Written by Neil Carberry, Chief Executive Officer of the REC
About the new REC campaign, Recruitment and recovery
In journalism, the Sunday press take a particular role upon themselves. Less breathlessly newsy than the daily papers and with an audience at home and relaxing – this is where the big stories of the week get taken a little more studiously.
With that in mind and following our launch on Thursday – complete with broadcast and social media coverage, and a (virtual) visit to Number 10 – I want to set out what we are trying to achieve.
The background: three big themes that put recruiters front and centre
These three factors form a recipe for a big challenge. Fast-changing businesses needing workers with the right skills, who may be in very short supply. Huge numbers of people facing transition challenges. And there’s our longstanding need to improve UK productivity.
On this last point, Be the Business, the group set up by FTSE100 business and the Government to study and address the problem, lays the challenge squarely at the door of how we develop and lead our people. So the people challenge for UK businesses is huge and they are going to have to get a lot better at meeting it.
When you take all of this into account, it is pretty clear to us at the REC that recruiters have a huge role to play in addressing these issues.
Getting closer to clients to help them navigate a new landscape and advising on effective onboarding to maximise both inclusion and productivity.
Supporting candidates with skills transitions and new directions.
And providing the flexibility that is needed to keep businesses going with high quality temporary work.
Clients will need strong strategies for how they buy, grow and borrow the people they need – and do it well.
The goal of many of us in recruitment has been to make sure the industry works with clients and candidates as a highly skilled professional service, not just a process delivery partner. That we compete on value, not only price. That we are bringers of solutions to complex problems.
All the factors I’ve discussed drive us to the conclusion that now is the time for us to accelerate that ambition. That is why we have launched this campaign now. As recruiters’ own organisation – but independent of different firms and professionals – the REC has a unique voice to clients and Government, that we can use to support an increasing role for the industry.
Much of what we do in this campaign will be about telling stories of the difference recruiters make. I want to thank all the businesses who partnered with us on the report launch and helped us to do that.
But a huge challenge is raising awareness. Those outside the industry need to see what might be possible – and the role recruiters can play. After all, which CEO goes to court without professional lawyers? If people are top of your list of business concerns, you need systems that reflect that. Too often, that isn’t the case. But that can change.
Our report uses some big numbers – put together for us by economists and independently peer-reviewed by academics – but it wasn’t a measure of the industry itself. We published one of those back in December. Instead, it is a measure of what recruiters can and do affect. That is why the scale is so large.
That scale can help us get attention. If we can get clients thinking about people planning and onboarding with us, plus Government leaning on recruiters’ advice – we’ll make a better British jobs market, and a more successful recruitment industry with it. That’s when things will really start to change in ways I know they can – because I see REC members doing it with some clients already. This campaign is all about growing that good practice and changing the course of the river.
Want to join us and help make great work happen? Check out the campaign here.