Recruitment News Round-Up – The Brutal Truth #4

Recruitment News Round-Up – The Brutal Truth #4.

by Howard Greenwood, 23rd June 2023

In this edition, we are going to address what is happening with Unlawful payments, review the surge in Job Seekers and evaluate the top 10 things a modern recruiter needs. Please comment and add to the debates.

Unlawful Payments by Umbrella Companies in the UK: The Importance of Due Diligence for Recruitment Agencies.

Unlawful payments by umbrella companies in the UK have become a pressing issue, raising concerns about the need for due diligence among recruitment agencies. One notable case is DNS Umbrella Limited, which has brought attention to the risks associated with specific umbrella company arrangements.

These practices often involve manipulating payment structures to reduce taxes and national insurance contributions, which can have significant financial consequences for contractors and agencies alike.

To protect the interests of candidates, recruitment agencies must exercise due diligence when selecting an umbrella company provider. This process involves thoroughly researching potential partners to ensure their reputation and compliance with regulations.

Agencies should assess umbrella companies’ financial stability and reputation and verify their compliance with tax and employment regulations. Additionally, they should review payment processes, fee structures, and contracts to identify any irregularities.

Open communication and transparency are vital for agencies to inform candidates about the selected umbrella company and its practices. Candidates should be aware of payment processes, deductions, and potential risks associated with the arrangement. With this knowledge, candidates can make informed decisions and protect themselves from unscrupulous practices.

In conclusion, unlawful payments by umbrella companies pose risks to contractors in the UK. Recruitment agencies must prioritise due diligence to ensure they select reputable and compliant umbrella companies. By fostering transparency and open communication, agencies can protect candidates from the pitfalls of unscrupulous practices.

A Surge in UK Job Seekers Revealed by REC and KPMG Findings


The UK has experienced an unprecedented surge in job seekers, marking the fastest increase in three years, according to recent findings by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG and reported in HR Review. This surge reflects changing dynamics in the job market, raising questions about the underlying factors driving this trend.

Recent data released by REC and KPMG shows a significant upswing in the number of individuals actively seeking jobs in the UK. The magnitude of the surge indicates a substantial shift in the labour market.

Various factors contribute to the surge in job seekers, including economic fluctuations, industry-specific trends, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors have prompted individuals to seek new employment opportunities actively.

The increase in job seekers presents challenges and opportunities for recruitment agencies and employers. It expands the talent pool, potentially leading to a more competitive and diverse workforce. However, it also intensifies competition for job seekers as they vie for limited positions.

The rapid surge in job seekers may lengthen recruitment processes and impact wage levels. Employers will need to navigate through a higher volume of applications, while job seekers may face increased competition and negotiation power due to the larger labour supply.

Monitoring the increased number of job seekers is crucial for policymakers and employers to adapt their recruitment strategies. Understanding the underlying causes and long-term implications will help recruitment agencies to educate their clients early on the changing dynamics of the job market.

Here are the key five points from the latest ONS Labour Market Report:

One notable highlight of the report is the positive growth in employment figures. The data reveals an increase in the number of people employed across different sectors, reflecting a recovering economy and improved business confidence. This is an encouraging sign for job seekers and suggests that the efforts to rebuild the workforce after the pandemic yield results.

Furthermore, the report delves into wage growth, revealing that average earnings have experienced a modest increase. However, it also highlights the persistent issue of wage stagnation for specific sectors and demographics. This data underscores the importance of addressing income inequality and ensuring fair remuneration for all workers.

  1. Employment growth: The report highlights a positive growth in employment figures, indicating an increasing number of people employed across different sectors. This suggests a recovering economy and improved business confidence.
  2. Declining unemployment: The data shows a decline in the number of unemployed individuals. While this is a positive trend, the report emphasises the need for ongoing efforts to provide job opportunities and support for those still seeking employment.
  3. Wage growth: The report indicates a modest increase in average earnings, reflecting some positive wage growth. However, it also highlights the persistent issue of wage stagnation in certain sectors and for specific demographics, emphasising the need to address income inequality.
  4. Sector-specific analysis: The report provides sector-specific insights, highlighting employment trends and challenges in various industries. This analysis helps policymakers and stakeholders understand the dynamics of different sectors and tailor interventions accordingly.
  5. Policy implications: The report’s findings offer valuable information for policymakers, employers, and individuals. They can use the data to inform decision-making and develop strategies that promote sustainable economic growth, address unemployment challenges, and ensure fair remuneration for workers.

These key points from the report provide a snapshot of the current state of the UK labour market, offering essential insights into employment, unemployment, wage trends, and policy considerations.

What makes a great modern recruiter?

We are often asked what makes a great recruiter, so the key Ingredients for Success in Recruitment.

Recruitment in the UK is a dynamic and competitive industry, the most competitive in the world, that requires a unique skill set and adaptability to succeed. Staying ahead of the curve is essential with evolving market trends and changing candidate expectations.

In no particular order, here are our top ten. Do you agree or disagree?

  1. In-depth Knowledge of the UK Job Market: To excel in recruitment, it is vital to have a comprehensive understanding of the UK job market. Stay updated with industry trends, emerging roles, and evolving skill requirements. Immerse yourself within your sector, and understand your company cultures and specific regional dynamics. Strong market knowledge, DATA, enables you to identify opportunities, engage with candidates effectively, and make informed recommendations to clients.
  2. Having an in-depth candidate pool: Successful recruiters must be proficient in various candidate sourcing techniques in an increasingly digital landscape. It is essential to leverage where your candidates hang-out, online job boards (no longer the nirvana they once were), professional networking platforms, LINKEDIN, and other social media platforms to identify potential candidates. Actively engage with online communities, attend industry events, and build a robust professional network to tap into passive talent. Embrace innovative sourcing strategies, such as talent mapping and referral programs, to access top-quality candidates. Knowing what your clients need early help to create more specific candidate pools. Market to your candidates often; they are not a throwaway product.
  3. Exceptional Communication Skills: Clear and persuasive communication is paramount in recruitment. Developing a strong interpersonal brand is critical to establishing rapport with candidates and clients alike. Active listening, empathy, and the ability to articulate job requirements and candidate profiles are crucial. Effective communication ensures that expectations are managed, relationships are nurtured, and a positive candidate and client experience is maintained throughout the recruitment process.
  4. Technology and Data Literacy: Recruitment in the digital age demands proficiency in recruitment software, CRM or ATS, and other relevant technology platforms is essential. Stay updated with the latest tools, and leveraging automation where appropriate to streamline administrative tasks will be crucial. Additionally, analysing data and extracting meaningful insights can enhance decision-making, identify trends, and improve recruitment strategies for the recruiter, their clients and candidates. The data doesn’t lie.
  5. Continuous Learning: To succeed in recruitment, it is essential to embrace lifelong learning. Invest time in professional development, and engage in relevant training programs. Stay informed about your market, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and emerging recruitment techniques that will keep you ahead of the curve. Train hard to recruit easy.
  6. Relationship Building and Client Management: Building solid relationships with candidates and clients is a cornerstone of successful recruitment. Get closer to your clients, the Trusted Advisor will replace transactional relationships. If you already have trust, ask yourself, “When your client planned this year’s recruitment needs, where you in the room?” If your answer was no, you don’t have trust. Understand the needs and objectives of your clients to offer NEW tailored solutions. Effective account management, regular communication, monthly visits, and delivering on promises build trust and foster long-term partnerships. A reputation for exceptional service and candidate placements will help attract new clients and strengthen your position in the market.
  7. Business Development and Sales Skills: If you are not doing business development with your current clients and courting new clients weekly, you are going backwards. Strong business development and sales skills are essential for sustained success. Expand your client base and generate new business opportunities by proactively identifying potential clients, conducting market research, and developing targeted sales strategies. Cultivate a solid personal brand and network within the industry to enhance your visibility and reputation. Effective business development involves showcasing your expertise, understanding client needs, and positioning your recruitment services as a valuable solution.
  8. Client Relationship Management: Successful recruiters prioritise building and nurturing client relationships. Regularly communicate with existing clients to understand their evolving recruitment needs and provide ongoing support. Offer insights into the job market, share industry trends, and suggest innovative approaches to meet their talent acquisition goals. You can establish yourself as a trusted recruitment partner by delivering exceptional service, demonstrating a deep understanding of their business, and consistently providing high-quality candidates.
  9. Networking and Partnerships: Forge strategic partnerships with industry professionals, such as HR consultants, industry associations, and other recruitment agencies. Collaborating with complementary service providers expands your reach, access to talent pools, and potential client base. Attend networking events, conferences, and trade shows to connect with key decision-makers, build relationships, and stay updated on industry trends. The broader your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to grow your business and make successful placements.
  10. Value-added Services: Differentiate yourself by offering value-added services beyond traditional recruitment. Explore opportunities to provide additional solutions such as talent advisory, succession planning, or workforce analytics. By providing a comprehensive and bespoke service, you can become a trusted advisor to clients and build long-term partnerships. Continuously seek feedback from clients and candidates to refine your services and ensure their satisfaction.

Successful recruitment professionals must develop strong business development and sales skills. By focusing on business growth, nurturing client relationships, and providing value-added services, recruiters can expand their reach, attract new clients, and foster long-term partnerships.

If the recruiter ignores the changing market, they ignore it at their peril.

Recruitment is changing; an agency needs its recruitment teams to have all the above. That might be a 360 recruiter, a 180 recruiter, an account manager, or a resourcer, but combined, they should have all of the above skills, and the agency needs to train and develop these skills constantly.

The one thing that ties these all together is value alignment. If the people are not aligned with the company values and live and breathe them, then the above doesn’t matter.

Recruitment should not be rushed; it should be:


Thank you for your support. Your comments on our news will help determine what we report on next. The next edition will have more stats and news from the recruitment market, but it is you, the reader, who should determine what is of use to you. We would love to hear your suggestions.

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