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Issue 42 October 2016

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence

Member of the Month

Legal update and the IRP

Events and Training

Being inclusive

Remit Resourcing

Beware unconscious bias p6-7

In Company training p8



REC SECURES SERVICEMARK The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is now the second professional body in the UK recognised by the Institute of Customer Service (The Institute) with ServiceMark accreditation. ServiceMark recognises achievement in delivering exceptional customer service. The assessment in August identified the REC’s strengths as its supportive culture and customer-focused attitude, noting the rigour with which it measures customer satisfaction. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the mark is a great recognition for the organisation. “Achieving ServiceMark [status] is a real accomplishment for the REC, showing that our members are at the heart of everything we do. This external

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recognition of excellent customer service proves that we are committed to providing our members with a great experience every time,” he says. “Great customer service starts with creating a strong culture and positive working environment where our staff live our values every day. We’re proud that our people are focusing on meeting our members’ needs and expectations.” Feedback from the national standard ServiceMark praises the REC’s mantra ‘Respect Every Customer’ and its members’ day, during which all REC staff put their day-to-

day work on hold to talk to its members. The Institute gave the REC a score of 79.8 in its member survey, which measures customer satisfaction. The minimum score to achieve ServiceMark is 70. The REC also showed high employee engagement, scoring above the benchmark in a staff engagement survey. Institute of Customer Service chief executive Jo Causon welcomed the REC into the circle of accredited firms. “We are delighted that the REC is part of a growing band of

organisations who understand that providing superior customer service can positively affect the bottom line,” she says. “Achieving ServiceMark is a sign that the REC is putting customer service at the centre of its member strategy and is determined to constantly evolve plans for service improvement.” Currently 114 organisations across the UK are ServiceMark accredited, including The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Which? Member Services, EDF Energy and Holland & Barrett. 12/09/2016 12:52

Leading the Industry


How do we make things happen on inclusion, asks Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

We need a smart approach on immigration, says Kevin Green, REC chief executive Three months since the EU referendum and nothing has changed. It’s also clear that nothing will change in terms of trade, immigration or legislation for at least a couple of years. Employers were shocked by the result and this caused uncertainty, which explains why permanent hiring in July paused. However, we continue to see positive data about the underlining fundamentals of the economy and labour market. In August’s ‘Report on Jobs’ we saw ongoing growth in vacancies, so demand for staff remains strong. This is supported by 23% of employers saying in the August JobsOutlook that they will hire more staff in the next three months. Our conclusion from this data and the good news about retail expenditure in July is that the jobs market is likely to return to pre-referendum patterns during the autumn as employers get used to the idea of the UK exiting the EU, while at the same time demand for their goods and services remains solid. In the longer term, the size and complexity of the deal we need to negotiate with the EU Is becoming more apparent. The area where the REC will be investing its time is on what a post-EU immigration policy should look like. This has huge ramifications for recruiters in all sectors. At present the UK has well over 2m EU nationals


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ALL INCLUSIVE working in the UK. We are very close to full employment, we only have 1.6m people unemployed – just 4.9% of the population. We also have 750,000 vacancies each month. The UK is dependent on labour from Europe, and with an ageing working population and 56% of employers saying they are finding it difficult to fill the roles they currently have available, this requirement is going to grow in the next few years. In high-skill sectors especially, businesses want the ability to move talent to different locations in Europe. Any post-exit immigration policy needs to avoid any changes that add cost and complexity to the hiring and movement of talent. If Britain is truly going to remain open for business we need a system that works for UK businesses. We understand that many people have concerns about immigration, but ultimately UK organisations must be able to find the people they need – hindering that will affect our ability to create wealth and prosperity for all. Watch this space as the REC will be asking for your views on this critical issue in the next few months. If you want to keep abreast of all that’s new about employment and recruitment why not follow me on twitter at @kevingreenrec

Despite the change of administration and the flurry of new ministers, one thing has not changed: the government’s focus on providing more life chances for under-represented groups. This is a huge opportunity for us to showcase how REC members can make things happen when it comes to inclusive recruitment practices. Over recent months, the REC has represented the recruitment industry on the DWP’s ‘Disability Confident’ steering group and we have hosted rumbustious roundtables at REC HQ with the Minister for Pensions on opportunities for older workers and with Baroness McGregor Smith, who is leading the review of career progression for BME applicants. These events were a great platform for government officials to engage directly with REC members and take stock of where we are with the inclusion agenda. There are some signs of progress – for example, 28% of REC members on a recent webinar poll reported that clients were more open to hiring to people with disabilities. However, the majority (67%) said that companies remain ‘fearful’ of hiring disabled people and it is clear that we have not yet reached a tipping point. During the recent BME roundtable, Baroness McGregor Smith bemoaned the fact that only a minority of FTSE 100 companies currently hold data on the ethnic breakdown of their workforce, which makes it difficult to chart progress. Speaking at the same event, the Baroness also underlined the “crucial role that the recruitment sector can play in making change happen”. So, how can recruiters help to build this brave new world of opportunities for all? Working with clients to embed inclusive recruitment practices is one of the building blocks and we will continue to foster this partnership approach through the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign. Schemes like the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) are a key means of showcasing good practice and recruiters will continue to provide practical feedback on proposed new initiatives like ‘name-blind’ applications. Jobs transform lives. That’s why we’re building the best recruitment industry in the world and want to work with government to build the best jobs market in the world. Doing our bit on the inclusion agenda is part of this journey.

You can follow Tom on Twitterr @hadleyscomment ment

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THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, NINA MGUNI-JONES Business as usual? A few months have passed since the referendum and economic sentiment remains mixed. In May 2016, the HM Treasury reported, “A vote to leave would cause an immediate and profound economic shock creating instability… the effect of this profound shock would be to push the UK into recession and lead to a sharp rise in unemployment”. There was some uncertainty in the run up to the referendum. The next preliminary GDP estimate, published on 25 October, will give us a better understanding of the referendum result’s impact. But in the second quarter of this year, in the three months before the referendum, the economy grew by 0.6%.

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Since the referendum, a host other of indicators suggest business as usual. When looking at employer behaviour, JobsOutlook data shows that hiring intentions have changed little in the three months since the referendum. One in five employers (22%) intends to increase permanent staff in the next three months, which has remained fairly steady looking at the monthon-month data between June and August. Looking at the medium term (4-12 months), one in four employers (25%) intend to hire permanent staff, again a figure that has changed little when looking at the data month-on-month. In addition, data from the ONS shows that retail spend, business investment and the labour market was in good health in the months leading up to the referendum. Similarly, in September, the ‘Report on Jobs’ found that


32.5% of recruiters had placed a higher number of people into permanent roles, compared with the last month. But other indicators show that confidence has fallen. In JobsOutlook, when asked about economic conditions in the country as a whole, the month-on-month data shows that in June, 45% of employers stated that conditions were getting better. In August, the proportion fell to 24%. Conversely, 34% of employers thought that conditions were getting worse, up from 13% in June. In terms of confidence in hiring and investment decisions, in June only 6% of employers stated that they were getting worse but in August this figure stood at 24% Also, on 31 August, the






Lloyd’s Business Barometer reported a fall in average confidence level for that month and concluded: “This seems consistent with a slowdown in UK growth prospects in the second half of the year.” In contrast, the GfK consumer confidence showed a month-on-month increase to -7, though still below its 12-month average of -1. So despite a shock in confidence and economic and political volatility, in the short term at least, businesses continue to hire.


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Member of the Month




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Richard Morgan is the managing director of Remit Resources. He tells Recruitment Matters why he thinks the recruitment industry needs to talk itself up

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Recruitment Matters: Where

Richard Morgan: Specialisms

did you start?

are going to be the big trend that develops. The more generalist candidates are finding that tougher. One of the things I always find hard is when we find a client who wants a general IT support person – invariably, it’s always the same candidates who are available. When you look at the specialist roles, the right skills are hard to find. We work with small to medium businesses who are demanding specialist candidates – cloud technology in particularly. The ability to reskill and change is critical. Candidates have to be more adaptable.

Richard Morgan: I originally worked for a technology company and that’s where my passions really lie. I always felt there was something not quite right when we were trying to hire staff – it’s like something broke down in the sales process. I moved into recruitment wanting to use my knowledge of tech. Every business is a tech business, but the real differences are people. Recruitment gives you a unique opportunity to work with both.

Recruitment Matter: What separates you from other recruitment businesses?

Recruitment Matters: Who’s Richard Morgan: One of our competitive advantages is that we’re really into tech. Our three core markets are infrastructure, security and software development. I’ve got a real understanding for the infrastructure and how that related as well as teams focused on the other areas. We’re a recruitment business – we’re part of the staffing industry, but I also think we’re part of the technology industry. We very much sit on the crossroads of the two.

benefiting most from that?

Richard Morgan: The next generation of candidates coming through – the millennials – are the ones who are more adaptable. They’re used to it. Often the challenge lies with candidates who have been in a job for a long time. Recruitment Matters: You’re a staunch supporter of the REC’s Jobs transform Lives narrative – why does it resonate with you?

Recruitment Matters: What big trends do you see coming in tech recruitment?

Richard Morgan: I don’t recognise the kind of recruiter

who doesn’t care about candidates and just fires out CVs. I wonder sometimes if we talk ourselves down completely. When I talk to most clients and candidates, they don’t have the same view of recruiters as we do for ourselves. People spend most of their time at work and it’s important they have jobs they’re happy and develop in, and we want that. Candidates are people, and we help them and clients get better by getting the right jobs. Sometimes it means getting more money for them, sometimes it means a better work-life balance, sometimes it means working with different technologies. Certainly in our business, we’re interested in finding the best jobs for the right people.

Recruitment Matters: Any examples?

Richard Morgan: One of our consultants who specialises in recruiting Microsoft spec developers was working with a candidate – a really nice guy – who had been on 22 interviews and hadn’t got a job. He had been out of work for five months, so we spent a lot of time on soft skills – interviews, how to relate skills to a company – three or four hours building that up. He was offered a job at his next

interview. When he was asked technical questions, he was an expert. But the reality is that he didn’t know the soft skills questions. If we can merge the human part with the technical part, we’re happy.

Recruitment Matters: What lies ahead for the technology sector?

Richard Morgan: I’m doing a TED talk about the future of work, and driverless cars is one of those things that will have a major impact on work, and a lot faster than you think. I think the time for that will be within five years. Google’s car has racked up 2 million miles of testing already. There are a lot of jobs that will be displaced, but will be replaced in other areas. Tech is one of those areas that will see more and more growth. So it’s certainly a good time to be in tech, and go back and really focus on the specialist skills. Recruitment Matters: It’s an exciting time to be in the industry, isn’t it?

Richard Morgan: I think it’s a great time to be in recruitment. It makes real positive impacts on people’s lives and our clients businesses. It’s a real positive time, and we do really important work.


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Legal update

DISCRIMINATION Beware unconscious bias James Coupe, REC legal executive, explains why In August, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee released a report on ’Employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK’. Its key finding was that Muslim people are the most economically disadvantaged group, with higher rates of unemployment and a significant pay gap compared to other groups. For Muslim women from ethnic minority backgrounds seeking employment, the report identifies a ‘triple penalty’ with discrimination based on a combination of race, gender, and religion. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination, directly or indirectly, on all of these grounds, yet Muslim women are, as the report sets out, still the most disadvantaged group when it comes to finding employment. Even reaching the interview can be a problem. The report

recommends shortlisting candidates using a ‘nameblind’ approach – removing personal details when examining application forms. At interview, it is important to combat unconscious biases. The Equality and Human Rights Commission maintains an Employment Statutory Code of Practice, with useful guidance for employers on these matters. It recommends establishing relevant objective criteria for the role, reflected in the job specification, assessments and conduct of interviews, and focusing all decisions on whether each candidate met or exceeded those criteria. Having secured a role, problems can still arise. Workers may face difficulties if they ask for prayer breaks or to schedule annual leave around religious festivals. Sometimes, accommodating such requests is problematic, but employers should seriously consider each

request to find possible compromises. Where opportunities for socialising and networking involve the local pub, it is important not to inadvertently exclude Muslim workers who might avoid them. These events often provide informal opportunities for meeting managers, which can help with career progression. The report suggests providing alternative networking opportunities, which can also benefit workers with caring responsibilities (predominantly women). Employers may also think that workplace dress codes might present problems. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is considering two cases involving hijabs (Islamic headscarves): Achbita v G4S, a Belgian case, and Bougnaoui v Micropole, a French case. The law allows reasonable restrictions for ‘genuine occupational requirements’, such as health & safety

requirements, but these new cases involve employers preventing workers from outwardly showing faithbased symbols and clothing when meeting customers – an issue when some religions require these items while others do not. As recruiters, you must not discriminate against your staff or your candidates. Challenge your own staff’s misconceptions by providing cultural sensitivity and awareness training, especially for anyone who conducts interviews. Do not accept client instructions that involve excluding candidates with a protected characteristic, such as race, gender or religion. Avoid assuming which candidates a client would want where such assumptions involve protected characteristics. Compensation for discrimination includes lost earnings and also injury to feelings, which can run into tens of thousands of pounds.

BUSINESS PARTNER: HOW THE INSURANCE ACT AFFECTS YOU The Insurance Act 2015 came into force August 2016. How could the changes affect you? A scenario A business purchases a policy that includes a warranty that there is a working and maintained burglar alarm on their premises, when in fact there isn’t one. Heavy rain causes flooding and damages their building. Pre Insurance Act treatment Before the Insurance Act, the insurer may have refused to


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cover the business’s losses for failure to adhere to the warranty. Post Insurance Act treatment With the Act in force, a broker could argue that failure to comply with the warranty couldn’t have increased the risk of the property being flooded and that any claim should be paid. Things to remember. It’s important to understand and comply with the terms of your cover. If this claim were for a theft, the insurer’s decision

to refuse payment may have been valid. It’s also important to understand your new rights under the Act and the obligations you need to meet: • Fair presentation – you must disclose all material circumstances. These are facts/situations that may influence an insurer’s assessment of your risk. • Reasonable search – you are expected to conduct a thorough investigation for all information relating to your business, including asking

external parties, to fully disclose your risks to insurers. Ask your broker to help you. • Insurance team – the disclosure obligations in the Act also require the knowledge of senior management and those who are responsible for arranging the insurance to be disclosed. For more information about how The Act affects your business, why not get in touch with Jelf via 03333 557606 or email

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The View

Kirk Willoughby ghby is head of division vision at Cento

Jan Stevens is corporate servicess director at DP Connect



How did you get into the industry? Years and years ago when I was in sales, I was told you had to be degree educated. For someone who quit school to play pro football, that wasn’t high on the agenda. A friend of mine said he had an opportunity in his recruitment business – I had a chat and from there I flew with it.

Why did you join the REC? We joined the REC to give additional credibility to our business, to network with other senior recruitment professionals and to take advantage of the many benefits that the REC provides for its members.

You played for Rangers – any similarities between recruitment and being on the pitch? It gave me good models to follow, particularly how to hold yourself and talk to people. I always refer back to it in my role as head of division. There are guys I can have a pop at and know I’ll get a reaction from, but there are people you need to put your arm around and say “You’re doing the right thing”. Recruitment is never a tick box exercise; you’ve got to make sure everybody is in the right frame of mind – staff, clients and candidates. What will your new role involve? Cento finds security jobs and I’ve been heading up the division that concentrates on permanent recruitment. We’ve been looking to diversify and I’ve started looking after the contract business. It’s exciting to be building something from scratch right at the coalface of recruitment. Why contracts? I always knew there was a contract business out there. Security is not a massive, massive division and in the contracting world a lot of work goes straight to subcontractors. We saw an opportunity to build the contract model – even if a recession hits, contract still survives. There’s longevity to it and it’s a different conversation, which I like. What makes a good recruiter? Seventy-five percent of what makes a good recruiter is mindset. You need to have that to immerse yourself in the role.

What does REC membership mean to you? For us membership of the REC means that we can continue to focus on, and invest in, the revenue generating side of our business, safe in the knowledge that our HR, legal and compliance people are being kept alerted to, and informed of, the latest developments and promptly taking any action necessary. REC provides a free legal helpline and regular legal and employment updates, which we take advantage of. What have you enjoyed about being a member? We have met excellent contacts through the REC, many now good ‘industry friends‘, albeit some are direct competitors. The REC has seen great success in its aim to bring the industry together and share best practice. Historically recruiters did not speak to competitors and no spirit of cooperation or ‘co-opetition’ existed. We have seen at first-hand the excellent work that the REC does behind the scenes on behalf of its members and would definitely encourage other members to get more involved and share their skills and experience. What does the future hold for your membership? We will continue to use REC membership in the future, potentially making more use of the formal training accreditations as part of our development programme. We have received and responded to surveys from the REC recently regarding the service elements we use currently and what else would be of interest to our business, so we are sure that new services will continue to be added to the REC’s portfolio in order to meet member demand.

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

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Events and training




In-company training is when we at the Recruitment Business Academy (RBA) bring our courses to you. Simply pick the course, location and date and we will run the programme for your team. Any of our open training courses can be delivered at your premises. You can create your own programme by tailoring elements from existing programmes, or we can start from scratch and work with you to design your own. This option is perfect if you have a number of staff that need training, or you require very specific outcomes from the training.

Location and time are flexible and arranged around your business needs. You can cover a range of topics • If you operate in a niche market, we can focus on that area • You get a dedicated trainer to deliver the whole programme • The trainers are all experienced recruitment professionals – they speak your language! • Save money – the cost per head is lower, plus savings on travel & expenses • Increased retention levels – you are demonstrating your desire to invest in your employees.

• Sector-specific courses • Social media sessions • Legislation workshops • Team development programmes • Train the trainer • Coaching

THE RBA ALSO OFFERS ONE-TO-ONE COACHING FOR YOUR TEAM, PERFECT FOR: • Developing employee skills in line with organisational objectives • Engaging employees with their work, making them feel valued and fostering commitment to the organisation

• Promoting selfresponsibility and initiative • Facilitating a positive culture to new challenges and change • Coaching is an excellent way to improve the performance of individuals to achieve increased productivity, quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. We have a wide range of highly experienced trainers and consultants that can offer a completely bespoke service tailored to your exact needs and requirements. Call one of our In-Company training experts on 020 7009 2100 to find out more.


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

© 2016 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 2016