M AG E | SUP E R STO C K
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Invoice ﬁnance is widely used by recruitment businesses as a way to bridge the gap between paying their temporary workers and being paid by their clients. Colin Cottell investigates the different options available
in addition to a cash loan, recruiters outsource their credit control to the ﬁnance provider. The second is invoice discount ﬁnance, where the recruiter carries out their own credit control. In choosing one or other of these broad options, invoice ﬁnance providers and brokers say there are a number of key questions that recruiters need to ask themselves before deciding on exactly what type of product and funding arrangement is best for their business. Do you have the resources and size to carry out your own credit control? Small recruitment companies often choose factoring to avoid the overheads of employing credit staff and its associated costs. Outsourcing the credit
control function also frees them up to focus on recruiting. On the other hand, larger companies with their own wellresourced credit control functions “wish to retain control over their sales ledger and credit management”, says Annabel Ah-Lim, director of invoice ﬁnance provider Touch Financial. According to RBS Invoice Finance’s website, “invoice ﬁnance is suitable for businesses with an annual turnover of £300k or more”. However, Glenn Blackman, partner at FundInvoice, a broker, says the situation is more complicated. “I am not sure there is a point of turnover, where it is going to become more cost effective to run your own credit control,” he says. According to Blackman, whether factoring or invoice discounting
Time to decide While factors such as length of finance agreement and fees are important aspects to consider when choosing an invoice finance provider, recruiters should also ensure that the company they choose to work with is the right fit for their business. This is particularly the case with factoring, where the finance provider is dealing directly dealing with your clients, says Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options, a broker.
“Ask about the person you are going to have a relationship with,” he says. “Do you like and trust the person who is going to be the day-today account manager? Because that’s the person that you will rely on if things aren’t working.” Don’t just base your decision on cost, says Glenn Blackman, partner at broker FundInvoice. “Check that the company has dealt with other companies in your sector, and get feedback from their clients,” he advises.
is best depends on a number of factors, including the workload involved for the factoring company, the size of the recruiter’s invoices and the number of invoices. “You have to look at the whole set up of the credit control function and what it will be required to do,” he continues. “Generally speaking if you outsource your credit control to a factoring provider there will be a cost saving; compared to employing the staff yourself, factoring providers have got economies of scale.” Blackman estimates that based on a £1m turnover, a recruitment ﬁrm that employs a credit controller on £15k a year plus other associated costs, could save around £11k a year by outsourcing their credit function to a factoring company. Sharon Simpson, director of invoice ﬁnance provider Calverton Finance, says ﬁnance providers will often overlook the size of the recruitment company. “It actually depends on the pedigree of the people running the recruitment business. If it is a very able person that has a historic performance of running a successful recruitment business,” she says, then a ﬁnance house will be more likely to provide discount ﬁnance. However, she adds: “If we are dealing with a business where we are not too sure of the individuals, we would want total disclosure (factoring).” Simpson says under the latter circumstances factoring has the advantage of giving the ﬁnance provider “a feel for the debt”, which after all is money it is owed. How often do you require invoice ﬁnance? Traditionally, the amount of cash a recruitment company could raise was based on a certain percentage, say 85%, of the whole turnover of their invoices. This was an ongoing facility. However, Paul Dewick, commercial director of invoice ﬁnance provider Boomerang Funding, says that while “three or four years ago” he would have agreed that a whole turnover agreement was best for most recruiters, he has since changed his view.
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I N VO I C E F I N A N C E
Increasingly, Dewick says recruiters are turning to speculative invoice ﬁnance, or spot ﬁnance, also known as pay as you go, where they decide which invoices they wish to raise cash against. According to Dewick, this is the fastest growing area of the market, driven in part because competition among providers has made it cheaper. “If you are talking about a business that has just got one-off requirements now and again, selective invoice ﬁnance might work very well. For temporary cashﬂow hiccups, spot is a deﬁnite option,” says Blackman, However, if you have £100k of turnover and you want to raise £70k-£80k against that and hold on to that funding pretty much indeﬁnitely, the whole turnover option is the way to go.” Blackman says another consideration is that selective invoice costs more. “You are dipping in and out of it, whereas with whole turnover you are receiving a discount on a bulk buy,” he explains. However, Dewick argues that only those recruiters turning over more than £10m a year should opt for a whole turnover arrangement. He explains that recruiters with a lower turnover are likely to be hit by minimum monthly fees, which are imposed where a recruiter’s turnover doesn’t reach a certain level speciﬁed in the ﬁnance agreement. “Also, you are a big ﬁsh so you can start commanding the big discounts from the banks; below £10m, you don’t show up on their radar,” adds Dewick. What length of invoice ﬁnance agreement works best for your business? Finance providers will typically look to sign recruiters up to a ﬁnance agreement based on a 12-month or perhaps longer minimum contract period, says Ah-Lim. While the advantage is a lower service fee, such agreements can have disadvantages. Among these are that ﬁnance providers impose onerous termination and penalty fees on recruiters who break the contract early. In addition to a 12-month lock-in, some providers demand recruiters give them three months’ notice on top, says Simpson. “A lot of
the factoring companies will ask for the revenue that they would lose,” she adds. However, according to Simpson, increased competition in the market means that by shopping around recruiters should be able to ﬁnd companies who offer contracts on a month’s rolling basis, with only one month’s notice required. Speculative invoice ﬁnance provides even greater ﬂexibility in this regard. How important is conﬁdentiality? Traditional factoring, where credit control is outsourced to the ﬁnance provider, means that clients of the recruitment agency are aware of the involvement of a ﬁnance provider, ie. it is disclosed to the client. On the other hand, with invoice discounting the recruiter is responsible for their own credit control so the client need never know. Not every recruiter cares whether their clients know they are being funded by a ﬁnance provider. However, according to Simpson, for some recruiters it is important. “Some people want their customers to think they have got control over their business. And sometimes a factoring company dilutes that control.” Some umbrella companies, as well as recruiters on preferred supplier lists (PSLs), are also sensitive to their clients’ concerns that a third party is involved, says Simpson. Ford says this aspect of factoring is a hangover from when there was a stigma attached to factoring, and it was regarded as “last resort ﬁnance”. However, according to Blackman, those recruiters who prefer to outsource their credit control, but would rather their clients don’t know a ﬁnance company is involved, can now have the best of both worlds.
“Some people want their customers to think they have got control over their business”
Conﬁdential factoring, as it is known, means that while the ﬁnance company still provides the collection service, “it is done in the name of your business, and the ﬁnance company will use your logo and all the rest of it”, Blackman explains. Simpson says a variation on this type of arrangement is where the recruiter’s client pays into a trust account “so they think they are still paying the recruiter”. Blackman says invoice ﬁnance providers often attempt to charge “some sort of premium” for conﬁdential factoring. Which fee structure works best for you? While some recruiters are attracted to a low headline rate of interest on the money advanced, this may be more than offset by ﬁnance companies charging an array of additional fees. These can include arrangement fees, fees for audits, fees for various disbursements, as well as a minimum service charge. Flat fees, where all charges are wrapped up in one ﬁgure, have their attractions because “they are easy to understand and people like their predictability”, says Blackman. However, according to Simpson, ﬂat fees have their downside. “It is really dangerous to charge a client that way because it is based on what the client thinks they are going to do on turnover. If the client loses a contract, or gets a long contract but it doesn’t generate the levels of business that they have told the factor they expect, they are still going to pay that ﬁxed cost,” she explains. “That is why it always better for the client to go for a fee, based on a percentage of the funds advanced,” agrees Blackman. Flat fees will also tend to work out more expensive than a variable fee, he adds. “Factoring companies usually charge a monthly service fee combined with a fee on the funds utilised ie. the amount advanced,” explains Ah-Lim. So whereas “a low service fee and a higher fee on money advanced may be advantageous if the amount of money advanced is comparatively modest, should that ﬁgure rise as the ﬁrm begins to grow then it might not be such a good idea”. “Firms need to monitor their position and take a view,” she adds. ●
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Issue 47 March 2017
RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence
Member of the Month
Legal update and the IRP
Events and Training
Gareth Lloyd of Amoria Bond p4
English language fluency required p6-7
Product of the Month REC Marketing Forum
even more so in a time of skill shortages,” he says. Compass Group UK & Ireland resourcing and development director Melanie Hayes recommends the campaign to all businesses. “Our partnership with the GRC will support us in our wider commitment to attract, develop and retain talented
but doing it in the right way is key,” she says. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the GRC will continue going from strength to strength. “Our aim with the GRC is to bring together likeminded HR and recruitment professionals to share knowledge, raise standards, and commit to excellent practice. The fact that the UK’s largest employers are prepared to endorse the campaign speaks volumes about the value it brings to their employer brand.” Other organisations that have joined the GRC in the last six months include: Vodafone, Shazam, West Ham, DHL, PWC, Caterpillar, Clifford Chance, Mencap, Whitbread, Transport for London, Warwickshire County Council, and Game. The campaign is also supported by the CIPD, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Confederation of Business Industry, NHS Employers and ACAS. Visit www.rec.uk.com/ goodrecruitment to find out more about the Good Recruitment Campaign.
GRC HITS 200 A record number of organisations employing more than 2 million staff in the UK have signed up to the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign (GRC). More than 200 businesses have signed the Good Recruitment Charter since the campaign launched in 2013. The GRC aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce, flexible work, candidate experience and ethical recruitment practices. GRC signatories include
@RECPress RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 1
big name brands like John Lewis, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Diageo. The HR director of new signee BAE Systems John Whelan says joining the GRC was an easy decision. “The recruitment and retention of talent is of upmost important to businesses at all times, but
colleagues. In addition, the opportunity to gain insight and views from peers at other organisations is invaluable. Recruiting the right talent is important for any business,
www.rec.uk.com 07/02/2017 17:13
Leading the Industry
Recruiters can make the most of postBrexit Britain, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services
Recruiters must be ready for technology’s takeover, says Kevin Green REC chief executive In the last few weeks we’ve seen many stories in the media about the rise of automation in the workplace – the general theme is that “the robots are coming for your job”. In truth, businesses are constantly investing in technology which will help improve productivity. That said, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is likely to be fundamentally different and potentially more difficult than the previous three periods of change. Firstly, it will affect employment in the service industry as much as in manufacturing. The types of office-based jobs affected will be process-driven and routine. This will involve call centres, admin work in financial services, as well as accountancy and legal jobs in professional services. Secondly, salary is likely to accelerate in the next few years. Skill and talent shortages are already a problem for hirers in a range of sectors, and changes to immigration policy are likely to exacerbate this challenge. Employers will offer more pay to attract the people they need, but as wage bills grow, the business case for automating activity will become more compelling. We have to accept that this process will make certain jobs redundant. But rather than
2 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME... turn into Luddites and decry technology-driven change, let’s recognise that as well as destroying, it also creates new roles and opportunities. The ability of organisations to analyse Big Data and to act upon customer or staff insights will be one area of comparative advantage going forward. For recruiters there are clearly some threats in this tech-driven change, but also many opportunities. Most obviously, companies will need help defining new roles and searching for talent so they can exploit new ways of doing business. Technology is set to play an even more important role in the recruitment process going forward. This will move beyond basic customer relationship management to automated voice and video screening and online assessments. We, like the rest of business, need to embrace the change and take advantage of the additional value technology can provide. I would love to see you at my Scale Up events, where I will be talking about automation and other trends in recruitment. In the next few weeks I am in Reading, Scotland and Portsmouth. REC members can register for free at rec.uk.com/events Follow me on Twitter @kevingreenrec
The government’s plans for post-Brexit Britain are beginning to be fleshed out. The recent industrial strategy fanfare included some interesting pointers for our sector and opened the door on potential new opportunities for recruiters. Prime Minister Theresa May identified a number of priorities, including addressing sector-specific skills gaps. Our monthly jobs data has highlighted the problem for some time and we will continue to position our voice at the forefront of the skills debate. The PM’s stated aim of developing an ‘authoritative view of the gaps faced by the UK now and in the future’ is long overdue and will enable recruiters to re-align business strategies to reflect future growth sectors. There were plenty of references to new infrastructure projects (meaning opportunities for specialist agencies in construction and engineering) but the most challenging ‘heavy lifting’ will be building bridges into work through new approaches to life-long learning, high quality careers guidance and work placements. These have been key REC ‘asks’ of government since our Youth Employment Taskforce way back in 2010. Announcements on the skills front included a commitment to improving STEM education and the creation of new Institutes of Technology. The PM talked of ‘cultivating world-leading sectors’ including life sciences, digital, creative industries, automotive and defence. There were also namechecks for clean energy technologies, robotics, AI, satellites, biotech and supercomputing. One of our priorities over the coming year will be to engage in the debate through REC Sector Groups and to weigh up the staffing and skills needs that an effective industrial strategy might create. As we combed through the details of the Green Paper, it was good to see recognition for the need to underpin industrial strategy with a solid skills base. However, the government’s vision of a high-paid, high-skilled labour market will only be realised if proper funding and long-term plans are put in place. ‘Generating a future pipeline of skilled labour’ is a laudable aim but will take time. That’s why we will continue to call for a progressive immigration policy which reflects the immediate needs in high-growth sectors. The recruitment industry covers all sectors and is uniquely placed to ensure that evolving skills needs are met. The success of any industrial strategy is dependent on this. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment nt
THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, NINA MGUNI-JONES Labour shortages ahead? In February 2017, the REC’s Report on Jobs recruiters reported a sharp increase in the demand for staff, when asked about demand for staff compared to previous month. Specifically, the private sector saw the sharpest rate of increase in 18 months. This has coincided with a fall in the availability of permanent staff, the 45th month in a row that availability has fallen. Also, in January 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour market report shows that the number of vacancies was 748,000, which is approximately 2.1 people per vacancy. This poses an interesting question as the UK begins negotiations to exit the
EMPLOYEE HEADCOUNT DECLINING YEAR-ON-YEAR The latest information from the RIB Index, sponsored by Bluestones Group, shows that year-on-year the median industry recruiter has not added to its headcount numbers since June 2016 and actually started reducing numbers from September onwards. Having added 11.6% to its headcount in 2015, compared to 2014, the median recruiter added a more subdued 4.1% in H1 2016. Since the referendum vote, however, only the upper quartile of recruiters added any headcount (an
NFU LABOUR PROVIDERS SURVEY IN MAY 2016,
European Union. A key feature of the negotiations will be freedom of movement and how this will impact on numbers of EU migrants. In December 2016, the ONS published data on National Insurance registrations of migrants in their Migration Statistics Quarterly report. The data showed that in the year ending September 2016, 629,000 EU citizens registered for National Insurance numbers, compared to 129,000 non-EU migrants. This represents a 4% fall compared to the previous year for EU migrants and a 5% fall for nonEU migrants. Looking ahead, Jonathan Portes predicts that EU migration will fall by more than half between 2017 and 2020 as a result of both restrictions on freedom of movement and the slowdown in GDP growth. The likely fall in EU migrants
THE NUMBER OF VACANCIES WAS 748,000, WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 2.1 PEOPLE PER VACANCY
will impact on some sectors more than others, with some sectors having a higher proportion of migrants than others. Analysis from the Migration Observatory of labour market statistics suggests the sectors with the highest proportion of EU born workers working in the industry are manufacturing (15%), wholesale/retail (12%), health and social care (11%), accommodation/food service (10%) and construction (8%). A slowdown in the supply of labour has started to alarm employers from some sectors. For instance, the National Farmers Union labour providers survey 2016 asks if the supply of seasonal labour is sufficient to meet demand. In May 2016, 20% of respondents
Figure 1. Total employees versus last year (%) – quarterly average 16
■ Average monthly total employees v last year
10 8 6 4
OF RESPONDENTS STATED THAT THE SUPPLY OF LABOUR DID NOT MEET DEMAND. THIS PROPORTION HAD JUMPED TO
IN SEPTEMBER 2016
stated that the supply of labour did not meet demand. This proportion had jumped to 60% in September 2016. We have seen wage growth to boost supply in some sectors. While the month on month wage growth in the whole economy was 2.6% in November 2016, construction reported a growth rate of 3.9 and wholesaling, retailing, hospitals and restaurants saw a growth of 4.2% for the same month. But this will only go some way in satisfying demand for labour, particularly in sectors that are already exhibiting skill shortages. paring back was unsurprising. As market uncertainty is set fair to continue, the importance of benchmarking performance against other recruiters to maximise performance cannot be underestimated.
Q1 2015 Q2 2015 Q3 2015 Q4 2015 Q1 2016 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 Oct/Nov2016
average of 6.5% between July-November). Conversely, the median recruiter reduced headcount, year-on-year, by 0.9% over the same period, whilst those in the lower quartile reduced numbers by 9.9%. With the median total employee costs as a
percentage of NDR/GP coming in at an average of 53% across 2015, the rise in H1 2016 average to 57% would have caused notable concern. With employee costs peaking at around 62% of NDR/GP in the summer – 9 percentage points higher than 2015 average – the subsequent
Belinda Johnson runs employment research consultancy Worklab, and is associate knowledge & insight director of Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) – part of the Bluestones Group. The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry benchmarks and trends. See www.ribindex. com; firstname.lastname@example.org: 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.
RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017 3
MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Amoria Bond was successful at the 2016 IRP Awards
Manchester-based Amoria Bond Ltd have a habit of winning awards. Their latest includes Best Company to Work For (up to 150 employees) at last year’s IRP Awards. Recruitment Matters editor Michael Oliver talks with one of the company’s founders and managing director Gareth Lloyd about building a winning culture Recruitment Matters: It sounds like you’ve had a great year?
Gareth Lloyd: It was our 10th year of trading in December 2016, and we’ve picked up 10 awards. You can’t ask for more than that. Some of the accolades we were very happy to pick up, particularly the IRP Award – that’s a tough one to get traction in since the competition is so abundant and stiff.
GL: We employ 20 different nationalities, but when we get everyone together they’re Amoria Bond people. That’s probably why there’s a real mesh of long serving individuals. Recruitment has a reputation for losing staff in the two-three year period of their career, but we very rarely lose our top performers. RM: How do you operate? GL: We’ve got contractors
RM: What sets you apart from other recruitment companies?
GL: We’ve focused on developing our people. I know it sounds basic, but we really do put that at the heart of what we do. Twenty-one of our 23 leaders started at the bottom. Everything we’ve done has been grown from the ground up and it’s created a really good culture and a really loyal workforce.
RM: How do you create that culture?
4 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017
in 39 countries. One of the successful things is we didn’t open a lot of locations, we spent our time building tight regional hubs to ensure we keep our culture. By having what we call ‘super offices’ rather than lots of offices, it means people are able to share our way of doing things and stick to the Amoria Bond way. We’ve always had a clear vision and a clear mission, so everyone knows where we’re going and what we’re doing, and we’ve got a strong set of values too.
RM: How is that culture evolving?
GL: One of our core markets is technology – 50% of our revenues are through that space, and we’re always looking to use technology to improve our client and contractor experience. Every recruiter has a video phone – that’s how we talk to contractors. Everyone’s got Skype or Facetime or Whatsapp. In fact, a lot of our consultants send audio messages to their contacts if they don’t get a hold of them.
RM: Where does candidate experience fit in?
GL: We’ve got a contractor literally flying in from Indonesia and he can’t get into an office space. So he’s going to be working with us for 4-5 days. One of our consultants will be in charge of picking him up from the airport and taking him to his hotel. It’s the sort of thing that guarantees repeat work from our people.
“EVERY RECRUITER HAS A VIDEO PHONE – THAT’S HOW WE TALK TO CONTRACTORS” RM: How would you describe your business model?
GL: We’ve always based our business on delivering on what others can’t deliver. It’s a strategy from day one – when you’re three people sat in a little office in Manchester and you’re ringing up a bluechip company, you’re not going to get a big account straight away, so the simple thing was getting the stuff that other suppliers can’t get. What we’ve had to do is ensure all our guys can headhunt, network and apply referral techniques to deliver resource. Our mantra of filling hard to find positions is a part of us. Market-wise,
we’re not too concerned if other recruiters are in there because we tend to fill the niche stuff that a lot of our competition can’t fill anyway.
“RECRUITMENT HAS A REPUTATION FOR LOSING STAFF IN THE TWOTHREE YEAR PERIOD OF THEIR CAREER, BUT WE VERY RARELY LOSE OUR TOP PERFORMERS”
RM: What does an Amoria Bond person look like?
RM: What defines a successful recruiter for you?
GL: We’re looking for entrepreneurial go-getters, highly ambitious, driven individuals. Our top performer in the group was a straight grad with no sales experience, but a high achiever. We’ve had a lot of top performers with no degree and zero sales experience. It’s always been about the attitude, work ethic, ambition and desire – and it still is today.
GL: If I think about all the top people I’ve worked with all the years, it’s hard work that separates the good from the great. You won’t find a successful person in any industry who doesn’t work exceptionally hard. The second point is being a complete self-starter. It really won’t matter what market you put them on, they will find
a way to make it their own. When I got into a recruitment as a rookie, I didn’t really know what goals were. But over the course of the next 12 months I knew to get ahead I had to set some personal targets. All our guys have vision boards on what they want to achieve, and they have business plans with those targets. The last thing is having that personality that people want to deliver a result for you. You’re a trusted advisor.
RM: How do you take Amoria Bond to the next level?
GL: There’s huge challenges in scaling any business. This year, we’ve already had a really strong start. Things are starting to settle down in the economies we work in, thanks to Brexit and the presidential election in the US. I think people were a little more cautious during the middle of last year, but people feel it’s onwards and upwards in the market now. I think the plan is to get the business to £50 million in sales this year and continuing to develop the people to run and grow their areas. RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017 5
ENGLISH LANGUAGE FLUENCY REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS By Lewina Farrell, solicitor and head of professional services at the REC Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2006 was amended back in November, so public authority employers have a duty to ensure that their workers in ‘customer facing roles’ can speak English, or Welsh in Wales, fluently. Workforce is broadly defined in the legislation and it extends to employees, agency workers, apprentices, contractors, police officers and so on. The government’s intention is to ensure that public services are delivered safely and to a high standard. The legislation confirms that the ‘customer facing’ element must be an intrinsic part of the job, which includes ‘regular and planned’ interaction with members of the public by phone or face-to-face. The level of fluency required depends on the nature of the role and the worker must be fluent enough to perform effectively. It is very easy to assume that demonstrating
6 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017
fluency includes considering the worker’s dialect, accent or tone but employers have to be careful and not focus on those aspects but instead concentrate on whether the individual has a recognised qualification and overall interview performance. Some common tests for English language skills are ILETS, IESOL, Europass or CEFR Level B1, these are widely accepted by regulators and professional bodies for confirmation of proficiency in English. The difficulty is where a worker does not meet the fluency requirement. Employers should not automatically reject an applicant or dismiss the worker but consider providing training at their cost, redeploy the worker to another role or where possible adjust the role to limit or remove the customer facing element. Employers must have the necessary employment and
recruitment practices in place to meet their obligations, and a complaints procedure to address concerns as stipulated in the statutory Code of Practice for English Language Requirements for Public Sector Workers Regulations 2016. As usual, the Equality Act 2010 has to be taken into consideration. If an employer stipulates as a criterion that a worker must speak fluent English or Welsh, this can potentially give rise to indirect race discrimination. Although the requirement is applicable to everyone, those with English or Welsh as their first language are more likely to meet the requirement than those that are not native speakers. Yes, an employer can apply such a requirement if it can be objectively justified – and an obvious example is a school requiring an English language teacher to be fluent in English.
The Conduct Regulations 2003 also play a part here. An employment agency or employment business must not introduce or supply a worker to a client unless they have obtained confirmation that the worker has the experience, training, qualifications and any authorisation which the client considers necessary, including those required by law or any professional body to perform the role. English language proficiency is clearly an authorisation by law depending on the role or a requirement that clients deem necessary. There will be practical challenges for employers and recruiters alike, because they will now have to carefully assess whether the language requirement is intrinsic to the role, and all workers must be evaluated objectively, consistently and fairly.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE INSTITUTE OF RECRUITMENT PROFESSIONALS
Bradley Carton is a recruiter at BPS World and winner of Best Apprentice att the 2016 IRP Award rd
Q&A What does 2017 hold for you? I’m seeing 2017 as a growth year for myself and my journey with BPS World. My overall goal is to make even more placements than last year and the other is to get promoted to consultant. On a personal level, my goal is to save enough money to buy my own place. What did you enjoy about being an apprentice? It was a learning curve because I had never worked in an office before. Thanks to BPS World’s comprehensive Rising Stars Apprenticeship programme, it’s enabled me to learn and develop my recruiting skills very quickly. I arrived from a retail background, which is a completely different culture. I literally learned something new every day. There was a lot to pack in a short space of time, but the mentorship I’ve received and the skills I’ve learnt have benefited me considerably. What advice would you give to someone starting out as a recruitment apprentice? Attitude is so important, whether it’s your first day or you’re long into your career. You need to face the day believing there’s no blockade you can’t overcome. You might get a set back and that might put you down, but the thing is you keep going and never say die. What’s the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit? Knowing your market, including the businesses, their competitors, the competition you face as an agent in projects, and the candidates who operate within that market. Those all come from understanding, and you only gain that understanding from speaking to people. I say to myself you’ve got two ears and one mouth. What’s important is this: listen, understand and take in. By doing so you can get a much better conversation and in turn successful results.
Susannah Lawson on is the talent manager at CJUK K
WHAT I KNOW Congratulations on winning Best Candidate Experience at the IRP Awards We’re so honoured to be recognised at the IRP Awards. Over the past couple of years we’ve put a massive emphasis on candidate care and experience. It’s fantastic to be recognised on a national level for that. What makes good candidate experience? We have a campaign called ‘A Better Way’. We think there’s a better way of working in the recruitment industry. We recruit interim chefs and we strive to make our candidates feel part of a community. We pride ourselves on giving constant feedback to our chefs – positive or negative. We’re constantly working with them to ensure their careers are going in the right place and that they’re happy. We have some chefs who have worked with us for 20 years – being an interim chef is their career. They don’t come to work with us for a day – it can be long term. We look after them and make sure they feel a part of our team. How is 2017 shaping up so far? We’ve just had our third annual CJUK Live event. We had about 100 chefs, along with industry experts and clients. Last year, we made a bold and successful move to stop recruiting through job boards. All our roles come through referrals, recommendations and social media. We’re thinking now how can we improve on that and make that even better this year. What’s one thing all recruiters should know? You’re always learning. This job can be as exciting as you want it to be and every day is different. It’s an amazing industry and there’s no limit for where your career can go. What would you tell yourself on your first day? Surround yourself with experts and find out how you can be on their level.
To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit www.rec-irp.uk.com
RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017 7
Events and training
PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: CRONER SALARYSEARCH Every month, Recruitment Matters will highlight some of the great products businesses receive as part of REC membership. This month, we introduce Croner SalarySearch. Salaries and benefits are the heart of any recruitment conversation. Croner SalarySearch has up-to-date data on thousands of different job roles nationwide. What does it feature? Croner SalarySearch is a
robust and comprehensive search system, which features data for roles across a wide variety of industries and sectors nationwide. REC members will be able to tailor their searches to suit their organisation, client or candidate requirements. The data is easy to access, free from bias, and updated regularly. REC members will be able to access Croner SalarySearch for free for 12 months.
Contact your account manager on 0207 009 2100 to find out more about Croner SalarySearch.
REC MARKETING FORUM: 21 MARCH 2017 What will marketing in the recruitment industry look like in 2017? What trends will emerge? And do the old tricks still work? The REC is proud to be hosting the first of its popular Marketing Forums on 21 March. It’s a great opportunity for marketing professionals working in the recruitment industry to meet, discuss ideas and hear from leading marketing experts. The forum launches with a breakfast seminar at the REC’s offices in London. Contact email@example.com to find out more about this month’s agenda.
Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP. Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redactive.co.uk Editorial: Editor Michael Oliver firstname.lastname@example.org. Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young email@example.com Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing
The official magazine of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT Tel: 020 7009 2100 www.rec.uk.com
© 2017 Recruitment Matters. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redactive Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redactive Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduction in whole or part without written permission.
8 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017
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CO M M U N I T Y
SOCIAL NETWORK WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO? GET IN TOUCH!
From The Hacker Games to thanking freelance names to funding football games, here’s what some of you have been doing outside of recruitment… KNOWIT PUTS ON THE HACKER GAMES FOR SPECIALEFFECT VIA
COOPER LOMAZ RAISES £2.1K FOR CHARITY VIA
Digital and technology recruitment consultancy Knowit put on a 48-hour Hackathon at the end of January called The Hacker Games in support of its charity SpecialEffect, which helps people with disabilities to enjoy video games. Teams had to design and build a product to benefit the lives of the people affected either by physical disabilities or mental disorders. Ten of the UK’s top engineering teams took part and £8.5k raised through the event went to SpecialEffect.
East Anglian recruitment company Cooper Lomaz has raised £2.1k for local charity The East Anglian Air Ambulance during 2016. Fundraising events hosted over the year included donation-based dressdown on the first Friday of each month, charity auctions with prizes donated by clients and the traditional fundraising way of shaking buckets on the streets of Norwich.
TCC THANKS ITS SPECIAL FREELANCE CREW VIA
TW I TT E R
Specialist recruiter The Crewing Company (TCC), which provides off-camera talent to film and video production companies around the world, hosted a ‘thank you’ party for its freelancers to recognise their hard work. The most booked freelancers over 2015-16 were given awards at the party from founder and joint managing director Steph Asplin and joint MD Stuart Hatton.
£8.5K RAISED THROUGH THE EVENT WENT TO SPECIALEFFECT
Upton St Leonards school, resplendent in their new sportswear
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I NSTAGR A M
CLASS PEOPLE SPONSORS LOCAL SCHOOL’S SPORTS KIT VIA Children from Upton St Leonards Primary school in Gloucestershire are the proud owners of new sports kit sponsored by education recruiter Class People. Here they are, resplendent in their new sportswear, playing their final footy game of the season against Hardwicke Parochial school.
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02.03.17 / 14:00-17:00 / London T: +44 (0)20 7324 2771 / firstname.lastname@example.org In association with
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Why recruitment bosses need to back off
Find your next move in recruitment on jobs.recruiter. co.uk
BY TARA LESCOTT
↗ TARA LESCOTT is managing director of recruitment-torecruitment agency Recruiter Republic.
IF YOU RUN A RECRUITMENT TEAM or ﬁrm I can pretty much guarantee that talent attraction and retention are right at the top of your agenda. If you’re trying to expand or diversify your company, they are even more of a priority than normal. But to attract the right staff, and more importantly keep them, your management style must suit your business plan. Far too many ﬁrms are churning staff in a constant panicked cycle of recruitment, training, resignation and recruitment again. At the same time, they are failing miserably to change their
Let's just accept that this whole cycle is no longer ﬁt for purpose recruitment and retention strategy – in effect, simply shrugging their shoulders and telling themselves: “That’s recruitment.” I hate to break it to you – but you’re wrong. This isn’t just the way it is; it’s just the way it is right now because you aren’t changing what you do. Too many recruitment agencies are in a constant cycle to rush their new consultants to produce fee income. At the same time they push their biggest billers into
management roles before they are trained to do so, or even ready – all in the hope that the ‘magic’ will rub off on the team. Add in the pressure of constant key performance indicator (KPI) management cascading down through layers of management that are too disconnected from the shop ﬂoor to understand what’s appropriate any more, and the end result can be staggering volumes of stress and churn, and real resentment growing from within the ranks. This constant inappropriate pressure results in: ● sub-standard training ● consultants lacking in conﬁdence and attempting to run desks before they are ready ● managers with little experience trying to train new consultants and having to either accept a dip in their own billings or adopt a selﬁsh stance of leaving their consultants to “sink or swim”. IT’S HARDLY A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IS IT? Let’s just accept that this whole cycle is no longer ﬁt for purpose. The role of a recruitment consultant is a lot less linear today than it was back in the 1990s. So how about we modernise our thinking? If you expect your consultants to work with the best clients and candidates, and manage high-value
relationships, then you have to give them the time and tools to develop expert knowledge, build strong networks and immerse themselves in their industry. As a result they will be able to hold their own in business conversations. So why have trainees ‘hitting the phones’ on day two? Instead, we should move towards structured training, blended with real-life practice while under the watchful eye of a senior. This also gives your seniors a platform to develop their coaching skills before moving straight into a management role. The companies that are adopting this model are retaining more staff, and while productivity is perhaps lower in the ﬁrst six months, it is far higher in months six to 12, as consultants develop their desks with conﬁdence and skill. Because your new managers have a staged approach into management they are more effective managers who know how to motivate staff and manage mindsets – far more valuable than the carrot and stick KPI management. Oh and guess what? Your consultants and managers might enjoy their role and stick around a while longer. Food for thought, isn’t it? Other people are doing it already and succeeding. What are you waiting for? ●
E CAREERS CO M M UNITY
‘I like the balance I get between the candidate and client work’
LOUISE HELYER, LYER, nt recruitment t, TXM consultant, y Technology
MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job? I wanted to be a police officer and go to New York and be an NYPD cop. Actress Sarah Parish (left) presents the Southampton Echo Curtain Call Best Musical Director (South Coast region) award to Louise Helyer (right)
What was your first job in n recruitment and how did d you come into it? My ﬁrst job in recruitment was part of IBM’s internal recruitment team, which I felll into. I was working in ﬁnance and my department got offshored red overseas. I manage to secure a role within internal recruitment and nd worked from there.
Who is your role model – in life or in business? I’m going to go with Cameron Mackintosh in life and in business. The reason I admire him is I’m heavily interested in musical theatre – I play piano, guitar and drums – and he is creative yet prepared to take risks. He was the only guy who would invest in Cats, the musical. All of the other producers said it was the stupidest idea to have people dressed as cats. He’s the one laughing because he’s made millions from it.
What do you love most about your current role? I like the balance I get between the candidate and client work, and developing my relationship with my existing clients.
Louise Helyer ﬁnally secure as an approved supplier. That was a turning point for me.
What’s your top job to fill at the moment? At moment I’ve got lots of IT roles around Central Scotland so trying to
The best interview question I’ve had is a simple one – how would your best friend describe you?
What is your signature dish? I’ll go for lasagne.
Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?
There was an occasion we managed to get on the PSL [preferred supplier list] for a large ﬁnance company, which took a year and a half’s hard work to
I don’t know if it’s really appropriate but I have had a situation where I had a candidate due to start and he died before he was placed, so that’s
IMAG ES | SHUT T ERSTOCK
What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard?
ﬁnd people in the Scotland area in the IT space looking for permanent work.
What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career?
deﬁnitely my most memorable one.
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Recruiter Jobs is the online recruitment site for Recruiter magazine, the principal prin magazine for recruiting and resourcing professionals. You can search through a wide range of roles; from recruitment consultants to in-house recruitment, based in both the UK and International markets. 38 RECRUITER
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View the latest jobs at jobs.recruiter.co.uk To place your advertisement E: firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 020 7880 7621
Talent Manager Location: Croydon, London Salary: Up to £27,000 basic plus performance related bonus of up to £3,000 Global Solution Services (GSS UK Ltd) have a requirement for a Talent Manager to join our successful team. This is a fantastic opportunity to join our growing team of consultants who deliver Careers Information, Advice and Guidance, training and employability support to a diverse range of customers. As a Talent Manager within our organisation you will need to be able to think on your feet, be proactive and be able to manage a complex and demanding work role. You will be responsible for identifying, sourcing and meeting candidates that will be suitable for GSS projects that support customers into employment. You should be comfortable liaising with employers and be pro-active and driven to build great client and customer relationships. In return GSS will offer a competitive salary that reﬂects your skills and experience, an excellent working environment, training and development opportunities and ﬂexible working conditions.
Experienced Recruitment Consultants Highly Competitive City Wharf Financial Recruitment Ltd is a specialist boutique agency that is looking for experienced recruitment consultants with at least 3-7 years plus experience. You will have previous experience as a recruitment consultant in Änancial services focusing in either Investment Banking, Hedge Funds, Broker Dealers, Asset Management, Financial Houses. We are also looking to expand and set up a number of NEW Desks within IT, Compliance, Risk & Control, etc. that will complement our existing setup. Therefore, we are actively recruiting consultants and teams with a proven track record in generating good revenue Ägures, professional in person, driven to win business and the ability to close deals. Suitable candidates will be entrepreneurial, well organised, able to generate and develop new and existing clients and ideally bring a portable client base. Full job description can be found on our website www.cw-fr.co.uk Please only apply if you have suitable recruitment experience and note we will only respond to applicants we would consider suitable.
Tabby Kaan City Wharf Financial Recruitment Ltd Email CV to: email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)203 174 0966 Website: www.cw-fr.co.uk
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Head of Technical Recruitment Norwich £30-40k plus commission plus benefits
Senior Recruitment Consultant –Technology Bromley, UK £25-50k + commission + benefits
Recruitment Team Leader – Technical Leicester £36,000 base plus car allowance plus bonus plus benefits
Recruitment Consultants/ Managers London, Nationwide and Scotland High basic and generous bonuses
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E CAREERS CO M M UNITY
A MR OP : Grant Robinson and Maureen Stitz have joined the global retained executive search partnership’s Canadian operation, Amrop Knightsbridge, as partners.
transformation and mergers & acquisition staffing specialist has promoted Oliver Phoenix to managing director.
A P S C O G ER M AN Y: The Association of Professional Staffing Companies Germany has appointed Luuk Houtepen to the role of chairperson of its Representative Committee (RepCom). F RAZE R J ON E S: Dona Battat has joined the global HR search and recruitment consultancy as director, global HR executive search. GRE E N PARK: The executive CAST U K : The executive and management recruiter has bolstered its team with the addition of Annabel Plowman as a managing consultant. D E P O E L : The vendor recruitment outsourcing specialist has appointed James Parker as director of business development and Tim Flanagan as director of strategy and commercial. THE BA RTON PARTN E RS HI P: The corporate strategy, 40 RECRUITER
search consultancy ﬁrm has appointed Maria Stanford as head of board practice.
Professional services staffing specialist Robert Walters has appointed Tanith Dodge as non-executive director. Dodge is currently group HR director at Value Retail, which specialises in the creation and operation of luxury outlet shopping destinations. She has previously worked for Marks & Spencer Group, W H Smith, Six Continents Hotels and Diageo. Leslie Van de Walle, chairman of Robert Walters, said: ”We are delighted that Tanith is joining the Robert Walters board. “She brings with her an exceptional level of experience, knowledge and skill and her expertise working within international companies will be an invaluable asset.”
engagement and proposals manager.
oil & gas staffing specialist welcomes Rory Ferguson as its new CEO.
PORT FOLIO: The specialist
recruiter in payroll, credit control, HR and procurement has promoted Charlotte Turner to director.
POT ENSIS REC RU IT ME N T:
PARETO LAW: The global N ATI ON AL LOC UM S: The
medical recruiter has brought in Andrew NevilleDavies as training manager and Natasha Nicklin as client
graduate sales recruitment and training specialist has promoted Mark Lendon to the role of managing director.
PET ROPLAN GROUP: The
Steven Kirkpatrick, former CEO of UK recruitment group Cordant Recruitment and managing director of recruitment giant Adecco’s UK general staffing business, has been appointed CEO of the house
Email people moves for use online and in print, including a short
building and construction staffing specialist.
R ES O UR C E SOLUTI ON S :
partner in the Oslo office, will lead the consumer products and services industry practice group.
The recruitment process outsourcing and managed service provider has brought in Rosie Johnson as client services director.
R O C S EA RCH: The global
technology and engineering recruiter has appointed Alistair Cole as its US vice president in its Texas office.
R U S S EL L TAY LOR G R OUP : The technical and
engineering recruitment specialist has appointed Martin Willemsen to head up its new manufacturing division.
S R G : The science, clinical
and engineering recruitment company has appointed Marianna Suckova as director of its clinical division.
THE S UC C E SSI ON P L A N N IN G COMPAN Y: The
talent management ﬁrm has brought in Rebecca Forwood as partner.
TEA M: The network of
RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 7553 Jude Rosset
TINDALL PERRY: The
Manchester-based ﬁnance recruitment consultancy ﬁrm has appointed Michael Avis as a director.
TML PARTNERS: The
international executive recruitment ﬁrm has promoted Helen Ratcliffe to associate director.
ZRG PARTNERS: The global executive search recruiter has appointed Allen Brady as MD in its Seattle office in the US. YOUR NEXT MOVE A selection of vacancies from recruiter.co.uk Peridot Partners Recruitment consultants £High basic + generous bonuses London, Scotland, Nationwide
STANTON CHASE: The
GSS UK Talent manager up to £27k basic + bonus Croydon, Greater London Recruiter Republic Associate director, executive support & HR recruitment division £40k-£60k + comms + bens London
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CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive a regular copy of Recruiter, the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals, telephone +44 (0)20 8950 9117 or email email@example.com • Recruiter is also available to people who do not meet our terms of control: Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the World • To purchase reprints or multiple copies of the magazine, contact Abacus e-Media T: +44 (0)20 8950 9117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTIONS Contributions are invited, but when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Articles should be emailed. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during delivery, transmission or in the editor’s hands. © 2017 Redactive Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Redactive Media Group. Redactive Media Group accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. ISSN 1475-7478
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EDITORIAL +44 (0)20 7880 7606 Editor DeeDee Doke Reporters Colin Cottell, Graham Simons
independent recruiters has appointed Richard Tillbrook as its new regional director for the Kent region.
executive search ﬁrm has announced three new global practice leaders. Cathy Logue, managing director of the Toronto office, will lead the CFO and ﬁnancial executives practice group. Managing partner in the Dubai office, Panos Manolopoulos, will lead the directors and CEO practice group. Tom Christensen, managing
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E THE LAST WORD CO M M UNITY
Matt Churchward Recruitment is broken? Au contraire, this is exactly why it thrives…
I have written about this emotive subject before but after having a stream of consciousness Trump would be proud of from the pro and anti-recruitment brigades that dominate my LinkedIn feed over the past 12 months, I felt compelled to respond. I am a recruitment agency owner who has been a recruiter and also used recruiters, so I don’t have an agenda. I would like to point out the stakeholders involved in a recruitment process and how this creates a problem rivalling the Seven Bridges of Königsberg maths puzzle. Stakeholders & their general objectives The Client – HR director (controlling supply chain, reviewing agency performance), procurement director (reducing recruitment spend, monitoring spend), ﬁnance director (reducing spend, streamlining invoicing process), line managers (hiring best candidate/talent) The Agency – recruiter (motivations = commission, repeat business, hitting targets), team manager (hitting team targets), shareholders (producing a balanced book of repeat business) The Candidate – individual
ﬁnancial requirements/ necessities, ambition, progression, work-life balance, job satisfaction. When you step back and look at this from a bird’s eye view there are contradictory motivations within each of the three parties involved. This is before we even get into aligning the goals of all three. Now add another layer. Let’s go for managed service provider (insert whatever acronym you wish to use for exclusivity – MSP, RPO...). MSP – delivering signiﬁcant cost saving, controlling agency spend, streamlining processes/invoicing, keeping specialist tiered agencies motivated to deliver. Still not enough stakeholders? Throw in any number of the recruitment tech solutions that hit the market every day. Technology – automate as much of the recruitment process as possible, reduce recruitment spend, improve or at worst maintain the quality of service and talent
IMAG E | A K IN FA LO P E
Matt Churchward is director at The Green Recruitment Company
to clients/opportunities to candidates. This does not even bring into account the myriad other suppliers to the recruitment space looking for their piece of the pie. So what does this all amount to? A beautiful and heady mix of dysfunction, that is what. There is no one group that can be blamed for an imperfect recruitment service. It is down to the nature of the differing agendas of the parties involved and the one constant unpredictable element in any recruitment process: human beings. Until someone comes up with a solution that can align all the above, then we all live to ﬁght another day. Recruitment is a Hydra; just as you cut off one head,
It is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube wearing a pair of mittens
another pops up promising the world. It is this chaos that allows the industry to thrive and regenerate. This is not a slight on our industry. It is the innovation and drive of the best people within it that ensure we keep pushing to improve service for our customers. However, it is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube wearing mittens. My message? Take a deep breath, think of the actual conundrum and present a solution that keeps everyone happy. If you don’t have one, please, please put down the Rubik’s cube, take off your mittens and moan about something else. Anyway I must shoot, I need to individually reply to 1,800 unsuitable candidates that sent me ‘see proﬁle’ comments, while simultaneously psychometric testing the suitable ones. That 10% fee won’t ﬁll itself. PS. If anyone does have the Holy Grail of solutions, please InMail me and I will promise to cut you in on my retirement money. ●
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