BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE FOR RECRUITMENT AND RESOURCING PROFESSIONALS
SSQ: the power of niche Legal recruiter SSQ heads the leaderboarrd of Recruiter’s HOT 100
JOHN VLASTELICA Become a recruitment leader with a consultative approach
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Monster shifted the Formula 1 Marussia team’s recruitment up a gear
Recruiters can get it so wrong with poor quality advertisements
Recruitment Matters 07/11/2012 14:52
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Congratulations to the 100 UK-based recruitment consultancies that earned their way onto Recruiter’s Hot 100 2012 league table! Efficiency and profitability are always sexy, red-hot commodities, but never more so in the ongoing fog of volatile economic conditions. The array of businesses that have reached the stellar heights of our HOT 100 this year include a number of newcomers as well as some perennial stars. Our exclusive annual report, prepared by the wonderful Agile Intelligence, begins on p25. Also visit www.recruiter.co.uk to see lists of the Hot 10 companies in IT/Telecoms, Technical, Public Sector and Professionals. Tapping into recruitment thought leadership is a top priority at Recruiter. Our line-up of top UK resourcing leaders who will speak at our Smart Resourcing 2013 knowledge-sharing event next February is second to none. And now we can reveal that they will be joined on the day by one of the most engaging, insightful recruitment leaders on the planet – the inspirational John Vlastelica, delivering his first UK talk. Thanks to Jobsite for sponsoring John’s keynote address. And see John’s article on p12 for a taster of what’s to come on 28 Feb. The end of 2012 is nearly here – make the last six weeks of this year count in the best possible way!
The company that came number one in this year’s survey 6
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A real night to remember The inaugural YourFoodJob. com awards and their results
FEATURES 25 COVER STORY The HOT 100: The results of our annual most proﬁtable recruitment ﬁrms survey, conducted by Agile Intelligence 32 Profile: Shilton Sharpe
Quarry Examining the power of niche at this top legal recruiting company
Vlastelica debut for Smart Resourcing 2013 Recruiting expert to give keynote speech
8 Tech & tools 10 News Digest Roundup of the month’s latest industry news
REGULARS 18 19 19 20
12 News Analysis The traditional recruiting doesn’t work anymore so a new model has to be applied 14 Sector Analysis Transport and logistics 17 Global Spotlight on The Baltics
Soapbox Soundbites Letters Trends As candidates become more social media savvy, those recruiting them must adapt
DeeDee Doke, Editor
Shilton Sharpe Quarry tops the Recruiter HOT 100
24 The Challenge Monster and Marussia F1 46 Movers & Shakers Industry moves 50 Bloggers with Bite
WHO’S HIRING? 47 48 48 49 49 51
Ruth Moran Phaidon Capital Carmichael UK Jam Recruitment Networkers International Rullion Engineering
EDITORIAL Editor: DeeDee Doke T: +44 (0)20 7880 7601 firstname.lastname@example.org Senior reporter: Colin Cottell T: +44 (0)20 7880 7603 email@example.com Reporter: Sam Burne James T: +44 (0)20 7880 7606 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing writer: Sue Weekes Production editor: Vanessa Townsend T: +44 (0)20 7880 7602 email@example.com Art editor: Adrian Taylor ADVERTISING Advertising director: Andy Daniel T: +44 (0)20 7880 7607 firstname.lastname@example.org Display senior sales executive: Tom Culley T: +44 (0)20 7880 6205 email@example.com Recruitment senior sales executive: Gill Rock T: +44 (0)20 7880 6234 gill.rock@ redactive.co.uk Recruitment sales executive: Richard York T: +44 (0)20 7880 7608 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax +44 (0)20 7880 7553 PRODUCTION Deputy production manager: Kieran Tobin T: +44 (0)20 7880 6240 email@example.com PUBLISHING Publishing director: Anne Sadler T: +44 (0)20 7880 6213 firstname.lastname@example.org RECRUITER AWARDS Events: Anja Rodford T: +44 (0)20 7880 7555 email@example.com CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive a regular copy of Recruiter, the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals, telephone +44 (0)20 8950 9117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org • To purchase reprints or multiple copies of the magazine, contact Andy Daniel T: +44 (0)20 7880 7607
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IS THIS A TURNING POINT FOR PRIVATE EQUITY APPETITE? Despite the tough economic conditions of recent years, private equity investors in the staffing industry are earning attractive returns, boosting private equity interest in the sector, according to significant investors. Following Palatine Private Equity’s exit from international oil and gas recruiter Air Energi in October, managing partner Garry Tipper told Recruiter that the private equity firm “made three times our money out of it.” Palatine’s original investment in 2009 was £10m when Air Energi was valued at £30m. Tipper revealed that Palatine had received “quite a few approaches” for their stake before selling it to LGV Capital. Meanwhile Tristan Ramus, executive chairman of Human Capital Investment Group (HCIG), told Recruiter that his portfolio has returned compound growth of 20% for the last five years. Ramus said this sort of performance encouraged further investment. HCIG earlier this month took an 83% stake in accountancy, finance and
professional recruiter SF Group, bringing to 28 its investments in staffing businesses. “You create an interesting story for people who are interested in investing because what are the alternatives for such a return on capital,” said Ramus. Tipper said that, following the recent deals involving Air Energi and NES, which was sold to private investment vehicle AEA Investors, staffing businesses most likely to be of interest to private equity were global players operating in similar sectors such as utilities or telecoms requiring technical skills with organic growth opportunities. “This was either because the major players have grown, or where [client] companies are outsourcing their staffing requirements,” he added. However, Ramus contended that outside financial services, which was “unattractive”, there was a wider appetite from private equity. “People do want to buy into growth sectors, linked with strong management,” he said. Tim Evans, managing director at
“People do want to buy into growth sectors, linked with strong management”
Boxington Corporate Finance, added: “ It is tempting to say that the NES and Air Energi deals, two large deals coming so close together, mark a turning point in the private equity appetite for recruitment deals. “However, if you look more deeply, both were well above average businesses in the eyes of private equity market – both having real stability though scale, resilient cashflows with which to raise debt, serious overseas footprints underpinning growth, and senior management teams highly trusted by institutional investors on account of their buyout track records.” COLIN COTTELL
‘IT’S GREAT TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE TABLE THIS YEAR’
The top ranked ﬁrm in this year’ s Recruiter Hot 100, which ranks recruitment ﬁrms according to their proﬁtably, have “only scratched the surface” of their ambitions, according to the company’s owners. Specialist international recruiter Shilton Sharpe Quarry (SSQ) achieving a gross proﬁt per employees of £164,504 from its 75 employees on a turnover of £12m in 2011. However, chief executive Nick Shilton told Recruiter: “It is great to be at the top of your table this year, but we would hope to enhance that revenue per employee fee considerably over the next few years. “There is considerable growth potential in most if not all of our business units. Realistically, I would hope to push that well beyond £200,000.” Gareth Quarry, SSQ, executive chairman added: “We are always driven by SSQ has only just scratched the surface of their plans says Shilton (left) and Quarry (right)
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entrepreneurial insecurity, but we have only just scratched the surface of where we want to be.” SSQ has identiﬁed Asia as a particular growth market, and expects to see the
percentage of its fees earned from outside the UK increase from 40% now to 50% in the near future. For more on how SSQ attained top spot in Recruiter’s Hot 100 2012, see p32
Random thoughts from recruiter.co.uk, Twitter and beyond…
The UK recruitment industry saw turnover in temp business rise 5.5% in 2011/12, while permanent turnover fell 6.6% REC RECRUITMENT INDUSTRY TRENDS SURVEY 2011/12
Events enei Unconscious Bias Workshop 14 November, enei offices, London SE1, enei.org.uk/ events.php
TruAmsterdam – The Recruiting Unconference 22 November, YER Offices, Amsterdam, truamsterdam.com
APSCo Charity Ball, in aid of Childline 23 November, InterContinental, London, tinyurl.com/APSCoBall
Introduction to Inclusion, organised by Inclusive Employers 27 November, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service HQ, inclusiveemployers.co.uk/ news-events
Pan-European Job Board Summit 30 November, Dexter House, London, jobg8.com/ JobBoardSummit.aspx
Social, Mobile and Recruitment Technology Summit 17 January 2013, Cavendish Conference Centre, London, crexia.com/smart
Recruiter presents Smart Resourcing 2013 28 February 2013, London, smartresourcing2013.com
Recruiter Awards for Excellence 2013, 1 May 2013, London, recruiterawards.co.uk
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A REAL NIGHT TO REMEMBER The cream of recruiters, resourcing practitioners and business partners to the UK food and drinks industry were recognised on 7 November in the inaugural YourFoodJob.com People Awards, run in association with Recruiter. Presented at Manchester’s Lowry Hotel, the awards celebrated the £70bn UK food and drinks industry’s achievements and successes in building and developing its 400,000 workforce. Tony Allen, general manager YourFoodJob.com, told Recruiter: “This is the only food and drinks industry award that celebrates people, and it is people that make the industry.” Employer-to-employee communications firm Feather Brooksbank picked up the ultimate grand prix prize for its work on Morrison’s employer brand. Anna Fleetwood, the firm’s head of recruitment communications, told Recruiter the award recognised its work to help Morrison’s create a more cohesive employer brand. “What we did was based on employees’ behaviours and values,” she said. Mark Rice, co-founder of winning recruitment communications solutions firm andsome (see full list below) said, “The world has changed in the last two or three years and we have reflected that in our work for recruiters.” “We believe that if you put content into the social media space, and get candidates and your own people talking about you, you are not telling people what you are, but you are almost letting people tell you what you are,” he said. Gareth Evans, talent acquisition manager, Allied Bakeries, winner of the most desirable employer – as voted for by candidates - told Recruiter the award was an endorsement of the company’s approach
Zest were just one of the winners at this year’s awards
to candidates. “We try to deliver a great candidate experience whether the candidate is taken on or not,” he said. Award sponsors were Blackbridge, The Brewery, Focus Management Consultants, just-food, Market Intelligence, and Telegraph Media Group. The winners were: •Best employer brand development: andsome – EAT •Most innovative recruitment initiative: Pink Squid – YO! •Most effective equality and inclusiveness programme: Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust •Excellence in learning and development: People 1st •Outstanding employee engagement strategy: Zest Recruitment Solutions •Excellence through technology: andsome for EAT & Raymond Blanc Cookery School •Best graduate recruitment campaign: Pink Squid – Kraft Foods •Team of the year: Fresca Group (Mack Multiples) •Best careers website: ThirtyThree – Heinz •Most desirable employer (voted for by candidates): Allied Bakeries •Grand Prix: Feather Brooksbank – Morrisons
IS SOCIAL MEDIA HERE TO STAY OR IS IT MERELY A TEMPORARY BLIP? A veteran recruitment leader predicts that leading social media site Facebook has only two to five years of life left in the social media maelstrom, in the wake of an era when what he called recruitment technology “whirligigs” substitute for genuine interaction between recruiter and candidate. At the “Recruiting and Employee Engagement in the Digital Age” discussion in Birmingham last month, John Mortimer, chief executive of office recruiter Angela Mortimer, acknowledged that recessions, such as the UK’s lengthy bout of economic difficulty, accelerate change. Neverthless, Mortimer said, it was important to identify which actual cultural changes would stand the test of time and “what are just trends that will be gone before you know it”. “Digital recruitment solutions are a substitution for real interaction and provide a watered-down version of it,” Mortimer said. He also warned the audience not to assume that a captive audience awaited recruiters’ each and every tweet and update. Social media, Mortimer contended, was “creating a lot of noise, with not that many people listening”. Mortimer’s views were countered by other speakers including Andrew Springhall, CEO of professional services recruitment firm Blusource. DEEDEE DOKE
“Demand in the temp market is still very high – there seems to be high demand all over the UK” ANDY JENNINGS, PROACTIVE TECHNICAL RECRUITMENT (SEE P14 FOR MORE)
VLASTELICA HEADLINES SMART RESOURCING 2013
• TOP recruiting expert John Vlastelica will give the keynote speech at Recruiter’s Smart Resourcing 2013 knowledge-sharing event on 28 February 2013. His appearance is sponsored by Jobsite. Speaking on “Lead or Be Led: The Keys to Successful Recruiting Leadership” , Vlastelica will explore how the most effective recruiters and recruiting leaders actually lead. “It’s not a state of mind; it’s about doing things effectively,” he tells Recruiter. Vlastelica is a former recruiting director with Amazon and Expedia, and is a consultant and trainer to orgnaisations like Nike, Groupon, World Bank, Google, Hitachi, Electronic Arts, Salesforce and T-Mobile. His appearance at Smart Resourcing 2013 will mark his ﬁrst UK speaking engagement. Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke said, “We’re thrilled that John has chosen to make his debut UK presentation at Smart Resourcing 2013. He’s a true recruitment leader, and his presentation will offer attendees amazing insight Speaking debut for Vlastelica into not only best recruiting practice but how they can set themselves up for greater leadership opportunities within recruiting.” Vlastelica said, “When I headed up global recruitment for Expedia, I travelled to London to meet my team there. I returned to the US with a new appreciation for the challenges a recruiter faces when supporting a rapidly growing, global enterprise. I also returned even more convinced that many of the challenges we face as recruiters are universal. As a consultant, I work with all kinds of global organisations, and am thrilled to share some strategies for helping recruiters play a more strategic, leadership role with the businesses they support.” Mike Wall, managing director of the Job Boards division of Evenbase, Jobsite’s parent group, said, “We’re really looking forward to joining with Recruiter in welcoming John to the UK and learning from his ﬁrst UK address.” For more information and to sign up, visit www.smartresourcing2013.com. For more on Vlastelica, visit www.recruitingtoolbox.com
“Growth cannot be led out of the Treasury or the Business Department alone. It requires Whitehall as a whole to sign up” LORD HESELTINE LAUNCHES EPONYMOUS ECONOMIC GROWTH REVIEW
“I doubt I’ll surprise you when I tell you that business has effectively stopped” ET HALSTEAD, DIRECTOR OF RECRUITER JCW’S NEW YORK OFFICE, AS HURRICANE SANDY STRIKES
CANADIAN PENSION FUND BENEFITS FROM GLOBAL TALENT FOCUS
London is a “very critical” source of investment talent recruited to help 18m Canadians realise sustainable and stable financial results in their retirement security, according to Saylor Millitz-Lee, senior vice president human resources for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).
With headquarters in Toronto, the CPPIB has nearly 50 people based in London, including a team which oversees the organisation’s global investments in infrastructure projects. Speaking exclusively to Recruiter on a recent visit to London, Millitz-Lee said, “Much of our infrastructure team is centred here, London is a global centre for infrastructure talent There’s no question that this is the place to be for us in terms of that…This is a city that offers us a really deep and rich talent pool.” The Canada Pension Plan is ranked as one of the 10 largest retirement funds in the world and is one of three elements of Canada’s retirement income system. It is managed by the CPPIB, which was created by an act of Canada’s Parliament in 1997. Under its governance model, the CPPIB operates as a professional investment management organisation protected from government interference. “Right now, we’re actively working on building the brand so that it’s recognised around the world, and so…that’s making sure we have a really compelling, well-articulated value proposition,” Millitz-Lee said. An example of the top talent CPPIB is targeting is recent recruit Mark Machin, formerly Goldman Sachs’ vice chairman Asia ex-Japan, now CPPIB’s Asia president. “The mandate was compelling to him. He wanted the opportunity to help CPPIB build out their Asia team as we expand in that region; having a leader like Mark makes it easier for us to continue to attract talent,” Millitz-Lee said. “Talent attracts talent.” Social media such as LinkedIn will play an important role in building brand recognition of CPPIB. In its campus recruiting drives, the organisation aims to broaden its reach across various academic programmes to include engineering and other skills from its traditional focus on commerce, maths and finance. “Our campus programme is a talent pipeline for us for the future,” she said. “As we’re looking forward, we really do believe that diversity of thought matters.”
Contract News Capita: The outsourcer has acquired social work recruiter Medicare First… Castlerock: The healthcare recruiter has bought locums and social work recruiter Serving the Nation Locums… cube19: The recruitment analytics start-up has secured £1.1m investment… Empresaria: The staffing firm now owns the Headway group of recruitment companies outright… Evenbase: The digital recruitment group has bought a minority share in Argentine freelance marketplace Workana… Hyper Recruitment Solutions, Apprentice winner Ricky Martin’s new agency, has chosen CV-Library as its generic job board… JobsiteWhite: The white label job board is powering careers site Totally Engineering Jobs… PDR Partners: The pharma recruiter has been acquired by pharma firm Cromsource… plusHR: The HR firm is working with Project Oscar, a joint venture between Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone… Skills for Logistics: The sector skills council has been awarded £1.14m to deliver a transition to civilian logistics programme for forces leavers… SF Group: The recruiter has seen a management buyout funded by Hamilton Bradshaw Private Equity… The SJB Group: The resourcing company is now recruiting for Atos’ cloud service Canopy… SW6 Associates: The new rec-to-rec has signed an exclusive contract to supply graduates to energy recruiter Spencer Ogden
Tech & tools
MAKING LIFE EASY FOR CONTRACTORS KEYAPPS ALLOWS CONTRACTORS TO MANAGE THEIR WORK ON THEIR MOBILE – ANY TIME, ANYWHERE dvance Contracting and JMK Group are among those who have signed up to a new mobile contracting app from mobile applications specialist KeyApps. iContractors allows contractors to carry out a range of tasks on the move, such as shift management and expenses and tax calculations, and is about to be updated to include a timesheet management tool. Tim Hunt, managing director of Advance, told Recruiter that he believes the app will take the company “even closer” to its contractors and employees, while JMK’s MD Sergei Ermack reckons it will speed up and streamline processes, and allow contractors to engage with the
company in a more timely manner. “The main benefit of integrating [the timesheet management tool] into our app is that it will allow users to save their submission even if they have no internet connection,” Ermack said. John Edwards, mobile software consultant and team lead at KeyApps and a former recruiter at Elan IT/ Experis, told Recruiter that this approach underpins all of KeyApps’ products. “It’s the advantage
“Apps are easy to use and make the most of device hardware. You’re no longer stuck to your laptop ”
of having a mobile app rather than a mobile site,” he said. “The major drawback to some other mobile solutions on the market is the reliance on an internet connection. Developing native mobile applications for John Edwards the biggest platforms seemed like a no-brainer to us. “Apps are easy to use, make the most of device hardware and, most importantly, allow you to view content in the same format even if you go out of a 3G or WiFi area,” he added. “If you want to browse jjobs while commuting, in front of the television or at lunch, our apps allow you to do so. You’re no longer stuck to your laptop or in a WiFi hotspot.” Edwards said the ccompany is working iin partnership with a number of leading umbrella n businesses on bespoke b application technology for a ccontractors. Ermack said it is essential ffor a company like JMK to have a mobile presence to h cconnect with contractors on the device that they use most often. “Mobile apps offer added value and the accessibility that is now expected by mobile users who want to be able to make the most of technology at their finger tips,” he said. KeyApps was set up by MD Paul Dawkins who has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry and believed that the recruitment industry wasn’t making the most of the mobile revolution. Alongside its involvement in the contractor market, KeyApps works with agencies and direct recruiters on mobile strategies. More than 30 recruitment agencies have signed up to its mobile solutions, including The Apprentice 2012 winner Ricky Martin’s new company Hyper Recruitment Solutions.
Global video platform goes mobile Video interviewing platform Wowzer is being made available for devices using Apple’s iOS operating system. Although USbased, Wowzer’s platform is used by global companies — UK clients include brewer Molson Coors (UK & Ireland) and University College London. Global clients include Adidas, Deloitte and Intel. Wowzer Candidate for jobseekers and Wowzer Hiring for interviewers allow users to carry out live or asynchronous video interviews. The latter gives recruiters the opportunity to record questions, then invite the candidate to do the interview when it suits them. The recruiter can review answers at their convenience. The asynchronous option allows candidates in different time zones to be interviewed and Wowzer co-founder and chief executive Rodrigo Martinez told Recruiter that “a recruiter can use the platform with the user interface displayed in their native language, while candidates can experience the user interface in a different language”. Wowzer is being integrated with Oracle Taleo, which means recruiters can view Wowzer video interviews in the applicant tracking system. Martinez said the integrations are a response to clients’ need to simplify the number of tools they use. “Once they see how easy it is to use our platform they have preferred to immediately do video interviews in a standalone setting before getting their technical teams involved in the full integration,” said Martinez. He added that although there is higher adoption of video interviewing in the US, UK companies are becoming more receptive to it. However, concerns have been raised on both sides of the pond about the potential for increased discrimination early in the recruitment process. Martinez contended that discrimination does not come inherently with video interviewing and is no more hazardous than looking at someone’s picture on an online network or making a hiring decision after a meeting. www.wowzer.com
www.keyapps.co.uk SUE WEEKES
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Recruitment is in our DNA
Developed by people who know recruitment RDB ProNet is developed by people with decades of front line recruitment experience who understand what small, medium and large recruitment companies want to achieve and have been helping them to achieve it since 1996. It’s because we understand your goals that ProNet has been designed to be a platform on which to build your business with usable workflows, ease of integration, customisation, compliance and security at its heart. If you’re a small business you’ll appreciate that ProNet will meet and exceed your needs out of the box and if you’re a larger business you’ll appreciate the fact that while all the standard workflows are covered – your own particular, perhaps, more complex or compliance needs can be easily catered for. Deeper integration, intuitive operation, exceptional user satisfaction, improved efficiency, reliability, easy customisation and larger profits. These are the benefits enjoyed by recruitment businesses using RDB ProNet. Call us and find out how our understanding of recruitment can help your business and why, in a pretty flat market, sales of ProNet increased by 60% last year and are up again this year! On-site or in the Cloud the choice is yours and you’ll be in great company - these are just some of our successful clients.
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of the 43% of UK workers who have not received inﬂationary pay rises in the past two years are actively looking for a new job —Change Recruitment Group survey
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2. British Library
Employee Engagement Manager
3. Astralis Group
Recruitment & Resourcing Manager
4. Digby Morgan Senior Talent Acquisition EMEA
5. Alexander Lloyd TOP
In-House Financial Services Recruiter
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5. Staffline acquires
Select Appointments from Randstad to broaden reach
SNAPSHOT OF A MARKET Organisations with recruitment interests performed strongly in the The Sunday Times 2012 Top Track 250’, a league table that ranks mid-market firms by sales. Technical recruiters with global operations in oil & gas were particularly prominent, with technical oil & gas recruiter Fircroft in 10th place, with sales of £562m, the highest ranked of the 13. The others included were: at number 18: Alexander Mann Solutions; number 23: Morson Group; number 30: Cordant Group; number 64: NES Global Talent; number 65: de Poel; number 83: Swift Worldwide Resources; number 100: Orion Group; number 103: Pertemps; number 142: Rullion Group; number 164: A4E ; number 191: Air Energi and at 248: The Best Connection.
‘LOOK BEYOND MONEY FOR VALUABLE HIRES’ •
THE importance of money and the size of a pay packet should not be overestimated when recruiting, according to the boss of a global online talent community. “Everybody thinks money is a motivator in hiring talent, and it’s so much less important than people think,” Joel Spolsky, chief executive of programming Q&A site Stack Overﬂow, visited by 20m programmers worldwide monthly, and generates revenue through a job site, said last month. “Right now we’re probably paying programmers more than we need,” he told attendees on the ﬁrst day of the TRULondon recruiting unConference, pointing to a survey on the website in which 93.5% of users said that given the choice of two jobs, they would happily go for one with a 10% lower salary than another, if it was better in other ways. “When you go to a workplace and people are complaining ‘we’re not paid enough’… there are ﬁve other things that are wrong”, he concluded.
A SLAP IN THE FACE HERE’S AN INTERESTING recruitment •experiment that took place in San Francisco
– where else? Maneesh Sethi decided his productivity was ﬂagging, due to too many forays into sites such as Facebook and non-related work activity. So his answer was to put an advert on Craigslist (the online classiﬁed ads site) to recruit someone to slap him in the face every time he deviated across to social media sites and the like. Here was the ad he posted: (domestic gigs) Slap me if I get off task… Hey! I’m looking for someone who can work next to me at a deﬁned location (my house or a mission café) and will make sure to watch what is happening on my screen. When I am wasting time, you’ll have to yell at me or if need be, slap me. You can do your own work at the same time. • Compensation: $8/hour, and you can do your own work from your computer at the same time. After a deluge of responses (it was in San Francisco), the next day at 9am Kara appeared, ready and willing to let him have it. And the results? His average productivity was around 35-40% on most days, but when Kara sat next to him, his productivity skyrocketed to 98%. So next time you or your staff are tempted to while away a few minutes browsing what your friends have been eating or where they’re going, why not hire a few ‘Karas’ to prod everyone with a sharpened stick or slap you all with a fresh ﬁsh? There have been worse suggestions to up productivity, surely…
Experian Hitwise most popular websites employment and training sites — October 2012 Percentage reflects share of visits to most visited sites Websites 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Linkedin Indeed UK reed.co.uk TotalJobs.com jobrapido UK TES Connect Jobsite UK NHS Jobs CV Library Monster UK Guardian.co.uk Jobs Job is Job United Kingdom ﬁsh4jobs Simply Hired JobsToday www.sainsburys.jobs trovit UK Jobs Careers Centre - Reuters.co.uk jobs.ac.uk s1jobs.com
www.linkedin.com www.indeed.co.uk www.reed.co.uk www.totaljobs.com uk.jobrapido.com www.tes.co.uk www.jobsite.co.uk www.jobs.nhs.uk www.cv-library.co.uk www.monster.co.uk jobs.guardian.co.uk www.jobisjob.co.uk www.ﬁsh4.co.uk www.simplyhired.co.uk www.jobstoday.co.uk www.sainsburys.jobs jobs.trovit.co.uk www.reuters.eﬁnancialcareers.co.uk www.jobs.ac.uk www.s1jobs.com
18.99% 8.43% 5.38% 4.68% 3.30% 2.85% 2.70% 2.69% 2.00% 1.64% 1.41% 1.06% 0.82% 0.81% 0.70% 0.66% 0.61% 0.59% 0.57% 0.55%
NEW THINKING NEEDED The government should scrap all its training schemes and give the money directly to companies, believes business magnate Lord Alan Sugar. Speaking at last month’s launch of specialist science recruiter Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS), Lord Sugar told the 100 or so guests he thought funding for the various training programmes could be better used by companies to upskill what he described as “the lost group” in the UK. He was asked at a Q&A session about the skills gap in the science and technology industry. “Let companies train their own people,” he asserted. “We need to stop all these initiatives and give the money to employers to train the lost group on the job.” He didn’t see the point of work experience, where ‘trainees’ would be passed across from one manager to another, without someone properly assigned to the trainee. He emphasised that firms needed to “encourage people to work from the bottom up to the top”. At the event, held at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London’s Piccadilly to mark the launch of HRS, his joint venture with the latest winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice, Ricky Martin, Lord Sugar said that in the UK, “science is not fashionable — it’s nerdy stuff”. He went on to say that in France an engineer is “up there with a doctor”. “We need to change that perception [in the UK].” HRS, he said, as a specialist recruitment company and led by someone who, as a scientist, understood the business, would be much better placed to find the top talent science and pharmaceutical companies are looking for. “That’s why we will succeed and not just be A N Other,” he said.
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LICENCE REVOKED KENT POLICE has made two arrests in •what the Gangmasters Licensing Authority
(GLA) has called “one of the worse cases of exploitation the GLA has uncovered in the food supply chain” since it became operational in 2006. The GLA has revoked the licence of labour provider DJ Houghton Catching Services with immediate effect, saying that the ﬁrm “breached so many of the licence conditions that continued operations would have been totally unacceptable”. The company has the right to appeal. The Maidstone, Kent-based ﬁrm provided gangs of workers to catch chickens at farms across the UK. The GLA adds that its investigation found that the workers, mostly Lithuanian, “suffered exploitation so extreme that it had to order the ﬁrm to stop supplying workers to farms and food factories immediately”.
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CONSULTATIVE RECRUITMENT PARTNERS LEAD THE WAY John Vlastelica argues that the traditional recruiter model is no longer what works best and a more consultative approach is now the focus, with a true partnership developing between consultants and hiring managers to deliver better outcomes all round
How consultative recruitment partners measure up
am a corporate recruiting leader turned consultant and have been fortunate to partner with heads of recruitment at some amazing companies — from Nike to Hitachi, the World Bank to Electronic Arts, Google and Groupon. One of the things on many talent acquisition leaders’ priority lists — and they are long lists — are a collection of goals to help their recruiters become more strategic and consultative. These aren’t lofty ‘seat at the table’ wishes, they are driven by real needs for their teams, who are often working too many open roles, doing too much administrative or systems work, to get in the driver’s seat and lead their hiring managers more. Where are these needs coming from? So many organisations are transforming themselves, which means their target candidate profiles are changing, new hiring managers are being hired, and they’re finding that what worked in 2007 isn’t working in 2012. The business wants — actually, demands — that recruiting step up and lead. So what does it look like to lead in recruitment as a hands-on recruiter? The good news is it’s not rocket science. The bad news? It’s not easy and doesn’t happen by accident. Recruiters often need to look at their roles through a new lens and be given the time to lead. I haven’t found many recruiters, outside of those with small requisition loads and who focus just on executive recruitment, for example, who have time to do each of these six things (right) for every hiring manager and every open role. They often prioritise and begin by adding more value to their most critical roles first. I’ll be speaking at Recruiter’s Smart Resourcing conference in February 2013 and will be building on this topic, focusing on how we make this move and sharing real-life examples of how recruiters are playing a more strategic, consultative role. I hope to see you there.
“Companies are ﬁnding that what worked in 2007 isn’t working in 2012”
Consultative, strategic recruiter
Shares messages that sound like this: “Thank you for calling recruitment, how may I help you?”
Shares messages that sound like this: “Our most successful hiring managers do things differently. Here’s the key to being successful as a hiring manager here at our company…”
Traditional recruiters see their roles as customer service, accommodating incoming requests with the goal of making the hiring manager happy.
Consultative recruiters deliver more value by helping hiring managers to be better. Their primary goal is not to please the hiring manager, but to help the hiring manager succeed.
Accepts unrealistic candidate proﬁles.
Helps hiring managers make trade-offs between candidate requirements/proﬁle, salary requirements and speed to hire. Pushes back on unrealistic proﬁles and offers up quality candidates who are qualiﬁed, interested, affordable and available.
Focuses recruitment strategy just on sourcing candidates.
Expands strategy to go beyond sourcing – includes interviewing and selection process, selling and closing, and candidate experience. Examples: Coaching managers on the right number and type of interviewers, assigning the right focus areas to interviewers, building a selling plan that includes executive and peer involvement.
Chases interview feedback and takes notes at the decision debrief meeting.
Facilitates the debrief meeting (especially for key roles), asking key questions that help the team make the right long-term hire including a frank discussion about trade-offs and risks. Coaches new and experienced hiring managers before or during difﬁcult hiring decision meetings.
Accepts unrealistic timeline requests.
Sets and manages expectations with hiring managers about realistic timelines for each major step at the start of the process. Explains the critical impact the hiring manager has on the time to ﬁll the role and sets up the relationship as a partnership, not as a vendor (recruiter) working for a customer (hiring manager).
John Vlastelica is a former recruiting director at Amazon and Expedia. He’s an author and speaker on all things recruitment, and — through his consulting and training ﬁrm, Recruiting Toolbox — works with companies to help them build and deploy the right recruiting strategies, processes, tools, systems, and training to their recruiters and hiring managers. He will give the keynote speech at Recruiter’s Smart Resourcing 2013 on 28 February 2013. Visit www.smartresourcing2013.com and www.recruitingtoolbox.com
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Transport and logistics
BLUE COLLAR RECRUITERS ARE FLOURISHING IN THIS DEPRESSED ECONOMY AS COMPANIES SWITCH ON TO THE IDEA OF A CHEAPER WAY OF WORKING, BUT SKILLS SHORTAGES ARE STILL A CHALLENGE
In January, the Recruiter Fast 50 list of the UK’s fastest-growing recruiters, compiled by Boxington Corporate Finance, saw an emergence of blue collar industrial driving and warehousing recruiters consolidating and achieving strong growth. In the City and at blue chips, cost cutting and austerity spells bad news for recruiters but Pete Taylor, operations manager at blue collar recruiter Encore Personnel, says that “the thing it [the recession] did was open up companies to a cheaper way of operating”. Flexible and cheap staffing offered by such agencies is attractive to business. Speaking to Recruiter about service company Amey’s operations in this area, HR director for talent, learning and resourcing Martin Nicholds says another attraction of outsourced recruitment is its familiarity with elements like the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR — see p18 for more). For this and other reasons, “we took a decision a year ago to outsource all our temporary recruitment needs to Randstad Sourceright, which acts as a managing agent,” he says. “Temporary labour is a vital part of our overall resource mix, providing us with the flexibility to respond fast to change priorities and customer needs, and we foresee this continuing.” Nicholds, Taylor and indeed recruiters aplenty believe the AWR has not been the death knell
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR IS HOW PEOPLE APPROACH WORK AS MUCH AS WHAT THEY DO RIGHT NOW... THE CULTURE PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE IS GOING TO OFFER US A LOT MORE IN THE FUTURE
Mick Jackson chief executive, Skills for Logistics “16% of LGV [large goods vehicles] drivers are aged 60 or above... There are fewer people taking LGV tests and over the past four years there has been a 31% decline in the number of individuals passing their test.”
previously feared for temp agencies, although Taylor does note new challenges for agencies from the recent implementing of pension autoenrolment legislation. Further challenges include fuel prices and well-known and often long-running skills shortages. Qualified large goods vehicles drivers remain scarce, although recruiters seem to have got to grips with new Certificate of Professional Competence requirements imposed by the EU. As ever, being open-minded on skills transfer is key. “What we’re looking for is how people approach work as much as what they do right now,” says Adrian Thomas, head of resourcing at Network Rail. “Yes technical people need to be technical, but the culture that people demonstrate is going to offer us a lot more in the future,” he adds. Meanwhile, talent supply for lower-skilled roles is generally strong, given high unemployment and candidates happy to go for lower-paying positions. Taylor says Encore is “interviewing like crazy” for such jobs, as seasonal demand for retail distribution remains strong through late autumn and winter. While lower-skilled roles are easier to source, and providing recruitment services for these can mean good business, it is the skills themselves that will make the difference as far as this industry goes, according to sector skills council Skills for Logistics (SfL). SfL notes 25,000 apprenticeship completions in the seven years to July 2011, while Nicholds says Amey recently achieved a corporate target of 2% of workforce being in such schemes. SfL chief executive Mick Jackson notes that “The World Economic Forum places the UK 13th in terms of logistics competitiveness globally”. In terms of training, one of the six criteria, it is just 25th. “This,” Jackson says, “is where the UK falls down.”
Andy Jennings divisional manager transport and contruction, Proactive Technical Recruitment “We have a huge shortage of skilled staff in our marketplace. This is mainly due to very few youngsters coming through now as they tend to choose more exciting careers. I’m afraid there’s a misconception that being a mechanic or working in garages — or being in the transportation industry full stop.”
Ieuan Rosser managing director – recruitment services, Smart Solutions “There is a perceived national skills shortage in the warehousing and logistics sectors but we have not found this to be the case. While we concede there is a shortage of staff for some of the more specialised roles, such as HGV drivers, it is not the case for other roles in the sector.“
Adrian Thomas head of resourcing, Network Rail
SAM BURNE JAMES email@example.com
MONSTER EMPLOYMENT INDEX (transport, post & logistics) 220 210
Sep Nov 2011
Jan Mar 2012
AVERAGE TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS SALARIES Supply chain: £37,296 (▲£3,858 since 2011) Logistics: £31,062 (▲£849) Driving: £22,210 (▼£171) Warehouse operative: £16,163 (▲£337) Picker/packer: £14,439 (▼£235) All roles: £29,670 (▲£364)
JOBS AND APPLICANTS
■ Jobs posted (000s) ■ Applicants/job
“The UK’s got a lot of logistics companies and I think we’re good at logistics – so in that sense I don’t think we find many roles that are particularly hard to hire.”
Global Spotlight on the Baltics THE BALTIC NATIONS OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPECIALISED PROFESSIONALS AND RECRUITERS BUT ARE LOSING CITIZENS TO EMIGRATION
Indeed, Adecco previously operated there, but closed operations five years ago “because the market potential was deemed to be too limited”, a spokesperson tells Recruiter. But as European Union members since 2004, they matter. Milan Novak, chief executive of recruiter Grafton Europe, for whom the Baltics make up three of its seven markets, says these nations have strategic importance as part of broader plans. “We need to have a footprint, but the expectation is not that we have loads of branches across these markets,” he says. Novak also notes their useful geographical location but the Baltics are not just stepping stones. Belindar Parmar, a writer and advocate for women in technology, referred to Estonia, the birthplace of Skype, and Latvia as among the tech-savvy ‘Geek Nations’ in a recent BBC article, adding that they see less gender disparity in the industry than elsewhere — which can only be good for talent pools. A regional spokesperson for ManpowerGroup tells Recruiter that the ICT sector is indeed the one where it is seeing its highest demand and that “all kind of engineers are needed” across these countries. Alongside IT, Novak adds a second area where Grafton does much of its Baltic business — shared services centres providing finance, accountancy, administration or customer service supporting firms’ European or global operations. These are nations with opportunities and strong competition for higher-skilled professionals. They also have education systems that, contributors agree, are good enough to produce these people initially. Virginija Mikutaite, HR director of Lietuvos Draudimas, the Latvian arm of global insurance
key indicators Population: Estonia 1.27m, Latvia 2.19m, Lithuania 3.53m GDP per capita – Estonia: $20,600 (61st highest globally), Latvia: $15,900 (75th), Lithuania: $19,100 (65th) The Baltic region is slightly larger by land mass than the UK without Scotland. Latvia and Lithuania are almost identical in size, Estonia around a third smaller. Official languages: Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian. There are also native Finnish speakers in Estonia, while a third of the Estonian and Latvia populations speak Russian. Currencies: Euro (€) in Estonia, Lats (Ls) in Latvia, Litas (Lt) in Lithuania. The Lats and Lita are fixed against the euro.
SPONSORED BY SAM BURNE JAMES firstname.lastname@example.org
UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS AND GDP GROWTH 25%
group RSA, tells Recruiter that there is strong competition for quality specialised professionals and that even through the financial crisis “these people never felt any threat of unemployment”. Although these nations have been hit by the recession, regional unemployment has fallen steadily since mid-2009 (see graph below). Mikutaite is unconcerned about candidates going to overseas markets, saying “brain drain is certainly not there”. She notes that emigration – indeed all three states are experiencing net emigration – is mainly made up of students and a “non-qualified workforce”. A danger for businesses looking at the Baltic nations is to treat them as a single entity. Manpower’s spokesperson acknowledges this but says that “most of our international clients would like to handle the Baltics as one region, and that’s what we can deliver”. With multiple languages and “pronounced cultural differences between the nations”, cultural sensitivity is important, says Adam Riccoboni, director of global freelancing marketplace MBAandCo.com. The need for “market knowledge and insight at as local a level as possible… is especially true in the Baltics”, he adds. One cultural difference that Riccoboni points out is that candidates have “perhaps less trust with regard to unsolicited approaches than in the UK”. While this definitely hints at a challenge, Marc van Ling, the director of Europe Solutions, a recruiter which touches on the region via its UK and Polish offices suggests that “perhaps that’s an opportunity because there’s less competition there”.
20 15 10
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE? All three counties have negative net migration rates – meaning more people are leaving the country than entering:
5 0 -5 10 15 20
Unemployment ■■■ GDP Growth 2006 07 08 09 10 11 12
2006 07 08 09 10 11 12
17_Recruit_Global spotlight_NOV12 NEW.indd 17
2006 07 08 09 10 11 12
Estonia: 3.33 migrants per 1,000 population Latvia: 2.34 migrants per 1,000 population Lithuania: 0.73 migrants per 1,000 population
2012 ESTIMATES FROM THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
*UNEMPLOYMENT RATES AT YEAR-END 2006-2011, AND IN MAY 2012, ACCORDING TO EUROSTAT, GDP DATA FROM WORLD BANK 2006-2011, 2012 PREDICTIONS FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Tucked away in a corner of Eastern Europe, with a combined population lower than London’s, the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania might not appear the most encouraging of business prospects.
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Pointless piece of protection WORKERS HAVE BENEFITED LITTLE FROM THE AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS, WHILE BUSINESSES HAVE HAD TO BEAR THE COSTS OF UPGRADING IT SYSTEMS TO COPE WITH ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) came into force just over a year ago, on 1 October 2011. Their aim was to protect workers perceived to be vulnerable due to a lack of rights compared with permanent direct hires. Equal rights to pay (including performance-related bonuses), working time and holidays, and guaranteed access to collective facilities such as staff canteens and childcare were given to agency workers. Rights to collective facilities apply from day one of an assignment, but equal rights to pay and other basic working conditions apply once the temporary worker has completed a 12-week qualifying period in the assignment. Many commentators, including myself, had predicted that the regulations would have a disastrous impact on the market for agency workers and could increase their job insecurity, with hirers ending assignments after the 12-week qualification period. Have the doomsayers’ predictions been borne out? The good news is that one year on, the impact of the regulations has been lower than
anticipated. Both agencies and hirers have reported no significant drop in the use of agency workers. In fact, many hirers have rationalised the way their agency worker labour workforce is used, resulting in increased efficiencies and cost savings. Looked at from this perspective, the AWR could be seen to have benefited businesses and agency workers. However, on closer examination, it has proved to be bad news for businesses, while at the same time providing little benefit to agency workers. The AWR has placed an additional burden on agencies and hirers. This burden is largely administrative, with hirers having to collate a range of pay and other information to provide to agencies, and the latter having to analyse this information to ensure equivalent levels of pay. In some cases, agencies have had to spend significant sums overhauling their IT systems to ensure they are able to keep track of the pay data provided by hirers. This burden is significant, both in terms of man hours and hard costs. It would be justifiable if there was any
evidence that the regulations have resulted in pay or basic working conditions for agency workers improving. However, there is no such evidence. Indeed, even before the AWR came into force, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that the average agency worker was paid 96% of the pay of equivalent directly-hired employees. Also, anecdotal evidence suggests that only a tiny number of claims have been presented by agency workers alleging unequal treatment. The conclusion is that AWR is an excessive administrative and cost burden for hirers and agencies, with little benefit to agency workers. The solution? Repealing the regulations would solve the problem, however, as the AWR is based on a European Union directive, this is not an option. The scope for amending the regulations to reduce the burden on agencies and hirers is limited. Businesses can, therefore, expect to remain tied up in this well-meant but largely pointless piece of red tape. STEFAN MARTIN is a partner with law ﬁrm
Allen & Overy
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“Following on from Recruiter’s October cover story, what recruitment technology has made the most difference to how you recruit?” Robert Allen Senior manager, EMEA, Talent Acquisition, SunGard Global Services
What’s a living wage? I AM WRITING in response to your story •‘Employers must pay living wage home and away,
urges campaign’ (recruiter.co.uk, 5 November). Hmm, I’m confused. Are you? What is a ‘living wage’? To live as I do requires more than the National Minimum Wage, but even so, I have to be careful what I spend. Yes, I might wish to live a more expensive lifestyle but can I afford to? Or is the ‘living wage’ something that allows the basic Maslow needs* to be met in a particular environment or is it something else? KPMG say over 4m people in Britain are paid below the living wage. What is that? I suspect that it is not literally a living wage that is referred to or all the people not being paid it would be dead, wouldn’t they? I think KPMG’s accountants must be paid more than they need to live on or they would be looking for more accounting work and not ﬁnd the time to write such unaccountable stuff. Tom Atkinson * [Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in his 1943 paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’.]
The Beeb’s tax dilemma
IN RESPONSE TO ‘BBC Trust’s ‘freelancers on payroll’ remark not end for PSCs’ (recruiter. co.uk, 11 October) It is the responsibility of HMRC to ensure that people are paying tax correctly and adhering to the disguised employees (IR35) legislation, not the BBC. Let’s hope the divide isn’t merged further — can’t see The Tax Ofﬁce being a gripping drama! Dave Chaplin, founder, ContractorCalculator
The Beeb can’t win. They are being criticised for having contractors in this story, but remember they have also recently been criticised for the opposite — having employees whose expenses are monstrous because they are working in Manchester but living in London and the SouthEast. Charles Fiddes Payne
Viewed from an in-house perspective, advances in technology in recent years have enabled recruiters to increase their ‘candidate reach’ by enabling them to move away from a previous reliance on recruitment agencies and the now outdated ‘one shot’ job posting. As a shrinking candidate marketplace becomes the norm, the new technology has allowed in-house recruiters to become pro-active in the portrayal of their brand, as well as engage with interested parties for whom longerterm communication channels can be an attractive option. In avoiding a direct ‘open role’ approach, over time, this opens the door to persuading potential candidates to consider a comprehensive review of the opportunities on offer. In this respect, far from replacing the high touch strategy employed by recruiters, the new technology offers a greatly enhanced platform upon which the recruiter can operate. Robert Macdonald Chairman, Prime People
It must be technology first, professionalism second and the impact of HR departments third. When I came into recruitment in the 1970s, as a ‘legal recruiter’, everything was paper based and the fax was the white heat of technology. My then business was an early adopter and started using a computer for matching in 1979! At Prime People, with offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore and Johannesburg, we now have a 24/7 global database for global talent and a big investment in web ‘next phase integration’ with internal CRM etc. We all know how professional the best recruitment businesses have become but HR departments have cut two ways – assisting in consolidating professionalism and efficiency but sometimes standing in the way of creativity in the relationship between line manager and professional recruiter.” Catherine Schlieben Head of recruitment, ITV
The biggest change for me has been the development of solutions to find the passive candidate. We used to bemoan the fact that the standard of applications had fallen. With the advent of social media tools such as LinkedIn, as long as we learn the best ways to search out candidates and ensure we have a good understanding of how to build a brand in the marketplace, we are able to hunt out those candidates that we really want. The use of data is also so important and we have become much more scientific in our approach to our web activity and attraction strategies. IF YOU HAVE A LETTER OR WOULD LIKE TO BE A CONTRIBUTOR TO SOUNDBITES, EMAIL... VANESSA.TOWNSEND@RECRUITER.CO.UK
Stroke, don’t poke, candidates AS CANDIDATES BECOME MORE SOCIAL-MEDIA SAVVY, THOSE RECRUITING THEM MUST BEHAVE MORE SENSITIVELY The more social media permeates into everyone’s life, and the bigger and deeper our digital footprints, the more those tracking these footprints for recruitment purposes must be sensitive to and aware of individuals’ concerns and sensitivities. In September, Facebook turned off Tag Suggest, a facial recognition tool prompting users to tag photos when software identified those photographed. Labelled “creepy” and “scary” by bloggers, it remains unavailable while European regulators discuss best practice around such tools. The potential extended application of such software for recruiters — going to an industry event, snapping away and instantly generating leads — is plain to see. Speaking at a conference the month earlier, Oscar Mager, a senior contract recruiter at music systems maker Sonos, asked: “Will privacy be the biggest threat for talent sourcing?” Generally, Mager believes, people “probably don’t know that if you combine all the information about them you get a really, really rich profile”. What happens if the Facebook decision marks a sea change? Currently, Marcus Ronaldi, a California sourcer of tech, finance and chemical engineering roles, notes occasional candidates without that awareness — they are the exception rather than the rule — without that awareness reacting negatively to unwanted approaches. “It’s kind of funny when someone is shocked when I find their resumé on publicly-searchable blogs and they complain,” he says, going on to say: “I would rather err on the side of contacting someone who is not interested, rather than not contacting someone who is.” In fact candidates not expecting the approach, rather than getting defensive and upset, can be more receptive, says Adam Lawrence, global head of sourcing at talent management firm Alexander
“EVERYONE WE ENGAGE WITH IS A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE THAT MIGHT WANT TO COME AND JOIN KPMG, OR THEY’RE A POTENTIAL CLIENT, SO WE’VE GOT TO ENSURE THAT EVERY EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENT IS VERY POSITIVE”
Mann Solutions. “When I have used creative methods to access people, I typically get just the opposite response, which is ‘wow, you’re different from everyone else’,” he says. But tact is still needed. Lawrence warns of vastly different attitudes to privacy across different national borders. And within cultural and generational borders — professional services firm KPMG’s head of experienced hire and global mobility Nicola Binning says they interact with potential student applicants via Facebook, a medium it uses less elsewhere. Even then, she notes: “Some students think, ‘well actually Facebook is our domain, we don’t want a potential employer coming to engage with us on Facebook’, but I think that’s changing.” So much in social media is changing, and while it is tempting to suggest the potential is limitless, Lawrence adds caution: “One of the things we need to acknowledge is that time is a limiting factor in terms of engagement with social media.” With social users potentially deluged and nearing saturation point, recruiters must take extra care to make them feel special. Says director of online recruitment advisors Enhance Media, Giles Guest: “The recruiter that jumps into the chat forum and says ‘We’ve got jobs’ is like the person who jumps into a technical conversation and shouts and adds no value.” Clearly, this is a turn-off for talent, and damaging to your brand. Another way of engaging is to exit the public domain, as has Hollaroo, a web services company that builds private social recruiting networks. Head of marketing Ben Wright says: “Companies told us what they wanted was a space away from the public domain,” where relationships with candidates can be private, and users can have added confidence — the same reason Binning says KPMG uses closed groups or private areas on social media to engage candidates. Hollaroo is not, nor does it claim to be, the killerin-waiting of LinkedIn, but is a reaction, in an age where Wright says privacy online no longer exists, to a basic truth: social media is just like any form of communication. Binning explains: “Everyone we engage with is a potential candidate or a potential somebody that might want to come and join KPMG, or they’re a potential client, so we’ve got to ensure that every external engagement is very positive.” Whether on a chatroom or over a coffee, this does not change.
Power Points Everyone is at the very least aware of social media privacy issues, but this manifests in different ways You don’t act the same way in both, but nonetheless be as judicious in a chatroom as you would be over a coffee A creatively-sourced candidate is, like any, at liberty to turn you down, but not if you are too cautious to approach them But you can easily force a candidate to turn you down by making that approach uninspiring or effectively just spam
Social media in context Facebook now has over 1bn members, while LinkedIn is gaining roughly two more every second 36% of jobseekers thought an employer would not look at their social media profile 55% actively change their social media privacy settings while searching for jobs [According to a September survey of 778 visitors to hays.co.uk]
SAM BURNE JAMES
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Marussia aims to win the F1 race with talent THROUGH THE USE OF MICROSITES AND COOL JOBS MONSTER ADDED ITS RECRUITMENT EXPERTISE TO FIND NICHE TALENT FOR THE MARUSSIA F1 TEAM
Katie Allen Head of HR
THE CHALLENGE The world of Formula 1 conjures up images of fast cars, excitement and travelling to exotic places around the globe. Not too tough to attract the top talent needed to achieve success on the grid — you’d have thought. But beyond the glitz and glamour are 12 teams facing challenging business decisions and tough competition off the track to ﬁnd engineers and innovators skilled enough to design a car that will shave tenths or hundredths of a second off their time on the track. This challenge is further compounded if the F1 team is fairly new to the sport. The AngloRussian Marussia F1 Team, now in its third year, is one of the newest to join the FIA F1 family. A young and ambitious challenger, late last year the team recognised it had to recruit for at least 40 roles across all business divisions at its Banbury headquarters near Oxford. Katie Allen, head of HR at Marussia, explained most of the established F1 teams consisted of around 300-400 people, ranging from
“It was quite challenging. As a growing team, we’re not able to offer the same package of beneﬁts” KATIE ALLEN
engineers, aerodynamic specialists, CAD designers to marketing specialists and backofﬁce support functions. Allen and the other two members of her team were looking to increase the staff count from 120 eventually to 180 this year. Although Marussia used a number of specialist recruitment agencies, they were always going to be competing for talent with the other teams. “It was quite challenging,” Allen said. “As a growing team, we’re not able to offer the same package of beneﬁts.” However, what the team could offer a new staff member was “an opportunity to make their mark” in an up and coming team. Marussia needed to get their brand differentiator out there and show the world that it was an innovative yet fun environment for those who shared the team’s ambition and focus for the future. It was time to shift their recruitment up a gear and so Allen decided to look for a strategic recruitment partner to help the team achieve their goals of moving up the grid.
THE SOLUTION Allen acknowledged that the team had to increase their geographical reach and in February this year Marussia joined forces with job board Monster to help the team reach the right talent needed to drive them forward to success. For example, Allen told Recruiter there were hubs of aerodynamic excellence in universities in France. “By bringing Monster on board we
Key Lessons “Talented people aren’t moving jobs, therefore showing the ‘real’ working environment through video content really helps” David Henry could reach out a lot further,” she explained. The team’s branding was going to be key to attracting candidates, such as specialised engineers and aerodynamicists, to come and join the Marussia team rather than one of the other top or more established teams. Working alongside the Marussia marketing team, Monster created customised hiring sites in 20 worldwide markets and in 10 languages. Making good use of YouTube, the microsites convey the personality and culture of the team, showing short, down-toearth clips of what it’s like to work at Marussia. “Monster really enhances Marussia’s employer brand and its videos on the site increases awareness [of the company],” Allen said. David Henry, VP marketing UK & Ireland at Monster, said the multimedia clips, as well as the use of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, were vital in the hunt for talent. “Content starts the conversations,” he said. “There’s no point just tweeting ‘we’ve got such and such a job’.”
David Henry VP Marketing
Monster customised its Talent Management Suite to help Allen and her team manage the applicant pool more effectively. Given that F1 is seen as a glamorous industry, teams are always going to receive “opportunistic” applications from unqualiﬁed jobseekers and Marussia was no exception. Monster’s automatic bespoke screener questions ensure incoming CVs are from qualiﬁed candidates, helping the team whittle down the 14,000 potential candidates to a more manageable 840 (September 2012 ﬁgures). To date, there have been 29 new hires via Monster into key, specialist positions, including design engineers, a garage technician, a travelling composite technician and an electronics engineer. The Marussia F1 Team currently numbers 175. Henry told Recruiter: “So far the Marussia F1 Team has posted and ﬁlled four global ‘Cool Jobs’ this year as part of its alliance with Monster. Each of the four highly coveted opportunities were advertised internationally. The third advertised post, that of junior technician, was for an entry-level position, so was a real opportunity for someone looking to start a career in Formula One. The current job is a marketing position for a partnership manager.” As he concluded, “our aim was to help Marussia F1 Team accelerate their team through recruiting new hires. We very much look forward to working with them in the future”.
Would you like to be involved in The Challenge? Contact Vanessa Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org
A professional industry for all Another year is nearly over and we are all looking back to see what has gone on over the past few years. Single dip, double dip, it doesn’t matter as the majority of us have come through it. This is testament to you, the leaders, that our industry has turned the professionalism volume up to maximum over the past few years.
Research and analysis by
Microdec is proud to sponsor the 2012 HOT 100 especially due to the trying times each of these companies have been through. As a provider of recruitment software Microdec would of course advocate software as being key to any business, but as with any tool to help efficiency, it is essential that it is implemented and adopted by the business to maximise its return on investment. So why is recruitment software key to any business? Efficiency and quality — these are the two top-level views. An efficient system enabled consultants to pool and search candidate data (and not stored in one person’s email folder), thus allowing everyone to work together to find the right candidate for your clients faster and keeping everyone in touch with the stages you are at. A recent study published by Robert Walters found that 88% of candidates talk about their experience with others, so be aware of the service you offer them. Increasingly, the quality of service to your clients is what they cry out for and these systems help you achieve that. Clients and candidates will recommend you and come back if they have received quality service. Why should they go anywhere else if they are happy? Integrating your recruitment software to social media is making it easier for us to find, track and update our systems. We have so much information at our fingertips and with some recruitment software applications being able to do this, it has meant even greater time savings. With time savings comes more work throughput and with more work, each consultant needs to keep on top of their daily tasks, so smart systems that automatically prompt and remind are key so you do not miss out on performing essential actions and follow-ups. Driving these processes also provides better quality reporting for managers to help steer the business and keep on track. So work smarter for better efficiency and quality. Mark Bowyer www.microdec-profile.com
Sponsored by Supported by
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 33
Recruiter Hot 100 2012
Focus was on investment and expansion
HOT 100 COMPANIES PUT OPPORTUNITY AT THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR STRATEGIC THINKING, WHICH LED TO SIGNIFICANT RECRUITMENT AND REBUILDING OF SECTORS. BY SUE DODD, DIRECTOR OF AGILE INTELLIGENCE oliticians may argue about rebalancing the UK towards a more productive and knowledgebased economy but the Recruiter 2012 HOT 100 provides proof that those recruitment firms specialising in talent based on IT, technical, scientific or creative skillsets are already well on the march. While financial specialists still retain their important position, the efforts of IT and technical recruiters are especially impressive this year, in the seventh consecutive Recruiter HOT 100 publication. Unsurprisingly, the public sector continues to struggle, although it is perhaps more stable now than a year ago. And fewer generalist companies are represented here than ever before. As the wider economy only offered uncertainty, the Eurozone threatened to implode and banks continued to restrict lending, what happened in the recruitment industry? Many of these ‘best in class’
performers have embarked on expansion plans with, in some cases commendable insight. The average size of the 2012 HOT 100 member expanded from 178 to almost 200 employees, reflecting a sizeable shift towards larger constituents. However, analysis shows that this was mainly a result of companies increasing their internal employment rather than an influx of large firms into the ranks. This expansion presented a challenge, yet the step change to higher productivity reported last year has almost been maintained. The ‘more for less’ mentality – both from clients and within recruiters – is here to stay but the majority of HOT 100 firms have also embarked on significant recruitment or training programmes to move to the next level of performance. The productivity improvements of the prior year encouraged expansion rather than further contraction as the potential
METHODOLOGY The data has been rigorously ﬁltered by turnover and employee numbers (details are available on request). The companies featured employ almost 20,000 in-house staff and account for £9.5bn of industry turnover. Latest available accounts have been used — dated 2011 or 2012 for all of these companies. Companies without updated accounts since last year’s report or ﬁling abbreviated accounts are excluded. Furthermore, wherever possible UK-orientated companies are considered; however, in some cases group accounts have been used where these prove more up to date even if some overseas business is evident — examples would be Harvey Nash, Robert Walters, Michael Page International (now PageGroup) and several IT recruiters. Primarily overseas operators have been excluded although UK engineering specialists placing talent worldwide are included. Two prominent exclusions are Manpower and Reed due to accounting differences which invalidate comparisons. Furthermore, companies combining temporary employees in their employee count are not included as this grossly underestimates their performance. Small specialists with global interests such as headhunting are omitted for a variety of reasons — incomplete disclosure, overseas business and a shortage of data for peer group comparison.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure accurate reporting and analysis no guarantees can be given regarding the information in this document.
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 34
for future gains if the right staff could be engaged was increasingly recognised. While many industries in the UK this past year may have opted for caution, the top performers in recruitment took a uniquely positive approach – citing opportunity rather than recession in their strategic plans. Admittedly, many companies have expanded staff targeted at overseas growth markets but this does not tell the whole story as many companies operating exclusively in the UK earned positions in this year’s HOT 100. The calendar year of 2011 saw further recovery in the recruitment industry, with sales returned broadly to 2008 levels but with a different mix of business and profit margin. The drive towards low-cost delivery continues, operating efficiencies are integral both to net margin and fee earner productivity, and the dampened economic outlook for the foreseeable future suggests that client demand for cost-saving, efficiently delivered services will continue to rise in both the public and private sectors. The gains in productivity seen following the 2009 recession provide the cushion needed in the current economic climate as further expansion still carries risk. The HOT 100 companies were undeterred, taking the opportunity to increase capacity and grow their businesses. This, in the full knowledge that industry fragmentation in the UK ensures that few in recruitment are entirely at the mercy of market forces and most have the opportunity to forge their own fortunes. Agile Intelligence has compiled the HOT 100 on behalf of Recruiter to determine which companies are best at leveraging their intellectual assets. Rigorously measuring the gross profit (GP), or net fees, per employee indicates how effectively an organisation uses the skills of its own people to generate a profitable return for stakeholders.
Recruiter Hot 100 2012
All in-house employees (excluding temporary workers or contractors) are included in the calculation, not just fee earners. This is a standard key performance indicator used by most senior management. While wild cards may exist, companies emerging strongly from this analysis, especially if featuring regularly, are primarily those that operate the most efficient organisations, balancing the need for well trained and motivated staff against the need to minimise costs. Which companies derive most added value from their own employees (before allocating overheads) yet engender the right atmosphere over the long term to encourage a profitable and sustainable sales approach? The 2012 HOT 100 has the answers.
Key findings 2012 HOT 100 group sales turnover rose 12%, closely aligned with the entire recruitment industry’s sales turnover growth of 13.9% reported for the calendar year of 2011 by the Office for National Statistics. The HOT 100, despite its changing membership each year, consistently accounts for between a quarter and one-third of industry sales turnover. This was a year of rebuilding, with an overall headcount gain of 15.8% translating into a 13.1% rise in gross profit as productivity fell slightly. Gross margin did rise slightly but GP/head reversed modestly. • The HOT 100 companies collectively reported an increase from the previous year in latest available sales of 12% to around £9.5bn. • Combined GP of the HOT 100 reached £2.1bn, a gain of 13.1% on the previous year’s sales. • HOT 100 companies’ in-house headcount rose 15.8% to just below 20,000 employees. • Productivity (GP per employee) for this 2012 group of HOT 100 companies declined by 2.3% over the year to an average of £104,263 — slightly below last year’s HOT 100 group average which had advanced by 25% as the recovery was generated without adding much headcount. • HOT 100 average gross margin rose 0.20% to reach 21.8%, with the overall mix of temporary and permanent fees looking fairly similar to last year. • The HOT 100 group in the past year added over £241m in net fees, with an additional 2,721 staff at an incremental gross margin of 23.7%. This certainly provides evidence that growth was seen through a mixture of both permanent and temporary business but biased towards the latter. • Entry level (ranked 100) to the HOT 100 was £81,239 GP/head, a rise of 5.8% from last year’s £76,768. Across all HOT 100 companies, 77% expanded their workforce compared with 50% in 2011. However, only 45% increased GP/head, a much lower percentage than last year’s 72%. This reflects the rebuilding
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 35
and investment in growth throughout 2011 and early 2012 despite the uncertain economic outlook. The dream combination of expanding workforce and rising productivity was achieved by 36% of the 2012 HOT 100, versus 34% last year. This year smaller firms proved more successful at achieving this growth combination. • 11 of the 30 firms with less than 50 employees achieved headcount growth |and converted this into GP/head growth. • Over 70% of firms employ above 50 employees and the success rate here was 25 from 70. Gross margin is the GP as a percentage of sales turnover. GP is a combination of permanent fees (at virtually 100% margin) plus the profit on temporary supply after subtracting payroll and other temporary employment costs. The mix of business between temporary and permanent placements influences the level of gross margin as does the trend in temporary pricing and employment related costs. With larger contract business notoriously competitive compared with small to medium-sized enterprises or ad hoc placements, the type of business and delivery model/cost structure play a crucial part in determining temporary margin and also bottom line profitability. • Margin distribution of 2012 HOT 100 versus previous years: High-end margin players (driven by permanent) are reduced after a substantial jump the previous year; middle margin players (15-30%) rose slightly at the higher end of the range while bottom end margin suppliers (less than 15%) bounced back from last year’s drop. At the very bottom, below 10%, the number of companies is marginally down. • 7% of the HOT 100 are almost entirely permanent recruiters compared with 6% last year. However, the broader shift was towards a more temporary mix of companies. • Permanent market recovery of 2010 and perhaps early 2011 faded, while
temporary and contract business increased profitability and brought more of this mixture into the 2012 HOT 100. • Most represented group is those companies with margins between 20% and 30% – i.e. mainly temporary with a good sprinkling of permanent fees or specialist temporary in a higher margin niche. • Biggest losers: The 30-40% margin band. • Most gains: Margin band making the most gain in representation in the HOT 100 is the 10-15% group, i.e. entirely temporary recruiters. • 25 agencies achieve gross margin below 15%, with 12 of these below 10%. This means a quarter of the 100 most productive companies earn margin below 15%. • Big squeeze is on those middle range, mixed business companies with a large footprint in both camps – trying to compete with pure contract agencies but also advance in the permanent market. For this year at least they have dropped in the productive stakes.
Company trends: Strengthening IT and technical sectors; public sector remains under pressure While the bar for entry was raised to over £81,000 GP/head this year, the performance within the HOT 100 was more reflective of a year of investment than one of productivity gains. Seventy-seven percent, compared with 50% last year, increased their own headcount but only 45%, compared with 72%, increased GP/head. Thirty-six percent of companies achieved both these targets versus 34% last year and 9% the previous year. Of these 36, the IT and technical sectors provided 26, or over 70%, and only seven professional recruiters were represented, with not one of them a public sector specialist. Many public sector agencies have dropped out of the HOT 100 in the past year, with the rest sliding down the rankings.
EXAMINING THE MARGIN BREAKDOWN IN MORE DETAIL Percentage of Hot 100 companies by gross margin band (in accounting year) 30%
■ 2007 ■ 2008 ■ 2009 ■ 2010 ■ 2011
0 Less than 10% 10% to 15% 15% to 20% 20% to 30% 30% to 40% 40% to 50% more than 50%
Change Gross Proﬁt per Employee Latest Year (£)
Gross Proﬁt per Employee Previous Year (£)
Company / Trading Name
Gross Proﬁt Latest Year (£m)
Gross Proﬁt Previous Year (£m)
Shilton Sharpe Quarry
Green Park Interim & Executive
Interim management & executive search
Morgan Law Partners
Multi-sector including executive-level ﬁnance, HR, PR
Oliver James Associates
Financial services, insurance
Multi-sector including accountancy, banking & ﬁnance, private equity
Swift Technical Group Holdings
Oil & gas
Technology – managed, ﬁnancial, sales & marketing
Networkers International (UK)
Telecoms, IT, business services
Templeton & Partners
Multi-sector including accountancy, ﬁnance, change management
Harvey Nash Group
IT, ﬁnance, interims, executive search
Oil & gas, build infrastructure/utilities, power
G2 Recruitment Solutions
LA International Computer Consultants
Multi-sector including technical, construction, trades, oil & gas
Finance, ICT, analytics, interim management, oil & gas, wind
SAP, Oracle and vendor-orientated search and selection
Multi-sector including social housing, facilities management
RIG Medical Recruit
Radiography, occupational therapy
Air Energi Group
Oil & gas
Aspire Global Network
Digital, editorial, market research
IT, banking, ﬁnance, engineering
Tangent International Group
Multi-sector including ICT, call centres, ofﬁce support
IT, engineering, pharma & biotechnology
Insurance, ﬁnancial, legal, IT, ofﬁce support
Fircroft Engineering Services (Group)
Oil & gas, mining, nuclear power, automotive
High Finance (UK)
Insurance including actuarial, ﬁnance, risk, audit, compliance, IT
Resource Solutions Group
Multi-sector including industrial control & automation, aerospace
Michael Page International (now PageGroup)
Accountancy, ﬁnance, legal, engineering, IT, retail, sales & marketing
IT, pharma & biotechnology, banking, ﬁnance
Badenoch and Clark
Marketing, creative & media communication
Morgan McKinley Group
Banking, ﬁnance, accountancy, HR, IT, sales & marketing
The ReThink Group
Digby Morgan Consulting
Parent Group (where different name)
Recruiter Hot 100 2012
Human Capital Investment (Group)
IT candidates into ﬁnancial, retail, technology
Financial services including buy & sell side, digital media, insurance
People Source Consulting
Aerospace, automotive, construction, engineering, rail, telecomms
Human Capital Investment (Group)
Human Capital Investment (Group)
Social care, housing, property
Technical, construction, medical, rail, engineering
Nicoll Curtin Technology
Randstad Holding NV
Key: ▲ Up ▼ Down – Unchanged N New
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 36
Gross Proﬁt per Employee Previous Year (£)
Company / Trading Name
Parent Group (where different name)
Gross Proﬁt Latest Year (£m)
IT, other professional sectors
GCS Recruitment Specialists
Technology, IT, ﬁnancial services, digital media
Semi-conductors, ICT, lighting, risk, origination & trading
Digital, design, advertising & integrated
First Technical Recruitment
Technical into nuclear, chemical, water, oil & gas
Multi-sector including drinks, industrial, engineering, ofﬁce, construction
Experis (formerly Elan)
Eames Consulting Group Holdings
IT, broking & underwriting, risk
Rullion IT Plus
Engineering, technical, construction including nuclear, oil & gas, power
Advantage Professional UK
Ofﬁce, ﬁnance, HR
IT – contract and permanent
CD Sales Recruitment
Cavey Dale Group
Sales staff into commercial, construction, healthcare, IT, technical
Accounting, ﬁnance, banking, legal, support
Pertemps Recruitment Partnership
Commercial, industrial, drivers, other
Hudson Global Resources
Finance, accountancy, banking, HR, legal, IT, ofﬁce support
Legal, banking, commercial, legal secretaries, accounts staff
Opus Recruitment Solutions
Timothy James Consulting
Project management, IT, ﬁnance, HR, procurement, marketing
Fawkes & Reece
Construction, social care, education
Multi-sector including ﬁnance, commerce & industry, professional services
Finance, engineering, law
The Exsurgo Partnership
Morgan Hunt UK
Multi-sector including housing, social care, education, corporate services
Mane Contract Services
Business change, IT, international medical
Workmates (Building Trades)
Construction (trades & labour)
FiveTen Group Holdings
Accounting, banking, legal, marketing, other
Technology/services (supply to companies developing technology)
Randstad Holding NV
Randstad Holding NV
Aerospace/defence, rail, nuclear/energy, construction, oil & gas
Montreal Associates (Systems)
IT: professional services, retail, utilities, consumer goods
First Call Contract Services
Industrial, warehousing, food, driving and logistics, manufacturing
Multi-sector including payroll personnel, credit controllers
Multi-sector including technology, ﬁnance, business transformation
Executive search, interim management
Healthcare, social care
Astbury Marsden Holdings
Banking, ﬁnancial services
Social care, healthcare
New Directions Education
Gi Group Recruitment
Industrial, ofﬁce, catering, drivers
Multi-sector including real estate, built environment, energy, analytics
Marketing, creative & media
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 37
Hudson Highland Group
Randstad Holding NV
Change Gross Proﬁt per Employee Latest Year (£)
Gross Proﬁt Previous Year (£m)
Recruiter Hot 100 2012
Recruiter Hot 100 2012
Mergers and acquisitions have played a more discreet role in the past year. There was substantial new private capital investment in the technical engineering sector, with a significant stake taken in Fircroft Engineering Services, Air Energi completing a management buyout, NES Global sold on to new owners and Morson returning to private ownership, cancelling its AIM listing. Further deals are thought to be in the pipeline especially in the oil and gas sector. Few headline deals were seen in other sectors. And while some action continues in the domiciliary social care market, new investment in the public sector appears to be muted following the evident reduction in margin and volumes in the NHS and the upheaval in education. That said, a deal in the education arena saw Protocol become part of the Teaching Personnel stable. A threshold of £81,239 represents a 5.8% rise on last year’s minimum threshold, further adding to the substantial shift upwards seen last year and forcing even more generalist recruiters out of contention as their average fee levels proved too low to generate the people productivity levels required. In many companies, efficient operational processes will compensate for low fee rates but this is only evident on the bottom line profitability. While 36% of the temporary workforce comprises commercial or industrial staff, barely six of the HOT 100 companies major in these sectors. This reflects the challenges facing productivity and profitability for non-professional sector agencies. Competition, lower value placements and costly branch networks restrict GP/head and few firms can gain sufficient gross margin to be placed high in the HOT 100 ranks. The generalists that did make it into the HOT 100 are mainly multi-sector or very focused. Professional candidate recruitment companies have lost their dominance of the top 20 slots, as IT and technical advance. There are seven professionals listed in the top 20, with five in the top 10. Eight IT staffing companies are listed in the top 20, of which three are in the top 10, while the balance comprises two public sector (one executive and one healthcare) and three technical recruiters. Public sector specialists remain muted, displaying that unique mix of demand both for cost-saving workforce management and urgent cover in the caring professions. The bulk of public sector permanent workforce cuts may have been seen by now but government spending plans suggest that there will be no easy return to affluence and tight budgets will continue for several years yet. Shilton Sharpe Quarry is the new HOT 100 leader, benefiting from a strong performance from its UK-based operations,
Hot 100 feature NEW.indd 38
which was only partly offset by lower net fees from overseas operations. Its focus is entirely on the placement of permanent legal professionals. The top 10 are again highly focused specialists, mainly SMEs by recruitment standards – Swift is the largest company – and none are owned by a multi-national. There are even fewer national and global players making the HOT 100 than in past years, although 21% of HOT 100 companies do employ more than 200 staff while 11% employ between 20 and 30 staff. There are also more independently-owned (or privately-financed) companies than in earlier years. It seems that despite consolidation of some big names, the industry’s talent for reincarnating itself goes undiminished as more independents come to the fore. Nevertheless, SThree again has four subsidiaries placed in the top 40, Randstad also features with four entries while Harvey Nash, Michael Page and Robert Walters retain their places. The Hamilton Bradshaw stable provides three companies plus two further ‘interests’ and Adecco retains three subsidiaries in the HOT 100, while Manpower has its professional/IT company newly branded as Experis. Pertemps is the only prominent national UK high street brand at 66th. Despite its professional candidate bias, Hays has dropped further in the ratings, reporting a 4% decline in its GP/head using its latest June 2012 UK results.
General staffing The list of companies that have fallen out of the HOT 100 is littered with office, industrial and other general recruiters who, despite some undoubtedly efficient processes, have been unable to keep pace with the rising bar for entry when their average fee level stands substantially below many specialist agencies. Their continued success has, in many cases, been a function of all-round productivity with an inevitable emphasis in a low-margin, low-fee market on the operating cost base. The rise needed to compete on GP/head has proved a step too far for many in these markets. The first generalist recruiter is PPF, the drivers agency, which is found at 48th with just six in total in the HOT 100 even with the inclusion of some multi-sector specialists: Brightwork (in Scotland), Pertemps, Workmates, First Call and Gi (formerly Right4Staff). No single specialist office supplier has been ranked, which contrasts with just a few years ago when several made it to the rankings. Among industrials, even Staffline, with its strong growth and efficient OnSite model, fell below the cut. The HOT 100 companies are now separated into four specialist groupings – IT/Telecoms, Technical, Public Sector and Professionals. (See Recruiter.co.uk for individual breakouts of the H0T 10 in IT/Telecoms, Technical, Public Sector and Professionals.)
OUTLOOK AND CONCLUSION Last year we asserted that recruitment was no longer just a casualty or beneﬁciary of the economy – it had become an essential part of the solution. The changing proﬁle of the HOT 100, with better-performing technical recruiters, weaker ﬁnancial recruiters and rising creative industries’ specialists, points to an industry which is at the forefront of the changing economy. Furthermore, where skill shortages exist the recruitment industry is clearly helping facilitate clients with rising business strengths, i.e. in those sectors which are driving the rebalancing of the economy. The current year has proved challenging for many in recruitment, following a period of recovery during 2010 and 2011. Nevertheless, the stronger markets and most successful growth records today align well with the changing industrial power base in the UK. Opportunities will always exist across the breadth of recruitment – even now there are signiﬁcant success stories in ﬁnancial services and insurance, for instance. However, the large market gains are most evident in more technical and creative client industries. The combination of investment and skill shortages is a powerful one and, with slightly higher barriers to entry, the yield is attractive. Economic and recruitment activity visibility remains poor, with the Eurozone crisis compounding weak economic data in the UK. The global economic outlook is uncertain. On the plus side, job losses through the recession have been curtailed as the private sector has plugged the public sector gap. The ﬂip side could be a jobless recovery as the economy grows slowly. For the recruitment industry this may mean little jobs growth but niche sectors, skill shortages and replacement demand should drive the market. Complex legislation also remains a positive driver and should help increase agency penetration as the safest way to take on temporary staff, at least, is via an agency which can ensure compliance, for instance. Only time will tell if this past year of expansion proves to be genius or folly, but in a fast-moving environment still surrounded by wider economic challenges, the need to have the right people in place with a business strategy that targets the best combination of market, geography and delivery model is crucial.
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Shilton Sharpe Quarry COLIN COTTELL SPOKE WITH CHIEF EXECUTIVE NICK SHELTON AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN GARETH QUARRY OF SSQ, THE TOP FIRM IN RECRUITER’S HOT 100 LEAGUE TABLE
Niche international legal recruiter Shilton Sharpe Quarry (SSQ) has been a consistently high performer in Recruiter’s HOT 100. Third last year, the firm took top spot in this year’s ranking of the UK’s most profitable recruiters with a gross profit per employee of £164,503.
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Meeting executive chairman Gareth Quarry and chief executive Nick Shilton at the company’s Fleet Street offices in the centre of London’s legal heartland, both men express delight at the firm’s achievement. According to Quarry, it is no flash in the pan, but the culmination of many years’ work. “Organisations like ours can produce sexy numbers in the short term… I don’t think many stand the test of time by doing it as consistently as we have over many years,” he says. Co-founded by in 2003 by Shilton and Gavin Sharpe, both lawyers before they entered recruitment, they were joined by Quarry, another former lawyer in 2005. Since then SSQ has enjoyed rapid growth, with a turnover of £12m in 2011 up from £10m the previous year. Sharpe exited the business in January this year. Ex-lawyers they both may be, yet Quarry, who is involved day-to-day but also has ‘big picture’ responsibilities, and Shilton, who in his own words is “more nuts and bolts focused day-to-day”, are by no means identikit characters. Of the two, Quarry appears the more exuberant and Shilton the more reserved and cerebral. However, from the outset of the interview, it is clear the two men, who first met in the 1990s at legal recruiter Quarry Douglas (QD), which Quarry founded
SECRET OF SUCCESS — NICK SHILTON
“WE HAVE GOT MORE STRENGTH AND DEPTH THAN ANY OF OUR COMPETITORS IN THE PARTNER MARKET, AND THAT SERVES AS A VERY NICE HEDGE AGAINST THE ECONOMIC CYCLES”
in 1988, not only share a deep mutual respect for one another, but also a common business philosophy, values and vision for the future. The two are characteristically singing from the same hymn sheet, as Shilton explains how even during the recession SSQ has benefited from its strong presence in the legal market and particularly at partner level, where lawyers who move to another practice often bring their clients with them. “One of the wonderful things about the partner market is that you can actually create a market for your candidate, whether it is in good times or bad,” he says. Quarry, interjecting, draws an analogy between the role played by SSQ in the legal market, and that of a football agent, who acts for a top striker throughout their career. “It doesn’t matter whether the market is good or bad, someone wants that striker,” he says, citing the example of Fernando Torres, the Chelsea forward. Quarry concedes that the market for more junior lawyers can be more cyclical, but points out that SSQ’s new interims and temp division opened in October, is designed to protect against that potential downside. Beyond this, throughout the interview Quarry continually presses the case that SSQ simply out performs its competitors, claiming, for example, “virtually all or all of our competitors” are “basically doing job order fills”. In contrast he says SSQ is virtually unique in its ability to create a market for itself. “We say to the client ‘this is going to knock your socks off, you don’t even know you want it yet, but you do’.” And continuing with even more of his customary zest: “They say ‘You are absolutely right, we want one of those’.”
This has happened on numerous occasions, says Quarry, with partners and team of partners, including placing existing teams of up to 40 lawyers into completely new countries for clients. Quarry emphasises that this is only possible because of “long-standing, deep and genuinely meaningful relationships” with those “who sit right at the top of client firms”. In some cases these relationships go back over 20 years. More generally, he appears less than impressed by many of SSQ’s competitors. “Legal as a discipline is totally misunderstood by the large global staffing businesses,” he claims. “Most of them think it is cyclical, and that the London and European market is saturated with recruiters — in fact, the obverse is true.” It is evident that Quarry believes in the power of niche to boldly go where others recruiters can’t or are unwilling. Returning to a favourite phrase of his — ‘Inch wide, a mile deep’ — Quarry continues: “We just swim in this legal lake, and we have been doing it for so long that the brand recognition of my name, Nick’s name and the rest of our senior managers... We know the players, the people at the top will take our call. We often know what is going on before the law firms themselves know what is going on.” Along with squeezing every advantage out of being a niche recruiter, Quarry is a fierce exponent of entrepreneurialism. “We believe that recruitment businesses are essentially very simple to run. We don’t believe in tiers of management, hierarchies of administrative backsides justifying their own existence... we keep it simple, we keep it very flat,” he says with real passion. Needing no bidding, Shilton continues the theme, proudly pointing out “we have no single consultant in the business who is a non-fee earner”. And that includes himself and Quarry. Quarry is aware of the danger that as the company grows and matures, SSQ could lose this entrepreneurial
COMPANY PROFILE Shilton Sharpe Quarry Founded 2003 by Nick Shilton and Gavin Sharpe
75 staff Operates in UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Hong Kong, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, UAE (Dubai)
Year ending 2011 (£) 2010 (£) Gross 12m 10m proﬁt Proﬁts 3.6m 3m before tax Gross 164,503 172,472 proﬁt per employee
Gareth Quarry 1982-86 trainee solicitor/ solicitor 1988-2002 Quarry Dougall/The QD Group, founder and chief executive 2005 to date – SSQ, executive chairman - on expiry of his covenants from TMP/Monster
Nick Shilton PHILOSOPHY — GARETH QUARRY
“SSQ ARE TRUE EXPERTS AND MARKET CREATORS. WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON TAKING SOLUTIONS TO CLIENTS BEFORE CLIENTS HAVE EVEN THOUGHT THEY NEED THEM”
1995-97 trainee solicitor/ solicitor 1997-2002 Quarry Dougall/ TMP Worldwide 2003- to date Shilton Sharpe Quarry, chief executive
spirit. “There will come a time but I don’t think before 200 employees,” he says, pointing out that QD group, which grew to 170 employees, “certainly remained very entrepreneurial”. And the theme continues as Quarry outlines SSQ’s incentive scheme for senior managers. This allows them to share in the success of their business unit, be that through shares or cash bonuses, and both motivates them and differentiates SSQ from competitors, he explains. Quarry certainly has a track record on this. At Quarry Douglas, staff received some £10m of the equity of the business prior to its sale in 2000 to Monster Worldwide for £45m. Motivating staff also includes staff knowing what is going on, including transparency on what Shilton and Quarry earn. “People feel enabled and part of the process,” explains Quarry. Driven by what he describes as “entrepreneurial insecurity”, something he says drives all entrepreneurs, Quarry seems constantly on his guard against the dangers of complacency. “The minute you think ‘oh this is nice and cosy, aren’t we wonderful and we can walk on water’ is the time to give up — it is too late by then,” he says. And Quarry’s sense of never resting on one’s laurels is one that Shilton clearly shares. “We try to ensure we celebrate success with our staff... but the second we broke the £10m turnover mark, I was thinking how are we moving this forwards to £15m, to £20m,”he says. From the outset, Shilton says SSQ has had an international dimension, initially in continental Europe, but now further a field. For example, this summer it opened an office in Hong Kong. As Shilton explains, it is a strategy driven by clients who are all going global, or have already done so. “It seems madness to me that people in our sector in the legal world have not mirrored their clients’ expansion,” he adds. Shilton sees scope for 12-15 consultants in three or four countries in Asia alone over the next few years. But as he points out, the SSQ doesn’t have its own people on the ground in the USA, Canada or South America. At least not yet. SSQ may be the top-ranked firm in this year’s Recruiter HOT 100, but with Quarry’s sense of ‘entrepreneurial insecurity’ never far from the surface, and no signs of any let up in the two men’s driving ambition, who is to say where SSQ will end up. “We have only scratched the surface of where we want to be,” says Quarry.
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Movers & Shakers
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ADECCO STAFFING: Joan Ferrer Pons has been promoted to operations director (OD) at the recruiter’s Spanish operation.
ILLES MOVES IN HOUSE TO MONEYSUPERMARKET
PURPLE RESOURCING: •TheBRIGHT white-collar recruiter has
taken on Georgette Stewart in the newly created delivery manager role.
• COGS AGENCY: Damien Bell is promoted to associate director
Jess Illes has moved from a digital marketing recruitment role at agency Handle Recruitment to take up the position of talent acquisition manager at price comparison site MoneySupermarket. The company currently employs 400 people across two UK offices in London and another just outside Chester, and its innovative recruitment practices, utilising video ‘hangouts’ on social network Google+, were highlighted in a cover profile interview with HR director Alan Cairns in the 30 November 2011 edition of Recruiter.
for Asia, based in the digital sector recruiter’s new Hong Kong ofﬁce. Matthieu Ritter becomes senior consultant in charge of its new Berlin ofﬁce. DRYDEN HUMAN CAPITAL: •Former in-house executive
recruiter Paul Scott joins the ﬁrm as managing director of new business unit Drake Fleming.
WE’RE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING JESS TO THE MONEYSUPERMARKET TEAM, AS WE CONTINUE TO INVEST IN THE BEST QUALITY TALENT FOR OUR GROWING BUSINESS. SHE JOINS US WITH A GREAT REPUTATION AND A HUGELY ENTHUSIASTIC STYLE, WHICH VERY MUCH FITS OUR CULTURE”
EAMES CONSULTING GROUP: •Stuart White is promoted
to manage the professional recruiter’s broking claims & underwriting practice.
ESSENCE: The digital agency takes on Dan Dobson-Smith as global talent director. GCS RECRUITMENT SPECIALISTS: •Emily Cobham joins the
recruitment agency to head up its internal recruitment function.
• GREEN PARK: The interim and executive search ﬁrm has taken on associate partners Stephanie Campbell, John McLaughlin and Kirsten MacLeod.
•professional recruiter has HENDERSON SCOTT: The
promoted Callum Wallace to divisional manager of its new emerging technology business. IMPELLAM: Chair of the board •Cheryl Jones has stepped down
ALAN CAIRNS, HR DIRECTOR, MONEYSUPERMARKET MANPOWERGROUP: The •recruitment group will hire a new
president of Southern Europe “in due course”, as incumbent Francoise Gri leaves on 1 January 2013. Alain Roumilhac is promoted to president, ManpowerGroup France. NES GLOBAL TALENT: The •technical recruiter has appointed
Rebecca Ridley as associate director, UK sales.
NICOLL CURTIN: Gavin Tew has been promoted to director at the banking and IT recruiter.
PEDERSEN & PARTNERS: The global executive search ﬁrm has hired Yannis Katzilieris as country manager for Greece, and Alexandre Fréreau takes on the role of country manager for France. GROUP: Pat Law •joinsPORTFOLIO to launch the recruiter’s
specialist division Portfolio Procurement.
ODGERS BERNDTSON: Wasim Haq is appointed head of sport for India, the Middle East and Asia.
SMART SOLUTIONS: The multi•sector recruiter has promoted
•senior vice president, general
OMEGA RESOURCE GROUP: Paul Day joins the recruitment ﬁrm as ﬁnance director.
SUE HAYES ACTUARIAL: Ben Whalley joins the specialist recruiter as head of actuarial.
counsel and corporate secretary Daniel T Lis retires at the end of the year, with his responsibilities re-assigned to existing senior executives.
PAGEGROUP: Recruiter Michael Page has promoted Julian Harburn to the role of regional director of Scotland, while
TEACH ACTIVE: The education recruiter has appointed new operations director Bruce Dutton.
from her role. Jones will remain involved with the group for some months to assist with transition as non-executive director Andrew Wilson takes the chair. KELLY SERVICES: The recruiter’s
specialist brand Page Executive promotes Derek MacFeate to executive director for Scotland.
Michelle Mallet to national sales and marketing manager.
A selection of vacancies from recruiter.co.uk
Jigsaw Recruitment Recruitment consultant £25k basic, excellent OTE Coventry
Adecco Group Australia Recruitment consultant A$Very attractive package Heart of Sydney City
Workline Group Recruitment consultant £20k-£25k basic Healthcare, public sector, local/central government London
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Opportunities within Senior Executive Search and Selection Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Harrogate Basic Salaries from £60,000 to £80,000 OTEs £150-200k
at all levels is essential in these markets as many of our clients offer a total recruitment solution and are able to service their clients effectively whether they have a need for a Solicitor, HR Director or even a Scientist! For further information contact Ruth Moran on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0113 2460062 (lines open 8am until 9pm weekdays and Saturdays).
We are currently being retained by a small selection of Executive search and Selection Practises across the U.K. who are recruiting at all levels. Covering a diverse range of disciplines from Life Sciences and Professional Services generally through to Public Sector and FMCG. Key attributes of candidates would be several years senior Search experience, proven billings in excess of £200,000 p/a (ideally £300,000 to £500,000) and the ability to deal at Board level and above. These clients are the crème del la crème of their markets but vary in size from Global businesses through to quality boutique style operations. All are well known and have developed strong reputations over a number of years. Cultures differ but the basics are the same: a team focussed environment, working ‘ for the greater good’ and a firm commitment to provide a truly professional operation where client and candidate are both given the best possible service and care. For further information contact Ruth Moran on email@example.com, 0113 2460062 (lines open 8am until 9pm weekdays and Saturdays).
Regional Manager – Yorkshire - Driving Basic to £40K, High OTE, Car or car allowance, large co bens, profit share
Commercial Recruitment Area Manager North West - Basic salary £50/60K OTE - £80K to £100K A superb opportunity, to join a highly reputable Commercial Recruitment Consultancy with a reputation second to none. The role will be Regional, but with the focus mainly on the Manchester area. Very much a Senior Operational role, candidate must have experience of running their own P&L. In addition, they must have the capacity to deal at all levels, manage/ motivate teams and further develop an already successful business. This role could progress to a full Directorship and has only become available due to an internal promotion. Whilst the business has a strong temporary arm, it is essential that candidates understand and are committed to driving the permanent business, as this is a key area in which they want to expand. For further information contact Ruth Moran on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0113 2460062 (lines open 8am until 9pm weekdays and Saturdays).
Specialist Recruitment Managers and Consultants - UK wide basics £35-50k plus commission, car etc OTE in excess of £100k We are currently recruiting across a wide range of disciplines for a variety of clients from small independents through to large Global businesses. Our Clients have a huge range of cultures from more structured environments to those where complete flexibility is given in terms of both hours and in some cases an element of remote working. Disciplines range from Legal and HR through to Supply Chain and Finance/Accountancy. Key attributes of candidates for all roles are as follows: sales driven, professional, experienced recruiters at either branch or are level with a forte ideally in Specialist recruitment. That said, for the right candidate, there could, in certain instances, be the opportunity to change sector. The ability to work
The Recruiters’ Recruiter RUTHMORAN_FUPNEW.indd 36
This is a fantastic opportunity to join one of THE major players in recruitment today. You should already be working in the Driving sector of recruitment (however successful candidates working in other recruitment sectors will be considered) and already be a successful Area or Regional Manager or a highly successful Branch Manager looking for your next move to one of the major players in this sector. You will have the backing of one of the biggest names in Driving Recruitment, a name which will need no introduction, but carries the credibility and gravitas one would expect from a large operation. You should be a dynamic self starter, enthusiastic, determined and would like the opportunity to be the architect of your own career. This is a client facing role and you will also be expected to lead from the front in developing business for your region. You will need to manage the needs of a constantly changing marketplace and workforce. Continuously review and develop service provision in line with agreed standards. Contribute to the development of the company through the input of new ideas and initiatives aimed at improving market share profile and contribution to the industry. Contact Neil Prestwich on 0113 2460062 or his mobile 0797 1094450 or email him at email@example.com
Training and Operations Manager – Leeds - £35k – £50k basic + excellent OTE This unique opportunity is working in an established technical/Scientific company based in Leeds city centre. The directors of this business would like to take someone on to work with the current managers to improve staff attrition and recruit further work force to keep the company moving in the right direction. Then successful individual will have ideas on strategy and implementation of how to improve training and recruitment methods and be able to follow through to implementation. This medium sized recruitment firm has an excellent culture and a good name within their chosen sector and would like to enhance this by giving their consultants the best chance to succeed to their full potential. The successful candidate will be experienced in training and mentoring consultants and also be happy to lead from the front and be hands on when training in recruitment methods. You will have worked up from consultant level to a management position within a technical sector. If you would like further information or would like to apply confidentially please contact Lucy Spencer on 0113 2460062, 07805 687550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Carmichael UK are recruiting in London!
Are you our missing link? If you are looking for an established, successful company that values your contribution and where you are encouraged to make your mark, then Carmichael UK could be the place for you! With an excellent reputation in the civil engineering construction market, we have strong business relationships with blue chip companies who rely on us to ¿nd them top quality professional, technical, trades and labour candidates for temporary, contract & permanent roles. Our clients are busy and we need to expand our team. Working here you will experience a mature and professional working environment where you have the freedom to use your existing knowledge of the construction recruitment market to maximise your client base. Working with structured processes, you are given plenty of headroom to network, build relationships, generate vacancies and ¿ll jobs within a lively supportive team that like to celebrate delivering a ¿rst class service to candidates and clients! These positions are based in our modern Stratford E15 of¿ces. Carmichael UK offer above average basic salaries, uncapped commission, generous pension schemes with a car/car allowance for senior roles, ongoing training and a low turnover of staff.
We are looking to recruit the following: • • • • •
Rail Consultant Civil Engineering Consultant Trades & Labour Consultant Civil Engineering Account Manager Resourcers for Rail & Civils
If you have a minimum of 12 months relevant experience please send your CV with a covering email or contact Jennifer Cook today to Ànd out more on 020 8522 8888 email@example.com
A better tomorrow starts here. At JAM we believe great recruitment is incredibly powerful. It can shape lives, build businesses, even change tomorrow. We donâ€™t MXVWVHHMREVDVYDFDQFLHVWRÂžOOZHVHHWKHPDV opportunities to bring together the best people and the best companies. We think tomorrow is a great place to be. Itâ€™s rewarding, inspiring and bursting with opportunity.
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RECRUITMENT CONSULTANTS (London EC4 and Manchester) Weâ€™d like to hear from you if you are ambitious and interested in developing your career with a forward looking business where the rewards stack up. Youâ€™ll have the backing of a strong brand and highly structured training. If you want to become the â€œgo toâ€? person in your market, contact us now in FRQÂžGHQFHDWUHFUXLWPHQW#MDPUHFUXLWPHQWFRXN or call 0845 050 8938. Ref: 6413_60/CH
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RECRUITERS GET IT WRONG WITH SHODDY ADS
Recruitment consultants’ adverts can be shockingly poor quality, which is a shame as it’s easy to get it right and attract the right kind of candidates used to do copywriting training for clients. Strangely, never for recruitment consultants though, probably because many of them, and not just those CV-spraying ose in the CV spraying sector, think they simply y need to get the advertisement out there and watch it change, mysteriously, sly, into a fat fee. Have a look ook at these two pieces of copy. They hey are from one of the country’s biggest job boards. It took me only a couple of minutes to ﬁnd these examples, mples, one of which is from a smallish agency and the other from a big one. The ﬁrstt one reads: “Recruitment ent who are operating ting as an employment ent agency. Our client is one of Scotlands largest independent ent Travel Agencies
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Alastair Blair works as thePotentMix, an independent expert on recruitment, media and marketing. www.thepotentmix. co.uk/medianewsletter
and they have just won a new contract and are looking to expand their call centre offering 4 new positions. They are looking to recruit experience Sales Call Centre staff.” The other says: “Our customer is a multi disciplined out souring partner … Due to the nature of the contract our customer has with their client this role could be appointed on an interim/consultancy basis.” Now before you think this is just a cheap shot at hard-working recruitment consultants, consider this – suppose your ad is next to a competitor’s and both are for the same job, but yours is for ‘out souring’ while their ad really sells the job, the company and the career on offer. If you want the ‘ad into fat fee’ transformation to take place more often, your ad shouldn’t be just a regurgitation of the job spec, full of spelling and grammatical errors. Yet this is the default position for lots of recruitment consultants’ ads. Ad copy must be easy to read and, above all, needs to tell candidates what is going to be different and better about this job over their current one. Over many years in this business, I’ve seen great ad copy make an immense difference. Even allowing for the beneﬁts of modern technology when it comes to sifting through CVs, too few people forget that a good recruitment ad produces an optimum response, not a maximum one. No one expects recruitment consultants to know about the possessive genitive or the use of subordinate clauses. You don’t have to. There are lots of good freelance copywriters (don’t call me) who can do this for you. Yes, it costs money, yes, it reduces your margin and therefore the directors’ bonus pot (pause for sound of sobbing), but it does usually mean a better quality and quantity of response, especially if you know the job is going to be hard to ﬁll anyway. The recruitment trade press is full of well-meaning, well-written articles, fairly praising the industry for all the things it does well. Yet at this crucial interface between the recruiter and the jobseeker, when you really want to attract quality candidates, why do so many of you just whack out the same old rubbish time after time?
Over many years in this business, I have seen great ad copy make an immense difference What do you think? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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