Page 1

Issue 47 March 2017

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence

Member of the Month

Legal update and the IRP

Events and Training

Embracing technology

Gareth Lloyd of Amoria Bond p4

English language fluency required p6-7

Product of the Month REC Marketing Forum

even more so in a time of skill shortages,” he says. Compass Group UK & Ireland resourcing and development director Melanie Hayes recommends the campaign to all businesses. “Our partnership with the GRC will support us in our wider commitment to attract, develop and retain talented

but doing it in the right way is key,” she says. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the GRC will continue going from strength to strength. “Our aim with the GRC is to bring together likeminded HR and recruitment professionals to share knowledge, raise standards, and commit to excellent practice. The fact that the UK’s largest employers are prepared to endorse the campaign speaks volumes about the value it brings to their employer brand.” Other organisations that have joined the GRC in the last six months include: Vodafone, Shazam, West Ham, DHL, PWC, Caterpillar, Clifford Chance, Mencap, Whitbread, Transport for London, Warwickshire County Council, and Game. The campaign is also supported by the CIPD, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Confederation of Business Industry, NHS Employers and ACAS. Visit goodrecruitment to find out more about the Good Recruitment Campaign.


GRC HITS 200 A record number of organisations employing more than 2 million staff in the UK have signed up to the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign (GRC). More than 200 businesses have signed the Good Recruitment Charter since the campaign launched in 2013. The GRC aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce, flexible work, candidate experience and ethical recruitment practices. GRC signatories include

@RECPress RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 1

big name brands like John Lewis, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Diageo. The HR director of new signee BAE Systems John Whelan says joining the GRC was an easy decision. “The recruitment and retention of talent is of upmost important to businesses at all times, but

colleagues. In addition, the opportunity to gain insight and views from peers at other organisations is invaluable. Recruiting the right talent is important for any business,

p8 07/02/2017 17:13

Leading the Industry


Recruiters can make the most of postBrexit Britain, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

Recruiters must be ready for technology’s takeover, says Kevin Green REC chief executive In the last few weeks we’ve seen many stories in the media about the rise of automation in the workplace – the general theme is that “the robots are coming for your job”. In truth, businesses are constantly investing in technology which will help improve productivity. That said, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is likely to be fundamentally different and potentially more difficult than the previous three periods of change. Firstly, it will affect employment in the service industry as much as in manufacturing. The types of office-based jobs affected will be process-driven and routine. This will involve call centres, admin work in financial services, as well as accountancy and legal jobs in professional services. Secondly, salary is likely to accelerate in the next few years. Skill and talent shortages are already a problem for hirers in a range of sectors, and changes to immigration policy are likely to exacerbate this challenge. Employers will offer more pay to attract the people they need, but as wage bills grow, the business case for automating activity will become more compelling. We have to accept that this process will make certain jobs redundant. But rather than


RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 2

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME... turn into Luddites and decry technology-driven change, let’s recognise that as well as destroying, it also creates new roles and opportunities. The ability of organisations to analyse Big Data and to act upon customer or staff insights will be one area of comparative advantage going forward. For recruiters there are clearly some threats in this tech-driven change, but also many opportunities. Most obviously, companies will need help defining new roles and searching for talent so they can exploit new ways of doing business. Technology is set to play an even more important role in the recruitment process going forward. This will move beyond basic customer relationship management to automated voice and video screening and online assessments. We, like the rest of business, need to embrace the change and take advantage of the additional value technology can provide. I would love to see you at my Scale Up events, where I will be talking about automation and other trends in recruitment. In the next few weeks I am in Reading, Scotland and Portsmouth. REC members can register for free at Follow me on Twitter @kevingreenrec

The government’s plans for post-Brexit Britain are beginning to be fleshed out. The recent industrial strategy fanfare included some interesting pointers for our sector and opened the door on potential new opportunities for recruiters. Prime Minister Theresa May identified a number of priorities, including addressing sector-specific skills gaps. Our monthly jobs data has highlighted the problem for some time and we will continue to position our voice at the forefront of the skills debate. The PM’s stated aim of developing an ‘authoritative view of the gaps faced by the UK now and in the future’ is long overdue and will enable recruiters to re-align business strategies to reflect future growth sectors. There were plenty of references to new infrastructure projects (meaning opportunities for specialist agencies in construction and engineering) but the most challenging ‘heavy lifting’ will be building bridges into work through new approaches to life-long learning, high quality careers guidance and work placements. These have been key REC ‘asks’ of government since our Youth Employment Taskforce way back in 2010. Announcements on the skills front included a commitment to improving STEM education and the creation of new Institutes of Technology. The PM talked of ‘cultivating world-leading sectors’ including life sciences, digital, creative industries, automotive and defence. There were also namechecks for clean energy technologies, robotics, AI, satellites, biotech and supercomputing. One of our priorities over the coming year will be to engage in the debate through REC Sector Groups and to weigh up the staffing and skills needs that an effective industrial strategy might create. As we combed through the details of the Green Paper, it was good to see recognition for the need to underpin industrial strategy with a solid skills base. However, the government’s vision of a high-paid, high-skilled labour market will only be realised if proper funding and long-term plans are put in place. ‘Generating a future pipeline of skilled labour’ is a laudable aim but will take time. That’s why we will continue to call for a progressive immigration policy which reflects the immediate needs in high-growth sectors. The recruitment industry covers all sectors and is uniquely placed to ensure that evolving skills needs are met. The success of any industrial strategy is dependent on this. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment nt

07/02/2017 17:13


THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, NINA MGUNI-JONES Labour shortages ahead? In February 2017, the REC’s Report on Jobs recruiters reported a sharp increase in the demand for staff, when asked about demand for staff compared to previous month. Specifically, the private sector saw the sharpest rate of increase in 18 months. This has coincided with a fall in the availability of permanent staff, the 45th month in a row that availability has fallen. Also, in January 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour market report shows that the number of vacancies was 748,000, which is approximately 2.1 people per vacancy. This poses an interesting question as the UK begins negotiations to exit the

EMPLOYEE HEADCOUNT DECLINING YEAR-ON-YEAR The latest information from the RIB Index, sponsored by Bluestones Group, shows that year-on-year the median industry recruiter has not added to its headcount numbers since June 2016 and actually started reducing numbers from September onwards. Having added 11.6% to its headcount in 2015, compared to 2014, the median recruiter added a more subdued 4.1% in H1 2016. Since the referendum vote, however, only the upper quartile of recruiters added any headcount (an

RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 3


European Union. A key feature of the negotiations will be freedom of movement and how this will impact on numbers of EU migrants. In December 2016, the ONS published data on National Insurance registrations of migrants in their Migration Statistics Quarterly report. The data showed that in the year ending September 2016, 629,000 EU citizens registered for National Insurance numbers, compared to 129,000 non-EU migrants. This represents a 4% fall compared to the previous year for EU migrants and a 5% fall for nonEU migrants. Looking ahead, Jonathan Portes predicts that EU migration will fall by more than half between 2017 and 2020 as a result of both restrictions on freedom of movement and the slowdown in GDP growth. The likely fall in EU migrants


will impact on some sectors more than others, with some sectors having a higher proportion of migrants than others. Analysis from the Migration Observatory of labour market statistics suggests the sectors with the highest proportion of EU born workers working in the industry are manufacturing (15%), wholesale/retail (12%), health and social care (11%), accommodation/food service (10%) and construction (8%). A slowdown in the supply of labour has started to alarm employers from some sectors. For instance, the National Farmers Union labour providers survey 2016 asks if the supply of seasonal labour is sufficient to meet demand. In May 2016, 20% of respondents

Figure 1. Total employees versus last year (%) – quarterly average 16

■ Average monthly total employees v last year

14 12


10 8 6 4







stated that the supply of labour did not meet demand. This proportion had jumped to 60% in September 2016. We have seen wage growth to boost supply in some sectors. While the month on month wage growth in the whole economy was 2.6% in November 2016, construction reported a growth rate of 3.9 and wholesaling, retailing, hospitals and restaurants saw a growth of 4.2% for the same month. But this will only go some way in satisfying demand for labour, particularly in sectors that are already exhibiting skill shortages. paring back was unsurprising. As market uncertainty is set fair to continue, the importance of benchmarking performance against other recruiters to maximise performance cannot be underestimated.

0 -0.2%




Q1 2015 Q2 2015 Q3 2015 Q4 2015 Q1 2016 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 Oct/Nov2016

average of 6.5% between July-November). Conversely, the median recruiter reduced headcount, year-on-year, by 0.9% over the same period, whilst those in the lower quartile reduced numbers by 9.9%. With the median total employee costs as a

percentage of NDR/GP coming in at an average of 53% across 2015, the rise in H1 2016 average to 57% would have caused notable concern. With employee costs peaking at around 62% of NDR/GP in the summer – 9 percentage points higher than 2015 average – the subsequent

Belinda Johnson runs employment research consultancy Worklab, and is associate knowledge & insight director of Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) – part of the Bluestones Group. The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry benchmarks and trends. See www.ribindex. com; 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.


08/02/2017 09:50




Amoria Bond was successful at the 2016 IRP Awards

Manchester-based Amoria Bond Ltd have a habit of winning awards. Their latest includes Best Company to Work For (up to 150 employees) at last year’s IRP Awards. Recruitment Matters editor Michael Oliver talks with one of the company’s founders and managing director Gareth Lloyd about building a winning culture Recruitment Matters: It sounds like you’ve had a great year?

Gareth Lloyd: It was our 10th year of trading in December 2016, and we’ve picked up 10 awards. You can’t ask for more than that. Some of the accolades we were very happy to pick up, particularly the IRP Award – that’s a tough one to get traction in since the competition is so abundant and stiff.

GL: We employ 20 different nationalities, but when we get everyone together they’re Amoria Bond people. That’s probably why there’s a real mesh of long serving individuals. Recruitment has a reputation for losing staff in the two-three year period of their career, but we very rarely lose our top performers. RM: How do you operate? GL: We’ve got contractors

RM: What sets you apart from other recruitment companies?

GL: We’ve focused on developing our people. I know it sounds basic, but we really do put that at the heart of what we do. Twenty-one of our 23 leaders started at the bottom. Everything we’ve done has been grown from the ground up and it’s created a really good culture and a really loyal workforce.

RM: How do you create that culture?


RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 4

in 39 countries. One of the successful things is we didn’t open a lot of locations, we spent our time building tight regional hubs to ensure we keep our culture. By having what we call ‘super offices’ rather than lots of offices, it means people are able to share our way of doing things and stick to the Amoria Bond way. We’ve always had a clear vision and a clear mission, so everyone knows where we’re going and what we’re doing, and we’ve got a strong set of values too.

RM: How is that culture evolving?

GL: One of our core markets is technology – 50% of our revenues are through that space, and we’re always looking to use technology to improve our client and contractor experience. Every recruiter has a video phone – that’s how we talk to contractors. Everyone’s got Skype or Facetime or Whatsapp. In fact, a lot of our consultants send audio messages to their contacts if they don’t get a hold of them.

RM: Where does candidate experience fit in?

GL: We’ve got a contractor literally flying in from Indonesia and he can’t get into an office space. So he’s going to be working with us for 4-5 days. One of our consultants will be in charge of picking him up from the airport and taking him to his hotel. It’s the sort of thing that guarantees repeat work from our people.

“EVERY RECRUITER HAS A VIDEO PHONE – THAT’S HOW WE TALK TO CONTRACTORS” RM: How would you describe your business model?

GL: We’ve always based our business on delivering on what others can’t deliver. It’s a strategy from day one – when you’re three people sat in a little office in Manchester and you’re ringing up a bluechip company, you’re not going to get a big account straight away, so the simple thing was getting the stuff that other suppliers can’t get. What we’ve had to do is ensure all our guys can headhunt, network and apply referral techniques to deliver resource. Our mantra of filling hard to find positions is a part of us. Market-wise,

07/02/2017 17:14

we’re not too concerned if other recruiters are in there because we tend to fill the niche stuff that a lot of our competition can’t fill anyway.


RM: What does an Amoria Bond person look like?

RM: What defines a successful recruiter for you?

GL: We’re looking for entrepreneurial go-getters, highly ambitious, driven individuals. Our top performer in the group was a straight grad with no sales experience, but a high achiever. We’ve had a lot of top performers with no degree and zero sales experience. It’s always been about the attitude, work ethic, ambition and desire – and it still is today.

RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 5

GL: If I think about all the top people I’ve worked with all the years, it’s hard work that separates the good from the great. You won’t find a successful person in any industry who doesn’t work exceptionally hard. The second point is being a complete self-starter. It really won’t matter what market you put them on, they will find

a way to make it their own. When I got into a recruitment as a rookie, I didn’t really know what goals were. But over the course of the next 12 months I knew to get ahead I had to set some personal targets. All our guys have vision boards on what they want to achieve, and they have business plans with those targets. The last thing is having that personality that people want to deliver a result for you. You’re a trusted advisor.

RM: How do you take Amoria Bond to the next level?

GL: There’s huge challenges in scaling any business. This year, we’ve already had a really strong start. Things are starting to settle down in the economies we work in, thanks to Brexit and the presidential election in the US. I think people were a little more cautious during the middle of last year, but people feel it’s onwards and upwards in the market now. I think the plan is to get the business to £50 million in sales this year and continuing to develop the people to run and grow their areas. RECRUITMENT MATTERS MARCH 2017 5

07/02/2017 17:14

Legal update


ENGLISH LANGUAGE FLUENCY REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS By Lewina Farrell, solicitor and head of professional services at the REC Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2006 was amended back in November, so public authority employers have a duty to ensure that their workers in ‘customer facing roles’ can speak English, or Welsh in Wales, fluently. Workforce is broadly defined in the legislation and it extends to employees, agency workers, apprentices, contractors, police officers and so on. The government’s intention is to ensure that public services are delivered safely and to a high standard. The legislation confirms that the ‘customer facing’ element must be an intrinsic part of the job, which includes ‘regular and planned’ interaction with members of the public by phone or face-to-face. The level of fluency required depends on the nature of the role and the worker must be fluent enough to perform effectively. It is very easy to assume that demonstrating


RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 6

fluency includes considering the worker’s dialect, accent or tone but employers have to be careful and not focus on those aspects but instead concentrate on whether the individual has a recognised qualification and overall interview performance. Some common tests for English language skills are ILETS, IESOL, Europass or CEFR Level B1, these are widely accepted by regulators and professional bodies for confirmation of proficiency in English. The difficulty is where a worker does not meet the fluency requirement. Employers should not automatically reject an applicant or dismiss the worker but consider providing training at their cost, redeploy the worker to another role or where possible adjust the role to limit or remove the customer facing element. Employers must have the necessary employment and

recruitment practices in place to meet their obligations, and a complaints procedure to address concerns as stipulated in the statutory Code of Practice for English Language Requirements for Public Sector Workers Regulations 2016. As usual, the Equality Act 2010 has to be taken into consideration. If an employer stipulates as a criterion that a worker must speak fluent English or Welsh, this can potentially give rise to indirect race discrimination. Although the requirement is applicable to everyone, those with English or Welsh as their first language are more likely to meet the requirement than those that are not native speakers. Yes, an employer can apply such a requirement if it can be objectively justified – and an obvious example is a school requiring an English language teacher to be fluent in English.

The Conduct Regulations 2003 also play a part here. An employment agency or employment business must not introduce or supply a worker to a client unless they have obtained confirmation that the worker has the experience, training, qualifications and any authorisation which the client considers necessary, including those required by law or any professional body to perform the role. English language proficiency is clearly an authorisation by law depending on the role or a requirement that clients deem necessary. There will be practical challenges for employers and recruiters alike, because they will now have to carefully assess whether the language requirement is intrinsic to the role, and all workers must be evaluated objectively, consistently and fairly.

07/02/2017 17:14



The View

Bradley Carton is a recruiter at BPS World and winner of Best Apprentice att the 2016 IRP Award rd

Q&A What does 2017 hold for you? I’m seeing 2017 as a growth year for myself and my journey with BPS World. My overall goal is to make even more placements than last year and the other is to get promoted to consultant. On a personal level, my goal is to save enough money to buy my own place. What did you enjoy about being an apprentice? It was a learning curve because I had never worked in an office before. Thanks to BPS World’s comprehensive Rising Stars Apprenticeship programme, it’s enabled me to learn and develop my recruiting skills very quickly. I arrived from a retail background, which is a completely different culture. I literally learned something new every day. There was a lot to pack in a short space of time, but the mentorship I’ve received and the skills I’ve learnt have benefited me considerably. What advice would you give to someone starting out as a recruitment apprentice? Attitude is so important, whether it’s your first day or you’re long into your career. You need to face the day believing there’s no blockade you can’t overcome. You might get a set back and that might put you down, but the thing is you keep going and never say die. What’s the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit? Knowing your market, including the businesses, their competitors, the competition you face as an agent in projects, and the candidates who operate within that market. Those all come from understanding, and you only gain that understanding from speaking to people. I say to myself you’ve got two ears and one mouth. What’s important is this: listen, understand and take in. By doing so you can get a much better conversation and in turn successful results.

Susannah Lawson on is the talent manager at CJUK K

WHAT I KNOW Congratulations on winning Best Candidate Experience at the IRP Awards We’re so honoured to be recognised at the IRP Awards. Over the past couple of years we’ve put a massive emphasis on candidate care and experience. It’s fantastic to be recognised on a national level for that. What makes good candidate experience? We have a campaign called ‘A Better Way’. We think there’s a better way of working in the recruitment industry. We recruit interim chefs and we strive to make our candidates feel part of a community. We pride ourselves on giving constant feedback to our chefs – positive or negative. We’re constantly working with them to ensure their careers are going in the right place and that they’re happy. We have some chefs who have worked with us for 20 years – being an interim chef is their career. They don’t come to work with us for a day – it can be long term. We look after them and make sure they feel a part of our team. How is 2017 shaping up so far? We’ve just had our third annual CJUK Live event. We had about 100 chefs, along with industry experts and clients. Last year, we made a bold and successful move to stop recruiting through job boards. All our roles come through referrals, recommendations and social media. We’re thinking now how can we improve on that and make that even better this year. What’s one thing all recruiters should know? You’re always learning. This job can be as exciting as you want it to be and every day is different. It’s an amazing industry and there’s no limit for where your career can go. What would you tell yourself on your first day? Surround yourself with experts and find out how you can be on their level.

To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit

RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 7


07/02/2017 17:14

Events and training

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: CRONER SALARYSEARCH Every month, Recruitment Matters will highlight some of the great products businesses receive as part of REC membership. This month, we introduce Croner SalarySearch. Salaries and benefits are the heart of any recruitment conversation. Croner SalarySearch has up-to-date data on thousands of different job roles nationwide. What does it feature? Croner SalarySearch is a

robust and comprehensive search system, which features data for roles across a wide variety of industries and sectors nationwide. REC members will be able to tailor their searches to suit their organisation, client or candidate requirements. The data is easy to access, free from bias, and updated regularly. REC members will be able to access Croner SalarySearch for free for 12 months.

Contact your account manager on 0207 009 2100 to find out more about Croner SalarySearch.

REC MARKETING FORUM: 21 MARCH 2017 What will marketing in the recruitment industry look like in 2017? What trends will emerge? And do the old tricks still work? The REC is proud to be hosting the first of its popular Marketing Forums on 21 March. It’s a great opportunity for marketing professionals working in the recruitment industry to meet, discuss ideas and hear from leading marketing experts. The forum launches with a breakfast seminar at the REC’s offices in London. Contact to find out more about this month’s agenda.


Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP. Tel: 020 7880 6200. Editorial: Editor Michael Oliver Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young Tel: 020 7880 6209 Printing: Printed by Precision Colour Printing

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

© 2017 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.


RM_MAR_17-V2.indd 8

07/02/2017 17:18

Recruitment Matters - March 2017  
Recruitment Matters - March 2017