Lessons from the crisis

For his final column before leaving the REC after 15 years, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy and Campaigns, looks at what recruiters can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amidst the Covid-19 crisis, some important lessons come into focus. These will leave a legacy as we contemplate what the ‘comeback trail’ looks like for our economy and jobs market.

  • Who is a key worker? A big part of our work on immigration policy and skills has been to underline the importance of workers in a range of roles and sectors who don’t fall within the government’s ‘brightest and best’ tagline. The contribution of those in care, health, logistics, agriculture, food manufacturing, cleaning and facilities management is there for all to see.
  • Leadership. Our ‘Leadership 2025’ White Paper identified two key attributes of future leaders: the ability to deal with disruption and an approach that focuses on people. The pandemic is the ultimate test of both. It was good to see 86% of recruitment leaders flagging the wellbeing of staff and workers as the priority.
  • Our role. The way recruiters helped people to transition into roles and sectors where they were most needed in the crisis has been a great example of what our industry is all about. The sector must also be at the forefront of the post-Covid-19 comeback.
  • Our voice. Our work with government and business organisations helped to shape radical support packages. Insight from recruiters in the front line was crucial – and will be crucial to future labour market policies and rebuilding.

My career at REC began with the Agency Workers Directive furore and ends with the biggest crisis we’ve ever known. A constant throughout my campaigning work for the industry has been the support, energy, expertise and optimism of REC members. It’s been an honour and a pleasure.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @HadleysComment

Indiscriminate robots

Human bias, unconscious and conscious, in the recruitment process is a major blockage for any bus

17 April 2020

Q&A: Kellie Gordon

What is Appoint-Ed? 

17 April 2020

What I know: St Giles Trust

Good work can help people to get back on their feet.

17 April 2020

Legal update: Delayed, not cancelled: the next steps for IR35

So, if you’re dealing with a client in the private sector, they don’t have to do anything about I

17 April 2020