Recruitment Matters - Jan/Feb 2021

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Suppor ng recruiters in the bounce back p2 B I G TALKI N G POI N T

How to nurture the posi ves in 2021 p4 Issue 90 Recruitment JanuaryFebruary 2021 Ma ers


EU staff and Right to Work checks p6 B E H I N D TH E SCE N E S

Working towards diversity and inclusion p7

Covid-19 support

Temps to be included in vaccine roll-out


rontline agency health staff to receive vaccine as a priority following interven on by the REC, but other key workers need protec on too. Earlier in January, following successful lobbying by the REC, NHS England issued guidance to Trusts instruc ng them to include agency staff in their vaccine plans. REC members had reported that agency workers in the NHS were being excluded from lists to receive the vaccine because they were not direct employees. In December, the REC wrote to the Minister of State for Social Care, Helen Whately MP, to seek assurance that all NHS Trusts will priori se agency staff alongside other frontline NHS workers. NHS England is now telling Trusts to “priori se frontline staff at high risk of acquiring infec on… including temporary, locum or bank staff”. It further announced that hospital hubs will be the default provider for the vaccina on of all health and social care staff from Monday 11 January. Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, said: “We're pleased

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NHS England listened to us when we said frontline agency staff were at risk of falling through a gap in vaccine provision. It shouldn’t ma er what kind of contract they’re on, agency staff are pu ng their own health at risk to serve the na on and need protec on.” However, it is essen al that key workers in other areas such as educa on, logis cs, non-clinical NHS roles and other essen al services receive the vaccine as well. In a le er to the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi MP, the REC called for the government to think more broadly about who should be priori sed for the vaccine. “We are in another worrying phase of the pandemic. Temporary staff across many sectors, not just healthcare, are crucial in making sure essen al goods and services remain available to us. This includes teachers, drivers, retail assistants, and non-clinical NHS employees. These individuals put themselves in harm’s way to keep the country going and deserve protec on via the vaccine,” said Shoesmith.

Keep up to date with how we're supporঞng members on the REC's Covid Hub.

Making great work happen

Financial support As a third na onal lockdown was announced, the REC wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to urge more ac on to support businesses. This includes delaying IR35, support for the self-employed, and reducing the cost of furlough and employers Na onal Insurance contribu ons. This will help businesses retain staff and hire where possible. Neil Carberry, Chief Execu ve of the REC, said: “Businesses go into this lockdown with cashflows under extreme pressure. Financial support such as the furlough scheme has helped a lot. But more opportuni es to protect jobs must be seized. The government must focus support not just on the firms which need to close, but also the businesses that supply them which will be badly impacted. That includes recruiters who have been instrumental in helping businesses back on their feet quickly a er the last lockdown.” 13/01/2021 15:26

Leading the industry

the view... We'll bounce back if we sঞck together, says

Neil Carberry,

REC Chief Execuঞve


appy new year! These words have never carried more meaning than a[er the year we've had. Yet there are many reasons to feel posiঞve as we go into 2021. As vaccines roll out, an end to the pandemic is in sight. We're going to bounce back. It won't be automaঞc. We'll need to bring our A-game as business leaders. But the REC will by the industry's side all the way. I've always said recruiters are a resilient bunch. What more proof do we need than 2020? I've been inspired by REC members across the UK who have adapted to rapidly changing condiঞons, pivoঞng their business models to make it through. I'm proud the REC has been able to support such incredible work with up-to-the minute advice and guidance. We've also been working closely with other sectors to get key support, like the furlough scheme, put together. It was a telling moment when the Chancellor thanked us from the “Get in touch podium when he announced it. with your This is one of the REC's account unique strengths. We’re the only manager or recruitment industry body with go online to the influence the sector needs arrange your across the whole of government. 2021 renewal” But we're about a lot more than that. We're your source of advice to navigate not only Covid, but sector changes, new technology and the range of regulatory issues we face, from trade to immigraঞon, tax to union campaigning. As part of that, we're starঞng a major campaign to communicate the added value recruitment has for clients and – importantly – wider UK society. Watch this space! In 2021 the REC will be invesঞng in improved support for recruiters in crucial business decisions on the path to recovery. Technology, transacঞons, client and candidate expectaঞons – the REC aims to give your decision-making process a head start. We've always got your back, in good ঞmes and bad. Come with us on the journey in 2021. There's an exciঞng future and we'll build it together. If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twi er @RECNeil



2021: the year of labour market Ornella Nsio, Campaigns & Government Relaঞons Manager


ver the coming months the UK labour market is set to see some of the biggest legislaঞve changes of recent years. In April the long awaited IR35 reforms are set to be implemented in the private sector, although we are sঞll calling for this to be delayed given all the challenges facing businesses right now. With it will come big changes to labour supply chains and the nature of self-employment itself. But IR35 is not the only thing on the horizon recruiters need to be on top of. The Employment Bill, which was announced in the Queen's speech in December 2019, is expected to be published soon. The Bill was created to “protect and enhance” workers’ rights as the UK leaves the EU and it is set to make as many waves in the labour market as IR35 has. Included in the Bill are proposals that, if made law, would: • create a single enforcement body to protect vulnerable workers and support business compliance • make flexible working the default for all new jobs – the responsibility will be on businesses to prove that a job can't be done flexibly • give workers on flexible and zero-hours a right to request a more stable contact a[er 26 weeks' service • extend parental leave for those with children in neo-natal care • introduce a week’s leave for unpaid carers • require that workers receive their ঞps in full • extend redundancy protecঞon to cover employees who are pregnant. Beyond the potenঞal legislaঞve changes coming in from the Employment Bill, there are of course new Naঞonal Minimum Wage and Living Wage rates for recruiters to get to grips with. Not to menঞon the new immigraঞon system and Brexit. While the labour market was front page news for most of the 2020, it looks like 2021 will conঞnue the trend. The REC will be running webinars and publishing guidance to help keep members prepare for all the new changes happening in 2021.

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Leading the industry

the intelligence... Resilient recruiters find success despite difficult mes

Recruitment ac vity resulted in the industry adding

£42.3 billion

By Josh Prenঞce, Researcher The past two years have seen a great deal of economic disrup on and uncertainty, primarily due to Brexit and then the impact of Covid-19. It has certainly not been an easy period for recruiters. But our new UK recruitment industry status report 2019/20 shows that the sector has con nued to prove its resilience and value throughout this difficult period. We’ve helped millions of people and businesses… Of course, the industry’s primary func on and goal is to support workers, businesses and the economy by placing people into jobs. Recruiters placed over one million people into permanent posi ons in 2019. They also placed 985,000 temporary workers into assignments every day. The industry itself supported 119,000 employees in around 31,000 recruitment enterprises. Recruiters really do make great work happen – helping people achieve their life goals, support families, and make a meaningful contribu on to the country. … and we’ve contributed billions to the economy Staffing businesses also succeeded in keeping their clients happy through 2019. That was in spite of the historically ght labour market and skills shortages in many sectors. And all this successful recruitment ac vity resulted in the industry adding £42.3 billion to the economy – around 2.1% of UK direct Gross Value Added (GVA). That’s more than the

en re arts, recrea on and entertainment sector.


million Recruiters placed over one million people into permanent posiঞons in 2019

to the economy

As expected, Covid has hit us hard… Having gone into 2020 in this strong posi on, the pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the economy and the labour market. As we have seen throughout the past 12 months, business confidence has plummeted. Hiring plans were delayed or cancelled altogether, and many people and businesses have been forced to rely on government support schemes. This decline in ac vity has meant a significant reduc on in revenues and economic contribu on for the recruitment industry. The REC es mates that the direct GVA of the industry decreased by 22% between 2019 and 2020. The number of permanent placements and temporary workers on assignment

every day fell by an es mated 19% and 30%, respec vely. …but we’ll bounce back this year However, the industry is strong and resilient. Many agencies have already made changes to their business strategy and learnt lessons from this crisis. Many have decided to focus on temporary recruitment or sectors that are experiencing high demand. Recruiters are using this me as an opportunity to build closer rela onships with clients and candidates. Many are reducing their office costs or storing up cash reserves in case of further lockdowns. Recruitment is a diverse and adaptable industry, and these changes will put the sector in a good posi on to bounce back in 2021.

Despite the ght labour market and consistent skills shortages, business sa sfac on with recruiters remained high throughout 2019 Sa sfac on with agencies

Sa sfac on with candidates presented by agencies







Neither saঞsfied nor dissaঞsfied



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Nurturing pockets of growth

big talking point

How recruiters can build a posiঞve 2021 A

s we come into a new year, current unemployment and redundancy numbers are sobering. But the REC’s Jobs Recovery Tracker shows there is hope to be found in many places and sectors. It’s down to the recruitment industry to carry that torch – suppor ng those businesses that can, to create jobs. Helping people who have lost work to transi on into new roles will also play a big part in the jobs recovery, as will encouraging young people (perhaps hardest hit by the pandemic) to prepare for their working future. Is it the regions’ turn to shine? The Covid bounceback is not all about London. Although the capital can o en skew sen ment on how the na on is performing, Ma hew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi UK (the REC’s partner on the Jobs Recovery Tracker), talks of a “London lag”. And while employer demand there is returning much more slowly, there’s a more posi ve picture elsewhere.


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The North-West and Wales were leading the way in November’s tracker, with jobs pos ngs up 36.8% and 33.4% respec vely since March. The South-West led the pack in the first week of December. Even in areas where growth remains challenging, there are bright pockets. Take West Midlands, for example, where job pos ngs remain down on March. Susie Ankre , Director, Plum Personnel refers to a Solihull bubble, protected by work on HS2 and the job crea on being fuelled by investment around it. Recruiters can act on that to build confidence in the wider region.

All eyes on the growth industries Similarly, while the outlook for jobs in hospitality remains tough, energy, IT and healthcare are examples of areas where recruiters have seen demand grow or remain steady. For Ricky Mar n, founder of life sciences recruitment firm Hyper Recruitment Solu ons, the pandemic has made it hard to finalise his next three-

year plan for the business, which he started wri ng in February 2020. While some clients have pressed the pause bu on on their long-term innova on plans, which has had a knockon effect on recruitment, the business has been kept busy by suppor ng those involved in vaccine development and Covid screening programmes. The immediacy of how the company is helping the UK through the pandemic only highlights what Mar n sees as the purpose of his company: to change lives through recruitment. And although his growth might be more difficult to plot, it doesn’t stop him being ambi ous. “When this all started, I said to everyone, our primary objec ve was not to survive, but to thrive.

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“It’s given me the opportunity to see how we can do things differently. We’re looking at the business, our structure, asking ourselves what type of business we are”

“It’s given me the opportunity to see how we can do things differently. We’re looking at the business, our structure, asking ourselves what type of business we are, how we can maximise the opportunity we have now in a way that gives ourselves a footprint to catapult growth in the future.” In the mean me, he expects his consultants to be making more calls than they would in a normal marketplace, to support clients even if they’re not currently recrui ng. The company is working on projects with a number of them on how they can recruit be er. He’s working with others on modelling future talent needs and how life sciences

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can close skills gaps by working with transferable skills. “The posi ve for life sciences right now is that people are seeing it as a sector that is busy, that has growth opportuni es, and more people are thinking it would be nice to be in it. That however involves compromise both from clients and the candidates about what they’re asking for.” How do we support transi on? But some people won’t be switching industry by choice. The pandemic has hastened trends that will see some jobs die out, while new ones are created. Recruiters will be on the frontline of helping people into new roles in growth industries. How successful they are will go a long way to determining the extent of the jobs crisis. The REC has recently joined forces with the Ins tute of Employability Professionals to help provide recruiters working with or on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions with addi onal support and training. There is so much work to be done in this area and that too offers growth poten al within the industry. Recruitment professionals will be proving their value to the UK’s economy at the same me as developing new skills that will be called on as the labour market con nues to change. In many cases, transi on will require looking beyond obvious matches on skills, which offers recruiters a chance to rethink how they do things. One company, Auricoe, is already pushing for a more values-led approach with an online pla orm that will match a candidate’s deep-seated beliefs to a list of compa ble employers. Founder and Director Ma Goodman believes it could be a good star ng point for those unsure of where to look for jobs. He adds that companies benefit by ge ng candidates genuinely aligned with their purpose – rather than those telling prospec ve employers what they think they want to hear at interview, based on the corporate values listed in a job ad or on their websites. By opening the conversa on on values, skills become a secondary priority. And with the rise of remote working, it’s now even more

crucial to build on shared goals and purpose to drive employee engagement and business success. According to his business partner Gerry Ashison, this approach also creates a more level-playing field for young people. “It will enable organisa ons to see their poten al, even though they may not be a perfect match on skills. They are the candidates that could be rejected by AI, but if they believe in a company’s purpose, they could really fly up the ladder.” Suppor ng poten al But to help more young people realise their poten al, more recruiters need to get involved before they even know what kind of job they want to apply for. Research before the pandemic struck suggested that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in educa on and training, and can earn up to 18% more during their career. The effects of Covid-19 have only served to heighten the need for such interven on. Through its Future of Jobs Ambassadors, the REC has long supported the importance of building a bridge between educa on and the world of work. Now it has partnered with The Careers & Enterprise Company to highlight the opportuni es to do so. “Schools and colleges have priori sed careers educa on as a key response to the pandemic,” said the CEC’s Senior Stakeholder Manager James Innes, speaking as part of a Future of Jobs seminar. “Recruiters have so much to offer, both strategically and inspira onally.” Recruiters gave examples of how valuable support could be provided, even virtually – through virtual coffee mornings, talks, fairs and even work experience. But in among the enthusiasm to help, Innes also issued a warning: “Don’t just focus on immediate leavers – the younger cohort will feel the ramifica ons of the pandemic for years to come.” The same could be said for the UK’s economy, but recruiters now have the ability to shape something posi ve out of the turmoil. January - February 2021 Recruitment Ma ers


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Immigraঞon changes

legal update

Right to Work checks for EU ciঞzens By Bunmi Adefuye, Senior Solicitor REC


n 1 January, the new immigra on system came into effect. It means changes to the way employers hire people from overseas. But there is a transi on period. Un l 30 June, EU ci zens can be retained and recruited as normal. The big change will come on 1 July when a worker will no longer be able to rely on EU ci zenship for their right to work. This is where recruiters really need to know their responsibili es around Right to Work (RtW) checks. What’s the situa on now? From 1 January to 30 June 2021, regardless of when they arrived in the UK, employers do not have to repeat RtW checks for EU na onals they already employ. What’s important is that you have evidence of a compliant RtW in accordance with the Home Office guidance.

ICO confirms the number one cause of a data breach is you! By Carole Howard – Head of Sales and Distribu on, Beyond Encryp on. 6

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Demonstra ng that you checked a European passport or ID will s ll be sufficient to avoid blame if a worker is found to be working illegally. Employers can use the online checking service to perform a RtW check without seeing the original documents. The statutory excuse is crucial because it will protect an employer from receiving a fine arising from employing someone who is working illegally. During this period EU na onals can and should apply for se led or pre-se led status. Big changes come into effect from July From 1 July 2021, new RtW checks will need to be done for all new candidates that are recruited. A European passport or ID card alone will no longer do, except in the case of Irish ci zens. The candidate must have applied for se led or pre-se led status and have provided evidence of that. If they miss the deadline to apply for se led or pre-se led status (30 June 2021), they will not have the right to work in the UK. Candidates that arrive in the UK from 1 July

At the end of October, the Informa on Commissioners Office (ICO) released its latest security incident report. Given the challenges businesses and their employees have been facing in 2020, its findings should come as no surprise. And as businesses con nue to adapt to new, and predominantly digital, working environments it acts as a warning to those that don’t employ technology to secure sensi ve outbound email data. The primary cause of a data breach – both cyber and non-cyber – during the quarter ending June of this year was human error: an email and/or a achments being sent to the wrong person. The 266 such incidents outstripped those associated with

2021 should have applied for and been granted a visa under the new immigra on system. EU ci zens, with the excep on of Irish ci zens, will have to apply under UK’s Points Based Immigra on System. RtW checks from this me will need to be undertaken in line with the new Home Office guidance which we expect to be published soon. Finally, employers must always consider the Equality Act 2010. Although having the right to work in the UK is required by law, employers should not make hiring decisions or have selec on processes that could poten ally give rise to unlawful race discrimina on. As always, the REC legal team is here to answer any ques ons you have.

well-publicised phishing emails by some 44%. Given that there is also a fear of recrimina on among employees who inadvertently make these errors, the true figures may well be much higher – a real concern for any compliance officer within a firm. Luckily, the ICO gives us the answer: it tells us that a sender must iden fy the recipient before sending their email. Beyond Encryp ons’ Mailock system does exactly as the ICO demands, using encryp on and iden ty verifica on at its core. Mailock is the secure email soluঞon that the REC recommends to its member firms. Register here for a 14-day free trial

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Carmen Watson, Pertemps D&I has never been so criঞcal to our industry. It’s

crucial to the UK’s economic recovery, and for those hardest hit by the pandemic. Plus recruiters want to be seen as important in helping clients achieve their strategic objec ves – and many clients now have this as their number one on their agenda. There is no point having unrealisঞc targets. We take a simple approach, working very closely with clients and focusing on three basic ques ons: what’s the current challenge, what does good look like and what can we jointly commit to. It’s all about communica on and ac on – ensuring the client’s workforce mirrors the local

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community in which they operate. You need to train and support your consultants so they know what’s expected of them. It’s where the next big challenge lies, as recruiters’ involvement can’t stop at the placement. The added value we can offer is to ensure clients genuinely understand the concept of inclusivity, otherwise the successful candidates don’t stay and you’re back to square one. We need to expand into progression and reten on. It sঞll has to be about finding the best person for the job, but how do you know you’ve got them unless you pull from the widest possible talent pool?


What I know

Behind the scenes with REC Professionals on diversity and inclusion

Graham Brown, Forces

Recruitment Services Why do ex-military personnel make good hires?

The values drilled into them: loyalty, integrity, a can do a tude, leadership, management. Taking a topical example, they are what makes it possible to build seven Nigh ngale hospitals in 10 days.

So why can it be challenging to get a job on civvy street?

It’s easy to match skills when you’re talking about engineering, logis cs and leadership, and military qualifica ons can now be mapped across to their civilian equivalents. But an infantryman, without a trade skill, can find it all

a bit bewildering – they need help to see what they can bring to a new role. A lot of it boils down to joining the dots on transferable skills. On the employer side, those who get it, get it. But there’s a big educa on piece needed to help buy-in become much more mainstream. I’m a firm believer that behaviours should be a bigger factor in hires, than always just looking for the closest match on skills. It might take a few months to train someone up in exactly what you require, but the grounding they’ve had and the behaviours they demonstrate can make them the best hire for the long term.

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REC Obituary

Chris ne Li le

21 February 1955 – 30 August 2020 By Sue Smith


hris ne Li le, who was instrumental in crea ng the Recruitment & Employment Confedera on, has died aged 65 – a year a er being diagnosed with mul ple myeloma. Her career in the recruitment industry began in 1975 when she joined the Federa on of Recruitment & Employment Services (FRES) as secretary to the Secretary-General. By 1993 she had progressed to become Chief Execu ve of the organisa on. She was well known and respected in Westminster and Brussels for her lobbying abili es and throughout the industry, working relessly to bring professional knowledge as well as prac cal advice on changing laws and regula ons affec ng a wide ranging membership of recruitment companies. In 2000 the REC was born through a merger of FRES and the Ins tute of Employment Consultants (IEC), the body offering voca onal qualifica ons and individual membership, of which I was then the Chief Execu ve. Chris ne and I, with our respec ve teams and boards, had worked increasingly closely over the preceding few years, forming the basis of the merger. Once the REC was established with new leadership, Chris ne and I worked together as Li lesmith for a few years before she went on to be Director of Hillingdon Community Trust. Here she demonstrated her compassion and commitment to helping those around her – the role fi ed perfectly with her personality. She was passionate

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about improving the community and was involved in distribu ng a substan al grant suppor ng many diverse projects in the Hillingdon Borough. Chris ne was the only daughter of Tom and Doris Li le and, along with her brother Arthur, was brought up in Ya endon, Berkshire. She was educated at St Bartholomew’s Girls’ Grammar School and the French Ins tute before star ng her working life in London where she met her husband, Bryan Ke lewell. Their daughter, Holly, was born in 1992. Once re red, Chris ne was an ac ve member of her local community, including being a Parish Councillor, a member of Pangbourne Choral Society and a Trustee of Newbury & District Cancer Care. On a personal level she was a keen and generous gardener, with the enviable ability to cite La n names for prac cally all garden plants, sharing that knowledge freely along with the many plants she grew and gave away. She travelled widely with Bryan and, when Holly was studying in Uruguay, Chris ne joined her and they travelled together there, in Chile and Argen na. Kind, vibrant and courageous with a sharp intellect and wit, Chris ne will be sadly missed by her family and her many friends of which I am grateful to have been one. Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redac ve Publishing Ltd, Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London E1 8BL Tel: 020 7880 6200. www.redac Editorial: Editor Pip Brooking Produc on Editor: Vanessa Townsend Producঞon: Produc on Execu ve: Rachel Young rachel.young@redac Tel: 020 7880 6209 Prinঞng: Printed by Precision Colour Prin ng © 2021 Recruitment Ma ers. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, neither REC, Redac ve Publishing Ltd nor the authors can accept liability for errors or omissions. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the REC or Redac ve Publishing Ltd. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or transparencies. No reproduc on in whole or part without wri en permission.

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