TALiNT International September 2022

Page 1

TOP 100 STAFFING COMPANIES

The Digital Experience

Ben Kaminsky, Founder and CEO of EVA.ai, personalises the use of AI

ESG

Why it’s important to recruiters, their candidates & clients

Walking the Talk

DE&I: An important differentiator for recruiters

TALiNT International September 2022 1 INDUSTRY LEADING RECRUITERS SUSTAINING PROFITABLE GROWTH

Omni FlexEmbedded TA Solutions

With the pressure on internal TA teams

as organisations struggle to hire professional recruiters, many are looking to RPO providers to help:

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Reduce spiralling agency spend by improving direct hiring

Omni Flex service enables you to build TA capacity and capability quickly by engaging talent professionals when you need them most.

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TALiNT International September 20222 Omni
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From the Editor

Iam pleased to introduce this special edition of TALiNT International. Each year, TALiNT Partners publishes rankings, based on a number of metrics, of the top staffing companies in the UK. This year, we’ve done things a little bit differently and instead of producing a standalone publication with rankings of the top 500 companies, we have scaled the number to reflect the top 100 staffing companies and incorporated feature articles that include commentary and insights from our valued members and contributors –a true collaboration!

This issue of the magazine is also the prelude to the TALiNT International Annual Recruitment Awards (TIARAs), and we could not be more excited. I was privileged to be part of the judging process to choose the winners for the TIARA Recruitment Awards which will be announced on the 19th of October at a diamond studded gala dinner at The Brewery in London.

With a combined turnover of £9.5 billion, and collectively employing 42,000 talented people,

the 65 shortlisted staffing firms for the TIARAs represent the UK’s top recruiters who are driving transformation and growth in the sector and we’re delighted to see some of those winners up there in the rankings of the Top 100 Staffing Companies featured in this issue.

Last year’s Recruitment Power List ranked the top recruiters by turnover and found that the top 500 generated £36.8 billion in 2020 and estimated total UK staffing industry sales of £45.5 billion. On page 11, you’ll find the rankings of the Top 100 Staffing Companies for 2022.

This issue, once again, is packed with insights from industry leaders, TALiNT Partners directors and guest contributors, all packaged beautifully into this digital magazine. We will also be printing a limited number of magazines which will be distributed to our members and at future events – a special edition indeed. Enjoy the read.

About TALiNT Partners

TALiNT Partners brings together a global network of leading employers and solution providers to make better talent and technology decisions by providing intelligence, insight and peer-to-peer networking that drives quality, innovation and improves inclusion across the talent ecosystem.

Published by Talent Intelligence Partners Ltd Casa Court

George Street

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TALiNT International September 20224 12 The Top 100 Staffing Companies The story behind the numbers 20 The digital experience with Ben Kaminsky Conversational and predictive AI that engages users 24 Harnessing the hidden workforce How can recruiters bring more marginalised talent into the workforce? 29 Q&A with TALiNT Partners members Exploring talent solutions with industry leaders 34 Walking the talk DE&I as an important differentiator 39 Environmental, social and governance Why it matters 44 A new frontier How tech is solving challenges in recruitment 48 Member insights: Employee engagement What are the best employers in recruitment doing to find and keep their people? 53 The specialists How employers partner with recruiters to build unique talent pools 56 TALiNT Talk Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners CEO has the last word 08 Halcyon days Financial data & research for TALiNT Partners’ Top 100 Staffing Companies 12 The Top 100 Staffing Companies Contents Contributors
Victoria Parker
Outsource UK
Natasha Crump
Amoria Bond
Melanie Hayes
Harvey Nash
Debbie Davenport
Rullion
Nicola McQueen
NHS Professionals
Stephanie O’Connor ManpowerGroup Catherine Kellaway
Goodman Masson
Steph Harle
Reed
MCG
Group Richard Bradley
Kelly

Halcyon days

Published results and market sentiment suggest that the sector is enjoying unprecedented times, the exponential growth in the number of advertised vacancies would also support this. At the start of 2022 weekly job postings were at 1.2 million, in August they stood at just under 1.9 million.

The Office of National Statistics says, since vacancies fell to an all-time low in April to June 2020, they have subsequently increased by 945,000 in a little over two years. These numbers confirm that the Great Resignation, has in fact been the Great Re-shuffle and a lack of talent is plainly evident.

The backdrop to this is at the time of writing, the world is still coming to grips with the continuing war in Ukraine, spiralling energy costs, and shortages being felt across many supply chains. In the UK inflation is heading north and quickly, predicted to peak around 18%. There are strikes across many key sectors all expressing the disaffection with pay reviews, working conditions and the soaring cost of living.

The industry is facing a whole new set of challenges, so what lessons have recruiters already taken on board, and how has this been reflected in their performance?

The most significant finding from our research is that the industry is working smarter. Whilst both turnover and net fee income of the top 100 recruiters is down, their profits have increased, by almost 50%. Turnover in 2020 stood at £26.6 billion, and despite 57% of companies reporting increased sales the overall figure for 2021 dropped to £25.7 billion. It is a similar story when looking at NFI/Gross Profit. Just over half, 54%, of companies reported improved numbers, however, the £3.0 billion stated was down from £3.5 billion recorded a year earlier. If turnover is vanity and profit sanity, driven by initial Covid cost cutting, and fuelled by increased demand, combined with greater operating efficiency from technology overall profits have significantly improved. Rising from £320 million to £474 million, some 55% of companies reported increased profits. That said eleven companies still reported a loss. (See Figure 1).

TALiNT International September 20226
TOP 100 STAFFING COMPANIES

The financial data and research for our annual report on the recruitment sector predominantly covers the calendar year of 2021, and it focusses on the UK’s 100 largest companies. Taking comparisons from their performances from a year earlier, it therefore reflects the recovery from the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020. So just how strong has the recovery been and is it sustainable?

Figure 1 data for the top 100.

Year Turnover

2011 £15.8b

2012 £17.1b

£18.5b

£22.1b

£23.4b

£24.8b

£25.0b

£26.6b

2019 £30.7b

NFI

PBT

£26.6b £3.5b £320m

£25.7b £3.0b £474m

Looking across the wider recruitment sector and applying the same performance levels of the top 100, it can be calculated that the full industry contributes £43.3 billion of revenues, down from the previous year’s £45.5 billion. The number of industry licences remains at the 40,000 level and the biggest challenge the sector currently faces

is in the search for its own talent. Demand for recruitment & talent professionals is at a high, with the role ‘recruiter’ being the most popular search on LinkedIn. A further bellwether and barometer on the health of the sector is M&A activity. Grant Thornton report, “Deal volumes in the recruitment sector have remained robust

TALiNT International September 2022 7
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since October 2021. Some 18 deals were announced in Q4 2021, followed by 23 in Q1 2022, which represents the strongest quarter since the COVID-19 catch-up of Q4 2020”. The M&A deal pipeline is reliably strong.

Most companies who make up the UK’s top 100 recruiters are home grown, 85 in fact. The remaining businesses reflect the global makeup

Figure

the sector with the remaining ownership shared by the US, Japan, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and China.

Segmenting nicely into the wider recruitment universe the UK remains in the top 3 of industry markets. Research from the WEC Economic Report positions the UK behind the US and Japan with sales of €36.7billion (See Figure 2).

Rank Country Turnover (€billion) Annual change %

USA 107.1 -12

Japan 65.7 2

UK 36.7 -9

Germany 27.2 -13

Australia 18.3

France 17.1 -22

Netherlands 15.8 -11

Italy 10 -5

Switzerland 8.4 -1

Belgium 5.3 -14

India 5.1 -16

Canada 4.9 -16

China 4.7 -4

Spain 4.7 -15

Sweden 3.4 -14

The World Employment Confederation reports total turnover of the global private employment services industry in 2020 is estimated at €465.8 billion ($532 bn). Once again, the agency work sector generated the major share of revenues among all five HR service segments of the industry, contributing 78% of global revenues. Agency work revenues stood at €361.4 billion ($412.7 bn) in 2020. The revenue share of activities which are purely attributed to Managed Services Provision (MSP) is estimated to be around 8% in 2020 (€37.8 billion), while most MSP activities can be attributed to the agency work sector.

Direct recruitment activities resulted in revenues of €59.4 billion ($67.8 bn), equivalent to 13% of the global industry turnover. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and career management markets remain relatively small, at €5.1 billion ($5.8 bn) and €2.2 billion ($2.5 bn) respectively.

In conclusion UK recruiters are enjoying a halcyon period and yet again it is those companies who have embraced technology, wrapped it around their people by placing DEI and ESG at the forefront of their businesses who are leading the way.

TALiNT International September 20228 TOP 100 STAFFING COMPANIES
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The story behind the numbers

Industry leaders explain how DE&I, ESG, RPO, tech, data and talent enabled the best staffing firms to outperform the sector

The industry-leading recruiters ranked in this year’s Top 100 Staffing Companies tell an important story about how to sustain profitable growth with client, candidate, and consultant loyalty through the worst and best of times.

To bring this story to life, we invited senior leaders from TALiNT Partners member network featured in the Top 100 to share insights on the strategies, services and tactics for success that have been recognised with TIARA awards or simply enabled them to win more of the best business over the last two years.

Over the next few pages, we present some of the nuggets they have shared in our member events with staffing and talent solutions leaders in 2022 to help them make better strategic decisions for 2023.

This includes a Q&A with Reed, Amoria Bond and Morson Group on why ESG has become a board level priority for recruiters and how to authentically differentiate for clients,

employees and candidates. With more Staffing firms exploring opportunities in RPO and MSP, we asked leaders from Rullion and Kelly Services to share their lessons on how to minimise the risks and maximise the rewards from new talent solutions – and how to avoid unprofitable business.

DE&I has also become a higher priority for recruiters, as employers as well as partners. We spoke to senior leaders from PageOutsourcing, Goodman Masson, SThree and Outsource UK about how, and why, to be a more inclusive recruiter and a better inclusion partner.

Attracting and retaining recruitment talent has been the biggest challenge for the staffing sector over the last year so we asked award-winning employers of choice in recruitment including Harvey Nash, Morgan McKinley, Meridian BS and MCG Group to share their talent tactics for developing future growth leaders.

Everyone has seen the impact of AI and Automation over the last two years and early adopters

have transformed their businesses but the most successful have invested in better use of data to solve new challenges for consultants and enable a more pro-active approach to finding and matching the best candidates. Our Q&A with ManpowerGroup and NHS Professionals describes the new frontier for tech and data to support orchestration and education.

As always, our verified company rankings and industry analysis only tell part of the story. We value our membership network of senior leaders at the forefront of the sector for the insights they share in our year-round programme of peer and expert-led learning.

We hope this insight helps you to make better strategic decisions for success in 2023. If you would like to join the best conversations in the sector with the industry’s best leaders,

Find out more at talintpartners.com/ membership.

TALiNT International September 202210
TOP100 STAFFING COMPANIES
TALiNT International September 2022 11 Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax 1 Impellam £1 667 700 000 £166 800 000 £1 465 600 000 £134 900 000 2 Hays £1 550 000 000 £250 000 000 £50 000 000 £1 445 700 000 £225 600 000 £16 600 000 3 The Adecco Group UK and Ireland £1 406 343 000 £205 554 000 £185 053 000 £1 793 000 000 4 Manpower Group £1 265 317 000 £86 733 000 £1 068 900 000 5 Harvey Nash Group £1 048 944 266 £119 548 982 £13 100 416 £1 017 388 000 £95 850 000 £4 678 000 6 Pertemps Network Group Ltd £1 000 391 000 £136 040 000 £14 158 000 £896 256 000 £135 727 000 £3 783 000 7 Morson £954 553 000 £96 998 000 £29 095 000 £859 000 000 £83 100 000 £28 600 000 8 Reed £952 000 000 £190 135 000 £32 902 000 £946 000 000 £193 275 000 £6 109 000 9 NHS Professionals £934 852 000 £91 891 000 £16 784 000 £950 939 000 £638 861 000 £11 019 000 10 Staffline £914 800 000 £80 200 000 £7 700 000 £1 076 700 000 £86 500 000 -£5 800 000 11 Twenty20 Capital £790 000 000 £112 000 000 £28 000 000 £279 400 000 £59 900 000 £389 000 12 Airswift £749 602 000 £92 577 000 £15 165 000 £795 746 000 £95 992 000 £17 958 000 13 Randstad £697 508 000 £106 805 000 £9 678 000 £615 667 000 £9 642 000 14 Cpl Resources plc £589 537 000 £94 058 000 £27 201 000 £484 140 000 £85 309 000 £24 150 000 15 Job & Talent Holdings £433,020,526 £34 040 880 £9 217 588 £433 020 526 £34 040 880 £9 217 588 16 Gattaca £402 254 000 £38 610 000 £3 658 000 £538 700 000 £54 300 000 £1 400 000 17 nGAGE Specialist Recruitment £376 067 532 £59 877 449 £378 949 000 £66 651 000 £3 260 000 Members Non Members
TALiNT International September 202212 18 The Best Connection Group £348 040 000 £44 493 000 £1 595 000 £349 526 000 £40 952 000 -£679 000 19 Sanderson Solutions Group £332 958 000 £5 788 000 £448 677 000 £34 948 000 £8 999 000 20 Gi Group £325 036 563 £32 323 148 -£935 185 £215 945 000 £10 600 000 -£2 353 000 21 Rullion £307 378 000 £15 232 000 £2 920 000 £323 034 000 £15 185 000 £2 180 000 22 Robert Walters £297 600 000 £68 700 000 £3 300 000 £938 400 000 £302 400 000 £12 100 000 23 Frank Recruitment Group £288 696 000 £120 672 000 -£4 242 000 £257 000 000 £107 484 000 £3 778 000 24 PageGroup £271 487 000 £127 944 000 £16 908 000 £217 300 000 £80 985 000 -£10 345 000 25 LA International £260 170 000 £247 040 000 £23 584 000 £16 387 000 26 Orion Group £231 860 000 £15 918 000 -£722 000 £231 860 000 £15 918 000 -£722 000 27 NES Fircroft £214 040 000 £22 314 000 £12 855 000 £1 422 737 382 28 SThree £202 368 000 £37 798 000 £186 146 000 29 Mach Recruitment £200 585 000 £12 852 000 £3 216 000 £110 312 000 £7 394 000 £759 877 30 Acacium - ICS Group £186 853 000 £37 666 000 -£4 800 000 £180 653 000 £51 602 000 £39 175 000 31 Coyle Personnel Ltd £186 500 000 £38 500 000 £15 100 000 £75 993 000 £11 637 000 £1 983 000 32 The Recruit Venture Group £186 000 000 £32 900 000 £12 200 000 £148 147 000 33 gap personnel £180 120 000 £18 225 000 £5 014 000 £183 493 000 £22 209 000 £3 717 000 34 HRGO £176 200 000 £26 800 000 £9 400 000 £114 300 000 £24 600 000 £1 800 000 TOP100 STAFFING COMPANIES Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax Members Non Members
TALiNT International September 2022 13 35 Your World Recruitment Group £172 775 790 £20 999 445 £10 077 229 £142 400 000 £16 900 000 £5 700 000 36 NRL £165 565 085 £12 943 784 £3 844 313 £156 152 000 £10 970 000 £2 480 000 37 ID Medical £161 645 750 £28 137 915 £5 194 169 £125 027 470 £23 532 638 £2 561 568 38 Supporting Education group £150 608 000 £27 909 000 £15 352 000 £86 500 000 £13 166 000 39 Investigo £148 000 000 £39 000 000 £6 963 000 £110 984 000 £25 421 000 £3 115 000 40 Venn Group £146 858 393 £22 985 973 £3 378 438 £135 495 000 £21 646 000 £688 409 41 Capita Resourcing £144 100 000 £12 133 000 -£3 406 000 £144 100 000 £12 133 000 -£3 406 000 42 Search Group £143 598 000 £28 576 000 £91 000 £182 475 000 £41 762 000 £2 258 000 43 G2V Group £140 800 000 £46 800 000 £5 200 000 £85 700 000 £26 691 000 £7 195 000 44 La Fosse Associates £137 019 129 £28 458 900 £ 10,441,600 £113 762 614 £23 135 246 £3 368 461 45 RED Commerce Limited £130 900 000 £28 100 000 £6 140 000 £79 845 000 £14 489 000 £2 211 000 46 Pro-Force £130 532 373 £8 840 110 £1 136 213 £103 876 000 £7 184 000 £386 530 47 Shorterm Group £128 562 000 £12 298 000 £1 758 000 £137 629 000 £15 403 000 £3 851 000 48 Nexus Workforce £116 005 000 £13 554 000 £1 350 000 £91 773 000 £10 521 000 £1 012 000 49 Driver Hire £115 763 262 £75 554 000 £22 702 000 £3 773 040 50 Bluestones Group £113 290 640 £15 322 096 £4 091 690 £62 162 000 £10 429 000 £1 637 000 51 RGF Staffing UK £109 000 000 £6 176 000 -£4 100 000 £203 347 000 £12 147 000 -£764 000 Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax Members Non Members
TALiNT International September 202214 52 Sanctuary Personnel £107 683 000 £15 198 000 £2 895 000 £107 683 000 £15 198 000 £2 895 000 53 Spencer Ogden £106 677 000 £33 652 000 £2 207 000 £104 570 000 £31 460 000 -£97 000 54 Meridian Business Support £106 319 000 £17 141 000 £5 524 000 £85 131 608 £13 590 473 £2 158 525 55 Newcross Healthcare £105 156 000 £35 304 000 £12 063 000 £134 665 000 £46 423 000 £22 019 000 56 Serocor Holdings Limited £103 375 000 £13 064 000 £308 000 £103 375 000 £13 064 000 £308 000 57 First Recruitment Group £102 313 000 £4 848 000 £1 925 000 £110 388 498 £6 369 344 £1 251 000 58 TXM Recruit £101 348 000 £13 846 000 £1 521 000 £67 735 000 £6 564 000 £859 280 59 Eaglecliff Recruitment £95 840 000 £2 999 889 £1 439 000 £95 840 000 £2 999 889 £1 439 000 60 Acorn Recruitment Ltd £95 388 000 £11 405 000 £1 345 000 £91 656 000 £10 885 000 £1 665 000 61 Allegis Global Solutions £95 325 000 £7 561 000 -£4 482 000 £158 839 000 £11 045 000 £792 331 62 Danny Sullivan Group £95 305 000 £15 131 000 £8 986 000 £82 595 841 £12 625 237 £7 233 948 63 Encore Personnel £95 000 000 £10 908 000 £807 000 £77 291 102 £894 369 £1 223 794 64 Smart Solutions (Recruitment) £92 847 000 £12 534 000 -£837 000 £92 847 000 £12 534 000 -£837 000 65 Quest Employment £92 013 000 £9 545 000 £2 154 000 £92 013 000 £9 545 000 £2 154 000 66 Whitehall Resources £91 000 000 £9 500 000 £4 700 000 £56 520 000 67 Templine Employment Agency £88 823 000 £9 463 000 £3 333 000 £76 899 000 £6 518 000 £1 308 000 68 Rethink Group plc £88 769 000 £13 488 000 -£1 008 000 £88 769 000 £13 488 000 -£1 008 000 Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax Members Non Members TOP100 STAFFING COMPANIES
TALiNT International September 2022 15 69 InterQuest £86 000 000 £22 000 000 £3 200 000 £85 000 000 £14 750 000 £700 000 70 RTC Group plc £81 400 000 £10 200 000 £1 100 000 £81 400 000 £10 200 000 £1 100 000 71 Tripod partners £81 326 000 £6 905 000 £1 627 000 £69 807 000 £6 151 000 £774 000 72 Extrastaff Ltd £81 208 609 £10 931 203 £2 026 532 £61 255 000 £8 939 660 £2 055 000 73 First Call Contract Services £81 053 991 £9 653 070 £2 142 466 £75 379 077 £9 613 163 £2 950 000 74 Heads Rec (Proman Group) £79 617 000 £7 082 000 £1 732 000 £79 617 000 £7 082 000 £1 732 000 75 Servoca £79 200 000 £18 200 000 £4 300 000 £69 700 000 £15 200 000 £2 600 000 76 People Solutions Group £77 683 000 £74 759 000 £12 268 708 £2 108 892 77 Nurse Plus & Carer Plus £76 250 000 £25 971 000 £9 647 000 £74 835 000 £24 977 541 £7 754 988 78 Fusion People £75 701 000 £7 718 000 £818 663 £67 993 000 £5 878 000 £864 541 79 O'Neill & Brennan £73 564 000 £11 458 000 £2 623 000 £67 645 000 £12 781 000 £544 793 80 The MCG Group (COLM) £73 370 000 £14 040 000 £2 540 000 £82 779 000 £17 386 000 £2 214 000 81 Amoria Bond £73 157 000 £17 798 000 £3 562 000 £74 259 000 £17 387 000 £932 704 82 Sellick Partnership £72 703 000 £10 623 000 £3 193 000 £55 456 000 83 Oliver James Associates £72 184 876 £18 829 470 £3 690 853 £61 516 000 £15 068 000 £1 642 000 84 Kintec Group £71 070 000 £5 316 000 £850 045 £83 664 000 £6 542 000 £1 228 000 85 Interaction Recruitment £70 235 000 £12 990 000 £3 697 000 £59 498 000 £10 084 000 £1 872 000 Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax Members Non Members

Thought

Kellaway, Executive Director, Goodman Masson. Colm McGinley, Founder & CEO of MCG Group. David Leithead, COO, Morgan McKinley. Debbie Davenport, Executive Director,

Gareth Morris, Group Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Compliance, Morson Group. Jeanette Barrowcliffe, CFO, Meridian BS. Karima Green, Global Head of DEI & People Engagement, SThree. Melanie Hayes, Global CPO, Harvey Nash. Natasha Crump, People and ESG Director, Amoria Bond. Nicola McQueen, CEO, NHS Professionals. Olly

Harris, Global Managing Director, Page Outsourcing. Ross Crook, Managing Director, Sanderson Solutions. Steph Harle, ESG Lead & Ryan Pearson, Attraction & Branding Specialist, Reed. Stephanie O’Connor, Centre of Recruitment Excellence Director, ManpowerGroup. Victoria Parker, Operations Director, Outsource UK

86 Day Webster £69 925 000 £9 087 000 £930 188 £100 543 000 £14 202 000 £1 604 000 87 Berry Recruitment Group £68 783 000 £12 968 000 £1 559 000 £58 818 000 £11 053 000 £475 000 88 Outsource UK £67 917 998 £5 873 530 £538 387 £81 766 000 £6 468 000 £316 638 89 Robert Half £67 754 000 £13 597 000 £1 601 000 £67 754 000 £13 597 000 £1 601 000 90 McGinley Support Services (DERMOT) £67 100 000 £11 500 000 £700 000 £57 076 000 91 Square One Resources £65 681 000 £7 760 000 £1 421 000 £70 161 000 £9 141 000 £1 397 000 92 Petroplan £65 400 000 £6 900 000 -£200 000 £65 400 000 £6 900 000 -£200 000 93 Tangent International £63 438 000 £5 838 000 £313 000 £63 438 000 £5 838 000 £313 000 94 Urban Recruitment Group £62 899 000 £9 322 000 -£7 503 £52 734 000 £7 950 000 £70 957 95 LHi £59 109 000 £21 772 000 £2 757 000 £59 109 000 £21 772 000 £2 757 000 96 Morgan McKinley £58 535 000 £12 499 000 £1 100 000 £58 535 000 £12 499 000 £131 785 97 ERSG £58 522 000 £6 922 000 £761 000 £82 203 000 £10 247 000 £1 008 000 98 Opus talent Solutions £56 843 000 £19 425 000 £180 819 £73 511 000 £24 785 000 £1 231 000 99 MadiganGill £55 638 000 £10 469 000 £4 411 000 £55 946 000 £8 226 000 £2 705 000 100 Hydrogen Group £55 399 000 £15 369 000 £238 000 £83 650 000 £12 640 000 £1 600 000 Company Revenue RevenueNet fee income Net fee incomeProfit before tax Profit before tax Members Non Members
Leaders Thank you to all those who contributed to these features in this special issue of TALiNT International Magazine Catherine
Rullion.
TOP100 STAFFING COMPANIES

Personalise the digital experience

TALiNT International spoke to Ben Kaminsky, Founder and CEO of EVA.ai | HR 4.0, the conversational and predictive AI that engages from a friendly process automation platform personalises the digital experiences of candidates and helps HR achieve both growth and sustainable human capital management.

TI: Briefly describe your solution and the problem it solves for your clients.

BK: EVA is a predictive and conversational AI. It sits within a process automation platform for HR / HCM professionals to enable innovative Talent Acquisition and Talent Management experiences. It leverages HR 4.0 technologies such as machine learning and hyper-automation tools; in other words, capabilities at the root of the fourth industrial revolution we live in.

Obviously, one of our main objectives is to boost productivity and eliminate repetitive mundane tasks, but not only. Conversely to other innovative point solutions, solving one or two problems prone to bottlenecks in HR workflows, EVA allows multi-experience designs for all participating stakeholders, namely leaders, managers, employees and candidates; offering them intelligent and synchronised interfaces, personalised for their roles and aligned to the organisation’s overall goals.

We aim to support our clients through various challenges. For example, improving their HR responsiveness and augmenting the role of the digital recruiter through the use of AI-based screening. There is no constraint to the volume of candidates to process or the filter criteria to create talent pipelines/shortlists. Our offering also supports workforce planning, internal mobility and HCM analytics. EVA can transform the employee experience through functional interfaces for different roles, seamlessly interoperated through business logic and process automation.

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: BEN KAMINSKY

the experience

Kaminsky, engages users platform that candidates sustainable

TI: What new problem will AI need to solve for employers in the next five to 10 years, and why?

BK: In the current context of mass layoffs, resignation, remote working, project-based work and fast-changing employee priorities, AI gives efficient and effective ways to manage the workforce.

Companies adopting AI can tackle with ease contemporary issues like ‘great attrition’, hiring for new skills and managing talent supply. The best way to accomplish this is by providing employees with personalised experiences that exceed their expectations, augmenting their capabilities and access to information with virtual assistants, allowing for work flexibility and adapting different employment types, while cultivating a culture of high-performing teams with insightful, intelligent dashboards.

Businesses must bet on being future-ready and utilising technologies to support innovation and a strong purpose. AI help companies to

improve internal and external analysis, enable data-driven decisions and encourage talent to be creative, empowered and technologically savvy with hyper-automation tools.

AI tools of the future will mature with data and modern people agenda to help organisations in a variety of ways, including understanding employees’ sentiments via voice and video analysis, taking logical actions such as retention, creating wellness programs, assessing candidates fit into the company culture to eliminate wrongful hires and future attrition.

AI-next could create adaptive learning programs based on individual experience, competency and performance, reskill and upskill to redeploy based on reinvented jobs while enabling predictive hiring based on skill mapping and forecasting.

AI can also be responsible for reinforcing employee relations with voice recognition/ speech-to-text transactions in conversational AI to bridge the digital divide in more traditional organisations.

TALiNT International September 2022 19

TI: What clients are you working with on your predictive AI solution and how are you delivering the most impact?

BK: EVA’s impact on talent processes can be cited with two client examples: Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

EVA partnered with LVMH on a skill mapping project to analyse the sales team’s skills and performance patterns over time. Using the skill maps and employee 360 profiles visualised on the EVA HCM portal, client organisations can derive department-wise ideal skill and job profiles. This data is then used for workforce planning requirements to predict the skill gaps and additional and complementary skills needed to boost the team’s performance. Further, EVA’s recommendation engine compiles relevant learning programmes and courses to help the team improve its skill gaps and performance metrics.

EVA’s continuous collaboration with the UNDP in implementing a Unified Deployments Platform mobilised a “skill economy” for its personnel. Creating intuitive talent pipelines and predictive hiring models helped reduce hiring time, while candid objective scoring improved hiring quality. This led UNDP Afghanistan to jumpstart a “skills-to-opportunity” matching exercise that transformed its talent acquisition process.

EVA’s solutions empowered the HR leaders to initiate and translate hiring goals systematically by automating the multi-tier review and shortlisting process. The flow-to-work talent acquisition operations give insights into the investments to be made for new skills hiring and internal upskilling.

TI: Will DE&I continue to be a high priority for employers, what aspect should tech providers focus on (ie D, E or I), and why?

BK: Companies must unarguably leverage the power of social Diversity, give Equal opportunities, treat every group fairly, and be Inclusive but not forget to improve the Bfeeling of Belonging to retain the diverse talent.

Though it cannot solve the problem independently, AI has enormous potential in this area.

After considering the current talent landscape and its focus areas, predictive and conversational AI systems can surface underrepresented groups and make hiring more balanced. It can promote fair, transparent and equal recommendations of opportunities and give every voice a seat at the table and get heard at scale.

AI systems learn by analysing current data. Tech providers must ensure that these data and results generated by AI tools are unbiased periodically. EVA strives to eliminate biases by considering only a candidate’s experience, hard/soft skills, aspirations and other noninherently biased data points when calculating the fit score.

I believe AI tool providers should focus on recognising biased language in employee engagement, in job descriptions and paying particular attention when defining talent personas concerning DEI & B objectives.

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: BEN KAMINSKY
Founder
and CEO of EVA.ai

Harnessing the hidden workforce

There is no shortage of talent; we’re just not looking in the right places. There are lots of people with the right skills and attitudes who have been marginalised - or simply withdrawn themselves from the labour market.

In 2020 and 2021, 1.2 million baby boomers left the workforce, with a third made redundant and the rest taking early retirement, according to the ONS. The cost-of-living crisis has started to lure some over 65s back into the workforce, with an estimated 7% ‘unretiring’ this year, but upskilling could bring more experience back into businesses. Whilst 90% of UK workers between 55 and 65 believe they have transferable skills, only 35% of employers offer training according to a survey from WD Research & 55Redefined last year.

Greater acceptance of remote and hybrid working has opened up new talent pipelines for employers and recruiters. The ONS reports that 4.8m people with disabilities were in employment in the UK in Jan / Mar 22 - up 460,000 year on year.

Have employer attitudes to marginalised talent changed to create more opportunities for

ex-military, ex-offenders, and those with disabilities? How are recruiters helping them to access this latent workforce and how does this support differentiation around DE&I and ESG?

To answer these and related questions, TALiNT Partners invited speakers from pioneering staffing and talent solutions firms to share their insights and tactics with 20 leaders from our member network including Rullion, Amoria Bond, Meridian Business Support, ManpowerGroup, Omni, Outsource UK, SThree, Reed, NES Fircroft, The Recruitment Co., PageGroup, AMS and Reed Talent Solutions.

The scene was set by Chance BleuMontgomery, Partner Support Manager at Bridge of Hope Careers, who shared his own personal story of how he became marginalised after the tragic loss of his sister led to a mental breakdown, heavy use of drugs and alcohol, and a prison term where he decided to help others find the purpose he now has.

“Prosper 4 Group and Bridge of Hope Careers works to radically increase the number of marginalised communities employed in Britain and help businesses tap into a fresh pool of

TALiNT International September 202222
MEMBER: INSIGHTS

Chance Bleu-Montgomery

Partner Support Manager, Bridge of Hope Careers

talent,” he explained. “We have partnered with 125 charities and non-Russell Group universities to build a community of nearly 80,000 diverse candidates over the last 20 months. We have also worked with partners like Adway to engage diverse talent through new social media channels like Spotify.”

Chance explained that the first barrier to overcome is the candidate’s own lack of confidence or experience with employers and recruiters, so has designed a partner backed programme of support.

“We understand that it can be like wading through treacle in flipflops when you haven’t got the right qualifications or experience, but you have got the right attitude and capability to learn. A job doesn’t just change the life of a marginalised candidate but their whole extended family in some cases who rely on them, especially if they have been reliant on benefits for a long time. We have partners that offer free financial advice and provide early access to salary in their first month when they most need it – a lifeline for those coming out of homelessness, for example.”

Trinnovo Group founded Ex-Military Careers as a social enterprise alongside its specialist recruitment brands Trust in Soda, BioTalent and Broadgate to create opportunities for this marginalised workforce. This has not only enabled Trinnovo Group to bring its purpose to life for clients and its own consultants but also source highly valued talent to support growth in the UK and US – which helped it to win growth and best recruitment company to work for awards at the TIARAs last year.

“We educate clients about why the veteran candidate community not only brings skills and resilience but help them understand how to be more inclusive as an employer,” explained Oliver Peters, Global VP - Client Engagement Services at Trinnovo Group. “We chose a social enterprise model for EMC because we wanted it to be more than a charity - with success measured in terms of social impact and client education. It brings our values to life but also fulfils a need for clients.”

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How can recruiters bring more marginalised talent into the workforce and help employers remove unnecessary barriers to more diverse, resilient, and loyal talent?
We need to remind recruiters that they aren’t just filling roles but changing lives.

Trinnovo Group recently published its first Impact Report to highlight its ambitions around DE&I but also showcases the collaboration between marketing and sales.

“Our work with ex-military is a key part of our employer and partner brand, and the story we tell with our candidates and consultants is integral to how we build a community,” Oliver added. “It needs fresh content and authentic thought leaders, so we have to be clear with our purpose and the problem we’re solving to inspire different people in that community to post autonomously and bring new people into our network.”

So recruiters are building communities of marginalised talent to help their clients harness the hidden workforce, but how are they helping to break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion?

AMS won a TIARA Talent Solutions DE&I Award in 2021 for its work with HSBC, creating a dedicated Reasonable Adjustments Candidate Care Manager to address potential

Ollie Thorn

Senior Manager, DE&I Client Solutions, PageGroup

challenges through the application process which resulted in 150 new roles for those with disabilities at the bank.

AMS has a range of partners to provide more diverse candidates and has led initiatives to attract more diverse talent into recruitment. Four years ago, it began working with Recruit for Spouses to tap into a highly qualified but still marginalised pool of talent – creating a flexible workforce solution that solves a problem for both clients and candidates.

“Finding people is only half the challenge,” said Paul Modley, DE&I Director at AMS. “As recruitment partners we need to help clients and their hiring managers understand why marginalised candidates should be put forward for roles – not because of a DEI or ESG boxticking exercise but why they enhance teams and help to make employers more inclusive.”

A significant barrier is concern about asking the wrong question in the wrong way and a fear of litigation, so it’s too easy to avoid the

The human touch is such an important part of the recruitment of people with more complex needs and backgrounds

Oliver Peters

Global VP - Client Engagement Services, Trinnovo Group

Our work with ex-military is a key part of our employer and partner brand, and the story we tell with our candidates and consultants is integral to how we build a community.

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MEMBER: INSIGHTS

conversation – for hiring managers and recruitment consultants.

This crucial area is where PageGroup hopes to make an impact. It set up DE&I Client Solutions last year to look at how it can support organisations to attract, engage with, and ultimately retain candidates from diverse backgrounds. This includes those with disabilities in recruitment and how to make hiring processes more accessible.

Ollie Thorn, who suffered a life-changing spinal injury ten years ago, was appointed Senior Manager of DE&I Client Solutions, not just for his lived experience of disability but for the variety in his career – with roles in the army, professional sport, charity and large corporate.

“The human touch is such an important part of the recruitment of people with more complex needs and backgrounds,” Ollie explained. “There is a need for consultant training in what to ask candidates with disabilities; very often candidates tend to be open about the

reasonable adjustments they need to the recruiting or onboarding process if asked.”

An industry that celebrates top billers needs new role models. “Candidate and consultant case studies help to educate both employers and recruiters about why and how to succeed with marginalised talent,” added Ollie. “It gives people confidence to have those conversations with candidates they might have previously avoided.”

“We need to remind recruiters that they aren’t just filling roles but changing lives,” said Chance Bleu-Montgomery. “We can’t blame a refugee for not having copies of their qualifications, we need to give them opportunities to prove the value they can offer employers who need their skills.”

Pioneers like Bridge of Hope, Trinnovo Group, Page and AMS are inspiring change but it’s the first followers in the industry that will drive momentum and create a movement.

Paul Modley

Finding people is only half the challenge. As recruitment partners we need to help clients and their hiring managers understand why marginalised candidates should be put forward for roles.

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Solid foundations

The recruitment boom may have buoyed confidence and boosted sales in the staffing sector but with recession on the near horizon the wisest are thinking about how they can build the strongest foundations for resilience and growth.

New talent solutions, from RPO and MSP to train & deploy, are being offered by more staffing firms and some predict that the lines will continue to blur till this eventually becomes the new, dominant model of recruitment.

TALiNT International invited senior leaders from three members of TALiNT Partners’ vendor network to share insights on their talent solutions offerings and where they have seen the most success.

TI: What are the key risks and rewards of RPO solutions that recruiters should consider?

DD: Securing outsourced solutions generates higher year-on-year revenues providing a stronger financial base and allowing accurate

forecasting and planning. It enables closer, peer-to-peer, longer-term customer relationships, increased commitment, greater access to stakeholders, enhanced career opportunities for your people and creation of success stories to leverage further growth.

In contrast, early investment costs are high and actual financial return is often not realised until year three of an agreement. A robust financial model is a must, particularly in the current economic climate where high level of inflation and rising interest rates make it challenging to establish pricing agreements which apply to multi-year agreements.

TI: Which resourcing services have you seen most demand for and which justify the highest premium?

DD: Rullion has seen rapid growth in requirements for on-demand talent solutions, such as ‘plug and play’ permanent recruitment solutions to augment customer internal hiring teams to inject agility, scale, or specialist expertise. This trend looks set to continue in a talent short market with vacancy levels increasing quarter on quarter.

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More staffing firms have explored opportunities in talent solutions to restore some of the revenue growth lost during lockdowns, but what are the risks and rewards?
TALENT SOLUTIONS: MEMBER Q&A

Demand for ‘Statement of Work’ outcomesbased solutions also remains high as customers continue to manage financial risk mitigation post IR35, and investment in critical projects is released at a time they’re struggling to hire and do not have the capacity or capability to manage and deliver on time.

TI: What sets Rullion apart as a talent solutions provider and a trustee long term partner?

DD: It is extremely challenging to differentiate. Providers often say the same thing: it’s our people, our culture, our track record and our quality. Rullion has these in spades. So we ask our customers, after all our world class NPS and MSP/RPO awards say we are doing something right, something different. They tell us we care; we say what we do, and we do what we say. We are market experts, spotting emerging trends and tech, and we pivot quickly to invest and capitalise so that they can compete for talent and achieve their strategic goals.

Ross Crook, Managing Director, Sanderson Solutions

RC: Sanderson’s expansion into Noida, India has increased our capacity and has allowed us to lean on the strengths of our internal talent. Additionally, we have grasped the opportunity to build out our automation capabilities and demonstrate to clients our commitment to efficiency. Alongside this, we have cultivated a dynamic insights & innovations team to offer creative solutions and ensure we are maximising the outputs of our technology and systems.

By making best use of cutting-edge technology, we free up recruiter time to personalise our brand and add value to the recruitment process for candidates and contractors across our group.

Rullion has seen rapid growth in requirements for on-demand talent solutions, such as ‘plug and play’ permanent recruitment solutions to augment customer internal hiring teams to inject agility, scale, or specialist expertise.

TALiNT International September 202228
TI: How have you optimised shared services, technology and training to scale personalisation with contractors and candidates?
TALENT SOLUTIONS: MEMBER Q&A

TI: How has this enabled Sanderson to win more clients and achieve more profitable growth?

RC: Sanderson Solutions has broadened the scope of its shared services and particularly its Innovations and Insights team, utilising their skills for the benefit of the whole group. In turn, the shared model splits the headcount across the different areas of the business and increases efficiency, simplifies our internal model and cultivates a collaborative environment to enable groupwide success.

This organisational streamlining is part of Sanderson’s go to market strategy. Alongside our personality focused talent, this becomes our competitive advantage and helps us to grow and win new clients in the RPO, MSP and Total Talent arenas.

TI: Sanderson has doubled its workforce over the last year - what sets you apart as an employer of choice?

RC: Sanderson Solutions will continue to grow. We have returned to our pathway recruiter framework that has served us excellently in the past. At Sanderson we view our internal recruitment as a “Grow Your Own” model, rather than scouring to find subject matter experts (SMEs) to add to our group of recruiters. We believe we are able to nurture young talent and grow SMEs from within our pathway cohorts.

In 2022 we have launched a new online, company-wide learning & development platform which is the foundation from which our training builds from. This method, alongside our strong company culture has been transformational for us as a business from a sustainability perspective and it rewards us with low attrition figures compared to industry averages.

Richard Bradley, VP Strategic Sales and Customer Success, Business Leader International RPO, Kelly Services

At Sanderson we view our internal recruitment as a ‘Grow Your Own’ model, rather than scouring to find subject matter experts (SMEs) to add to our group of recruiters.

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Ross Crook Managing Director, Sanderson Solutions

RB: The RPO market has evolved significantly in the last decade. Historically larger, complex businesses looked to outsource the entire TA function from end to end. The market has shifted, and more organisations have developed a strong Inhouse capability, so rather than a fully outsourced solution, the need for a flexible approach to supplementing their teams with modular or project support has become prevalent.

KellyOCG’s significant growth has been fuelled by companies needing fast and agile solutions post pandemic, in this modular space where companies need support in a particular region to either build capacity or capability at speed.

We were delighted to be recognised as a Star Performer this year in the Everest Peak Performance Matrix. Our customers highlighted our agility and determination to deliver what we promised. It’s about the fit with the culture of an organisation and

the ability to work successfully together. We don’t compete with Inhouse teams, we support them. We are there to ensure the organisation hires great talent and we get renumerated for making that happen. It’s a win win.

RB: There is a realisation that organisations can own and control the acquisition of talent and that by complementing their own teams they can achieve more with less. It’s become far more accessible and affordable to access support, so we are seeing significant growth across a wide range of organisations from smaller businesses of a 100 people looking to grow significantly to those with 20,000 people outsourcing just a small proportion of hires in a particular discipline or region. The take up of outsourced services is predicted to grow significantly and despite tough economic conditions I don’t see this changing. Good talent is always in demand and it’s getting harder to engage the right people. That’s where we step in.

KellyOCG’s significant growth has been fuelled by companies needing fast and agile solutions post pandemic, in this modular space where companies need support in a particular region to either build capacity or capability at speed.

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TI: How have talent solutions services evolved over the last year, where have you seen the most success, and why?
TI: What is your prediction for how client expectations and RPO services will change over the next 5 years?

I s i t t i m e t o l e t y o u r r e c r u i t m e n t

t e a m s f o c u s o n t h e i r d a y j o b ?

W e w o r k w i t h a s p i r i n g a n d e s t a b l i s h e d M S P ' s a s w e l l a s R P O ’ s w h o u n d e r s t a n d t h e y n e e d t o f o c u s o n s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y . O u r n e w l y l a u n c h e d e n d t o e n d s o f t w a r e a n d s e r v i c e s p l a t f o r m c a n m a x i m i s e e f f i c i e n c y , c o s t r e d u c t i o n a n d i m p r o v e c a n d i d a t e e x p e r i e n c e f o r y o u r c o n t i n g e n t w o r k f o r c e . H a v i n g 3 0 y e a r s o f v a s t i n d u s t r y e x p e r i e n c e , w e b r i n g e f f i c i e n c y i n t o b u s i n e s s e s a n d r e d u c e t i m e t o h i r e , m i n i m i s e o p e r a t i n g c o s t a n d i m p r o v e c a s h f l o w a n d p r o f i t .

O u r n e w p l a t f o r m o f m i x a n d m a t c h s e r v i c e s a l l o w s y o u t o o u t s o u r c e a l l o r s o m e o f y o u r s o l u t i o n . J u s t c h o o s e t h e m o d u l e s t h a t y o u n e e d f r o m ; p r e e m p l o y m e n t c h e c k i n g , o n b o a r d i n g & o f f b o a r d i n g t o I R 3 5 r i s k a n d s u p p l i e r m a n a g e m e n t . C o n t a c t u s t o d a y t o l e a r n h o w w e c an t a k e c a r e o f t h e n o nr e c r u i t m e n t p r o c e s s e s s o y o u c a n f o c u s o n a w a r d w i n n i n g c l i e n t d e l i v e r y a n d r o l e f u l f i l m e n t .

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TALiNT International

Walking the talk

DE&I has become an important differentiator for recruiters over the last couple of years, not only for their partner brand but their employer brand as well

With the attraction and retention of their own talent still a top priority for recruiters, more are focusing on how to build a more inclusive employer brand but also how to become better advisors on DE&I.

Employers recognise the value that Staffing and Talent Solutions firms bring in market insight, candidate knowledge, sector specialism and understanding where technology can have a real impact, but some are going a step further to become inclusion partners. TIARA award winners like Goodman Masson have shown how their commitment to DE&I has enabled them to not only attract their own talent but help clients to be more inclusive and retain theirs.

As Steve Ingham, CEO of Page Group, said at our World Leaders in Recruitment Summit in 2021, disability is an important part of the diversity debate but it’s still a largely ignored workforce. Recruiters can lead the way on the wide spectrum of diversity that employers should be tapping into.

According to data from the ONS, there were 4.4m disabled people in employment in the UK

in Q2 2021 - up 300,000 YOY – and 1 in 5 of the working-age population are classed as disabled.

“We are very much trying to lead from the front when it comes to disability inclusion,” said Olly Harris, Global Managing Director of Page Outsourcing. “Last year, we launched our DE&I Client Solutions team, led by people with lived experience of disability and neurodiversity, who are working with our current and prospective clients to make sure that their hiring processes are as accessible as possible.

“Already this year we have carried out extensive workshops, training sessions and ensured a large number of our colleagues have Clear Assured accreditation so that our own environment at PageOutsourcing and across the wider Group is as inclusive and accessible as possible.”

The talent shortage has created the perfect opportunity for staffing and talent solutions providers to help employers harness the hidden workforce. Page Group has been helping clients to access un-tapped talent with information and advice on how to make their recruitment processes more accessible.

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DE&I: MEMBER INSIGHTS

talk

“Our clients that have experienced the most notable success are those who have carried out a complete end-to-end review of their current processes,” adds Ollie. “We have seen so many clients increase their inclusion and accessibility processes as a result of this external support, from the makeup and composition of the interviewing team, to where the roles are advertised, the language used to describe the job all the way through to the location of the interview.

“These are all crucial aspects to consider when it comes to hiring, onboarding and training people who have a disability or those who are neurodiverse. Having fully trained people to support your business to learn and grow is incredibly valuable.”

Outsource UK has been shortlisted for a TIARA DE&I Award in 2022 for its commitment to changing the recruitment landscape.

“We’re particularly proud of our Ambassador programme – where members of our team volunteer to represent a particular community, or a particular subject relating to DE&I that

Victoria Parker

Operations Director, Outsource UK

We’re particularly proud of our Ambassador programme – where members of our team volunteer to represent a particular community, or a particular subject relating to DE&I that they are passionate about. They share their knowledge with the rest of our team internally, and also with our customers.

they are passionate about,” said Operations Director Vicky Parker. “They share their knowledge with the rest of our team internally, and also with our customers.

“DE&I isn’t a box to tick, it’s ongoing learning, ongoing conversations, and an ongoing commitment to challenging ourselves and our customers where we think something could be improved or made more equitable. Having a team of Ambassadors who demonstrate this passion and who power our progress is a source of pride for us.”

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Awards are won with meaningful metrics, which can help recruiters to win the best clients, candidates and consultants. “We want to be able to measure all of the usual diversity statistics, and to hold ourselves to account to ensure that we truly are living and breathing our purpose,” adds Vicky. “But in order to be able to do that, we have to create an environment where our colleagues, candidates and clients feel like they can be their true selves and feel comfortable to tell us about themselves. Seeing improvements in those metrics is the greatest source of progress for us.”

Back in May, TALiNT Partners co-hosted a workshop with Volcanic on the role of DE&I in employer brand for recruiters and brought together heads of marketing and HR from members including Page Group, ManpowerGroup, Trinnovo, Pertemps and Now Careers.

SThree’s Global Head of DEI & People Engagement, Karima Green, shared some of the tactics that won the firm a European Diversity Award for Best Company last year – with internal communication a key part of this. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” Karima explained. “Employee voice is an essential part of the strategy, but it must be authentic and consistent. Use change champions like DEI networks to enhance the messaging and positively impact brand reputation internally

and externally. We provide Communication toolkits, social media guidelines & frameworks to ensure its consistent. Create resources that are built on feedback and recommendations from colleagues and give your people a platform to tell their stories through webinars or Employee Spotlights.”

Making yourself accountable to meaningful metrics and maximising employee voice are two key components of a successful DE&I driven employer brand strategy; but how is the industry raising its game?

The Programme One initiative aims to address the significant underrepresentation of Black talent within the recruitment sector and remove the barriers to entry and retention. Twelve partner agencies have signed up to this, including Aspire, Bruin, Charlton Morris, DeverellSmith, Franklin Fitch, Goodman Masson, Gravitas Group, Meet, Precision Resources Group, Signify Technology and Spencer Ogden. All are all committed to embedding DE&I in their business, removing barriers to hiring Black talent, matching Black representation in their local community, providing access to mentors, and widening talent attraction methods and techniques.

Programme One has partnered with Aleto Foundation, which has a track record of running mentoring programmes. “The mentoring aims to

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DE&I: MEMBER INSIGHTS

Last year, we launched our DE&I Client Solutions team, led by people with lived experience of disability and neurodiversity, who are working with our current and prospective clients to make sure that their hiring processes are as accessible as possible.

Olly Harris

Global Managing Director, Page Outsourcing

provide consultants an external point of contact who can share with them their knowledge and experience of the recruitment industry and provide advice and guidance which will aid with our retention of excellent talent,” explains Catherine Kellaway, Executive Director at Goodman Masson. “The mentoring programme also allows the mentors to learn about the challenges, perceptions, and barriers from their mentee’s perspective, in order to apply these learnings to their business.”

The sector’s top recruiters are more conscious of how their own employer brand supports their partner brand, but this authenticity must be visible in their virtual shopfronts to convince candidates.

“If we want to create a more inclusive website and attract more diverse talent, we must understand how candidates think and feel,” says Rachael Moss, Head of Marketing for Access Group and Volcanic. “Recruiters need to design for everyone, create user-friendly forms and write meaningful ‘alt text’, where you describe the image for those with visual impairments.”

TIARA judge Jo Major, Founder of Diversity in Recruitment, recommends four candidate questions to consider when designing for inclusion: Am I expected here? Am I going to be respected here? Can I be myself here? Will I be successful here?

“To create the right impression with your website, use authentic representative imagery, present a visible commitment to DE&I, use relatable consultant profiles with copy that connects and always be mindful of process equity,” Jo explained, adding that it’s also an opportunity to think about the culture champions you should be using. “Don’t be tokenistic and look beyond your top billers to those who have progressed in their careers because they have been supported and helped others to succeed. That portrays an inclusive culture.”

The recruiters best able to demonstrate meaningful impact around DE&I internally will differentiate themselves as diversity and inclusion partners, so focus on the right metrics, consistent messaging and authentic advocates.

Mentoring aims to provide consultants an external point of contact who can share with them their knowledge and experience of the recruitment industry and provide advice and guidance which will aid with our retention of excellent talent.

Catherine Kellaway

Executive Director, Goodman Masson

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The “how” matters

‘How’ matters as much as ‘what’ businesses do these days. How the business is run and its impact on the environment and society is now subject to scrutiny by prospective customers, employees, and investors.

Suppliers of all sizes are designing ESG strategies out of necessity as their clients impose targets and metrics to satisfy their own shareholders and other stakeholders. Businesses must now do more than tell a story about social and environmental impact, they need to measure and demonstrate it.

With so much focus on the ‘S’ part of ESG, particularly around diversity, equity and inclusion, how are staffing companies adapting to new expectations and where are they leading the way? TALiNT International invited some of its members ranked in this year’s Top 100 Staffing Companies to share insights on their ESG strategy.

TI: Why should ESG be a board level priority for large staffing firms?

Natasha Crump, People and ESG Director, Amoria Bond: Large staffing firms like Amoria Bond Group can not only influence change within our own industry by being role-models of what can and should be done, but also across the sectors we work with. We are uniquely placed to help move the dial and accelerate change by educating and supporting our clients and candidates. It’s essential we step up to that challenge and don’t shy away from the responsibility we have.

Gareth Morris, Group Director, Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Compliance, Morson Group: As the drumbeat for ESG gets louder, boards have the power to integrate these activities within the heartbeat of an organisation at all levels and deliver real behavioural change, which is the hallmark of a successful business.

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Why is ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance –becoming more important for recruiters, their clients, and candidates; and how are the best differentiating themselves?

There’s an accelerating trend in organisations taking ESG into account when choosing their talent partner, shown in the rise in social value questions from procurement teams. ESG is redefining relationships, and infrastructure is a fantastic example – it presents major commercial and growth opportunities, with us embedding ESG innovation and best practices throughout our services, products and operating model to help shape the industry’s future.

Steph Harle, ESG Lead & Ryan Pearson, Attraction & Branding Specialist, Reed: Firstly, clients need to know that their suppliers have a

Gareth Morris

Group Director, Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Compliance, Morson Group

There’s an accelerating trend in organisations taking ESG into account when choosing their talent partner, shown in the rise in social value questions from procurement teams.

strong ESG strategy, because ultimately any business that enters your supply chain becomes a part of the business’ overall ESG stance. Secondly, if you’re not providing an inclusive, fair, and ultimately ethical place for your top talent to thrive in, they are not going to stick around for long. Thirdly, all businesses should be acting on ESG concerns because it is the right thing to do. Because of the extensive and change driven nature of ESG strategy, you’re unlikely to see any significant improvements without the full support and prioritisation of ESG from the board.

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ESG: MEMBER Q&A

Natasha Crump: Firstly, our partnership with non-profit One Tree Planted has seen us plant over 52,000 trees since July 2020 – that equates to around 10.4 million kilograms of CO2 absorption over 20 years, and we’re still planting. Our ‘1:10:100:1000 Trees’ commitment intrinsically links every aspect of our business growth, profitability and employee progression to planting more trees. One of my favourite jobs is sending employees’ their personal 100 Trees Planted certificates when they are promoted.

Secondly, is the positive, sustainable impact of our 13-year partnership with the community of Las Laderas, Peru, where we’ve built over 100 houses, three soup kitchens, extended the local children’s refuge, and send hundreds of care packages to the most vulnerable families every year. It’s an amazing legacy for everyone across the business, and it was a true privilege to have personally joined the latest employee volunteer team who travelled to Peru in June 2022 to help physically build the third soup kitchen, decorate the refuge and work with the local builder on the refuge extension – genuinely life changing.

Gareth Morris: There’s an increasing expectation that a company should deliver a positive ESG agenda, and this is firmly part of the Group’s DNA. Throughout our 50+ year history, we’ve supported countless organisations and groups to drive societal change, environmental sustainability and inclusive growth. We’re the University of Salford’s largest donor, having powered the Morson Engine Room and Maker Space, and launching the Gerry Mason Engineering Scholarship, which this year reached 50 scholars.

From sports to schools to SMEs, the Morson Group’s philanthropic efforts span charitable giving, education and community engagement. We’ve also taken significant strides environmentally, with several of our Group companies achieving Scope 1 and 2 Net Zero emissions, as we aim to achieve a Net Zero future.

Steph Harle & Ryan Pearson: Reed has historically been a socially-conscious and philanthropic business at its heart and that can be attributed to the values of our founder, Sir Alec Reed, who himself was knighted in 2011 for his services to charity and business. Since 1985, The Reed Foundation has owned 18% of the Reed Group with that percentage directed towards charitable giving. That has been extremely pertinent this year as The Big Give, the charity arm of the Reed Group, played an integral part of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal – raising almost £4m in donations for the refugees and survivors of the crisis.

Our company purpose is ‘improving lives through work’ and whilst we most definitely bring that to life through the work we do in connecting talented professionals to great companies, it’s truly astonishing and quite humbling to know that our work can tie into something so paramount.

Steph Harle

ESG Lead & Ryan Pearson, Attraction & Branding Specialist, Reed

TALiNT International September 2022 39
TI: Where have you achieved the greatest impact around ESG, what are you most proud of, and why?
Because of the extensive and change driven nature of ESG strategy, you’re unlikely to see any significant improvements without the full support and prioritisation of ESG from the board.

Natasha Crump: ESG is quickly accelerating from being a nice-to-have differentiator, to an absolute must. I expect clients will increasingly demand clear, quantifiable ESG credentials and transparent reporting as a basic standard. Net Zero will become essential, regardless of industry. Similarly, candidates and consultants will vote with their feet, and the best talent will naturally migrate to work with and for companies who are not just talking a good game, but who can demonstrate tangible actions and evidence their impact across all aspects of ESG and DE&I. It can’t happen soon enough in my opinion.

Gareth Morris: Increased focus on ESG through identification, measurement and assessment of key environmental, social and governance metrics will foster greater accountability and long-term value. We’re already seeing several of our larger clients working to unlock ESG within their supply chain to bolster their own agenda and we

Large staffing firms like Amoria Bond Group can not only influence change within our own industry by being rolemodels of what can and should be done, but also across the sectors we work with.

expect to see greater collaboration at all levels. Regardless of how and where ESG evolves, the sentiment will remain the same – we’ll continue to uphold the same moral compass and a desire to ‘do the right thing’.

Steph Harle & Ryan Pearson: For clients, we predict that they will need tangible and empirical proof that any potential recruitment partner is working towards specific environmental targets and truly delivering on waste reduction with an increased focus on single-use plastics and carbon emissions. Candidates are becoming more and more socially-conscious and will expect employers to follow suit whilst flexible working capabilities continue to transition from a luxury option to a standard. Consultants will largely follow the trends in the wider jobs market but as competition for talent increases, employee engagement will matter more than ever before with companies that are fully tuned into the needs of their employees emerging victorious.

Natasha Crump

People and ESG Director, Amoria Bond

TALiNT International September 202240 ESG: MEMBER Q&A
TI: What is your prediction for how the ESG related expectations of clients, candidates and consultants will change over the next 5 years?

New frontier

The 2022 Global Recruitment Insights & Data (GRID) Trends Report, based on a survey of 4,000 global recruiters, found that their own talent acquisition is their top priority. This survey, conducted in partnership with Bullhorn, also found that 90% of candidates want the process of finding jobs through staffing agencies to be more streamlined. While 61% of freelance workers prefer to work with recruitment agencies, 90% say online talent platforms are easier.

So agencies need the talent they have to be more efficient and they need more techenabled elements of self-service to streamline the process for better candidate experiences.

“Our clients are asking us to help with ‘friction free recruitment’,” says Adam Dale, CRO of SourceBreaker. “They need their tech stack to join up processes so they can maximise the benefits of automation - to improve candidate experience, drive revenue by increasing fill rates, help consultants do more with less, become more specialised, and optimise data integrity for better quality leads”.

An added ROI, he says, is consultant satisfaction which helps to reduce attrition and maintain consistency for both candidates and clients.

TALiNT Partners member NHS Professionals is building a holistic ecosystem for its bank of over 180,000 flexible

workers serving over 80 trusts across the UK to guide their careers as well as deploy the right people to the right job.

“We are focussed on easing the flow of information across our talent ecosystem as a whole,” says NHSP CEO Nicola McQueen. “Providing a single source of truth from which we can generate insights and better system automation and integration with data (e.g. visibility of skills, gaps and pipelines to allow for planned recruitment activities and dynamic deployment), is key to training to task and top up training which fills more gaps.

“In addition, the ability for us to utilise apps that work on a common operating system and

TALiNT International September 202242
TECH & DATE: MEMBER INSIGHTS

Single automations create value but when you get to a state of orchestration, automating your processes and workflows across multiple steps, across disparate systems – that’s when you truly see the power of the technology.

Centre of Recruitment Excellence Director, ManpowerGroup

being able to pull data through by individual preferences is incredibly important. This will enable us to flex around the unique needs of talent segments (staff groups), to personalise and enhance the user experience. We are also looking at longer term programmes in areas such as early careers, flexi-retired and international hiring, to meet ongoing workforce challenges.”

So what is the next frontier for tech and data in recruitment? Speaking at a virtual ‘Brunch & Learn’ in June for 20 TALiNT Partners members including ManpowerGroup, Sanderson, Brightwater, Spencer Ogden and PageGroup, Mercury CEO Chris Kendrick said: “It’s the difference between being

efficient and being effective. If we are being efficient then we are being as productive as we can possibly be, but if we are being effective then we are getting the very best outcomes of that.

“What are the things in theory you could be doing, how could tech enable those, and what differentiator does that give you over your competition? How can predictive AI help you identify and engage future candidates, for example?”

Alex Bates, Group Data Insights & Activation Director at Page Group, agreed that automation has been a buzzword for a long time but it’s what you do and don’t do with it that counts. “Ultimately you want a rich,

engaged database,” he explained. “That’s the real question, how do you get that updated more regularly? How do you engage with candidates when they are not necessarily looking for roles?”

This impressive group of leaders shared some of the ambitions for their businesses and the part played by technology, from talent pooling, demand planning, skills-mapping and creating more self-service options for freelancers to making better use of their CRMs and candidate data.

“Less than 10% of placements come from our CRM,” shared one leader. “It’s a constant challenge for us to be less reliant

TALiNT International September 2022 43
How is tech solving staffing challenges for recruiters and what part will data, AI and automation play in the transformation of recruitment?

on jobs boards and LinkedIn and make the best use of the talent data we have. We’ve been looking into AI solutions but it’s a minefield. We have to work out what’s going to be best for us, how we can embed best practice, and streamline the number of processes.”

Adoption and integration are key challenges for most staffing and talent solutions businesses who need to make the most of their technology and the people who use it.

“Change always makes people nervous but if you make best use of tech mandatory in the

expectations with everyone in your team and explain the problem solved by each solution,” added Rob Foster, Head of IT at Spencer Ogden.

AI and automation should free up consultant time for more important tasks, like candidate relationships and understanding cultural fit, but also mapping supply and demand in the talent marketplace. Fully connected data streams and better metrics could help to design better matching algorithms, help to remove bias, or identify barriers to diversity with recruiters or employers; but platforms are only as good as the data that’s put in and it’s very often kept in

to share insight on better use of tech and data at ManpowerGroup.

“The biggest impact on costs has been the introduction of smart automation,” she explained. “We identified that of our 35 main processes in the recruitment lifecycle, 13 of them were taking up 80% of the labour cost equivalent. In tasks such as scheduling, compliance, and workflow we automated existing tasks to free up our people to focus on higher revenue generating tasks.

“Because we have the data in one place across the Group, we are able to use predictive analysis on skills gaps and

TECH & DATE: MEMBER INSIGHTS

How did ManpowerGroup improve adoption to be able to offer more premium services like this, and what is Steph’s advice?

“Be cognizant of the fact that behavioural change is required and be ready to invest in that; simplify and standardise to make people’s lives easier; and make it fun as well as mandatory. We’ve used gamification and incentives as well as not giving them any other route to success. If

they’re not using the tech, they can’t do their job.”

Where do we all go from here?

“Single automations create value but when you get to a state of orchestration, automating your processes and workflows across multiple steps, across disparate systems – that’s when you truly see the power of the technology,” Steph predicts.

“I’ve yet to see any AI that is able to independently mimic

the nuances of human experience that leads to the selection of the right person – that needs to get better. Ultimately, you need to have the data enabling the production of predictive performance outputs so you can focus your people on those last mile activities that provide the value to customers and candidates alike.”

Providing a single source of truth from which we can generate insights and better system automation and integration with data is key to training to task and top up training which fills more gaps.

TALENT TACTICS

Melanie Hayes

Global CPO, Harvey Nash

Our move to a feedback culture really helps us to understand the wants and needs of our people and respond in a way which helps people to feel valued.

With a quarter of those working in recruitment leaving to work for another company last year, finding and keeping their own talent is still a top priority for staffing leaders.

In an industry where high attrition is the norm many have opted not to invest in training talent for the benefit of their next employer; but this is changing. “Employers in recruitment will take what candidates want more seriously, especially inclusion, and what is in place to support employee development,” predicts Alex Charradeau, Head of Enterprise Sales at LinkedIn.

Career pathways, wellbeing initiatives and investment in a new learning platform have been a key part of the retention strategy for TALiNT Partners member Harvey Nash. “The launch of our engagement platform in Jan 2021 has given us the opportunity to give our colleagues a

voice, to listen and, most importantly, to act upon that feedback,” commented Global CPO Melanie Hayes.

“Our move to a feedback culture really helps us to understand the wants and needs of our people and respond in a way which helps people to feel valued.”

Fellow member Morgan McKinley also took the opportunity from a new office move to find out how its employees’ expectations had changed after adapting to a virtual culture.

“At the end of 2020 our long lease of an office in Aldwych came to a very timely end and it gave us the chance to move to a new office that could reflect, embrace, encourage and inspire all the ground-breaking changes and new attitudes that the pandemic had prompted,” explained Morgan McKinley COO, David Leithead.

TALiNT International September 202246 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: MEMBER INSIGHTS
What are the best employers in recruitment doing to find and keep the people they need in one of the most competitive markets for staffing talent?

Jeanette Barrowcliffe

CFO, Meridian BS

“It’s been a fantastic outcome. We were bowled over by the positive feedback in our recent global culture survey. There’s very strong pride in the company, leaders are rated highly for caring about people and their wellbeing, there’s an extremely strong team spirit and shared desire to succeed and to have fun doing it. We also got some great feedback about what to do even better to continue to build and improve our authentic, meaningful value proposition to colleagues. That’s the best way to retain talent and to attract new talent.”

Morgan McKinley has also focused on contractor wellbeing and loyalty through the pandemic, winning an award for Best Contractor Care this year.

Harvey Nash has been shortlisted for a TIARA DE&I Award and a Best Recruitment Company to Work For Award in 2022. “Industry recognition helps us to showcase Harvey Nash as an employer which, in turn, helps our employer brand,” Melanie adds. “We know we have a great culture, and we want people to see this and be a part of our journey.”

MCG Group has been recognised with a raft of Best Company to Work For accolades. “Being recognised as a top employer allows us to confidently say we are one of the best, employ the best and that we are still delivering the same high-quality service that got us where we are today,” comments Colm McGinley, Founder & CEO of MCG Group. “This not only wins us new business but given that we can demonstrate multiple client relationship of well over 10 years and more across our various businesses, shows that our approach leads to long term relationships.”

Meridian Business Support has also been shortlisted as a TIARA employer of choice in recruitment for its successful MBO strategy and the culture of personal and professional development that supported it.

“The main driver of the MBO was to improve engagement and performance by ensuring as many of our team could share in the wealth they created,” explained Jeanette Barrowcliffe, Meridian’s CFO. “This was achieved initially by including the SLT in the MBO so they all became shareholders and introducing an EMI scheme, which was successfully implemented shortly after.

TALiNT International September 2022 47
The main driver of the MBO was to improve engagement and performance by ensuring as many of our team could share in the wealth they created.

At the end of 2020 our long lease of an office in Aldwych came to a very timely end and it gave us the chance to move to a new office that could reflect, embrace, encourage and inspire all the groundbreaking changes and new attitudes that the pandemic had prompted.

“Having our leaders this invested led to more transparency, which was one of the most successful elements of the entire MBO as it has helped with cross departmental awareness. Understanding how each individual fits into the overall strategy has given everyone greater purpose and improved collaboration. A direct result of this is an increase in performance that in turn drove record turnover and profit for Meridian in 2021, aiding in the MBO deal.

Following the deal, the EMI scheme saw over half our people become share option holders, helping them to become even more invested in Meridian’s future.”

There has been a lot of debate about perks and incentives, but the role of leadership in employee engagement can make or break its success. “Working for an inspirational leader is what helps to create stickiness in a business,” says Melanie Hayes. “People are not just focused on reward, often they will be looking to work somewhere they will be inspired.”

This is something we have explored in various discussions with TALiNT Partners members over the last year – including a fascinating session on how to deal with toxic top performers with

change management expert Phil Lewis, Founder & Principal of Corporate Punk.

“Good people have the capacity to be toxic –and so do leaders themselves. Willingness to tolerate poor behaviour, or an unwillingness to call it out and enter the zone of uncomfortable conversation, is itself toxic. So can a lack of willingness to empower people.”

Top billers can become toxic if they’re only incentivised and rewarded on sales as they are more likely to bring in toxic clients or candidates just to hit a target. If they are promoted too quickly, it sets the wrong example for how to succeed.

More recruiters are combining performance management tools with the right incentives to reward the right things. For example, if top performers hit targets but can also demonstrate the impact of coaching, training, L&D and working better with back-office teams to grow repeat or referral business they’re more likely to score a 9 or a 9.5 needed to justify a pay rise, bonus, share options or promotion.

TALiNT International September 202248
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: MEMBER INSIGHTS

Colm McGinley

These KPIs and metrics promote the right behaviour, but purpose and values – and how these are brought to life in daily and strategic decisions – can amplify this.

“Being ethical is embedded in how we do business and how we operate internally in terms of leadership and our daily interaction with employees,” says Colm McGinley. “By doing this, we believe that great talent will find MCG’s culture as one where everyone is valued for what they bring to the business and that they have a genuine opportunity to build a great career and make a real impact.”

Leaders can also inspire by how they get their own inspiration. It’s reassuring for managers to see their executive team looking outside their business and learning from peers to make better decisions. This is certainly highlighted by TALiNT Partners members like MCG, Harvey Nash, Morgan McKinley and Meridian.

“The TALiNT workshops, member events and information have been invaluable in helping us understand some of the challenges our industry faces,” Jeanette explains. “Being able to network with our peers has given us insight into how they have tackled or will tackle the issues too, such as the IR35 changes, and how the various technological solutions that are available can support our team. These insights have then helped us understand what the potential solutions to the challenges could be, which supported our strategic decision making.”

s these inspirational, and highly ranked recruiters demonstrate, an authentic culture of feedback, purpose, recognition and peer learning is setting the best apart as employers and partners of choice.

A

TALiNT International September 2022 49
Being recognised as a top employer allows us to confidently say we are one of the best, employ the best and that we are still delivering the same high-quality service that got us where we are today.

Event Name

How can recruiters improve

TIARA Talent Acquisition Awards Europe

– Is your Talent function ready?

World Leaders in Recruitment Summit

Debate and discussion roundtable

TIARA Recruitment Awards UK&I 2022

Optimising your TA function for 2023

TA challenges workshop

Dinner & Debate: Tech strategies for resilient growth in recruitment

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TALiNT International September 202250
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Leaders UK Annual Summit What’s ahead for Talent Acquisition in 2023? Lunch & Learn workshop TIARA Recruitment Awards ANZ 2022 Talent & TIARAs 02.11.22 03.11.22 10.11.22 10.11.22 17.11.22 23.11.22 23.11.22 24.11.22 30.11.22
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Director of Research and Insights

The Specialists

To build truly unique talent pools requires dedicated focus, isolating specific skillsets and building relationships over time. Most in-house talent acquisition teams are highly effective at responding to applications or approaching relevant individuals with a highly branded and engaging approach; they rarely have time to nurture ongoing relationships.

This is one of the many benefits offered by specialist recruitment providers; because they have specific sector focus, they build and maintain relationships with the same core candidates, over time and often for the duration of their career development. In permanent recruitment the time saved along with the advantage of a curated introduction, offer significant advantages in getting to offer stage before the competition. In the engagement of contingent workforce, timelines can be even shorter and the need for ongoing support and contractor management only add to the importance of selecting the right supply partners.

For many Talent Acquisition (TA) leaders, the challenge can be knowing where to look. Who has the right connections and the right client portfolio to best meet your talent needs? There are many recruitment providers in any given location and established relationships with preferred partners can change over time.

Head

Global Advisory

TOP 100 STAFFING COMPANIES
When talent is scarce and competition is fierce, access to unique candidate pools is critical to successful hiring.
Debra Sparshott
TALiNT Partners Declan Slattery
of
Board, TALiNT Partners

The Top 100 Staffing Companies is an objective and high-quality directory of exactly that – the top recruitment and MSP firms in the UK. Staffing companies not only save time for employers, but they take out the guess work in finding the best source of skilled talent for your organisation quickly and efficiently.

STAFFING COMPANIES AND EMPLOYERS –ADDITIONAL SCALABILITY

It is well documented that the disruption of the pandemic has led to the need for employers to continually rethink their approach to Talent Acquisition, particularly in how they manage their candidate supply and associated hiring processes. A constantly evolving job market coupled with increasing economic considerations makes it progressively difficult for employers to make determined decisions on not just the scale of their hiring numbers but how they grow and or maintain the size of their TA functions.

It is that uncertainty that is leading more and more employers to make informed choices to leverage Staffing Company led solutions that deliver flexible support enabling businesses to navigate uncertainty and access much needed talent quickly and costeffectively. These solutions, which are increasingly tailored to help specific needs can empower businesses to access talent and market expertise needed to build flexible hiring models to scale hiring activity at a pace that is evermore significant when faced with the difficult and at times uncertain market we operate in.

TOP 100 STAFFING COMPANIES

Because of these market conditions there is undoubtedly an evolution of the relationships between employers and staffing companies. Where once staffing companies were seen primarily as an all-encompassing end-to-end solution it is increasingly apparent that options that are described as e.g., “Projects” where partners are engaged to work with just a specific business area or e.g., or partners provide additional support to an established recruiter or candidate attraction team are becoming part of the established day to day armoury of TA functions.

And it is not just the provision of more “hands on deck” where staffing companies can add value. The world of TA technology is crowded and often faces challenges with complex digital assessment and screening. And it is here that staffing companies often have the advantage, having already made the investment and evaluated the technology and with proven experience of making it work.

Like many areas of our lives, TA and the world of work are constantly being reshaped in a post-pandemic world. TA functions are having to respond to these challenges. It is those teams who are actively identifying the issues that impact their ability to attract and hire

Gladiators!

TALiNT Partners’ CEO, Ken Brotherston talks about market uncertainty and whether staffing firms are investing for growth and bracing themselves for a downturn…

This time last year, as we looked forward with a degree of optimism to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a collective expectation that we would have a period of more business predictability and less economic turbulence.

As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. Indeed, I’m reminded of a line from the film Gladiator where Russell Crowe says: “If you want to make the gods laugh, tell them your plans.”

It is clear now that we are in for a period of sustained uncertainty but, intriguingly, one of the most important questions is what impact will it have on the jobs market?

Historically, the link between a downturn in the economic cycle and a downturn in recruitment activity was pretty much baked in, but no longer.

The UK, along with every other western economy has structural labour shortages that to some degree, have broken that historical pattern. What we don’t know is by how much.

This presents a somewhat fundamental challenge for recruitment leaders: Whether to continue to invest for growth or prepare for a downturn.

However, as our TOP 100 Staffing Companies report demonstrates, these choices are not mutually exclusive and the most successful firms will be prepared for either outcome.

There are some consistent themes to those companies that outperform their competitors: Strategic and operational agility are fundamental. It’s no good being able to spot trends quickly if you’re not able to get the business to respond; investing in the right

TALiNT International September 202254
TALINT TALK

technology for your business. There is such a wide array to tech solutions available that there is no one size fits all solutions. Understanding what you will give you maximum benefit and easy adoption is crucial; investing in talent. Again, there is no single or simple solution to this. It may be enhancing your exisiting teams’ capabilities. It is almost certainly creating a more diverse inclusive, workforce and also looking very carefully at what external skills you need; and of course, keeping close to clients. The last eighteen months have been a very benign environment for generating new business, but the best operators have been planning and implementing client management activities to make sure key relationships are prioritised if things do get more challenging.

The recruitment sector has shown time and again its ability to respond to market challenges

and our Top 100 Staffing Companies report gives some fantastic examples of the different ways they are doing this.

As we look forward to 2023 and beyond, uncertainty will be with us for some time but so will opportunity: New types of roles are being created at a faster pace than ever before; the opportunities for hybrid and remote working open up new regional and international talent pools; and as employers become increasingly open to hiring for skills rather than experience, a huge array of opportunities will present themselves. Not everyone will be a winner but for those that are equipped to get it right, perhaps another Gladiators quote may work: “Imagine where you will be, and it will be so”.

Happyreading.

TALiNT International September 2022 55

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