REC chief calls for traditional recruitment firms to change or ‘struggle’

REC chief calls for traditional recruitment firms to change or ‘struggle’


By Tom Newcombe –

Traditional recruitment firms will “struggle” in the economic upturn, unless they change the way they run their business, Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), warned.

Green yesterday told the Recruitment Conference in London, that recruitment firms would no longer be able to operate in the ways they did before the financial crash of 2008.

“Traditional recruiters will struggle in the future so they must fundamentally change the way they operate,” said Green. “They must focus on SMEs and locality, start to build relationships with them and not on big corporates or the public sector. You must start to put a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets.

“There needs to be a relentless focus on intermediaries and also consolidate your operations to one main site to save on unnecessary overhead costs.”

Talent shortages

Green, who also talked about the imminent launch of a campaign led by REC on ‘What good recruitment looks like’, said talent shortages would be the biggest problem facing employers in the next five years.

He said: “There are three things HR departments will be looking for in potential employees. They will want someone who understands the long-term strategic direction of the business, someone who understands and can manage change, and someone who inspires and motivates others.”

Green said the current two-speed labour market was one of shortages at the top but over-supply at the bottom, threatening “residual high unemployment for the near future.”

He added: “Social attitudes among young people are changing. In 1991, 17% of the workforce were freelancers or self-employed, now that figure is 83%. And 46% of the workforce is either non-permanent or flexible.”

This would create “real issues” around talent and skills shortages, he warned.

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