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INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 





Your regular issue of Recruiter continues inside

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YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER… Opportunities are available in our Pertemps offices throughout the UK. Whether you’re thinking of working in the industry for the first time, an experienced recruiter, manager or leader; we are looking to recruit professionals nationwide across our commercial, industrial, driving, logistics or specialist Network Group businesses. We are a business that invests in its people, so you never know what opportunity is around the corner when working for Pertemps.

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06/02/2018 17:02

Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

March 2018

INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 

PAGEGROUP Sheri Hughes and Sarah Kirk: keeping diversity at the top of the agenda

RECRUITING TRENDS Diversity and ‘new age’ interviews

TECHNOLOGY How to use AI and data to drive your business HEATHER DELAND Flexibility is the key to attract top talent

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06/02/2018 11:50

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06/02/2018 16:33



INCORPORATING Recruitment  Matters 




05 Recruitment must become ‘more blind’ Recruiters need to rethink their attitude to age 06 Pledges: more than words PageGroup’s pledges are meaningful and hard earned 06 Carillion fallout continues Shockwaves are being felt in the recruitment industry



18 THE BIG STORY Diverse strands

Sheri Hughes and Sarah Kirk on keeping diversity & inclusion at the top of the agenda at PageGroup

28 Driving missed data


How to make the best use of data technology to really drive your recruitment business forward

07 Tools of success Jardine Motors provided apprentices with the tools for their career success

07 Start-up of the Month: Talentful Chris Abbass from Talentful 08 This was the month that was... 10 Contracts & Deals



12 Insight Diversity and ‘new-age’ interviews


Tech & Tools Time to don the headset? A recruitment role for virtual reality

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E COMMUNITY 33 Social Network 34 The Workplace: Guy Hayward 35 Community Careers: Tara Lescott 36 Business Advice: Alex Arnot 38 My brilliant recruitment career: Nathan Buck 39 Recruitment Advertising 40 Movers & Shakers 41 Recruiter contacts 42 The Last Word: Heather DeLand, TMP Worldwide



INTERACTION Viewpoint Liam Humphreys, Berkeley Scott Soundbites


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08/02/2018 09:43

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06/02/2018 16:36



Recruitment must become ‘blind’




he most important aspect of the Good Work Plan, the government’s response to the Matthew Taylor review of modern working practices, is not going to be the ‘whats’ involved. It’s going to be the ‘hows’.

The government agreed with a number of

recommendations from the Taylor review that speak to workforce rights. But it has also launched consultations on the enforcement of employment rights recommendations, on agency workers recommendations, on measures to increase

“The most important aspect of the Good Work Plan is not going to be the ‘whats’ involved, it’s going to be the ‘hows’ ”

transparency in the UK labour market and on employment status. That’s where those difficult ‘hows’ come into play. And that’s where recruiters and employers, including the small-to-medium businesses in the recruitment industry sector, must get

involved to ensure that the ‘hows’ include practical and pragmatic implementation. It is one thing for the likes of Deliveroo and Uber, which generate millions of pounds of revenue, to cover the resulting costs for these added worker benefits. It is quite another for a micro business to do so or to even pay for their one-person band’s sick pay or holiday. Where will that money come from? There is no question that most of the recommendations should be followed through. But the devil will be in the detail. This is the time for recruiters and hirers alike, in the SME universe, to ensure they don’t lose out under new rules of the employment game.


Tim Campbell (centre): looking for talent should be a ‘blind’ process

THE VERY REAL PROSPECT of growing skills shortages induced by Brexit is an opportunity for recruiters to rethink their attitude to age, according to Tim Campbell, head of client services, emerging markets at Alexander Mann Solutions. Speaking to Recruiter at a Midtown Big Ideas Exchange event on ‘The Future of Talent’ in London recently, the UK’s first BBC TV’s The Apprentice winner said that outdated attitudes had to be discarded and new approaches adopted. He poured scorn on what he described as “the defunct argument” that older workers are limiting opportunities for younger people “and if [older workers] all just left, more of our younger people would get a job”. He said AMS’s experience was “that older and younger workers don’t compete for the same jobs”. “At the end of the day,” Campbell said, “looking for talent should be a blind process, which lets the best person be successful regardless of age or any other protected characteristic.” He said that automation and technology were playing an increasing role in helping recruitment become “more blind”. Campbell suggested reverse mentoring could also help close the UK skills gap, with younger people “who are more comfortable with social technology informing and educating older workers to be more efficient”. And in turn older workers could give their younger colleagues the benefit of their greater experience by advising them in areas such as managing time, interviews and career progression. Campbell said this “was a great way of getting the two groups working together”. Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told Recruiter that to fully harness the talent of older workers required “the reinvigoration of the concept of life-long learning”. Although he said he was hopeful that the likely shortage of workers post-Brexit would force employers to look to older people, he said he wasn’t “wildly optimistic” this would happen. He called on employers to adopt “enlightened measures” such as giving their workers vouchers for adult education courses.

DeeDee Doke, Editor


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Pledges are more than words BY COLIN COTTELL

THE UK DIRECTOR of diversity & inclusion at PageGroup has defended the value of public pledges and commitments made by employers. Sheri Hughes told Recruiter that pledges such as Time to Change, which supports ending mental health discrimination, were meaningful and hard-earned. “You can’t just say ‘oh, can we sign a pledge please?’ and they send you a board,” she explained. “You have to complete a comprehensive mental health action plan. This includes what you are doing, your objectives and how you measure them, and what your longer-term plan is. You can’t go into it half-heartedly and them just put your name to something.” Among PageGroup’s other public commitments to diversity & inclusion are becoming a Stonewall Global Diversity Champion in 2015, the first recruitment business

to receive this accolade, and being Disability Confident accredited – Level 2. The Disability Confident mark was “all evidence-based”, Hughes added. Earlier this month, PageGroup was recognised as a Top 100 Employer 2018, according to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index. Hughes said that while diversity “can be a box-ticking exercise because you can recruit based on whether you have the right representation for a particular characteristic”, being a truly inclusive organisation has nothing to do with box ticking. “It’s about what your values are – how you treat people, and that can’t be a box ticking-exercise because you can’t measure it by ticking a box,” she said. • For more on PageGroup’s diversity & inclusion journey, see p18.

Carillion collapse fallout continues BY GRAHAM SIMONS

CARILLION’S MUCH PUBLICISED COLLAPSE has sent shockwaves not only throughout the construction sector, but in the recruitment industry as well. In the wake of the announcement that the facilities management and construction giant was to go into liquidation, one of its supplier recruitment agencies Gattaca witnessed a 9.3% fall in its share price. Also releasing a statement in the week of Carillion’s collapse [January 2018] revealing a fall in its own share price was engineering and tech recruiter RTC Group. Both recruiters, however, emphasised the effects of Carillion’s collapse would be minimal on their businesses. But according to Anderselite director Simon Trippick, Carillion’s collapse has wider ramifications for the firms in its supply chain, which has had knock-on effects for the recruiters that serve these firms. Trippick told Recruiter the agency has already had one client calling them to say they were going to be late paying them because they were awaiting money owed by Carillion. But with around 20,000 Carillion employees faced with joining the ranks of the unemployed, Trippick called on everyone in the recruitment sector to help these workers back into employment, adding the sector continues to face a real 6 RECRUITER

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skills shortage and he could find any of their quantity surveyors work tomorrow. Boffin Recruitment’s founder Victoria David told Recruiter it had reached out to former Carillion workers through social media posts wherever possible. “This could just be a case of talking to someone about how to sharpen their CV or focus on their skill set, through to tips on how to use the internet to find opportunities or how to prepare for interviews.” But it’s not just construction workers that will find themselves out of work, as Carillion owned its own recruitment agency SkyBlue, which Recruiter revealed was being put up for sale following Carillion’s collapse. SkyBlue did not respond to Recruiter’s request for comment. Recruitment & Employment Confederation Kevin Green told Recruiter in a statement: “Carillion’s recruitment business SkyBlue is an REC member. Up until now SkyBlue has had a good reputation as a recruiter and we hope that means it’s likely to find a buyer. If SkyBlue won’t be acquired, we would hope very much that their recruiters would easily find employment at other consultancies. And we know that lots of recruitment agencies are trying to hire – there are staff shortages in our own industry too.”

Find more daily news stories at 07/02/2018 17:05




Tools of success BY GRAHAM SIMONS


“Most people are running towards what they want to be and running away from who they are.”


“I think the best way to find out about something is to try to do it to the max. A lot of people take up a hobby or sport and then find an excuse not to carry on with it. Once I start something, I won’t stop until I’m as good at it as I’ll ever be.”


“Our beliefs are the most powerful thing that we have. If we believe that we have to fail in order to succeed, then that is the future we will create for ourselves.”

PROVIDING THE TOOLS for incoming apprentice talent to succeed at Jardine Motors Group has paid off, according to their group HR director Clare Martin. The multi-national operator Porsche is one of of franchised motorcar the high-end brands apprentices will dealerships, whose premium work on car brands include Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren and Maserati, introduced an apprenticeship scheme for technicians in 2016. Acting on feedback from that year’s cohort, the group responded by kitting out all its 2017 apprentices with a toolkit worth £10k from the start. Before, Martin told Recruiter, apprentices had to pay around £3k each for their tools. The company carrying this cost now was a sign of its commitment to the long-term career investment of these apprentices, she added. “There’s a general shortage of apprentice technicians. That’s why we did it, especially in our high luxury division.” That shortage of technicians is intensified by an “archaic” perception of the motor industry that recruits get their hands dirty, Martin adds. “It’s the old mechanic role but a normal mechanic role is very different from what it was even five years ago because technology on cars is so much more advanced.” And the changes to the scheme have appeared to pay off, with Martin revealing the firm has had no problems attracting recruits in the past year. “We didn’t have any problem recruiting this time because the incentive was paying for tools. There was around a 10% increase on the applications we had in 2016 before we did this. We recruited four in September and will recruit another five or six this year.”


STA RT-UP OF THE MONTH TALENTFUL When founders and co-CEOs Chris Abbass (right) and Philip Blaydes launched tech sector recruitment agency Talentful, their aim was to solve the recruitment issues both were experiencing in their respective in-house recruitment roles. According to Abbass, who previously worked in-house at Shazam and Amazon, he and Blaydes, who worked in-house at several digital agencies, saw a gap in the market for an agency that could offer tech companies a

flexible recruitment solution whereby their consultants work onsite and clients are charged a flat fee to recruit for roles across the organisation rather than commission. “They get a partner, which can really represent the brand, which can contact the teams and really understand the business and the culture, making the process of attracting candidates, finding them and getting them onboard a lot more efficient,” Abbass told Recruiter.

“We find that is our big USP [unique selling proposition], and the fact that all of our people come from recruitment backgrounds – in some of the fastest growing tech companies in the world.

They’ve got the agency experience but they’ve got the in-house experience as well.” Looking ahead, Abbass said the firm has one eye on expanding beyond its London and Manchester operations. “We’re focused on growing our presence in Manchester and London, and then we’re looking further afield to places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco – the West Coast of the US. WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 7

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THIS WAS THE MONTH THAT WAS… Here is a round-up of some of the most popular news stories we have brought you on since the February issue of Recruiter was published J A N U A R Y •‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒→

MON, 22 JANUARY 2018


International talent consultancy and recruitment firm Opus Talent Solutions Group has promoted Amy Golding to CEO. Golding (above) joined Opus as managing director in March 2017. She takes over the reins from CEO and Opus founder Darren Ryemill, who will continue to be actively involved with the firm, while developing a number of new entrepreneurial opportunities and ventures. Before joining Opus, Golding worked for professional services firm Deloitte and then as personal business adviser to ex-Dragons’ Den investor and recruitment entrepreneur James Caan. In December 2013, she launched Recruitment Entrepreneur, a venture capital fund that invests in top emerging recruitment firms, which she remained involved in until July 2016. Ryemill commented: “I’ve built Opus over the last nine years, and there was only ever one person that I wanted to run the group for me and that was Amy. She’s an incredible operator and I know she will take the business into even more successful and exciting areas.” Golding takes on the role as the group undergoes a rebrand and changes its name from Opus Recruitment Solutions.

A finance manager, who pretended she had cancer and stole £17k from her employer – Derby-based Farsight Recruitment – has been sentenced to 20 months in jail. The Derby Telegraph reports Derby Crown Court heard how Teresa Clay stole her first £1k within three days of starting her new role at construction recruitment specialist Farsight Recruitment and also claimed she needed time off work because she had terminal cancer. During this time she was periodically transferring funds from the agency’s account to hers. The court heard Clay, who had previously been handed jail terms for stealing thousands of pounds from previous employers, started stealing from Farsight in March 2017, making nine transactions totalling £17,345, with her fraud only discovered when she took time off work complaining of various misfortunes – including cancer. Jailing her for 20 months, Judge Peter Cooke said: “In 2012 you received a suspended sentence from your then employer and you breached that and spent a short period of time in prison but that did not deter you. “You had been taken on as a finance manager with the responsibility of looking after their money faithfully and honestly, and you have done the exact opposite.” • Recruiter contacted Farsight Recruitment for comment, which was reported in an update story.

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HOGARTH SAYS STAFFLINE IN GOOD SHAPE AS PULLEN TAKES THE HELM Andy Hogarth (above) has stepped down as CEO at Staffline after a decade and a half with the recruitment and employability organisation. Hogarth’s departure was announced in a results statement that revealed the group had just missed out on its target of “bursting a billion” in revenue over the five years between 2012 and 2017. Hogarth’s successor is group chief financial officer Chris Pullen, but Hogarth will stay on as a nonexecutive director. Group managing director Diane Martyn also steps down from the group’s board, but will continue to work on a part-time basis to help support the strategic goals of the business, according to the statement. In addition, Mike Watts, former finance director of Staffline division PeoplePlus, succeeds Pullen as CFO. The outgoing CEO told Recruiter he is giving careful consideration to what his next steps should be. “What I am going to do next? I don’t know. It’s been so busy over the last few months making today happen. But I’ve got a one-year-old and a five-year-old, so I need to keep them in Lego. I am going to continue to work in a non-exec role or roles but we’ll see what happens. “It’s the end of the five-year plan. It’s been absolutely brilliant and now’s the time to let Chris [Pullen] take it onto the next stage.”  More:


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WILL JOB AD BE A BIG HIT FOR BOXING RIVALS? A British fighter has taken boxing rivalry to new levels by placing a job ad on behalf of an upcoming opponent in his local paper. Cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain paid for a slot in the Hackney Gazette requesting an alternative job for fellow Londoner Lawrence Okolie (right) following their grudge fight at The O2 arena. [Ed: In an update, ironically it might be Chamberlain looking for a new career as Okolie beat him in a unanimous points win… oops!]  More:



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A former recruitment agency worker has been making waves on the BBC’s latest singing competition All Together Now. The BBC’s new singing competition shows contestants facing a judging panel of 100 industry professionals, headed by former Spice Girl Geri Horner, in a bid to make it to the grand final on Saturday 3 March in a battle to win £50k. One of the acts to make it through to that final was The Sundaes, which consists of Amy Goater (Strawberry Sundae), Keris Lea (Chocolate Sundae) and Andrea Martin (Vanilla Sundae). And guess what? Our media sleuth at Recruiter can reveal that Vanilla Sundae (Martin) has a recruitment agency background, having worked for London-based recruitment agency Coby Phillips as an admin assistant between 2014 and 2016. Yes, we hunt down all the recruitment trivia facts so you don’t have to! Good luck in the final Andrea, sing out and we’ll be sure to cheer you on – altogether!

As evidence emerges EU talent is spurning the UK for other European countries, recruiters have backed calls from the CBI for government to give much greater clarity on post-Brexit immigration plans. The Financial Times reported the UK government looks set to delay publication of a key policy paper on immigration until the autumn. Responding to these reports, business organisation the CBI issued a statement claiming businesses would be “hugely frustrated” should government fail to reveal its plans on staff mobility until the “last minute”. CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie said: “From tech start-ups to care homes, not knowing what staff you will be able to access will deter investment.” And it appears recruiters agree with the CBI’s stance. Tony Goodwin, chairman and CEO at Antal International, told Recruiter: “We’ve also been a tolerant and a flexible environment for people to work, whether we’re in the EU or not. It shouldn’tt change.” Meanwhile, David Taylor, managing director at First Point Group, told Recruiter the more government delays in offering assurances to EU workers, the harder it is to recruit talent: “We’re already seeing it – we’re getting more of our telco candidates going to countries like Germany and France, because they feel it’s uncertain to take jobs up in the UK.”

A candidate who featured on Channel 5’s The Special Needs Employment Agency is thriving at work around two years after being placed with a Bristolbased recruitment agency. One of the young people shown on the programme was Alex, who struggles with developmental amnesia. The special needs employment agency in question is social enterprise Pluss, which placed Alex with the Bristol-based recruiter Blue Badge Co in April 2016, through Pluss’ traineeship programme, which trains people with learning and physical disabilities. According to Blue Badge Co, 40% of its staff are registered disabled or primary caregivers, while the agency has committed to maintain this percentage as it grows its business. Ellen Green, a director at Blue Badge Co, revealed: “Alex has been with Blue Badge Co for nearly two years now and he is an excellent employee. He has fitted right in with our business culture and continues to contribute positively to the team,” she said. “I believe that a company is only as strong as the team behind it. The one thing that has driven me the most is the idea that business has a responsibility to be good for society. I’ve discovered that a rewarding, sustainable job can change someone’s life. I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s the part of my company that I am most proud of.”  More:

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07/02/2018 17:06




Positive Footprints North-West housing business Regenda has acquired Burnleybased career-based learning programmes provider Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints will retain its own branding and continue to offer its flagship programme, the Job Junction, while developing further programmes.

Havas People Talent advertising and communications network Havas People has bought employer marketing agency Graduate Promotions. Graduate Promotions managing director Hugh Young will continue to support the business and its clients in an advisory capacity, while the business will be led by Danni Brace, who will oversee all of Havas People’s early talent recruitment services.

Jarell Group Birmingham-headquartered workforce solutions organisation Jarell Group has acquired industrial and tech recruiter Nova Recruitment Services. Nova says the acquisition, completed with support from a multimillion pound funding deal from HSBC, will add more than 150 new clients to Jarell’s portfolio.

Workday Drinks company Pernod Ricard has selected Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) to manage its human resources. Workday’s cloud HR system aims to transform key processes at Pernod Ricard, including recruiting, talent management and performance evaluation.

Morson Group Morson Group has increased its presence in North America with the acquisition of Canada’s Strategic Infusion, including its four operating companies: Commissioning & Technical Services in Canada, Commissioning & Technical Services and Comtask Global in the US and MComm Solution in Puerto Rico.

Thomas International European investor Palamon Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in international provider of psychometric assessment solutions Thomas International. Founded by the Reed family and headquartered in the UK, Thomas International CEO Amir Qureshi will continue to lead the business, while Martin Reed remains as a non-executive director for the Reed family. Ricardo Caupers and Ali Rahmatollahi will join the company’s board as representatives of Palamon. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


RTM Talent management consultancy RTM, a subsidiary of global operator Rethink Group, has been appointed as strategic sourcing and recruitment partner to broadcasting giant Sky.


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The three-year deal sees RTM help Sky recruit 3,000 candidates a year in roles across tech, corporate, commercial and marketing. RTM revealed it had

won the contract due to its “unique” response to the brief it had been given, which saw its team embed themselves within Sky’s existing recruitment operations, auditing their

processes with the aim of improving and future proofing them. The talent acquisition process is handled by a new RTM team, who work in-house at Sky.

More contract news at 07/02/2018 17:07


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06/02/2018 16:39



DIVERSITY AND ‘NEWAGE’ INTERVIEWS HELP IN QUEST FOR TALENT A focus on less obvious aspects of diversity and making interviews less formal are helping companies to find the staff they need BY JON ADDISON


ach year, LinkedIn surveys more than 8,800 recruiters and hiring managers from 39 countries to create a snapshot of trends affecting recruitment today and preparing hirers for the year ahead. For 2018, four key themes have dominated our ‘Global Recruiting Trends’ report: diversity, introducing a ‘new-age’ interview process, artificial intelligence and data. But it’s the first two that I want to focus in on. Our research found that diversity is this year’s top trend, with an overwhelming majority (82%) of UK hiring managers seeing it as crucial to their hiring process.

Diverse cultures Diversity has previously been seen as a box to be ticked, but the report revealed that businesses now see a diverse workforce directly corresponding with better company culture and financial performance. And this no longer means just gender diversity – often seen as the low-hanging fruit as it’s the easiest to track. Companies are now also focusing on racial and ethnic, generational and educational diversity. Despite continued attention to the subject, the problem is that 38% of global recruiters are struggling to


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locate diverse candidates. Diversity isn’t going anywhere – it’s a challenge that recruiters must tackle head-on – but the question is how to find the relevant professionals. We found that cutting the ‘requirements’ sections of job descriptions attracts more diverse candidates: women only apply when they meet 100% of the spec, while men apply with just 60%.

Eliminating bias There’s also the issue of unconscious bias. As recruitment professionals, you can tackle this by removing photos and names from applications – plus using artificial intelligence (AI) can help to eliminate bias by sifting through CVs for you. Finally, there are loads of diverse groups out there: the report revealed that creating content for specific groups – such as female students at African-American schools – and serving it as targeted updates can be hugely beneficial in reaching the right candidates.

‘New-age’ interviews The other key theme is reinventing the interview. We all know the traditional interview process – it’s been the same for decades. But this is due to change: half (49%) of UK recruiters think that changes to interview methods are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to the future of hiring.

“Today’s hiring trends are causing significant shifts in the way our industry operates” Traditional methods are falling short, and recruiters have told us that they’re least effective when it comes to assessing a candidate’s soft skills, understanding their weaknesses, and eliminating interviewer bias. Attractive and charismatic interviewees aren’t necessarily the most capable, but we often assume IM AGE | ISTOCK

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Today’s hiring trends are causing significant shifts in the way that our industry operates. By taking on new data solutions and artificial intelligence, opening up to diversity and rethinking interview processes, you’ll be able to find, hire, and retain the right talent. It’ll be the companies and individuals that embrace these key trends who will win the war for talent in our uncertain professional world. ●

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Globally, 78% of companies are prioritising diversity to improve culture, and 62% are doing so to boost financial performance

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However, 38% of global recruiters are struggling to find diverse candidates


Innovations include soft skills assessments (59%), job auditions (54%), meeting in casual settings (53%), virtual reality assessments (28%), and video interviews (18%)


These new tools promise a more realistic snapshot of a candidate’s personality and skills, while offering less bias than traditional formats

they are – and it’s hard to evaluate grit in a candidate or spot a weakness simply by having a chat. To counteract these problems, there are five emerging techniques helping to revolutionise the way we interview candidates. Online assessments are increasingly being used to measure traits such as teamwork, giving a more holistic picture of the candidate earlier in the process. Meanwhile, job auditions and virtual reality assessments can give hiring managers a snapshot into the candidate’s skills in action. Meeting in more casual places, also on the rise, can offer insights into someone’s characteristics. Finally, using video interviews allows recruiters to tap into a broader talent pool in less time.

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LinkedIn’s ‘2018 Global Recruiting Trends’ report surveyed more than 8,800 recruiters and hiring managers from 39 countries

JON ADDISON is head of talent solutions, LinkedIn UK

This year, four key themes are shaping the way UK recruiters hire: diversity (82%), a ‘new-age’ interview process (49%), data (38%) and artificial intelligence (28%)

While gender diversity remains the first priority for global hiring managers, racial and ethnic (49%), generational (48%) and educational (43%) diversity follow closely behind

Traditional interviews are falling short when it comes to assessing candidate soft skills (63%), understanding candidate weaknesses (57%) and removing interviewer bias (42%)


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Time to don the headset? A recruitment role for virtual reality SUE WEEKES

Virtual reality (VR) has always promised much for recruiters who want to provide candidates with a taste of real life within their organisations. Tsz Wu, technical director and co-founder of digital agency Pink Squid, says cost and the number of different platforms available have been barriers to entry but also suggests that the contradiction in terms it suffers from may be at odds with many employers’ aims today. “Employers want to show real experiences, real emotions, authentically, so isn’t first-hand better than virtually?” he asks. However, using VR can prove effective. For example, leading beauty brand L’Oréal has recently shown how the technology can be used to help bring working at the company to life. So is VR’s time about to come in recruitment?

WHAT DO YOU WANT IT TO ACHIEVE? Define the aim behind the use of VR. L’Oréal had two clear objectives: to give a sense of what it is like to work for the company from the perspective of culture and values; and to show that graduates and interns would have real responsibility early in their careers. Working with creative agency Contented Brothers, L’Oréal used VR to convey company values, and built a short situational judgement test to find out how candidates would behave in a meeting. “It gave us an understanding of how

the individual thinks – for example, how they view risk,” says Alex Bennett, emerging talent manager at L’Oréal.

A LEARNING CURVE FOR ALL Although products such as the Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift are helping to take VR to a wider audience, it is still a relatively new technology. There are still practical problems over a lack of technical convergence when it comes to platforms, says Wu. And reports in the press highlight that VR can, in some cases, induce a motion sickness. Pink Squid had first-hand experience of this when

it created an induction video for a global hotel group, using VR to guide people through rooms. “We learned it was really easy to make people get sea sick if we forced them to spin their head too much,” Wu says.

assessment centre as a highlight, and found that as well as creating a buzz and excitement, it distracted from the scariness of the assessment centre.”


While the number of different platforms, cost of filming and practical concerns mean recruiters must take an extremely considered approach to VR, they should also recognise how creative and powerful it might one day become for recruitment. Wu believes it will one day be a technology that can scale up as video gaming has. He also encourages users to look beyond just creating realism to gain maximum impact from the technology. He suggests “showing things yet to be

VR does have the power to generate interest and excitement in the recruitment process. “While it is very much a technology that applies to this age group [graduates and interns], for many it was the first time they put the headset and gloves on and used gaze control,” says Bennett at L’Oréal. “We kept it until the end of the

V I RT U A L A N D A U G M E N T E D R E A L I T Y – W H AT ’S T H E D I F F E R E N C E? VR is a 3D computer-generated environment in which a user can physically interact as if it is the real world, using specialist equipment such as a headset and gloves. AR involves a computergenerated image that is superimposed or overlaid on real-world images/scenes, creating a composite image. I M AG E | I STO C K

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invented rather than just mimicking real life”.

PART OF A WIDER STRATEGY As with using computer games and gamification in the recruitment process, VR is one of the technologies that can help to mark a recruiter out as leading edge. Nina van der Beugel, talent acquisition director at L’Oréal, says the company is always striving to be as digital as possible in terms of the brand. “And that filters all the way through to recruitment and talent acquisition,” she says. Bennett adds: “We are still at an early stage and have more than 100 people to put through the process. Only then can we do the serious datacrunching that will help us next year.”


07/02/2018 17:08




Duties of hospitality We must protect our workers BY LIAM HUMPHREYS

he recent reports of workers allegedly being sexually harassed at the Presidents Club has thrust the hospitality sector under the microscope. Let’s be clear: if reports are accurate this was an appalling incident. It has also offended me as a recruiter because of both the unacceptable position the staff were put in and the reputational damage to an industry that helps people every day to secure valuable work. As an industry, recruitment sends thousands of people each week into venues, hotels, restaurants and clubs across the UK, so we have a moral responsibility to ensure that what allegedly happened is eradicated. However, we also need to be careful not to condemn an entire industry. When I reflect on the behaviour of my clients and their commitment to creating a good working environment for their staff, it seems that most large-scale hospitality events are efficiently run by highly regulated companies who take their responsibilities seriously. Great customer service is the fundamental principle that the hospitality industry is built on, and for most employers this is the sole focus of their hiring intentions. But this industry interacts with the public on a daily basis and as such mirrors the society it serves, opening itself up to outside influences which may not always be positive. The recruitment industry has an obligation to our temporary workers – a responsibility that must go beyond general legislation on health & safety and food hygiene. If we are putting people into work, they have a right to expect that they will be treated decently. The recent incidents have highlighted


“This industry interacts with the public daily”

LIAM HUMPHREYS is managing director, Berkeley Scott (hospitality recruitment)

the risk of abuse that exists. Clearly, there are several steps that we can take: • Ensure the environments we place people in are safe and not open to abuse • Provide training to our temporary workers, which must include advice on how to deal with, and report, uncomfortable situations • Use post-shift debriefs, which offer an informal way to ensure immediate concerns are uncovered • Undertake formal quality-assurance reviews with clients to identify any problems or concerning patterns • Install an anonymous hotline to give workers, and even clients, the opportunity to report issues without fear – this should form part of a published complaints procedure. There is also an opportunity to leverage technology to combat the issue. As a result, we have developed a mobile app, due to launch this year, which integrates feedback and reporting facilities, much as you would find on TripAdvisor. This means we can collect data in real time and react quickly to any situations without them escalating. Getting this problem right should be a priority for the entire recruitment industry. Recruiters also need to be honest. Our business, Berkeley Scott, booked out more than 1.2 million hours of shifts last year. Ultimately there were, in a handful of cases, some issues. When concerns arise they must be taken seriously, and lessons learned. But that should also be put into context; they in no way came close to the disgraceful reports from the Presidents Club. Consequently, we have worked hard on identifying the issues early, putting in processes to back this process up, and above all acting objectively and fairly in reaching a conclusion. It is beholden on us as an industry to ensure scandals of the past are never repeated.




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GOVERNMENT MUST IMPROVE WORKING STANDARDS TO RETAIN NURSES In light of the recent news that 33,000 nurses are leaving the NHS each year, working standards need to be improved to retain staff. It comes as no surprise that the tipping point between nurses entering and leaving the NHS has finally been reached. Throughout the years that I worked for the NHS, there had been a progressive decline in the number of nursing staff working on wards. At the same time, patient demand was rapidly increasing despite budgets being severely stripped back. When I first trained as a nurse, we were treated as part of the ward staff and were paid during our training. Since that time (from the 1970s onwards), successive governments and nursing authorities have remodelled nursing roles and the training they are provided with on numerous occasions. This seems to have always been to the detriment of the nurse and the care they are able to give. We’re seeing thousands of experienced nurses leaving the NHS, and many also leaving the profession, yet the government is introducing even more changes to nursing education. The apprenticeship scheme that is now being introduced merely assists in getting people to work on wards for a low wage – and these nurses are unqualified until the apprenticeship has been completed. This is not alleviating the current shortage of qualified nursing staff on the wards. The pressure on staff has grown year-on-year for a very long time. Stress-related illness, the need for nurses to work long hours to fill in for sick colleagues, and the loss of qualified staff are only adding to employee discontent. When is the government going to take notice that serious change is needed to protect our much-loved health service?” MICHAEL CAMPBELL N U R S E A N A LY S T, F L E T C H E R S SOLICITORS ( C amp b e ll previo usly wo rked fo r mo re t h an 20 y e ar s in the N HS )

Would you ask a candidate about their social media posts? SHIMRON EQUIANO RECRUIT MEN T S P ECIA L I ST, JON OT H A N BOSWO RT H

“The honest answer is… yes, but it depends. It seems like every action and every emotion is posted or tweeted online. The bigger issue is the moral decline by which people think it’s okay to say whatever comes to mind on social media. On the flip side, however, if we start to judge people based purely on the tone and content of everything they put online, we could stifle freedom of speech. If Jonothan Bosworth happened to be representing a candidate we knew had made unsavoury religious, political, gender or race-based comments online, we wouldn’t hire them or present them to any client.”


“I would ask ‘what’s your view of social media and how do you use it?’ If they are advocates, I would then ask specifics around which channels they use for what purposes… It could depend on the candidate’s seniority and the expectation of their likely employer based on factors such as market, technology and culture. If it was a social mediasavvy brand with a personality reflected by its team I’d expect a match in terms of style. If it was a more conservative business, then I would likewise expect synergy. A mismatch of someone who only talks about their personal interests or conversely, someone who has no presence but wants to work within a tech savvy business could be a problem.”


“Whether we like it or not our social media profiles are increasingly seen as an extension of both our CV and personality. HR departments are increasingly screening candidates through their profiles. If a candidate has stated on their CV that they spent six months volunteering on a project in Africa, what better way of demonstrating this than publicly sharing their photos of the trip on Facebook or LinkedIn? But candidates should also ensure that any behaviour or comments they consider private stay private.” WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 17

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07/02/2018 17:08


DIVERSE Keeping diversity & inclusion at the top of PageGroup’s agenda falls to directors Sheri Hughes and Sarah Kirk. Colin Cottell met them at the global recruiter’s London HQ


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ublicly giving advice to other recruiters, especially about the sensitive area of gender diversity, might be considered a high-risk strategy, but Sheri Hughes, PageGroup’s UK diversity & inclusion director, is not holding back. “You just have to get started,” she says. “Gender is the easiest place to start; 50% of the world’s population are women, and you just get going.” It’s a bold assertion to make, but anyone looking to question Hughes’ right to give such advice should tread carefully before casting aspersions. For while many companies both inside and outside the recruitment sector are still scrambling to get up to speed on the diversity & inclusion agenda, Michael Page International, later rebranded as PageGroup, has been working hard.




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Sheri Hughes: “Gender is the easiest place to start”

In 2012, the company launched PageGroup’s Women@Page, an initiative to attract, develop, support and retain women. “We were losing too many women at senior level, or who were becoming mothers for the first time, and we needed to do something about it,” says Sarah Kirk, PageGroup’s global inclusion and diversity director. The figures suggest that Women@ Page has helped to address what was a significant gender imbalance in the higher echelons of management at the FTSE 250 recruiter. Between its launch in 2012 and June 2017, the percentage of female senior operational managers rose from 42% to 48%, while the percentage of female operational directors rose 25% to 39%.


▶ 2018 Stonewall, Top 100 [74th] Employer 2018 ▶ 2017 Recruiter Investing in Talent Awards, Most Effective Flexible Working Strategy ▶ 2016 Ability@Page launches. PageGroup becomes the first recruitment company to sign the ‘Time to Change’ pledge ▶ 2015 Launches Pride@Page, resulting in the company becoming a ‘Stonewall Global Diversity Champion’ ▶ 2015 Parents@Page starts ▶ 2015 Recruiter Investing in Talent Awards, Most Effective Diversity & Inclusion Strategy ▶ 2014 OpenPage initiative begins encompassing disability, sexual orientation, families and carers, age and multiculturalism ▶ 2012 Women@Page launches

In addition, the percentage of women returning from maternity leave has gone from 76% to 90%. (For more on the key aspects of Women@Page, see box-out, p24.) The initiative was a key factor in PageGroup winning the award for Most Effective Inclusion and Diversity Strategy at Recruiter’s 2015 Investing in Talent Awards.

Unfinished business At the same time, with none of the five women on PageGroup’s 10-strong main board in executive positions, there clearly remains unfinished business. Although neither Kirk or Hughes say they have been discriminated against or held back in their careers at PageGroup, Hughes says she has heard of far WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 21

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07/02/2018 17:09


Sarah Kirk: “The biggest challenge was getting initial buy-in”

too many cases outside the company where people have been discriminated against, or where mothers-to-be or LGBT people have not been supported by their employer. “It is our job to ensure it doesn’t happen in PageGroup,” she says. Speaking to the two women in the boardroom at PageGroup’s London Headquarters, Kirk’s and Hughes’ passionate commitment to the cause is plain for all to see. Above and beyond the well-documented business case, the subject of a series of studies showing that companies with a strong representation of women at senior levels are likely to outperform their 22 RECRUITER

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counterparts, they clearly believe they have right on their side. “At the end of the day, it is the right thing to do. Women make up 50% of the world’s population so should have as many opportunities as men,” says Hughes. Last year the pair went on a walk to support the 55,000 women who lose their jobs every year in the UK simply because they tell their employer they are pregnant, a figure that Hughes describes as “astonishing”.

Diverse programmes Women@Page quickly became the blueprint for a host of other initiatives

and programmes covering strands, such as LGBT, age, parents, families and carers, as well as multiculturalism. Since launching Dynamic Working, a flexible working initiative at the beginning of 2017, staff attrition has dropped by 4%. Ability@Page, launched in July 2016, is typical of the approach, with healthcare experience days to promote staff well-being, the appointment of senior sponsors within the business and partnering with the Business Disability Forum. PageGroup became the first recruitment company to sign the Time to Change Pledge to end mental health discrimination. Among the actions taken are the recruiting of 30 volunteer mental health champions. While the environment at PageGroup now appears conducive to the diversity and inclusion agenda, Kirk says it wasn’t always the case. “The biggest challenge was getting initial buy-in,” she says. She emphasises that while there is a strong moral and ethical argument for greater diversity and equality, this isn’t enough on its own. “For me, it was making that clear link with the commercial benefits,” she says. “Yes, there are moral and ethical drivers, but ultimately especially within a sales organisation there has to be a commercial focus as well.” Kirk says one of the strongest arguments for Women@Page is because losing women, especially women at director level, costs the company money, with the cost of rehiring estimated at 2.5 times the remuneration package. Retaining these women simply makes commercial sense: “We are losing someone who we have trained and developed, and who is working at a really high level. We also lose all the relationships they have built up with clients and candidates, so it makes sense to hold on to our people.” Hughes says that retaining women is particularly important because of PageGroup’s business model of growing and developing its own talent rather than bringing “a whole lot of senior women from outside to fill gaps”.

MARCH 2018

07/02/2018 17:10




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06/02/2018 16:46


Kirk says it is essential that their work is not seen as separate from the rest of the company, emphasising that it needs to be aligned to its different functions, be they marketing or talent management. “It comes back to attracting, retaining, developing and supporting talent,” she says.

Mirroring the way Kirk and Hughes themselves are the living embodiment of the company’s approach. “It doesn’t matter whether someone is a woman, a parent, LGBT or has a disability, their career options don’t change; it’s about their ability to do the job,” explains Hughes. After working for many years on the operational side of the business, having both had children they returned to work, throwing themselves into their new roles to drive greater diversity and inclusion. “We wanted a job where we had increased flexibility,” says Hughes. Surprisingly, given the volume of initiatives and programmes launched on their watch, both continue to work only three days a week. Kirk says building the business case for greater diversity & inclusion is about showing the effects of specific initiatives and programmes. Virtually everything that moves gets measured. By way of example, Kirk says there has been a 10% increase in productivity for women taking part in the company’s female mentoring scheme. Other figures regularly monitored are attrition rates, maternity return rates, engagement and absenteeism rates broken down by gender. The company’s global employee engagement survey conducted every two years has proved invaluable in gauging staff sentiment. Everything is reported back to the business ensuring there is real ownership of and accountability for delivery. Kirk points out that part of CEO Steve Ingham’s remuneration – as well as her own – is linked to achieving these targets.

Real people, real stories While gender is “the easiest place 24 RECRUITER

to start”, according to Hughes, the most challenging areas are those that have “an invisible element”, most notably LGBT and disability. “You need people to declare, and to do that you need people to feel confident in the environment in which they are working to speak out.” Hughes says the one of most powerful ways to achieve this has been through using “real people” to


Actions taken as part of Women@Page include: ▶ Global mentoring scheme launched ▶ Global mini site ▶ Regularly publish ‘Real People and Real Stories’ ▶ Created Women@Page ‘Yammer’ network ▶ Introduced Everywoman female leadership programme

share their “real stories”. It could be a member of staff who has lost a loved one through mental health issues, for example. “It shows their colleagues this is how they dealt with it but their career hasn’t suffered.” While measuring how a diverse workforce is relatively straightforward, inclusion can appear a more nebulous concept. “Diversity is about respecting what makes people different – that’s what it looks like. Inclusion is what it feels like,” explains Hughes. “Everybody should be able to bring their whole selves to work,” adds Kirk, quoting a strapline used in many of the company’s internal communication campaigns. “It’s all about shifting attitudes, belonging and how people feel.” The company’s latest global engagement survey undertaken in 2017 indicates signs of progress, with 83% of staff positively engaged compared with 81% in 2015.

Feeling it Language is important, says Kirk. Indeed, she reveals “internally we

MARCH 2018

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don’t talk about diversity & inclusion … In reality, to become truly embedded it becomes more about the heart and culture of the business, and less about the words diversity & inclusion, and more about feeling”. Kirk is aware that such an approach is open to criticism as being too fluffy to cut it in the hard commercial world of recruitment. However, she is unrepentant. “It has to be touchy feely,” she say, “because it is about how people feel when they are at work.” And again, she argues there is a hardheaded business reason behind it. “Ultimately, if people are happier they will perform better and the company will make more profit.” Asked how you measure how people feel, she says “a lot of it goes back to engagement. How many people

get involved in the networks – more than 1,000 employees belong to the company’s LGBT network, how many people want to share their personal stories, and where we sit in benchmarks compared to the rest of the corporate world”. Kirk admits that when it comes to pushing PageGroup’s diversity & inclusion agenda, having offices in 36 countries including offices in Morocco, Qatar, and the UAE, some with differing cultural and religious attitudes to women and LGBT people, is a complicating factor. Yet Kirk says a request for staff to demonstrate support for the company’s Global Pride Campaign by posting a picture of themselves on Yammer, the company’s internal social network, wearing rainbow

Sometimes things aren’t always quite what they seem

laces, was taken up all around the world. “Everybody came together to show solidarity, and it was incredibly powerful, but you have to be aware of cultural and legal differences,” she says. Although Kirk is rightly proud of the work carried out by the small team, she is aware that there remains much to do, with current areas of focus being around health, wealth and work-life balance. As Hughes points out the agenda is heavily dependent on what going on in society generally. “Who would have predicted that mental health in the workplace would have been such an important topic? “The business, the world we live in are ever changing, so there is still a lot for us to do.”

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07/02/2018 17:10

Expert opinion A DV ERTORI A L F P S G R O U P

The importance of taking a closer look at payslips and RTI The importance of compliance to recruitment agencies has been amplified like never before with the introduction of the Criminal Finance Act 2017. This recent legislative change makes recruitment agencies criminally liable in the event of failure to prevent tax evasion, either directly by their own staff or indirectly via an external agent. Under the scope of the legislation umbrella companies qualify as an external agent meaning the compliance of these relationships has been brought into sharper focus. Further underlining the importance of this, a significant number of rogue operators in the market are effectively flaunting the tax rules. The best line of defence for agencies in remaining on the right side of the law in this increasingly complex legislative environment is to fully understand how their partners are processing pay to their contractors. Payslip Review The starting point for verification and audit of umbrella practices should be to assess a random sample of payslips issued by the umbrella company to their contractors. • •

• • •

You should always read the RTI submission in conjunction with the payslip: • • • •

Is the RTI submission the right format? Do the personal details on the RTI submission match the payslip? Does the Taxable Pay column match the Gross Salary? Does the TaxablePay, PayAfterStatDeductions, TaxDeductedOrRefunded, TotalEmpNICInPd and EmpeeContribustionsInPd on the RTI match Gross Salary, Net Salary/Pay Amount, PAYE, Employers NIC and Employees NIC on the payslip?

GDPR Considerations Obviously both payslips and RTI contain contractor’s personal identifiable information. An umbrella company can only provide this information to an agency if the contractor has given consent or there is a legal obligation to provide (i.e. it’s in the contract). Furthermore all such information will need to be sent via a secured method and only used for the purpose it was intended for. This will become more important than ever before with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force from May 2018. ●

Does the Invoice Total match the Hours x Umbrella Rate that you paid? Are there Company Deductions for anything other than admin fee, Apprenticeship Levy, Employers Pension, Employers NI and business expenses? Do the Company Deductions look consistent with what you would expect? Do the Business Expenses look disproportionately high, given that the only expense that is still available for deduction (following Finance Act 2015) is business mileage? Does the Gross Salary equate to the Invoice Total less the Company Deductions? If you divide the Gross Salary by the number of hours, is the rate at least National Living/Minimum Wage? Is there a different Taxable Salary Value to the Gross Salary?

The rationale for requesting both is that the payslips on its own may not always be 100% reliable. A payslip could in theory be easily doctored whereas RTI information would be far more difficult to do so.

FPS GROUP Administration Centre, Ramsey, IM8 1GB For further information please visit: Telephone: 0800 634 4848 Email:

If these raise any questions, get a full explanation in writing from your umbrella provider. Real Time Information (RTI) Review Requesting to see RTI reports is another recommended compliance check to compliment payslip checks.


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Issue 59 March 2018

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence The Carillion collapse

Big issue p2-3

Recruitment Industry Trends 2016/17 p4

Legal Update Gender pay reporting

Events and training p6

All new Compliance workshops p8

NEW TOOL GUIDES RECRUITMENT LEADER DEVELOPMENT Future and current recruitment leaders are being invited to measure their effectiveness with a new REC tool. The REC’s Scale Up Workbook – How to lead, inspire and retain your people is the latest in the popular Scale Up workbook series. It outlines steps budding recruitment leaders can take to develop their leadership skills and retain their core talent. What sets the workbook apart is the range of people spoken to. The REC’s research team interviewed leaders, managers and consultants from a variety of recruitment businesses to find out how people at all levels define good leadership. It also includes key questions and action points

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to improve leadership skills. REC chief executive Kevin Green says people form the crux of any successful recruitment business and honing leadership skills is critical for development. “What we know is at the heart of recruitment businesses are the people. Attracting, engaging, inspiring, motivating and retaining talent is what makes recruitment businesses successful,” he says. “This research is there to help recruitment businesses. Applying the knowledge shared within the workbook is crucial for developing and growing your business.” The REC research team spoke with a number of recruitment leaders. Managing director of Red Berry Recruitment Helen Lacey

told the team that one of the biggest issues for any recruitment leader is ensuring trust in their team. “If your staff and team trust you to be their leader and they value your honesty and integrity, they are more likely to value your company. Listening, mentoring and offering training opportunities to staff are all essential to keep all staff motivated.” The REC has also produced an interactive checklist. It gives recruiters the opportunity to rate the effectiveness of their leadership and compared with the results developed

in the workbook. The Scale Up Workbook is available to download now at howtolead 01/02/2018 09:33

Leading the Industry


Carillion’s collapse highlights big changes in the job market, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

The industry’s best years are ahead of us, says Kevin Green, REC chief executive

As I prepare myself to leave the REC after close to 10 years as its CEO, I’ve been reflecting on my time leading this great industry. I started in June 2008 as the UK economy entered the financial crisis. It was tough seeing the industry shrink by 30%, losing £7bn of sales in 18 months! What was clear even in those difficult times was the resilience and agility of recruiters. Many made tough decisions and came out in better shape and a bit wiser. We had to restructure the REC; we reinvented ourselves and sought new ways to add member value. This included creating leading edge research and vibrant campaigns to help our members survive and thrive. We’ve built on this approach over the last few years with the Scale Up campaign. Recruitment is now starting to be thought of as a professional career of choice. We recognised that apart from representing the industry and seeking to influence government, we had to develop the industry’s human capital. We set about developing world-class training and qualifications and launched a new individual offering with the Institute of Recruitment Professionals. This was to help our corporate members develop their businesses by attracting


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RECRUITMENT POST-CARILLION and fully utilising their people. I see huge disruptions in the jobs market over the next decade as technology and our post-Brexit deal will make a significant impact. The elimination of the jobs in the middle of our labour market will mean that high-paid/ skilled and low-paid/skilled jobs flourish. As a consequence the labour, skills and talent shortages we see today will only get worse and the quest for good people will continue unabated. However, not all recruiters will grow and prosper. The winners will either have a deep specialism and know where the talented candidates are or can meet labour requirements at short notice and be fully compliant. I am convinced the REC will go from strength to strength over the next few years as it provides even more value to its members. Recruitment’s best years are ahead of us and it’s been a privilege to lead this great organisation and its fantastic people. I would love to see as many recruiters as possible at my final Scale Up in the Round events in Peterborough, Edinburgh and Manchester. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @kevingreenrec

The Carillion collapse was a stark reminder of how quickly major businesses and sectors can unravel, and the implications for individual working lives. Discussions on the back of the fall-out have focused on what role recruitment professionals can play in helping people bounce back into work and on how we can best work with government to facilitate career transitions. There is significant demand for construction staff and major projects will still need to be delivered – albeit through a different contracting organisation. However, a wide variety of jobs are at risk through a convoluted supply chain. This is why the debate can be broadened into how we best help people adapt to a fast-moving employment landscape. Many of the jobs available today will disappear over the coming years and new jobs will require new skills. This underlines a core recommendation of our Future of jobs commission, namely the creating of a world-class, all-age careers advice network. One of our commission members, Charlotte Aldritt from the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA), underlined the need to “shift away from lifelong learning being a tool to address failure to being a resource that empowers people to respond to a labour market that is changing like never before”. Spot on! A priority for us at the REC is to promote the role that recruitment professionals can play in helping to deliver sectorspecific guidance and support. At the same time, our ongoing Good Recruitment Campaign is encouraging employers to review hiring procedures and criteria, which may lead to less reliance on previous experience and boost transition opportunities. Which job to do is the most important life decision that most people make – 77% of respondents to a YouGov/REC survey ranked this top, ahead of other life-defining decisions, such as where to live, starting a family or getting married. The Carillion collapse is a reminder of how quickly things can change. A future UK jobs market must be one where we have a world-class careers advice network which reflects this ‘brave new world’ of work and which harnesses the expertise and drive of the UK’s £35bn recruitment industry. You can follow Tom on Twitter nt @hadleyscomment

01/02/2018 09:33


THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, MARK HARRISON The REC’s first JobsOutlook report of 2018 suggests new lows in employer confidence. Net overall confidence as a whole in the UK’s economic conditions has dropped to negative double figures; the proportion of employers thinking economic conditions are getting worse outpolled those thinking they are getting better by 13%. Employers’ confidence in their hiring and investment decisions has also dropped to a single figure percentage, with only 9% believing it would improve instead of getting worse. We also asked participants about the main challenge for their business as the year drew to a close. A third said that political and economic uncertainty was the greatest challenge facing their business. When we had

AVERAGE DEBTOR DAYS EXCEED 50 IN Q3 2017 The latest information from Recruitment Industry Benchmarking’s RIB Index shows that the median industry recruiter has continued to experience a rise in the average number of debtor days. At its peak, in Q3 2017, the average monthly number of days for the median recruiter exceeded 50. Set into historical context, the Q3 average for the median recruitment rose from

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asked the very same question in January 2017, a third of respondents stated the same as their main concern. Employers are therefore conscious of and concerned about the uncertain political and economic times we find ourselves in. Nevertheless, our Recruitment industry trends report shows that 2016/17 has been a good year for our industry. Recruiters helped nearly 1 million people find a permanent job in the past year and on any given day there were nearly 1.3 million workers on temporary agency payroll. Turnover for the industry overall surpassed £32bn in 2016/17 and we anticipate this will continue to grow in the medium term. A shortage of candidates, caused by anticipated lower levels of migration exacerbating already present skills shortages, is likely to lead to more demand and higher fees for recruiters. In


the longer term, a limited pool of candidates caused by an excessively tight immigration policy may lead to more significant challenges for the industry overall. As mentioned above, employers were no more assured by the political and economic situation at the start of 2017 than they were at the end of it. This uncertainty appears to be beginning to affect companies’ thinking about their short- and medium-term recruitment strategies. Our latest JobsOutlook shows record levels of uncertainty when it comes to future hiring intentions. A quarter of companies that employ temporary staff now say they don’t know whether the number of temporary workers in their organisation

Figure 1. Median debtor days – quarterly average 52






46 44


42 41.2

40 Q1 Q2 2015



Q1 Q2 2016

42.6 days in 2015, through 46.6 days in 2016 to its new high of 51.2 in 2017 – and early indications for Q4 2017, as evidenced by October and November data, show little signs of improvement.



Q1 Q2 2017


Oct Nov

Encouragingly, however, those with a tight rein on debtors – as evidenced by the performance of the lower quartile recruiter – reduced the average from 38.3 in Q3 2016 to 35.5 in Q3 2017.

will increase or decrease in the short-term or in the mediumterm (ie. the next three months and the next four to 12 months respectively). Both of these are an approximately threefold increase on the same time last year. Amongst those that recruit permanent workers, 10% were unsure about short-term permanent employee numbers and 15% were unsure about longterm; both figures are more than double than in the same period last year. With the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU rapidly approaching, our data suggest the government needs to do far more to reassure businesses so they can plan their future with confidence and sustain the successes of the UK economy. As market uncertainty is set fair to continue, the importance of benchmarking performance against other recruiters to maximise performance cannot be underestimated. 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; 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.


01/02/2018 09:33

The Big Talking Point


STATE OF THE MARKET With the end of the financial year fast approaching, many recruitment businesses are going through their books and looking for areas of growth. The REC’s Recruitment industry trends 2016/17 report is an authoritative analysis of the position of the UK’s recruitment sector. More than that, it is an essential tool for scaling up and making the most of the next 12 months. Recruitment Matters casts an eye over this year’s report and highlights three ways you can use it to shape business planning in 2018 1: INDUSTRY TURNOVER FOR 2016/17 What does the report say? Total industry turnover of the broader permanent and temporary/contract recruitment activity for 2016/17 was £32.2bn. This figure comprises £28.2bn (87.6%) in temporary/contract placement revenue and £4bn (12.4%) in permanent placement fees income. The latest Recruitment industry trends captures the activity of a broader representation of providers


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than in previous years. It includes managed service providers (MSPs) and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services, plus activity from those offering HR services, such as umbrella companies and direct engagement solution providers. How can you use this? The report covers the 12 months ending in March 2017, a year of continuing volatility for the recruitment industry stemming largely

from the UK’s vote in June 2016 to leave the European Union. Stagnant wage growth, changes in employment legislation and increasingly complex recruitment supply chains have also played their part. In spite of these, the industry continued to respond admirably to employers’ ever-changing needs. The REC’s member directory is one of the most popular sections of the REC website, with a growing number of

Recruitment In Trends 2016/17 Permanent placement turnover

+ £4 billion TEMPORARY £

1.3 million











average number of temporary/ contract workers on the industry’s payroll on any one given day

average tempo pl

TEMPORARY WORKER Mean assignment length


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candidates and clients using it to find agencies. Ensure you feature in the directory and your details are up to date at

2: STAFFING AND MARGINS What does the report say? A plurality of recruiters surveyed (47%) reported permanent placement margins of between 15% and 19% in 2016/17. The average permanent placement fee was £3,984. The average annual turnover of temporary/ contract workers was £21,953, with a plurality of agencies (31%) reporting margins of 15-19%. When looking at the extremities of the bandings for average placement margins recorded within this year’s REC study, just 4% of industry respondents suggested an average of under 9%. Three times as many respondents (12%), however, indicated that they were achieving 20-24%.

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Temporary/contract turnover


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= £28.2 billion

£32.2 billion
























average turnover per temporary/contract placement


1 million

average turnover per permanent placement

REC FORECAST We expect the recruitment industry


£ £


permanent placements in 2016/17


£ £

to grow by the following:







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2016/17. This gives you a simple and clear picture of where your business is operating compared with your competitors and outlines practical steps you can take to improve and grow. The tools are available to use now at trends


Total number of staff employed in the recruitment industry exceeded 100,000

1 0

@recmembers | @RECPress | #rectren ds |

Meanwhile, just 8% of industry respondents suggested an average of under 9% for temporary/contract placements. But, almost twice as many (15%) indicated that they were achieving margins of 25+%. How can you use this? The REC has developed two interactive benchmarking tools. These easy-to-use calculators place your key placement numbers against UK averages for

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3: MEDIUM-TERM FORECAST What does the report say? Three quarters (75%) of permanent recruiters surveyed expect permanent recruitment requirements to grow in 2018, with 18% believing this will grow strongly. And 70% believe this will continue growing into 2019, and beyond, with 16% believing growth will continue to be strong. Three quarters (77%) of temporary/contract recruiters also believe their market will grow in 2018, with 17% believing it will grow strongly. And 74% believe growth will continue into 2019 and beyond, with 22% believing growth will continue to be strong. Both Recruitment industry trends respondents

and anecdotal reports from a number of REC members suggest that they are currently operating in challenging and uncertain economic circumstances. However, the number of recruitment agencies has continued to grow despite this adversity. The rate of growth in the number of perm-centric businesses has slowed in the past year and the REC predicts this will continue. It also says the number of temporary and contractcentric businesses will continue to grow at a slow rate in 2017/18. These numbers also assume a reduction in candidates that allows the industry to continue to grow above GDP into the first year of the two-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU (which begins in April 2019). A successful economy and recruitment market beyond this will depend on the final Brexit settlement agreed between the UK and EU. The REC believes that designing an immigration system with the needs of business in mind and based

on the evidence will allow the economy and the industry to continue to grow in the long term after the UK has left the EU. How can you use this? An unpredictable and volatile economy may encourage a steady-as-it-goes approach, but recruitment businesses would be wise to try new things over the next two years. As candidates become harder to source and businesses look to double down on their unique selling points, recruiters can take advantage of new technologies and channels to grow. The advent of social media and content marketing will be crucial for bringing talent to you. The REC’s exciting range of new learning courses offer practical and smart steps for recruiters looking to capitalise on these changing times. Find out more at www.rec. Recruitment industry trends 2016/17 is available to download now at www.


01/02/2018 09:33

Legal update

GENDER PAY REPORTING By Lewina Farrell, head of professional services Organisations that have more than 250 employees* must publish their first gender pay report by 4 April 2018. The report can be published on the organisation’s own website but must also be published on https://genderpaygap. After that, the information must remain available for a minimum of three years from the date of publication. * Please note that for the purposes of this report ‘employees’ includes full-time and part-time employees as well as temporary workers on a contract for services. The gender pay report must contain the following information about staff employed by the business on the ‘snapshot date’ (ie. 5 April 2017 and annually after that): • The difference in the average (mean) hourly rate of pay between male and female full-pay relevant employees • The difference in the average (median) hourly rate of pay between male and female

full-pay relevant employees • The difference between the average (mean) bonuses paid to male and female employees • The difference between the average (median) bonuses paid to male and female employees • The proportion of male and female employees who receive bonuses • The relative proportions of male and female employees in each quartile pay band of the workforce. What does ‘pay’ include? Ordinary pay includes basic pay, allowances, shift premia, pay for piece work, pay for holiday, maternity leave etc. It does not include overtime, redundancy or other termination payments, pay in lieu of leave, benefits in kind or expenses. Pay is worked out before any deductions for tax, national insurance or pensions etc. Bonus pay includes money, vouchers, payments that relate

to profit sharing, productivity, performance, incentive or commission. It does not include ordinary pay, overtime or payments that relate to the termination of employment or redundancy. Who? The ‘employer’ is responsible for pay gap reporting. So where a recruiter works with an umbrella company and the umbrella has the contract with the temps, then the umbrella is the employer for gender pay reporting purposes. If a recruiter uses a payroll provider to administer its payroll but the recruiter has a contract of employment or contract for services with the temp, then the recruiter is the employer for reporting purposes. What? The report must include a supporting statement which (a) confirms that the information is accurate and (b) is signed by a director, partner

or equivalent. Employers can also include additional supporting text to explain any gender pay gap in the report. This is particularly helpful for recruiters who may need to explain any gender pay gap differences which are influenced by pay rates for temporary workers. Enforcement At the time of writing less than 10% of organisations expected to report have done so but this should ramp up quickly. Some reports, which published zero pay gap, have been challenged and resubmitted. A consultation on the powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to take action against employers who do not comply with the obligation to report closed just before we went to print. The government may at some point also consider a form of ‘name and shame’ list similar to the national minimum wage ‘name and shame’ list.

PREVENTING TAX EVASION IS KEY The Criminal Finances Act, which became law in September 2017, is forcing many recruitment businesses to review their Preferred Supplier List (PSL) or implement one for the first time. The legislation introduced a new corporate criminal offence for businesses that fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. An agency is criminally liable if it fails to prevent those who act for it, or on its behalf, from facilitating tax evasion. This liability applies even if senior management had no involvement in, or awareness of, what was going on.


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Scenarios that could lead to a conviction include: • A recruitment consultant accepts a referral fee from an umbrella company /contractor accountancy firm but doesn’t declare the tax and NI due. • A recruitment consultant accepts a referral fee to refer contractors to a tax evasion scheme. • A recruitment business pays an intermediary that facilitates tax evasion. In light of the Act, recruitment businesses are rightly taking steps to protect themselves from the heightened risks associated with

choosing unethical or non-compliant providers. A growing number of agencies are adopting the position that has been the official advice of the REC since 2015 – namely that they should work only with fully accredited FCSA members such as ADVANCE. We expect this trend to continue and accelerate throughout 2018. Email to request our guide to the Criminal Finances Act. For more information on how ADVANCE can support you and your contract candidates, visit www. or call 01244 564 564.

01/02/2018 09:33



The View

Lisa Murray is the n owner of Braundton Consulting

Jodie Rafferty is the managing director at Rafferty Resourcing



Best candidate story I love being able to transform my candidates’ lives, and a good example of this would be one of my candidates returning to work. She had great skills but had lost her confidence. So I worked with her, got her some temp work, made her feel really good about herself and placed her in a permanent part-time job in London. She actually rang me a year or so later, a few months ago, to say she’s now been made PA to the chief exec. That was a fabulous story to hear.

Congratulations for winning Best Candidate Experience at the 2017 IRP Awards I’m still pinching myself most mornings – it’s a little bit like a dream I haven’t quite woken up from yet. To be in your first year of trading and win the most important award to me was a dream come true. A big thanks to the IRP Awards judges for picking me.

Secret of success I obviously want to be successful and I think to do that you’ve got to have a really strict plan. So I really like to get organised. Everyday I’m thinking “What am I going to do to help somebody today? Who am I going to get on interview? What jobs am I going to take to help that person?” And I really try and focus on what I’m going to do to help people as my real focus on being successful for the day. Giving back I really want to be sure that I can add impact to somebody’s life long term. So, one of the things I do is I give back to the community each month. I will offer to place a candidate into a job for no monetary gain if it means getting that candidate into a job. A recent candidate I worked with just got offered a position as a school leaver in an amazing HR department, which she would not have got if I had not made that happen. Now she’s got her foot in the door for the rest of her life. Tips I would say really treat people every day how you want to be treated. Set the right expectation, don’t over promise and under deliver, and always try to leave them with something positive – whether it be some free training, some interview advice – so they can go away with something you’ve been able to pass onto them.

Have you had any positive feedback from the win? It’s been a steady stream of congratulations. We’ve had new people approach us who want to do business with us because of our reputation for candidate experience – that’s our biggest USP. Now that we’ve got the IRP Award to back it up, people have approached us. We’ve seen a big rise in temp recruitment on the back of the win, and that new business has come to us directly. How did Rafferty Resourcing start? We’re based in Hampshire and we’re a small, family-owned business. There’s five of us involved, I manage all the client relationships and the rest of the team are candidate coordinators, who work exclusively with candidates, ensuring their need are met. It’s a different model from most other recruitment businesses. We’ve had a lot of clients approach us and say that we offer something different. What does candidate experience mean to you? I don’t want a huge database of candidates who we’re not working with and will, ultimately, be disappointed if we don’t find them a job. We work with a small number of exclusive candidates at any one time, and they give us a wish list of companies they want to work for and the kind of jobs they want. Clients love it when you say you’ve got someone who has identified them as someone to work for. It’s a friendly approach from both sides, but it works, and the clients come back.

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

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01/02/2018 09:34

What’s coming up?

SETTING THE STANDARD WITH COMPLIANCE The REC Compliance Test helps drive professionalism within the industry. The REC requires its members to take the Compliance Test as a prerequisite for membership. It also requires them to pass the test every two years to enable them to remain in membership. Our Compliance Test creates awareness of both the REC Code of Professional Practice, key industry legislation and the requirements of The Employment Agencies Act 1973 (the Act) and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (the Conduct Regulations). The test itself takes on average 35 minutes to complete and consists of multiple choice questions. We are running a number of Compliance Test workshops at our London offices throughout 2018. These one-day sessions help you to

Compliance Test workshop dates • 15 March • 27 April • 18 May • 27 June • 19 July • 29 August • 26 September • 23 October • 23 November • 6 December understand all aspects of compliance within a recruitment business and enable you to pass the Compliance Test with flying colours. Visit to book on any of these free sessions.



RECRUITMENT MATTERS The official magazine of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT

ARE YOU A FUTURE RECRUITMENT LEADER? This highly respected qualification provides the insight, practical skills and knowledge senior recruitment managers and directors’ need to manage and enhance processes and efficiencies within their own business. Industry-specific in content, the Level 5 Diploma in Recruitment Leadership (DipRL) is a strategic level qualification and equivalent to degree-standard learning. Who is the course for? Senior managers and directors looking to enhance their leadership skills will gain from this qualification. The Diploma in Recruitment Leadership provides authoritative learning that will add value to the service you provide to clients and candidates, and help enhance your personal and professional effectiveness. How is the course taught? On-demand enrolment makes the Level 5 DipRL easy to fit around work and personal commitments, with four examination points each year. You will meet with your cohort three times to work through the seven mandatory units in year one, after which you take a minimum of one additional optional unit to fully qualify. During your study you will be provided with all learning materials and be allocated an IRP Study Coach, who will also facilitate the workshops. You can enrol on individual units for £675 + VAT per unit, or the whole course is £4,500 + VAT per person. Visit to enrol.

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, 78 Chamber Street E1 8BL. Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Michael Oliver Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing © 2018 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.

Tel: 020 7009 2100 8 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2018

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01/02/2018 09:34

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06/02/2018 16:50


DRIVING MISSED DATA Recruiters can buy all the latest data analytics and AI tools they like, but if they aren’t actually moving the business forward, then their use is debatable. Sue Weekes spoke to the experts to discover how to make the best use of data technology 28 RECRUITER

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MARCH 2018

LIKE IT OR NOT, we are careering towards a data-driven future. The mantra ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ could soon be obsolete because you can virtually measure anything – including most recruiting activities. Whether recruiters should be measuring everything, though, is another matter. And as with all new tools, objectives and outcomes should come before actual use of the technology. “For me, it’s only important to measure things that are critical to your business and things you want to improve on,” says Dan Kirkland, operations director at recruitment technology developer TribePad. “It’s data and information that ILLUST RAT ION | ISTOCK

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analytics before they’ve learned to handle their basic data,” says Jeremy Thornton, founder of Resourcing Insight, which works with internal recruitment talent teams on their reporting and analytical data strategies. “They should build up their data for a minimum of a year. And you can’t just put complex analytics in front of people; you need to take the business on a journey.”


helps to prove and, more importantly, improve things. But don’t go overboard with measuring stuff. Measuring too much can harm your culture and your company’s productivity.” According to a recent LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report (see pp12-13), the use of data by recruiters is set to accelerate in 2018, with nearly two-fifths seeing it as one of the most important factors in the hiring process. Rather like social media when it first appeared, though, fear of being left behind is forcing some recruiters to try to run with data analytics tools before they can walk. “They want artificial intelligence, they want robotics, they want predictive

Indeed, there is evidence that internal recruiters in particular are still struggling with the basics, including accurate data collection. “They have an applicant tracking system (ATS) but it isn’t culturally aligned with the business,” says Thornton. “This means individuals, whether it be recruiters or line managers, don’t enter data accurately. Typically, the ATS is made accountable for the problem, and the organisation goes out and buys another one but this doesn’t address the cultural issue around data.” Dan McGuire, founder of recruitmentspecific analytics and business intelligence company Cube19, believes the recruitment industry as a whole is still far behind where it could and probably should be. “Way too many companies are still using spreadsheets and white boards as their primary method of reporting, both of which become instantly out of date,” he says. “Quite frequently people tell us they know their data is inaccurate and they’re doing the best with what they’ve got. There is no need for that to be the case and there is a lot that can be done to improve in this area – things which are pretty straightforward, such as introducing automation.” The business intelligence/data analytics software market is vast but talking to your recruitment systems supplier or an organisation that specialises in intelligence for the recruitment sector is by far the best route. Kirkland reports that there is an element of fear that such tools may expose a recruiter as less effective than their peers but urges them to see the wider benefit of learning about what is and isn’t working and who to learn from. WWW.RECRUITER.CO.UK 29

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Those who understand the demands of recruitment can also advise on what should be measured. Traditional metrics such as cost- and time-to-hire are important but recruiters should exploit the technology to go far beyond these.

MONITOR WHAT’S WORKING Cassie Sissons, managing director at recruitment process outsourcing firm Amberjack, which has analytics tools built into its platform, says one metric that is frequently overlooked is on candidate experience. She urges recruiters to measure how candidates feel by capturing their feedback: “Considering the proven impact it can have on the employer brand and the bottom line of any business, I think it is essential.” Chris Bogh, technical director of recruitment software developer Eploy, which similarly has analytics capabilities built into its system, agrees and recommends creating and sending satisfaction surveys that “calculate net satisfaction”. “Or monitor your hiring process with candidate feedback forms that get their opinion of your candidate experience,” he says. “Find out exactly what your customers think of your recruitment process.” Where analytics is playing an increasingly important part is in monitoring diversity. Simmons explains that analytics tools are helping to support positive action (lawful under the Equality Act) that until now has been extremely difficult to apply in volume recruitment. “This proactively improves diversity but wouldn’t be possible without real-time reporting that provides complete campaign visibility and enables accurate pipeline forecasting,” she says. Kirkland believes organisations should 30 RECRUITER

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question the validity of some of the traditional metrics such as time-to-hire (TTH) and says measuring quality-ofhire is more important. “Is the new hire still working for your business four months on? Is your new hire fitting into the team?” he says. “It doesn’t matter how good a recruiter’s TTH is if their hires aren’t effective in their job.” He would also swap TTH for RIT (recruiting-in-time). “Did the person get hired in time for whatever they were needed? You know when you need to recruit someone by, so let the recruiters get the best candidate in time, not the first candidate the fastest.” Measuring where hires are coming from is also crucial with so many potential recruitment channels. Eploy recently undertook research that showed that results improved across virtually all candidate sourcing channels when recruiters actively monitored, measured and benchmarked channel effectiveness. “Yet only a third of recruitment teams fall into this category,” says Bogh.

the recruitment function and extend its influence. Resourcing Insight’s Thornton explains that it advises recruiters to collaborate with HR and finance on data and, where relevant, other functions such as sales and marketing data and even a manufacturing plant. “It’s about where the critical measures are for the business,” he says, adding that where recruiters often fall down is in presenting their data outside of their own function. “A finance director doesn’t really care about timeor cost-to-hire, they want to know what impact resourcing is having on the bottom line or how close the business is to achieving key initiatives such as gender split.” Thornton continues: “Typically we see a lot of resourcing functions produce fantastic reporting packs but the analogy I use is that if a recruiter can read a CV in maybe 10 seconds, a stakeholder will read a recruitment report in less than 10 seconds. Some recruitment functions try to overcomplicate things: the data needs to demonstrate the value-add to the business and capture its attention.”

RELEVANCE OF MEASURING Ultimately, what is measured must help to bring about improvements for the business and this may change over time. “Understanding your business’s key drivers is vital; tracking their relationship to revenue and growth over time is essential to know whether your metrics were right in the first place,” says McGuire. “And if they remain relevant as your company and the general market evolves and changes.” Recruitment data on its own is extremely valuable but it becomes even more powerful when combined with data from other areas in a business such as finance and HR. Not only can it help better inform decisionmaking but in doing so demonstrate the value of

Data analytics essentials • Put in place a culture and strategy for accurate data collection • Define where data can help make improvements for the business/client and set objectives • Don’t just fall back on traditional metrics such as time- and cost-to-hire; exploit the technology for monitoring areas such as diversity and candidate experience • Collaborate with other functions to demonstrate and expand the value of recruitment data

MARCH 2018

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07/02/2018 15:03




From leaping from the sky to seeing how fast 40 years has gone by, here’s what some of you have been up to inside and out of recruitment…

ATHONA STAFF SMASH PREVIOUS FUNDRAISING TARGETS VIA In the past year, employees from Brentwood-based Athona Recruitment have together raised a mammoth £11,195.28 for Athona’s 2017 charities – Brentwood Mind and the Blue Cross. Among other challenges, staff have jumped 10,000ft from the skies, completed the notorious obstacle course Tough Mudder and participated in charity quiz nights in their fundraising efforts. Athona’s chosen charity for this year is the Alzheimer’s Society, so we look forward to another record-breaking year of fundraising!

Athona’s skydiving team were among the staff raising over £11k for the Blue Cross and Brentwood Mind



Engineering and manufacturing recruitment specialist Jonathan Lee Recruitment is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, so in a blast from the past, here is the eponymous Jonathan Lee and his staff outside the first office, Knighton House in Stourbridge, in 1980. Apart from Jonathan, who else is still working there?!

SWANSTAFF WELCOMES ITS LATEST CONTACT SERVICES TO THE SWAN FAMILY VIA Swanstaff Recruitment officially opened the two latest family contact centres in Cardiff. Swanstaff runs the Family Contact Services on behalf of Cardiff Council and runs five other Swan Family Contact services in Bedford, Lambeth, Houghton Regis, Coventry and Greenwich.

Recruiter Magazine @RecruiterMag Jan 31 If you’re visiting the #Recruitment Agency Expo in London @recexpo #recexpo2018 over the next few days, drop by Stand G27 and say hi to @RecruiterMag’s Will and Paul! [Recruitment Agency Expo took place 31 Jan-1 Feb 2018] @RecruiterMag


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07/02/2018 17:11


The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


Masson we started a series of initiatives and projects linked to our approach to mental health and wellbeing. The uptake and response have, in truth, surprised me and have been astounding. We wanted to have a sophisticated knowledge and awareness on how we deal with, prevent and manage issues associated with mental health. With an initial focus on depression and anxiety, all our people now have access to doctors and psychologists. I love what Ben Congleton, CEO of Olark Live Chat, had to say when he was thrust into the limelight earlier this year. Reported on by the media the world over, his response to an employee taking time off for mental illness was we should “cut through the stigma so we can bring our whole selves to work”. His response to these issues resonated with everyone who’s been touched by mental health problems. What makes Olark’s response even more poignant is the fact that they’re a small business… 60% of all the UK’s private sector workforce are employed by small businesses, yet you often only hear of larger companies giving advice and support. I wonder as an industry if we should do better? Last month coach Harriet Waley-Cohen visited the

“Why mental health and anxiety has long been a taboo subject I can’t answer”

office, which allowed us to start a dialogue about anxiety, depression and burnout, and it was great to see 20 colleagues opening up and supporting each other. This is why we now have a mental health coach visit the office once a quarter, for those comfortable in groups, whilst offering private counselling sessions for those who prefer to speak one-on-one. We should share our approach with each other and confine to history once and for all the stigma of mental health. ●

THERE HAVE BEEN MOMENTS during my career where I have felt isolated and alone. I have always been surrounded by people, as mostly we all are, yet on occasions it most definitely felt that it was me and only me. And do you know what? I would have loved to be able to talk to someone to soften the pressure or share my load. There must have been times when my anxiety affected my work and my overall judgement to enjoy what I was doing. I never dreamt of telling people how I felt. The weakness shown in a sales testosterone industry would have been unthinkable; this should now be something we confine to the history books. Why mental health and anxiety has long been a taboo subject I can’t answer but in the modern workplace it should be discussed, accepted and supported. One in four of us will experience mental distress over our lifetime, yet unlike physical wellbeing, it is rarely talked about. In fact, despite stress being the number one cause for sickness absence, 95% of employees give their boss another reason for their time off. This year at Goodman

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

MARCH 2018

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07/02/2018 17:12




Find your next move in recruitment on jobs.recruiter.

Preparing for a perfect recruiting storm BY TARA LESCOTT

↗ TARA LESCOTT is managing director of recruitment-torecruitment agency Recruiter Republic


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THE RECRUITMENT SECTOR is still in desperate need for additional talent to deliver its business plans, yet many firms fall into the trap of interviewing 2018’s candidate with a 1998 strategy. Here are some examples: • Failing to confirm interviews swiftly and with enticing material • Keeping candidates waiting past the interview start time • Changing the interviewer at short notice to a more junior member of staff • Grilling them in interview • Interviewing in a messy office or without a meeting room booked • Allowing the meeting to be interrupted • Not having read and reviewed their CV before interview • Not giving structured feedback • Not introducing them to potential peers • Not making offers quickly and in person • Not keeping them engaged in the process • Failing to onboard well

“The market is strong, and candidates have many options available to them” In the 1990s, you may have been able to get away with all of the above – not today. But ask yourself this – are you finding more or fewer good people? Are you converting more or fewer of the people you do want to hire? Today’s candidates expect a lot more, rightly or wrongly, and you have to get into that candidate’s mindset early on. If we want to really connect with and attract today’s talent, then we have to accept that times have changed. The market is strong, and candidates have many options available. Grilling them to the point of exhaustion or making them prove to you that recruitment is their only calling and that yours is the only firm that excites them just doesn’t feel authentic to them – such an approach repels rather than attracts. Instead, your attraction strategy should be strong and well defined, your seduction

smooth in an interview, with a big investment in rapport building, and your assessment should be hidden underneath – still there but not so obvious. The digital world means even graduates can have their own businesses on their own terms, so can you define any real benefits to joining your firm? Do you know what they are? Do they compare well? Do you promote them in interview? To future-proof your business by recruiting the best people, you have to decide what ‘best’ looks like to you, and develop a really impressive offering. Then – and only then – can it be underpinned with high entry-level standards. Having just completed this exercise with a couple of recruitment firms, I know how enlightening a secret review process can be. Ask a bright graduate that you know – the child of a friend, perhaps – to act as a mystery shopper. Ask them to grade the experience – from how they were initially made to feel after applying, how well they were prepared for interview, first impressions of the building, office and people, how the interview made them feel, why they would or wouldn’t want to work there, and how that compares with other interviews. The feedback might shock you. If it does – take action. Your future success depends upon it. ●


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ASK THE EXPERT Q: Candidates are scarce in our sector and it’s limiting our growth. What can we do? The Recruitment Barometer shows that a lack of candidates has been the top issue for recruitment companies for at least the last six quarters (when we ran the first Barometer). The good news is that if it is hard for you to find candidates, then your clients are finding the same, which means they need you more than usual. Upping your efforts to attract candidates without radically rethinking your approach will result in a diminishing return on investment. Instead, try focusing on increasing the revenue from the candidates you already attract. In other words look to either increase the average fee value of your placements, or focus on placing a higher proportion of the candidates that you attract.

Increasing average placement value There are two ways to increase average revenue from each placement. The first is to target higherpaying roles, whether that is by focusing on seniority, certain specialisms or more lucrative clients/sectors. For example, banking and finance typically pay better than the public sector. Secondly, you can negotiate better fee rates. With employers struggling to find the staff they need, now is the time to negotiate. Adding 2% to your terms across all accounts (many firms will be able to achieve much more in the current climate) will make a significant difference to your revenue. For permanent roles, retainers also are on the rise among recruitment firms.

Placing more of your candidates


The SME Coach development, you will grow your client pool and can choose clients that work your way. 2. Exclusivity enables you to be far more efficient. This may seem obvious but few recruiters are armed with the right training or the confidence to win exclusivity. A week’s head start enables you to avoid the bun fight and put together a far more focused shortlist that will save the client time. It is also a great selling point when approaching candidates (“We are the only ones recruiting for this role”). Most importantly it maximises your chances of securing a fee as you should dominate the shortlist. 3. Finally, consider broadening your client base. If you have candidates registered or registering who don’t fit the profile of your existing clients, why not broaden your client base to be able to accommodate them?

The key is choice New business is fundamental to success. It is easier to find clients with fast recruitment processes when you have more to select from. It is easier to negotiate rates if you know you can walk away without being worse off. A choice of clients enables you to cherry pick those that will enable you to make the most of your candidate list’s potential.

There are three principal ways of increasing the percentage of candidates that you place. 1. Focus on putting your best candidates forward to clients who are most likely to make successful offers. Clients with drawn-out processes or who underpay will often struggle to secure their preferred candidate(s) in the current market, so try to minimise the work you do with them. By dedicating time each day or week to business

Alex Arnot

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

MARCH 2018

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Advertorial A DV E RTO RIAL P E R T E M P S

Your opportunity to join an employer of choice is around the corner I’m sure, as seasoned recruiters, you don’t need reminding that these are challenging times for our industry. With high levels of employment not seen like this in over 40 years, the fight to attract and retain talent across every sector has never been more demanding. Here at Pertemps, we are responding to this pressure by heavily investing in our own workforce but also supporting them with the most ambitious marketing campaign in our 57-year history. It is a bold statement of intent on our behalf and one we are confident will deliver. In fact, early indicators are extremely positive. The campaign reflects significant investment and was launched over the festive period on TV, radio and digital platforms. It will continue to run for the foreseeable future and we are confident that, along with our investment in training and development, it will make Pertemps a real employer of choice for aspiring and existing industry professionals at all levels.

come our way in recent years. Our Employee Share Scheme was named as ‘best in the industry’ by Recruiter. Through our personal development initiatives staff are able to fulfil their potential; testimony to this is the longevity of service of our employees which is unprecedented in recruitment.

STEVE WEST Managing Director, Pertemps

Pertemps is a business that values diversity and in 2017 was named by Business in the Community as one of the best employers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people. We are a business that truly reflects the communities and customers we serve and have adopted a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling any racial inequalities within the organisation. As our marketing slogan says; there are so many fantastic opportunities around the corner at Pertemps and we’d be delighted to discuss you being part of our bright future, regardless of what stage of career you’re currently at. ●

We have ambitious growth plans that will see us expand into new towns and markets and are again reporting record sales. Our service offering now spans multiple sectors including industrial, commercial, specialist markets and managed solutions. It’s therefore essential that we increase our workforce accordingly.

We are a family-run company that has always recognised that people are the most important thing in our business; our belief is that if you do not look after your own people, your clients will be the ones who suffer. Our commitment to making Pertemps a great place to work is highlighted by our 12-year consecutive inclusion in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. Last year; to build upon the success of our long-running appearance in the Best Companies list, a new Employee Value Proposition Strategy was rolled out to every employee. It includes a fully-financed rewards package giving every employee access to a huge variety of high street discounts, leisure benefits, a childcare scheme and increased holiday entitlement.

PERTEMPS Meriden Hall, Main Road, Meriden, Warwickshire CV7 7PT For further information please visit: Telephone: 0800 072 3191 Email:

The industry continues to recognise Pertemps for being a company that invests in its own people and this is evidenced in the many accolades and awards that have


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“Your drives and motives are the same as what I look for in people who work at Macildowie” ↗


NATHAN BUCK, professional cricketer for Northamptonshire, hoping to return to Macildowie later this year where he was a resourcing assistant

What was your earliest dream job? A footballer. I played with Leicester City Academy and Nottingham Forest Academy but I realised I wasn’t that good. I turned to cricket and then always wanted to be a cricketer from the age of 15.

Nathan Buck

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it? I was put in touch with Macildowie’s MD James Taylor through a friend and he asked me what I was going to do after cricket. After chatting for a while, he said ‘your drives and motives are the same as what I look for in people who work at Macildowie’. We had a couple of meetings and he was able to set something up.

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment or in cricket? Cricketer Jimmy Anderson – he is the most successful England bowler but he’s always so professional. The way he consistently performs at the top level is something to admire and you say ‘I want a bit of that’ – be it in sport or life.

your career in recruitment and cricket? My first phone call was tough. It was just a phone call but the first was the hardest. After a couple more I wasn’t fazed any more and it became second nature. In cricket, going on two England Lions tours in 2012/13 to the West Indies, then Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

What was your top job to fill? Financial controller.

What do you love most about your current role? I love engaging new candidates. You get to know new people every day. Your job then is to find them a suitable role. It’s a thrill when your placement comes in – like in sport when you get that win.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of 38 RECRUITER

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Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why? I went into the system and came across this lady, who hadn’t been spoken to in quite a while. It turned out she was 84 years old. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to place her.

What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard? Last year I was interviewed about my cricket career. I was injured for two months and was asked ‘Were you frustrated by your injury?’, which I think is pretty obvious.

What is your signature dish? When I was in Bangladesh, someone showed us how to cook and I made a Bangaldeshi vindaloo curry. That’s my go-to dish at the moment.

What would you regard as your theme tune? Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.


07/02/2018 17:13

View the latest jobs at To place your advertisement E: or T: 020 7880 6215





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07/02/2018 16:40


ARMSTRONG CRAVEN: The global talent mapping and pipelining specialist welcomes Fallon Gilhooley to its board as a global client partner within its healthcare and life sciences team.

CLUGSTON GROUP: The privatelyowned company with interests in construction, logistics, facilities and property development, has appointed Liz Fillingham group HR director.

has made a number of new appointments. These are: William Burns, previously chief financial officer, appointed to newly created chief operating officer; Christopher Pizzi, previously corporate controller, appointed senior vice president and CFO; Buffy White, previously senior vice president, recruiting strategy and operations, promoted to president – travel nurse and allied; Marisa Zaharoff, promoted from senior vice president, branch operations to president – branch operations.

EMPRESARIA: The International specialist staffing group has appointed Tim Anderson group finance director. Anderson succeeds Spencer Wreford, who will continue in his role as chief operating officer. GATTACA: The specialist recruitment solutions group has appointed David Findley to the newly created position of executive vice president of its US group.



The US healthcare recruiter

executive search firm


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Andrea Williams has been appointed CEO at international recruiter Nakama Group. Williams joined Nakama in December as a non-executive director. Angus Watson, who has been interim CEO since September, following Rob Sheffield’s departure from the firm, will revert to his previous position as chief financial officer. Williams, who has worked in recruitment across Asia, Australia and the UK, has held senior managerial and board positions at a number of private and publicly-quoted recruitment companies and is a former managing director at specialist recruiter Ambition Group and sales director at IT recruiter Outsource UK.

has made a number of new appointments. Amy Goldfinger and Mike Theilmann become co-leaders of Heidrick & Struggles’ global HR officers practice, based in New York City and Dallas respectively. Mark Harris succeeds Richard Pehlke as CFO. Mark Cullen is chief operating officer responsible for leadership of executive strategy across Europe, Africa, Asia-Pac, Middle East and Americas.

HOGAN ASSESSMENTS: The personality assessment and leadership development specialist has appointed current partner and vice president of consulting Scott Gregory to the role of CEO. Gregory takes over from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who joins ManpowerGroup. HOLMES NOBLE: The executive search and interim firm has made Lisa Wormald director of HR and board practice.

Email people moves for use online and in print, including a short 07/02/2018 17:13

I-COM: The Manchester-based digital brand development agency, whose clients include recruitment agencies, welcomes brand marketing strategist Alexandra Moorhouse.

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

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

LORIEN: The specialist tech recruiter has promoted David Gettins from director of operations to managing director. Gettins joined the Impellam Group firm back in 2007 from tech recruiter TAC Europe, where he was an ICT business group manager.

MBN SOLUTIONS: Pete Docherty has been promoted at the technology, data science & analytics, big data and digital staffing specialist from head of people solutions to MD. Rob Huggins has been promoted from head of business development to director of academy & client services.

PEDERSEN & PARTNERS: Jan Westerink joins the international executive search firm as a client partner within its consumer goods practice for Benelux. He is based in Amsterdam.

STELLAMAR: The maritime, energy and financial sector specialist recruiter has appointed Mike McDonald as business manager and principal consultant. McDonald will expand Stellamar’s offering into the build environment sector.

YOU R NE X T M OV E A selection of vacancies from Recruiter Republic Recruitment consultant London £28k-£35k per year + to £35k comm 30% bens

MONDAY AT NINE: The Leedsbased marketing and sales recruitment consultancy welcomes director Jonathan Wilson to head up its new sales division. NSPCC: The children’s charity welcomes Brett Terry, former director of people and organisational development from the Alzheimer’s Society, as its new director of people.

Quanta In-house recruiter Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire £20k-£30k + bens Oyster Partnership Recruitment consultant Property London £20k-£28k + comms

Reporters Colin Cottell, Graham Simons

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

Contributing writer Sue Weekes Production editor Vanessa Townsend

Designer Craig Bowyer Picture editor Akin Falope ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 6213 Sales manager Paul Barron

+44 (0)20 7324 2762 Senior sales executive Will Hunter

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


CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS Recruiter is the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals. To ensure each issue of Recruiter magazine is delivered to your desk or door, subscribe now at https://subs. Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the world • Recruiter is also available to people who meet our terms of control: http://bit. ly/RecruiterCC • To purchase reprints or multiple copies, or any other enquiries, please contact or +44 (0)20 8950 9117 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. © 2018 Redactive Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Redactive Media Group. Redactive Media Group accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. ISSN 1475-7478

Total average net circulation between 1 July 2014 & 30 June 2015 – 18,667. is also sent to all REC members

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

biography, to P48-49 Movers and shakersNEW.indd 49

RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7324 2756 Recruitment sales manager Dario Cappelli

Scan here to get your own copy of

07/02/2018 17:13


Heather DeLand Flexibility: not just a job benefit, but better business outcomes

At the beginning of 2018, commuters received their annual shock. The holidays are over, you’re having a dry month, you promised yourself you’d exercise, and just when life can’t feel any harder going – oh, UK rail fares have jumped 3.4% on average! Travel costs account for 13% of a person’s salary for the average Chelmsford to London commuter – in fact, much of the pain of these increases is felt by people who need to make their way into London from elsewhere to work. It begs the question: why, in this world of flexible working, is commerce still so obsessed with working out of offices in London? According to Instant Offices, the average desk space in the West End now costs £732 per month. Multiplied by a workforce, this can be a serious expense. If you’ve got 100 employees you’re close to £1m a year before you even furnish the place. So why are so many businesses still insisting on doing it? When I joined TMP in 2013, the behaviours that drive the workplace looked very


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different than they do today. Physically, it was a huge space, spread over four floors on Tottenham Court Road. Its ‘commercial’ drivers equated to lots of hours, a culture on the serious side, and an expectation of punctuality and presence in the office. Just five years later, most of my colleagues work flexibly, and that’s allowed us to shrink to just a single floor, with a rotating cast of people from day-to-day on hot desks. It’s buzzy yet relaxed, with a variety of collaboration spaces. People come and go, and we rate each other on our outcomes rather than our facetime. It works for everyone. The workforce is happy to be trusted and carry out their jobs in a way that fits what they need to deliver as whole people – at work and at home. The client service leads are happy that their people are out meeting clients and getting into their businesses, instead of taking up desk

space and drinking all our coffee. And the CFO and the rest of the leadership can certainly see the benefit of reducing expensive real estate costs, in a way that is win-win for everybody else concerned: by being flexible. Not just cost saving or beneficial to clients, this can also attract top talent. A few years back, we had a talented candidate decline an offer from us, because at the time we were less enlightened and required a Monday to Friday, 9-5.30 commitment. As he had a choice where he worked, he chose a firm more willing to trust people to produce results. Lesson learned, and luckily we’ve changed.

We rate each other on our outcomes rather than our facetime

Heather DeLand is executive creative director of TMP Worldwide

Flexibility also brings inclusion benefits. Forcing everyone to conform to establishment working structures will get you establishment people. A bit of flexibility might open up your business to candidates who think differently and construct their lives in a way that doesn’t follow the average. Attracting cognitive diversity to your workforce means being open-minded about ways of working. Being more flexible about where, when and how we work won’t solve our season ticket problems today. But as more businesses learn to focus more on outcomes than processes, we will see benefits to inclusion, less wasted time, and more people who are happy at work. ●

MARCH 2018

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GIVING RECRUITERS WHAT THEY NEED TO GET THE JOB DONE Pertemps has launched a multi-million-pound marketing campaign to attract the highest quality talent, in what’s an increasingly challenging market. The campaign will arm our consultants with the candidates they need to meet client demand and increase earning potential. The opportunity to earn has never been greater for recruiters working for Pertemps.

0800 072 3191

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Recruiter - March 2018  
Recruiter - March 2018