Recruiter August/September 2020

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Business intelligence for recruitment and resourcing professionals

Aug/Sept 2020

INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters

Swimmer Liz Johnson dives into disability employment gap

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most over-used it words when 2020 GAME CHANGERS comes to SPECIAL FEATURE: coronavirus describing the as the pandemic. But and the effects months go by the be felt across to continue , and indeed UK economy world, it is a much of the in the word that many sector will agree recruitment The largest is accurate. on in the monthly contracti record in April, economy on for work a rise in claims than during benefits faster on and the Great Depressi workers million more than 9 receiving furlough indeed are payments, these times. unprecedented the midst of However, in economic this tale of general the it is perhaps on, devastati al stories of individu will have recruiters that e. most resonanc of my “I spoke to one . He had clients yesterday ent for been in recruitm says at one point began to bite, maybe 35 years,” managing which is a recruitment half of her 80 business rates, Amanda Hobson, 50 Services, IONS had no he needs help, butLOCAT industry clients great director of Easypay OFFICE and of HEAD provides break even, all. A survey business at temps out to a company that ent are conducted Recruiter readers although things funding to recruitm up, he is is probably five during the lockdown gradually picking agencies. “He retirement, everyday confirms the still losing money.” years away from if stories he said that of Heartbreaking experiences and basically nt confined retireme not to and are recruiters up such as this he was closer tion it in. He has down the country, to this construc he would pack when he out course. of saying temps with 74% recruiter, about 20 have 120 Hobson, as the c “has the pandemi According to would normally lockdown had the £10k effects of the out. He has with small grant to help


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Although as in areas such logistics and healthcare, have done 2020 pharmaceuticals GAME CHANGERS other sectors SPECIAL FEATURE: relatively well, hospitality, such as retail, are still travel and leisure the bottom bumping along little sign of at best, with g to the recovery. Accordin ent & Employm Recruitment (REC) Confederation’s published in ‘Report on Jobs’ record drops June, following were “further in April, there in both marked drops” and temp billing permanent have although • nearly 70% in May. And ion of the for (Associat applied APSCo’s Staffing government’sJobs Professional Covid-19 London Coronavirus Companies) e published Retention Schem gh’ Vacancy Tracker, a small (CJRS), the ‘furlou in June, showed ent increase in recruitm when initiative of 1.8% in May small activity for the first quarter • over 40% Fund compared to said job Business Grants of the year, APSCo 19 openings remained • 29% Covid- Fund down”. “significantly Bounce Back UK begins to virus Even as the • 15% Corona of the ption FASTER open up areas Business Interru clear ALEX ARNOT is T e economy, it PAYMEN MyNonExec and the Loan Schem is founder of than 30 are not out of CLIENTS board adviser to more FROM d back recruiters with figures recruitment companies • over 11% claime woods yet, Pay number of Statutory Sick showing the for a vacancies dropping to • under 2% applied ific scheme 318,000 in May, less than s certainly arise. Alex Arnot, Scotland-spec of vacancie director and number the non-executive half for local than 30 tech comparison • 1% applied adviser to more in March. In LEASE/RENT the 2008-09 businesses, support in Spain talent and even during FURLOUGH an optimistic note. the number strikes financial crisis, that there never fell below “I am not saying of vacancies times ahead aren’t tough 400,000. all the won’t be However, amidst and that there • nearly 65% h according , but what I nies tough decisions doom and gloom, CJRS/furloug you canHALF of the compa provide thatOVER TAX am saying is to those that taff, JUST financial by havingfurloughed staff, HELP • 38% Small mitigate these have recruiters with is ion robust plans. advice, there Business Grants really strong, support and A HALF putt expans do can we will s UNDER ted virus tiated egotia Things will improve, it’s the hold, renego much that recruiter • 18% Corona Fund on But they not only out of this. plans cts and to ensure that Bounce Back effects come start or supplier contra wholeases virus mitigate the financial c, smart people t staff go rus pandemi who are the A THIRD let • under 7% Corona planning now of the coronavi ption UNDER take Interru take to ss to going ready Busine who are but emerge e NCINGed ones advantage.” Loan Schem e of the undoubt that ‘first mover’ advantagREFINA ry will G EXISTIN that OF Statuto ities opportun • nearly 3%

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INCORPORATING Recruitment Matters



THE BIG STORY: Liz Johnson The Paralympic swimmer and founder of The Ability People on redressing the employment gap for people with disabilities 21 Getting on with the job Despite the pandemic and possible second wave, recruiters around the world are doing what they do best – recruiting 25 SPECIAL REPORT: Finance As economies emerge from global lockdown, how is recruitment faring financially?




up for Recruiter’s HOT 1OO? Act now to get your recruitment firm considered for this year’s HOT 1OO Recruiters adapt to virtual ways of working – LinkedIn, BAE Systems Building trust with clients and candidates is a priority Lord Sugar invests in fourth recruitment firm Apprentice finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton’s Harper:Fox Partners receives the entrepreneur’s backing Start-up Spotlight: Surya Recruitment Alka Graham on starting up the green energy recruiter during the pandemic Contracts & Deals








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Is your company on fire? BY COLIN COTTELL




hat is ‘normality’ to you? And how do you know that you’ve returned to it? Most of us are looking for a return to a bit of normality as the world, including the UK, dips and dives through the chaos that is Covid-19. But go back to everything the way it was before we were pitched into the fog? The odds are that we can’t, even if we wanted to – too many people have died, too many will have lost jobs, and too many businesses may have experienced unaltering changes. What we need to insist on is a new and changed recognition from government of critical staffing “What we need issues – social care, anyone? – that to insist on is a new and changed should be explored with a view toward recognition from the future, not an government of inquiry into the past. We also need critical staffing to insist on a issues” pragmatic approach to business from government that focuses on building business resilience instead of garnering headlines for expensive, flamboyant programmes may not leave anyone better off ultimately. Hopefully, our gyms will open safely, tourism can pick up steam, and all of the other damaged industries will regain momentum. But life in the UK cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ for government.

ACT NOW FOR your company to be considered for this year’s Recruiter HOT 100, the highly regarded league table of UK recruiters – so advises Sue Dodd, director of Agile Intelligence, who is compiling this year’s prestigious report. Now in its 14th iteration Recruiter’s HOT 100, produced in association with Agile Intelligence, ranks UK recruitment businesses by productivity, providing recruitment businesses with invaluable business intelligence that ranks their ability to get the most out of their most valuable asset – their staff – against their industry peers. As the UK and the wider world slowly emerge from lockdown restrictions, this year’s HOT 100 will prove especially invaluable to owners of UK recruitment businesses. “Wherever you look, staff are the key to your future recovery once the economy begins to motor again. And to understand and measure that improvement in productivity, there are few better benchmarks than the HOT 100, based upon gross profit per head,” says Dodd. Based on 2019/20 corporate accounts that predate the lockdown, the 2020 Recruiter HOT 100 will be especially fitting to provide an excellent benchmark against which your recovery can be measured.” The 2020 Recruiter HOT 100 will be a timely gauge of what can be achieved with good, well-motivated staff. To be considered, your recruitment business needs to have: a sales turnover of at least £5m, a minimum of £1.5m in GP (net fee income) and an average headcount of at least 20 employees over the year of review. Then email your latest audited accounts to hot100@ Entrants will be sent a short questionnaire. Deadline for entries is Friday, 18 September. Please note: global search/ headhunters are not included in Recruiter’s HOT 100.

DeeDee Doke, Editor

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Recruiters adapt to new virtual way of conducting business BY COLIN COTTELL

THE TREND FOR business to be conducted virtually as a result of the coronavirus pandemic means “selling has changed more in the past 90 days than in the past five years”, according to LinkedIn’s US head of search and staffing. Speaking at EngageX, Bullhorn’s online staffing industry conference, Greg Brasher (pictured) said the pace of change for those working in sales and recruitment was unprecedented. “So much has happened in a more condensed period of time than we’ve ever seen before,” he said. In this environment, Brasher said, the ability to build trust with clients and candidates must be a priority. Following his presentation, he told Recruiter: “Covid-19 has accelerated

‘virtual everything’ in many areas – from selling to recruitment. Connecting with customers and clients 100% virtually – which many of us have had to do in recent times – presents many new challenges, particularly around how to build trust when you can’t meet each other in person. In times of uncertainty, trust is such a defining factor in relationships. “We know that essential soft skills, such as active listening, relationship-building, problem-solving and confidence, are the top skills that customers highly value in sales professionals. They are also critical skills needed to excel in recruitment too. Professionals will need to over-index on these skills

and adapt the way they express them virtually to convey trustworthiness, responsiveness and expertise – which are the top qualities that customers and clients value most.” He said he had no doubt that professionals will be able to quickly adapt to this new way of working. “We will see more companies invest in skills development and learning opportunities, which is good news for employees and will also benefit businesses too,” he said. “We’re also likely to see the implementation of digital solutions accelerate as companies look to sales intelligence tools which can help their teams build trust, shorten sales cycles and improve their success rate.”

BAE Systems engineers 800 apprenticeship roles BY DEEDEE DOKE

BAE SYSTEMS WILL bring on 800 apprentices, with most joining between September and January, following a recruitment drive that started before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK earlier this year. With 70% based in the North of England, those selected from the original 9,000 applicants will begin their careers on one of the 25+ apprenticeship training programmes in the company’s Air, Maritime and Electronic Systems divisions. The available apprenticeships reflect a healthy set of defence-related assignments for BAE Systems in the company’s order book where “our government customers are still committed clearly to continuing the work we’ve got”, said Richard Hamer, BAE education director who is responsible for setting the UK education and skills strategy, when he spoke with Recruiter. “We’ve got big projects to deliver.”

The biggest chunk of the apprentice roles will be based in the company’s submarines business, with the second highest number going to the air business. Four each will go to the Land UK and Shared Services businesses. Geographically speaking, 63 will be roles in Scotland, with 361, the largest number, based in South Cumbria, another 205 in the North-West, and the third highest number, 102, located in the South-East. Most of the new apprentices will be local to their home areas, Hamer said. Because of lockdown, the company handled screening and interview processes differently for the nearly 2,000 shortlisted candidates, using remote interviewing channels. Some applicants were only interviewed by telephone. Others had a pre-recorded initial interview, followed by a phone call. BAE Systems also deployed current apprentices to conduct the video interviews to increase candidate engagement.





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“I’ve been working on this very firm handshake for, you know, 40 years, and now I can’t use it anymore.” MARK CAHILL UK M D M A N POWE R

“Half the people we speak to really don’t want to go back into the office.” BOR IS JOHNSON U K PRIM E M IN ISTE R

“As the economy recovers we know that the jobs that many people had in January are not coming back.”

S T A R T - U P



SURYA RECRUITMENT BY COLIN COTTELL A health pandemic and an economy on the verge of a deep recession hasn’t deterred Alka Graham from launching Bristol-based green energy recruiter Surya Recruitment. After joining TimesTwo Investment’s programme, designed to accelerate the

growth of recruitment start-ups in January, she explains: “We had already developed the brand – the message of which was ‘we need to find new ways to resource a changing world’. “So as we headed into lockdown we were already ready to go, and as things started to roll-out we realised

Lord Sugar invests in Apprentice runner-up’s recruitment firm BY VANESSA TOWNSEND

OPENING A NEW office and bringing new people onboard are among the priorities for recruitment business owner Scarlett Allen-Horton following Lord Sugar’s investment in Harper:Fox Partners. The 2019 BBC TV The Apprentice runner-up spoke to Recruiter after announcing the news that Harper:Fox is the fourth recruitment business in Lord Sugar’s portfolio of companies. Although not able to disclose the actual amount, Allen-Horton said the investment was “significant”, and would enable Harper:Fox, a senior leadership talent and diverse executive recruitment solutions for the UK and international engineering and manufacturing industries, to expand more into new markets, especially renewable energy and technology, and venture capital and private equity companies involved in those areas. Allen-Horton said Lord Sugar had “kept in touch with me since The Apprentice and during lockdown”, throughout which she said Harper:Fox had been “fully operational”. Operating from a small London office, Allen-Horton said her new partnership with Lord Sugar would enable her to expand the main Midlands office in Solihull as her headquarters, just South of her home city Birmingham. When asked about how many staff she would be recruiting, Allen-Horton said: “Covid obviously put everything on hold. It will probably be in double figures but over 18-24 months now.” In a statement, Lord Sugar said: “I was impressed with Scarlett throughout The Apprentice process, and we stayed in touch afterwards … I liked Scarlett’s approach and her recruitment industry offer, so it made sense to me to see if Scarlett would be interested in working with me, and I’m very happy she was.”

that everything we stand for about challenging the status quo to increase the talent pool in the energy and renewables energy sector was still relevant.” Graham says she and her resourcing manager Leon Simpson “are hugely passionate about helping the green economic recovery and supporting businesses with the best talent possible as we all emerge in a different way from the pandemic”. Having worked in the energy sector for more

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than a decade, and with her colleague also an expert, she says their contacts “are the best in the business”. Surya can also offer the sector “a real choice” by finding people from different backgrounds, “something that is desperately needed”. “We want to be pioneers and help others achieve success in their field. And we want to make a real and meaningful difference in the world by placing incredible people in some of the world’s most important jobs.”


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Cornerstone OnDemand Henkel, a global manufacturer of consumer goods with more than 52,000 employees, has launched a new recruitment platform thanks to Cornerstone OnDemand’s Cornerstone Recruiting. The platform aims to streamline application processes and improve the candidate experience.

Kingsbridge Group Kingsbridge Group, provider of specialist insurance services to skilled contractors, freelancers and the recruitment industry, has entered into an agreement to buy, an online IR35 status assessment tool.

Resume-Library US job board Resume-Library has partnered with SNAPP Resume to launch a new Amazon Skill – ‘Find me a job’. So anyone who has access to the Alexa platform can find jobs on Resume-Library by asking ‘Alexa, find me a job!’.

Acorn Rail Acorn Rail, a division of recruiter Acorn, has received a trackside principal contractors licence from Network Rail. Acorn Rail will discharge principal contractor duties during construction work on behalf of Network Rail, and also permits Acorn to tender for all maintenance, labour or contract work issued by the national body.

Techconsult UK North-East-based specialist engineering and technical staffing company Techconsult UK is aiming for growth following a management buy-out (MBO) led by two of its incumbent management team. Originally part of Norwegiancompany Techconsult Norway, the Teesside-based business has been acquired by managing director Steve Guest and finance director Sarah Taylor.

W t Wagestream Fuller’s, the premium pubs and hotels business, has teamed up with Wagestream to give team members the ability to draw up to 30% of their earned wages in advance.


Bright Network Technology recruitment platform Bright Network, which connects employers with graduates, has received a £3.5m investment from private equity managers Maven Capital Partners. The transaction also includes investment from private equity firm Seneca Partners. Bright Network is led by chairman Zach Miles, former CEO of multi-national recruitment company Vedior, and James



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Uffindell, Bright Network’s founder and CEO. The network has around 280,000 graduate or student members and client organisations include Goldman Sachs, EY, Dyson, P&G and the armed forces, to name a few. Maven originally invested in Bright Network in July 2018, alongside existing and angel investors to support the launch of a new Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

Tempo Recruitment platform Tempo has secured £5m in a funding round led by the Adecco Group. Tempo’s end-to-end platform uses technology to simplify the recruitment process, with machinelearning used to match jobseekers to potential employers and video interviews used for screening. Tempo has raised more than £8m in investment since it was launched in 2017. The latest funding round will be used to invest in technology and to expand further in the UK, with plans to increase the headcount from 35 to 50 in 2020.

More contract news at 16/07/2020 09:27

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The Workplace BY GUY HAYWARD


we all work in can achieve this by creating a programme of change that is sophisticated, serious, thorough, meaningful, and an approach that we as a sector can collectively deliver. Not as competitors of each other, but as a collective force of companies. Imagine this, for instance – Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke, Neil Carberry from the REC, Ann Swain from APSCo and David Head from TALiNT Partners coming together and sitting down to discuss and draw up this programme of change. Imagine the ideas and innovation that these four people and the organisations they so proudly represent would have. Real power for change… changes that were here to stay and support our black colleagues and the black community. I would offer to chair the meeting. What an opportunity we would have! Four people’s ideas to address so many things. How we invest time and influence to make a difference in local black communities? What are our grass root initiatives? As a sector, what is our communications strategy to the black community? What

“Imagine the ideas and innovation that these four people and the organisations they so proudly represent would have” is our approach to shortlisting jobs? Do we anonymise CVs? How do we attract more black people into our sector? How are careers managed? The list of questions is endless because the topic is huge. Only collectively will we make a difference and move to answering the questions. An unwavering commitment to Respect and Inclusion – and to change. I love the multi-cultural society that that my kids are growing up in. I also know that the journey I have been on over the last couple of weeks is a journey that I have taken them on too. Age 14 and 10, I want them to be part of this programme of change too. ●

ON MONDAY 25 MAY 2020, George Floyd was murdered. A black man from Minneapolis killed by a white police officer. For eight minutes 46 seconds the officer knelt on his neck… defenceless, lying on the floor with his hands tied behind his back, pleading with the officers, saying ‘I can’t breathe’. Brutal and barbaric. Sadly, an echo of past treatment of black people at the hands of the police. Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling… the list goes on. I can’t claim to know how black people felt watching the death of George Floyd, but I know my instinctive reaction was to recognise a sickening level of inequality and racism. I also know that I wasn’t close enough to the severity and scale of the problem. It touched part of my life but with self-reflection I sat on the outside as a white, middle-aged man. I have found myself in a world of learning and understanding. I know many others have too. I know I want to do something about it… to bring ever-lasting change to systemic racism. And I know that the sector

GUY HAYWARD – redefining the modern workplace CEO, Goodman Masson


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ASK THE EXPERT WE JUST SURVIVED THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2020. HOW DO WE REBOOT READY FOR 2021? If you haven’t already done so, file away the business plan you started this year with – the environment we are now confronted with is unlikely to bear any resemblance to the one you planned for!

Time is finite – make the most of it Following such a sharp economic contraction, competition for any remaining pie is bound to increase. Recruitment business owners will be working day and night as they try to save their companies and many employees, either out of loyalty or conscious of the need to pay the bills, will also go the extra mile and beyond. However, time is finite and with so many people working harder, simply doing more of the same is unlikely to make a dramatic difference in performance in the short term. To reboot effectively you need to focus ruthlessly on activities that generate the greatest results. As a company owner, you should be ensuring your team are being as efficient and effective as possible before driving revenue yourself. Hammer home the message that long hours only matter if recruiters are doing the right things and doing them as efficiently as possible.

Innovate or be left behind Challenging economic times usually drive the greatest innovations. The less companies (recruitment businesses and clients) have to lose, the more they become agile and daring; and having the shackles off can be a game changer. So, while stripping back current activity to relentlessly repeat the most effective activities is critical make sure you also encourage the team to set aside time for experimentation and radical ideas. Don’t simply look internally for innovation, however. You can and should be completing my four-point service check over the phone or video call to help identify opportunities: ● What are we doing that you wish we weren’t? ● What are our competitors doing that you wish they wouldn’t? ● What are our competitors doing that we should be doing? ● What are we doing that you wish our competitors were doing?

I believe in the importance of having a three-year plan, however right now planning further than two years ahead is unlikely to serve its usual value. For now, use

The SME Coach your 24-month plan to set your targets for 12, 6, 3, 2 and 1 month. In the shorter term, look at both best and worst case scenarios. Given how fast the situation is changing, review and reassess both activities and targets monthly if not fortnightly. While cashflow is critical, the next priority is to keep as consistent and dependable a baseline of revenue as possible. Focus on protecting existing revenue streams: broaden your contact base at any clients still hiring, gold plate the service you provide them with, improve your terms and think about what else you can do to reaffirm the value you deliver. Improved terms for a contractual agreement with clients may also be worth considering. More challenging is judging whether a course of action that is not currently delivering results is worth persevering with – especially innovations you and the team are trialling. While there is generally a lag between investing in activity and seeing results, set interim targets ie. if this activity is to deliver £xx,000 then within two weeks we should have spoken with xx people and have y expressions of interest.

Diversify and grow With such a catastrophic impact across the majority of markets globally, many of the companies that used niche strategies so successfully are now looking to diversify. Sectors such as med-tech, and specialisms such as programming or data science, will quickly become even more competitive than they already are. Recruitment companies need to decide whether to try to carve a niche or target sectors that have been hit by the pandemic but are likely to recover fast. ●

Plan, execute, reassess

Alex Arnot

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


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Rise and rise of video interviewing Engaging with engineers Engage is a new platform designed to support the country’s engineers whose careers might be disrupted by Covid-19 by providing tailored content to maintain their professional competences. Not-for-profit skills organisation Enginuity has partnered with Filtered, whose Magpie platform intelligently filters content. It steers engineers towards videos, articles and other material focusing on emerging engineering technologies as well as on transferable skills such as communication and resilience. Magpie generates a personalised ‘skills signature’, described as the knowledge and skills most likely to equip a particular individual for the future.

Commuting time is of the essence Totaljobs reckons that in the post-Covid-19 world, location and commute will be even more critical as people adjust to travelling again. Earlier this year it added the TravelTime feature to its website that allows the jobseeker to click a ‘commute time’ button and see a summary of transport modes for the fastest route. According to Stephen Warnham, job expert at Totaljobs, almost nine in 10 candidates say the commute is one of the most important factors when deciding whether to apply for a job. “We’ve seen an immediate 10% increase in job applications,” he says. “Being able to filter search results by commute time means jobseekers have a tangible way of calculating what their daily routine could look like, whether by car, public transport, cycling or walking.”


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Video interviewing was already gaining traction before the Covid-19 but there is no doubt about its place in the recruiter’s armoury today. One of the latest services to be launched is Screenable, which aims to support the recovery by offering recruiters free credits, giving them the chance to earn more through a referral programme. Recruiters are given 20 free credits and only need one per video interview. It also aims to be easy to use for recruiters and candidates, with automated features such as acceptance or rejection letters. Recruiters set up an account and add details of the companies they are recruiting for. They can create their own questions for the interview or use pre-existing ones and invite candidates for interview. They are notified via the hub as soon as interviews are completed.


A look at some of the new services to help recruiters and employers Secure signing via live video Recruitment companies can now sign legally binding documents via live video, with digital signature provider Secured Signing’s Video Signing tool. Live Video Signing comes with even stronger identity verification features, making it difficult to dispute contracts. Managing director Mike Eyal said the goal is to provide simple, secure signing in one easy-to-use tool. “The signed document has an access link to video session recording that is password protected and can be viewed after signing meeting has ended.”

Bringing dream jobs closer The Covid-19 era has witnessed the launch of Online recruitment practitioners Jamie Mistlin and Anna Taylor have been frustrated by how many jobs are locked into a single location, which they say often restricts recruiters to a pool of candidates within a 25-mile radius. allows recruiters to advertise any type of remote roles and gives them the facility of categorising the ‘remote level’ the job provides. It spans ‘100% remote’ to ‘ad-hoc remote’, which could be one to two days per month. “Our mission is to help companies unlock more talent by being more remote-friendly,” says Mistlin. “Remotejobs’ remit is to put more opportunities in front of relevant talent whose dream job could be with an employer 250 miles away.”


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New ways of working Becoming more flexible out of lockdown BY LORNA DAVIDSON

he coronavirus pandemic has changed the world of work for ever. We already know from headlines of recent weeks that employers of all sizes are planning to downsize or, in some cases, lose their offices completely to reduce overheads, but also because they have seen the effectiveness of remote working. We are also beginning to see huge swathes of workers being laid off, led by the airline, automotive and retail industries. This trend will only accelerate as the UK Government’s furlough scheme starts to wind down. A survey by the polling company YouGov found that 51% of businesses were intending to make redundancies within three months of the scheme’s expiry. Only 34% were confident that all staff would be kept on. We recently ran a survey of our own staff asking them how they wanted to work going forward. Over 90% said they wanted to carry on working from home because they felt there were benefits in doing so. While wanting remote working to become the norm, they did want some time in the office but probably only once or twice a month for team days. Another emerging trend is the increasing demand from employers for flexible workers. Companies are busy rewriting their business plans with the need to police their costs top of the agenda for the foreseeable future. By flexible working, I am not referring to changing people’s working hours or giving them a day off in the week.

LORNA DAVIDSON is founder & CEO of

What I mean is businesses being able to hire flexible workers to meet specific needs or carry out certain urgent tasks. Companies can dial up and dial down subject to their requirements without having to take on the overhead. One household name recently asked redwigwam to provide it with flexible workers. The brand doesn’t know when it will be at full capacity again but needs help to cover territories where they have gaps. Flexible working helps to create adaptable business models. Flexible working also benefits workers in different ways. For some, it can offer a safety net if they suddenly lose their job; for others it can provide additional income alongside their full-time role while, for some, it can provide all the income they need. Some companies, such as Kellogg’s, Morrison’s and Tesco, have already embraced the benefits of hiring flexible workers alongside their regular staff. Trust is going to be crucial as we start to map out the new world of work. I have always trusted my staff, but many organisations are still tied to the old instincts of 9-5 and presenteeism. Equally, workers are going to need to trust their employers more and understand the scale of pain many of them have been through during recent months. Good two-way communication between employer and workers has never been more important. The pandemic has turbo-charged some of the changes that were starting to come into the workplace. Many workers don’t want to go back to the way things were. Many like remote working while others are keen to take more control of their lives, something that is possible through flexible working. There are already over 5m people who work flexibly. This number is rising along with the growing acknowledgment of businesses that a truly flexible workforce provides the best platform to emerge successfully from this dreadful pandemic. ●







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WEBCHAT IR35 WILL CRIPPLE THE ECONOMY I’m commenting in response to your article, ‘Parliament deals final blow to anti-IR35 private sector roll-out’ (, 2 July). Many small companies fear being pulled into this, as contracting businesses consider them as they do single employee contractors. So how can a three-man company survive if a staff member can only get contract work that pushes them inside IR35? They are taxed at source but their income is income for the company, not them as individuals. How can salaries for the other two staff members be taken from this income?? If this goes ahead, lack of clarity to small companies who exist on contracts from large organisations will need to close. Many of them took out Bounceback loans from government, which the government themselves have provided guarantees for. So if these companies go bust, how are the banks/ government going to get this money back? IR35 will not bring income to the government; it will reduce it and further cripple the economy. Lynne McGowan

How should the recruitment industry respond to the Black Lives Matter movement? NADIA EDWARDS-DASHTI FOUN D ER A N D MA N AG I N G D I REC TOR , H A RRIN GTON STA RR

“The recruitment industry should give the Black Lives Matter movement the respect it deserves – by taking a knee and being proactively anti-racist. It spurs me on to do more in the industry to promote diversity & inclusion not for quotas or board room demands but for its truest form. For me that is supporting the technology industry in becoming the best it can be through building teams within the companies that are really diverse and inclusive in thought, communication, innovation and action. We should be proactive in investing in talent creation and partnering with universities to invest in people and the future generation of work. The movement is bigger than one industry but each of us have our active parts to play. If we all contribute then change will come.”


“In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about race. Now it’s time for some engineering. If recruiters are serious about race here is what they need to do: • Ensure that their candidate pools at least match the ethnic diversity of their market in their geography – and working that out means market mapping by race • Ensure that their shortlists are the same • Monitor the success of the people they put forward, and hold clients accountable – ‘You ask for diversity on shortlists but you take 42% of our white candidates and only 11% of our ethnic minority ones • Demand hard, factual feedback on any ethnic minority candidates not hired. ‘Didn’t fit’ and ‘something not quite right’ are not acceptable reasons for not hiring and are often code for bias.”


“Firstly, by acknowledging our failure. As an industry we have not helped shift the dial when it comes to ethnic minority inclusion. Full stop. Our clients are getting the blame, but we have nowhere near worked hard enough as an industry to break the system that keeps putting white candidates on top. Secondly, by taking action. This is a decisive point in history and a moral obligation, so we simply can’t ignore it. People are demanding change, and in business at least we are in a position to help deliver it. So I challenge every recruitment company to look at everything they are doing – top to bottom – and find out exactly why black and other diverse talent is missing from their candidate pools, long lists, short lists and placements. Then to do something about it.”


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Paralympian Liz Johnson set up The Ability People to redress the employment gap for people with disabilities. Colin Cottell found out more



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“I felt the need to do so everybody gets that opmething about the fact that not they love, or even that portunity to do something that they often the world makes are capable of, because so judgements about peop le”


fter years competing at the highest level as an international swim mer, with its early morni ng starts in the pool an d a punishing schedule, old habits clearly die hard for Paralympian Liz Joh nson. After rising at 6am an d working until 8.30am, she has just returned from a 25km cycle ride. “I got a bit lost and missed the turning, so I did about an extra 8km than I pla nned to,” she says over Zoom. “It depen ds on my schedule, but I try to get out on my bike almost every day to keep mo ving and for a bit of fresh air.” Having been born wi th cerebral palsy, Johnson went on to enjoy a stellar sporting career , winning medals in the pool in three Paralympic Games and three internation al paralympic championships, bot h world and European. Although she retired from competitive swimmi ng before the Rio Paralympics in 2016, it is clear that she

is as determined as ever to live life on her own terms. “Yeste rday I mowed the lawn, but it probab ly took me at least four times as lon g as it took my neighbours to do the irs, and we started at the same time. Eve rything just takes more time.”

changed tack early on to become a for-profit social enter prise consultancy that assists organisa tions to recruit people with disabiliti es, or who have a physical or mental im pairment. “I felt the need to do something about the fact that not eve rybody gets that opportunity to do som Taking the recruitmen ething that they t plunge lov e, or even that they are While others in her capable of, position might because so often the have been content to wo rld makes remain on the judgements about peo motivational speaki ple,” says Johnson. ng circuit while “Obviously we need doing some comme to make a profit,” ntating and she continues, “but that mentoring athletes, aside, it is about Johnson is using changing the way tha those same qualitie t peo ple think. It’s s of drive, about helping them determination and understand resilience that took difference and norm her to the top in sw alise it, so that in 10 imming and that yea rs’ time we’re not ha she needs to call on ving this every day to make conversation where a splash in a different peo ple are pool. unjustifiably not get In September 2018, wi ting the th ex-Morgan opportunities, or the McKinley director an level of pay that d industry veteran the y require, or the type Steve Carter, Johnso of role that they n plunged into the are qualified for and competitive world of abl e, willing and recruitment when wa nting to do.” she co-founded The Ability People (TAP). However, Johnson say Originally a recruitm s “the real spark” ent agency, TAP for action was discov ering that the


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Liz Johnson

employment gap for people with ● SEPT 2018 TO PRESEN speaking to someon disabilities was over T e, or even sending 30%, a figure she The Ability People coin a dra wing. “You end up wi describes as “horrific” fou nder th the and one that had and managing directo same information abo remained high for sev r ut the candidate, eral years. “I ● SEPT 2016 TO PRESENT but assessing people wouldn’t be living up ’s skill sets and to my Channel 4 & BBC TV rep sui tability in more tha responsibilities if I did orter n one way allows n’t do it,” she adds. and commentator the m the best opportunity to Although TAP began show you life as a ● SEPT 2015 TO PRESENT their capability.” traditional recruitm ent agency placing Dame Kelly Holmes Tru Educating hiring tea candidates, Johnson st, ms iss an says it soon You th Sport Trust Athlete im portant aspect of TA became apparent tha mentor P’s w wo ork t a change of rk – for ● JUL 2015 TO PRESENT example, helping the strategy was necessar m un d der erssta y. tan nd d Federation of Disability that some people find “We quickly realised Sport makin ng eye that while we Wa les Board member contact very difficul could find the talen t. The me t with disabilities embers of ● 2008 TO PRESENT, MT TAP’s 14-strong team, and diverse talent, if C UK all of wh who organisations om m have Corporate speaker a disability themselv didn’t have the cultur es, an d w wh e and the ho o work ● 2004-12 remotely, also advise environment and the on makin king processes set up g Paralympic swimmer buildings and facilit for people with disabi ies more accessible, lities, even if all ● 20 04-07 an d on modifications, suc the stars aligned an h as noise d they got through BSc Business Managem levels for those with the process and got ent, hearing the job, once they Swansea University impairments, as we joined the organisatio ll as advisin sing n, they wouldn't g on flexible working. TA have that authentic P recently inclusive y launched Podium, a marketpl experience anyway. ace platforrm ” m that connects employers And so it was decide with freela lan d that rather nc cer erss,, who want to work fro whom it has a relati than placing candid onship, using job m home ates it would be e. boards and making Johnson says organisa better to work in par use of its tions T tnership with TA AP P has worked with have see consultant’s extensiv recruitment teams n a range e networks. and recruitment e of benefits. Not only by Alongside clients suc organisations. Accor employin h as HSBC and ding to Johnson, ng more people, who otherw Chelsea FC, TAP also very often it is the sel ise wouldn works in ection process n’t ’t have got through the pro partnership and adv that prevents people cess, but als ises RPO Guidant with disabilities lso o indirect benefits. Th and its clients. getting the roles the ese include more ir talent deserves, staff within the clie Having “always had citing the example of nt organisa an affinity with a big bank the ation disclosing a disability the business world”, company worked wi , changes in Johnson could th, where attitudes to disability have gone into many candidates had to an , the use o different areas of swer online off language and “norm business, but after bei questions in a certai ali ng invited to sin g diff n way to progress ffe ff ere ren nc ce” e”. . speak at an event org TAP also sources can to the next stage. anised by Carter, didates, although only for clie Johnson says the cha “The problem was tha nts that itt has t they had t a lot of diverse consulted with previo afterwards was one candidates took the those “where all usly, or wiith questions literally, the stars aligned at and as a result they the same time”. didn’t score high “He had similar frustr enough on the onlin ations, but e tests to unlock he was coming at it the next level,” she from the view explains. of where are these peo To level the playing ple, and why field, Johnson do they not come thr says, employers sho ough uld offer candidates recruitment compan a range of options, all ies, and why owing them to can’t we access this choose the one with talent pool? which they feel Whereas with me it most comfortable. For was, why do example, you think these people because some neuro aren’t in -diverse candidates work? We are like Yin tend to answer quest and Yang; ions literally, or I am more dealing wi may be particularly th the anxious, they can people side, the practi lose out when asked calities to send in their and the developmen responses to question t of s on video, she product, whereas Ste suggests that organ ve isations should gets involved in the offer a choice of tradit ional CV, video, strategy side, and is brilliant with ideas. But

“You end up with the same information about the candidate, but assessing people’s skill sets and suitability in more than one way allows them the best opportunity to show you their capability”



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ultimately we want to end up in the same place.” And so TAP was born, with Johnson and Carter bot h directors. Despite having no exp erience in recruitment before, Johnson says the skills that enabled he r to succeed in elite sport are the sam e that are needed to prosper in recruitm ent consultancy. “The skill sets don’t cha nge when you move into a different area. It is having those things

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like adaptability and resilience, “The thing that frustr motivation and perspe ates me more ctive, which has tha n anything is people allowed the practical see it as a aspects of the job choice. And it’s not a to organically evolve choice. . Accessibility should Although Johnson say be there for all s she has never because of age, gender personally experienced , sexual direct orientation ability, wh discrimination of the ate ver – that’s type, ‘You can’t the thing that shocks come through this doo me and frustrates r because you me more than anyth have a disability’, “th ing.” e reality is you At the same time, she experience it every sin is keen not to gle day. It con c demn employers. “A becomes the norm so lot of the time until you stop and peo p ple's reluctance to compare yourself to get involved or your friend or a ma m ke that move is no peer, you don’t even t because they know you are being don d ’t believe it’s not discriminated agains the right thing to t. It is very subtle, do, d or even that they don and people don’t eve ’t even think n realise they are tha th t it’s not beneficia doing it”. l, they are just fea fe rful that they migh Johnson says having t get it wrong, or, cerebral palsy or they might offend gives her invaluable or they might insight into the upset, so it's kind of challenges that people bridging that gap, with disabilities rea re lly, to give people face. “I could go full the opportunity to pelt at something embrace what we all for a while, but then know is right.” eventually I will Johnson says she is no have days when I don t naïve enough ’t even leave the to think that her pu house or get out of my bli c pro file as a pyjamas – that Par Pa alympian hasn’t is the trade-off,” she helped the says. business. “I am fortun Similarly, Johnson say ate that I have a s the fact that platform, and a voice colleagues have a dis and an experience ability or that can come togeth impairment themselv er to lead the es, including cha rge.” However, “you brain and spinal cor can have all d injuries, and those things and if the neuro diverse condit product doesn’t ions is a worrk they don’t matte competitive advantag r”, she adds. e. Alt A hough in recent mo “Anybody with any kin nths Covid-19 d of has hit the company, with business “a difference, or anybody that bit sstagnant”, Johnso n says it is doesn’t fit society’s no rms fortun t ate in having “qu ite low has to be constantly overrheads”, and she remains confident problem solving, ada ptable it will emerge out the other side. and resilient, because they Loo Lo king beyond the pandemic, in an see things from a diff erent ideal world, Johnson says: “There would angle, and ultimately that be no need for anybo dy to work in helps us end up with a diver ersity and inclusion , except maybe better product or ser vice.” for peo pe ple who can facilit ate conver ve sations and suppor Long way to go still t those who have never been exp osed to difference Despite being genera lly or a par p ticular situation optimistic that emplo before, and yers are don’t know how to rea ct. starting to understa nd the “We always say, ‘You value of an inclusive can’t be blamed for not knowing som ething that you workforce, and a sm all but haven’t needed to kn ow before’, but in welcome fall in the terms of leading the charge so that disability employmen t everybody gets a fair crack, hopefully gap to 28.6%, Johnson that sh shouldn’t be needed in the future,” says much remains to she says. “But,” she add s, with a laugh, be done. “I thin nk that is a long way off, sadly.”

15/07/2020 17:10

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With the spectre of a second wave lurking in the background, recruiters worldwide are getting on with the job of hiring. Colin Cottell investigates ecruiters’ famed optimism to look on the bright side has been sorely tested since Covid-19 began to wrap its tentacles around the global economy and attempt to squeeze the life out it. “I would say it’s been the most challenging time in my career, absolutely,” says Alicia Barker COO of international recruiter Staffing 360 Solutions, whose brands include those covering both professional and commercial staffing in the US. However, as many of the lockdown restrictions




introduced at the height of the pandemic have gradually eased across large parts of the world, and economic activity has begun to pick-up in countries as geographically diverse as China, the US, Germany and Canada, there are signs that that sense of optimism, albeit tempered by the shadow that the virus is far from defeated, is beginning to return. Ray Mayhew, vice president of business development at RSS Staffing, based in Ohio in the US, says the company took a significant hit in April after the governor announced a mandatory shutdown, with the number of hours worked by its temps dropping from 18,000 a week to 10,000. However, as soon as parts of the economy were allowed to open up, and after furloughed workers were brought back by employers, temps were needed again and things started to pick up, he says. Mayhew says demand for blue-collar workers in manufacturing, distribution and general warehousing is strong, and now makes up 80% of the company’s business compared to 60% normally. In contrast, he says clerical and white-collar hiring remains subdued. “Employers are maintaining their staff but not adding to them,” he says. A big problem is the government paying people up to $1k a week until the end of July, Mayhew says. “When we call them up, either they are not responsive, or they will engage with us up to a point, or they say they are going to start, but then they don’t show up to start the assignment,” he explains. Barker says her company’s commercial division faces the same problem, with 350 open vacancies in the US’s North-East region that it is struggling to fill. On the other hand, Mayhew says Covid-19 has created a whole new category of jobs, including part-time nurses to monitor the temperature of staff and help them complete health questionnaires, which they


15/07/2020 17:11


must do at the start of every shift. Another new role is for sanitisers, whose job is to clean everything, including doorknob handles. Charles Pfauwadel, vice president Asia for global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure industries Airswift, says the picture varies across the 10 countries the company serves, from its six offices across the vast region that extends from the North of China to the South of Indonesia. Although 100% of the company’s staff are back at work either in the office or working remotely, in terms of levels of business activity, he says China, which was the first to go into lockdown and the first to come out, and Singapore are the nearest to being back to normal. South Korea, where Airswift’s office remained open throughout the

lockdown, is also well on the road to recovery. In contrast, Mayhew says Thailand and Indonesia, “where there was very little communication from the government, that really turned off a number of companies, and where our activity pretty much stopped for six to eight weeks”, are “still behind” when it comes to companies hiring and projects. While he takes encouragement that across the region things are moving in the right direction, Pfauwadel says one obstacle in the way back to normality is

continuing restrictions on travel between countries. “We run a business where mobility is really important and there is virtually none between countries at the moment.” While the worst effects of the pandemic may be over, Pfauwadel says the effects are being felt in other ways. Not only are more companies taking longer with the selection process – five, six or even seven interviews is becoming increasingly common – the expectations of rising levels of unemployment there is also growing

“It really affects talent management because nobody wants to make a decision, so things aren’t being cancelled – they are being delayed” 22 RECRUITER



15/07/2020 17:11


pressure from unions and governments to hire locals rather than foreigners. David Taylor, managing director of global specialist telecommunications and technology recruiter FirstPoint Group, which has 10 offices around the globe serving 160 countries, says the picture is mixed but generally improving. “Asia is certainly picking up for us, particularly across South-East Asia; Africa is still mostly in full lockdown; Europe and the UK are starting to come out of it. For us the US is still in the middle of it.” Taylor says he is expecting to return to normal levels of business in a few months, and in expectation of this he says the company is hiring consultants across all its regions.

MARKET DELAYS Barrie Carlyle, regional vice president business development Canada at talent consultancy Right Management, says the labour market is in a bit of holding pattern supported by financial support

from the Canadian Government for both employers and employees. Carlyle says the effect has been to put a dampener on the market. “It really affects talent management because nobody wants to make a decision, so things aren’t being cancelled – they are being delayed.” Carlyle says another factor slowing the market is people who have been laid off. While normally “they would be active in the market”, he says many of them “are sitting on the side lines saying ‘Nobody is hiring right now, I will sit and wait’ ”. However, he cautions that if there is a second wave in October and this hits the economy, this might not turn out to be the best approach. A big drag on the market’s return to normal is the continuing restrictions on cross-border travel with the US, says Carlyle. Ash Holmes, practice lead – real estate development and construction management at Impact Recruitment, based in Vancouver, Canada, says his company is fortunate that British Columbia was affected less by coronavirus than places further East, such as Quebec, where most construction was shut down. Although Holmes says levels of activity and hiring are on the up since the low point of the lockdown, he says the nature of that hiring is very specific. “No one is hiring right now to build what we call their bench strength – that is not really happening; they are hiring when they need someone and when a project is active.” Holmes says one break on activity is bigger companies who are still working out their back-to-work plans… and which of their staff can return to the office. Staffing 360 Solutions’ Barker says the company is definitely seeing an uptick in its business in the US. “We are not at a low point anymore,” she says, with some of the brands back up to preCovid levels. Barker says the company’s commercial staffing business, where it is supplying contract workers to essential businesses, such as food

manufacturing is particularly strong. In contrast, Barker says employers are still very hesitant on permanent hiring. “Unfortunately, I think the US is holding its breath, waiting to see what happens in September and October when the flu season hits. They are still very tentative.”

STRONGER SENTIMENT Brad Lamb, founder of IT recruiter Venturi, a company that serves the German market, says that after about six weeks “when it was difficult to get a commitment from employers to make hiring decisions, things started to improve at the end of May”. But, he adds, “as bars, restaurants and shops started to reopen, there appeared to be stronger sentiment from German companies to hire, and candidates were more willing to move”. Although Lamb says business is not quite at the same high it was a year ago, “I would hope it would translate into more and more momentum as the week pass”. Ben Jones, sales director of NonStop Recruitment, which has offices in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Romania, says from seeing a 50% reduction in vacancies, June saw vacancy levels recover to about 75% of normal. That said, some sectors, particularly automotive in the Czech Republic, are still struggling, with only 20% of the normal number of vacancies. Uncertainty about the virus and a possible second wave is continuing to put a brake on the market, he says, with candidates reluctant to move. “If a second wave happens, they worry they will be out of a job because they are a junior member of staff,” he explains. While the spectre of a second wave and predictions of an economic recession to end all recessions undoubtedly casts a shadow over the industry, for now at least recruiters around the world are keeping their fingers crossed and getting back to doing what they do best. ●



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How to help people back to work p2 B I G TALKI N G POI N T

Stories from the Covid frontline p4

Recruitment Issue 87 Ma ers Aug-Sept 2020


Managing the end of furlough p6 DI VE R SI TY AN D I N CLU SI ON

Black Lives Ma er: answer the call p8

Job support

Recruiters central to Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs 2020 T

he Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a range of measures designed to support businesses, create jobs and help people back into work. The plans include a £1,000 employer bonus for each furloughed employee retained beyond January next year, as well as the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to fund high quality six-month work placements for 16-24-yearolds. The REC welcomed the measures as the jobs-focused response it had been calling for on behalf of the industry. But the headline announcement for recruiters came in the form of the Job Finding Support Scheme – a £40 million fund for the delivery of employment support services through the private sector. The scheme is the result of months of collabora on between the REC, its members, and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).


Under the plans, job seekers who have been unemployed for less than three months will be able to access online, one-to-one advice to help them find jobs, write CVs, prepare for interviews, and explore op ons for building skills. “As the country faces a jobs crisis, it’s great to see the government is listening to our advice and turning to the recruitment industry as jobs experts who can help people back into work,” said Neil Carberry, Chief Execu ve of the REC. “There are two clear benefits to this – immediate professional support for the unemployed from recruiters who are ready

Rishi Sunak

to go. Secondly, it will mean a more robust recruitment industry, be er able to do what it does best and help drive unemployment down over the long term.” John-Paul Marks, Director General Work and Health Services at the DWP said: “Our con nued partnership with REC members in communi es across the UK has never been more important as we support every jobseeker to find quality work and get back on their feet. We look forward to working closely with the REC as we take the next important steps forward and deliver more together.”

REC2020: REC’s flagship conference goes virtual on 8 September The annual gathering includes an exci ng line-up of prominent leaders from across the business world and content aimed at providing “real world” solu ons, for all recruiters and in-house specialists. Book your spot now!

Making great work happen 14/07/2020 13:00

Leading the industry

the view... As businesses reopen, let’s build back be er, says Neil Carberry, REC Chief Execu ve


s summer gets into full swing, there’s finally room to feel op mism once more. Of course, we’re not in the clear yet. The recovery will be slow. Young people and poorer families will be hit hardest. As recruiters, we can make a difference and seize the opportunity to build back be er. Clients will be experimen ng with new ways of working. We can help them change, and develop ourselves in doing so. To thrive, not just survive, we should work from the ques on of how we solve a client’s business problem – not only fill the next job. These are problems like bringing back furloughed workers and accessing specialist skills, how to demonstrate ethics, and build on employer brand while you get inundated with CVs (see p5). On the REC Podcast a hiring manager told me that what gets through her door is the right ideas – not just the right CV. Now is the me to demonstrate recruitment as the professional service it is and the value it can add. Black lives ma er. We should shout that from the roo ops (see p8). Our black and other minority ethnic colleagues face systemic disadvantage which can be amplified by recession. Equal opportunity and fairness are not nice-to-haves for be er mes. They are essen al to business and economic success. Building back be er means taking the lead in making our jobs market truly inclusive – an area where we can set ourselves apart as the problem solvers of the labour market. This is a message we at the REC hear loud and clear. We are changing our governance model to boost diversity and have kicked off a wider programme of ac ons to support the industry to make a difference. If you want to find our more, get in touch.

“Now is the me to demonstrate recruitment as the professional service it is.”

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil 2


Protecঞng our exports

Sophie Wingfield, REC Director of Policy

and Campaigns, outlines the importance of current trade talks to recruiters


hile Covid-19 dominates the headlines, we shouldn’t lose sight of the big changes just around the corner. Nego a ons are underway to determine our future rela onship with the EU, and we're in trade talks with countries including the US, Japan and Australia. Recruitment industry growth abroad has provided UK businesses with huge opportuni es and is an important UK export. Ge ng a good deal for services is vital for our economy. The REC was asked to join the Trade Technical Group and will be feeding directly into government departments on Interna onal Trade and Business on behalf of our members. What are the prioriঞes? 1. Reducing unnecessary trade barriers is essen al. This includes minimising restric ons to accessing markets and securing future access to keep business costs and risks down. 2. Professional Qualificaঞons – We welcome the UK government's ambi on to reach an agreement on Mutual Recogni on of Professional Qualifica on (MRPQ) with the EU. 3. Mobility – Ensuring UK professionals can s ll easily travel within the EU for business is crucial. Trade deals can help mi gate what will be a more restric ve future immigra on policy. 4. Data – Ensuring data fl ows between the UK and EU will be important for our ability to conduct business abroad. Time is cking for the government to get deals in place and we’ll be doing our utmost to ensure we raise the issues key for the recruitment industry. As REC member Simon Conington told a House of Lords select commi ee, not reaching an agreement could mean the UK being a small piece of the recruitment pie.

Recruitment Ma ers August-September 2020


14/07/2020 13:00

Leading the industry

the intelligence...


We’ve started down the road to recovery By Josh Pren ce, REC Research Officer As I write this in late June, there are signs that the recovery has started. But there’s a long road ahead. Every week throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the REC has been polling members about how confident they are that the UK’s economy and their business will bounce back from the crisis. In late March, just a er the lockdown was enforced, around a third said they were very confident that they would bounce back, while around 60% said that they were a li le confident, but it would take some me. This soon deteriorated. Throughout May and early June, on average 80% of recruiters surveyed believed it would be some me before they recovered. ONS figures show the scale of the impact on the jobs market: the number of vacancies in the UK fell from 818,000 in the three months to February to 476,000 in the three months to May, a drop of 42%. And between the months of February and May, the number of ac ve job pos ngs in the UK fell by 32%, from around 1.87 million to 1.27 million. Employer confidence is looking up But as public health measures are eased and the economy is opened up, there are signs that employer sen ment is on the turn. The REC’s JobsOutlook survey conducted during the first half of June found that business confidence in the UK economy was at a net level of -46, s ll strongly nega ve, but an improvement of 17 percentage points from early May.


Business confidence has improved by 17 percentage points from early May, although s ll strongly nega ve

Employers’ hiring inten ons had also improved, and an increasing propor on expected to be able to take on new staff in both the short term and medium term. During this me there were also signs that the number of job pos ngs ac ve in the UK was on the rise. Cauঞous opঞmism All this is good news, but we should also be cau ous. The Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme (CJRS) has been vital in keeping as many people in work as possible, but we have already seen many businesses announce ra s of job cuts. Between March and May, the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits rose by 1.6 million (126%) to over 2.8 million. And with the

drop Number of vacancies in the UK fell from 818,000 in the three months to February to 476,000

CJRS ending in October, there are likely to be further waves of redundancies in the final quarter of the year. As the country’s jobs experts, the recruitment industry has already been playing its part in staving off this rise in unemployment and will con nue to do so in the months ahead. The REC has been working in close partnership with government during the crisis, and it is vital that the spirit of collabora on between poli cians, employers and recruiters con nues. The road to recovery will not be an easy one to travel – but the best way forward is together.

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August-September 2020 Recruitment Ma ers



14/07/2020 13:00

Responding to Covid-19

big talking point

The everyday heroes

How recruiters have helped in the pandemic – and how they will help in the recovery too


hether on the frontline or on furlough, stories have emerged of recruiters rolling up their sleeves to help in the na onal effort to beat Covid-19. And as recruiters start helping people back into work, it’s important to take stock of the posi ve stories and the best prac ce in ac on, and remind ourselves how the industry plays a vital role in the economy – and in local communi es – through the bad mes as well as the good. Manning the frontline In the spotlight for obvious reasons are those agencies that have helped staff up the NHS. Take TFS Healthcare in London, for example, where consultants worked 24/7, including the Easter weekend, to provide support for NHS Trusts – and, importantly, for the people they were placing too. Before the lockdown, TFS Director Roland Sheehan visited the agency’s nurses in the workplace to make sure they felt supported. He quickly realised a lack of communica on was causing anxiety. So TFS launched a Covid support line to answer ques ons, daily email updates to share the latest informa on and WhatsApp groups for those within individual Trusts. In response to now familiar tales of PPE shortages, TFS staff personally delivered masks and sani ser to some of the smaller Trusts. And when dealing with hires for more remote loca ons, they found


Recruitment Ma ers August-September 2020


themselves responsible not just for finding the right candidates, but also for booking accommoda on and sor ng out food deliveries. All this while adap ng to new ways of working themselves. TFS also partnered with another agency, ID Medical, in Kent to meet demand in the shortest possible meframe – something rela vely unheard of in pre-Covid mes. “We worked together on everything to do what was right for the pa ents,” said Sheehan.

Filling the gaps Before coronavirus struck, Somerset-based One Step Recruitment placed permanent care staff, but hadn’t yet moved into temporary roles. Seeing the needs of the care sector were being overlooked in the crisis, the firm kickstarted a new part of its business to support care homes with temporary staff – as so much of the local community depended on them. “At one me we only had two candidates to fill three temporary vacancies at a care home,” says Commercial Manager James Tucke . “One of our team is a qualified care consultant and stepped up to help by covering some of the shi s they needed.” Agencies outside the medical sector have also found ways to help, despite their businesses taking a massive hit. At Welsh agency NuStaff, as much as 80% of its business is “on hold” and 10 out of 13 consultants were placed on furlough. But the management realised they had the opportunity to “do their bit” when responding to a regular logis cs client’s call for an HGV driver to make several journeys to the Nigh ngale Hospital in London with medical equipment. NuStaff waived the

14/07/2020 13:00

placement fee and covered the driver’s wages for the week. “It started us thinking how else we could help,” says Opera ons Director Lisa Redmore – and that led to staff doing community drops of masks for the elderly and food parcels for a local nursing home and hospital. While paying for the HGV driver had the added benefit of deligh ng a longstanding client, Clarke Transport, the other ini a ves have gone a long way to cemen ng the agency’s place at the heart of the community in which it works. Experts in their field These stories are just the p of the iceberg. For every NHS and care worker placed, many more were hired for supermarkets, manufacturers, farms and logis cs firms to keep the na on provided for in lockdown. Agencies have stepped up to support clients and candidates through changing job requirements, the switch to online interviews, and how to manage star ng a new job remotely. Many have hosted webinars to support clients and jobseekers, or taken to social media to offer hints and ps for working at home or managing remote teams. Despite recruiters being faced


with the biggest crash in demand for staff in the 22-year history of the REC’s Report on Jobs, they’ve con nued to support the economy – and that role will become even more crucial as more work opens up. One Step Recruitment, and other firms like it, are now offering free CV and careers guidance to anyone that needs it. And, beyond that, Gordon Yates is just one business looking back over work it did as a partner to the government’s Job Search scheme – set up in response to unemployment in the wake of the financial crisis – to help prepare for what they could do again. Tony Wilson from the Ins tute of Employment Studies talks more about the role recruiters will play

in the recovery on p7, but when demand for jobs will massively outstrip supply, the recruitment industry is well placed to manage the return to work and provide a good candidate experience even when clients are faced with the challenges of ge ng back on their feet. When Richard Colwell, Managing Director of NAS Recruitment Services in Scotland, was charged with crea ng a pool of 120 people to cover expected staff ill-health at a supermarket chain, he was swamped with respondents from those who had recently lost their jobs. Each one of them s ll received a text to acknowledge their applica on and thank them for their interest, even though his own staff furloughs meant responses couldn’t be more personal. “Best prac ce becomes even more important in this kind of situa on,” he explains. One Step’s Tucke agrees: “Clients need to understand that ensuring good candidate experience will be really important for their brand. Engaging a recruitment partner who can manage the process from end to end will help deliver the best experience to applicants while finding the best staff to support the businesses. These are conversa ons recruiters should be having with clients and poten al clients now.” And as furloughed consultants return to aid the fight back, Colwell makes another relevant point: “They made a very important contribu on too – helping keep many recruitment companies stay with their heads above water.” Team spirit and resilience are words that crop up me and again as recruiters have faced the challenges of Covid-19 head on. Those quali es will see recruiters help the economy bounce back too. August-September 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


14/07/2020 13:00

Coronavirus Job Retenঞon Scheme

legal update

Furlough scheme winds down By Bunmi Adefuye, Solicitor at REC


er a high uptake of the Coronavirus Job Reten on Scheme (CJRS), Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the scheme will end in October. However there will be some changes before then: • Government contribu ons will gradually taper off • Employers will contribute to furloughed salaries from August • There will be improved fl exibility to bring furloughed employees back part me, but the employer must pay for the hours worked and HMRC will meet the costs of the furloughed hours. Even though the final date for a new employee to be added to the CJRS was 10 June, this cutoff date will not apply if before this date the employee was on maternity, shared parental, adop on, paternity or parental

Your secret weapon The REC is helping members to understand the impact they make in partnership with The GC Index. To discover your impact, go to franklinhacke recmembers 6

Recruitment Ma ers August-September 2020


bereavement leave. The employer must have made a claim for that employee who was on their payroll on or before 19 March. Due to the large number of employees on furlough, the government held a consulta on in June on whether to allow HMRC to tax payments made under the CJRS and clawback monies paid: • to a non-eligible employer – even where an innocent mistake has been made • where the business is no longer en tled to make a claim

• where the money was not used to pay furlough costs. The proposals also allow a penalty to be charged for deliberate misuse of the scheme or where the monies were not used for furlough. REC’s response highlights that imposing a penalty for a genuine mistake is unfair and the lack of clarity on guidance and other issues may result in employers inadvertently falling foul of the clawback mechanisms. The CJRS has helped a lot of businesses find their feet, minimise closures and keep people in jobs. However, it remains to be seen what will happen to businesses when the government’s rescue efforts through the CJRS ends in October. Keep an eye on the REC’s Covid-19 hub for the latest developments.

This table sets out the changes to government and business’ contribuঞons July August September Government contribu on: employer’s Yes No No NI and pension Government contribu on: monthly 80% up to 80% up to 70% up to wages £2,500 £2,500 £2,187.50 Employer contribu on: employer’s NI No Yes Yes and pension Employer contribu on: wages NA NA 10% up to £312.50 Employee receives monthly 80% up to 80% up to 80% up to £2,500 £2,500 £2,500 Are you wondering how to maximise the success of your recruitment business as the market recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic? Just harness your secret weapon – your personal impact. Impact is the contribu on you make towards the achievement of business outcomes, and it can be a powerful package based around five roles: The Game Changer – Crea ng original ideas The Strategist – Making sense of ideas The Implementer – Ge ng things done The Polisher – Making things brilliant The Play Maker – Bringing people together

October No 60% up to £1,875 Yes 20% up to £625 80% up to £2,500

Understanding your impact will give you insight into how you make a difference beyond your skills, experience and professional style. It’s the things you have the most energy for which define how you contribute to the success of your business. At a me like this, recognising your impact allows you to focus on doing these things, so that you stay mo vated and produc ve. It also allows you to recognise what’s going on in those moments when you feel de-energised, unproduc ve and unfulfilled, so you can reach out to colleagues who can make a contribu on to complement yours.

14/07/2020 13:00



Behind the scenes with recruiters on the front line

You’ve worked with the REC on a policy paper around what’s needed from government to get Britain back to work, but what is the scale of the employment challenge facing recruiters in the months ahead?

We’ve already seen the largest rise in unemployment claimants in history – and changes in a couple of months that have taken a year or more in previous recessions. We’ve also got a huge number on furlough, and a high propor on of those include hospitality, retail, construc on and manufacturing workers. We can expect further unemployment as the scheme winds down. By the end of the year we could be pushing up to previously unimaginable numbers of 5 million unemployed. Together with the REC, we’ve called for the government to mobilise recruiters and recruitment services to help those out


Tony Wilson, Director of the Ins tute of Employment Studies, on ge ng to grips with the jobs crisis of work. What’s required is bread and bu er to recruiters – helping people to recognise their skills, how to look for work in a now predominantly online market, how to apply and prepare for work, and so on. And if we have a decent recovery, recruiters will have a lot of work to do with employers to understand their workforce needs and how to recruit and retain the right people.

What about the longer term?

Delivering support services for the unemployed is going to be a massive part of the job – par cularly for the long-term unemployed, as numbers will reach record levels next year. But public employment services have been weak over the last decade in engaging with employers. We’re good at helping people who want jobs; we’re less good at helping jobs that want people. Recruiters can help to address that. Their role as consultants will also come

into play in encouraging employers to recognise the value in taking on young people, parents, those from black or minority ethnic groups, or those with a health condi on or impairment.

What lasঞng changes do you expect to see in pa erns of employment?

The nature of this crisis is accelera ng changes in the economy – the use of technology for one. There’s a good chance government will throw a lot at the issue of unemployment, training and skills support and it will want to support job crea on in growth sectors, such as digital or green jobs, as well as social care. Recruiters are in a good place to join up the dots and help both employers and candidates understand the help available.

The REC campaigns on ‘making great work happen’. Is this sঞll relevant given the scale of the crisis and the urgency of geমng

people back to work?

It’s more important than ever. In downturns, you always get a lot more temporary employment, low-paid roles, fewer hours. There’s not a lot we can do about pay – employers will have less money. But we can do things about quality and job security. Simple stuff like more no ce on shi cancella ons, guaranteed hours instead of zero hours, opening up company-wide training opportuni es and mentors to temporary workers. We can make work more enjoyable and rewarding. We’ve only just started hearing employers talk about the war on talent a er a long period when employers had the upper hand – and we’re going straight back to that being the case. It remains incumbent on all of us to make work be er. • Listen to more on this topic with Tony Wilson speaking to Neil Carberry as part of the REC’s Coronavirus Podcast Series.

August-September 2020 Recruitment Ma ers


14/07/2020 13:00

Diversity and inclusion

Black Lives Ma er

The REC’s Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Ornella Nsio, on why the recruitment industry should shout the message from the roo ops The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on business ac vity across the UK. It hit fast, with permanent hiring and placements in temporary markets falling drama cally as soon as lockdown was announced. The next year is likely to be even more turbulent for the jobs market. Businesses will be recovering from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and we’ll see the introduc on of major legisla ve changes too, from IR35 to the Brexit Immigra on Bill. In a climate with declining vacancies and rising candidate availability, promo ng diversity in recruitment may seem like a non-essen al add on to some, but in mes of crises diversity is a crucial survival tool.

The business case

Research from McKinsey suggests that when companies invest in diversity and inclusion, they are in a be er posi on to create more adap ve and effec ve teams. Companies in the top quar le for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respec ve na onal industry medians. Furthermore according to the CBI, UK GDP could be boosted by £24 billion a year if the ethnicity pay gap was bridged. The business case for diversity and inclusion has always been clear and a major driver in companies inves ng in D&I ini a ves. Yet li le a en on has been given to the moral case for diversity, un l now.

The drive for change

The re-emergence of the Black Lives Ma er (BLM) movement has sparked dialogue on

Recruitment Ma ers


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

Recruitment Ma ers August-September 2020


the racial dispari es in the workplace and backlash towards businesses that lack racial diversity. Organisa ons with low numbers of black and ethnic minority employees (par cularly at senior and board level) have experienced social media push-back, boyco ng, and other reputa on-damaging ac vity. Company leaders have carried the weight of the scru ny. Businesses as a result have begun to examine the role that they play in promo ng racial equality in the workplace. This has led to increased inquiries from recruiters asking how they can promote diversity in their own organisa on and support their clients to do so. Good recruitment is the founda on upon which a fair and diverse organisa on can be built. By ge ng the fundamentals of recruitment right real strides can be made in racial equity in the labour market.

The labour market has performed incredibly well over the past few years leading to many businesses and recruiters relying on the same recruitment processes and tac cs. But these prac ces have helped to uphold the status quo and made it difficult for diverse talent to enter the workplace or gain promo ons. The current pause in the labour market has afforded recruiters and businesses the me to re-evaluate their recruitment processes, weeding out unconscious bias. Consumers in this new era have sent a clear message to businesses that diversity ma ers to them. As the market picks up, recruiters who have taken the me to re-evaluate their processes and develop new strategies, will have a compe ve advantage in this new era of social consciousness. Those recruiters who do nothing will struggle to compete.

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor Pip Brooking Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prinঞng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2020 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

14/07/2020 13:00

Special Report






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SpecialReport Report Special

nprecedented’ is one of the most over-used words when it comes to describing the coronavirus pandemic. But as the months go by and the effects continue to be felt across the UK economy, and indeed much of the world, it is a word that many in the recruitment sector will agree is accurate. The largest monthly contraction in the economy on record in April, a rise in claims for work benefits faster than during the Great Depression and more than 9m workers receiving furlough payments, these are indeed unprecedented times. However, in the midst of this tale of general economic devastation, it is perhaps the stories of individual recruiters that will have most resonance. “I spoke to one of my clients yesterday. He had been in recruitment for maybe 35 years,” says Amanda Hobson, managing director of Easypay Services, a company that provides funding to recruitment agencies. “He is probably five years away from retirement, and basically he said that if he was closer to retirement he would pack it in. He has about 20 temps out when he would normally have 120 out. He has had the £10k grant to help with small


As the economy starts to slowly emerge from lockdown, Colin Cottell looks at how recruitment is faring financially

business rates, which is a great help, but he needs 50 temps out to break even, and although things are gradually picking up, he is still losing money.” Heartbreaking stories such as this are not confined to this construction recruiter, of course. According to Hobson, as the effects of the lockdown

began to bite, at one point half of her 80 recruitment industry clients had no business at all. A survey of Recruiter readers conducted during the lockdown confirms the everyday experiences of recruiters up and down the country, with 74% saying the pandemic “has


workers have received furlough payments 26 RECRUITER

negatively affected my business”. And while 13% said their business was “faring well financially” or “faring ok”, 9% admitted that they “may need to shut down”. “A number of recruiters have seen activity levels drop off quite substantially, in April and May – maybe 50% of the level in March,” says Mark Cardiff, partner, recruitment sector lead, at business advisory firm BDO. “These are important lead indicators of profits and revenue six to eight months down the track.”


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Recruiters in areas such as healthcare, logistics and pharmaceuticals have fared relatively well compared to hospitality, travel and leisure

Although recruiters in areas such as healthcare, logistics and pharmaceuticals have done relatively well, other sectors such as retail, hospitality, travel and leisure are still bumping along the bottom at best, with little sign of recovery. According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC) ‘Report on Jobs’ published in June, following record drops in April, there were “further marked drops” in both permanent and temp billing in May. And although APSCo’s (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) Covid-19 London Vacancy Tracker, published in June, showed a small increase in recruitment activity of 1.8% in May when compared to the first quarter of the year, APSCo said job openings remained “significantly down”. Even as the UK begins to open up areas of the economy, it is clear recruiters are not out of the woods yet, with figures showing the number of vacancies dropping to 318,000 in May, less than half the number of vacancies in March. In comparison even during the 2008-09 financial crisis, the number of vacancies never fell below 400,000. However, amidst all the doom and gloom, according to those that provide recruiters with financial support and advice, there is much that recruiters can do to ensure that they not only mitigate the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but emerge ready to take advantage of the undoubted opportunities that will

“I am not saying that there aren’t tough times ahead and that there won’t be tough decisions, but what I am saying is that you can mitigate these by having really strong, robust plans” ALEX ARNOT is founder of MyNonExec and board adviser to more than 30 recruitment companies

certainly arise. Alex Arnot, non-executive director and adviser to more than 30 tech and talent businesses, strikes an optimistic note. “I am not saying that there aren’t tough times ahead and that there won’t be tough decisions, but what I am saying is that you can mitigate these by having really strong, robust plans. Things will improve, we will come out of this. But it’s the smart people who start planning now who are the ones who are going to take that ‘first mover’ advantage.”



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N. Ireland England 0% 87.95%

COVID-19 CRISIS IMPACT ON RECRUITMENT We surveyed Recruiter readers on their experiences during lockdown 28 RECRUITER


Scotland 2.41%



Special Report


said Covid-19 has negatively affected their business, but the business is still operating. While just under a 10th of businesses asked said they may need to shut their business down


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Percentage of government support initiatives that have been applied for




… and received • nearly 65% CJRS/furlough • 38% Small Business Grants • 18% Coronavirus Bounce Back Fund • under 7% Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme • nearly 3% Statutory Sick Pay claim

TOP 10

24% 23%



COST-CUTTING OVER HALF of the companies have furloughed staff, JUST UNDER A HALF put expansion plans on hold, renegotiated leases or supplier contracts and UNDER A THIRD let staff go


1 2 3 4

IT/technical Accountancy Creative/digital/media Professional services (HR, legal, transformation) 5 Engineering/Industrial/ logistics/transport

6 7 8 9






• nearly 70% have applied for the government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS), the ‘furlough’ initiative • over 40% for small Business Grants Fund • 29% Covid-19 Bounce Back Fund • 15% Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme • over 11% claimed back Statutory Sick Pay • under 2% applied for a Scotland-specific scheme • 1% applied for local support in Spain

Type of business offered to clients



Construction Generalist Healthcare Banking/Catering/ hospitality 10 Charity/Third sector/Public sector/Interim management



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OUR MAGAZINE'S VERY OWN PODCAST Featuring Recruiter editor DeeDee Doke, alongside the sector's newsmakers, this podcast provides straight talk about the issues, the events and the trends across the dynamic UK and global recruitment industry.

OUR FIRST EPISODE: IR35: Countdown to April 2021 Featuring Dave Chaplin of Contractor Calculator and IR35 Shield


REC.AugSep20_038.indd 38

16/07/2020 10:11


Special Report



As government help reduces, Colin Cottell looks at what now for recruiters hort-term measures, such as cutting costs, are vital for recruiters to survive the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses. However, it is equally important they plan for the bumps they will inevitably face further down the road, according to those who fund recruitment businesses and advise on their finances. At the same time, recruiters should keep in mind the saying ‘never waste a good crisis’, so they are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise for those who are still standing when the pandemic finally comes to an end. According to Miles Lloyd, CEO and founder of Milestones Consulting, one of the biggest bumps as the UK emerges from the worst of the health crisis will be the withdrawal – albeit in phases – of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention


Scheme (CJRS). Introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help employers avoid having to make mass redundancies, in June more than 9 million workers were receiving 80% of their pay up to £2.5k a month from the government. However, with the scheme costing £14bn a month, at the end of May Sunak announced that support for the scheme would be reduced in stages beginning in August, before ending completely at the end of October. With nearly 65% of recruiters benefitting from the scheme, according to a Recruiter survey, Lloyd says the winding down of the furlough scheme “is quite clearly going to be a cliff-edge”. As he explains, the strain on recruiters’ own finances by having to pay their own staff will be exacerbated by clients deciding they cannot afford the cost of taking furloughed staff back on to their books. “The level of demand for labour in the UK is going to

“The level of demand for labour in the UK is going to shrink very significantly” MILES LLOYD CEO and founder of Milestones Consulting

shrink very quickly and very significantly,” says Lloyd. Mark Cardiff, partner, recruitment sector lead, at business advisory firm BDO, says he recognises the concerns around the withdrawal of the furlough scheme. However, he says the effects will not be uniformly felt across the sector. “All businesses are different in terms of where they are on

the spectrum of wanting to keep teams together, with some owners accepting the pain of losses to keep the business going, through to those at the harder-nosed end who will look to move to redundancy quite quickly to preserve the whole.”

Back into the fold The decision to bring back staff who have been furloughed will depend primarily of the level of trading activity, Cardiff says, but also on the sector and the country in which they operate. “The US has been substantially less affected,” he says. Cardiff says recruiters are already asking themselves whether they want to invest in their balance sheet in bringing back staff when the company may be making a loss. “Some can do this, and some can’t,” he says. Rather


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Special Report

“It’s finding the right balance between retaining your key staff, maybe investing in them now – which is going to cost a few quid – but on the other hand, because they are going to be loyal to you, you are going to be ready to go from day one” STUART HUTCHISON managing director of Recruitment Accountants

than recruiters deciding to cut, say, 10% of staff across the board, he expects a great deal of trimming of under-performing teams. The founder of a rec-to-rec firm, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he expects jobs to be slashed. “Recruiters will use this as an opportunity to focus on having 10 really high performers instead of

30 mediocre performers,” he warns. Mark Lindsay, founder and director at WeDo Finance, says that even when recruiters do decide they can afford to bring back staff, they need to be aware of the lead time before they can contribute to the bottom line. “If they’re relying just on invoice finance, there could be a shortage of cash until the work builds up,” he adds. For this reason, Lindsay says his company has given loans to a couple of clients who are just bringing their staff back, which they will pay back over a number of months: “This will allow them to reintroduce the staff back in to take advantage of the opportunities and build the business back up.” Chris Smith, partner, debt advisory at Clearwater International Corporate Finance, agrees that the unwinding of the furlough scheme “will be a key worry for a lot of recruitment businesses”. It will be of particular concern for recruiters, who have long-term debt funding, either because they have made acquisitions or had a management buy-out, and who as a result are already under financial pressure. Although the government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been helpful, it is not necessarily a panacea, Smith says. “It is debt at the end of the day, and you do have to pay it back, but it should at least allow them to keep going through the period of uncertainty until their underlying sector opens up again.”

ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS Do regular cash forecasts Conserve cash by cutting costs and by cutting all but essential spending Collect the money you are owed promptly Do not stop paying suppliers: speak to them to explain your position Take advantage of the various schemes launched by the government to support businesses, and keep up to date by using government and official websites Keep in touch with your bank – let them know of any problems before they arise Ask yourself whether there is enough business to justify the additional overheads when considering bringing back staff from furlough Consider taking staff back part-time at first

Plan for the withdrawal and eventual ending of the furlough scheme Taking on a loan may save the business in the short term. But remember, at some stage it will have to be repaid Shop around for the best deals on invoice discount and invoice-factoring finance If you can’t get the credit insurance you need, look for an alternative supplier. If you still can’t get it, ask your funder if they will provide funding without it Keep on top of your debtors, and make sure that your debt doesn’t go over 120 days, which could put funding from your invoice finance or invoice factoring provider at risk Sadly, some recruiters are likely to go out of business. Look for opportunities to grow marketshare.




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No change – Government pays 80% up to £2.5k cap, employer pays 20%


As for July, but employer pays National Insurance and pension contributions


70% Government pays 70% – up to £2,190, employer pays 10%


60% Government pays 60% up to £1,875, employer pays 20%

0% Scheme ends on the 31 October

How the Job Retention Scheme is being wound down However, the final quarter of the year, when the furlough scheme comes to an end, is likely to be crunch time for recruiters’ finances, Smith warns. “There’s going to be a wall towards the end of the year with a lot of banking covenants waived until then. A lot of lenders have said: ‘Just let things slide until then’, so many of these businesses coming out of furloughing are going to need working capital to get started again.”

Additional capital For those recruiters who believe they may need additional working capital to keep going, Smith advises that they need to act now. “Don’t wait to have those conversations with lenders until September or October, because there’s going to be a lot of pressure on lenders and their capital, and you might find you are at the bottom of the list.” In addition to touching base with their existing lender, Smith suggest recruiters should also be talking to challenger banks which are also CBIL-accredited.

The furlough scheme was costing the government


a month, at the end of May Alex Arnot, an adviser to more than 35 tech and talent businesses, says he is not so sure that the industry will face a cliff-edge as the furlough scheme is withdrawn. “It’s all about planning now. So, if people put in really robust, well-thought out plans with maybe different options for scenarios A, B and C, then I think they can ride this difficult wave over the next three months.”

Even if they don’t need it now, Arnot suggests that one way to ride the wave is to take advantage of the government’s loan schemes. “If there’s an opportunity to take on a loan, and where there are no interest payments for the first 12 months – which is obviously what the government has been offering – and if you can get those loans, there is no harm in getting it, put it into a different bank

accounts and wait to see if you need it.” Avoid using the money as much as possible, Arnot advises, and then use it “almost as a shot in the arm to help the company accelerate away when the market gets better”. Stuart Hutchison, managing director of Recruitment Accountants, a division of UHY Hacker, says the inevitable collapse of recruitment business over the coming months – “I fear up to 20% of businesses,” he estimates – will provide opportunities for those companies that plan effectively for ‘the new normal’. “There will be fewer recruitment agencies and more candidates in the market, so there will be a significant amount of marketshare to be had,” Hutchison says. “It’s finding the right balance between retaining your key staff, maybe investing in them now – which is going to cost a few quid – but on the other hand, because they are going to be loyal to you, you are going to be ready to go from day one.”


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Special Report

WEATHERING THE STORM Colin Cottell interviews experts in the sector to discover the secrets of surviving the pandemic ecruiters face a national and global economic maelstrom, the like of which none will have ever experienced before: at £1.95tn, the UK national debt is now worth more than its economy. And as Recruiter was going to press, the UK economy was predicted to have shrunk by 30% between March and the end of June. Plus, much of the global economy is in sharp decline. “It’s all about survival for now,” says Alex Arnot, a non-executive director and adviser to 30+ tech and recruitment businesses. Recruiters must weather the storm by both securing the variety of financial support and advice available from trusted experts and taking sensible but decisive actions now.


WAR STORIES Advisers contacted by Recruiter for this Special Report almost unanimously recommended that recruiters facing rough seas financially during the pandemic contact their suppliers to ask for flexibility

As Recruiter was going to press, the UK economy was predicted to have shrunk by

between March and the end of June in navigating their current arrangements. Some suppliers recognised the need for flexibility, however others did not. For instance, Adrian Klean, managing director at ITSS Recruitment, asked the four job boards his company uses for a concession to

reflect the reduced number of jobs he now needed to advertise. However, he says his efforts to reduce costs by making savings on the 10-15% of turnover his company spends on job boards was met with inflexibility. “They simply said ‘Well, tough luck if you have got a contract with us for 12 months, and you are contracted to take 100 job advertisements, and you don’t use them well. That’s not our problem. If you don’t pay the bill we will simply cut you off ’.” At the same time, other recruiters reported greater responsiveness from job boards. “Some have suspended payments for two months, but you can still use them. Those two months are then added to the end of the contract,” a respondent said. In a similar attempt, Nesh Jain, MD of Maxfield Search & Selection, contacted both Bullhorn and LinkedIn to ask them to reduce the fees they charged to reflect the drop in their use caused by a fall-off in business. Faced with “wasting thousands a month on products we no longer used and that stops us hiring in the medium term, we even considered folding

what is a good business just to get out of the commitments”, Jain says. In a prepared statement, Peter Markland, SVP of Small and Medium Business (SMB) at Bullhorn, says that after the company granted an initial request for relief from Maxfield in April, he subsequently contacted the company to explain the full extent of that relief, which left Maxfield “very pleased”. Jain confirmed that what Bullhorn had offered “has really helped”. A LinkedIn spokesperson Recruiter: “We are providing a range of options to help customers navigate through this situation, including offering a partial or full pause on contracts, depending on what suits customer needs best. Our relationship manager is in contact with Maxfield Search and is working to help them.” That said, Jain told Recruiter, his company was “still paying for product we just don’t need”. One respondent to Recruiter’s recent reader survey said that s/he was not able to receive any of the UK government’s numerous Covid-19 financial initiatives.


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Special Report

“I can’t furlough myself as I’m chasing invoices pre-Covid-19, which in the rules means I’m officially working on ‘income generation’, therefore I can’t apply for fear of reprisal. I work from home, therefore I’m not eligible for any of the grants available.” When recruiters were asked in our Covid-19 survey what measures they had taken to keep the business going, furloughing staff topped the list of popularity, with nearly 65% taking advantage of the initiative. However, one recruiter told us that their company had cut the pay of all staff by 20%. How else have recruiters

responded to the crisis? Other actions have included: ● Taking advantage of more time to renew statutory requirements such as annual accounts, similar to the six-month extension for renewing car MOTs. ● Getting advice and support to help them manage social distancing and implement return-to-work measures to help them get back to business as soon as possible. ● Reducing the number of users at a company on certain products. ● Exiting from a five-year commercial lease. ● Government support for holiday pay accrual for temporary workers.

Furloughing topped the list of measures taken to keep businesses going

INDUSTRY ADVICE: INVOICE DISCOUNT FINANCE Invoice discount finance is the financial bedrock on which many recruitment agencies rely, allowing them to bridge the period between paying their temporary workers and getting paid by the end client. This works well when the economy is strong, according to Mark Lindsay, founder and director of WeDo Finance. But invoice finance providers say there is a problem with credit insurance. Lindsay cites the example of a client who likes to insure their debt so that it can be repaid if the end client fails to pay. Although Lindsay’s company is prepared to fund their client to insured limits, the client’s insurance


company are unable to give him those limits, he explains. “There is a nervousness around insurance companies that payments are taking longer to come in, and maybe one or two companies are going to go out of business, so they are reluctant to insure the debt,” Lindsay says. Credit insurance is particularly hard to get in the care sector, where care homes are struggling financially, as well as in hospitality,

tourism and leisure, he says, and to a lesser extent, construction. In response to insurers’ reluctance to provide credit insurance, Lindsay’s company has taken the decision to fund a number of recruitment agency clients without credit insurance being in place. Although there is an obvious risk to his own company if a recruiter is unable to repay the amount loaned, Lindsay says he has minimised this risk by providing it only to well-established recruiters, or those with whom it has had a long trading relationship. See ‘Advice from the experts’ (right) to find out what others in invoice financing are saying.


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in terms of accepting new prospects, with some becoming a bit more choosy about the clients they will and won’t take on,” he says. Some have decided to reduce the amount they are prepared to advance, say from 80% to 75%. On the other hand, he says, some funders “have done almost the opposite”. For example, Optimum Finance launched a new app that gives a decision and quote within 60 seconds. “Generally speaking, invoice discount finance is as available as ever; it is just a question of knowing where to look.”

ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS WENDY ALLEN, manager at PCS Credit Management: Read the small print in your contracts. “The majority of invoice discounting and factoring will have restrictions on older debts and debtor days, with most facilities not allowing you to invoice discount a debt that is more than 120 days old. So as soon as you hit that 120-day wall, the debt funding disappears within that facility,” she says. A £10bn government reinsurance scheme, launched at the beginning of June, is due to run until the end of the year to underwrite losses with insurers, which should help. Restrictions on funding older debt highlights the need for I M AG E S | I STO C K /N O UN P ROJEC T

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JEANETTE BARROWCLIFFE, finance director, Meridian Business Support: “Do whatever it takes to conserve cash. Obvious measures include stopping discretionary spending on travel, entertainment and overnight stay.”

recruiters to stay on top of their debtors. “If you collect your cash on time, then you don’t have any of these issues; you don’t have the bad debt because you have collected the cash already and collected it within the covenant period. So in turn, you don’t have the funding restrictions. After all, cash is king.”

TERRY HILLIER, owner and CEO, People Group Services: “Apply for every grant available, utilise all government assistance and take the loans. Why? Because it’s extremely cheap borrowing, we’ll not see these rates afterwards. Keep the money, even if not utilised right now. It’s one-year payment free, then five or more years to repay – after which time who knows what the landscape will look like?”

GLENN BLACKMAN, marketing director, Fund Invoice: Invoice finance providers have become more cautious. “Some providers within the invoice finance space have tightened their criteria

STUART HUTCHISON, MD at Recruitment Accountants, a division of UHY Hacker Young: “Bounce Back loans are generally straightforward, but are only for a limited amount of money. It’s a quick fix for some of the smaller recruiters, with a view to then applying

for a CBIL loan.” CBIL loans are “a mixed bag” Hutchison says, a major problem being the length of the process, which takes six to eight weeks. Recruiters who apply themselves have around a 50% success rate, often applying for too big a loan and suggests that the success rate can be boosted by using an adviser. KAROLINA MINCZUK, director business service sector, RBS: “Get fully informed about the financial options available to you on the government’s Covid-19 hub website and that of The British Business Bank. To maximise your chances of obtaining financial support when contacting a lender, provide as much information as possible such as comprehensive historical information, an up-to-date trading update, evidence of Covid-19’s impact on the business and an overview of the business’s actions to react and take control. Also needed is a forecast or understanding of the business’s expectations for the next 12 months.” STEPHEN PERRIN, founder, Aperio Financial Solutions: Recruiters should speak to their landlords about their rent, “not just reducing rent or not paying rent just for the forthcoming quarter, but [speaking to them] on an ongoing basis. A lot of recruiters are having conversations with their landlords”. CHRIS SMITH, partner – debt advisory at Clearwater International Finance: Although a CBIL can be helpful, “at the end of the day it is still a loan and has to be repaid”.


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Special Report


speak to an IP that your business can still be turned around even without a formal insolvency process.”

Finance options

THE LAST RECOURSE: INSOLVENCY Insolvency practitioners (IPs) familiar with the recruitment industry say that despite the dramatic hit to hiring from the pandemic they are yet to see a rise in the numbers of recruitment businesses entering insolvency. They attribute this to the raft of measures introduced by the government to support businesses, particularly the furlough scheme. However, as this support gradually wanes over the late summer and autumn, a spike in companies in financial distress is only a matter of time. “The pressure will return when such support is withdrawn,” says Simon Kite, an IP and a director of commercial finance services company SFP Group. “Most IPs expect to see a rise in numbers before the summer is out and recruitment is


likely to be hard hit,” agrees Andrew Watling, a partner in restructuring and insolvency at business advisory firm Quantuma. “The key to optimising outcomes is taking advice and engaging with funders and critical creditors,” Watling says. “By discussing issues early and avoiding being faced with short deadlines imposed by threatening creditors, business owners have a much greater chance of succeeding in saving jobs, businesses and, in some cases, the companies themselves by virtue of the fact that they have time to explore all avenues of investment, funding and restructuring if necessary.” “Engage early is the best advice,” agrees Kite. “Don’t let everything you’ve worked for disappear before you seek help. And have a plan. You may find when you

An IP can help you look at cashflow and overheads, and what financing options are available. They could also help with ‘time to pay’ arrangements with HMRC. It’s also very important to protect yourself against any accusations of wrongful trading and seeking advice early on will help demonstrate you took the right steps at the right time to fulfil your fiduciary responsibilities – and it could just save your business. Kim Rayment, a licensed IP, says depending on the attractiveness of a recruitment business to

“The key to optimising outcomes is taking advice and engaging with funders and critical creditors” ANDREW WATLING A partner in restructuring and insolvency at business advisory firm Quantuma

potential acquirers, there are a number of likely scenarios for companies in financial trouble. “If there is goodwill in the business, if there is a competitor [interested in acquiring the business], or you think you have the ability to sell the business – ideally before it goes insolvent, or if it is attractive [to potential buyers], probably the best option is a pre-package sale or administration, whereby the administrator keeps the business running for a short period of time with a view to looking for buyer for the business.”

Attractive contracts According to Rayment, the outcome for such companies depends how many valuable and attractive contracts a recruitment business has. “If it doesn’t have many [attractive contracts] the administrator may come in make a few redundancies, retain the business and sell the remainder in trimmed down form.” However, Rayment continues: “I’m not sure in today’s market many people will be looking to acquire a recruiter because you don’t know what the new normal is. So I think, probably, right now, if they can’t hang on, if you can’t raise cash from banks or government or loans or put money back in business or just trim the business themselves, I suspect a good number of them will just go straight into insolvent liquidation, which is effectively making yourself redundant and throwing the keys in and closing up.”


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CAREERS “Any recruiter interviewing in the future should ask their prospective employer what they did during the pandemic to protect staff” MY BRILLIANT RECRUITMENT CAREER What was your earliest dream job? To be a commercial pilot. I spent two brilliant weeks with BA on work experience, loading planes and working in the cargo warehouse. Sadly, a hearing defect meant I couldn’t secure my dream job.

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it? Recruitment was suggested to me by a friend. I knew from my first interview that I wanted a career in the sector; selling a solution and managing the expectations of multiple parties really interested me.

Who is your role model – in life or in recruitment?

MATT COLLINGWOOD Managing director, IT recruitment specialist VIQU


I enjoy ‘changing lives’, seeing colleagues grow and develop.

emailed all of them, offering to introduce IT volunteers. VIQU received requests for over 250 IT volunteers to configure laptops, run desktops and roll out products like Microsoft Teams. For example, a Trust had stopped all patient visitors, including a ward for end of life patients. VIQU mobilised engineers to configure 200+ iPads and, dressed in PPE, they visited wards, showing patients how to use them so they could spend time with loved ones.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career?

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?

When Covid-19 hit, Oscar Research provided me with its database of public information, which included the names of the CEO and head of IT for each NHS Trust and blue light service in the UK. I

The network engineer who lived 100 miles from the client site and assured me it wouldn’t be a problem, but failed to mention his plan to park his caravan in the car park of the FTSE 250 company.

Steve Priestnall has helped steer my career, whilst Richard Elwell has assisted me with self-improvement, including NLP. Also my business partner, with whom I’ve grown two brilliant businesses.

What do you love most about your current role?


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What would you regard as your signature tune? Battle Without Honor or Humanity by Japanese rock musician Tomoyasu Hotei. It certainly gets the heart going!

What has been your sanity go-to during the lockdown so far? PT sessions over Zoom and gardening. I’m also now a beekeeper! Most importantly, I check in with friends and colleagues every day.

What have you learned about recruitment during lockdown? Covid-19 will leave a legacy of how agencies treated their staff – mass redundancies, pay and commission slashed. Any recruiter interviewing in the future should ask their prospective employer what they did during the pandemic to protect staff. As told to Roisin Woolnough


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AMROP PARTNERSHIP Global executive search and board leadership firm Amrop Partnership has made a number of appointments to its global leadership team. Annika Farin (managing partner, Hamburg, Germany) takes on the position as global chair to lead the strategic development of Amrop’s activities in 47 countries. Oana Ciornei (managing partner, Amrop Romania), Marie Högstedt (managing partner, Amrop Sweden), Adam Saunders (founding partner, Amrop in the UK) and Jarle Trandokken (partner, Amrop Delphi, Norway) have been elected to join the global board.

CV-LIBRARY UK job board CV-Library has appointed Barry Sacks as global chief technology officer, from 1 June. Sacks


brings 25 years of experience leading a variety of start-up, SME and blue-chip organisations, having worked throughout the UK, Europe, Australia and the US.

HEARST TELEVISION Sinan Sadar has been promoted to the newly created position of director of news talent recruitment at Hearst Television. In his new role, Sadar will work closely with Hearst

Global talent consultancy Sheffield Haworth has appointed Tim McEwan as managing director, talent development and advisory services. McEwan previously had a 10-year career in the British Army, then moved to global asset manager Henderson (now Janus Henderson Investors) as global head of leadership and learning. In 2013, he established TMD International, advising several organisations across financial services, technology, hospitality, construction and pharma sectors. In 2015, he was appointed a Fellow in Management Practice at The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School where he collaborates with the Executive Education department. His teaching is focused on leadership, culture and high performance in teams.

Television news and human resources management and station executives to find top talent to join the company’s news operations throughout 26 media markets.

HORTON INTERNATIONAL Executive search consultancy Horton International has appointed

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

Dafydd Wright as managing partner of its Oxford-based Global Healthcare arm.

INTERACTIVE INVESTOR Direct to consumer investment platform interactive investor (ii) has appointed Libby Jones and Anna Clifford as chief people officer and head of talent, respectively. According to the company, the two positions will specifically support the on-going expansion of ii and ensure it continues to attract and nurture talent.



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division at property recruitment agency Rayner Personnel. Jervis will be responsible for attracting individual recruitment agencies to partner with Rayner as licensees to leverage the brand.

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

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

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

Art editor Sarah Auld Picture editor Akin Falope


KEYSTREAM Keystream, a healthcare, government and charity IT recruitment consultancy, has made three new key hires. Natalie Drew heads up a new life sciences desk and Richard Roberts-Jones is launching a health-tech/ fit-tech offer. Georgia Nield will be working on new business development across Keystream to open up new accounts.

PEDERSEN & PARTNERS Cassie Owen has joined executive search firm Pedersen & Partners as client partner, covering the retail & luxury segment across the MENA region. She will be based in Dubai, UAE.

RAYNER PERSONNEL Russell Jervis has been appointed managing director – estate agency

Current managing director of independent recruitment business Sanderson Jon Ball (above left) will step into the CEO role, following Mike Beesley (above right) stepping down after 41 years of service to the company. Beesley, who co-founded Sanderson in the late 1970s with Keith Dawe, is leaving to concentrate on other interests, including a recruitment investment business he founded alongside Dawe in June 2019 called TimesTwo Investments.

SHEFFIELD HAWORTH Executive search and talent consulting firm Sheffield Haworth welcomes Sam Wallace as managing director to the consulting, technology & services practice, based in Los Angeles, in the US.

SIGMAR RECRUITMENT Irish-based Sigmar Recruitment has appointed Mike McDonagh director of the company, signalling Sigmar’s ambition to grow marketshare and respond to the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7880 6231 Senior sales executive Joanna Holmes

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

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



+44 (0)20 7880 6215

CIRCULATION and SUBSCRIPTIONS Recruiter is the leading magazine for recruitment and resourcing professionals. To ensure each issue of Recruiter magazine is delivered to your desk or door, subscribe now at https://subs. Annual subscription rate for 12 issues: £35 UK; £45 Europe and £50 Rest of the world • Recruiter is also available to people who meet our terms of control: • To purchase reprints or multiple copies, or any other enquiries, please contact or +44 (0)1580 883844 CONTRIBUTIONS Contributions are invited, but when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Articles should be emailed. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during delivery, transmission or in the editor’s hands. © 2020 Redactive Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Redactive Media Group. Redactive Media Group accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. ISSN 1475-7478

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“As soon as lockdown was announced, my clients flew into panic mode. No one had a clue what was happening”

Daniel Cornwell Three months in hospitality hell – and the road ahead

aying that we’re in ‘extraordinary times’ doesn’t really cut it. After more than 11 years running SPE Resourcing and concentrating on senior hires for UK hospitality businesses, I’ve never seen more courage, strength or invention on display from those bearing the brunt of the coronavirus’ economic meltdown. Covid-19 is the largest threat we have ever faced. The past couple of months have been an incredible test for every business I know. Yet we’re doing what we can to survive. I’m using my skills and leveraging my network to help find the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it may appear distant and uncertain. Back in mid-March, I had an idea of what was coming. The lockdown. A week before PM Boris Johnson gave the order, I cancelled all work with our suppliers. Every role we were recruiting for went



on hold. Calls stopped. It was like nailing boards to a window before a storm. As soon as the lockdown was announced, my clients flew into panic mode. No one had a clue what was happening, only that they had to stop trading overnight. I said that we would step in to support them for free. And as the dust settled on tens of thousands of bars, restaurants, pubs and hotels, SPE struck a partnership with Harri – a tech developer that builds platforms to allow employees to stay in work and start planning for recovery. As a result, their Hospitality Unite website got an added push from our contacts. Then something strange happened. Our support of Harri earned me a spot on BBC Breakfast news. This was extremely surreal. I went live at 7:07am on a Saturday, spoke about the state of the hospitality industry, then waited for a message or two

from a few people who might have been watching. Instead, I must have received around 250 notifications. All before lunch. It was an amazing response. We kept to our word in April, barely making a call that had anything to do with recruitment. In the meantime, I listened, observed, supported and reacted to the concerns of senior figures in our sector. And it was in May that we began to spot the need for interim hires – people to fill the specific skills gaps that many businesses will suffer from as they adjust and reopen. The British public could spend as much as £3.38bn in the first week of the hospitality relaunch. A huge number. But things will look very different. Prices will shoot up for even basic meals on-site. Bookings will probably be mandatory, while customers are going to have to deal with a time limit on

how long they can sit with a pint or a plate of food. To capitalise (or continue at all), brands need a team to help them bounce back fast. Finance specialists. Property managers. HR experts. Those who drive operations, marketing, and health & safety – they will determine which businesses go the distance. SPE is connecting businesses with individuals across the country on an interim basis, giving hospitality brands the best possible shot at success in the ‘new normal’. A second wave of coronavirus could kill this now fragile sector, yet we’re going to keep fighting. We have to try to stay relevant. And if we can get our clients through this, hopefully we will all be around to enjoy the sector we love come the new year. ●

Daniel Cornwell is the founder of SPE Resourcing


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


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

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

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