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Issue 30 October 2015

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence

A Life Transformed

Legal update and the IRP

Events and training

Jobs transform lives and more p2-3

The good a job can do p4

Social media and Peter Searle p6-7

A dinner with Sir Clive Woodward p8

JOIN THE FCSA, REC TELLS UMBRELLA COMPANIES All umbrella companies in the REC’s Business Partner programme will be asked to join the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA). The trade body is also telling members to use only accountancy companies who are FCSA compliant. The partnership comes amid concerns about the use of umbrella companies by recruitment agencies and contractors. FCSA members must follow a compliance code, following rigorous

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assessment of their business practice by a team of accountants and lawyers. All audits are then shared with HMRC. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the FCSA’s standards mirror the REC’s push for greater compliance within recruitment. “FCSA membership is difficult to achieve, putting organisations through a robust assessment to check compliance with their strict code of conduct,” he says. Kevin Green says REC members will minimise their

risk by using an FCSA approved company. FCSA chief executive Julia Kermode says the organisation is delighted to be working with the UK’s largest recruitment trade body and says REC members can be assured of the highest standards. The FCSA has looked to broaden its membership in recent months. It announced in May a new associate programme designed to broaden representation in the contracting sector.

Kermode says contractors, who form a significant part of the recruitment industry, need a powerful voice. “We have never seen such a sustained attack on the flexible workforce as we have witnessed in the last year. It has become clear that as a fragmented industry we have been unable to make our voice heard,” she says. “Whether it is by politicians, trade unions or the media, the whole industry has been tarnished by the actions of a few unscrupulous providers, cost cutting in the supply chain, ill-informed commentators and a lack of enforcement activity of existing legislation.” The move to welcome Associates comes on the back of the Employment Intermediaries Travel and Subsistence Legislation proposed by the Government earlier this year.

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Leading the Industry

THE VIEW

Recruiters are the key to labour market success says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

A job means everything, explains Kevin Green, REC chief executive

Over the next few months you’re going to be hearing a lot from the REC about how jobs transform lives. The REC is keen to promote everything that’s great about recruitment, and it’s very clear to us that we need to talk more about the remarkable things that recruiters do every day. That is, to get people jobs. We may become blasé about this, but to the people we help it is incredibly important. We recently asked the general public this question: what are the most important life decisions that people make? The results didn’t surprise us. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said ‘What to do as a job’, which was a higher result than decisions about when to start a family, where to live, if to get married and which political party to support. So there you have it: the work we do not only helps businesses get the talent they need and enables the UK economy to be successful – we also help people make the most important decisions about where and how they work, and in doing so we transform people’s lives. We have won the business and economic debate about

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MAKING IT WORK

the value of a flexible labour market. We now have to up our game and show that for those people who want to progress, recruiters are the facilitators of progression. We will be making this argument and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the work we are embarking on. It goes to the heart of what we do and the difference we make. However, to make this live – to change perception and enhance our reputation – we need you, our members, to take this message and reinforce it with clients, your local media, your MPs and everyone you talk to. This is the big final step in the repositioning of our industry. We are now bigger than ever before: we get 630,000 perm jobs every year and we put 1.15m people into temp positions each day. We are a professional service industry, which needs to be recognised not just for its economic contribution but because we are on the front line of the labour market and we transform lives. I am keen to talk to members and their clients – let me know if I can help get the message across. You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevingreenrec

Jobs transform lives. That’s why we are working in partnership with government and with Jobcentres across the land to pre-empt labour market developments and to drive co-operation between private and public sector employment professionals. So what’s the deal? I recently pendolinoed it to sunny Nuneaton for a regional roundtable which demonstrated how this collaboration benefits jobseekers, as well as recruiters. Discussions that day echoed the positive data in our Report on Jobs – which shows demand for staff in the Midlands at an 18-month high – and provided a window into the challenges that apply across all regions. One core message was that demand for staff is strong, despite the recent blip in employment figures. Our latest JobsOutlook shows that 76% of employers plan to hire staff in the next three months, underlining the major supply challenge businesses face. This is a key reason for the public/private sector love-in, with Jobcentres putting forward candidates that agencies can place with their clients. Discussions in Nuneaton also confirmed an important truth: the vast majority of people want to work and want to progress. We need to find ways of raising skills and aspirations as well as addressing practical barriers like lack of funding for training, particularly in shortage sectors like driving, and transport issues which can obstruct access to opportunities in warehouse/distribution roles and in care. The government’s focus on productivity and full employment means that jobs and skills will remain at the forefront of the political agenda. It is important that we talk about the social benefits that work provides and of the pivotal role our industry plays. In the words of George Elliott, one of Nuneaton’s most famous figures (alongside Larry Grayson): “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Co-operation between public and private sector employment professionals is helping more people into the job market and is unleashing the transformative power of work. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment

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80%

THE INTELLIGENCE Jobs transforming lives is just the beginning says Diana Beech, REC senior researcher Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of your job in transforming people’s lives? If not, perhaps you should. In August the Office of National Statistics reported that there were 31.03m people in work in the UK. That means there are now 354,000 more people in work than there were this time last year. What is more, 22.76m of these people are working full time. That’s 352,000 more than for a year earlier. For many people, their lives have been enhanced by access to a job, which is important for their social integration, personal well-being and self-realisation. And you as recruiters have played a big part in that process.

STILL GROWING STABILISING I have been talking for some time about how recruiters have been seeing welcome continuing revenue growth, but that the rate of growth has been declining. Pleasingly June was the first month for some time that saw revenue stabilise – in fact, it accelerated slightly from 7.7% in May to 7.8% in June this year (Figure 1). Additionally, a quarter of RIB members are seeing revenue growth of over 20% – a stunning

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ACCORDING TO THE AUGUST EDITION OF OUR JOBSOUTLOOK SURVEY

TODAY, 8 IN 10 HIRERS IN THE UK ARE USING AGENCY WORKERS TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE KEY STRATEGIC SKILLS

86% OF EMPLOYERS PLAN TO ADD PERMANENT HEADCOUNT OVER THE NEXT QUARTER

explained by the fact that 74% of employers believe that economic conditions are improving domestically, which is ultimately helping to boost their confidence in making important hiring and investment decisions. In addition, 95% of employers report to have little capacity to take on more work without more staff. Research conducted for our latest report exploring career progression for low-paid workers in the UK revealed that the majority of agency workers found employment by approaching recruitment agencies directly and bypassing other sources of careers advice and information. This

Figures from our Recruitment Industry Trends Survey show that recruitment agencies placed 634,608 people in work in permanent contracts last year (2013/14). The prospects for getting more people into work over the coming months are also strong. As of August this year, there were 735,000 reported job vacancies in the UK and this number only looks set to rise. According to the August edition of our JobsOutlook survey, 86% of employers plan to add permanent headcount over the next quarter, while 98% plan to hold or increase agency worker levels during the same period. This is likely

Figure 1: Recruiter turnover growth

30 20 10 0 -10 -20

Jul 13

Aug

Nov

Feb 14

performance when inflation is hovering around zero. Worryingly more than a quarter of RIB members are seeing revenues lower than a year ago, a situation that has persisted for

May

98% PLAN TO HOLD OR INCREASE AGENCY WORKER LEVELS DURING THE SAME PERIOD

means that, as recruiters, you are often the first port of call for many in search of the ‘jobs match’ they desire. When you place someone in a job, you are not only helping them as an individual. Today, 8 in 10 hirers in the UK are using agency workers to gain access to the key strategic skills that their businesses need. So, by effectively matching candidates’ CVs to existing skills shortages, you are not only transforming lives but also contributing to the wider success of the UK economy.

While revenues are important, it is the bottom line that defines success for a business. Pleasingly the net profit margin has been improving throughout 2015, expanding from 2.1% at the turn of the year to 3.7% in June this year.

40 ■ Upper Qtile ■ Median ■ Low Qtile

%

A BIG TRANSFORMATION

Aug

Nov

Feb

over a year. This extreme divergence in revenue growth demonstrates the importance of bench marking performance against other recruiters to maximise performance.

Jun 15

Chris Ansell is chief financial officer at Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB). The RIB Index provides bespoke confidential reports on industry trends. See www.ribindex.com; info@ribindex.com: 020 8544 9807. The RIB is a strategic partner of the REC.

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The BIG talking point

JOBS TRANSFORM LIVES

A LIFE TRANSFORMED Blue Arrow agency chef Jane Baker tells Michael Oliver how jobs have transformed her life for the better

A YOUNG EYE FOR FOOD

STEPPING UP

I started in the trade as a weekend girl washing up in the local pub, which then progressed to full time when I left school. At 17, I joined the Royal Air Force as a steward working in the sergeants and officers’ mess. I learned about the day-to-day running of a kitchen and preparing food for formal functions for the Air Force bigwigs. I left the Air Force in 1991 and was kind of lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I found work in chicken and mushroom factories, but still worked part time in catering, behind bars and waiting tables.

I moved onto a part-time job in a little bistro inside a business park. Within three weeks the chef left without warning. So in steps little old me to fill the gap. I ended up doing 90 bums-on-seats in my first session and fell in love with the job. After a year helping my family get their new pub off the ground, I became a catering-restaurant manager for a garden centre in Bury St Edmunds. It was there I met the best chef I know.

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TRANSFORMATION That chef’s name is Stephen Symonds. He’s an absolutely

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“A SHORT TIME LATER, I MET WITH THE TEAM AT BLUE ARROW ABOUT MY OPTIONS. WITHIN A WEEK, I HAD MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AND LOVED IT FROM DAY ONE. THE WORK HAS NOT STOPPED ROLLING IN”

awesome bloke whom I’m still friends with today. He was running the garden centre’s restaurant but was a Blue Arrow chef on a temp appointment. We only worked together for three months and he introduced me to the idea of agency work. But as you’ve probably noticed, I tend to get itchy feet. Once a challenge from a job has gone, I move on. A short time later, I met with the team at Blue Arrow about my options. Within a week, I had my first assignment and loved it from day one. The work has not stopped rolling in.

ALWAYS SMILING Since then, I always go to work with a big smile on my face. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I can honestly say I love my job. I have the variety and the challenge that I crave on a daily basis. Some weeks I work in six different kitchens,

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and I’ve never had to worry about having no work – I’m one of the lucky ones. I was working at a lovely care home in Bury St Edmunds a couple of weekends ago and the chef there had so much respect for agency chefs, saying we were the best chefs to have as we have to be able to work in every section of a kitchen. He’s bang on – we are the best of the best. I can honestly say I’m going to be an agency chef until the end of my career because I love it that much. I’m excited to go work and do something different every day, meeting new people and I’ve learned more in the last three years than I would have in a normal kitchen. I would recommend anyone and everyone to look at becoming an agency chef. As I like to say to people: “I’m not just a chef, I’m a Blue Arrow chef.”

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Legal update

THE RISE AND RISKS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Shutterstock

By Ryan Huggett, legal advisor at the REC

Social media has had a transformative impact on the recruitment industry in recent years. As competition in the recruitment industry intensifies, recruitment businesses have turned to different social media platforms to gain a competitive edge in the market. However, the rise of social media has also caused multiple legal problems. This article focuses on two common social media queries we receive on the REC Legal Helpline.

that information relating to protected characteristics impacted on the recruitment business’s decision of whether to provide work-finding services. It is important that recruitment businesses have appropriate procedures in place to ensure that information relating to protected characteristics on a work-seeker’s social media profile does not illegally influence the decision to provide work-finding services.

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO SCREEN CANDIDATES

As social media can be used in both a personal and professional capacity it is

Due to the volume of people using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, screening candidates based on the information on their profile could be seen as a faster and more efficient way for recruiters to assess their suitability – but this can be risky. A candidate’s social media profile can reveal characteristics that are protected under the Equality Act 2010. The nine protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. Recruitment businesses can use social media to assess a candidate’s suitability but they risk a discrimination claim if a work-seeker can establish

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INAPPROPRIATE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

unsurprising that a major legal issue involves the inappropriate use of social media by employees. There have been a number of cases in this area, which in particular highlight how employees can damage the reputation of their employer through their posts on social media. In Crisp v Apple Retail (UK) Ltd, an employee posted derogatory comments on Facebook about Apple products and the company generally. The employee was later dismissed and it was held that the employee had not been unfairly dismissed. Similarly, in Weeks v Everything Everywhere, it was held that an

individual depicting their work as ‘Dante’s Inferno’ on Facebook could have a detrimental impact on the reputation of their employer. The individual’s dismissal was upheld. A more recent case is British Waterways Board v Smith, in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an employee’s derogatory description of their work on Facebook was sufficient to justify dismissal. These cases demonstrate the importance in having appropriate social media policies and procedures in place to educate employees on the possible disciplinary consequences of using social media inappropriately. The policies should clearly set out how social media is to be used both during the course of employment, as well as the possible ramifications of employees using their personal accounts in a way which negatively impacts on their employer. Recruitment businesses may want to consider providing additional training to employees on how to use social media safely. The REC has a model social media policy, as well as clauses in our model employment contract covering the use of social media. These can be found on our website. For more information REC members can contact the legal helpline on 020 7009 2199 or legal@rec.uk.com

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Inspiration

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE INSTITUTE OF RECRUITMENT PROFESSIONALS

The View

Susie Ankrett is the e director at Plum Personnel

Peter Searle is the outgoing UK & Ireland chief executive of Adecco Group

IRP MEMBER

WHAT I KNOW

How has 2015 been for Plum? 2015 has been a really buoyant year on the whole – we’ve taken on some fabulous new clients and we’ve seen the return of ‘passive’ clients.

Great sales people make great managers When you’re a manager, you’re actually a facilitator. You sometimes get into a position where you think you’re managing people, but you’re actually leading people and facilitating them to do their job better. What you have to remember when you change from being a salesperson to a manager is that when you’re a salesperson, you only work with customers externally and you spend all your time selling to them. When you become an internal leader, you don’t get the power to tell people what to do. The reality is you just switch from selling externally to selling internally. You need to add value to your people. If you’re an intelligent salesperson, you can become a high-flying manager.

Place of the recruitment industry right now? It’s changed and I believe for the better. The industry’s contribution to UK plc is becoming more valued. We’re seeing less of being considered as a transactional relationship. Employers are valuing the consultative approach and specialist recruitment knowledge. What kind of challenges are recruiters facing? We recruiters are great optimists and our glasses are often overflowing, let alone half full. That said, there are always going to be challenges. The lack of talent has opened up conversations with employers about looking at recruiting from talent pools they had not previously considered. A good example of this is the great contribution part-time workers can make. What recruiters need to do more of and less of? I came into the industry in my forties, so to say I was a late starter in recruitment is an understatement. My first big shock was that the industry was so sales orientated. We need to be proud of our contribution to the economy and how we not only change the lives of individuals but also how we make a massive impact on the future success of organisations by finding them the people that will enable them to turn their vision reality. Without a doubt I think we’re worth it. What kind of person makes an ideal recruiter? You need to be someone who is full of determination, a completer/finisher, a negotiator, someone who can build rapport, work at a pace and deal with conflicting priorities.

Passion is key The biggest learning curve was that I had to give and take more responsibility from the individuals directly running our businesses. I had to trust other people to have the same level of motivation and passion about running the company as I did. In our industry there are a lot of people who’ve gained the knowledge but have lost the passion. I would rather find someone young with lots of passion and teach them how to do the job. When you go into an industry, you can’t think of it as nuts and bolts and figures on a spreadsheet. You have to be passionate about it otherwise you’re not doing your job. Think like an entrepreneur People are going to be the core of your business. When I find a successful business, it’s very rarely been done by someone on their own. I see four or five key individuals around them who have shared their skillset and the synergy between them has enabled them to be successful. You need to bring other people in to help you.

Listen to the full interview with Peter Searle at rec.uk.com/ scale-up

To keep up to date with everything the Institute of Recruitment Professionals is doing, please visit www.rec-irp.uk.com

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Events and training

EXECUTIVE FORUM THE SECOND ANNUAL STAFFING INDUSTRY ANALYSTS EXECUTIVE FORUM IS TAKING PLACE IN LONDON ON 5-7 OCTOBER. RECRUITMENT MATTERS SPOKE WITH SIA’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL RESEARCH JOHN NURTHEN ABOUT THIS YEAR’S EVENT RM: What is this year’s

JN: We’ve got a special

Executive Forum about?

keynote address on the European Union. The UK has a referendum coming up about staying in the EU, so we will debate the issue from both sides with an eye to the staffing industry. We’ll also be looking at legal issues across Europe and staff management too.

JN: It’s an opportunity for senior staffing executives to get together and discuss any issues affecting the market, both trends and threats. We’ve done this event for 25 years in the US and last year was the first time we’ve held it in Europe. Europe, by definition, is a little more international in perspective, and that’s largely where our focus will be.

RM: What would appeal to REC members?

JN: They will be attracted RM: What are some of the highlights of this year’s event?

by the agenda. The forum features a number of

keynotes and roundtables with some of the biggest names in staffing management. It’s also an opportunity to network with an audience predominantly made up of senior executives – chief executives, chairmen and owners. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet and share ideas. For more information To register for this year’s SIA Executive Forum, visit www.staffingindustry.com/ Conferences-Webinars/ Conferences

MANCHESTER – DON’T MISS GREG SAVAGE! The complexion of the market has changed. There is a massive demand for candidates – more than 90% of employers are looking to increase their workforce numbers. For more than 30 years, Greg Savage has had his finger on the pulse of world recruitment. The founder of leading global brands like Firebrand Talent

Search, People2People and Recruitment Solutions, he’s sought after at conferences around the world. And the REC is bringing him back to the UK for two unique half-day classes in Manchester: The Greg Savage Masterclass for Recruiters, and the Greg Savage Masterclass for Recruitment Owners and Managers.

When: 21 October Where: The Midland, Manchester Price: Masterclass for Recruiters – £89 + VAT for REC & IRP members Masterclass for Recruitment Owners and Managers – £175 +VAT for REC & IRP members

AN EVENING WITH WORLD CHAMPION COACH SIR CLIVE WOODWARD The REC and charity KidsOut invite you to an exclusive black tie evening with England’s World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward. Don’t miss a chance to hear and ask questions from one of the UK’s most successful sports leaders, hot on the heels of this year’s big rugby event. When: 5 November Where: London Price: £275 + VAT Email carol@rec.uk.com to register your interest, or call us on 020 7009 2100

Book online at rec.uk.com/savage

RECRUITMENT MATTERS

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. www.redactive.co.uk Editorial: Editor Michael Oliver michael.oliver@redactive.co.uk. Production Editor: Vanessa Townsend Production: Production Executive: Rachel Young rachel.young@redactive.co.uk 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 www.rec.uk.com

© 2015 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.

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Recruitment Matters - October 2015