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Issue 53 September 2017

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence Future of Jobs


Big Talking Point

Legal Update


Five recruitment leaders, three pieces of advice p4

Tribunal fees

From redundancy to Chef of the Year p8


TUNING INTO TEMPS: REC JOINS FORCES WITH IPA TO HIGHLIGHT AGENCY WORK Employers should promote workplace engagement among temporary agency staff by applying the same approach as they do with permanent employees, says a new report published by the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) in partnership with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). ‘Tune in to temps: how employers and recruiters can support agency worker voice in the workplace’ makes recommendations for both employers and recruiters for how to promote employee voice and staff engagement among agency workers which, when done successfully, can deliver business benefits such as higher productivity, creativity and innovation while reducing sickness absenteeism and levels of conflict in the workplace. The report makes a number

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of recommendations for recruiters, including: • understanding the motivations for someone working in a temporary way and place them in assignments that support their needs • making sure workers feel comfortable about raising concerns about a placement without fear of penalty • ensuring workers are supported with their professional development throughout their employment with access to training and placements that provide an opportunity to develop skills and progress. Head of policy and research at the IPA Patrick Brione says preconceived notions

that agency workers are ‘second class’ members of the workforce can be countered. “Through two excellent case studies of good practice, this research highlights that when agency workers are accorded the same respect, dignity, voice and support as other employees, it can massively boost their engagement and unlock their productivity, innovation and commitment at work,” he says. “This paper includes practical lessons for employment agencies and host workplaces to consider when looking at how to get the very best out of their agency workers, understanding that small actions can make a big difference.” Commenting on the report, REC chief executive Kevin Green says: “There is a lot of great work being done

by employers and recruiters to ensure that people who choose to work flexibly still benefit from having positive, enjoyable and personally fulfilling experience at work. It’s about treating people with respect and extending the same approach managers would take with permanent staff in terms of giving inductions, providing feedback and making sure temps feel welcome and included.” Green says good recruiters will invest in their workers and see strong employee engagement as a way to build their brand and differentiate themselves in a competitive market. The report is available to download at www.rec. research/tune-into-temps 09/08/2017 09:45

Leading the Industry


How is the post-Brexit jobs market affecting different regions and devolved nations? Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services, explains

Start-ups can survive and thrive with the REC, says Kevin Green, REC chief executive

The data shows that hundreds – if not thousands – of new recruitment businesses have been started in the last two years. This entrepreneurial spirt is one of the things that makes me proud of our industry: people coming together to set up their own business because they think they can do it better than the incumbents. Our entrepreneurial market is one of the reasons that recruitment has continued to improve as competition keeps everyone on their toes and ensures that candidates get provided great service and we continue to add more value to clients. The REC’s role is to support those that choose to set up a recruitment business because we want organisations in our market to be compliant, professional and adhere to best practice. We want a competitive market based on everyone operating to the same professional standards. That’s why we continue to develop our start-up offering, so that we educate new business owners in the art of running a compliant organisation. All new REC members must complete our Start Up course if they have no experience


in running a business, or have been in recruitment for less than two years. They must then pass our online Compliance Test within six months of joining, with the first attempt made within the first month. We also provide new members with model terms of business and policy documents, access to our Legal Helpline, and a dedicated account manager. This means two things: 1) It ensures REC members are adhering to our Code of Professional Practice and are fully compliant. 2) It means recruitment start-ups are more likely to survive and thrive. Once a business has got through its first year, it can start to draw upon the content in our Scale Up campaign. This includes 19 podcasts with recruitment leaders, three comprehensive research reports, workshops, masterclasses, and the In the Round events in every corner of the UK. Whether you’re starting up or seeking to grow, join the REC. We will help you on every step of your journey. Follow me on Twitter @kevingreenrec for all things recruitment.


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In the words of US politician Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill Jr: “All politics is local.” Having undertaken an initial charm offensive with incoming MPs and ministers, the REC’s next phase is to work with our regional directors to build local-level relationships. Building this connection is a great way of bringing to life the contribution that recruitment professionals make to the economies and labour markets all over the UK. The feedback from REC members provides great insight into specific priority areas. Recent discussions with the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) confirmed that one of our key post-election messages has been taken on board: the need to ensure the government’s industrial strategy is underpinned by an effective regional skills strategy. REC members play a key role in flagging specific labour market challenges. Donna Parker, MD of Diamond Recruitment and Chair of REC Northern Ireland, issued a stark assessment at our latest meeting in Belfast: “Candidate shortages are increasing every day, and across all sectors.” This underlined a real sense of urgency in Northern Ireland as a steady flow of workers – from trained chemists to logistics staff – are deciding to work over the border in the Republic of Ireland. Equally timely is our work to engage with representatives of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the organisation responsible for implementing GDPR requirements. This will build on the positive dialogue that has already been established and ensure that data protection issues raised by recruiters are addressed. The regional dimension will also help drive awareness of our ‘Good Recruitment Campaign’ as we seek to use Chambers of Commerce as a channel to employers. Whether it is skills, productivity, inclusion or immigration, we will ensure that our industry’s voice remains at the forefront of some of the key political issues of our time on both a national and regional level. You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment nt

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THE INTELLIGENCE WITH REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, THALIA IOANNIDOU Tackling uncertainty through job and pay progression Uncertainty has grown in the weeks preceding and following the 8 June general election. This has been primarily reflected in reduced confidence in economic conditions and investment decisions. With a scarcity of candidates and existing skills shortages being exacerbated by Brexit, it is unsurprising that employers are having to increase starting salaries to secure the talent they need. According to our July survey data published in August’s ‘Report on Jobs’, the rate of increase in permanent starting salaries was the sharpest recorded since November 2015. All monitored UK regions saw steep increases in pay, led by the South of England. Similarly, hourly rates of pay for workers in temporary/ short-term employment continued to increase with


the rate of inflation being one of the strongest recorded for the past two years. Cost projections relating to salaries further highlight this upward trend. According to a survey of 200 employers in our latest report ‘Perfect match: making the right hire and the cost of getting it wrong’, three in 10 employers across the UK believe starting salaries for new staff will further increase in the next 12 months. Standard salaries for existing staff have also risen, with the NLW pay boost being particularly welcomed by millions of low-paid workers. Again, the majority of employers predict that salaries will continue to increase over the next year, which is good news for workers in the context of rising inflation. Despite rising starting salaries, the perceived increasing risk of job insecurity brought about by ongoing economic and political turbulence appears to be discouraging many people from changing jobs, even if this means they could move


up the pay scale. In turn, this could have an adverse effect on productivity as individual career progression slows down. Employers predict greater reliance on temporary workers to address skills shortages. In fact, almost a quarter (24%) of employers surveyed during April-June transfer at least half of their temporary workers to a permanent post each year, mirroring the difficulty to recruit people with in-demand skills in permanent roles. As economic uncertainty continues a year on from the EU referendum, the recruitment industry has a vital role to play in ensuring the long-term health of the UK’s jobs market. A healthy jobs market is one which focuses on the skills, quality and aspirations of the workforce. Through professional and robust recruitment practices, the industry must send a clear message to encourage job

is set fair to continue, the importance of benchmarking performance against other recruiters to maximise performance cannot be underestimated.

Figure 1. Total employees versus last year (%) – quarterly average 16 14 12 10

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8 6


The latest information from the RIB Index, sponsored by Bluestones Group, shows that the median industry recruiter increased headcount from January 2017 onwards – the first time that numbers had been up year-on-year since June 2016. Over the same period (January-May 2017), around 6% more employees delivered the median RIB

4 2 0 -2

and pay progression, as well as greater investment in training the domestic workforce as a long-term solution to the skills shortage. Alongside a comprehensive post-Brexit immigration policy that allays employers’ fears about losing access to workers from the EU, this will enable recruiters to support businesses in planning their workforce effectively and improving labour productivity. As a result, not only will wage growth come at less of a cost for businesses, but it will more importantly help businesses and the UK economy at large to recover and flourish. • To read more about the latest recruitment and employment trends, subscribe to the REC/ HIS Markit ‘Report on Jobs’ at a discounted rate of £450 for REC members; or take part in the survey panel to receive the REC’s most up-to-date source of monthly UK labour market data and analysis for free.

Average monthly total employee v last year %

-4 Q1 2015




Q1 Q2 2016

recruiter an 11% year-on-year increase in the number of clients billed, similarly driving turnover up 11%. Crucially, however, the average



Q1 2017


monthly NDR/GP yield from this increase in activity was just 1.2% higher than in the same period in 2016. As market uncertainty

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.


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The Big Talking Point



Starting your own recruitment business is a journey pathed with successes and mistakes, triumphs and hard knocks. The REC’s Scale Up Podcast features 19 of the world’s successful recruitment business leaders and entrepreneurs explaining how they grew their businesses and what they learned along the way. Recruitment Matters listens back to five of the biggest names to feature on the Scale Up Podcast and what lessons they have for budding recruitment entrepreneurs.


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Julia Robertson – Chief executive officer at Impellam Group 1 You have to care about customers, you have to care about candidates, and you have to care about getting that mix right. I’ve never lost that. If I go on a client pitch, I care about winning it. If I’ve got a staff member in a difficult situation, I care about the outcome and how they’re feeling. In a people business, you need to care. 2 The way forward is to provide fulfilling work for people. Fulfilled people, with a sense of purpose, are more productive and are better temporary workers for our customers, and our customers will be prepared to pay a decent margin and help us make an honest profit. 3 Getting it right in a digital age is important, because the candidate’s voice can be heard. In blogs and in chatrooms that talk about brands, we do know that the majority of candidates get a poor experience from the recruitment industry. We’ve got to think about all those people who the recruitment industry doesn’t touch or place and examine how we’re dealing with that.

Peter Searle – Chief executive officer at Airswift 1 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. 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. 2 When I started on a desk, I considered that during the first five years I was an entrepreneur. Every single one of our consultants should think in exactly that way. People are going to be the core of your business. When I meet 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 www w www. ww w.rrec w.r rec. re ec. ec e c..u c uk. uk uk.c k.c k .c com om

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their skillset and the synergy between them has enabled them to be successful. You need to bring other people in to help you. 3 You need to pick your market and your timing right. It’s probably easier to go into a rising market and it’s probably easier to move into a growing niche. Look for where the trend is and follow it – the trend is your friend.

Brian Wilkinson – Chief executive officer at Gattaca plc 1 I would keep my overheads low and stick to a specialist market I knew well and have relationships in. Resist temptation to open another desk or division in a related market. We are such a fragmented industry that you can build a terrific business that’s focused without being all things to all men. 2 You build your business through the development of relationships. How do you form relationships? By talking to people and meeting with them – you don’t build relationships through a keyboard and a screen. That was true 35 years ago and it will be true in the future. 3 The most important thing for any recruitment business is engaged staff. If you haven’t got that, you’re on a hiding to nothing. It’s relatively easy to engage staff when you’re small and gets more difficult as you grow. You need to treat that as a priority and give it the investment it needs.

Tim Cook – Group chief executive officer at nGAGE 1 Recruiters are brokers, and I think we’ve lost what being a broker means to our customers. You’re either the horrid middle-man who’s not creating value and gets in the way, or you’re creating value by acting in the best interest of your enduser customer. Those businesses that are customer centric as opposed to good customer service always win. 2 People underestimate the quality of leadership and I think people confuse management with leadership. People follow people and if you get those inspirational leaders, people will die www. www ww w ww. ww w w rrec re rec. ec. ec e c uk. uk.c u uk om

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in a ditch for those boys and girls. That’s what you need to get some mojo up. 3 Do less better. I hate the idea that recruitment is effectively zero based. Customers need to be satisfied and if you’re not good for your customer, you won’t be around very long.

Steve Ingham – Chief executive officer at PageGroup 1 The first thing in management and leadership is to make sure a group of people are seen as a team and not as a group of individuals. Our incentives are focused on team performance rather than individual performance. By the time you’re at a level where you can influence group performance, many of those people will have shares in Page and know they have to do their bit to get the end result. 2 We have been very consistent in our growth strategy. We don’t chop and change during downturns or upturns. Many people have done 20 years plus in the business, and hundreds have done 15 years plus. And because they’ve done that, they trust the business totally and we use that integrity for conversations on how to grow a career. People expect to see out their careers at Page. 3 I’ve known most of my management team for 20 years and that means it’s a very social environment, but it also means there’s a lot of integrity and trust there. If you call someone up to ask “What is going on?” you want to understand the language – and I don’t mean Mandarin or Spanish; I’m talking about the Page language. We don’t hire someone from a competitor or outside the industry and move them to China; we grow from within. I’ve been to our offices all around the world and the consistency is phenomenal. Listen to the full interviews – plus 14 more – on the REC Scale Up podcast, available through Soundcloud, iTunes and


09/08/2017 09:45

Legal update


SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT ENDS EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL FEES (SEPT 2017) By Lewina Farrell, solicitor, head of professional services Employment tribunal (ET) fees were introduced in July 2013. The purpose was: (1) to move towards a self-financing tribunal system and (2) to encourage early settlement of disputes and (3) to price out weak or spurious claims. The fees were set at different levels depending on whether a claim was a Part A claim (simpler claims requiring less ET resources) or a more complex Part B claim (including unfair dismissal, equal pay and discrimination claims). There were separate claims issue and hearing fees. Further fees were payable if a matter went to the appeals tribunal. Claimants could apply for a remission of fees if their disposable capital was low enough. Many warned at the time that fees would drastically affect the number of individuals seeking to enforce their rights and therefore hinder access to justice. Unison issued a

judicial review – it was joined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (who have also taken a raft of ‘gig economy’ cases). In July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the employment tribunal fees regime was unlawful. So why did the Supreme Court rule the fees were unlawful? The Court noted that the fees were significantly higher than county court fees. Also the remission regime was very restrictive and even those on National Minimum Wage would have to save for a significant period in order to cover the costs, by which time they might be out of time to lodge a claim. The Court noted that even when people were successful in their claim significant numbers never received the awards they


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were entitled to (indeed, not all claims were financial; they also include claims for written particulars of employment). So paying a fee would place a greater burden in such cases. The fall in claims was sharp and substantial. At the same time, the proportion of successful claims has been consistently lower since fees were introduced, while the proportion of unsuccessful claims was consistently higher. This contradicts the suggestion that the fees would reduce spurious or weaker claims. The Court found that the fees had hindered access to justice, that right having been granted by the Magna Carta in 1215. The Court said “… without such access, laws are liable to become a dead letter, the work done by Parliament may be rendered nugatory [invalid] … the courts do not merely provide a public service like any other”.

Furthermore, the enforcement of employment rights were not just for the benefit of the individual claimant but society as whole. It noted that the fees disproportionately affected some groups, including women and so were indirectly discriminatory. Next steps? The Court has not said that fees must not be charged but that they must be set at a level, which everyone can afford, taking into account fees remission. At the time of writing, we understand that the Government will refund approx. £32m in fees received since 2013. Of course, this will not help those who could not afford to take a claim but are now out of time. We are likely to see more claims in the medium term, including AWR claims (of which there have been relatively few) and more gig economy claims.

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The View

Mehreen Ayub is a junior consultant tant at Admiral Recruitment

Bev Parekh is the branch manager at Impact Recruitment Services

APPRENTICESHIPS LEVEL 5 STUDENT What made you look to recruitment as a career? I had heard about recruitment as a possible career and it was something I was really interested in. I loved the idea of meeting and interviewing people every day, and I thought recruitment would be a great opportunity to push myself. I like that it covers a lot of sectors and industries too. How did you find your apprenticeship? Really good – the whole apprenticeship experience went really well. I’ve been mentored and supported the entire time and been given exposure to all areas of the business. My recruitment knowledge has really grown over the past year and that’s really helped my confidence. I have also learned new skills and a lot of valuable things about the working world. What about recruitment appeals to you? It’s such a great industry to get into. You meet people every day and you learn so much about yourself. My current role is sourcing candidates for Admiral Recruitment’s specialist commercial division, dealing with high-end corporates to source and place receptionists. It’s fast paced and target driven, which really appeals to me. Recruiting for temp roles is intense, isn’t it? It really is – there’s no room for error because you have clients and candidates depending on you, so you need to be on the ball and thinking of them. What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a recruitment apprentice? They really need to be open to learning all the time – that’s the main thing. Recruitment is such an open career and a great place to hone your skills, and you will be learning all the time. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes because you will learn so much from them too.

How did you get into recruitment? I moved cities and I was looking for a different challenge and wanted to step out of my comfort zone. Recruitment suits my personality with it being such a fast environment, and it’s also a very rewarding industry to get into. What sectors do you recruit for? I recruit in multiple sectors but predominantly for commercial and office-based roles – anything from junior to mid-senior level. Why did you decide to start the Level 5 Diploma in Recruitment Leadership? I wanted to be a master in the field. While I’ve got the recruiting sales background, I’ve never had any formal qualifications or training in management. I took the Level 5 to enhance my leadership skills, knowledge and be there for the team, and serve them more effectively and efficiently. What do you want to get out of the Level 5? I like to be different and there aren’t many recruiters who have done a Level 5. I wanted to know how I could differentiate myself, so being qualified sends that message about the difference about the quality I can offer. I hope it will make me stand out from the crowd. Adding value to the service we provide is always important. How have you found the Level 5 so far? If I had taken this course without having the practical side, I think I would have struggled. But because I have that, everything is fitting in to place. You realise how everything links up. I would recommend it because it gives you the day to day leadership side of things that complements the sales side. It’s an entirely different ball game, and moving from sales to leadership is an interesting transition.

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

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JOBS TRANSFORM LIVES: FROM REDUNDANCY TO CHEF OF THE YEAR Recruiters do great work every day transforming people’s lives. Last year’s winner of the ‘Best Candidate Experience’ award at the IRP Awards was Susannah Lawson at Chef Jobs UK (CJUK). Chef Chris Jones talks about the impact working with Susannah has had on his life In 2014 I was facing redundancy as the pub I was working for was closing down. I had been a chef for a number of years but had never been in this situation before. I spoke to Susannah and she told me what she could offer me if I became a CJUK chef. I was happy with everything but I needed to know that I would be kept busy with work and financially stable. I have a family, so being secure is important to me. Susannah put my mind at ease, and told me that I would have guaranteed hours. Susannah carried out an in depth interview and really got to know what I was looking for. I registered with CJUK and two days later I was out in my first

job. Susannah said I would be kept busy with work, but I didn’t expect it to be so quick! Looking back on the last two years, I have often wondered why I didn’t join sooner. Susannah has offered me a better work life balance: now I can choose the hours I work and when I take my holidays. I used to work 60 hours and get paid for my contracted 40 hours, but now I get paid for every hour that I work and it’s my choice how many hours I do. I get to work in a variety of establishments, which means I’m constantly learning. There are certain skills that I want to improve on in the kitchen – my least confident area is pastry and Susannah is putting plans in

place to help me develop those skills by offering master classes at a local college for me and the rest of CJUK chefs. Last year I was promoted to an ‘Elite Chef’, which means I always have first choice for jobs and Susannah provided me with a CJUK uniform. I was automatically given a place in the competition at the latest CJUK Conference and I went on to win Chef of the Year 2016. • Have you transformed a candidate’s life? Enter the ‘Jobs transform lives: Best Candidate Experience’ award at the IRP Awards to have your great work recognised. Entries close 8 September.


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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.


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