Page 1


Focusing on the bigger picture P2 BIG TALKING PO INT

What does good recruitment look like? P4 LEGAL UPDATE


Understanding how Brexit affects EU workers P6 Issue 72 April 2019


Why finding the right trainer matters P8


Working with Parliament to better support more inclusive workplaces D

iversity in the workplace has been proven to lead to better performance for organisations, and reducing the pay gap could add billions of pounds to the UK economy. The REC knows just how important it is to share how recruiters can help drive change. Last year, it sponsored the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women and Work, providing support for the group’s ‘How to Recruit Women for the 21st Century’ toolkit – launched in January. Within the toolkit, the APPG takes up the REC’s recommendation to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy to be used as a training and skills levy. Making the levy more flexible will allow many thousands more temporary workers to benefit from training. To improve fairness in recruiting and selecting candidates – allowing women more opportunities in the jobs market – the APPG has also recommended the importance of using recruitment agencies affiliated with trade associations like the REC.

@RECPress RM_April_2019.indd 1

“Recruitment members all adhere to a code of professional conduct in which diversity is a core principle,” explains Sophie Wingfield, the REC’s head of policy. “Recruitment professionals are well placed to advise employers on how best they can make change happen.”

“Recruitment members all adhere to a code of professional conduct in which diversity is a core principle”

This year, the REC is again getting involved in the APPG’s work. The theme for 2019 is ‘inclusivity and intersectionality’, recognising that women are not a homogenous group. It is seeking to shine a spotlight on how different aspects of identity such as age, race, disability or income – together with gender – can affect an individual’s experience of recruitment and employment. And it will explore how a better understanding of this intersectionality can support a more inclusive workplace. Tom Hadley, the REC’s director of policy and campaigns, plans to give evidence on the business case for diversity at the first meeting of this new programme, due to take place as Recruitment Matters went to press. The REC will also continue to champion the role its members can play in helping to challenge established practices and access new pools of candidates, particularly through its Good Recruitment Campaign. Ornella Nsio, REC stakeholder engagement manager 04/03/2019 10:37


the view...

We must focus on the issues that matter, says TOM HADLEY, REC director of policy and professional services

The REC needs you to get involved, says

NEIL CARBERRY, REC chief executive


he world outside our office windows is changing fast. Whether your concern is how IR35 rules will be applied, Brexit, or longer-term developments such as adapting to technology or changing client behaviour, the external environment will challenge all of us, as well as bring opportunities. At the REC, we are all about brilliant recruitment. Helping you to navigate those challenges. When our industry does well, the whole of the UK benefits. Our role at the REC is to help the sector deliver – standing up for members as their voice; focusing on the good practice that will underpin your reputation; and helping you to grow with relevant, practical advice. Put that together and you have an industry that can take its place in the heart of the UK’s world-leading Professional Services sector. And a representative body that is truly focused on member needs. But we can’t deliver it without your help. The REC isn’t our organisation – it’s yours. We should see the world through recruiters’ eyes and develop our plans based on a deep understanding of the industry, its needs and challenges. That’s why the 2019 REC Council elections are so important. To deliver on our plans to support you, we need a Council that can advise and challenge the REC to be the best it can be – and do that with experience from a diverse range of businesses and personal backgrounds. The Council plays a vital role in guiding our strategy. A strong Council is the best guarantee you have that the REC will be getting it right for you. So, it’s my pleasure to invite you to play a role in where the REC goes next. It’s your democratic right as members to take part in our 2019 elections. By getting the right mix of elected members, your organisation can use their wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience to guide our team to improve what we do for you, every day. We are seeking exceptional leaders to help us shape the future of the recruitment industry. You have a chance to give back to the industry that you love. It’s also a little extra something for your clients to know that you are on the Council of the organisation that champions good practice and speaks up for brilliant recruiters. Nominations open on 22 April. You can put forward candidates here – and remember, when the ballot papers come out to your firm, exercise your right to vote! If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil


RM_April_2019.indd 2


The bigger picture… Take a look at our poll of more than 400 recruiters and the outlook for the labour market is relatively mixed. Just over 40% flagged real concerns, but a further 25% were ‘cautiously optimistic’, despite ongoing political uncertainty. However the optimism gauge evolves, our focus over the coming months is on driving proactive, research-led campaigns under the banner of four key themes: 1. Building a 21st century jobs market that works for everyone – Our industry can deliver a step-change on inclusion and progression. We will showcase our solutions to emerging labour market challenges. We also want to achieve high-profile partnership work on all inclusion strands and pave the way for the Apprenticeship Levy to be broadened into a skills levy that works for individuals and recruitment businesses. 2. Championing good recruitment – There has never been a more important time to champion good recruitment as a driver of productivity and growth, and to use this as a hook into the government’s good work agenda. We will amplify our Good Recruitment Campaign in a way that provides practical benefits to recruiters as well as employers and demonstrate the role of agencies in delivering ‘good work’. 3. Creating the environment for compliant businesses to succeed – We will drive a solution-focused approach to ensure a level playing field for compliant businesses and a workable regulatory environment. We will campaign for fair procurement and effective enforcement, influence IR35 changes and immigration policy, and deliver a Brexit support programme for members. 4. Taking a lead on the future of jobs – Automation, AI and evolving skills needs are priority issues for everyone. We will build on our Future of Jobs Commission to position the REC at the forefront of this debate and provide thought leadership and practical support to members. In addition to our series of white papers, we will feed into the global activities of World Employment Confederation (WEC) and drive our Future of Jobs Ambassadors initiative to help build the bridge between education and work. The political environment may be uncertain, but we want there to be absolute clarity on our industry’s role within a dynamic and inclusive jobs market. As ever, the expertise and insight of recruitment professionals will amplify this message and form the life-blood of our campaigning activities. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment

04/03/2019 10:37


the intelligence... Labour and skills shortages on the rise BY THALIA IOANNIDOU, REC SENIOR RESEARCHER


or all the recent political uncertainty, one immense challenge facing UK businesses has remained constant: labour and skills shortages. The UK has been experiencing broad-based contraction of candidate availability for the past five-and-a-half years. The number of people available to take up new roles has continued to deteriorate sharply in 2019. Shrinking labour supply, often linked to record low unemployment levels in the UK and hesitation among potential candidates to move roles amid Brexit-related uncertainty, has put significant pressure on businesses. Every month IHS Markit, in association with the REC and KPMG, survey a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. According to latest indicators of staff availability, the overall supply of available workers has further declined across the UK, and the rate at which it has done so has accelerated to a 20-month record. Specifically, the sharp reductions in the supply of workers to fill permanent job roles were seen across the four English regions, led by London. Meanwhile, the steepest reduction in the availability of temporary workers was seen in the Midlands (‘Report on Jobs’, February 2019). In addition to fewer candidates in the market, recruiters and employers point to skills and talent shortages. Indeed, the list of skills that are in short supply for both permanent and temporary staff continues to increase. Sectors such as IT/Computing, Engineering, Accounting/Financial and Health/Social Care are those most commonly reported as facing acute skills shortages.

Average monthly turnover versus last year (%) Average monthly employee total versus last year (%)

5.8% 8.6% 0.9% 2.9% 0.0% 3.9% 5.8%



Q1 2018

Q2 2018

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

Average monthly turnover and total employees versus last year (%) for the median RIB recruiter: Q1-Q4 2018

RM_April_2019-NEW.indd 3


As a recent survey of of UK employers conducted by the REC reveals, shortage of suitable candidates was identified as the most pressing challenge facing UK businesses, followed closely by political and economic uncertainty. A third (33%) of those surveyed highlighted labour and skills shortages as their main challenge – with the proportion rising to almost half of respondents in the South (excluding London) and similar levels seen in the public sector. This is significantly higher than the proportion of employers (24%) that identified the shortage of suitable candidates as the main challenge facing their business a year ago. Furthermore, a study by the OECD on future-ready adult learning systems in February 2019 highlighted how digitalisation, globalisation and an ageing population are having a profound impact on the type of jobs that are available and the skills needed to perform them. What is particularly worrying is the fact that

The latest real-time information from the RIB Index shows that, having achieved a year-on-year average (YoY) monthly increase in turnover of 9.7% across 2017, the median RIB recruiter averaged a 6.8% increase across JanuaryDecember 2018. 2018 was a year of

A third (33%) of those surveyed highlighted labour and skills shortages as their main challenge. That compares to the 24% that identified the shortage of suitable candidates as the main challenge facing their business a year ago.

the UK is one of the countries with the lowest correspondence between the skills reported as development priorities by employers and the skills targeted in their training activities. For a business to thrive, it must maximise all the resources available. And the most important asset of any organisation is its people. But as labour and skills shortages intensify, economic growth is at risk. Opportunities for upskilling and reskilling are urgently needed if UK businesses are to continue competing successfully. Recruiters are uniquely placed to help employers identify relevant skills required for the changing world of work and to support candidates in developing these. To find out more about the latest UK labour market trends and to subscribe to REC’s monthly ‘Report on Jobs’ and ‘JobsOutlook’, visit

two halves, however, with the strong performance in the back half of 2017 continuing into the Q1 and Q2 2018. Thereafter, turnover growth was, comparatively, far more subdued. Unsurprisingly, the highly agile industry responded to the

slowing of turnover growth across the year by curtailing headcount growth. It is interesting to note, however, the healthy return to employee growth in Q4 2018 – either in response to or in anticipation of increased demand that will yield itself in Q1 2019 results.

BELINDA JOHNSON runs employment research consultancy, Worklab, and is Associate Knowledge & Insight Director of Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) – a strategic partner of the REC. The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry benchmarks and trends. See; 020 8544 9807.


07/03/2019 11:44


big talking point

Resourcing the right way The Good Recruitment Campaign is one of the most important campaigns the REC has ever run. Recruitment Matters explains why recruiters should be a part of it

any businesses pride themselves on their ability to attract and retain top talent. And with growing skill shortages, how they do so is high on the corporate agenda. As the REC would argue, good recruitment processes sit at the heart of it.

But what does good recruitment look like? This is the question the REC asked of a group of HR, talent and resourcing professionals from a range of leading employers and influential business bodies – including Boots, the CIPD, EY, Pepsico, Siemens and Vodafone – in early 2014. These Good Recruitment Leaders developed an aspirational charter detailing nine key principles to consider during the recruitment process – whether in partnership with a thirdparty recruiter or sourcing direct. These principles are: 1. Actively promoting diversity & inclusion 2. Applying consistent good practice equally to temporary, contract, interim, fixed-term, zero hours and part-time workers 3. Delivering a high standard of candidate experience, with ongoing communication and two-way feedback 4. Offering flexible work wherever possible


RM_April_2019-NEW.indd 4

5. Committing to the professional development of those managing and delivering the recruitment process 6. Asking recruitment partners to demonstrate their own commitment to good recruitment practice 7. Asking supply chain partners to deliver good recruitment practice 8. Helping to address youth employment, through the provision of apprenticeships and traineeships, for example 9. Focusing on process improvement, by regularly reviewing recruitment procedures with feedback from candidates (whether appointed or not) and keeping up-to-date with new recruitment approaches. More than 400 major companies, employing more than 3 million workers in the UK, have publicly signed up to this charter. But, importantly, they are not left to do the hard work on their own. Organisations that sign up get free access to selfassessment tools to help benchmark their organisation against the principles of good recruitment, and an online hub with research and guidance on topics ranging from employer branding and candidate experience to legislative changes such as the Apprenticeship Levy and GDPR. Signatories can also attend free Good Recruitment Campaign (GRC) workshops and events to learn more about best practice from industry experts and fellow practitioners.

The benefits for agency partners The aim is to encourage employers of all sizes to sign up and to ensure that recruiters receive regular intelligence and use the campaign as a hook for engaging with clients. The campaign has been designed to boost genuine partnership work between in-house recruiters and agency recruiters,

07/03/2019 12:20


PROMOTING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AS PART OF THE GOOD RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN The first principle of the Good Recruitment Campaign focuses on actively promoting diversity and inclusion, so here’s a little more detail on the work the REC has been doing on this issue to support its members and GRC employers alike.

using the best industry insight and research. The campaign is helping to bridge the gap between REC member good practice and the good recruitment practice of their clients. But the business benefits for REC members are also clear. The campaign engages employers across the UK, and in turn provides REC members with a channel to present their knowledge and value when consulting with clients about managing risk, growing profits and enhancing their brand. The campaign helps agency partners demonstrate their expertise, which allows them to establish more positive, effective relationships with existing clients – and win new business too. “Having won business as result of the Good Recruitment Campaign, I recommend all REC members offer the GRC as a value-add to all of their current and potential clients; it really opens doors and we couldn’t be happier,” says Susie Ankrett, director, Plum Personnel. “Whether you’re on the phone, at a meeting, sending an email or hosting a client event, promoting the Good Recruitment Campaign and encouraging your clients to get involved – free of charge – gives you the opportunity to stand out from the competition,” says Kuba Trzcinski, the REC’s campaign manager. “It’s an easy way to provide a better all-round service to candidates and clients and drive an even better future for our industry.”

RM_April_2019-NEW.indd 5

The starting point is simple: good recruitment practices are the foundation upon which a fair and diverse organisation can be built. And in its latest D&I research report, ‘Increasing opportunity, supporting growth’, the REC offers plenty of practical guidance for employers, HR professionals and recruitment agencies to follow to improve their processes to support better gender diversity. Explored in more detail in the March issue of Recruitment Matters, it includes clear and simple ways to promote gender diversity, good questions to ask and case studies showing the achievable differences that can be made. The REC is also in the process of developing a practical employer toolkit and accompanying whitepaper focusing on D&I as a whole. This will help your clients tackle the challenges of recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce, including how to get buy-in from senior stakeholders. Once again, the emphasis will also be on ensuring that the recruitment process is inclusive throughout the entire supply chain – and how working with partners that recognise the importance of D&I is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And on 16 April, the GRC will be running one of its regular workshops on D&I, with leading speakers in this area, and roundtable sessions where GRC signatories can discuss issues, share case studies and learn best practice. So if you’re committed to resourcing the right way, and helping your clients attract the talent they need to perform and grow, it’s never too late to get them involved in the Good Recruitment Campaign. Visit www.rec. to find out how. APRIL 2019 RECRUITMENT MATTERS 5

07/03/2019 12:20


legal update

Brexit and EU workers By BUNMI ADEFUYE – senior solicitor, REC


n light of the concerns over Brexit, we have seen an increase in the number of questions around introducing and supplying workers from the EU after Brexit. A lot of UK businesses employ staff from the EU. However, some businesses might be reluctant to do so after Brexit, and naturally EU nationals will be concerned about their future in the UK. Suggesting or stipulating that candidates from certain countries will not be considered for employment could give rise to unlawful race discrimination. Eligibility criteria should not be based on race or nationality. The Equality Act 2010, which will still be in force after Brexit, prohibits



RM_April_2019.indd 6

employment service providers (which includes recruitment agencies) from discriminating against a person, in the arrangements they make for selecting who to provide their services to. The employer is also prohibited from discriminating against anyone in the arrangements they make for deciding who they should employ or by deliberately refusing to offer employment. Despite the changes to EU nationals’ immigration status, recruiters and employers must consider applications from all candidates who meet their criteria and are suitably qualified for

My biggest irritation about Brexit has been the uncertainty. Get on with it – either way. It’s uncertainty that suffocates business. That said, here at Voyager we’re yet to see much impact. There is no shortage of enquiries from recruiters starting up their new businesses and the existing customer base seems to be solid. Although enquiries from established businesses seem to be showing a slight

the role. Doing the reverse could result in a race discrimination claim, and it is worth noting that the compensation due on a successful claim is uncapped and can include an additional amount for injury to feelings. In some circumstances it is possible to objectively justify the decision not to recruit certain individuals because of their race or nationality, provided the process and decision clearly demonstrate a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. This means that it will be lawful to require that a person possesses a particular protected characteristic such as race in order to perform the functions needed for the role. For example, you need to be a British citizen for certain senior civil service roles, such as a UK diplomat representing the UK in another country. As a way forward, to reduce the possibility of losing EU citizens, recruiters and employers can remind EU nationals of the possibility of applying for British citizenship or settled status if they meet the criteria. It will be helpful to provide the necessary details to assist them with their application – including the fact that the government announced in January that there will be no fees charged when the settled scheme commences on 30 March 2019.

downward trend. Here, it seems, the metaphorical handbrakes have been applied. I think this relative insulation we’re seeing is a lot to do with the type of customers we have and the markets they serve. Voyager’s customers are SME recruiters who typically specialise in a certain sector or sectors. Skilled sectors, where unemployment is low and talent is short; where they add real value to the hunt

for talent for their clients. In highly skilled markets that are buoyant and will continue to be so. So, I don’t have much to complain about as far as our business goes. But in terms of news and conversation, I just want Brexit to happen so I can get some resemblance of normality back. Simon Warburton, managing director at Voyager Software

04/03/2019 10:38

I N S P I R AT I O N To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit


Guidant Global on closing the gender pay gap

Adapt or don’t survive

How do you close the gender pay gap?

What tools are you using to make a change?

There is no easy fix, but the talent management sector is best placed to drive meaningful change. There are numerous ways that we can encourage more females into leadership positions. As well as working to level the playing field within our own organisations, we also have a duty to challenge our own clients and those in the wider supply chain.

We are constantly evolving how we work in order to ensure that the best person for the job is always the person hired or promoted. We encourage regular Open Blend sessions between employees and managers. Everyone receives unconscious bias training and helps champion our move towards strengthsbased interviewing. We also ensure that our employer branding resonates with the widest pool of available talent.

are needed to look after animals appearing on set – via the app, which has been a good way of getting people to sign up.

Be proactive not pushy It’s sounds simple but by listening to what people want and treating them as we would want to be treated, we’ve remained competitive despite a lot of new entrants to the market. A lot of our business comes through referrals.

Stay connected It’s easy to get stuck in a rut as an agency

We work in a beautiful barn conversion in the middle of nowhere. It’s But we try to be as easy to feel disassociated progressive as possible. from the industry. But Recently we developed we’ve found sending an app that sends push our new starters on notifications about roles REC courses helps them to our locums, and it’s been incredibly successful. understand their recruiting The more targeted we can role, not just the veterinary world – they can see their be in who we approach skills are transferable for jobs, the better the and that we’re part of response. We only share something bigger. film work – when vets

RM_April_2019.indd 7

SIMON BLOCKLEY, chief executive,

director, A1 Locums on building a trusted business

When A1 Locums launched 15 years ago, it was a very different marketplace. There were only six agencies in the veterinary sector and the majority of our clients were independent surgeries. It was all about personal relationships. At our last count there were 77 agencies, servicing predominately corporate clients. Yet we posted our highest turnover last year, so we must be doing something right.


What I know


What role do male leaders have to play in driving equality? Men, and male leaders in particular, have a vital role to play. Through building a culture of inclusivity, everyone benefits. Here at Guidant Global, 82% of our entire workforce have flexible working arrangements in place – many of these are men. Through such initiatives, women are not automatically expected to take on the ‘primary carer’ role – historically a barrier to career progression.

How do you involve your employees? As we’re a founding member of Women in Recruitment, all our people have access to events and resources to drive best practice. Our inclusion initiative, INfluence, and internal employer ambassador group for working parents help to empower our employees. Diverse teams drive increased innovation, creativity and profitability – and we are determined to spread that message.


04/03/2019 10:38


A personal approach Sometimes finding the right trainer is as important as tailoring a course to your company’s needs. Andy Schafer, senior consultant at construction specialist Trade Recruitment, explains why to Recruitment Matters You recently approached the REC for training, what were you looking for? It’s crucial that we invest in our staff and their development for their sake and that of the business. Everyone benefits from refreshing their technique, or picking up a new skill, even if they’ve been here 10 years. So I put the initial enquiry in to the REC about some telephone sales training for six of our consultants. I was keen to get something tailored to our business and our sector that incorporated some of the training we wanted to give them as well. I also wanted the right trainer with the right background, so he was on a level our staff would respect and listen to. And I wanted him to come into our business and observe the consultants to see them in action first. That’s what we got. The trainer chosen for us, Stuart Lucas, was the perfect fit. He’d worked with large companies, had a background in blue collar recruitment and he had proven results. So after talking through our objectives with him over the phone, he came in for a morning to observe. He then came back a



RM_April_2019.indd 8

week later for the training itself. First he ran a very interactive group session over 2-3 hours, covering more knowledge-based content. Then he spent time with each consultant for some one-on-one, practical training, with him listening to them on the phone, offering his insight, pointers and tips as they went along. And were you happy with the results? Even after the observation, it was great to see the motivation and change in the level of enthusiasm from our staff. They knew we were investing in them. And even during the training, you could see Stuart’s advice starting to pay off. Training will never convert into overnight success for the business, but we could clearly see – and hear – the impact just one week on. How do you ensure you keep that momentum and enthusiasm going – and that old habits don’t kick back in? The trainer followed up with some practical feedback, offering an overview of each consultant’s strengths and areas

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

Any training company could tailor a course for us, but we’re an REC member and it made sense to make the most out of it. It’s also a respected brand, and you expect what they offer to come with a stamp of quality. And how would you describe the process of setting up the training? It was a very simple process from picking up the phone to the REC for development. And we think and saying what I was looking it’s a good idea to have him for, to having a conference call deliver this kind of training on a with the trainer the IRP had regular basis, every few months, selected, to inviting him into our so he can monitor their progress office within weeks – even with alongside a continual refreshment Christmas in the way. It was time of their skills. well spent. By being so tailored, we can The Institute of Recruitment cut out all the irrelevant training Professionals represents, an off-the-shelf course would educates, qualifies and provide. By finding the right supports the careers of trainer, with the right fit, we think individual recruitment it will be more beneficial the professionals throughout more we use him. It would be the UK. Becoming a member money well spent. of the IRP demonstrates Certainly, after this experience your commitment to it’s fair to say we plan to provide professionalism and best our staff with a more consistent practice in recruitment and is and regular training programme. signified by letters attached to your title. Why approach the REC, rather than another training provider?

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Pip Brooking Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing © 2019 Recruitment Matters. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redactive Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redactive Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduction in whole or part without written permission.

04/03/2019 10:38

Profile for Redactive Media Group

Recruitment Matters April 2019  

Recruitment Matters April 2019  

Profile for redactive