New to Market

15 August 2019

Serco guarantees interview for qualifying jobseekers with criminal convictions

The public services provider has launched a ‘Guaranteed Interview Scheme’ under which any applicant who declares that they have a criminal conviction will be given a job interview.

In a statement released this morning, the firm added applicants must also meet the minimum criteria for the job and “pass our screening and vetting criteria needed to conduct the role”.

Commenting on the scheme launch, Paul Gaskin, Serco’s HR director, UK and Europe, said: “Serco runs six prisons in the UK and we see first-hand the number of people who reoffend after leaving prison and return to jail. We are determined to help improve the situation and reduce the numbers of people who re-offend on leaving prison where we can by helping ex-offenders to find work.”

The firm is also signed up to the nationally recognised Ban the Box initiative, which is aimed at removing the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from hiring applications.

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13 August 2019

Start-up of the Month: Talent Drive

He told Recruiter that after a decade working for other people, the time was right to strike out on his own.

“I’ve always had aspirations to set up on my own – that’s always been an ambition in my life in general. Having worked for smaller businesses that have grown, I think I have had quite a unique opportunity to understand businesses better and how to grow recruitment businesses.”

Smith added his agency’s aim is to find talent quickly through effective collaboration with clients where he becomes a brand ambassador and extension of their recruitment or HR functions.

“I think there is a perception in the market, with the rise of internal recruitment talent acquisition professionals, that there is an almost ‘us and them’ approach and that’s not what I’m about at all. If an organisation is investing with me, I want to ensure I’m collaborating with them… I’d say to people ‘I will give you as much of a service in terms of the marketing, branding, doing the interviewing, writing job descriptions for you. I can be as heavily involved in the interview and recruitment process as you want, or I can just find you the talent and provide it to an HR contact’.”

Looking ahead, Smith says he wants to have a settled team working for him, but to never lose the ‘boutique’ specialist feel of his business. “I don’t want to lose sight of that,” he said.

12 August 2019


• Global talent acquisition and executive search consultancy C4S Search has launched an accounting & finance division, headed up by Marc Harris.

• Birmingham-based nursing recruitment agency CareNow has introduced an initiative that offers agency nurses on its books a range of additional benefits in appreciation of the hours and hard work that they put in to providing patient care.

The scheme, which includes gift vouchers and luxury weekends away, enables nurses to accrue loyalty points according to how many hours they work. These can be redeemed for rewards such as a shopping voucher after 200 hours’ work or a weekend away when they achieve 365 hours.

• Recruitment and distribution firm Challenge-trg Group is offering English lessons to its non-native speaking drivers and warehouse staff in a bid to meet the needs of its culturally diverse team. The training is being offered by Phoenix Training Services, which was acquired by Challenge-trg Group earlier this year.

• US healthcare recruiter Cross Country Healthcare has rebranded its Medical Doctor Associates (MDA) business as Cross Country Locums. As well as introducing a new brand and visual identity, Cross Country Locums has also launched an enhanced website, which will provide a more intuitive job search and application experience for healthcare professionals.

• The Exam Results Helpline provided by the National Careers Service has partnered with charity Mental Health UK to help students make the most of the opportunities their results will provide. The helpline is manned by careers advisers offering free, impartial advice once results are out, and is available to all parents, teachers and students.

People can use the helpline to get advice on what to do if a student does better or worse than expected in their exams, or if they get the results they hoped for but aren’t sure what steps to take next.

The helpline number (0800 100 900) will be available between 8am-10pm from 14 August, the day certain vocational results are issued and close on 29 August, following GCSE results day. Further info can also be found via the National Careers Service website.

• Financial services, private and public sector recruiter Investigo Group has launched Investigo Consulting Solutions – a consulting service that provides long-term project consultancy aimed at transforming and future-proofing businesses from across industry sectors.

Services include full project lifecycle and service delivery, from conception and planning, to solution, on-the-job training and mentoring programmes to address skills gaps and ensure sustained and future growth, plus market intelligence through research and white papers, roundtable discussions and industry events to support the Investigo-client partnership.

• Pan European specialist recruiter NonStop Recruitment has opened an office in Boston, MA. This is the first office outside Europe for NonStop and is a response to increasing client demand, specifically within the life sciences industry. The office is currently headed up by Henry Brodie, with two other consultants.

NonStop also recently opened an office in Bucharest, Romania. Both these new offices are operating under the NonStop Consulting name.

• Digital education and skills provider QA has launched an apprenticeship clearing helpline offering students advice about their options from apprentice alumni and QA experts.

• Insurance specialist Qdos has launched a commercial services division offering consultancy and training services, as well as a range of insurances for agencies, including IR35 insurance and professional indemnity, public and employers liability insurances.

• Life sciences, renewable energy and ICT staffing specialist Quanta Consultancy Services has launched a new brand identity and website. The site features improved navigation with features added to improve ease of use, such as the messaging feature on consultant bios. 

While the firm’s logo remains the same, Quanta adds its motif has evolved into a modern icon that can be displayed in any of the new Quanta colours to represent its team ethos and their five values.

• Project services specialist Rider Hunt International has announced the launch of a new corporate brand identity and name. The organisation, a subsidiary of Wood, will now be known as rhi.

rhi specialises in providing project services to energy and natural resource customers with global expertise in quantity surveying, estimating and projects controls, contract management and recruitment. It operates across the full asset life cycle from concept to decommissioning, through a network of offices in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia.

• Hundreds of local people in Birmingham will have the chance to learn construction skills and help build more than 1,400 new homes on one of the UK’s second city’s biggest construction sites thanks to a new training hub. The £100k hub, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) through the Construction Skills Fund, will offer local people free construction job training and a guaranteed job interview after completing a 20-day course.

It will be based on-site at the Perry Barr Residential Scheme, where £496m is being invested by Birmingham City Council, central government and the WMCA in a bid to regenerate the area and deliver long-lasting benefits for local people.

5 August 2019

Emma Watson launches helpline for those being harassed at work

The new helpline aims to plug a gap in the availability of legal advice so women can access the help they need to hold their employer and harasser to account.

The Guardian reports that Watson helped to kickstart the advice line, which is backed by Time’s Up UK’s justice and equality fund and managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, with advice provided by the charity Rights of Women.

Watson said: “It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem, and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

The new advice line number is 020 7490 0152.

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5 August 2019


Catapult, a UK-based flexible work platform that caters to hospitality and retail employers, has launched in Berlin, Germany. Germany is the second market for Catapult after the UK.

• IT recruiter Corecom Consulting has relocated to the Yorkshire Hub at Yorkshire House on Greek Street, home to a solar farm in Leeds City Centre.

30 July 2019


Airswift has opened an office in downtown Denver. The office will be staffed by existing members of the Airswift team, who will relocate from Houston. Paul Carr, divisional manager – Rockies, moves over to lead the team, supported by Alixandra Conyers and Jennifer Perez with a focus on direct hires and contract hires respectively.

The global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors plans to make a new, local hire early next year. The new office will be located at The Wells Fargo Building, 1700 Lincoln Street, Denver and Airswift’s eighth office in North America.

• Talent operating system Beamery is launching Careers Sites, a new solution that allows organisations to personalise the content and job search experience for different candidates based on their location, browsing history, language and application history.

Careers Sites enables passive candidates to join talent networks, sign up for custom job alerts, or pick up applications from where they left off with a shopping cart-like experience. Automation technology also enables companies to auto-populate talent pools and personalise campaigns to nurture the prospects that convert.

Recruiting teams can update the on-page experience without specialised IT expertise, with a drag-and-drop content editor, and also have access to analytics to help them demonstrate the effectiveness of their Careers Sites, with attribution reporting, conversion tracking and page analytics to identify bottlenecks.

• Recruitment and workforce solutions provider Fircroft has opened a new Manchester City Centre office at 55 Spring Gardens. The firm says the new office will act as a base for Fircroft’s UK and European permanent recruitment division as it diversifies and expands beyond its traditional oil & gas roots and develops a stronger presence in the automotive, defence, construction, ICT, and bulk and speciality chemicals industries.

• Background check and drug screening solutions provider First Advantage has launched Verified!, a new verifications process that aims to cut turnaround times from days to minutes with the help of its FCRA-approved proprietary database.

The solution uses First Advantage’s existing education and employment dataset to confirm education and employment information, cutting customer turnaround time and allowing customers to lock in candidates before they move on to other potential job opportunities.

• Recruitment giant Hays has introduced a new benefit ensuring all Hays employees in the UK and Ireland have access to up to three private online GP appointments per year via AXA PPP Healthcare’s Doctor@Hand.

The new benefit, where staff can see a doctor anytime and where it suits them, forms part of a redevelopment of the firm’s benefits for UK staff. Working with external partner Benefex, Hays built a platform linking directly to its systems, which is accessible to staff on the go, from home or via an app. The platform, MyChoice, coincides with ongoing investment into employee wellbeing across Hays and a new employee engagement tool, which has been rolled out globally.

• Construction staffing specialist Thorn Baker Group is reopening its dedicated construction brand in Nottingham and welcomes back building sector specialist Demi Harman, following a 10-year gap. Harman has re-joined Thorn Baker to head up the new team and will be joined by colleague and fit-out recruitment consultant Khial Farrow, who will be relocating to Nottingham from London to help build the team.

• Global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Group has launched Walters People in London. Walters People London will initially focus on contract and permanent recruitment in accounting & finance and business support fields.

29 July 2019

Beesley and Dawe launch TIMESTWO Investments for entrepreneurs

The business, which has a specially-designed incubation hub on the outskirts of Bristol, supports entrepreneurs who have identified a market and are ready strike out on their own.

In its initial phase the firm will focus on entrepreneurs from the South-West before opening up nationally in the coming 12 months.

Along with financial investment, TIMESTWO also offers entrepreneurs support with brand development, marketing, IT, finance and legal services.

Over the past 40 plus years, Beesley and Dawe have created a group of independent companies that are some of the fastest growing in the UK and Ireland, including Sanderson and Resource Management, which sit under parent group Resource Solutions Group (RSG).

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23 July 2019


• Background check and drug screening solutions provider First Advantage has launched RightID, an identity verification solution that allows property managers and employers to mitigate the risk of fraud with real-time artificial intelligence-based identity corroboration. The AI-based ID verification product will launch this August.

• Multi-sector recruiter Meridian Business Support has launched a new division called MBS Response, which will focus solely on high volume recruitment accounts in the food and distribution sectors.

• US cloud-based software company Salesforce has announced new capabilities to its Salesforce Essentials product. The changes will enable small and medium-sized businesses to communicate with customers on their preferred conversation channels, from Facebook Messenger, Instagram, YouTube and web chat to one-click inbound and outbound phone capabilities, without leaving the Salesforce platform.

• Pre-hire assessment specialist ThriveMap has developed a new cost of bad hires calculator. Based on data from Office for National Statistics, global forecasting and quantitative analysis Oxford Economics, leadership training and research firm Leadership IQ and HR trade body the CIPD, the calculator provides an indication of how much bad hires could be costing businesses.

• The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has launched a summer campaign offering opportunities and activities to school leavers and young people most at risk of falling into crime and anti-social behaviour.

Supported by partners including South and City College, youth engagement specialists from First Class Legacy and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the #wmstrong campaign will provide teenagers with advice and information on a wide range of activities from employment training to sports and arts clubs.

They can also play football with coaches from Aston Villa and Birmingham City or gain batting and bowling tips from Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s experts.

Launched on social media as #wmstrong, the campaign is timed to coincide with the beginning of school summer holidays across the region. Already, campaign staff have been to Dale End in Birmingham city centre, an area where there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder involving large groups of young people.

As well as a variety of activities, young people were also handed information cards or pointed towards courses or opportunities, while campaign staff gathered information on young people about their current status and attitudes to training.