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Issue 41 September 2016

RECRUITMENT MATTERS The View and The Intelligence

Member of the Month

Legal update and the IRP

Events and Training

Thoughts for the new government p2-3

Informatiq Consulting Ltd

The law of the gig economy p6-7

IRP Awards judges’ tips p8


AN UBER CHANGE The government must act to ensure freelancers are protected, according to new research by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). ‘Gig economy - The Uberisation of work’, explores the impact of digital work platforms such as Upwork, Task Rabbit and These act as marketplaces, matching freelancers with a wide range of project-based work. Almost a third of all UK employers are predicted to use digital work platforms by 2021. The REC has called on policy-makers to ensure that the ‘gig economy’ is fair to self-employed workers and businesses, and to secure benefits for the UK economy. REC chief executive Kevin Green says the gig economy can’t be ignored.

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“The gig economy is predicted to add £45 billion to the UK economy and create work for 766,000 people. Gig working is heading for the mainstream,” he says. “This is good news for employers who will welcome tools that help them access the global talent market. The UK is close to full employment and businesses across the economy need to react to

skills shortages. Current uncertainty around how the UK’s relationship with the EU will affect the jobs market is another driver for innovation. Bill Richards, UK managing director of job site Indeed, says the gig economy will only

THE REC’S RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT • Ensure that gig workers and businesses have recourse for instances of bad practice • Clarify the legal and tax status of gig workers and ensure they get the same protections as other self-employed workers • Look to services such as the Low Pay Commission to determine fair pay for gig workers • Ensure the same rules governing the recruitment industry apply to digital work platforms, so that businesses can compete on a level playing field.

grow in future. “The gig economy is disrupting traditional notions of employment. Only 13 per cent of British people think they will be working in traditional 9-to-5 jobs by 2025. Online job search and the rise of digital work platforms is creating a wealth of opportunities for the temporary market, with flexible working patterns a driving force behind the gig economy.” The report follows research by LinkedIn that found 16 per cent of its 20 million UK users moved from large to small companies between March 2015 and 2016. University of Oxford economist Dr Craig Holmes says the survey reflects current market trends. “The improving economic outlook will certainly have been important in the growth of small enterprises, while cutbacks in public sector are one of the factors behind the growth in independent consultants and contractors,” he says. 10/08/2016 16:18

Leading the Industry


This is what the REC wants the new government to think about, says Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and professional services

Let’s not forget how resilient our economy is, says Kevin Green, REC chief executive Eight weeks on from the EU Referendum, the consequences of a vote to leave are becoming more apparent every day. While there has been some shortterm pain as employers come to terms with the shock outcome, it’s clear that businesses are still hiring. Either way, this is a time for recruiters to focus on demonstrating value, both to clients and candidates. The REC’s Report on Jobs for June showed that employers were cautious in the runup to the referendum, with permanent hiring slowing but flexible resourcing performing strongly. The data for July shows how employers reacted to the vote, with perm hiring clocking its worse monthly performance for seven years. But a large part of this comes from an emotional response. The economy performed strongly prior to June 23rd, with GDP accelerating in Q2. EU negotiations will not start until next year and will be painfully slow. The government has said it is not going to review employment legislation any time soon. For now, our trading relationship with Europe remains the same and immigration policy has not been altered. We need to talk-up the resilience of our economy, reiterate to clients that nothing will change in short term, and highlight that talent remains in short supply.

GETTING IN WITH THE IN-CROWD Our new prime minister Theresa May is someone the REC knows well. Having visited our offices, May is supportive of our work on compliance and stamping out forced labour and human trafficking. The new government has moved quickly to reassure markets and business while also seeking to create an inclusive social agenda focusing on everyone benefiting, not just the privileged few. The REC has already made representations and we are meeting officials and new ministers. Our message is very simple: we believe in free trade and we need people to do the jobs available. While the situation remains unclear, let’s make sure that recruiters are presenting the industry in the best possible light. Our advice is, don’t cut your investment in people. In fact, now is the time to galvanise your team, develop better skills and enhance capability to win business. The REC is here to help with bespoke training and qualifications. The recruitment industry is agile, dynamic and responsive, three crucial attributes that are needed when the times are a-changin’. If you want to keep abreast of all that’s new about employment and recruitment why not follow me on twitter at @kevingreenrec


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It’s been an interesting time on the political front. If the last few months had been written up as a satire in the style of The Thick of It, the script would have been dismissed as the work of a deranged fantasist. As well as taking stock of the EU referendum vote, recent weeks have seen a heightened engagement with the legions of incoming ministers. The fact that the REC represents more than 80% of the UK recruitment industry by turnover is an important marker and our commitment to professional standards and to working with government to drive effective enforcement is also an important bridge-builder. Our jobs market data and regular research are also key to positioning our voice on key labour market challenges facing the incoming administration. Our core message is that we are ready to work with government to build a post-EU jobs market that provides opportunities for individuals and gives UK businesses the skills they need to compete on a global level. REC members have told us that retaining membership of the single market would boost business confidence and have underlined the need for clarity on the status of EU workers already in the UK. Our data shows that even before the referendum, candidate shortages were a major problem in many sectors. So we will be impressing on the new ministers that the need to ensure recruiters can access the people they need has not changed. Over the coming months and years, government will be in a position to review EU-based regulations. However, the steer from REC members is that the priority should be to re-evaluate domestic employment and tax regulations currently in the pipeline, such as IR35 and the apprenticeship levy. We need to create the best possible regulatory landscape, one that facilitates growth and job creation while maintaining effective enforcement to protect the interests of compliant businesses. We are starting from a strong base and our ongoing influencing work has involved giving evidence over recent weeks to the Low Pay Commission and to the Work & Pensions Select Committee. Our aim is to help build a successful post-EU jobs market; the insight of REC members will continue to drive our messages to the in-crowd of incoming ministers. You can follow Tom on Twitterr @hadleyscomment ment

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THE INTELLIGENCE DIANA BEECH, REC SENIOR RESEARCHER, REFLECTS ON LIFE AFTER BREXIT FOR UK RECRUITERS On 23 June, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). On assuming office, the new UK prime minister, Theresa May, infamously proclaimed that “Brexit means Brexit”, but what exactly does this mean for the UK recruitment industry? In short, we don’t yet know. The UK is not going to leave the EU overnight. After invoking Article 50, the UK will have two years to negotiate the terms of its withdrawal. Only then will it become clear if the UK will have continued access to the single market, which allows for the free movement of goods, services, money and people.

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In the meantime, the UK is facing a significant period of uncertainty. Economic forecasters have already cut the UK’s predicted growth rates from pre-referendum levels. Just last month, the International Monetary Fund cut its UK growth forecast by almost a full percentage point, down to 1.3% for 2017. The looming prospect of Brexit will inevitably affect business and consumer confidence. Data from the jobsearch website Adzuna revealed an initial post-referendum dip, as employers noticeably held off from hiring. Job postings on the site fell 26% from 39,000 on the Monday prior to the referendum to 29,000 on the Monday immediately after the result. A post-vote study by the site also found that finance vacancies were hit particularly hard – down 14% on the previous year. More recent data from Adzuna nevertheless suggests



37.5% 32.8% 32% CATERING CATE C


a return tto normality ormality lit for f UK employers. The site reports that from 2-8 July there was a 16% week-on-week rise in the number of jobs advertised, with the number of vacancies posted since the referendum having grown on average by 1.4% a day. The UK jobs market is at least remaining resilient amid the threat of uncertain times. For UK recruiters, then, it’s a case of ‘business as usual’ while employers seek to maintain recruitment levels. Data from the UK jobs site CV-Library

shows h th h key k sectors for jobs the growth in the wake of Brexit were legal (37.5%), catering (32.8%) and education (32%). New CV registrations on the site also increased by 10.8% nationwide, which suggests fears over Brexit are yet to hamper job-hunters’ ambitions. For now, at least, cautious optimism is the order of the day, as recruiters continue to help British businesses hire the talent they need and fill more than one million unique positions currently being advertised.


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Member of the Month


TOP OF THE CLASS Recruitment Matters: What’s your background?

Dan McCarthy: Before recruitment, I was a foreign exchange trader for a couple of investment banks in the City of London. I mainly traded European currencies during some turbulent times in the late 80s and 90s. I then joined Informatiq Consulting in 1998 as a recruitment consultant and then took responsibility for growing some of our biggest client accounts, leading teams and developing new initiatives for the business.

so it’s a mix of larger global organisations and smaller specialised companies. But it’s mainly the more technical people that we tend to focus on. What we try to do is establish very strong relationships with clients and really understand their business. It’s a combo of not just finding the skills they need but the right person too.

RM: When you’re not running

and engineering sectors primarily throughout the UK,

a recruitment company, you’re helping the REC deliver its

excitement of a busy day, but I think recruitment makes up for that.

RM: What does Informatiq


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review of qualifications in 2010. After the review, there was a restructuring of the qualifications. The REC asked for applications from people to be a chief examiner. I

DMC: I think it’s been the

DMC: Our focus is on IT

DMC: I do miss the

DMC: There was a fairly big

applied and interviewed, thankfully successful, for the level 3 and level 4 units, on both the awarding and examination committees. In June 2014 I was elected chair of the qualifications committee, so I’ve been doing that for a couple of years. My two-year tenure is coming to an end.


focus on?

fast-paced industry.

recruitment qualifications. How did that come about?

RM: How do you find IT

same as long as I’ve been in recruitment – just the label attached to the skill has changed over the years. There’s always the latest version of something that a client wants, a new process, a new way of doing things. Recruitment is about relationships with clients and candidates and if you can establish those relationships, you will have success.

RM: Forex trading is a pretty

Dan McCarthy is a director at Informatiq Consulting Ltd and the outgoing chairman of the IRP’s Qualifications Committee. He tells recruitment matters why being a qualified recruiter will soon become the norm.

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RM: Were you always

schooling, I never had an interest in the quals aspect [laughs]. But I’ve been involved in helping Informatiq staff through their REC qualifications and mentoring them. I saw this as the next step up from there. I thought it would give me a greater understanding of the industry and the marketplace as a whole. It was an attractive proposition.

it’s a great piece of work. The REC and IRP have demonstrated they’re the leading professional body in the recruitment industry and the people on the qualifications committee know the industry inside and out. They have developed an extremely robust, exacting and fair process for writing course materials, delivering exams, and ultimately delivering pass or fail results. That robust method has been tried and tested and has been accepted in the industry as something worth having.

RM: There’s been a shift in

RM: What advice do you

of the year playing out?

the way recruitment presents itself, with more and more people seeing it as a career of choice. How do you see this evolving over the long term?

have for recruiters taking qualifications at the moment?

DMC: I think the initial

interested in the qualifications side of things?

DMC: If you look at my

else when marking papers and awarding results – is that people haven’t read the question. Making sure they read the question and making sure they know what they’re being asked rather than regurgitating a piece of text they’ve read is crucial. If the students could see their examination paper after it’s been marked they would kick themselves. I think we find that quite frustrating. You get the feeling that someone knows their stuff, but haven’t been accurate in their answer.

RM: How do you see the rest

DMC: That change has been quite dramatic and the REC and IRP have proven they can move recruiters through their entire career, from start to finish. The REC’s Career Routeway has achieved that and

DMC: I think some people assume they know it all already, but everybody needs to put the time in to learn the course material. The most important thing – the thing we see more than anything

sides of the debate and that people were a little bit scared of the consequences of either decision. I think it’s settled down pretty quickly and we’re almost back to business as usual, and that will continue for some time. I think we need strong leadership, both politically and within business, to take advantages of the opportunities in front of us. Any firm decision and action is still a long way away from happening. There are winners and losers all the time in recruitment, whether it’s a boom or a tough market place. But the future looks pretty good to me.

reaction to the EU referendum was just a reaction to all the misinformation from both


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10/08/2016 16:19

Legal update

GIG ECONOMY What does the gig economy mean for employment law? Asks James Coupe, REC legal executive Employment law is continually having to play catch-up with the new and innovative ways that businesses choose to engage with the workforce. Changes in technology, society and ways of working mean that some of the key concepts of employment law, slowly built up over decades, can be challenged by radical, disruptive working practices. Right now, mobile apps connecting end-users to the services they want to use have caused some controversy around the distinction between workers and the self-employed. At the time of writing, a legal challenge surrounding the employment status of drivers for the Uber car hire service is being heard in the Employment Tribunal. The lawyers for the drivers argue that the way in which Uber exercises control over the drivers and the way it deducts money based on customer

complaints mean that the drivers are workers. Uber maintains that the drivers are free to work whenever they want and are self-employed. Uber has faced legal challenges in other jurisdictions. Class action suits in California and Massachusetts alleged that Uber was in breach of local labour law around contractor/ employee status. Both suits were settled out of court earlier this year. However, it is best to avoid any premature conclusions – American law operates differently to UK employment law, it provides different rights, and can vary state-by-state. As a high-profile Californian company valued at tens of billions of dollars, it is easy to fixate on Uber and its competitors like Lyft. However, companies with similar app-based strategies are cropping up in a whole variety of sectors. TaskRabbit

connects individuals with tradespeople to carry out DIY and other household tasks; Upwork allows business to find designers, writers, and programmers; Scholarly connects students in the USA with tutors; and there are dozens of other companies. We don’t yet know what decision the Employment Tribunal will reach about the employment status of the Uber drivers – selfemployed drivers, workers, or even employees – or whether that decision will be appealed. For businesses, however, it is important to be aware that the use of new technology platforms doesn’t automatically nullify the rights and responsibilities provided by UK employment law. Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by smartphones, Wi-Fi, satnavs, tablets and wearable computing, will no doubt be important to the success of many businesses,

with scope for greater efficiencies, managing surges in demand while potentially providing work-seekers with flexibility. However, the underlying legal principles used for determining employment status still apply. Recruiters who supply temporary staff should always consider what the reality of the contractual arrangement is, even when it uses cuttingedge high-tech knowhow. Look beyond the technology or terminology used by the client, and avoid applying blanket rules based on the sector, pay, or job title. Getting it wrong can have a significant impact on your bottom line, if you find that your “self-employed contractors” are deemed to be agency workers or employees, with all the potential implications for their rights, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity/ paternity leave, pension auto-enrolment, tax, NICs, and everything else.

BUSINESS PARTNER: MAKING TAX DIGITAL Last year’s Budget set out the government’s bold vision to transform the tax system and bring an end to the tax return. By 2016, government intends to give every individual and small business access to their own secure digital tax account, like an online bank account, that enables them to interact with HMRC digitally. By 2020, businesses and individual taxpayers should be able to register, file, pay and update their information at any time, and at any point in the year. For

the vast majority, there will be no need to fill in an annual tax return. HMRC will collect and process information affecting tax in as close to real time as possible, stopping tax due or repayments owed from building up. Individual and business taxpayers will not have to wait until the end of each tax year before knowing how much tax they owe, avoiding any surprises and helping them to plan their financial affairs with more certainty. And taxpayers


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will be presented with a complete financial picture of their tax affairs in their digital account, and be able to see and manage all of their liabilities and entitlements together. The government aims to achieve this bold vision for the future of the tax system by 2020. Official REC Business Partner and FCSA Accredited accountancy firm, First Freelance, has been offering contractors a ‘real-time’ overview of their business and personal finances for

some time, using cutting-edge technology, accessible from any device, anywhere. Supportive of HMRC’s plans, First Freelance is already well placed to help individual and business tax payers meet any future tax reporting requirements. To find out more about HMRC’s plans for Making Tax Digital, or First Freelance services for contractors and agencies, contact: Mark BealPreston on 0207 148 1580 or visit

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The View

Laura Garratt tt is an account manager ager at Chefs Jobs UK

Zakk Rockett is a consultant at Extra a Talent Recruitment nt

#CERTFIE WINNER CERT RP STUDENT How did you get into recruitment? I’m from a hospitality background, and I love dealing with people. I’m highly competitive and I love learning, so I like that I have a job that involves those things but is intrinsically involved in an industry that I’m interested in.

How did you get into recruitment? At the start, I didn’t see myself getting into the industry, but I got offered a chance to work as a trainee recruiter, so I thought I’d give it a go and I found out I was really good at it and fell in love with it.

What do you enjoy about your job? Every day is different - you’re always wanting to go out and win business. It’s the aim of ‘wanting to do the best’ that speaks to me. You’re always wanting to do more and push yourself, whether it’s learning a new skill or anything else.

What do you love about the job? It’s a mixture, really. I love trying to fill jobs for companies and finding candidates for that job. It’s great when you get good feedback from clients and when a candidate says, “this is a great job and I’m really happy”. I find that really fulfilling.

What’s your role at Chefs Jobs? I’m part of a fantastic team. I recruit chefs on a temp basis, from everything from sous to head, from Kent to north of Yorkshire – we work all over.

Where do you work? I work for Extra Talent Recruitment - it’s a really great company to work for. We’ve gone through a big rebrand exercise and have changed the business to improve ourselves. As a company, we always try to improve and that feeds through to us as individuals too. It’s why I recently completed the Level 3 Certificate in Recruitment Practice.

What are you noticing in your sector right now? There is a huge chef shortage nationwide, so we’re seeing a high demand. We’re in the height of summer and everyone’s going out to eat and drink. The chef shortage is making it difficult at the moment, but you’re always really busy. Chefs Jobs is on track for a record year having just put up a record quarter. How did you find the Level 3 Cert RP in Recruitment Practice? It was really enjoyable. You get to know the theory behind your day to day job and that backs up what you’re doing. It shows what you’re doing is correct and gives you a great insight into what’s going on. It’s taken my role to the next level. What would you say to yourself on your very first day? I’d be honest! You’ll have a lot of balls in the air but go on and keep pushing and keep in touch with candidates. You need to keep up those relationships. Don’t leave one of them behind.

How did you find the Cert RP? I really enjoyed it - it was full of really valuable knowledge and taught me a lot of new techniques that I brought back to my day-to-day work. The course was hard, and there was a lot of hard work and dedication needed for the exam, but it’s really paid off. Sounds like you would recommend it? I would definitely recommend it. I feel like everything I’ve learned, I’ve put into my work. Doing the course and the qualification makes you really stand out among other recruiters. I’m looking into doing the Level Four Diploma in Recruitment Management because I enjoyed the Level Three so much. It sounds like you’ve found your career of choice? I can see myself being in recruitment for a long, long time.

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

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Events and training

IRP AWARDS - JUDGES’ TIPS Recruitment Matters asked last year’s IRP Awards judges to give a tip to those entering this year CLARITY “Be succinct and stick to the brief. Entries that didn’t do as well this time around went off on tangents and didn’t follow the entry criteria.”

BRING IT TO LIFE “The entries I enjoyed reading the most were the tangible ones. There was a lot of ‘we’re very good at this’ without giving evidence. Some of the entrants who stood out gave case studies and specific examples. It doesn’t have to be paragraphs, it can just be two or three lines. Everyone who entered was fantastic, but it’s the little things that differentiate you and make

a very big difference to the judges”.

CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK “Poor spelling and grammar doesn’t help you – get someone who doesn’t know your organisation or anything about you to read your entry – do they understand what you’re trying to say? Does it make sense to them? This is a better idea than getting someone internal to check it, as they already know what you’re trying to say.”

BE IMPACTFUL AND INSPIRING “Putting together your entry

is like crafting your CV. It has to be impactful. Fill it with output based information and what you have actually achieved. I don’t want to know how you’ve done it, I want to know the impact. Evidence from employees, clients and stakeholders confirming your achievement are key. I want to be inspired.”

and innovative things, and think they’re everyday things. But you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make using these in your entry. It shows you go above and beyond.” Our judges also told us last year that they saw “fantastic and really innovative ideas, from some great personalities I’d like to meet. It was great to come across some agencies I SHOW YOUR hadn’t heard of before. There DIFFERENTIATOR were some great examples of “It’s really important to see agencies and individuals who that special ‘nugget’ about you are going above and beyond”. as an individual. What are the “It just shows what a great things you do that go above and industry recruitment is.” beyond in a typical day? You’re Find out more about the probably doing very different awards at


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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

© 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 - September 2016