New to Market

12 July 2024

REC AGM: New government set to create industrial strategy council

This was an economist’s view of the post-election UK as Labour aims to achieve economic growth and productivity targets with “ruthless efficiency and reforming zeal”, the chief economist for manufacturers trade body Make UK said on Wednesday [10 July 2024].

Seamus Nevin (pictured) was speaking at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s annual general meeting and giving his opinion of the post-election UK and changes already underway towards “a decade of renewal”, as the government has described its plans. 

Targets include securing the highest sustained growth in the G7 group of countries, “ending a chronic long tail of low productivity, [with] British firms and underperforming businesses, increasing UK exports and improving ultimately the living standards of British people”, Nevin said.

More teachers, enabling construction in green and brown belt areas, the proposed move of regional railway networks into the Great British Railways system and increased private investment for infrastructure are targets already outlined by the new government. 

And Nevin predicted: “Right across government is also likely to be a new industrial strategy council, which will set targets and monitor progress across government. Together, these measures will be at the heart of what has been described as the biggest Whitehall shake-up in decades, breaking down departmental silos to pursue mission-driven policy delivery. At its core will be five new mission boards to aid cross-departmental work, with the entities to be headed by [Keir] Starmer himself and will draw on private sector expertise probably in the form of non-executive boards and adviser.”

Nevin went on to say: “The prime minister will also chair an overarching board or committee that sits atop the five mission-specific boards. The aim of this reorganisation is to reduce delays that can occur as measures passed between departments that are split between different budgets. 

“Under the planned overhaul,” Nevin continued, “the Treasurery will be changed to focus more on attracting investment and drive economic growth and move away from its traditional function of simply managing the national finances.”

With economic growth now a central aim of the Treasury department, Nevin said, the move will be “a significant cultural shift for civil servants” working there.

Industrial strategy, Nevin said, “is really the cornerstone of the government’s agenda”.

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9 July 2024

Robert Walters unifies brands globally

In a statement today, the recruitment specialist says this move comes amid a changing global landscape and “signals the next step in the company’s vision to be the world’s most trusted talent solutions business”.

As the talent requirements and hiring processes of businesses evolve, Robert Walters is combining all of its expertise – specialist professional recruitment, recruitment outsourcing and talent advisory – into one business, allowing it to more seamlessly offer a full suite of talent solutions to help organisations address their hiring challenges.

Robert Walters will offer three core service lines:

  • Specialist professional recruitment: encompassing permanent and temporary recruitment, executive search and interim management.
  • Recruitment outsourcing: enabling organisations to transfer all, or part of, their recruitment needs to Robert Walters either through recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or contingent workforce solutions (CWS).
  • Talent advisory: supporting the growth of organisations through market intelligence, talent development and future of work consultancy.

Toby Fowlston, CEO, Robert Walters ©Robert Walters

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters, comments: “In the past few years, organisations’ hiring requirements have become more complex. From managing talent pipelines, whilst ensuring hiring is inclusive, through to accommodating different modes of employment, our clients want guidance and advice from a single partner across their talent landscape and we have evolved to meet their needs.”

As part of this brand unification, Robert Walters has introduced a new logo and visual identity that captures the essence of its global reach and expertise in talent solutions. The brand, designed to reflect the company’s commitment to quality of service, features refreshed design, imagery and typography.

The company’s digital presence will be revamped to align with the new visual identity, providing a seamless user experience for clients and candidates across the globe.

Fowlston adds: “Next year will mark 40 years of Robert Walters, and we are excited to be evolving into a talent solutions business whilst building upon, and continuing to grow, our specialist professional recruitment offering.”

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8 July 2024


• Payroll solutions partner Alliance (CS) has revealed a new brand identity. The Professional Passport-accredited provider company says its new tagline ‘where payroll meets personality’ “personifies” the company’s team of 12. Its new look is characterised by a pink and blue colour palette, which can be seen across all customer touch points, including a brand new website, email signatures and social media icons.

Crerar Hotel Group has given 18 candidates aged 16 to 24 the opportunity to complete a two-year course, which will see them achieve up to a SCQF Level 8 qualification. The new initiative – which features a Future Hotelier Apprenticeship and Culinary Apprenticeship – will allow young people to gain valuable on-the-job training and experience, as well as a host of new skills and the foundations for a successful career in hospitality.

• Following the merger of Socially Recruited and Socially, the AI-powered digital headhunter has relaunched as Gaia. Gaia helps employers identify and attract passive candidates with relevant skills and experience before they start job searching. Analysing nearly four million data points, Gaia matches candidates to vacancies. Employers can specify desired skills, experience and traits via desktop or smartphone app without lengthy forms. Gaia then places targeted job ads in the social media feeds of suitable candidates, who can apply instantly using an auto-populated in-app form. An AI assistant guides applicants through the process and captures any missing details. The technology works across all social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

1 July 2024


Barnett Waddingham (BW) has launched Clarity from BW, an initiative to enhance the experience of users who engage with its online services. This technology suite enables users to access their data and obtain “sharper” and actionable insights within a secure digital environment. Clarity from BW empowers clients to make smarter and informed choices, bringing clarity to complex data and empowering better decision making. Clarity from BW encompasses three distinct tranches tailored to the specific needs of their varied client base: Clarity Analyse, Clarity Connect and Clarity Control.

Heriot-Watt University has announced that nearly 60,000 online students and alumni will get access to Professional Certificates in high-demand areas alongside their degree at no additional cost. Students and alumni studying online with the university’s Edinburgh Business School will be able to choose from more than 500 courses, designed by companies around the world. including Google, IBM, Meta, Salesforce and Microsoft. The Professional Certificates cover subject areas including cybersecurity, project management, digital marketing, accountancy, real estate and data science. It is being provided through a new partnership with global online learning platform Coursera.

Matrix has launched its new contingent workforce management platform Matrix Prism, which will be available for employers, recruiters and suppliers for quicker processing of indirect personnel. Powered by OutSystems, the platform accelerates sourcing the most appropriate contingent workers and can be quickly adapted and configured to meet the needs of the recruitment marketplace. The end-to-end workflow management system covers the full spectrum of indirect workforce recruitment and supplier engagement. It combines streamlined, automated workflows with expert support.

28 June 2024

Fine arts firm paints a picture for veterans on Armed Forces Day

Gander & White, a fine art logistics company since 1933, providing art storage, transport, installation and customs services to private arts collectors, is highlighting career opportunities in global fine art logistics for military veterans to coincide with Armed Forces Day tomorrow [29 June 2024].

Gander & White has pledged to donate £1k for every veteran who joins the company over the next 12 months. The initiative is a partnership with the Help for Heroes charity, which supports those who served under UK command, including civilians who worked as translators during the war in Afghanistan, and embedded journalists.

The third-generation, family-owned company has a rich military history. It was established in 1933 by RAF officer Frank White, and from 1966-81 was run by his wife Andrée, who herself played a prominent role in the French Resistance, becoming one of the most decorated women in France and receiving the Légion d’Honneur among other honours.

As an accredited member of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and a participant in the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership, Gander & White is dedicated to supporting veterans in their transition to civilian careers.

• Elsewhere in the recruitment industry, for Tom Cornell, industrial and organisational psychologist at HireVue, too many businesses are still failing veterans as they struggle to decipher military CVs, and veterans lack the professional networks. He believes that for this reason, hiring needs to focus on skills of a candidate, rather than their experience and route to employment. 

Cornell explains: “It’s fantastic to see schemes focusing on hiring ex-military and service leavers in the UK. When hiring, employers will be prioritising skills over traditional experience, which means businesses can unlock a wealth of talent from a community that is often overlooked when focusing on traditional CVs and routes into work. 

“By placing an emphasis on skills, employers will see that service leavers possess a unique blend of honed abilities and dedication, often gained in high-pressure environments. Focusing on these transferable skills creates a win-win situation: companies gain access to a wider pool of top talent, and service leavers find rewarding careers that use their valuable expertise.”

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28 June 2024


Beamery, an AI-powered talent platform, has launched a range of new products to help organisations build more agile workforce plans, manage talent risk and maximise ROI from talent investments. The new products are: Talent Risk Management Dashboard; Vacancy Calibration Assistant; and Talent Marketing Control Panel.

The company also announced a new skills marketplace, and welcomed Workday, SAP and TalentNeuron as Gold Tier partners. These launch partners will have exclusive access to Beamery’s skills API, for two-way skill and role taxonomy integrations. This will give shared customers consistent skills data across their HCM and talent systems.

Hiyrd app, a free app for hospitality jobseekers, has expanded its presence from Liverpool to Birmingham. Hiyrd offers a solution where jobseekers scroll through a video feed of local vacancies and respond to employer-set questions via short videos, similar to TikTok, eliminating the need for CVs and cover letters.

• Following its acquisition by UK private equity firm Inspirit Capital, talent and reskill training partner Wiley Edge has rebranded as mthree. mthree now covers clients’ talent needs across all levels of seniority, focusing on providing job-ready and diverse emerging talent (Alumni), experienced professionals (expert) and custom training solutions for current employees (reskill). Together, mthree’s services build skilled teams at every level, addressing the growing need for new talent while upskilling existing employees in the latest skills, according to a company press release.

• Recruiter Reuben Jenkins has launched Techmunity, a specialist technology recruitment agency focused on building teams and communities. Techmunity says it is committed to social impact and therefore has pledged to donate 5% of profits to CodeYourFuture, a non-profit who provides training and support to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to help them join the tech industry.

4 June 2024

Association of Labour Providers launches Manifesto for a Fair Labour Market

Representing the interests of labour providers and the businesses that use them, the ALP said: “We are committed to fostering a fair and inclusive labour market that benefits both workers and businesses alike… while promoting economic growth and prosperity.”

The 10 points are:

  1. Streamline key legislation. Suggested is an annual Employment Bill to deal with employment rights, minimum wage, holiday entitlement, working time and sickness absence. Also recommended is the introduction of legislation providing for “the presumption of an employment relationship for gig workers when the platform controls and directs the worker”. It goes on to suggest that the burden of proof should lie with the gig platform to prove that there is no employment relationship if they are genuinely engaging workers on a self-employed basis.
  2. Introduce evidence-based immigration policies. Introduce a ‘fit for purpose’, evidence-based immigration to work system, meeting the needs of UK employers whilst not disadvantaging the resident workforce. Measures could include redefining the role of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), similar to that provided by the Independent Low Pay Commission, and producing an annual evidence-based report on occupations where there are not enough resident workers to fulfil industry requirements and conducting a detailed inquiry into the size and nature of the estimated 1.2m undocumented workers in the UK, alongside a number of other key factors.
  3. Promote effective consultation and collaboration. Work with appropriate business representatives to ensure regulation and guidance are practical, comprehensive and up to date.
  4. Tackle labour exploitation. Suggested measures include undertaking a radical overhaul of vetting, monitoring and enforcement of businesses holding a sponsor licence on all immigration routes.
  5. Enforce work rights. Recommended steps include introduce a properly governed and resourced Single Enforcement Body tasked with remedying failures in current labour market regulation and ensuring robust enforcement mechanisms for the future, extend licensing of recruiters to the health and care worker visa worker recruitment supply chain and require the director of labour market enforcement to report on other sectors such as car washing, waste processing and garment manufacture where intervention such as licensing or a Supply Code of Practice is required to address egregious exploitation. 
  6. Provide access to justice. Suggested measures include rebranding Acas with “a name that is clear to all” such as ‘The Work Rights Helpline’ and make it be the single source of all employment information on GOV.UK and more detailed guidance to industry.
  7. Ensure a flexible labour market. Recommendations include mutually beneficial flexible working arrangements that accommodate diverse lifestyles and employment preferences and conduct a structural review of the legal right to ‘chain-leasing’, the ability for umbrella companies and other intermediaries to interpose themselves contractually or otherwise between the employment business and the worker.
  8. Enhance access to work. This point covers a variety of concerns such as future labour market policy, an overhaul of national skills policy, reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, social policy initiatives, redesigning accommodation rules, conducting a national ‘transport to work’ review and more.
  9. Make work pay. Addressing unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity, including the implementation of a work tax and National Insurance strategy, which does not financially disincentivise businesses from providing full-time work.
  10. Ensure fair payment throughout supply chains. Recommended measures include adopting the Prompt Payment Code into law with a mandatory 30-day maximum payment period with late payment interest and potential charges. 

The ALP is a not-for-profit trade association.

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4 June 2024

The FIRM relaunches as The Talent Labs, expands services

A statement from the UK-based, practitioner-led organisation said the move is designed to better align with the systemic ongoing transformation in the talent industry.

Structural change within the organisation is intended to “better bridge the gaps between talent acquisition, management and development”, the statement said. It reflects the need to help organisations meet the challenges of significant skills gaps, advancing technology, increasing competition, DEI considerations, shifting candidate expectations and demographic changes, all set against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.

The Talent Labs begins this next phase of its organisational journey with a global membership of 4,500, including employers such as EY, Nestlé, Balfour Beatty and TUI Group.

The growing organisation has expanded its services to meet specific needs that unlock the ability to recruit and retain talent. It now offers members three ‘Labs’ – a Talent Acquisition Lab to help its members better achieve their recruiting goals; a Talent Management Lab to guide teams on talent strategy design through to delivery; and a Talent Development Lab focused around developing skills for now and the future.

The Talent Labs has brought in former National Highways organisational development director Ted Miller to lead the new talent management and development offers. Miller has also worked as head of learning and development at Pendragon and in various learning roles at Eon.

Originally inaugurated in 2007 as a forward-thinking LinkedIn group dedicated to recruiting excellence, and featuring at that time on the cover of Recruiter, the Talent Labs has grown from a niche community into a global membership organisation for talent professionals.

Mirrington, who has worked in talent acquisition and management for organisations including Unilever, Sky and Mars, co-founded The FIRM to address a significant market gap: the need for a dedicated networking and resource-sharing platform for recruitment professionals.

Its advisory board is composed of current and previous heads of resourcing, talent consultants and industry experts.

It offers regular masterclasses, bespoke research and practical tools tailored to the needs of talent management and development professionals.

With upcoming initiatives like the Collaborate Conference, successor to its FIRMdays, the Talent Labs will continue to bring together experts and practitioners from across the talent spectrum to share insights, strategies and best practices.

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