Recruiter - March/April 2021

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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

Mar/Apr 2021

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters



DEALING WITH UPHEAVAL... ...while battling ‘change fatigue’


REC REPORT A crucial year for recruitment


THE LAST WORD Daniel Cornwell: What a year it’s been

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Life has changed dramatically for PageGroup's Steve Ingham

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The UK group of companies and LLPs trading as RSM is a member of the RSM network. RSM is the trading name used by the members of the RSM network. Each member of the RSM network is an independent accounting and consulting firm each of which practises in its own right. The RSM network is not itself a separate legal entity of any description in any jurisdiction. The RSM network is administered by RSM International Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (company number 4040598) whose registered office is at 50 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6JJ. The brand and trademark RSM and other intellectual property rights used by members of the network are owned by RSM International Association, an association governed by article 60 et seq of the Civil Code of Switzerland whose seat is in Zug.

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05 Ingham calls on businesses to ‘own’ disability PageGroup CEO Steve Ingham says business leaders need to give disability greater visibility 06 Looking for well-stocked minds in future candidates What employers should ask potential employees following the pandemic 07 Recruiters step up to steer economic recovery The REC’s ‘Recruitment and recovery’ report urges employers to treat recruitment as ‘a priority issue’ 08 Contracts & Deals

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

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INTERACTION Viewpoint Matt Fryer, Brookson Legal Soundbites


18 Profile: Steve Ingham



10 Workplace



Guy Hayward on creating modern, progressive workplaces, and Tara Ricks on exploring annuity revenues Insight Dealing with upheaval: How do you implement change in an era of change fatigue? Tech & Tools The latest recruitment technology and services

After a life-changing skiiing accident, PageGroup CEO Ingham opens up about the challenges he has faced 22 2O21: A crucial year for recruitment The latest REC report showcases the industry’s value to business, the general public and the UK 31 SPECIAL REPORT: Technology 2O21 Exploring the trends and tech that have dominated our virtual world in the past year

22 E COMMUNITY 45 48 49 50

Social Movers & Shakers Recruiter contacts The Last Word: Daniel Cornwell


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mong the benefits of being Recruiter’s editor are meeting colourful and fascinating individuals, hearing incredible stories, and basking in the energy and dynamism of a world-changing industry and many, many exceptional people. Sometimes you get the good fortune of meeting these people a few times. Steve Ingham is one of those individuals who somehow seems more robust and vigorous every time we meet, and even more so last month, when we spoke for the first time in a few years. The conversation that followed could actually be four “It’s business as or five stories; it was difficult to winnow usual but on down the experiences (metaphorical) he shared to the steroids for this number of pages I had ‘iron man’ of to work with. Despite a life-changing recruitment” accident, his enthusiasm for life, humour and ‘can do’ attitude are something to behold. It’s business as usual but on (metaphorical) steroids for this ‘iron man’ of recruitment. Join us on p18 for a sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always uplifting chat with PageGroup’s CEO. Recruiters and in-house recruiters: remember, you’ve got little time to get your clients and businesses, respectively, in the groove to meet the devil that is the new IR35 Off-Payroll legislation affecting the private sector. Hold on tight, and let us know how you get on!

DeeDee Doke, Editor

Ingham calls on business leaders to ‘own’ disability BY DEEDEE DOKE

IT’S TIME FOR business leaders who have a disability to “come out”, give it greater visibility and own it, says Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup. Only 7% of board level executives around the world have “a direct connection” to disability, according to the 2019 #valuable/ EY study, ‘Disability Confidence: The Business Leadership Imperative’. Of that 7%, one in five do not feel comfortable letting their disability be known. Ingham was paralysed from the waist down two years ago as the result of a skiing accident in Switzerland. He is confined to a wheelchair for much of his daily life but works out on a home gym that includes a bicycle enabling him to pedal through functional electrical stimulation or electric pulses. Ingham, a long-time marathon runner and a rugby player, also works out several times a week with a personal trainer. In the UK, Ingham told Recruiter that he was only aware of two business leaders who had shared their disability, himself and former Lloyds Bank CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio, who had spoken publicly of mental health issues. “Are they too frightened or concerned that people will see them as weak or fallible? I don’t know,” Ingham said. “For me, there was no shame in it, no fear in it. I felt no difference – as far as I’m concerned, you know, woe betide anyone who treats me any differently,” he said. After his accident when Ingham made it known he would return to running PageGroup, a senior-level industry executive said to him: “ ‘But you’re in a wheelchair now.’ And I said, ‘I


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38,786 FOLLOWERS AS OF 9 MAR 2021

know’ – in fact, I think I probably said to him, ‘No shit.’ So I was surprised when he said, ‘You won’t get taken seriously.’ I wasn’t going to argue with him, but I just thought, ‘My God, there are people who think that way!’ Possibly the older generation? “Then there are the youngsters who are managing today in the workforce, who think completely the reverse!” Not long after the accident, when he was just starting to get out of bed, Ingham made a video on his tablet for the PageGroup workforce to explain what had happened and his prognosis. The video was shared posted on their internal communications channel. “I told them the story [of the accident], and I said, ‘Look, before you get upset or sympathetic or sad for me – don’t. There’s no reason. I’m fine. “ ‘You know, I’ve done a lot of things on my legs. I’ve run a lot of marathons, I’ve run in all parts of the world, I’ve travelled everywhere, I played rugby. You know, I’ve done a lot of skiing – badly,’ ” he joked. “ ‘But I’ve done a lot on my legs. They’ve taken me a long way, and now they’re having a rest. That is life, and I can still lead, I can still communicate, and I’ll still be your leader’.” The response from Page’s people overwhelmed him. “If you saw the reaction and read the messages I got after sending that video out – it was unbelievable,” Ingham says. “Very motivating, very uplifting, because to them, their leader was overcoming a bigger challenge than they could even conceive – you know, mentally overcoming it as well as physically overcoming it, and that’s what they want. “If a CEO isn’t brave enough to come out and talk about disability, how can they possibly imagine hiring disabled people into their businesses,” he says, “because they’re already undervaluing or think people will undervalue them as soon as they announce they are disabled.” • Read our exclusive interview with Steve Ingham on p18-22.


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Looking for ‘well-stocked minds’ in future candidates BY DEEDEE DOKE

ASKING POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES what they have done during the Covid pandemic should provide “a litmus test” in job interviews as to whether candidates are resilient, adaptable and self-motivated, depending on their responses, according to Margaret Heffernan, professor of practice at the University of Bath School of Management. Delivering a keynote address for global law firm Baker McKenzie’s virtual ‘Future Work: Renewal strategies for a transformational workforce’ event in February, Heffernan outlined characteristics that employers should look for when they are hiring now, and in the future, to successfully navigate business change. “What we need are well-stocked minds,” Heffernan said. “People who are capable of change, embrace change and are committed to lifelong learning.” Asking questions such as what

candidates are currently reading and what they did during the pandemic can showcase such traits, she said. “I’ve seen people do extraordinary things [during the pandemic],” Heffernan said. “I think that is going to be a real litmus test.” Speaking of ‘transformation programmes’, Heffernan said that the failure rate is between 50-80%, often because of employee resistance. Often, she added, “they’re phony programmes. The ‘why’ has to be credible”. Too often, transformation programmes are created behind closed doors which, Heffernan said, becomes “simply handing down dictats”. Instead, she urged, get more people across the organisation involved and secure their input, telling employees: “ ‘Let’s roll up our sleeves and design this together.’ Participation drives engagement and credibility and legitimacy.” In the new world of work and acknowledging the economic effects of the pandemic, Heffernan said: “Our challenge now is to build regenerative organisations that can sustain themselves, and… everything is up for re-examination.” Innovation occurs, she said, when people “work outside their domain of expertise”, challenging and calling on “the human capacity for imagination”. Measurements such as key performance indicators (KPIs) “restrict imagination”, Heffernan said. During her hourlong talk, Heffernan also described traits of effective teams and recognising failure as a sign of initiative.


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S T A R T- U P S P O T L I G H T


Recruiters step up to help economic recovery A new report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) showcases how recruiters have “stepped up through the pandemic to keep the wheels of our economy turning” and urges employers to treat recruitment as “a priority issue”. ‘Recruitment and recovery: How we can create a more productive and inclusive labour market’ outlines the economic and social impact of recruitment in the UK, with a headline finding that getting recruitment right boosts UK productivity by £7.7bn each year. Neil Carberry, REC CEO, said: “Employers that treat recruitment as a priority issue because of the value it adds unlock competitive advantage. Bringing in the best talent boosts productivity – especially where organisations work with recruitment experts. Companies wouldn’t go to court without the best lawyers – they shouldn’t hire without the best recruitment and staffing service.”

Research for the study was commissioned by the REC in January and conducted by Public First. The work involved running new surveys of workers, business and the industry to understand their experiences with recruitment, an REC statement said. The research included: Consumer poll – a nationally representative poll of 2,000 adults in Britain, weighted by interlocking age and gender, region and social grade. Business poll – an in-depth economically representative poll of 500 businesses, weighted by business size, sector and region. Industry survey – a short survey of 114 REC members, examining their financial performance over the last two years. Also, Public First ran two follow-up short polls, one focusing on 4,000 adults in Britain weighted by interlocking age and gender, region and social grade, and the other of 1,000 businesses, weighted by business size, sector and region. • Read more about the report on p24.

Scott Hubball, director of new life science specialist recruiter Biotech Rec, believes that without his first boss in recruitment he wouldn’t be where he is now. Having now launched his own recruitment business, Hubball began his career in the industry at Think Specialist Recruitment: “I was lucky enough to be trained by the MD, Chris Jones, who taught me all the principles to become a successful recruiter. If it wasn’t for him, I would not be in the position I am now.” From Think SR, he moved into the life sciences sector, which he found “incredibly interesting and hugely rewarding”. He built relationships with individuals “in some of the leading life science companies around the world, along with exciting entrepreneurs who have innovative products hopeful of reaching the market”. This was a catalyst in launching Biotech Rec: “Biotech Rec has a strong network of clients and candidates, which is growing daily. The best way to stand out in the market is to demonstrate relationships by repeat business. “I wanted to take the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my life to build a company that utilises all the positives. I want to create a company that people will want to join by giving them the trust and support to achieve goals within their career and life.” Moving forward, over the next year Hubball hopes to grow the team internally and (Covid dependent) open its first office, with a new joiner confirmed for April. Biotech Rec is a partner of Davidson Gray, which provides support to start-up recruitment businesses. “We have aggressive growth plans and aim to be the pinnacle agency providing recruitment services to the life science sector,” he concludes.


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Kennedy Executive Search Kennedy Executive Search has welcomed its first Belgian partner office. With offices in Ghent and Antwerp, Tavernier & Van De Vijver has joined the global network of privately-owned executive search firms. The recruiter was founded by Veerle Van De Vijver and Luc Tavernier and is Kennedy’s 13th partner firm, bringing the total number of offices in Europe, North America and Latin America to 20.

ea Change IT and business change solutions provider ea Change has announced a management buyout. After 23 years of leadership, ea Change founders Steve Robson, Cheryl Robson and Jon Murphy are stepping away from their day-to-day roles to “remain part of the journey in an advisory capacity”. Senior team members James McNicol and Andrew Oliver will become joint owners and managing directors of the business.

Lorien International technology recruitment specialist Lorien has partnered with global life sciences recruitment expert SRG to create an allencompassing digital health recruitment solution. The STEM proposition will offer tailored recruitment models, enabling fast-growing businesses across life sciences and technology to scale up. Both companies are part of managed service provider Impellam Group.

Nava Navartis vartis White-collar Whitee-collar technical recruitment specialist spe Navart rtis has acquired a controlling interest in Navartis in Project Resource, a brand operating in the same space. With operations in the UK, Australia and Canada, Navartis specialises in the supply of white-collar engineering professionals for infrastructure projects within the rail, power, telecoms, construction and civil engineering industries. Project Resource has delivered white-collar recruitment services for infrastructure and build projects in the construction and civil engineering space for the last 20 years. It will rebrand to Navartis later this year.

The Curve Group Recruitment and HR outsourcing and consultancy provider The Curve Group will be continuing its partnership with Propel, a finance provider to SMEs, providing recruitment and HR services to them for a further three years.


Galago Group Kent-based New Appointments Group has been acquired by recruitment organisation Galago Group. New Appointments specialises in permanent, temporary and contract recruitment solutions across a variety of sectors including in the manufacturing and engineering industries. A statement from Galago Group, which is based in Purley, Surrey, said the company “will work closely with New Appointments Group’s existing senior management team to support


the continued growth of the business alongside its other subsidiaries”. Galago’s brands operate in the accountancy, healthcare, private nursing, driving and industrial sectors, and recruitment process outsourcing. Galago Group was advised by Castle Corporate Finance, led by managing director Stuart Stepney. Financial due diligence was provided by Azets and legal advice from Outset Legal.

Orka Technology Group Worker tech start-up Orka Technology Group has raised £29m in its latest funding round and will use the capital to fuel the rapid growth of its earned wage access product Orka Pay. The fundraise was a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding involving the British Business Bank Future Fund and existing investors, including former UK CEO of Adecco Peter Searle.

More contract news at

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The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


equality. Others have, too… Imagine if we all did. How can we remove the barriers for increased participation from underrepresented groups. How as a sector can we achieve this ambition? KPMG’s recent article, ‘How to start talking about workplace racism’, is such a good read. It reminds you just how far we all must go but also of the positive start that many organsisations have made in addressing inequalities. KPMG’s underpinning message of holding regular discussions about race, managing our own biases and ensuring management are comfortable with the conversations about race are all actions we can implement. We have ensured that everyone can identify with their own unconscious bias through participation in Harvard’s Project Implicit test. If you haven’t done so, give it a go. A wonderful starting point for change. ‘Partnering for Racial Justice in Business’, launched by the World Economic Forum, has well laid out objectives in helping design racially and ethnically just workplaces, by asking companies to address racism at all levels. ‘Tackling racism in the workplace’, the hub developed by CIPD, is crammed full of information

“If we are to create real modern, progressive workplaces, then racial inequality should become a priority for us all” and resources and supported by an excellent range of webinars. We have an opportunity to deliver a lasting programme of change in the sector we know and love by providing the landscape of opportunity for all ethnicities. We sit at the centre of how organisations grow by finding great talent – we are the key pathway of how people find great opportunities. As a sector, we can be instrumental in leading the way and changing the landscape of opportunity. And driven by a purpose we can achieve greater diversity for UK business by helping our clients with their sourcing and attraction strategies.

MODERN PROGRESSIVE WORKPLACES… an exciting destination for us all. These are organisations that are constantly challenging how things have always been done. How conventional wisdom is replaced with more adventurous entrepreneurial thinking. Doing the same ‘things’ time and time again lead to the same outcome – no progression, no boundaries pushed and, most importantly, no permanent change. Flexible working has been challenged by agile working. There is now widespread recognition that work and life have increasingly merged. The gender conversation found a home on the boardroom agenda 10 years ago; although there’s some way to go, there has been some strong work addressing gender inequality. But if we are to create real modern progressive workplaces, then racial inequality should become a priority for us all. It is the stated ambition of our Board that we are going to change Goodman Masson the for the better, with a commitment to ensuring that diversity, inclusion and respect lie at the centre of everything we do – fundamentally changing the way we are behaving, and the way we understand and think about

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson

How do we do this? Starting with a real commitment to changing the diversity profile of people entering our sector. Over the past year there has been much discussion. I believe it is now time to deliver meaningful change that challenges systemic racism, bias and redefines equal opportunity within the recruitment sector. We all should work in a modern, progressive sector. ●

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EXPLORE ANNUITY REVENUES THE AVERAGE RECRUITER is spending 1,300 hours per year on literally producing nothing: zilch, zip, nada! With average fill rates in the traditional contingency recruitment model sitting at about 46%, your teams are spending over half their energy devoted to zero success. Recruiters hate comparisons, but other than used car and double glazing sales, which industry actually tolerates this? However, always the competitive type, not to be outdone, recruiters don’t just tolerate it, we actually seek to scale it – as if we’ll suddenly get better at it if we have more people doing the same things! The industry is better than this. So perhaps it’s time to explore additional offerings in your service proposition. How about a predictable, contractual and profitable revenue stream? One that creates and supports loyal customers, and presents the opportunity to further embed and upsell your service offering? If that sounds about as likely as a pink unicorn in the current climate, read on… Annuity revenues, sometimes known as recurring revenue, are the holy grail for recruiters. It’s about moving away from the transactional ‘one hit wonders’ of recruitment, and instead moving to revenue streams enhanced by contractual obligations and longer-term visibility. Annuity revenues can take many forms: ● Managed services (MSP/RPO) ● Exclusivity ● Retained ● Statement of Work – own the projects and timelines ● On-site ● Preferred supplier status. When your relationships with your clients are service-focused and deep, it’s a natural extension to provide these key clients with even more value-added service, presenting it in one of these defined forms of annuity revenues. These could include offerings such as: ● Management reporting ● End-to-end control of the recruitment process ● Critical data analysis ● Market intelligence ● Salary and benefits benchmarking ● Internal mobility ● Raising brand awareness and reputation for candidates ● People reviews ● Project management ● Management of additional suppliers ● Remote onboarding

Tara Ricks COO of Elite Leaders going to enhance the depth of client relationships or my revenue stream? ● Solution selling ● Value-added services can become a competitive lockout differentiator ● Lower cost of sale – if the prospect is already a client, this extension of service is way more cost-effective ● Total revenue stream becomes significantly more consistent and therefore forecastable ● Moving your client relationship to a higher level of spend. But this doesn’t happen overnight. You need to plan it strategically. Make sure you have a culture of offering clear value-added services and products to clients. Really define your service proposition and articulate that clearly in your marketing collateral. Research and understand the technology required. MSP is one of the most highly serviced areas. Audit your clients, identify potential buyers of an annuity revenues-type service via your knowledge of their buying behaviours, business flow, current quality and visibility of processes and financials – choose wisely!

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Annuity revenue, however that may look in your business, generates sustainable, predictable revenue, and profit. Clients are crying out for increased value, which will in turn drive them to purchase more from you. This motivates and inspires colleagues. So, the question really is – why wouldn’t you be doing this?

As with any ambition to diversify service offerings, we must understand the ‘why’. How are these new approaches

TARA RICKS is a NED to the recruitment sector and also COO of Elite Leaders, the advisory and consultancy game changers


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DEALING WITH UPHEAVAL Over the past 12 months, businesses have been going through turbulent times. So how do you implement change in an era of ‘change fatigue’? B Y B U R A K KO Y U N C U, P H D A N D A L E K S A N D R A H E R T E L E N D I

he greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.’ When Peter Drucker said these words, he could not have envisaged the world as we find it in 2021, though its relevance is undeniable. The upheaval and rapid organisational change that many businesses experienced last year has fundamentally changed how businesses implement change and how employees react to it. Businesses had no choice but to drastically change their day-to-day processes overnight, catching many off-guard. Now, a year on, organisations have had time to adapt to these initially rushed alterations and find ways to make procedures run smoothly; whether that be remotely, with reduced workforces or modified daily practices. However, constant changes to a business’s structure and processes can have wide-ranging implications for its employees. Research conducted by Gartner towards the end of 2020 found that an employee’s capacity to ‘absorb’ change without becoming fatigued has fallen by 50% compared to 2019. Change fatigue manifests itself in many different forms with these ranging from burnout and mental exhaustion, through to indifference and active resistance to change. A key outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the constant incremental changes that individuals have experienced both in their personal



and professional lives. From working from home, on/off lockdowns, restricted mobility and a more blended work/personal life, this build-up of little changes has overloaded many, resulting in employees ‘turning off ’ to valuable business change. For instance, 24% of fatigued employees are more likely to intentionally behave in ways that work against changes the organisation is trying to implement, and a further 19% are more likely to leave. This is a bad combination for those businesses at a point where they need to implement further changes, and when employees’ acceptance of change is at its lowest. All sectors have been altered by the effects of the pandemic and the recruitment industry is no different. We’ve heard from recruiters, and organisations that recruit, on both the positive and negative impacts the pandemic has had. For example, video interviews are seen as efficient and allow similar interactions as face-to-face meetings, as well as saving time, effort and organisation for recruiters.

They are finding the sheer amount of people applying for jobs extremely challenging

However, they are finding the sheer amount of people applying for jobs extremely challenging. This has tremendously increased over the past year and has resulted in a less inclusive approach as not all companies have decided to apply applicant tracking systems (ATS) to their full extent. This means many recruiters are still reading through every single CV before inviting people for interview, which can at times be overwhelming, especially where there is not the resource to track each application. Subsequently, in those organisations where ATS is used to the full extent, the diversity – or lack thereof – of the applicants is what generates extra work, and additional rounds. In turn, these issues can make a process that previously had a human touch very inhuman. Despite this, rising levels of unemployment can also present an opportunity for the recruitment sector, and businesses must be open to the organisational changes needed to be successful in keeping businesses profitable as well as finding candidates appropriate roles efficiently. As such, it is important for employees of such

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companies to be engaged and open to change – despite suffering from the inevitable change fatigue brought on from the past year. With employees unable to absorb change as effectively as before, how can leaders successfully introduce change in 2021?

Leaders should challenge themselves and ask whether the introduction of certain changes are actually needed and consider how they could be introduced in a way that’s least disruptive to employees. Empowering employees to co-create and continuously encouraging a two-way communication is essential for reducing the cognitive load that change can bring. Remember, employees communicating with candidates daily know the common issues being faced and should be encouraged to share their ideas with management on processes they feel should be implemented to support clients as well as their own organisations.

Consider bringing in additional resources to support the change

Focus on support and inclusion

Employee wellbeing has never been more paramount, with many still remote working, and the impact of a third national lockdown causing rising levels of isolation. In this current climate businesses should continue to dedicate resources, time and flexibility to reduce the impact of necessary changes. More than ever before, it’s important to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of our employees and imagine the load that they are already experiencing. It is vital to understand employees’ limits and, where necessary, possibly introduce more positive changes when employees cannot take any more on. For example, the introduction of freelancers or secondees to help manage the process.

Remote working has highlighted the importance of support and inclusion on employee productivity, and their acceptance of change. Communication is key to this and with reduced physical face time, employees need to feel like they are being heard. Leaders need to be able to tune in to what is being both said and not said, and be very intentional and purposeful in their communication. Offer employees training on positive remote working practices, tips for onboarding remotely and the opportunities that working from home presents. When employees feel comfortable in executing their daily tasks, positive results will follow both for their own levels of engagement and the business as a whole.


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Clear 360 channels of communication are essential. What has changed is that employees are less forgiving if words don’t follow action, or if either part of the messaging is exclusive to any groups. With unemployment levels rising to 5% in January 2021, recruiters are presented with an opportunity to help candidates find a role at a time when it may otherwise feel impossible. Clear messaging and objectives for employees mean that they will know exactly what is expected of them to support clients, ultimately leading to increased levels of engagement and job satisfaction.

ALEKSANDRA HERTELENDI is principal consultant, LHH UK and Ireland

Encourage employee contribution

Communicate with purpose

With the number of people out of work in the UK continuing to rise, recruiters have a big role to play in the post-pandemic world and this puts enormous pressure on recruiters as employees themselves. It can be emotionally draining for recruiters to speak with those worst affected by the pandemic day-in, day-out, and therefore employers must do what they can to ensure their own wellbeing is prioritised.

BURAK KOYUNCU PHD is Workforce Solutions director, LHH UK and Ireland


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TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES Employee experience the Microsoft way New venture to support work-tech entrepreneurs Sheffield-based Tribepad, developer of next-generation applicant tracking systems, wants to promote and support other work-tech businesses with the launch of a £1m fund. Tribepad Ventures aims to attract businesses at the incubator and accelerator stages of their lifecycles and will provide them with advice to help refine their ideas, scale the technology and build business plans. They will also have access to seed capital, technical support and coaching. Dean Sadler, CEO of Tribepad Ventures, said the shift from occasional flexible working to full-time hybrid models is throwing up huge challenges in how businesses manage and hire people. “But investment is hard to come by at a time where the economy has contracted,” he said, and added that as well as tech expertise and technology, Tribepad Ventures can provide entrepreneurs with anonymised data on millions of job applications to create the work-tech of the future.

Microsoft has launched an employee experience platform. Microsoft Viva aims to bring together employee engagement, learning, wellbeing and knowledge tools directly into an employee’s workflow, and integrates with 365 and Teams. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company has participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen. “Every organisation will require a unified employee experience from onboarding and collaboration to continuous learning and growth,” he said. Microsoft has also announced an initial set of modules in Viva that will provide built-in capabilities, partner integrations and platform extensibility so that customers can integrate their existing employee experience systems and tools with Viva.


A look at some AI services with recruiters and employers in mind

Grading postings for best D&I Talent acquisition suite provider Jobvite has launched an online analytic tool to review job descriptions and highlight areas that can create more inclusive job postings. The Job Description Grader aims to help recruiters target the areas where bias appears in job ads. It uses AI, data analytics and benchmarks combined with diversity & inclusion (D&I) best practices to analyse job descriptions and identify requirements, experiences and language that may restrict an applicant pool. As well as gender, Jobvite said the tool also takes racial bias, insensitive word use, readability and sentiment into consideration.


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The ‘internet in your database’ Recruitment software specialist Dillistone is launching a proprietary platform that uses Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) to track publicly available global information on executives and the organisations for whom they work. The Talentis TalentGraph contains detailed profiles of millions of individuals and Dillistone claims these include profiles associated with senior executives who may not be found on usual social media platforms. It can also recognise executive information across more than 1bn distinct webpages. It also means users don’t have to add information on potential candidates to their CRM but retrieve it directly from web profiles.

Application-tointerview in one hour? Robotic process automation company RoboRecruiter is partnering with behaviour-based assessment specialist Arctic Shores, and aims to transport candidates from application-to-interview in “just one hour”. RoboRecruiter’s range of automation tools handle each application and qualify a client’s basic needs while a candidate’s behavioural fit is assessed using Arctic Shores’ technology. Candidates schedule their own interview and all of the relevant information is sent to the applicant tracking system (ATS). RoboRecruiter automatically invites candidates to the assessment via SMS. Arctic Shores claims that its technology is also helping clients to improve diversity by removing unconscious bias. Engineering and manufacturing company Siemens reports that Arctic Shores helped to double the number of women that progressed to the final stages of their process.


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A risky business? Think carefully about offering IR35 support services BY MATT FRYER

s the deadline looms for changes to the off-payroll working rules, we are noticing a worrying trend in recruitment agencies offering IR35 review or Status Determination Statement (SDS) services. Typically, the agency procures an automated SDS production tool, completing it for the contractors they have placed and passing it to the end-client to rely upon. Although this is done to help clients through the transition, in our view recruiters should avoid this activity or think carefully about their processes.


The reasonable care risk The off-payroll rules place a very clear obligation on the end-client to produce and issue an SDS. In doing so they are required to take “reasonable care”. This will, as a minimum, involve an assessment of the working practices of the role together with a review of the relevant contracts in place. It is acceptable to outsource this review to a suitably qualified specialist. The risk arises if the individual tasked with completing the SDS tool is not an expert in employment status or cannot accurately answer the pertinent questions. It is also likely that a review of the contracts will be omitted from this process and the SDS may be “signed off ” by a client representative who is far removed from both the contract and day-to-day working arrangements.

The likely outcome is that HMRC would find that the client has not fulfilled their obligations. Should this be the case the client will become the ‘deemed employer’ under the legislation and will be pursued by HMRC for all the tax and NIC [National Insurance Contributions] due plus interest. HMRC has offered to help correct any honest mistakes in the first 12 months, but intentional failure to demonstrate reasonable care may still trigger penalties, bringing significant reputational damage for the recruiter.

Insurances While comfort could be taken via a tax loss insurance policy it is unlikely that an insurer would stand by a claim in the event where a recruiter had unwittingly inputted incorrect information into an SDS tool. Recruiters should also check their Professional Indemnity cover to ensure that they are insured for this type of work.

Managed services company risk

The biggest sting in the tail, however, could be the impact of MSC legislation introduced in 2007. Providing a service related to IR35 is likely to be considered as falling outside of the agency exemption and may therefore bring the MSC rules into consideration.

Senior accounting officer (SAO) risk

MATT FRYER is head of legal services at Brookson Legal


For larger businesses (end-clients and recruiters) affected by the SAO reporting rules, there is an additional consideration that the business has not properly managed its tax risks, appropriately managed the implementation of a new system, ensured that appropriate training has been given and obtained the necessary facts to make judgements. This can result in personal financial penalties for the SAO and corporate penalties for the business. Remember, it is the client’s obligation to get IR35 right. Many do need support to do this, but we would advise you to think twice about whether your team has the experience to provide a service that will stand up to HMRC scrutiny. ●

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“What will be your greatest investment in your recruitment business this year?”

I am writing in response to your article ‘FCSA calls on government to give more protection to contingent workers’ (24 February 2021). This is a great article, highlighting the flaws in how legislation is formulated and implemented. An assumption by Whitehall mandarins that “companies with over 250 employees” are big enough to absorb SSP [Statutory Sick Pay] costs underlines the fact that the umbrella company industry desperately needs representation. The fact that employee NICs, employer pension and other costs are not reimbursed has had the (presumably unintended) effect leaving contractors and temporary workers effectively unable to access the furlough scheme. Kudos to the FCSA for amplifying the unintended consequence of some of the government’s thinking in this area – understandably our government needs assistance and the FCSA is well placed to offer this assistance... John Whelan


“Given that 2020 was such a difficult and uncertain year, our greatest investment is without doubt back into our own people – specifically their mental and physical health. We are doing this in a number of ways. We have engaged an employee assistance programme, which provides an advisory service to support mental wellbeing across the board. This is in addition to a combination of dedicated Mental Health First Aiders and our own Guardian Programme to provide an internal support system. All our employees also have flexi access to a huge range of gyms and sport clubs, and online fitness and mindfulness classes.”


“For me, the answer is simple – our people. 2020 was tough mentally for everyone, and we need to put our arms around our people and really invest in our EVP. We’ve always said our people make the difference, something I believe now more than ever. We’ll also be investing in the pockets of brilliance I see throughout our business, empowering our experts through our Virtuosity programme to use their strengths and lead from the front. If we look after our people, they will look after our customers.”


“It has never been more evident in the last year that your employees are your greatest asset. Look after your staff, and you will retain and surround yourself with brilliant people – people who feel supported, motivated and rewarded. That is why we are focusing on the ‘investment in our people’. As the ersg brands expand internationally, our people strategy focus is on staff retention – through training, support and reward, and culture – investing in new talent and increasing diversity.”


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ING A N EW PAG E A life-changing skiing accident could have had a devastating effect on PageGroup’s CEO Steve Ingham. DeeDee Doke spoke to him about how life has changed for him – at home and at work


hortly before Steve Ingham and I are to begin our conversation, our first for a few years, a mighty crash has jolted Ingham’s London house. This particular house has recently undergone a lot of renovation, but apparently a piece of the building near the roof has plummeted to ground. However, everyone in the household, including the dog, is safe. So Ingham is in fine humour, crisp and energetic in one of his signature pastel, button-up shirts, open at the top. His office is on the top floor of the house, where renovations had begun before the life-changing accident that left him paralysed from the navel down during a birthday skiing trip to Switzerland in March 2019.


When the accident happened, the CEO of PageGroup and his fiancée were living in a rented third-floor flat with no lift. But they had already purchased this house, and the builders were in. “It needed a lot of work, the roof was off and scaffolding was all over it. I mean, it looked like it was being held up by scaffolding,” he recalls. “And then I had the accident,” he says. “So, I rang them from intensive care, and said, ‘Stop’. They went, ‘Why?’ and I explained. I said, ‘I just need to know that whatever you’re doing, from now on, isn’t going to have to be redone, because I need a wider door, and I will need this, or I need that because of my disability. At the moment, I don’t know all the answers because what I learn over the next few months will give me

those answers – but you know, I don’t know whether I will want to change the design of the house’. “Obviously,” Ingham continues, “lifts were going to have to come into play, and you have to get planning permission if you’ve got a house of this age. So we had to work out whether, architecturally, there was a route for a lift to be able to go up and down the building so I could access every floor. “So,” he says with some understatement, “there was a lot going on.”

Living life Flashback to March 2019, when in addition to completing expensive renovations on the newly purchased house in London’s St John’s Wood, Ingham was looking ahead to his daughter’s wedding in

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Steve Ingham’s office is on the top floor of his newly renovated house


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late summer and attending the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan in the autumn, along with his usual fast-paced activity at the global PageGroup business. But as John Lennon once said, ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.’ On 10 March, during his Swiss holiday, Ingham was skiing alone – “unusually and against everybody’s advice”, he says – when he lost control on a tight corner, fell down a rocky chasm and landed in an icy stream. Even in those initial moments, he knew he was paralysed: “Actually, I had far bigger issues that could have killed me then – one of them was hypothermia because you’re lying in a river, right, and it’s Switzerland, so you’re pretty cold. “What I didn’t appreciate was I’d also smashed a whole bunch of ribs that had gone into my lungs, so my lungs were filling up with blood. I had a litre and a half of blood when I got to the hospital, which they had to drain out because I couldn’t breathe properly,” Ingham says. “I knew I was in a lot of pain.

From the start, Ingham knew he was paralysed

I knew about the hypothermia, and I knew I was paralysed because I couldn’t feel my legs – I could feel how cold the river was, but my legs couldn’t. “So straight away, while I was lying in the river, stream, whatever, I was thinking to myself: ‘Well, I’m going to have to be in a wheelchair.’ You know it’s a different kind of physical challenge. Ok, I can deal with that,” he says. “But I need to get

“I’m not medical, but I knew that I didn’t have long, and I also knew that if I took a rest or if I closed my eyes, that was it” 20 RECRUITER

out of this bloody river because I will die soon from hypothermia.” He fought hard to stay awake as the icy water ran through his gloves and other clothing. “I’m not medical, but I knew that I didn’t have long, and I also knew that if I took a rest or if I closed my eyes, that was it. It was a one-way street, you’re gone,” he relates. “And there is an overwhelming desire to go to sleep. It’s an unbelievably powerful feeling, and if you get into it, you’re dead. It’s as simple as that.” Ingham estimates that about 35 minutes passed before he was spotted. His calls for help and throwing nearby objects into the air such as gloves and ski poles attracted the attention of a passing Frenchman who stopped for a brief respite at the top of the chasm. The Frenchman alerted emergency authorities, along with Ingham’s fiancée, who was waiting for him at

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their appointed lunch spot. A Swiss mountain rescue team eventually arrived, then a helicopter to ferry Ingham to hospital. “I remember the doctor climbing down, and I just said, ‘Look, can you give me something for the pain?’ He said, ‘No problem.’ Then I went into a coma. And I didn’t wake for three days, probably because they made sure I didn’t.” A terse message from PageGroup notified the City that Ingham had been involved in a serious skiing accident. PageGroup CFO Kelvin Stagg managed the business in Ingham’s absence while Ingham’s treatment for his spinal injury, recovery and rehabilitation took place at hospitals in Switzerland and the UK. With metal on his ribs and metal on his back and undergoing operations, he was now beginning the process of learning how he needed to live his new life. “The limit of what I knew was I’d probably be in a wheelchair, but I had no comprehension of what it actually means,” he acknowledges. “You find out all the complications, all the difficulties, all the challenges which, you know, you don’t actually learn about until a month, two months, three months, four months, whatever. It’s more of a gradual process so that you know, look, I’m paralysed. “You know what works, what doesn’t work,” he says. In his case, everything above his waist, he says, “works 100%”. But below his navel, “you know, it’s mixed”.

He still aims to stay fighting fit and disciplined

growth of bone in the non-skeletal tissues including muscle, tendons or other soft tissue that led to more surgery, more pain and more down time than he wanted. Physically active before his accident and a rugby player in his youth, Ingham was not able to train for some months, even after returning to work at PageGroup. However, he works with a personal trainer three times a week on Zoom, as well as enjoying visits from his former hospital physiotherapists for two hours a week to help him “do stuff that’s very specific to the muscles I need to do stuff to”.

For his home, he’s invested in a stationary bicycle that can exercise his paralysed legs through functional electrical stimulation, and his workout to keep his legs strong and muscular is ‘cycling’ 15km uphill. It’s working, he says. So, he jokes, “one of the demands of being disabled is that I have to fit all of these hours into my normal life, which is, in my case, working and family. You have to be quite disciplined now to deal with that”. But staying fighting fit, as Ingham has always aimed for, also

Living life differently He is candid about how he must exert planning and control over body functions differently than before his injury. And he also talks about the follow-on complications that struck, such as heterotopic ossification or the abnormal


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will help prevent other medical problems from creeping in and improves blood circulation too. Another bit of kit in the arsenal is a standing machine that helps him to stand on his own two feet. “I stand three or four times a week because otherwise I’d have osteoporosis when I get old. Your heart and your bones work on gravity,” he says. “Your heart works harder when you’re standing up than when you’re lying down, obviously because it is pumping blood up and down against gravity. So, therefore if I sit down all day, my heart gets lazy.” Yes, he has a home gym – a luxury he had organised before his accident. He simply changed the order to reflect his new requirements and get equipment he could use, along with a running machine for his fiancée Sara. “We’ve got a room that’s dedicated to fitness and with a TV so I can watch the rugby and the cricket at the same time,” he says.

Living life enjoyably Ingham does not wear his financial advantage lightly; he knows he is one of the fortunates who can afford the expensive aids and support that enable greater wellbeing, leading to both greater productivity and greater enjoyment of life. Speaking of enjoying life, Ingham clearly is at this time, although he admits he is “always in pain”. He managed even in the first year after his accident to both celebrate his daughter’s wedding and the Rugby World Cup in Japan – in person. Recalling his daughter’s wedding on the beautiful and hot August Bank Holiday in 2019 brings a point of particular pride, and also gives


“I’m very happy, very motivated still in Page. I want to lead and leave a good set of results, which they clearly weren’t last year” him a bit of a laugh. “I stood up. I stood up on the wedding day, at my daughter’s wedding,” Ingham says. What he did not know before his accident was that his new body state would give him an advantage over others in hot weather. Before his accident, he ran to work at his central London office, “and when I ran to work, you had to stay well clear of me because I rained sweat. People could be 10 yards away, and they’d get wet. It was disgusting”, he says. Now, however, paralysis has changed how his body deals with heat. “Your temperature clock is completely screwed by paralysis,” he says. “I don’t sweat anymore.”

Ingham remains at the helm of PageGroup

At the wedding, he not only stood to give the father of the bride’s speed, with help from a special wheelchair that could help him rise and stand, Ingham was quite comfortable in his top hat and tails while everyone else drowned in perspiration. “It’s quite bizarre,” he says. Looking ahead, Ingham will remain at PageGroup’s helm for the foreseeable future. “Yeah, there’s a bit more work to be done, and you know I’m very happy, very motivated still in Page,” he says. “I want to lead and leave a good set of results, which they clearly weren’t last year.” [Editor’s note: PageGroup reported a 28.7% drop in gross profit in 2020 from 2019 and an 89% fall in profit before tax in 2020 from 2019.] “I want to leave the company in good health and doing well,” he says. “I need to see them through, and make sure that we get through it completely and capitalise on it as well.” “And then, you know, at some point in the future – my decision, or the main board’s decision or somebody’s decision, then we’ll call it a day.” When that house is in order, life will undoubtedly continue in Ingham’s ‘get things done’ style, likely to advocate in some way for disabled inclusion in the UK’s workplaces. “I’m gradually building a plan,” he says, “as I build that knowledge bank and listen to lots of people. Hopefully I’ll have a clear agenda and a clear plan as to how to keep the momentum going – and make a little bit of a difference before, you know, I check out altogether.”

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RECRUITMENT Recruiters know that they make a difference in the world of work. However, a new report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) showcases the industry’s value to clients, applicants, candidates, the general public and to the UK at large erhaps the most important takeout for recruitment practitioners is the REC report’s quantification of so many of the differences they make that they may not even be aware of themselves. Published in February, ‘Recruitment and recovery: How we can create a more productive and inclusive labour market’ spells out the multiple contributions that recruitment agencies and their consultants regularly deliver to UK organisations and jobseekers alike



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– with or without a pandemic. Underscoring the sector’s importance to the UK is the following statement: “Throughout the pandemic, the recruitment industry has helped keep vital services running. Looking forward, the industry is likely to play a key role in helping displaced workers find new jobs, helping companies adapt to shifts such as the rise of remote working, and helping build a more diverse and inclusive labour market.” It goes on to say: “2021 will be a crucial year for recruitment. Alongside adapting to the post-Covid economy, the labour market is also set to adapt to the significant changes brought about by Brexit.” In particular, recruiters are essential to the UK’s recovery from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the REC report says. Also, recruiters’ successes in matching people with jobs boost UK productivity and increase the diversity of candidates considered for roles, suggests research commissioned for the REC and carried out by research and communications firm Public First. The report features inputs from recruitment firms such as Acacium


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Group, Audeliss, nGAGE and Pertemps about challenges they have faced during the pandemic and at other times to bring the contemporary world of work and the right people into UK workplaces. And in an exclusive case study (see p26), Randstad UK shares with Recruiter how the global recruitment firm is leading the way for living some of the ‘new ways’ of working that their clients and other employers will need to understand and explore in the post-pandemic era.

RECRUITERS: DID YOU KNOW…? Every 21 seconds

someone finds a permanent role through a recruitment agency

£3bn/ year saved by the Exchequer from reduced benefits and higher tax payments for the 300k+ people who use the recruitment industry to leave unemployment for a permanent role

£86bn 4.3% of gross domestic product The amount supported by the recruitment industry in gross value added across the UK economy

£29bn UK incapacity and disability benefits/2x the UK government’s R&D budget The amount jobs matched by the recruitment industry support in annual tax revenue


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Jenna Alexander (above) is the director of talent acquisition for global recruitment firm Randstad UK and its RPO sibling Randstad Sourceright EMEA. Having been made redundant from her previous role at a start-up in March 2020, she has been a ‘Covid candidate’. Through starting her role at Randstad in July last year, after following interviews with company leaders in April and May, she is a Covid recruitment success story. And through its response to the pandemic and the

77% of companies say that on average the workers that they have found through a recruitment agency are a good match for the jobs


acceleration of pre-existing changes to the world of work, Randstad is demonstrating to clients and candidates alike that it can show them how to adapt to new working conditions, break down old barriers and make sure the right talent has the right chances. Alexander has never visited Randstad UK’s head office in Luton. In fact, if going to the office daily had been a job requirement, she would not have sought the job because of the potential lengthy commute from her home in


of companies say that using an agency helped them increase the diversity of the candidates they considered

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Berkshire. Similarly, she’s never met in person her team, one of whom lives in Malta and others in Scotland and the US, to name several examples. So, her new job is clearly aligned with her own recent experiences: in this role, Alexander is embedding remote recruiting, onboarding and working

‘best practices’ in the company’s DNA, as one of Randstad’s ‘new ways’ of working. This includes hiring even newcomers into the virtual world of work – school leavers, interns and graduates, for instance – and planning to hold eight assessment centres virtually over the next two months. “And out of those eight

assessment centres, we should be able to facilitate 90 to 100 graduates,” Alexander told Recruiter in a Microsoft Teams call. “So, we have created a virtual world,” Alexander said. “We’ve added a very unique approach to the candidate journey by engaging them on our platform, with the view that we do everything virtually. They land on our platform, have the opportunity to fill out basic information, and with that, you can actually set up the stages of the


of companies using temporary workers estimate that they could not operate at all without their use

interviews whether they are virtual, like this [call], one-way interviews when you pre-record questions, as well as group assessment centres.” “That what I was brought in to do, and I’m very grateful for it,” she said. Also, Alexander pointed out, her colleagues who focus on onboarding and learning & development have been laying out the “exact same thing, because you’ve got to be able to set people up for success, when you’re working remotely, and we don’t know if we’re going to go back into offices. And do we really need to? Not necessarily, and if I look at the success of me and a lot of my colleagues… we’ve almost broken down the barriers and, I suppose, the bias toward the fact that people need to be in the office to do well. I think that’s the silver lining of the Covid cloud, in my mind.” In Randstad’s recent annual report for the last year, the company flagged its #newways initiative,


of large businesses say they are likely to exploring hiring people who do not live close to the office in future


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launched in the second quarter of 2020, which has built on its digital transformation. As Randstad explained in its report: “When the pandemic hit, the entire office-based workforce seamlessly went virtual, with employees working from home and interacting with clients and talent through digital platforms.” The company also set up temporary workers to work remotely for their clients, evidence of the value that recruitment agencies can bring to employers. Other offerings to clients were a free digital toolkit, safety protocols and protocol scans and help to “transition to a digital work environment where this was possible”, the report stated. “When that big dark cloud of Covid hit last year, within the space of seven days 98% of our staff were working remotely, all set up and good to go because everyone was already set up with our tools,” Alexander said. When Alexander joined in July, her diary was “fully booked for the first two months”, she said, “because the business has actually made sure that although I’m isolated physically, I’m not isolated emotionally or mentally; I’m always engaging with people”. In addition, the company proved agile in addressing employment needs of pandemic-struck workforces, switching from deploying them to sectors that were closing down to those facing a boom (online shopping, healthcare and logistics, such


40% of Britons say they have used a recruitment agency to find a permanent position

as delivery and distribution) as well as providing training and reskilling services. Randstad also looked to support services that experienced sudden boosts in vacancies requiring filling, such as government operations that needed to beef up workforces to work with unemployment benefit applications and business loans. In January 2021 alone, Alexander’s domain hired 52 people into the company’s own business. “I think the investment that’s going into what we’re doing sits at about £6m worth [of investment] into new hires coming in this quarter,” she

31% of Britons say they have used a recruitment agency to find a temporary role

said. “There’s a huge opportunity of untapped talent now because we’ve torn down that barrier of ‘you need to work near Luton’, ‘you need to work at Manchester’ – you can work anywhere you want.” Naturally, there have been a few bumps along the way, as Alexander acknowledged. “And of course, there have been a few people that have struggled. But part of our strategy is really being able to pick up on the tell-tale signs of someone having a bad time or if someone’s feeling a little bit challenged. We work in a very buoyant industry, there’s a lot of high energy all the time, but we’re only human, and we’re going to have a bad day.

“But we do take very special care with that onboarding because it’s absolutely essential that we set someone up for the best success possible,” she said. “And it takes absolutely every one of us to make sure that those individuals are doing well.” In the post-lockdown era, Alexander predicted: “I think we’re going to maintain a very flexible and agile approach to our people. I don’t see it changing because the opportunity and the wealth of candidates in the wide talent pool that we’ve now created are exceptional. If you suddenly open up the world, you’ve got diverse talent pools at your fingertips, don’t you?”

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Why hiring confidence is growing p3 BI G TALKI NG POI NT

The facts revealing recruiters' strength p4 91 Recruitment Issue MarchApril 2021 Ma ers


Are you ready for IR35? p6 DI VE RSI TY AND I NCLU SI ON

Supporঞng neurodiversity p8

Understanding the market

Job adverts show how the labour market is evolving T

hroughout the pandemic the REC has been following job advert figures using the Jobs Recovery Tracker, to give members, client businesses and the public a sense of how the labour market has been changing and growing. Almost a year on, it’s clear that things look very different to how they did before Covid-19 hit the UK. In terms of sectors that have seen a boost from the pandemic, health and social care is the most obvious. The number of job pos ngs for roles such as care workers, nurses and medical prac oners have remained high throughout the past year as the NHS fought against Covid-19. In January 2021 there were around 40% more adverts for nurses than a year earlier, while there were 74% more adverts for medical radiographers. The other sector that has boomed is construc on. While building sites closed during the first lockdown, they were allowed to open in June and job pos ng numbers have been growing since then. The stamp duty holiday and the fact that most people have been forced to stay at home have also had a posi ve effect in the sector. Skilled trades like bricklayers (+122%) and roofers (+115%), as well

@RECPress RM_Mar-AprNEW.indd 1

as carpenters (+44%), painters and decorators (+38%) and elementary construc on workers (+38%) all saw a big rise in adverts between January 2020 and January 2021. However, with social distancing and other restric ons in place for almost a year now, service industries such as hospitality, leisure, travel and tradi onal retail have suffered. As a result, job advert numbers have plummeted. Comparing January 2020 and January 2021, the roles with the biggest

Making great work happen

drops in job adverts were bar staff (-68%), waiters and waitresses (-64%) beau cians (-60%), chefs (-57%), sports and leisure assistants (-56%) and travel agents (-53%). With the country star ng to emerge from lockdown, this picture will con nue to shi . Recruiters and client firms alike will need to shi with it – and this will make the Jobs Recovery Tracker an even more useful tool in the months ahead. Find out more about this research at 09/03/2021 10:04

Leading the industry

the view... We should all walk a bit taller, says

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execuঞve


hat have recruiters ever done for us? As John Cleese famously didn’t ask in the Life of Brian. What if he had? Well, other than suppor ng £86bn in gross value added across the economy, boos ng produc vity by £7.7bn annually, a million people in temporary work every day and helping 300,000 people out of unemployment each year – twice the number JobCentres do – not much. Oh, actually, £29bn in annual tax revenues contributed by the jobs matched by our industry – twice the government's R&D budget. Every 21 seconds – the me it should take you to wash your hands – a recruiter secures someone a new permanent job. So quite a lot then. Our new study, Recruitment and recovery, sets all of this out. It has, for the first me, measured the mind-boggling contribu on our industry makes to the na on's social and economic strength. What we found will amaze even the most seasoned recruitment veteran and hopefully, make us all feel we can walk a bit taller. It proves that when recruitment does well, Britain does well. Now, more than ever, the country needs our industry to succeed. We can see the way out of the pandemic, and clients will need your help. Likewise, more people than ever are going to need you by their side – to give them the guidance and confidence they need to get back on their feet. To do well, we must make the case for recruiters and recruitment unashamedly. Our campaigns team are going full speed to secure the changes we need from government – making sure our industry's voice is heard. But we will also help you take this message to clients. This report shows that value-led service and professionalism makes a huge difference. Clients wouldn’t go to court without a good lawyer – they need to make sure they hire with professionals at their side too. This campaign is about you. It has all the facts you need to be loud and proud about what you achieve. Shout it from the roo ops.

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



Covid, recovery and women Ornella Nsio, Campaigns & Government Relaঞons Manager


he pandemic has had a fundamental impact on our labour market and ways in which people work. But women, par cularly those with mul ple protected characteris cs, have suffered a larger nega ve economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak. In the first wave of the pandemic, 133,000 more women than men were furloughed, and women were five percentage points more likely to have been made redundant. This is largely due to female workers being overrepresented in the hardest hit sectors and women taking on the larger share of home-schooling and caring responsibili es. According to the Ins tute for Fiscal Studies, working mums are 1.5 mes more likely than working dads to have lost their job or quit since the start of the lockdown, and are also more likely to have been furloughed. To minimise the long-term scarring effects this will have on women's progression, the government must adopt a gendersensi ve approach to recovery. A gender-regressive scenario would cost the economy billions in GDP and leave the UK further behind on the global ranking of gender equality. As members of the government’s Flexible Working Taskforce, the REC supports proposals to make companies publish their family leave and flexible working prac ces online. This requirement would prompt employers to assess their roles for flexibility. It would also remove some of the fear female candidates can have about asking prospec ve employers about their maternity packages and policies. Next, we must reinstate gender pay gap repor ng. The government has given companies a six-month extension to carry this out, but it is impera ve that the extension does not lead to another suspension. While suspending gender pay gap repor ng last year was understandable, a further suspension would undermine government’s commitment to gender equality and send the message that gender equality is a luxury add-on, rather than a business requirement. The labour market has withstood a tough 12 months. However, for it to recover and prosper, gender equality must be at the heart of the government’s strategy.

Recruitment Ma ers March - April 2021

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Leading the industry

the intelligence... Recruiters have a vital role now that recovery is in sight By Josh Prenঞce, Researcher From looking at official figures, it is very easy to conclude that the UK’s economy is in a pre y bad place right now. At the me of wri ng, the latest labour market figures from the ONS showed the unemployment rate had risen to 5.0%, while the employment rate was down to 75.2%. The number of people on company payrolls was almost 800,000 lower than a year earlier, and the number claiming unemployment benefits has been around 2.6 million every month between May and December. In addi on, UK GDP rose by 15.5% in Q3 2020 but remained 9.7% below the levels seen at the end of 2020 – and in November, GDP fell again by around 2.6%. The Bank of England also expects GDP to fall in Q1 2021 by around 4%. The UK’s economy and labour market have certainly taken a big hit because of the pandemic. But despite all this, businesses and recruiters both seem to be op mis c about the outlook and willingness to hire. The official vacancy count has been rising

Labour market figures from the ONS showed the unemployment rate had risen to


GDP fell again by around


UK GDP rose by


in Q3 2020 but remained


below the levels seen at the end of 2020

steadily since April-June 2020. Our JobsOutlook survey shows that employers’ confidence in hiring is growing, si ng at net: +7 in November 2020-January 2021. Their inten ons to bring in new staff have grown too. And these improvements were all happening despite the growing numbers of Covid cases and heightened lockdown measures. So what’s going on? Well, there are a few factors at play. Firms have shown throughout the past year that they can be very adaptable to the circumstances around them – even ones as serious as these. When the first wave of the virus arrived in the UK, there was an understandable sense of panic and worry – about how long it would last, whether their cashflow would allow them to survive, if their supply chain would manage the stress, or if they would be able to func on effec vely while working remotely. And while some have faced difficul es, many have proved that they are agile enough to

while the employment rate was down to


succeed in these extraordinary mes. Recruiters have played a vital role, both in supplying key workers to essen al industries and also advising clients on adap ng their business. Our Recruitment and recovery study finds that 28% of large businesses are set to either explore or con nue hiring people who don’t live close to the office in the future, following the remote working revolu on of the past year. Recruiters are there to help find the best staff for their vacancies. But the other factor is the vaccine rollout. There is now a clear light at the end of the tunnel, and this has given the third lockdown a completely different feel to the first. Employers can now plan ahead more effec vely, move their business from crisis to recovery phase, and look to hire new staff to help them bounce back. Recruiters will be there to provide valuable advice, help them to find the flexible workers they need, and create a more produc ve and inclusive labour market. March - April 2021 Recruitment Ma ers

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Recruitment and recovery

big talking point

The impact of good recruitment F

rom within the recruitment industry, it’s easy to sense how important the sector is. Seeing how securing the right job can change someone’s life. Finding the people businesses need to keep going. Fuelling the economy. But the REC recently commissioned independent research to measure that economic and social impact, and it confirms it’s one of the country’s most valuable sectors – and worth much more than many people think. With 119,000 workers placing nearly ten ঞmes as many people into permanent roles across the UK each year, the industry is worth more to the UK economy than the accountancy or the legal sectors. It also has the highest penetraঞon of agency work of any advanced economy, which is what gives our labour market the flexibility it needs to keep unemployment low. As many as one in five companies using temporary workers believed they would not be able to operate at all without them. The industry is also at the forefront of driving change. Only 10% of companies say that every single worker they have


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The gross value added supported by recruitment, equivalent to 4.3% of GDP

hired is a good fit. And as they switch on to the costs of making a bad hire, the recruitment sector is contribuঞng to increased producঞvity – to the tune of £7.7bn a year – by finding the right candidate for each job. That will only increase as recruiters help their clients

access talent from a wider geographical area with the rise of remote working. Three in four companies say that on average the workers that they have found through a recruitment agency are a good match. Likewise, 78% of those who found a job through a recruiter said it was a good match for them. With diversity and inclusion under the spotlight, three in five businesses said that working with a recruitment agency had helped them increase the diversity of the candidates they considered, and a similar number said it had helped them increase the diversity of new recruits. And when it comes to social mobility, the industry is helping people to find their first jobs, a route out of unemployment and the opportunity to gain new skills and the confidence to progress. But, for all the posiঞves, it’s clear that recruiters’ work is not done. The REC’s

9 in 10

The number of businesses with more than 10 employees which say recruitment is important to their success

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The annual tax revenues supported by the jobs matched each year

report also highlighted that only half of Britons think that companies do a good job at recrui ng efficiently, while even fewer believe the process of recruitment is fair or inclusive to job seekers like themselves. So what can be done to build on these results and prove the industry’s value to more people?

tackling issues such as diversity and inclusion and future skills requirements, as well as hiring methods and new ways of working. Albert Ellis, CEO of the Staffline Group, agrees: “We’re s ll seen as middlemen, but we’re much more than that – we’re not facilitators, we’re consultants. We help clients understand what they need, we help shape that, and some mes we change their minds.” “Recruiters are the gateway to the market. Without them people would be absolutely lost,” he con nues. He also points to increasing recogni on of that fact from government, who have given contracts to recruiters so they can support those who have lost their jobs in the current pandemic. Both bosses refer to the skill and empathy good recruiters have in the way they hold candidates’ hands through what can be a trauma c experience – however experienced or senior the candidate might be. But Cook also offers a few words of advice to all recruiters in order to raise the industry’s profile: “Under promise and overdeliver. Triage effec vely. Do less, be er.” For the REC, it’s a ma er of campaigning for the government and companies to focus more on the importance of good recruitment – and to unlock its power to support economic growth, social mobility and inclusion. “For too long, many CEOs have spoken of people as their biggest asset, but le the process of bringing staff into the business as something to be done at

A hidden industry For Tim Cook, Chief Execu ve at nGAGE, the answer lies in persuading people to stop thinking of recruitment as a process – as long as that remains the case, recruitment and its value remains hidden behind the scenes. “The industry o en gets thought of as too much of a broker, but I’ve never met a recrui ng manager who doesn’t want to talk to an expert in their field. The same goes for candidates. Having that knowledge of any given sector and the skills within it is our intellectual property, and that’s the value we deliver.” “Everyone can luck out and find a good finance director, but who wouldn’t want to see an interes ng selec on of FDs to choose from,” he con nues. He believes the past 12 months have given the industry a great opportunity That is equivalent to saving of thepeople using the The number to shi percep ons and prove its Exchequer worth. over £3 billion a year recruitment industry to leave “It’s been as hard for us as it has been IURP UHGXFHG EHQHĆWV DQG KLJKHU unemployment for clients, but we’ve been able totax payments, and over twice for a permanent communicate a lot more closely about DV PDQ\ DV WKRVH ZKR ĆQG D MRE role every year, saving the what we can do be er. It’s made it more the Job Centre. through Exchequer over £3bn from personal – and recruitment is personal,” reduced benefits and higher tax he says. It’s also pushed the fast forward payments bu on on moving recruitment towards having a more strategic partnership ership role with the client, par cularly ly around

100,000+ The number of young people a year finding their first job through a recruitment agency

low cost and high speed. By contrast, employers that treat recruitment as a priority issue because of the value it adds unlock compe ve advantage,” said REC CEO Neil Carberry. “Companies wouldn’t go to court without the best lawyers – they shouldn’t hire without the best recruitment and staffing service.” He adds: “From temporary work to permanent roles, at home or at a workplace, recruiters have stepped up through the pandemic to keep the wheels of our economy turning. And they will be more important than ever as we bounce back – helping government, businesses and employees build a be er p y world of work.”

Every year, over 300,000 people use the recruitment industry to leave unemployment for a permanent role.


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Off-payroll rules

legal update IR35 – are you ready? By Jane O'Shea, REC Solicitor


n March last year, an cipa ng the economic shock that was to come, the government took the sensible step of listening to our call to delay the implementa on of IR35. One year on however, the reforms to how we tax contractors in the private sector are due to come into force from 6 April. This brings the private sector in line with the public sector which has been working under similar rules since 2017. If you use contractors, you have certain obliga ons you must follow which we discuss here. The changes affect medium and large companies which will be responsible for determining whether the contractors they hire fall within the scope of IR35 off-payroll rules, and are therefore liable to pay the appropriate income tax and Na onal Insurance Contribu ons. Small companies will be exempt from the changes. Determining a contractor's status Clients must decide whether their

contractors fall inside or outside of IR35. They must provide a Status Determina on Statement (SDS) outlining the reasons for their decision and provide this to the worker directly and to the next party in the supply chain. Each party must then in turn pass the status decision down the chain. Reasonable care The rules require clients to exercise reasonable care when making the status determina on. The obliga on is to assess what the contractor’s status for tax purposes would have been if they had been engaged directly by the client. Clients should use a clear and consistent processes when making a determina on and avoid 'blanket assessments'. Failure to use reasonable care when making the SDS will result in the client being liable to make the relevant tax and Na onal Insurance Contribu ons deduc ons and pay the correct amount to HMRC. An agency that is next to the client in the supply chain will be liable where HMRC cannot recover money from the fee payer. That applies even where that agency has complied with its obliga ons under the rules and regardless of

whether or not others in the supply chain have complied with theirs. Challenging a decision It is the client's responsibility to provide a process for resolving disputes. Under the status disagreement process the client must respond within 45 days of receiving a query from either the fee payer or the contractor and must: • confirm that it has considered the representa ons made and decided that its SDS is correct, and give the reasons for that decision; or • give a new SDS containing a different conclusion and state that the previous SDS is withdrawn. If the client does not respond within 45 days it will become the fee payer. In these challenging mes the REC is advising members to push ahead with planning and keep engaged with clients and contractors. Keep an eye on the IR35 hub on our website to make sure you get the latest developments.

Is there an advert coming for here


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Chantel Gower, Delivery Team Leader, Butler Rose The rise of remote working will be the real, lasঞng shake up for recruitment from the last year, for recruitment companies as well as clients. Firms have had to adapt and put their trust in employees. Some, like my own, are now seeing the opportunity to downsize their office space. I have one client in Leeds whose en re finance department is now spread across the UK.


What I know

Behind the scenes with REC Professionals, a[er a year with Covid-19

remote working when they are filling new contracts, but an element of flexibility will be a factor in a lot of permanent appointments too.

Successful candidates can be quite insistent that remote working is wri en into their contract. It means clients have the challenge of making sure they’re being fair to exis ng staff who might want that too, otherwise that could lead to issues around reten on.

If you’re struggling to fill a posiঞon, why wouldn’t you look further afield? We’ve had to

Trust is key.

educate some clients to the benefits of poten ally a rac ng really high calibre candidates without paying a premium. In the short-term, with ongoing restric ons, it’s probably easier for them to consider

It highlights the importance of finding the right candidate, but we’ve all seen the data. Remote working hasn’t hit produc vity, in some cases it’s even risen thanks to a be er work-life balance.

Sarah Knight, Managing Director, Sarah West Recruitment How would you summarise the past year for your business? We’re so far away from the goals we wanted to achieve as a business. But there have been so many lovely things to talk about. It’s been joyous how close we’ve become as a team, to our clients and some of the candidates we’ve been able to support. We’ve done pro bono work, advising a local charity on their people structure to help them survive. Where work has been patchy, we’ve deployed manpower to give back to our community – and worked with clients to help too. It has been about finding joy in our work, when we’ve not been ge ng the

buzz of placing someone quite as o en. It’s also been about ins ga ng conversa on. We’ve tried doing more Zoom calls with job seekers rather than just emails, because many are lonely. We also set up a network among our clients so they can discuss some of the issues they have in common.

What will you take from the experience? The behaviours of our people are more important than ever. It’s not just about the jobs, but our ability to support people. The me and care they take impacts on our reputa on. We’re now trying to reflect that more in our incen ve schemes.

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Diversity & inclusion

Embracing neurodiversity in recruitment By Clare Caccavone, Programme Director at Ambi ous about Au sm


er a tumultuous year, the UK’s employment rate is es mated by the ONS to be around 75%. The pandemic has forced many organisa ons into survival mode, and restructures mean that unemployment is rising. The coming year is going to be busy for recruiters as more vacancies open up and more people compete for new jobs. It will be a challenging me, it’s fair to say – for some more than others. In the UK, only 16% of people with au sm are in full- me employment. Many au s c candidates want to work, but do not get the chance to prove themselves o en because they encounter recruitment processes and workplaces that exclude them. One aspect of job hun ng that au s c candidates find difficult is the interview process. They can struggle to maintain eye contact, process hypothe cal ques ons and are unable to predict ques ons. This can have a big impact on their performance. Au sm affects the way a person communicates and experiences the world around them. In an office environment this could mean they could struggle with things like bright lights or too much noise. However, au s c employees can o en be a huge asset to businesses, bringing quali es such as hyper focus, a en on to detail, reliability and unique problem solving. Rise to the challenge by embracing diversity The upheaval brought upon us by coronavirus has led to some unexpected

Recruitment Ma ers


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

Recruitment Ma ers March - April 2021

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changes in how we think about and carry out work. Many millions of us have adapted to working from home and have spent many months only mee ng our colleagues virtually. Recrui ng, interviewing and onboarding are now taking place online as a ma er of course. Businesses need to think differently to respond to the new ‘normal’. That means embracing diversity in their teams. There has never been a be er me to think differently about not only how we recruit, but who we recruit. This is a key moment to support more neurodiverse candidates into employment. Become an auঞsm-confident recruiter Ambi ous about Au sm is focused on suppor ng more au s c young people to enter the job market and reach their poten al. Its Employ Au sm programme works with employers, young people and career professionals to break down barriers and

improve confidence about au sm and neurodiversity. The programme delivers training, resources and ongoing mentorship to a wide range of partners across the UK all with the aim of helping more au s c young people into work. The programme aims to challenge outdated percep ons of what au s c candidates can and can’t do. Au sm-confident recruiters can play a vital role in helping these candidates to excel, by working with employers to adapt the recruitment process to make it more accessible and to help all the au s c candidate to shine. For example, the recruiter could provide the candidate with ques ons in advance or base them on past experience rather than hypothe cal scenarios, which rely on social imagina on. Small changes can make a huge difference and increasing au sm knowledge and confidence could transform the job prospects of a genera on of au s c young people. With the change in hiring prac ce brought upon us by the pandemic, there has never been a be er me to think differently about au s c candidates and build more inclusivity and neurodiversity into the recruitment sector. Not only will this benefit some of the most disadvantaged young people in our society, it will also reap huge benefits for employers in the long term. Find out How to Support Autism in the Workplace with our free webinar (19 April and 18 May at 12pm)

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor Pip Brooking Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prinঞng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2021 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

09/03/2021 12:24

Taking the madness out of recruitment

The next chapter in recruitment software.

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Special Report


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EDITOR’S COMMENT 2020 found technology asserting its ‘right to be’ in the midst of the pandemic. For recruiters, much of the technology demand in this people-centric business had to do with communications – from facilitating long-distance client meetings to onboarding new employees and enabling the practice of working from home. For this pandemic, even the public had to grapple with shared technology needs; along with ‘pandemic’, ‘Covid-19’, ‘coronavirus’, ‘social distancing’, other expressions that much more came to the forefront of our collective consciousness included ‘Zoom’, ‘Teams’ and ‘virtual’. Our technology writer Sue Weekes explores the trends and the tech that dominated our virtual world over the last year in this Special Report. She also gleans the perspectives of industry professionals about just how technology made a difference to them in these oh-so strange times.


DeeDee Doke Editor Recruiter/ 32 RECRUITER




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Hiring in a lockdown has meant recruiters have had to adapt their processes and be open to new ways of taking on candidates they may not have met in person. Sue Weekes investigates


he issues faced by recruiters over the past 12 months have been many and varied. But perhaps the starkest warning to come out of the pandemic so far is summed up by Nicolas Speeckaert, founder and managing partner of recruitment software company Skeeled, when asked to identify the main challenges going forward: “Getting hiring managers to make offers to candidates they haven’t met and getting candidates to accept them.” Such a concept would have been unthinkable for most roles even just 12 months ago but recruiters are adapting well to their ‘new normal’, and recruitment technology providers have moved fast to support them. Tighter integration of video interviewing into recruitment platforms, the acceleration of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in areas such as screening and the use of futuristic technologies such as virtual reality (VR) to simulate real-world environments are just some of the technological developments that have come to the recruiter’s rescue.


New processes Bobby Tang, co-founder of video-interview platform Screenable, similarly highlights that implementing new processes to find the right candidates without face-to-face-meetings is going to be the biggest change and challenge for recruiters. He sees the company’s role as enabling this as well as helping recruiters to maintain high standards. “Reputation is key in this industry, and recruiters have always prided themselves on putting forward vetted candidates who they had met and were confident they were not only right for the job, but also a good reflection of the recruiter’s standards,”


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“We engaged with the senior HR team to help them standardise the recruitment process” LEE MCQUEEN Founder and CEO of Phoenix51

he says. “This can still be achieved and in a more effective manner, with platforms such as Screenable.” Screenable seeks to replace lengthy introduction calls and preliminary meetings with short, pre-recorded screening interviews that claim to offer an insight into candidates that previously only a more time-consuming interview or face-to-face meeting would offer. The platform has already been used globally for the primary screening of candidates for HR roles in investment banks, front-end and back-end engineering talent, as well as sales and marketing functions. It is also being used to hire larger teams of tradesmen such as forklift drivers and saw operators, and a London-based company reportedly filled its entire team of engineers and designers within two weeks. “Screenable supports the increase in application versus role issue for recruiters and more efficiently


identifies the relevant candidates for the role early on in the process,” says Brockett. “Ultimately, we are able to offer a faster and more effective remote route to recruit by giving the applicant a voice that is delivered to the recruiter in three simple steps.” Skeeled launched its platform last year to support the more remote approach to hiring. It offers a web-based platform with built-in video-interviewing, sourcing widget, collaborative tools and also predictive AI for assessment. It centralises all of these applications and allows each recruiter to review and rate candidate profiles, leaving notes and comments that other team members can see and respond to.

The platform is used by the CHU UCL university hospital, the largest private employer in the Indian province of Nanur. Over a nine-month period during the pandemic, it enabled the hospital to publish more than 300 jobs for which it received around 5,000 applications. The AI-based pre-screening and matching tool has rejected more than 1,500 applicants (around 34%) for not meeting the minimum requirements set by recruiters. “Before Skeeled, we wasted a lot of time posting an offer, screening resumes, responding to candidates,” said Laura Limberopoulos, head of recruitment and selection/employer branding at the university hospital.

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“We can be more selective and objective thanks to the personality assessment, the video interviews, the selective questions and the AI algorithms.” The platform aims to narrow down the best profiles in the talent pipeline to engage top talent faster, and direct managers can also take part in the recruitment process, allowing for collaborative hiring decisions. “Skeeled allows companies to upgrade their talent acquisition and develop a more thoughtful, engaging, empathic and transparent process, which will remain valuable even after the pandemic crisis,” says Speeckaert.

Transforming processes Indeed, the latest generation of recruitment platforms aren’t just about addressing the needs of the pandemic but also helping organisations to digitally transform their recruitment processes to realise increased efficiencies and cost-savings. BBC reality show The Apprentice winner Lee McQueen’s latest project aims to support remote hiring but also to help organisations digitise their entire recruitment process. The Phoenix51 platform offers video integration for competency-based interviewing and pre-screening with a team of in-house business psychologists having designed assessment pathways that test applicants against relevant job-specific tasks in a remote setting. Phoenix51 helped one of Britain’s largest newspaper groups, Reach, whose brands include the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Manchester Evening News and OK!, break down its silo approach to recruitment. Before using the platform, Reach’s regional offices operated independently of each other. “We engaged with the senior HR team to help them standardise the recruitment process and rolled out initially just to the

recruitment team, to help with the hiring of individuals into the business,” explains McQueen. “We subsequently rolled out to the HR team to help select candidates for the company-wide management training programme. Reach learnt that with a digital platform, managers and internal stakeholders could efficiently hire and appraise their people against key company-wide values and behaviours.” Technology providers are also helping to simulate important traditional methods of finding emerging talent, such as careers fairs. XOR is enabling employers to migrate such events to a virtual environment with video and chat. XOR co-founder and CEO Aida Fazylova explains that the company seeks to make hiring more remote-friendly through text message engagement, virtual career fairs and video interviewing. A non-profit client focused on diversity hiring was unable to host

traditional, in-person career fairs so used XOR’s platform to organise a virtual fair with 32 enterprise employers and over 10,000 participants, while a recruitment process outsourcing company that hires on behalf of brands like Kroger and Meijer launched three ongoing virtual career fairs where it scheduled hundreds of qualified jobseekers for in-person interviews. Going forward, Fazylova believes more remote recruiting means that recruiters are going to have to be more creative in nurturing and re-engaging with past talent. “Delivering the right message, at the right time, on the right device is going to be imperative, so I expect tech will come into play to build those workflows,” she says. “For example: How can I automate a text message to all my silver medal candidates from last month that invites them to a monthly virtual career fair? How can I let my


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candidates screen and schedule themselves to increase conversions and reduce time-to-hire? “We’re working with recruiters to solve these problems and give them a competitive advantage in bringing on talent quickly and efficiently.” Indeed, there will be further challenges ahead, and Speeckaert says these are likely to include how to onboard a new hire from home effectively and conveying the company culture to candidates without any in-person meetings. Above all though, he said the main challenge recruiters face is ensuring the recruitment process remains “a team sport” as it is so dependent on collaboration. “To ensure recruiting teams collaborate successfully while working remotely, it’s crucial to provide them

Sometimes things aren’t always quite what they seem

access to cloud-based productivity tools such as quick messaging tools like Slack, video-conferencing software, remote support software, project management software, email software or collaboration software,” he said. Also key will be maintaining a close relationship with software providers who, as McQueen suggests, can help to confront current challenges and bring efficiencies but also preserve recruitment’s all-important human side. “Working remotely, hiring remotely and making business-critical decisions remotely are all key factors, but with this comes new learning and a shift to our mindset which has opened up to using technology that drives efficiencies in terms of resource, quality and costs,” he said. “The shift in technology supporting our decisions is taking place, but humans still need to have the control of the final decisions.”

We understand that developing a compliant PSL is no small challenge. Distinguishing between organisations that pay lip-service to compliance and those that are fully committed is complex, costly and time-consuming. Getting it wrong can have serious implications on your business. That’s why we have done the checks for you. T Every FCSA Accredited Member has already undergone the most stringent testing in the industry, at no cost to your agency. Recognised as the industry’s compliance gold standard for umbrella employers, contractor accountants and CIS payroll providers; agencies can reduce risk by committing to a PSL comprising exclusively of fully compliant and transparent FCSA Accredited Members.

Take a closer look at your PSL. Check they’re an

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he leading employee digital health and wellbeing app, Engage, is reimagining access to payroll, benefits, and health and wellbeing support for workers, in turn boosting talent retention for recruiters. The Engage app has been developed by employee benefits and outsourced payroll provider HIVE360, which operates extensively in the GLAA* and industrial recruitment sector. Completely customisable, Engage gives workers access to a huge range of benefits and services, from a personal doctor, personal support helpline, care support, and gym memberships, to high-street, lifestyle, dining and insurance discounts, plus access to digital payslips and a real-time workplace pension dashboard. “HIVE360 is leading the way in innovating employee engagement for the UK recruitment sector,” explains David McCormack, HIVE360 CEO. “Engage is a unique employee experience, payroll and benefits platform that brings tools, information and features that support training, health and wellbeing, financial wellbeing and knowledge, together in one app. “With its value-added suite of tailored, personal, employee benefits, wellbeing support and a constantly evolving choice of tools and features that enable improved communication and recognition of workers, the app’s enhanced approach marks a new era of exceptional support for recruiters, their workers and clients.”


Soaring demand Usage and take-up of Engage has soared

since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the first week of lockdown in March 2020, Engage had an unprecedented 273% increase in demand for its mental health support services. As the country has moved to predominantly remote working, and the additional mental, emotional and financial stresses this carries with it, user numbers have continued to grow: “We have recorded an average of around 200,000 monthly user sessions since October 2020,” adds David. “The ‘Your Health’ section has registered huge jumps in demand, with the number of users of health and wellbeing advice accessed via Engage rising by as much as 300%. Peaks in users have coincided with government announcements on changes to the Covid-19

restrictions – this was up by 265% between October and November 2020 – and 850 users visited the Mental Health support features in December 2020 when the new Covid-19 variant came to light and Christmas ‘bubbles’ were cancelled.”

Lift-off Engage is proving particularly attractive to like-minded digital-first businesses. Its customisation and easy API integration with the recruitment sector’s other technology platforms makes it a mobile perks app that is capable of bringing recruiters’ candidate and HR systems seamlessly together in one mobile experience for every workforce. David says: “We have just announced a strategic partnership with Rocket Software, which represents an unprecedented union of two of the recruitment sector’s most powerful mobile tech solutions providers to deliver real-time integrated app-based benefits, rewards and HMRC-compliant payroll and accounts software.” Rocket Software is used by around 300 dynamic temporary recruitment businesses, and Rocket provides payroll and accounts software solutions to an average 60,000 key workers and drivers in a range of sectors. “We had been looking for a strategic partner in the employee benefits space and after reviewing numerous potential partners, found HIVE360 to be innovative, collaborative, progressive and creative,” Rocket’s MD, Danny Steel explains. “Their mobile-based tech easily integrates with our TempID+ software and Pocket Rocket app. The Engage app connects directly into the Pocket Rocket mobile app that automates everything from real-time entry of worker’s timesheets to payroll, billing and compliance.” *HIVE360 is a Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) licence holder and corporate member of Inspiring Workplaces. For more information, visit:


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HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY PROTECT YOUR AGENCY? Tony Machin, CEO of TrustID, discusses how the pandemic has affected Right to Work compliance checks and how recruiters can prepare for Brexit and beyond


ike most other office-based workers, recruiters have had to rapidly adapt to a new world of compliance due to remote working and legislative uncertainty. In a business that’s all about people, this has brought unique challenges. Establishing candidates’ Right to Work (RtW), for example, can be particularly problematic, as it has traditionally relied on face-to-face meetings and visual checks on original identity documents.


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Why consider electronic checking to support your RtW processes?

But, as has been said, ‘adversity breeds creativity’. New and innovative technology, designed to overcome the problems of remote recruitment, can bring advantages to recruiters and help smooth uncertainty over post-Brexit employment checks.

Right to Work checks in the Covid era Prior to the pandemic, recruiters could conduct compliant RtW checks remotely if they had an applicant’s original identity document and checked it with the candidate ‘present’ over a video link, or if the candidate had a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or EU Settlement scheme (EUSS) ‘share code’. However, getting to see original documentation has become more difficult and not everyone has a BRP or EUSS share code. So, the UK government has temporarily allowed recruiters to check a candidate's RtW using scanned copies or photos of identity documents. You can then arrange a video call and ask the applicant to hold up the original documents to check against the digital copy, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19”. There’s no date set yet for these temporary measures to end, but guidance says that the government will allow an 8-week window to carry out the required checks of original documents once they do finish.

With the number of fake documents in circulation increasing, preventing fraudsters from slipping through the net is ever more challenging. In the past year, our customers saw fake identity documents claiming to represent 52 different nationalities. While the updated guidance makes remote checks easier, many recruiters may not be confident checking documents remotely without being able to touch and see original documents and may also be relying on a dispersed team with minimal document training. So, remote checking can also mean an inconsistent, uncertain and less robust process for recruiters.

Brexit and beyond Covid-19 isn't the only issue affecting RtW checks today: the post Brexit world has also raised challenges. The Home Office has not yet published full details on how to check RtW of EEA nationals not on the EUSS after 30th June 2021 although we do know that recruiters will no longer be able to accept EU passports or ID cards as evidence from those applicants and should instead ask them to provide an appropriate visa. The lack of absolute clarity is understandably causing some concern, with many organisations turning to expert identity service providers for advice on remaining complaint during these changing times.

The good news is that there are several straightforward, affordable ways to protect your agency from the risks of illegal working and remain compliant with RtW legislation, even in challenging times. How you choose to carry out identity checks will depend on your processes, internal skills and the perceived level of risk in your sector. For example, if you’re recruiting a high number of temporary candidates, particularly in a sector like construction, your risk of seeing fake identity documents is relatively high. TrustID customers working with the construction sector accounted for 38.2% of all fraudulent documents in 2020 and three in every 100 documents checked by them were fake. Identity checking experts can help with online tools which offer additional security checks on global identity documents, even from a scanned copy. These specialist providers may also offer additional features, for example, a remote-upload option for applicants to send copies over a secure link, or higher-level security checks, such as facial recognition software, which checks a candidate’s selfie against the photograph in their identity document to verify that they match. A good identity service provider can quickly assess whether a document is real and offer guidance on the right documents to request from applicants as evidence of RtW in the UK, even as immigration guidance changes. Investing in a new process during uncertain times may feel risky, so look for a service which offers a low minimum order or no long-term contract. As we don’t know how long restrictions will remain, or what the finalised post-Brexit guidance will be, this type of service gives you the flexibility you need to protect your agency in the short term. For more information, please visit: or call 0118 466 0822.


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Special Report




The pandemic has changed how and where recruiters work and also an increased reliance on technology. Here are three viewpoints of recruitment tech’s ‘new normal’ 40 RECRUITER

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How easy/difficult was it to adapt to home/remote working? Although the severity of the situation at the outset of the crisis did come on with what seemed like surprising speed, we were perhaps thinking and planning around it earlier than most here in the UK. The group’s international footprint proved its worth, as we have an extensive operation in Vietnam – so when the virus took hold in China, we began to take measures to bolster the Vietnamese business. Teams began to alternate between working in the office and working from home, and we addressed network and hardware issues given that many of our staff do their work on desktops rather than laptops. The experience in Vietnam meant that we were soon live planning for the rest of the business, too. Our IT team performed some amazing work, upgrading our network capacity where needed and migrating systems to the cloud that weren’t already hosted there. When lockdown began, we were ready in terms of systems and connectivity. Everyone began to work from home, and the transition felt relatively smooth. It has perhaps become more difficult as the pandemic has continued, as some people have begun to flag somewhat from the endless stream of video calls and online meetings – a common problem that all businesses are experiencing.


What are your biggest challenges? From the start of the crisis, I made it a priority that as a business we should be there for our people, clients and candidates – communicating, updating, supporting and being visible. People really kept in touch with their clients and candidates, and it wasn’t long

THE GLOBAL RECRUITMENT CONSULTANCY Bev White, CEO, Harvey Nash Group before there were some brilliant social activities going on over Teams or Zoom as well – quizzes, exercise sessions, cookery classes and more. More formally, we entered into a partnership with Uhubs, providing content for our people, clients, contractors and staff, and running sessions on multiple different topics from mental wellbeing to self-management. We also set up a website which showcases some of the incredible and inspiring stories of people in the tech business who lost their position or contract due to the virus but then moved on and found a new role.”

How is technology helping you tackle these and what tech is proving most valuable? We have extensively used Hinterview to conduct and record first-stage interviews on behalf of our clients, as well as the more usual MS Teams and Zoom. We have also provided advice to our clients and candidates on how to ensure that virtual interviewing, from

both sides of the screen, is as smooth and effective as possible.

How is technology helping you to preserve the human side of recruiting and what tips do you have for others? We have recently used vTogether, a virtual platform for hosting internal meetings, and at the same time we have also worked hard to introduce a culture where anyone can simply ask ‘How are you?’. This is even more important in a virtual world, as meetings can often start and stop abruptly with little or no small talk about what is happening in our professional and personal lives. We are also implementing a new engagement platform called Hive HR, where everyone has the opportunity to feedback and tell us how they are feeling. Not only do we expect this to boost teamwork and engagement, but we would also hope that it works in parallel with our other initiatives to support the mental wellbeing of our staff.


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Special Report

THE TECHNOLOGY PROVIDER Dan Kirkland, co-founder and director, TribePad

What is the recruiter’s new normal looking like? There’s no simple one-size-fits-all answer, as different companies and different jobs will still require different processes. However, digitisation of end-to-end processes will feature. Much less paper is being exchanged during the recruitment process, which is a welcome change for most. Additionally, geography is no longer the boundary it was previously perceived to be. This is great for recruitment if your company plans to continue to support remote working. Your talent pool geography may now have increased from 30 miles radius of your office to around 200 countries (regulations allowing).

Covid-19 has clearly accelerated a trend to an increased use of video interviewing and tech such as AI in the screening process. What are the up and downsides of this?

more efficient. Two of the possible downsides recruiters need to look out for are a) how much they can remove the human element and b) some tools overclaim the use of AI and, worse still, provide no transparency of how fair that AI is. For example, some AI-enabled tools purport to reduce unconscious bias but have been programmed by white males and with small datasets. That’s not a good combination for tackling unconscious bias.

What tech are recruiters asking for during this difficult time? Nearly every recruiter has been slingshot to a world where their entire recruitment process had to be digitised over the past year. This starts with having a robust ATS [applicant tracking system] and CRM [client/candidate relationship

For me, there are more upsides than downsides. These tools help automate manual processes and provide a consistent, accessible and more transparent and accountable recruitment process. Therefore, it should be fairer, more repeatable and


management system] to help with job advertising and pipelining candidates through the process. In the absence of face-to-face interviews, online assessing tools like SHL, PredictiveHire, SpeakNow and their ilk have been key to helping recruiters identify the best candidates. It would be impossible to imagine recruitment without video-interviewing tools in the last year. Later in the process recruiters have turned to e-signature platforms to ensure employment contracts can still be signed in a timely, remote fashion. Even later in the workflow, many firms have digitised their onboarding process, something that has been on their agenda for years, but the pandemic has forced the move.

Do you think the pandemic will change the use of technology in recruitment forever? No doubt about it. Previously, some companies and recruiters were ‘video sceptics’. And some companies hadn’t digitised their contracts or onboarding process. Now these tools and processes have been thrust upon companies and recruiters, and everyone has realised the benefits and efficiencies that they bring. In fact, many companies have identified a significant decrease in time-to-hire (some quoting more than 40+% decreases) since bringing more of their process online. Assessments, interviews, signing contracts, reference checking and onboarding is quicker. Why would you want to go back to old processes? However, among the excitement of decreased time-to-hire, there will no doubt be another recalibration. Many companies and recruiters will be desperate to reintroduce more direct human touch points back into the recruitment process. Second and subsequent stage interviews are likely to see a significant shift back to face-to-face. And many recruiters have implemented a ‘forced tactical’ process rather than an optimal one for a new world, so I definitely see a refinement of processes, especially onboarding once more people can get back to the office.

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Finally, a recruiter’s greatest attribute – empathy – has had to be used in tenfold due to the current candidate market. Candidate experience is more important than ever, not just from an employer branding perspective but from a simple humanistic level.

How is technology helping you tackle these and what tech is proving most valuable?


What are your biggest challenges?

Ben Gledhill, head of resourcing, Thames Water

How easy/difficult was it to revert to homeworking? Personally, very difficult. I am very much a people person, and I feed off the energy of others. However, being pragmatic I am still in employment doing a job that I love. Many are in far worse situations, so you have to be appreciative.

The pandemic has thrown up many challenges that we had weeks to fix, not months or years. My main concern is the wellbeing of my team and wider colleagues. We all have had both personal and professional problems to overcome so I have ensured that their health – both mental and physical – comes first. From a wider resourcing perspective, we have had to adapt to operating a function from behind Microsoft Teams, which itself brings huge challenges when it comes to building and maintaining relationships with hiring managers and leaders.

Well, trust me to lead a technology implementation programme through Covid. We went live in February 2021 with a new applicant tracking system, onboarding platform and FAQ chatbot to improve both the candidate, new starter and hiring manager experience. In this new normal, more than ever, the resourcing function wants to please, especially when it comes to creating an experience for new starters that really sets them up for success on day one, which in most cases will be a virtually-based role working from home.

How is technology helping you to preserve the human side of recruiting and what tips do you have for others? Technology is only as good as the humans that use it and the reasons why they use it. I think we need to consider that Teams/Zoom actually might be overkill. Yes, we need to be social and keep in contact, however, being in front of a camera six or seven hours a day is very demanding physically. People need downtime. From personal experience, give yourself a break. It’s been a tough time and many things in life will still be challenging for a time to come. Don’t be afraid to sometimes admit defeat, close the laptop and return another day.


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Recognising the most creative, impactful and cost effective recruitment marketing and talent management campaigns and initiatives from the past year.



Awards ceremony 27 October 2021.

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As our Social page in the magazine over the years has shown, recruiters are extremely generous with both their time and money in helping charities and those disadvantaged communities. This has been highlighted during lockdown, where pupils had to stay away from schools and learn remotely on their own computers or laptops. However, what about the children struggling to learn due to having no access to technology at home? DRIVER REQUIRE DELIVERS Driver and logistics recruiter Driver Require donated 15 of its old laptops to local Stevenage schools via ‘People for People – Stevenage’, which were handed out to their home learning pupils most in need.

PROJECT 500 GIVE LAPTOPS TO BIRCH COPSE PRIMARY SCHOOL Established by Chris Redmond (managing partner, RedHolt Search & Advisory Service), Tim Roedel (CEO, Simply Commerce) and Sean Anderson (CEO, Hoxo Media), Project 500 called on the recruitment industry to help and raised more than £42.3k to supply 500 laptops to struggling families over February.

CENTO GIVES HOPE AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW Specialist recruiter Cento Group has been raising money to support its local hospice. Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough provides vital care and support to families affected by life-limiting conditions with end-of-life care, symptom management, short breaks and respite care.


YOLK RECRUITMENT PLANTS SEEDS OF HOPE Yolk Recruitment is to plant a tree in woodlands for every candidate it successfully places, as part of the company’s drive to champion social responsibility through its ‘Yolk’s Oaks’ initiative. Yolk will plant one oak tree in Blaen Bran Community Woodland in Cwmbran, South Wales for every candidate it places. Gareth Jones and Nici Jones lead the campaign

ZEEL GIVES 30 SOLUTIONS TO SCHOOL Recruitment software company Zeel Solutions donated over 30 new laptops, split between two Midland schools: Bantock Primary School in Wolverhampton, and Heritage Academy in Birmingham. Pictured (l-r): Stacey Wright and Tarj Sahota from Zeel Solutions, and Harvey Sarai, head teacher of Bantock Primary School, with Zeel’s donated laptops

VIQU viqu_uk We’re still blown away by our win at the #investingintalentawards for ‘Best Recruitment Team of the Year’. Thank you for your continued support @recruitermagazine @RecruiterMag


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AGENCY RECRUITMENT LEADER OF THE YEAR » Andrew Anastasiou, Managing Director – Pertemps Professional Recruitment » Sasza Bandiera, Managing Director – Oyster Partnership » Danny Brooks, Founder and CEO – VHR Global Technical Recruitment » Kelly Cartwright, Managing Director – Jark Norfolk » Richard Cooke, Owner and Managing Director – Seven Resourcing » Daniel Cornwell, Managing Director – SPE Resourcing » Natasha Makhijani, Group CEO – Oliver Sanderson » Kieran Smith, CEO – Driver Require RECRUITMENT INDUSTRY ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR » Ryan Adams, CEO – Signify Technology » Helen Archer-Lock, Director of Recruitment – Commercial Services Group » Jamie Fraser, CEO – InterEx Group » Ryan McCabe, CEO – Odro » Chris Sheard, Managing Director – SR2 – Socially Responsible Recruitment » Gary Wills, Founder – Talent Today and FurLearn BEST CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE » EY Candidate Experience – EY » Hovis RPO – Hovis in partnership with Seven Search & Selection » Network Rail signaller experience – Network Rail in partnership with Bavarde » Tomorrow’s Talent – Sky in partnership ZLWK &DSSĆQLW\ » Recruiting Brilliance – Virgin Media in partnership with Amberjack BEST GRADUATE RECRUITMENT STRATEGY

» The World of Accenture – Accenture

LQ SDUWQHUVKLS ZLWK &DSSĆQLW\ » DHL Strengths Journey – DHL Supply Chain LQ SDUWQHUVKLS ZLWK &DSSĆQLW\ » Shaping a diverse and skilled workforce – Nationwide Building Society » Dare to Do More Challenge – PepsiCo Europe » Be the Change – Police Now » Vodafone in partnership with Aon BEST APPRENTICE/SCHOOL LEAVER RECRUITMENT STRATEGY » Greene King Apprentice Recruitment – Greene King » GTR Engineering Apprentices – GTR in partnership with eArcu » Morrisons Makes It – Morrisons in partnership with Amberjack » Vodafone Apprentice – Vodafone in partnership with Pink Squid

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IN–HOUSE INNOVATION IN RECRUITMENT » Intelligent Automation for Early Careers Recruitment – BDO in partnership with Amberjack » Bupa Care Services Internal Volunteer Recruitment Initiative – Bupa » GQR|ONE – GQR » How Iceland saved their store leaders 24,000 hours a year by implementing transformational change – during a pandemic! – Iceland Foods in partnership with PredictiveHire » Recruiting Brilliance – Virgin Media in partnership with Amberjack MOST EFFECTIVE EMPLOYER BRAND DEVELOPMENT » Bupa – Belief in You – Bupa in partnership with Pink Squid » Cleveland Clinic London Employer Brand – Cleveland Clinic London in partnership with Pink Squid » You make the story – Telegraph Media Group in partnership with That Little Agency BEST IN–HOUSE RECRUITMENT TEAM » CityFibre » EY Student Talent Attraction and Acquisition – EY » Foxtons Talent Acquisition Team – Foxtons » Recruitment Team – Helping Hands Homecare » Sunrise and Gracewell Recruitment Team – Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare » TDOHQW $FTXLVLWLRQ 7$ 7HDP å 7KHUPR )LVKHU 6FLHQWLĆF BEST RECRUITMENT AGENCY MARKETING TEAM » Acre » Charlton Morris » Driver Require » Randstad UK » Talent BEST CANDIDATE CARE

» Caritas » Elemed » Hunter Bond » Insight Executive Group » Pertemps » Remedium » Rthirteen Recruitment » Search » Sentinel » Stanton House » tml Partners » Trace BEST CLIENT SERVICE » Amberjack » Amoria Bond » Andersen James » Headway Recruitment » Proman » Seven Resourcing » The Barton Partnership » Venquis

BEST BANKING/FINANCIAL SERVICES RECRUITMENT AGENCY » Boxtree Recruitment » Broadgate Search » Eames Consulting Group » Hunter Bond » Investigo » Robert Walters BEST ENGINEERING RECRUITMENT AGENCY » ATA Recruitment » Carrington West » ersg » NES Fircroft » VHR Global Technical Recruitment BEST INTERNATIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY » Amoria Bond » Elemed » G2V Recruitment Group » NES Fircroft » Robert Walters » Select Offshore » Signify Technology » VHR Global Technical Recruitment BEST IT/TECHNOLOGY RECRUITMENT AGENCY » Corriculo » develop » G2V Recruitment Group » GCS Recruitment » Lucid Support Services » Searchability » Signify Technology » Talent » TalentHawk » Trust in SODA » VIQU » Xpertise Recruitment BEST NEW AGENCY

» AL Solutions » Bangura Solutions » Buildout Recruitment » Harper Fox Partners » Impala Search » Mantell Associates » OPR Associates » Oxygen Digital » Parker Rose Recruitment » Pratap Partnership » RecruitmentJunky » Spencer Clarke Group BEST PROFESSIONAL SERVICES RECRUITMENT AGENCY » CMA Recruitment Group » Laurence Simons Search » RedLaw » SSQ » Trilogy International

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BEST PUBLIC/THIRD SECTOR RECRUITMENT AGENCY » Caritas Recruitment » Goodman Masson » Gravitas Recruitment Group » Insight Executive Group » Marks Consulting Partners » Oyster Partnership » Randstad Public Services » Seven Resourcing » Talent » TFS Healthcare » The Finegreen Group » TTM Healthcare

RECRUITMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR – SMALL (20-49 EMPLOYEES) » Acre » Autotech Recruit » Baltimore Consulting » CMA Recruitment Group » Driver Require » Hunter Bond » Rare Recruitment » Signify Technology » SR2 – Socially Responsible Recruitment » Trilogy International » VIQU » Xpertise Recruitment

BEST TEMPORARY RECRUITMENT AGENCY » Caritas Recruitment » Seven Resourcing » TFS Healthcare » VHR Global Technical Recruitment » Walters People

RECRUITMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM (50-99 EMPLOYEES) » Carrington West » Charlton Morris » Client Server » GCS Recruitment » Henderson Scott » Oscar » Oyster Partnership » Seven Resourcing » The Barton Partnership » The Portfolio Group

SUSTAINABLE RECRUITMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR » Acre » Amoria Bond » Broster Buchanan » EllisKnight International Recruitment » Service Care Solutions » Sure Group MOST EFFECTIVE BACK OFFICE OPERATION » Carrington West » Eames Consulting Group » ersg » Forsyth Barnes » Gravitas Recruitment Group » Henderson Scott » NRL » Rutherford Briant » Sentinel » Service Care Solutions » Seven Resourcing » Talent RECRUITMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR – MICRO (UP TO 19 EMPLOYEES) » Anderson Quigley » Crewit Resourcing » Elemed » Greybridge Search & Selection » InfoSec People » Insight Executive Group » Laurence Simons Search » Marks Consulting Partners » People First » RedLaw » Select Offshore » SPE Resourcing » Totum Partners » Venari Partners

Sponsored by:

RECRUITMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR – LARGE (100+ EMPLOYEES) » Goodman Masson » Gravitas Recruitment Group » La Fosse Associates » Morson Group » NES Fircroft » Proman » VHR Global Technical Recruitment » X4 Group MOST EFFECTIVE COMPLIANCE OPERATION » CMA Recruitment Group » Ganymede Solutions » TTM Healthcare

RECRUITMENT TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OF THE YEAR » Amberjack » Arctic Shores » eArcu » Enhance Media » GTI Recruiting Solutions » IR35 Shield » itris (Itec Systems) » Locate a Locum » Mercury xRM » Morrisons in partnership with Chatter Communications » Odro » Recii RECRUITMENT INDUSTRY SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR » CV–Library » Generate » giant group » Hinterview » IMS People Possible » Odro » Parasol » Saville Assessment » SourceBreaker » Suits Me » The Careers In Group » Tribepad MOST EFFECTIVE RECRUITMENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN » Adzooma Campaign – Adzooma in partnership with Forsyth Barnes » CityFibre in partnership with Talent Works » ITV Apprentices – ITV in partnership with Chatter Communications » Police Now - Virtual Neighbourhood – Police Now in partnership with RMP Enterprise » Truck Sized CV Campaign – Zoek Job Board

OUTSTANDING OUTSOURCED RECRUITMENT ORGANISATION » Amberjack » Morson Group » Resource Solutions » Seven Search & Selection » Talent Works

WINNERS ANNOUNCED 23 September 2021 JW Marriott Grosvenor House London



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recruiter as CEO. Baxi previously was a senior partner at STEM recruiter SThree.

The Jockey Club, one of the UK’s largest sports businesses, has announced the appointment of Helene Sharrock as its chief people officer from 17 May. Sharrock joins from major retailer M&S, where she is head of HR and responsible for people strategies. Before joining M&S, she was head of HR within BT’s Consumer division, which included brand, content, strategy and BT Sport. Previously she worked for BT’s Technology, Service and Operations division and at both ESPN and ITN. In her new role, Sharrock will be responsible for leading the people and talent agenda for The Jockey Club.


BEELIVERY The on-demand grocery delivery service has expanded its senior executive team with the appointment of HR professional Mandy Hamerla as new chief people officer. Also joining the leadership team will be two additional executive hires, including a chief finance officer and a chief marketing officer.

FCSA The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association has appointed Deborah Murphy to the newly-created post of membership manager. Before joining FCSA she was head of customer onboarding for contractor accountancy firm Danbro.

HAMLYN WILLIAMS Kalpesh Baxi has joined the regulated industries


The global provider of executive search and leadership advisory services has made a number of leadership appointments. In London, Jenni Hibbert has taken up the newly created role of global managing partner (MP) & head of search go-to-market. Susie Clements has been appointed to another newly created role of regional MP of corporate officers. Tim Lüdke, based in Italy, has been appointed to regional leader of growth markets. Elsewhere, Sam Burman is the new global practice MP of the disruptive innovators team (DIT) and head of specialty practices; in Brussels, Fabrice Lebecq is the new regional MP of industrial practice; in Zurich, Wolfgang Schmidt-Soelch is the new regional MP of the financial services practice; Nicolas von Rosty leads the German operations out of Munich; Niccolo Calabresi has been promoted to cluster

leader, Italy and Iberia; while Stefano Salvatore, MD of Heidrick & Struggles’ Portugal, has also been given the lead of Spain.

IQ-EQ Global investor services group IQ-EQ has appointed Caroline Bagshaw as new group chief people officer. She was previously interim head of people at Monese, an app-based banking alternative.

KEYSTREAM GROUP The healthcare, public sector and life sciences IT recruitment and consultancy firm has hired four staff. Karima Dakhama joins as divisional manager, local government, and Chris

Knights, also a divisional manager, strengthens the firm’s NHS capabilities. Julia Dixon joins as framework manager, supporting the business with its Crown Commercial Services placements. Millicent Barr joins the compliance team, to help maintain service levels with an increased number of contractors.

REMEDIUM The healthcare recruitment specialist has appointed Garry Booker as sales director. With 25 years within the recruitment industry, Booker will join the board and senior leadership team, and brings his skills in leadership,

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

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change & transformation, search & selection, assessment, workforce planning and strategy to Remedium.

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



SANDERSON The recruitment group has appointed Ross Crook as new MD of its outsourced recruitment division, Sanderson Solutions. Crook joins the company from Cielo Talent.

The US technology driving platform has appointed Roopesh Panchasra to the role of global head of executive talent acquisition, based in London and Amsterdam. Panchasra joins Uber from software company SAP, where he was vice president for global executive recruiting.

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

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SRI The global executive search and consulting firm has taken on Dietmar Damith and Florian Steinberger, managing partners of boutique executive search firm Invest Search, to the SRI partnership to strengthen the firm’s global fashion, sporting goods, sport, media, entertainment & technology and to spearhead expansion in the DACH region.

+44 (0)20 7880 6215

VONQ Recruitment technology company VONQ has appointed Arno Schaefer as CEO. Current CEO and founder Wouter Goedhart will now step back from the role but will remain involved as a shareholder.

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Currently head of Stafforce Managed Services brand, Alison Cook has been promoted to operations director at the recruitment specialist, strengthening the Nicholas Associates Group’s Stafforce brand.

The freelancer platform has appointed Runar Reistrup, former CEO of fashion marketplace Depop, as CEO. Shib Mathew, YunoJuno’s founder and former CEO, has been appointed executive chairman.

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“I am immensely proud of my team’s achievements over the past 12 months”

Daniel Cornwell What a year it’s been et me start by trying to give you some context. Our financial year is March to February. In 2019-20, we had a record year, where we made around 84% of our revenue in the hospitality sector. We are embedded in that sector so much so that the last event I went to was the Publican Awards – a year ago on 4 March 2020. Two thousand five hundred people in a room together. If there is an opposite to social distancing and good hand hygiene – and you really don’t want to imagine the loos at 1.45am – and something akin to a student night, this event, which we attend every year, is it. Four days later I got what I thought was the flu, and didn’t really think much of it. Of course, I later found out I’d had Covid but at the time I felt ok in a few days. Two weeks later we locked down for the first time and everything stopped.



I’ve set the scene because I think it’s fair to say that a year ago none of us knew what the next 12 months would look like. It has been a hellish year, and I think that is fairly well documented elsewhere. In the hospitality sector people have lost their livelihoods, their living and, in some cases, their lives. It has been horrific. It is far too glib to just dismiss how bad it has been for some, and we have been mindful of that. There is a tightrope to walk; we need to flagbear for our communities (both recruitment and sector) yet show empathy for what people are going through. I would love to be able to distil how we’ve achieved this into a number of witty bon mots and strategic initiatives we’ve undertaken but, in reality, it’s come down to a number of things, mostly drawn from our values – the things we live and die by:

● Communication – internal/external. Relentless empathetic optimism ● Listen, listen, listen. Our successful interim business, launched mid-pandemic in under three weeks came from clients telling us this is what they would need and us reacting accordingly ● Cover more yards than anyone else – I haven’t had a day off since February (not that there’s anything to do if I did get a day off !) ● Say ‘yes’ to everything – even stuff that gets you outside your comfort zone; I’ve appeared on TV twice and have recorded numerous podcasts and webinar type interviews. I do not have a face for TV/YouTube. And finally: ● Don’t be a D**k. I have a picture near my front door with this mantra on it. It’s our version of ‘Be Kind’. I am immensely proud of my team’s achievements over the past 12 months –

I think we have trodden the path between relentless optimism and empathy well. During the first lockdown we were 92% down like-for-like (LFL), and facing a huge loss. If you’d have told me in March we’d trade at around 45% LFL and I’d be here, with a couple of weeks left in our financial year (as I write), absolutely delighted with our performance, I wouldn’t have believed you. We should, at worst, break even and we may well post a small profit. I am sure there will be many bumps in the road ahead, but I’ll drink to our survival, the resilience of the recruitment and hospitality sectors, and I think we’ve every reason to be relentlessly optimistic about the future. ●

Daniel Cornwell is founder and managing director of SPE Resourcing

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