The View: Championing local recruitment

Championing local recruitment is essential to seeing the bigger, national picture, says Neil Carberry, REC chief executive

One thing that drives how I spend my time is a belief that, running a UK-wide organisation like the REC, you need to understand the situation all over the country – not just from the London bubble. This is very much on trend, of course – given the impressive ‘Power up the North’ campaign launched across northern England recently. But it applies just as much to all regions and nations of the UK. 

As expectations, skills needs and growth plans begin to vary between areas, the REC is supporting members in their local context. This summer, for instance, we launched new research on the skills and demand picture in each area .

But we also need to support brilliant recruitment on the ground. In July, we ran both training and briefing sessions in Manchester. I also had the pleasure of leading a delegation of REC members to meet the city’s Mayor, Andy Burnham. 

It’s testament to Manchester’s vibrant economy and recruitment sector that we could put such a comprehensive programme together. Recruiters are on the front-line of an exciting era in the region’s economic and social history. Weighing heavily on the Mayor is that all this could unravel if businesses can’t find the talent they need. “You’re critical to everything we want to achieve in Manchester,” the Mayor told us. 

Our discussion focussed on two themes:

  • Supporting Manchester’s industrial strategy for growth and job creation. Members shared some of the great work they do – in schools, with career changes or to help people progress. A strong partnership with recruiters is essential to building the future workforce Manchester needs.
  • Harnessing the power of good recruitment. Andy Burnham’s Good Employment Charter envisages what work in Manchester should be. It’s fantastic that good recruitment is a key theme. Looking to REC members as guardians of high standards and partners for the next stage of growth is a natural choice.

I left the meeting convinced of two things. Firstly, recruiters should be at the heart of local economic and jobs discussions, as experts. This will help the economy and grow the understanding of why good recruitment matters and how we add value. 

Secondly, I saw the role the REC should play in facilitating these discussions. To be a genuinely national organisation, we must also be a regional one. 

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

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