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Issue 61 May 2018

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence A year to Brexit


GDPR What recruiters need to know p4

Legal Update More GDPR news

Events and training p6

INDUSTRY WELCOMES MAC IMMIGRATION REPORT The REC says recruiters will continue to play a crucial part in helping UK businesses find appropriate staff, considering March’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report. The MAC’s ‘EEA workers in the UK labour market: interim update’ report is part of a review assessing the impact of Brexit on the UK labour market. It says businesses are concerned about their ability to recruit workers

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from the European Union after Britain leaves the EU. UK employers also see EU workers as “more reliable” and eager than their British counterparts, the report said. The REC’s director of policy Tom Hadley says he is pleased the report contains a strong employer voice. “It’s important that the debate isn’t just about engineers and doctors, but acknowledges that we need people to pick our fruit

and veg, cook and serve in our hotels, and look after people in our care homes,” he says. “Our own data, for example, has shown staffing challenges are accelerating across a range of sectors from IT and financial services, through to hospitality, construction and logistics. Employers are already finding it hard to secure the workers they need and we haven’t left the EU yet.”

Meet the star of The Recruiter Game


The report has also been welcomed by others in the labour market. CIPD senior market analyst Gerwyn Davies congratulated the MAC for a “rational, evidence-based” report. “Looking ahead, we hope that the MAC and the Government see the merit in a labour shortage occupation list. Under this arrangement, employers would have to show that they are making efforts to improve the supply of UK workers while demonstrating that the occupation has a genuine labour or skill shortage. “This more selective approach to controlling unskilled or low-skilled migration from the EU could potentially act as a catalyst for improving employer practice and enable most organisations to meet their labour and skills needs,” he says. You can read more about how the REC is supporting members during Brexit negotiations at 10/04/2018 10:38

Leading the Industry


With the one-year countdown to Brexit underway, Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services, highlights the key areas for recruiters to watch out for

Lots coming up for or REC members, says ys David Vallance, REC acting chief executive tive

As I step into the role of acting CEO at the REC, it’s a busy time for us. There is plenty for members to get involved in and to look forward to. Here’s a rundown of what’s coming up:

THE BREXIT COUNTDOWN… We will continue to support our members as GDPR is implemented and anticipate it will be a busy time for our legal helpline.

Jobs transform lives campaign We’ve been running this campaign to shout about the great work recruiters do and improve the reputation of our industry for three years now. Most recently, we released The Recruitment Game, an interactive video experience. We hope it instils a sense of pride in what you do – while making you laugh. Find it at and share using #jobstransform. Collectively, we need to talk about the difference recruiters make. It will benefit your business and the whole industry.

Immigration research We have produced three immigration reports to date, which have helped us get a foot in the door at No.10 and set up meetings with key MPs and stakeholders involved in the debate. We’re continuing the series and are now looking into how an immigration system could work for employers who rely on temporary agency and seasonal workers from the EU. This important research will help us to represent your views to government and help to ensure the future immigration system works for business. Keep an eye on the next Recruitment Matters for more information.

GDPR Coming into effect on 25 May 2018, GDPR will introduce a number of new data protection obligations for organisations and new rights for individuals. We know it’s an important issue for our members. So far we’ve run GDPR workshops and we’ve produced a blog series to help recruiters prepare their businesses and staff.

TREC 2018 Now in its fifth year, our annual Talent, Recruitment and Employment Conference will be about the future of resourcing, talent acquisition and retention strategies. You can expect a packed agenda of practitioner-led roundtables, case studies and panel discussions. The event is on 4 June and tickets are going fast, so book now.


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Ever since the referendum, REC members have consistently flagged access to staff and skills as the number one concern. Our ‘Report on Jobs’ data continues to show decreases in candidate availability for both temporary and permanent roles; as the clock ticks towards the March 2019 deadline, can we expect the staffing squeeze to intensify? Ongoing uncertainty continues to impact on the EU workers arriving or deciding to remain in the UK. The feedback from recruiters is that this is a major factor in a range of key sectors. Our core message to government is that they need to build on the assurances put forward last December, and to ensure that a post-EU immigration strategy reflects the needs of UK businesses. The outlook for future trade deals have been a major focus of our recent discussions with the CBI and sectoral organisations. Whilst this might not be front of mind for most UK recruiters, there are real implications for a number of key sectors which could have an impact on future competitiveness and hiring decisions. Any impact on the ability to sell services and products across the EU will have implications for a range of sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals, manufacturing or financial services. We will continue to work closely with representative bodies from these and other sectors and relay the latest intel back to REC members. A further priority over the next 12 months will be to explore new opportunities for recruiters linked to the government’s industrial strategy. This is seen as the bedrock for a post-EU economy and is based on driving growth across specific sectors and regions. Our recent discussions with the incoming Business Minister confirmed that people and skills are recognised as core elements within the strategy which in turn underlines the key role that specialist recruiters can play. The practical insight from REC members will be key to delivering on this vision and to ensuring that our industry continues to thrive in the post-Brexit world. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment nt

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Thalia Ioannidou, REC senior researcher Brexit negotiations began on 19 June 2017, yet confusion around the country’s future relationship and labour arrangements with the European Union (EU) shows no sign of abating. As demand for skills and people is mounting, migration statistics published by the ONS in February 2018 are particularly worrisome for businesses across the country. The figures show a fall in net EU migration, which is driven by a fall in EU citizens coming to the UK for work. At the same time, the number of EU citizens leaving the country has risen. Candidate availability has been a pressing challenge for UK businesses, as

HEADCOUNT GROWTH IMPROVES ACROSS 2017 The latest data from Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIBIndex), measuring participating companies’ performance, shows that – following a dip into negative territory at the end of 2016 – the median RIB recruiter maintained headcount growth right across 2017. Whilst headcount requirements surged within the upper quartile of RIB

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manifested in our ‘Report on Jobs’ monthly survey of 400 recruiters. Recruitment consultants have been reporting continued difficulties regarding the availability of suitable staff for both permanent and temporary roles. In particular, as highlighted in the March issue, the rate of deterioration in the availability of permanent staff remained sharp in February, despite easing to the weakest for 11 months. Similarly, lower temporary and contract staff availability was recorded in each of the five monitored UK regions, with the fastest reduction signalled in the Midlands. Persistent skills shortages have also been highlighted in our JobsOutlook monthly survey of employers, especially in sectors such as engineering, health and social care, education and hospitality. Amid ongoing uncertainty around labour provisions once the UK officially leaves the EU on


19 March 2019, more UK employers continue to feel that economic conditions in the country are deteriorating rather than improving. Even though political debate has primarily focused on the availability of permanent staff in post-Brexit Britain, there is increasing concern amongst UK employers and recruiters on the impact of Brexit on the supply of temporary staff. Currently, temporary workers from the EU are contributing to the UK economy in key sectors such as hospitality, retail, health and social care, and the food and drinks industry. Businesses in these industries rely heavily on EU nationals to meet their labour needs. As the number of EU citizens coming to the UK

Employee numbers versus last year, for the Median, Lower Quartile & Upper Quartile RIB Recruiter: Q1 2016-Q4 2017 30% 25%

25% 20% 15% 10%


5% 0%


-5% -10%

■ Upper quartile ■ Median ■ Lower quartile -15% Q1 2016




Q1 2017





for work falls steadily while the UK’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest since the 1970s, candidate shortages intensify. The REC recognises the need for, and strongly supports the implementation of, a practical and responsive immigration system, which will replace current labour provisions once exit talks are completed. The post-Brexit immigration system will only be effective if it allows businesses and industries to meet their labour needs through the sufficient supply of EU workers for both permanent and temporary roles. To read more about the latest recruitment and employment trends, subscribe to receive ‘Report on Jobs’ and JobsOutlook, the REC’s most up-to-date sources of monthly UK labour market data and analysis. members across 2017, it was also encouraging to see that even those within the lower quartile had reached a point of not requiring any headcount trimming by the year-end. 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; 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.


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The Big Talking Point



The General Data Protection Regulation – better known as the GDPR – comes into effect on 25 May. The REC’s GDPR workshops have sold out across the country, plus a new range of GDPR-compliant documents and policies are available for members on the REC website. Recruitment Matters explores what steps the REC is taking to ensure all members are GDPR-fit.

In May, new data protection rules will impose greater obligations on organisations, while giving more rights to individuals about how their personal data is processed. Recruitment businesses handle significant amounts of personal data daily and should be ready for the coming changes. There is a lot of concern about the changes, but to quote the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), this is an ‘evolution not a revolution’. Data protection legislation has been a facet of UK legislation for 20 years. The REC has been proactive in preparing members for the GDPR’s arrival. It has produced factsheets, guides, plus model documents and policies that you can use to ensure you’re compliant come 25 May.

WHO DOES THE GDPR APPLY TO? The ICO has outlined these key definitions: • The GDPR applies to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’. • A controller determines the purposes and means of


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processing personal data. • A processor is responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller. • If you are a processor or controller, the GDPR places specific legal obligations on you. You are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities (in certain circumstances). You will have legal liability if you are responsible for a breach. • If you are a controller, you are not relieved of your obligations where a processor is involved. The GDPR places further obligations on you to ensure your contracts with processors comply with the GDPR. • The GDPR applies to processing carried out by organisations operating within the EU. It also applies to organisations outside the EU that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU. • The GDPR does not apply to certain activities including processing covered by the Law Enforcement Directive, processing for

national security purposes and processing carried out by individuals purely for personal/household activities.

WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE GDPR APPLY TO? According to the ICO, the GDPR applies to ‘personal data’, meaning any information relating to an “identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier”. “This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people,” it says. The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to any filing systems where personal data are accessible according to specific criteria. This could include chronologically ordered sets of manual records containing personal data. Personal data that has been pseudonymised

– eg. key-coded – can fall within the scope of the GDPR depending on how difficult it is to attribute the pseudonym to an individual.

WHAT LAWFUL REASONS ARE THERE FOR PROCESSING PERSONAL INFORMATION? Under the GDPR, there are six lawful bases to process an individual’s personal data and 10 lawful bases to process sensitive personal data. Although recruiters are most familiar with the legal basis of consent, it should be noted there are times where it may not be appropriate to only rely on consent. There are other lawful reasons that you can rely on to process personal data. The six lawful reasons to process personal data under the GDPR (and currently under the Data Protection Act – DPA) are explored in the REC’s GDPR guide. These three are the most relevant for recruiters.


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Recruiters will be able to process personal data if processing is necessary for the performance of a contract or is necessary for the data subject to enter into a contract. In practice, this could be when a recruitment business processes personal data to provide their services to a candidate and enter into a contract with them.


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recruiters to process personal data when processing is necessary for them to comply with a legal obligation. For example, recruiters have a legal obligation to comply with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 to retain records for at least a year after their creation and at a least one year after the date on which they last provided work-finding services. Other records also have to be kept for different periods of time

because of legal obligations, eg. payroll records. You can find more information in the REC’s record keeping table available on the REC website.

3) NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSES OF A LEGITIMATE INTEREST Currently, the DPA recognises that an organisation may process data for its own legitimate interest or for the legitimate interest of a third party to whom it may disclose the personal data to. A legitimate interest essentially

means a legitimate reason to process data. The GDPR highlights that consideration must be given as to whether someone can reasonably expect their personal data to be processed for a purpose. Recruiters will have to determine whether they have a legitimate interest to process a candidate’s personal data.

Find out more about how the GDPR will affect you at RECRUITMENT MATTERS MAY 2018 5

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Legal update

GDPR UPDATE By Lewina Farrell, solicitor and head of professional services In this article we consider whether recruiters can rely on consent and whether they can still use jobs boards and LinkedIn. Do recruiters need consent to process personal data? Consent is one of six legal bases for processing personal data. Whilst it is the legal basis we are all most familiar with, and probably the easiest to demonstrate, it will not always be the most appropriate legal basis to rely on. Other legal bases which recruiters may wish to rely on include ‘necessary for the performance of a contract’, ‘legitimate interests’ or ‘legal obligation’. However, not all of these can be used to process sensitive personal data (now called ‘special categories of data’) and so it is essential to know what type of data is being collected and therefore what

legal basis can be relied upon. To be valid, consent must be freely given, specific, informed, in plain language and demonstrated by affirmative action (and not inferred by silence or pre-ticked boxes). Of course individuals will have the right to withdraw their consent, following which the recruiter would no longer be able to process the personal data which the individual gave them (it won’t affect any processing done prior to the withdrawal of consent or personal data processed through another legal basis). Jobs boards and LinkedIn In short yes, but with care. By uploading their CV to a jobs board, an individual indicates their consent to the jobs board processing their data. However, the jobs board must ensure the individual knows who can access their personal data and on what basis.

Recruiters should be selective about who they contact and why – if you only contact an individual found on a jobs board when you have a relevant vacancy that person might be suitable for, you can demonstrate that you have a legitimate interest in contacting them – you provide work-finding services and they have indicated that are open to opportunities by posting their CV. Their response to you will indicate whether they are happy for you to continue to process their data or not. If not, delete them from your records. LinkedIn recently introduced ‘career interests’, which allows individuals to select whether they would like to notify recruiters that they are openly looking for job opportunities. Users can also select what job titles they are looking for and the type of job and

industry they would like to work in. If an individual switches on their ‘career interests’ a recruiter should be able to rely on a legitimate interest to make initial contact with that person. However, the recruiter will have to pay particular attention to the criteria selected by the individual eg. if an individual only selects IT roles then a recruiter who does not offer work-finding services in that particular sector won’t be able to rely on a legitimate interest to make that contact. In contrast, if a recruiter provides roles that match an individual’s job selection criteria then they will be able to rely on a legitimate interest to make initial contact. Once contact is made, they may continue to rely on legitimate interests or consent (subject to the comments made earlier) to continue to process their data.

TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT – review systems, win trust and showcase excellence Recruitment is the ultimate people business, with success built on a reputation for great service and fantastic results. Of course, in such a competitive field, you have to use every tool available to attract top quality candidates and clients, which is why word-of-mouth is still important. Yet online, where there is so much choice, more effective mechanisms are required. It is why verified reviews from genuine customers are the most powerful and objective way of showing that a business has deserved its reputation for excellence. Feefo is a global reviews company exclusively endorsed by


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the Recruitment & Employment Confederation to help improve candidate and client experiences through increased trust, transparency and credibility. Founded in 2010, Feefo works with more than 4,000 companies across multiple sectors, including brands such as Next, Expedia, AXA, The White Company, ARM and Michael Page. By collecting feedback only from proven customers, Feefo delivers analytical insights so that businesses and their prospective customers can make more informed decisions. Advanced software collects reviews at different points in the recruitment process, while machine learning

analyses content to deliver faster, more relevant insights. By integrating globally-recognised Net Promoter Score benchmarks, Feefo also helps drive new business, increasing the quantity and the quality of referrals. And through its partnership with Google, Feefo improves search rankings while deploying ratings within social media to establish a business’s reputation when candidates start searching for an agency. When the best candidates can pick and choose, verified reviews are the most powerful reasons for them to choose you. By Matt West, CMO at Feefo

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The View

Chris Peace is the managing director of Peace e Recruitment Group oup

WHAT I KNOW What does Peace Recruitment do? We’re specialists in all things construction and engineering. We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary in January 2019. Opening a recruitment business during the recession must have been hard... I really enjoyed it. Even though the market was on its knees, I still manged to make ends meet and register jobs, and speak to clients and candidates. I think it gave me an opportunity to build some critical mass on our CRM and I’m proud to say that we’ve managed to keep that data clean over the past decade. What’s the goal of your business? My object is simple – I want Peace Recruitment to the agency of choice for our sector in Scotland. You brought something new to the table with your ‘Rate My Recruiter’ app. How did that come about? Our ethos has always been service over sales. The game plan was if we got that part right, we would make money and that worked well. Behind the scenes, transparency and honesty have been our values. As the business grew, we joined the Institute of Customer Service and to cement that approach, I invented the Rate My Recruiter app. Every single candidate and client we meet gets plugged into it and they get the option of reviewing our consultants out of 10 at pivotal points in the process. We’re not cherrypicking – whenever that email or text message rating us comes through, within 10 seconds it’s on our website. How has that been received internally? Internally, the guys are really picky about giving a good level of service. One poor score could drop them from 8.9 to an 8.2. It’s creating an intrinsic link for the consultants to care about what they do with people. What’s more, we’re tying the scores to bonuses this year, too.

Dale Barnett is a senior consultant ultant at Redline Group up

CANDIDATE SUCCESS STORY What was the situation? My client had recently changed their recruitment model, which meant no manager contact was permitted. This made understanding the role and requirements very difficult. What happened next? The success started as soon as talent acquisition agreed to let me talk to the hiring manager, which gave me a chance to really understand their requirements. After a discussion with the hiring manager, I knew exactly where to start my searches, what skills were going to be required, and I could accurately provide data to candidates to makes sure it was they job they wanted. What did you do? At the time, a direct competitor was going through redundancies. I identified a legacy copy of the candidate’s CV on our database. After having a long conversation with the candidate he agreed to look at the information for the position. To make sure I could continue to present the company, I organised a late evening call with my candidate to go through all the information he required. After two stages of the interview, the position was offered to the candidate. How did things finish up? Unfortunately the offered salary came in lower than the candidate’s ideal requirement, which meant selling the positives of joining the business again. After two days of discussions with his partner and supporting my candidate through a counter offer, he accepted the role and started four weeks later. I managed to fill a position that the internal recruitment team were struggling with for over two months in just three weeks.

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

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What’s coming up?


Do you have what it takes to master the world of recruitment? The REC’s interactive Recruitment Game pits our champion Sophie through a series of scenarios designed to test her skill and cunning. Recruitment Matters sat down with Sophie to find out what makes her tick.

WHAT IS THE RECRUITMENT GAME? The Recruitment Game is a new interactive film the REC has launched which celebrates the great work recruiters do every day. You can play to help me face four recruitment challenges – each more devilish than the last. If you make the wrong choices you’ll see me face the consequences, but if you choose the right path we’ll be crowned champion of The Recruitment Game.

of people to start at short notice; a situation where your guy doesn’t turn up for work; or trying to get yourself up to the top of the league table as one of the high performers in your company. Plus there are a few interesting characters and hairdos thrown into the mix.



It’s the sort of thing recruiters face all the time – a demanding client who wants you to send him ‘the one’ or a whole team

Trust your instincts. Be wise. And remember that your choices count every single day because what you do matters.

HOW DID IT FEEL TO BECOME CHAMPION OF THE RECRUITMENT GAME? “Sophie! Sophie! Sophie!” everyone chanted as I jumped up and down with elation, showered in confetti and the cheers of all my colleagues… But really it’s just satisfying knowing I’ve done a great job for my clients and am keeping my candidates happy. Jobs really do transform lives. And the little trophy makes a nice pen holder. Will you face the challenge? Play The Recruitment Game at

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The official magazine of The Recruitment & Employment Confederation Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27-45 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NT

Membership Department: Membership: 020 7009 2100, Customer Services: 020 7009 2100 Publishers: Redactive Publishing Ltd, 78 Chamber Street E1 8BL. 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 © 2018 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.

Tel: 020 7009 2100 8 RECRUITMENT MATTERS MAY 2018

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Recruitment Matters - May 2018  
Recruitment Matters - May 2018