GR January 2023
Making Social Work
Making Social Work
Training to Win
Go for Growth
More is more
From the editor
New Years are tricky things some times. There’s a lot of pressure to do things differently, to be a new or different you, to try more healthier, better ideas and more. Sometimes, however, it’s just about doing more of the same.
Before you get all downhearted and wonder why I’m casting such an apparently boring spell over the early months of 2023 I can assure you I’m not. The emphasis here in on the MORE.
Let’s face it, some of the things you were doing last year were actually pretty good. It wasn’t exactly an easy year, currently years don’t tend to be easy, but you were still fantastic. So why not just do the same, but MORE.
In this issue we feature recruiters expanding their businesses overseas, training schemes which are powering business and the sector forward, social media practice that make a real impact on lives and industry.
t’s all good. And the New Year hasn’t even really got started. So find the good stuff, see what works and improve it if you need to. But otherwise it’s time to do more.
*<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=I am interested in Recruiter Moves">I am interested in Recruiter Moves</a>*
<Small>> Partner boost for Life Sciences Recruiters
> Growth and Expansion for Prescient
> Citation Group acquires Disclosure Services
> New Global CEO for Recruitment Holding Company
> Getting Productive
> Recruitment Company are Four Time Winners
> London’s Financial Service Jobs Hit Five Year High
> Employees Owning It </small>
Leo Xander and Henry George Associates announce Strategic Partnership for 2023
Prescient Group appoints non-executive director to support three-year business plans
Acquisition expands The Citation Group’s employee screening offerings in the UK
Seb O’Connell announced as CEO for Org Group of Companies - Morgan McKinley, Abtran and Org
Open communication and technology essential for high productivity
Sphere Digital Recruitment Takes Home Four Awards at Best Company 2022
Momenta Group partners with paralegal non-profit to promote burgeoning job opportunities in sector
Understanding Recruitment announces move
The Solutions Are Out There
View from WEC: Denis Pennel, managing director, World Employment Confederation on how innovation and new approaches can help overcome skills and labour shortages in the post-Covid era.
Today, many countries around the world face significant skills and staff shortages. The disruption to labour markets caused by the Covid pandemic has served to compound the already existing shortfall in technical and STEM skills, with the result that finding the right staff and skills to meet demand is now a top priority for companies across the globe.
World Employment Confederation’s 2022 Social Impact Report released this month seeks to place the situation in context and explore what it means for businesses, workers, and economies. It looks at solutions to jobs market mismatches and the skills and staffing squeeze and provides case studies and examples from around the world that demonstrate the role of the global HR services industry in helping to address the challenge.
Vacancies have continued to rise in 2022 with nearly all sectors affected. Feedback from national employment federation members at the frontline of national labour markets demonstrate the real-life impact of these skills and labour shortages. It concludes that they are a major obstacle to growth and affect a wide range of sectors from health, IT and logistics through to construction and manufacturing.
The shortages are also pushing up pay levels and salaries with the result that companies are increasingly turning to flexible, temporary agency workers. Indeed, the scarcity of talent is increasingly prompting employers to use external support in hiring staff – although restrictive regulation on the sector is presenting an obstacle in markets from Japan to Mexico.
Our report explores how good workforce management and skills matching drive business growth, including greater productivity and agility. It shows that shortages have a negative impact on worker well-being and organisational energy – eroding the core platforms of the ILO’s Decent Work agenda and impeding delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals linked to health and well-being, equality, decent work and economic growth.
Do you expect to implement new talent solutions for clients in 2023?
Solutions already exist
In seeking practical solutions and a way forward, the report makes a number of recommendations for policymakers, employers and the sector itself and the good news is that many of the solutions to the challenge already exist.
The global HR services sector is urged to ensure that it has the right skills, expertise and incentives to meet the challenge. Continuing to maximise its contribution and build on what is already being achieved in helping to address intensifying staffing and skills shortages. In sustaining and amplifying social impact the industry is encouraged to act in a number of areas from influencing the policy agenda and supercharging the contribution of individual professionals to using data to support advice and sector-specific knowledge and taking a lead on the future of work.
We propose seven solutions where the sector is making a positive impact now – ranging from helping employers review resourcing strategies and delivering agile staffing solutions to adopting sector specific approaches and supporting international recruitment drives.
When it comes to employers and the wider business community, we outline several steps to be taken in making progress on current staffing and workforce challenges in both the short and longer-term. Businesses are advised to invest in recruitment and workforce planning and to be prepared to innovate in the way that they source and employ talent. They should ensure that their brand and its reputation are future-proofed and are encouraged to work with a professional HR partner in securing talent. Companies are also directed to take a lead in sharing their knowledge and experience in order to shape debates around skills and the future of work.
There is advice for national governments and international institutions too on responding to current challenges and accelerating positive change. It includes basing policy decisions on data and creating long-term and integrated national workforce strategies. These should encompass driving change on a regional level and taking public/private cooperation to the next level. Furthermore, policymakers are counselled to harness diverse forms of work and the social security provisions that need to accompany them. Governments are advised to enable more effective career support including providing targeted workforce management support for SMEs. All of this should be underpinned by promoting responsible practices through effective enforcement.
Addressing critical staff and skills shortages is one of the major priorities of our time. Our World Employment Confederation’s 2022 Social Impact Report seeks to quantify the breadth and depth of the challenge and to highlight innovative solutions that already exist to solve it.
“Governments are advised to enable more effective career support including providing targeted workforce management support for SMEs.”
Making Social Work
Social Media: Alexandra White, Marketing and Communications Manager, Harrington Starr, Global Recruiter Award Winner 2022 on how to unleash your social power.
A single job post isn’t enough to attract candidates. With ever-increasing verbiage on the war for talent being circulated across a plethora of industries, recruitment firms need to reinvent their acquisition strategies. So how do you standout amidst an increasingly convoluted and ever-competitive marketplace?
It begins with dismantling the war for talent, and instead considering the talent experience. This shift marks a change in perception, engagement, and understanding of who you, as recruiter, are talking to when qualifying a candidate. It means role creation; it means advocacy; it means acknowledging that the job market isn’t a level playing field – and knowing recruiters play an instrumental role in breaking the glass ceiling for many.
At Harrington Starr, we’ve actioned the latter, and the results and response has been phenomenal. Our talent experience strategy most notably came into play through the creation of The 19% List initiative by our Chief Customer Officer, Nadia Edwards-Dashti. The 19% List was the subject of an application we submitted for The Global Recruiter Awards 2022 and afforded us the win of The Best Candidate Attraction through Social Media category.
Harrington Starr serves the financial services and technology industry; only 19% of those working in that space identify as female or non-binary. The 19% List addresses this gender imbalance, moving the needle for greater equality by exposing employers in the space to the exceptional female and non-binary talent that are currently looking for their next role. It makes DE&I accessible to a vital sector; and recognises the challenges many candidates face when trying to enter a role in financial services, whilst also offering a solution.
Extensive email campaigns, increased social activity, press releases and podcast specials all play a role in the promotion of The 19% List. But they don’t drive its success. Instead, they compliment what truly underpins its applause and celebration on social media: it’s a solution. And we ensured this wasn’t lost at any moment in the campaign; its reflective and responsive messaging remained at the fore and made its authenticity indisputable.
Whilst it may be biased for a Communications Manager to argue that effective messaging and language is the reason for a campaigns success, The 19% List demanded no verbosity or flowery terminology; the core reasoning behind its inception (to address the gender imbalance in financial services) was enough to begin a movement and encourage renowned institutions to walk the talk for change. Essentially, if you create something deliberate and solution-orientated, it will have an inherently strong social media campaign to back it. There will be a natural, multi-faceted sense of investment in the project. And this is key. Because an effective campaign isn’t about a singular media asset or carefully constructed email strategy; it demands external input and support – it needs that social media “hype”.
Hype in the recruitment world
As a recruitment marketer, it can quite often be easy to get side-tracked by consumer-driven marketing trends. But we don’t deal with disposable material items or “trends” – we deal with people, at every side of the ‘transaction’. So whilst I am partial to the occasional TikTok scroll and find myself getting lost in the Instagram algorithm, a thirty second dance backed by Meghan Trainor’s latest tune isn’t how we build engagement at Harrington Starr. We talk to people; we engage in conversations with them, be it over lunch, on one of our podcast shows, or speaking at industry events. Our brand identity centres around these meaningful interactions as it humanises a social media square by putting a face or a voice behind it. And that voice, at Harrington Starr, is undeniably reshaping the face of recruitment and pioneering a new way to promote DE&I.
Nadia, the genius behind The 19% List, embodies the latter brilliantly and has inspired an entire generation of consultants to reconsider how we do business in a digital age – and ensure DE&I is as important a topic of conversation as salary and benefits. This brings us back to the idea of talent being an experience. We aren’t grappling for the best of the industry by simply throwing inflated salaries in every direction. We’re listening to individual needs and responding with a comprehensive offering that caters for the entire spectrum of unique professional experiences.
As alluded to, The 19% List owes its success to receiving extensive internal and external investment – and this has an infectious domino effect. Nadia’s unwavering passion for change has affected us all, particularly here in the Harrington Starr Marketing Team. Engaging with such an energy, and being authentically passionate about the work you do, is also instrumental in building an award-winning candidate attraction strategy.
“Harrington Starr isn't afraid to embrace unconventional when it comes to our marketing strategies, and this mentality was instrumental in guiding our approach to affecting the gender imbalance in financial services. In 2020, the initiative was actually called The 17% List – the name changes as the needle moves – we knew we couldn't let this figure remain as it was, and wanted to empower female talent so that their skillsets and brilliance would be accessible to renowned industry leaders. Working alongside Nadia, this rather gigantic task became possible, and in 2022, we saw The 17% List be replaced with The 19% List. Nadia's passion was infectious and it's been immensely rewarding to see so many clients and candidates invest a new, exciting future for financial services.” – Georgia Richardson, Marketing Project Manager at Harrington Starr
“Seeing the growth from 17% to 19% in just two years is evidence that we’re heading in the right direction. Being behind the brand– and seeing its impact first-hand– convinces me that this will be a much larger movement. I would love to see this campaign inspire leaders across multiple industries as it increasingly becomes a group we’re all proud to be part of.”
Lydia Sear, Brand Manager at Harrington Starr
Listen here to explore the 19% List in more detail and find out more about diversity and inclusion in the financial services industry:
Branding: Alex Holland, Recruitment Director at Placing Faces, winners of best brand at The Global Recruiter Awards 2022 on getting the right image.
I’ve had an amazing eight-year journey in recruitment, specialising in mortgage and property for the last six. I love the ‘ups’, but I also enjoy bouncing back from the ‘downs’. One thing I noticed from an early stage as a recruiter is how frequently agencies overlook their brand. On LinkedIn, you often (all the bloody time) see people preaching the need for a strong personal brand, but rarely the importance of a company’s brand. A good brand can create a positive perception of your company and the people that work within it, and can allow you to attract attention in a market that is highly competitive. The UK is known to have the 3rd largest recruitment sector in the world – all the more reason to take necessary measures to stand out from the crowd. Branding has always been important, but with the continuous rise of the internet and social media’s power, the importance of establishing an online identity cannot be overstated.
It’s never too late to change your brand
When we launched in January 2016 we had a blue logo and a basic name, Exella Recruitment. Yes, we blended our names together as fans do for their favourite couple on Love Island. We, like many, were guilty of trying to fit in. Being young directors, starting a recruitment agency under the age of 26 with little experience, we were unwilling to take too many risks. Looking back, we now know that being bold with our brand would have done us many more favours long-term. The brand never suited us, we have never been a corporate, hard-selling agency as our brand portrayed initially. Fortunately, by the time we hit the rebrand button we already had a large client and candidate following, so figured if we did this properly then perhaps it could work.
How we created a new brand
We brought on the support of Effective Online Marketing, David Briggs and Steve White. We had the vision but needed people to translate this vision. I remember us launching ideas at them both, and them telling us what we can and cannot do. Next up, Ella and I had to come up with the new company name. A fun brainstorming session, with some great names, and then some not so great (I’m being generous). I am pretty sure one of the names we listed was ‘Cruitie Pies’ - yeah, I know.
We shortlisted five names, and, in all honesty, Placing Faces wasn’t at the top of either of our lists! If we went ahead with our favourite, then we would now be called Hyres. Who knows if I would even be writing this article right now as an award-winning brand – a company name is the most important part of the brand after all.
“The pivotal step we took next was market research, taking our ego out of it and putting it to our target market. We need to believe in the brand, but more importantly our clients and candidates need to love it.”
The pivotal step we took next was market research, taking our ego out of it and putting it to our target market. We need to believe in the brand, but more importantly our clients and candidates need to love it. We asked various professionals, directors, David and Steve, family, friends – ‘which of these names are you drawn to?’ This is where Placing Faces really prospered. Aside from it being catchy, people felt it was warm and approachable, which are the characteristics that we represent here. We knew that we wanted colours – pink, yellow, orange – whilst remaining attractive to the human eye, and things not looking too hectic. David came up with the pastel tones, using plenty of colour to give it a comfy, homely feel. Together we built the website to match this vision. The feeling of seeing it all come together as we envisioned was absolute bliss.
How we communicated the brand
Creating a brand is just the start, getting it out there and generating brand awareness is the vital next step. Some agencies will have a great brand but their social media doesn’t match up. We generate the majority of our money through headhunting and job boards, so we never expect social media to be the main money maker. Headhunting and job boards, however, do very little for brand awareness. Most agencies, not all of course, only post their current jobs on social media with the occasional post that’s unrelated to recruitment. We reversed this, and use social media as a platform to showcase us, our brand and culture, avoiding us being perceived as ‘fee-chasers’.
Our social media is full of fun facts, us in the office, interview tips and polls on our stories. People are more likely to interact with these and therefore more likely to see our next post. Our branding carries through to our social media, using our branding colours that you can see on the website. Instagram is a key focus of ours, mainly because many recruiters don’t use it at all, so again, we stand out. We see mortgage brokers finding success on TikTok for this reason. We have generated money from social media so we know that we have had a return in our investment. However, most importantly, we like to put a smile on people’s faces with funny videos of our office dog, Kev (he’ll have an agent soon I’m sure), and to help candidates in interviews and job hunting, even if that isn’t directly generating any money.
The main thing we have noticed is the change in clients that we attract. We have been approached by companies that like our brand, and they tend to be the sort of clients that we like to work with. We have built a client base of FinTech companies (companies that heavily use technology to improve and simplify the process of financial services). These companies have similar branding to ourselves, which attracts them to us. We find it much easier to approach companies while being proud of our brand, and have been told various times that we have had a response from a client, or candidate, as they felt our branding and approach was warmer than most agencies.
The Global Recruiter has given us a great platform to further propel our brand. I haven’t got enough words in my vocabulary to describe how proud myself and the team were to receive the award for Best Recruitment Brand. We were up against some well-branded, large companies, so for them to see the strengths of our brand, and understand what we were trying to achieve, really does mean a lot. It’s great to see the hard work put in from those that have helped to portray the brand – Tayla and Erin on our social media, David and Steve on the website, and myself and Ella getting it out there in the first place – is now being rewarded, or should I say, awarded! :D
From UK to US
International: Oliver James’ US President, Ben Moses, discusses how the business continues to see success and growth across the US market opening offices in New York, Charlotte, and Austin.
OJ’s rapid growth in the US is testament to our strong foundations and long-standing partnerships that have been established across our UK, Europe, and Asia territories over the last 20-years.The decision to build our service offering in the North American market comes from identifying the need to provide more innovative business partnering solutions in the US recruitment market; an offering OJ has become well-known for in other regions.
Deciding to expand our business into the world’s largest economy came with many considerations, such as adjusting to the differences in law and culture. To ensure our US venture was a success, we focussed on achieving three core elements when laying the foundations of each US office: to build the right culture in each office, implementing the ‘OJ ways of working’ to ensure every person and business we work with receives the same level of service no matter their location, and finally to set the foundations in place for future expansion.
Building the right culture
Whenever we look to launch a new location, whether that be in the US or elsewhere in the world, our focus and priority is always to get the right team in place from the offset, and our emphasis on culture in our US offices has been a major factor in the success we have seen to date.
To achieve and maintain the culture of our US offices, we focus on bringing in people who are aligned to our core values; those that prioritise building long-standing partnerships and relationships with the businesses and people we work with. Most importantly, we identify those that will take advantage of the opportunities that come with working for an internationally recognised business with a well-established global footprint, that still has the ‘start-up/entrepreneurial feel’.
This focus on culture has resulted in us developing diverse teams of people from around the world, all of whom are experts within their fields and are passionate about consistently finding new and improved solutions to further enhance the support we provide to the market.
Implementing the OJ way of working
When it comes to any growing business, it’s important to remember that it isn’t just relationships with the people you work with externally that require time and consideration when expanding, but also those within your business. By focusing on the two in parallel you can ensure that your business gets the best start in its new location and your ways of working are implemented in synergy with the rest of your business.
To achieve this, every OJ office embodies our purpose of making people central to everything, accelerating careers, choices, and prosperity, as well as executing our mission of being relentlessly committed to elevating relationships, experiences, and results.
With 14 different locations and counting, this focus on our purpose and mission has allowed us to create an ethos which transcends cultural barriers and resonates with people around the world, resulting in our service levels remaining consistent, no matter the location.
Putting relationships first in every aspect of our business is what has enabled OJ to grow and experience the success we’ve had internationally and our global footprint has provided our US teams with the platform to develop international relations, creating strong cross-border foundations in the US.
Building these positive relationships right from the start, and ensuring that communication was bi-directional, provided a channel for feedback from both the people who work with and for OJ. By taking action on this feedback, we have been able to identify opportunities to continually grow and evolve our recruitment solutions and service. As a result, we can provide expert advice that people can trust, leading to long-standing partnerships that can stand the test of time.
As a business we will never look for quick wins. Our focus will always be on looking for new and innovative recruitment solutions for the businesses we already work with, further strengthening the service and support we provide with our network.
Setting the foundations for future expansion
One of the key elements to OJ’s success in the US has been our ability to not only accelerate the careers of the businesses and job seekers we work with, but also the careers of the people working at OJ. Our tailored progression pathways and global mobility policy allows anyone who joins us, no matter their level or location, to have the opportunity to excel in their career. In 2022 alone, we supported the relocation of 30 people to our global offices.
As a business that promotes innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, many of our team members are experts themselves at identifying new business opportunities.
Many of the solutions we provide today have come from someone within OJ spotting a gap in the market and being given the backing to run with it. The people at OJ are truly the driving force behind our expansion into new locations.
To ensure our service remains unparalleled and we are bringing the right leaders through the business to lead on our expansion, our in-house People and Performance team, regularly provides support and advice, delivering a programme of workshops and group sessions on a variety of topics to help those within OJ learn more about the business and develop their own skills.
The more time that you are able to invest in the careers of those who join your business, the more success you’ll achieve from a group of people that feel valued and supported to a level that allows them to achieve their own career goals.
Our goal will always be to provide opportunities for the people we work with and the people within OJ.
*<a href="https://www.therecruitmentnetwork.com/">Visit the Recruitment Network online</a>*
**Coming together is the beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.**
2023: the year for global contingent hiring?
Analysis: Fotoula Fatouros, global research market analyst at Momenta Group, tracks the future for the temporary workforce.
The past 12 months of ever-evolving hiring trends has shaped the destiny of what contingent recruitment will deliver to the world over the course of this year. The global recruitment landscape has experienced a state of flux from the great resignation to the great reshuffle – and this is impacting changing landscapes across worldwide hiring models.
The future of staffing continues to dominate news for multiple industries, as new workforce norms are being defined. Many organisations, especially those in financial services are asking how they can prepare for the future of work. Given the current market’s unpredictability, understanding the new patterns and trends will be key, especially for compliance departments facing additional pressures from regulators.
The pandemic has resulted in a significant rise in consumer digital interactions, opening up new opportunities but also increasing operational and market dangers, many of which are related to fraud and financial crime.
There is a continuation of an increase in flexible and remote work, the effects of technology at work, and the contribution of office design to productivity and employee engagement: The trends influencing the workplace's future as well as strategies for preparing for and adjusting to these changes. Workplace issues, financial risk, compliance, privacy, and ESG, are all key influences for new global contingent hiring trends.
What follows is a look at the most significant influences on the contingent landscape’s outlook of the future of work, as well as what organisations should consider as they plan their future roadmap.
Financial services – contingent to fill key financial crime and compliance gaps
Financial services are seeing tremendous disruption brought on by digitalisation and innovative technologies, and the pace of change is quickening. As technology alters client expectations and the regulatory environment, banks are forced to make critical decisions about the technology they implement as well as the workforce driving it whilst still being compliant.
Getting compliance technology and automation right so that every aspect of your compliance function needs thorough review and improvement, and with compliance teams already under significant business as usual pressure, many find it difficult to have a true view of what additional improvements need to be made, and often in a quick turnaround period.
Risk assessments will require in depth analysis of all controls. Many businesses, however, fail to assess specific risks that can in turn lead to inaccurate business-wide risk assessment. Often, the main contributing factor to this, is that many compliance teams are understaffed and do not have the internal capacity to ensure that any weaknesses are clearly and fully acknowledged and addressed.
Customer due diligence is one area of investigation that is often not performed. As simple as the processes may be, many banks and other financial institutions still do not get it right. Many turn to automation to address these gaps, but the reality remains that appropriately skilled resource is vital to oversee the technology itself. In many cases, transaction monitoring alerts specifically require strengthening, and this can only be achieved by the right mix of people and technology.
You can automate systems and processes, but you still need people. Technology automation can of course help with repetitive and mundane tasks, but people can and must oversee automation, as well as ensure that informed and accurate decisions are being made. What is needed, now more than ever, is a combination of people plus technology solution. Automation of your current AML (anti-money laundering) processes and systems can only take you so far – they need to be purposeful, and the right people will very much be needed to achieve this.
Utilising the expertise of contingent resourcing can offer many firms breathing space in terms of resolving any issues their AML controls may have. Setting up the right teams to ensure any gaps are identified will be key for firms this year as regulators place more pressure on financial service participants to strengthen current compliance systems and controls.
In most companies, there are obligations related to cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, and fraud. Writing policies and procedures, interpreting laws or regulations, identifying risks associated with products and services, conducting investigations, and interacting with regulators are all common actions that are shared by all these capabilities, even though each one of them calls for a unique set of technical skills.
The talent needed to complete these jobs can be applied to other competencies, especially when they are combined with upskilling and the appropriate team structures to close the technical skills gap.
As a result of growing financial crime, key talent will be needed to support new detection landscapes. Banks will need to establish ‘effective’ compliance teams that provide investigators with ‘extremely useful’ and ‘relevant’ intelligence skills on demand.
We have seen a surge in financial crime contingent professionals being deployed in the UK as AML and KYC (know your customer) measures and regulatory requirements are strengthened and set to only get more stringent in 2023.
Consumer Duty Act – UK’s next big regulation
The FCA set out a new three-year strategy designed to improve outcomes for consumers and markets, making this the next big regulatory focus.
The strategy focuses on three areas – reducing and preventing serious harm, setting and testing higher standards, and promoting competition and positive change. The Consumer Duty Act will bring about a significant change in the financial services industry and encourage competition and growth based on high standards. The Duty will make it easier for us to respond swiftly and adamantly when we discover new issues since it increases the bar for the businesses that are regulated by the FCA.
The Duty is a part of the FCA’s evolution into a more forceful and data-driven regulator. The FCA will be able to rapidly find activities that don’t achieve the correct outcomes for consumers and act before competitors do so thanks to firms evaluating how they’re satisfying their customers’ demands. Making wise financial decisions is more crucial than ever for consumers in the current economic situation. It will imply that customers should receive messages in a language they can comprehend, goods and services that satisfy their demands and are reasonably priced, and the customer support they require at the time of need.
Specialist knowledge of current financial services industry insights, understanding client needs and delivering the relevant professional skill sets will be key for FI’s looking to implement new change. Many are turning to the contingent workforce, not just for the access to key skills needed to ensure transitional efforts are met but to ensure that large portions of BAU are resumed and new compliance needs are met. The contingent workforce can ensure that key Consumer Duty outcomes are swiftly and efficiently achieved.
We have seen an uptake in call centre handlers, complaint handlers, case handlers/reviewers, data gatherer’s as well as business analysts who have supported teams to create goods and services that are suitable for their target market by focusing on the diverse and real needs of their clients, including those who are in vulnerable situations, at every stage of the customer journey and in every interaction.
Remote working and talent turning contingent
The transition to remote work is one last known cause that is anticipated to have the greatest influence on the contingent workforce. The pandemic has put firms’ remote capabilities to the test, demonstrating that employees can better balance work and family life when they aren’t compelled to be physically present in an office. Workers understand the worth of their skill set and unlock chances that would not have been possible locally when they began to explore remote opportunities outside of their native market.
Global contingent recruiting needs right now – Australia
In Australia the insurance industry is currently playing catch-up due to the operational environment’s fast change, changing expectations, and new, more stringent regulatory requirements.
Resourcing must go beyond a constant state of catch-up in order to improve consumer results. Insurance teams should reconsider how resources are allocated for handling claims and resolving disputes. Many firms are now turning to the contingent workforce who specialise in assembling small- or large-scale teams of individuals on demand and can assist with the creation and delivery of training if required.
In the banking and financial services sector, there is still a shortage of risk and compliance experts, particularly those with expertise in financial crime compliance. It has never been more important to hire a trained team of compliance experts, forensic investigators, and lawyers in the complex, highly regulated, international financial system navigating the wave of fintech and cryptocurrencies.
Even though there has always been a strong need for these kinds of roles, the employment market of today has made it much more competitive to find the right talent, especially with the talent shortages seen in Australia over the last few months. The potential for future implementation of AML Tranche 2 legislation across multiple new industries within the Australian market further compounds the urgency of this issue.
Overwhelming regulatory and policy demands from increased AML/CTF requirements and heightened cyber threats have meant that additional staff support was and is very much needed. Firms want more flexibility in their talent investments, but they’re also dealing with a scarcity of specialised talents. As a result, new hiring models are including contingent talent as part of new hiring strategies, to help in areas of weakness or areas where they do not have enough in-house capacity to cope with the additional demands.
The US employment market for compliance professionals is lively overall, but strong buy side talent and individuals with background in the larger FinTech industry are in particularly high demand. The desire for skilled people across sectors is driving a spike in activity in financial crimes compliance.
US compliance recruiting exploded in the second half of 2021, and it has remained at high levels through the first quarter of 2022. Unprecedented rivalry for compliance talent has resulted from this market's intense hiring activity, and many organisations have had difficulty locating or finally securing the talent they require.
Another widespread trend in the US is compliance professionals seeking to transition from traditional banking and finance to a more ‘growing’ or emerging sector of the industry. ESG-focused businesses or those in the fintech industry seem to receive the most requests.
The need for contingent labour in the US has significantly increased over the last two years as firms have struggled to deal with pandemic-related limitations and an ever-unpredictable job market.
In financial services we expect to see a demand in the following roles: commercial lending, financial planning both loans, expense analyst, senior financial analyst both insurance, contract negotiators, and operations roles within investment banking.
In order to specifically cut costs, 32% of organisations across all industries replaced their full-time staff with contingent labour, according to a Gartner poll.
This is possibly one of the more obvious benefits of hiring people on a contract basis: it is frequently less expensive to hire people for a set period of time or on a project-by-project basis than it is to pay salaries and benefits to full-time employees throughout the entire firm.
Many feel the 2023 tech boom is to rely on contingent professionals especially for start-ups who are keen to get the tech up and running in an efficient and compliant manner. Some of the most in demand technology contingent roles will be: digital learning content designers, automation RPA support engineers, user acceptance testing analysts, workflow sailpoint developers, oracle fusion security, tech leads/software engineering and analytics solution architects.
New business models and new hiring models
Over the past year or so, the advantages of a contingent workforce have become abundantly clear. The global recruitment landscape has evolved from the great resignation to the great reshuffle, and we are seeing changing landscapes in global hiring models.
Companies want more flexibility in their talent investments, but they’re also dealing with a scarcity of specialised talents. As a result, new hiring models are including contingent talent as part of new hiring strategies. This is why the importance of contingent workforces cannot be overstated.
Past events can only forecast the future to a limited extent, but what we can see from present workforce trends and developments is a shift in both hiring and retaining key staff. The past two years have demonstrated the importance of the contingent workforce to financial services. Overwhelming regulatory and policy demands from post-Brexit and increased cyber threats have meant that additional staff support was and is very much needed. Many financial institutions have turned to the contingent workforce to help in areas of weakness or areas where they do not have enough in-house capacity to cope with additional demands.
Contingent resource teams can ensure a ‘no stone is left unturned’ approach, and in a highly pressured regulatory environment, hiring contingent resource can make a vital difference in understanding the weaknesses of your risk assessments, as well as setting up concrete plans to resolve them.
Firms should act quickly to establish new hiring methods that accommodate the shifting personnel scenario, which includes more financial crime, increased regulatory demand, and additional BAU work as a result of the pandemic’s delays. Contingent staff offer key skills and a bigger pool of talent which allow for BAU to resume, but also allow for outsourced teams to be set up quickly to complete additional work demands being placed on firms.
Training To Win
Training: Amanda Ansell, Head of Marketing, Carrington West, on why a robust training programme is the key to staff retention, engagement and commercial success for recruiters.
Our training programme, which I will go on to outline, is robust, evolving and we hope, inspiring. Inspiring for our colleagues, but also inspiring for other recruitment companies.
In November we proudly accepted the 2022 Global Recruiter Award for In-house Training. Learning and development is something we are passionate about, we hire ‘sponges not rocks’ and have fully embedded the notion of continual learning in our company culture. Our training programme, which I will go on to outline, is robust, evolving and we hope, inspiring. Inspiring for our colleagues, but also inspiring for other recruitment companies. Better training all round can only lead to better recruiters, who provide a better client and candidate experience for all our mutual benefit.
We are often asked what the key to our success is, and our answer is always the same, our people. This is in no way an original or ground-breaking answer. Many companies are defined by their ‘people first’ approach in much the same way as us. The difference between organisations that excel and those that don’t, in our view, is that we are authentic in our proposition 100 per cent of the time.
“Before making any business decision big or small, we ask ourselves ‘how does this make things better for our colleagues?’,” says MD, James Fernandes. He goes on to share: “Continual learning cannot help but lead to continual improvement in processes, which leads to better client and candidate service. The cycle repeats, building momentum and creating increasingly more engaged and better performing teams and ultimately resulting in more business.”
Our training programme was at the heart of our resilience during the pandemic. As was the case for almost all recruiters, aside from those supplying key workers, business dropped off a cliff with the first national lockdown in March 2020. We already had an established learning management system that our teams could access remotely. We directed our efforts and our focus at using the first few quiet weeks of lockdown to upskill. As business slowly returned, we were like a coiled spring, positioned ready to capitalise on what became a buoyant recruitment market.
Since 2015 we have been working to the Investors in People (IIP) framework, a large proportion of which is focused on learning and development. In 2021 we achieved platinum level, the highest level attainable and putting us in the top two per cent of accredited companies nationwide. Working with IIP helps us align our people practices with our wider business vision and goals.
Our training programme is organised over four broad areas and is designed to be inclusive of consultant and non-consultant roles within the business.
On-boarding and New Starters
All new starters, at all levels have an agreed four-year career plan which includes personal and professional development. All colleagues undergo a learning style assessment when they join us so we can best provide for their training needs. This motivates our people; increases competencies and teamwork, with improved confidence, staff engagement and productivity.
Growth & Progression
Learning evidence is collected as employees progress. Each pathway is linked to criteria for promotion and competency frameworks, which is reviewed quarterly. We encourage and pay for industry specific training and professional membership such as CIPD, AAT, ACCA, apprenticeships and REC for recruiters.
Our leadership development programme is designed to upskill staff aspiring to management. Topics are delivered through e-learning, workshops, coaching/mentoring, team building and reading. The objectives are to develop a robust, resilient management team with high performing individuals and to encourage collaboration.
The senior team have 360-degree reviews to identify their learning needs. They work with external business coaches and attend sessions led by world class speakers. Monthly management training reports are generated after group sessions run by the MD and an external business coach. These are used to help identify capabilities required for future sustainability.
It is a combination of many things we do that helps keep our training programme up-to-date and relevant. HR manager, Emily Christmas, is responsible for the design and implementation of the programme. She cites company culture, recognising individual training needs, internal championing, leadership role models and feedback as the secret to success.
“We want to create a culture of learning not just to make to our programme more effective, but also to help develop individuals personally as well as professionally,” she says. “Aside from individual career progression planning and training provision, bringing people together in whole company training sessions helps build that trust. These sessions transcend the four broad stages of the programme and are relevant to all our colleagues wherever they are on their career journey. Subjects covered include goal setting, motivation, communication skills and conflict resolution.
"Leadership behaviour and programme champions play pivotal roles in inspiring development and guiding culture,” she adds. “We cannot perpetuate the notion of continual learning if the management team are standing still and not seeking to continually improve themselves along with everyone else. They are role models who, along with our internal champions take ownership of particular learning points to share across teams.”
Emily also highlights the importance of a personalised learning experience: “Colleagues’ training needs are assessed at the end of probation periods and thereafter at quarterly reviews so a tailored development plan can be created in conjunction with individuals who are actively encouraged to identify their own personal and career development areas,” she says. “Progress is reviewed on a weekly basis in one-to-one meetings with line managers but also in much more detail every quarter. This provides the opportunity for employees to feedback as well as highlight areas they feel they want to revisit or improve upon.”
On the subject of feedback, we cannot emphasise enough how much feedback and evaluation contribute to building momentum in the cyclical ‘flywheel’ business model mentioned earlier. A successful programme evolves. We are very much guided by data. Using the analytics from our training platform and by collecting feedback through a variety of channels and tools, we are able to identify what works, what doesn’t, and what people want or need more of. We use a learning management system which has a reporting feature evaluate and monitor the log ins and content views as well as assess progression through learning pathways.
For 2023, the vision for our programme is to use this data and feedback to look at ways to continually improve our offer. Essentially, more of the same! As our team grows and matures, training needs will shift. We are planning activities that focus on building trust as well as building on the foundations of our personal development activities.
Investment into training is the single most contributing factor to business success. Investment of time and money into training has resulted in a resilient and agile company. We experienced revenue growth and an increase in headcount at a time when many recruiters were scaling back. Our approach is borne out by our above industry average staff retention rate of 92 per cent and 93 per cent employee engagement rate.
The recruitment industry as a whole is now better trained than ever before, and we are proud to be part of a community that is constantly seeking to raise standards.
“Investment into training is the single most contributing factor to business success. Investment of time and money into training has resulted in a resilient and agile company.”
Go For Growth
Strategy: Ann Swain, Global CEO at APSCo on expanding your recruitment business in 2023.
Last year was full of highs and lows for the UK (with the football World Cup certainly falling into the latter category), but as the New Year begins there’s one word on everyone’s mind: recession. The final quarter of 2022 was rife with reports of a contracting economy and expectations of a tough 2023.
While I’m not oblivious to the fact that the UK is in a recession, for the professional recruitment sector, there are still a wealth of opportunities that can lead to business expansion with the right approach and focus. In fact, we’re fully expecting that this will be what many are already calling a ‘full employment recession’. So how can you expand your staffing company this year?
Look beyond the doom and gloom
For the first time in my career at least, the recruitment sector is still buoyant despite the negative news reports surrounding the country’s economic strength. Whenever we’ve faced downturns in the past, the first thing that comes to mind for most recruiters is ‘hiring freezes’.
To some extent we are seeing a slowdown in hiring. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown a continued decline in vacancies and APSCo’s own Recruitment Trends Snapshot – produced in conjunction with Bullhorn – also indicated jobs were declining month-on-month in December.
However, the professional staffing sector tends to see a seasonal slowdown around this time. If we compare the level of hiring with pre-Covid levels, we get a much more positive picture (for recruiters at least).
The data from Bullhorn revealed that permanent vacancies were up 46% between November 2019 and November 2022. Contract vacancies also rose 16% during the same time frame. These statistics show that despite the slowdown in hiring, job numbers have yet to stabilise in a post-Covid world, creating an opportunity for staffing firms to really demonstrate how valuable they are in helping employers find the resources they need in a competitive skills landscape.
And while there were reports of mass layoffs across some tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook last year, this news hasn’t rocked the recruitment sector to the same extent as it would have during the 2008 Financial Crash. In fact, it has re-filled candidate pools which had been significantly diminished during the first half of 2022, and provided greater stability in the applicant market.
"With salary expectations high during the cost-of-living crisis and an increasing number of candidates wanting more from their employer – including evidence that they are an ethical business that’s aligned with ESG frameworks – end-hirers need more advice."
Consultative partners needed
The current landscape may present an opportunity for great recruiters to really excel, but it will be those firms that operate as truly strategic advisors and partners that will command the lion’s share of the opportunities. Being a transactional recruiter who focuses on throwing as many CVs at a role as possible simply won’t be viable in the coming year. Instead, demonstrating the extent of your knowledge and expertise will be of greater value to clients.
Over the course of 2022 hiring managers just wanted to get footfall through the door during the mass hiring we experienced. Now, with salary expectations high during the cost-of-living crisis and an increasing number of candidates wanting more from their employer – including evidence that they are an ethical business that’s aligned with ESG frameworks – end-hirers need more advice.
They need to be able to benchmark remuneration against other roles and other sectors to know they are offering the most competitive package without unduly breaking the bank. They’re also vying for guidance on what candidates really want from an employer – and recruiters are in the best position to provide the most up-to-date, accurate information on this.
While the recession will be very different to other downturns, we can expect to see interim and contract demand outweigh permanent as has been the case in the past. With a general reluctance to commit to permanent headcount increases, temporary resources will be a more financially viable option for many employers in the short term. For staffing companies that haven’t yet established their strength in the contract market, 2023 will certainly be the year to cement this.
That’s not to say that contract recruitment will be easy, of course. The UK is still feeling the effect of both Brexit and IR35, both of which have impacted the availability of temporary resources. In fact, a report published by HMRC in December on the impact of Off Payroll estimated that around 250,000 workers moved from being paid through their own PSC payroll to another organisation’s payroll between October 2019 and March 2022.
With contract resources also drying up, taking care of your contractor books will be more important than ever to support expansion.
Invest in your own people
Skills shortages have been felt across every profession, including recruitment. With this set to remain a challenge for the beginning of the year at least, having the best people in your recruitment firm – from researchers and admin staff through to big billers and top leaders – will be crucial to any growth plans.
However, the sector has an underlying issue: training and development for people isn’t always a priority. In such a people-driven sector, demonstrating a commitment to upskilling your own staff is significantly important for a range of reasons. Not only does it ensure the candidate and client experience is the best it can be (rightly so), but it also aids attraction and retention of staff for your firm as well.
According to our Remuneration, Reward and Retention in the Professional Sector Survey, though, this investment is lacking in the majority of staffing companies. The study revealed that less than half (47%) of recruitment firms indicated that they grew their own staff through training and development. Perhaps more concerning, respondents revealed that C-Suite professionals were less likely to have a clear progression plan, with 58% of these individuals having a development programme compared to 82% of sales managers. This suggests that firms are potentially undervaluing not only staff skills growth, but also leadership development
We can’t lose sight of the fact that recruitment is a profession and, as such, it requires investment in people and skills as much as any other sector does. For firms to really set themselves on the path to grow this year, investing in their people needs to be top of the agenda.
International markets are viable for anyone
While attracting contract talent into the UK remains a challenge post-Brexit, the global market is a viable expansion option for recruitment businesses of any size and any background. The days of needing to be a large brand with multiple international offices in order to deliver global solutions are long gone.
With work from anywhere an option for a number of roles, the scope to provide cross-border recruitment solutions is significant for businesses. Taking the leap into international markets is daunting but rewarding when done well. There will need to be careful consideration as to which market is best to enter and what legal implications this will have (the German market, for example is complex and will require specialist legal advice to navigate compliantly), but for those serious about growth, the world is your oyster.
I won’t end by saying 2023 will be a tough year, instead, I believe it will be an interesting and exciting period for those staffing firms that can see the opportunities, have the set up to really make the most of these and, perhaps more importantly, thrive on best practise recruitment solutions.