The View: a year ahead of hope and uncertainty

The year ahead will bring its challenges, but the sector has the will to succeed, says Neil Carberry, REC CEO

A new year is upon us! I hope it brings you and your business success.

2019 is full of promise – and of uncertainty. Our path on Brexit, and any related economic changes, is still unclear. Where we end up on this will affect the labour market – and therefore recruitment – so the REC will be working hard to support recruiters throughout the process.

But we know that there are other big, long-term challenges out there. Many of them are bigger than Brexit in their impact on our daily lives and our sector – technological changes, shifting societal expectations around good work, and clear skill and labour shortages are just three.

But for the new year, let’s adopt the mindset of 70% of our members in a recent poll who see these issues as more of an opportunity for recruiters than a threat. In the UK, recruitment is a mature £35bn industry, as REC’s new industry trends survey shows. We are a sector that can influence the path of change – and in so doing boost the role and growth of our businesses.

Every day, I hear about members who are working with clients in new ways to address challenges. In Westminster too – despite the Brexit fog – our voices are being heard. Delaying IR35 reform, reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and ensuring there is a flexible lower-skill visa were our key asks of the government in the autumn. We have seen progress on all three.

So there is much to be proud about. But lots still to do.  And as I enter my first calendar year leading the REC, we are focusing on how we help recruiters in new and better ways.

So what are our new year’s resolutions?

The REC will be all about brilliant recruitment – championing good practice, speaking up for great recruiters and helping them to succeed. It is this focus that saw our member numbers grow last year and it will guide us in the months ahead.

This year, we’ll be investing in supporting members in new ways, with high standards in practical business support, but also market-relevant data and analysis and a more campaigning approach in how we use our voice in public and with the government.

These things are essential to us supporting brilliant recruitment – and to better supporting individual members. Because this is your organisation, and it will always put you first.

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil

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