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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15 July 2019


• Cheltenham-based employment law and HR specialist Eight Legal has launched HR Mate, an app that aims to enable HR freelancers to secure new business at the touch of a button. The app is free to download and is available from the App Store for iOS devices and Google play for Android.

• Global IT recruiter Frank Recruitment Group has opened a new US office in Park Tower, on the border of Irvine and Costa Mesa in Orange County. The office is headed up by business manager Taylor Jones.

• Business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK has launched a new ‘Off-Payroll Workers’ (OPW) client solution aimed at helping firms prepare for the extension of off-payroll rules into the private sector. The assessment solution uses artificial intelligence, enabled by the firm’s technical knowledge and experience, to carry out IR35 status assessments of workers.

• Personality assessment solutions specialist Hogan Assessments has launched General Employability in Europe. This is a new streamlined assessment tool that aims to help companies recruit the right people by identifying the personality characteristics that predict employability across a range of jobs.

15 July 2019

Start-up of the Month: Elite Talent Resourcing

De-Lara, who has worked as an internal recruiter, talent acquisition executive and headhunter, told Recruiter the decision to set up her own business followed on from her realisation that in previous roles she built up a loyal client following which had bought into her personally.

“The companies I worked for have given me a safety net that I felt I needed, with a guaranteed income each month, but I know that I can make this work alone and, hopefully, reap the rewards too,” she said.

In terms of standing out in the market, the headhunter revealed 90% of her roles are filled by passive candidates, who are not actively looking for a role. She added she prides herself on being a consultative and honest recruiter, who is straight with clients if they have unrealistic expectations of candidates or if they are paying below market rate, and equally straight with candidates who are asking for remuneration that is not in line with their skills.

De-Lara, who has two children, added that while most of her recent roles have offered some flexibility to do school runs, she wants to be able to be at home in the holidays or when her children are poorly. She added that as the business grows and expands, she wants to offer that flexibility to new staff.

“We have got off to a great start so far, making our first placement in our first month of trading. I need to keep up the momentum.”

10 July 2019


Applied, a recruitment platform that centres around the prospect of blind hiring, has launched. The platform, launched by founders Kate Glazebrook and Rich Marr, can be linked with applicant tracking systems and HR systems for hiring management and enables recruiters and companies to draw on its questions library. 

The platform also employs a job description analyser, which encourages the use of gender-neutral language to attract a representative pool of candidates and an analytics platform, which aims to help recruiters and companies assess the diversity of their candidate pool. 

• Global engineering services, workforce management solutions and consulting services provider Fircroft Group has launched Fircroft Oilfield Services.

Located in Houma, Los Angeles in the US, the new division will provide a range of marine services, including rigging crews, transport, lifting, loading and cargo handling services for offshore E&P projects, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and North America. Planned service expansions in the pipeline include HSSE, training and inspection services.

Judd Bamford has been appointed as managing director of the business.

• Data and analytics recruiter Harnham has opened an office in Berlin, led by senior manager Peter Schroeter, under the guidance of Harnham’s director of Europe, Alex Hutchings.

Holiday Staff, an online jobs board for seasonal staff and holiday job vacancies, has been launched. Devon-based Lucy Baker-Kind designed the online platform, which lists seasonal vacancies across the UK and Europe through which advertisers receive applications direct from interested jobseekers. Users of the platform can also upload their own vacancy details, along with company profile and branding.

• Technology, software and digital staffing consultancy Understanding Recruitment, has opened its first US office in Boston, Massachusetts, led by consultant Matthew Ferdenzi.

Wren Kitchens is launching an IT academy to attract 50 new employees to support the expansion of its in-house IT function. The 12-week initiative is aimed at graduates with IT degrees or motivated individuals looking to diversify into the industry. 

The first-phase of the quarterly programme will see 12 graduates (six PHP developers and six JavaScript developers) start on 5 August based at The Nest, Wren’s contemporary headquarters. However, Wren is also looking to recruit 10 new senior PHP and JavaScript developers with at least three years’ experience in either field.

2 July 2019


• Paris-based recruitment platform AssessFirst is expanding its services into the UK, with the launch of its first office in London.

• US healthcare recruiter Cross Country Healthcare has merged its permanent search brands – Cejka Physician Search, AP Healthcare, StarMed and Cross Country Staffing’s RPO division – under its new Cross Country Search brand. The brand will be led by newly appointed president David Pantano.

Engaging Works has launched jobs features for both individuals and organisations on its platform. The new job features allow employers to post and target jobs, and to promote great places to work to a range of people, including experienced individuals looking for new jobs, as well as students and graduates seeking positions within organisations focused on the happiness and engagement of their employees.

Part of a wider roll out of tools to help people find the right job, build skills, knowledge and connections to help them be happier and more successful at work, the new job services include a range of tools to help individuals decide which job, industry and company is the right fit, including the Happiest Companies to Work for Index and Career Tests. The site also has a CV Generator and interview advice on its Global Hub – a place for online discussion about working life.

• Worcester-based duo, Gareth Matts and Mike Pincott, have partnered with The Jarell Group of companies to launch GMP Recruitment. The new recruitment agency will provide both temporary and permanent recruitment services across Worcester to companies in the industrial, technical, commercial and healthcare sectors.

Michael Duffy Partnership and Emms Gilmore Liberson supported the process through retained financial and legal advice respectively.

• Scotland-based recruiter Meraki Talent is launching an accountancy & finance division serving clients across commerce and industry in the central belt of Scotland.

To support this, the group has appointed Neil Woodley as director in its Edinburgh office and Greg McDermott as senior manager in Glasgow. In a separate move, the group has also hired Craig Rumball as an associate director in its London office.

• Employment background screening company Sterling is opening an office in Amsterdam. The firm adds it also has expansion and improvement plans across locations such as Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Romania.

• The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is running a number of roadshows for unemployed people and those wanting to get a better job. The events in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall will feature staff from colleges, training providers and job advisers, providing information to help people access training, find work or plot a path to a better career and explain what training courses are on offer in the West Midlands as the WMCA takes control of the region’s £126m adult education budget (AEB).

The roadshows will focus on the region’s fastest-growing economies, including digital, construction, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and business and professional services, offering advice on what qualifications are needed to get jobs in these sectors, and how to access the training required.