Research reveals UK recruiters are in the dark about compliance

Compliance-Survey-Infograph_FINAL2A quarter of UK recruitment agencies are unsure whether recent HMRC legislation will affect their business and many aren’t recording important documentation for health and safety acceptance, DBS checks and Professional Indemnity insurance certificates.

That’s the view from recruitment software specialist Mercury xRM, which polled a select number of recruitment agencies to determine how well compliance issues are understood by both permanent and temporary recruitment agencies. The empirical research found that while 67% of agencies are having to adapt their processes to cater for legislative changes from HMRC, eight per cent do not expect to be affected and 25% have no idea whether or not the changes will affect their existing recruitment processes.

The survey also found that while agencies questioned find it easy to report basic details of candidates such as their name, address, and identification details, 40% do not know how to report unique taxpayer details, and do not currently record documentation for health and safety acceptance or DBS checks. A further 30% do not record documentation for anti-bribery and Professional Indemnity insurance certificates.

Employment intermediaries (including temporary recruiters) are now legally required to record and submit information regarding their contractors on a quarterly basis to HM Revenue & Customs as of 6th April 2015. Information required includes details of the worker including address, postcode and national insurance number, assignment start and end dates, amount paid and contact details of the intermediary themselves. Agencies that do not comply face heavy fines.

While the survey found that recruiters are experiencing difficulties understanding all the compliance procedures they must adhere to, the role of recruitment software is playing an important role in helping to ensure compliance. Sixty-four per cent of people questioned said that their recruitment software can handle changes in compliance and legislation, compared with 36% who said it doesn’t, or they are unsure. The same number of agencies said that their existing software also supports non-standard client commercial requirements, and 100% have processes in place to at least ensure contractors are compliant at the start of an engagement.

In response to the statistics, Mercury xRM, which is now an approved supplier to all ARC (Association of Recruitment Consultants) members, has launched its very own recruitment compliance self-assessment guide via its website. The useful tool presents agencies with a series of scenarios that can help determine how well they are staying on top of changes in compliance, and assist them in a spring clean of their processes.

Marketing Manager at Mercury xRM, Mark Britton commented: “While it is encouraging to see that all the agencies we spoke to are making a conscious effort to remain compliant at the start of an engagement, it’s worrying to see that many are struggling to remain compliant when new changes are introduced. 

“We make a conscious effort at Mercury xRM to ensure that our recruitment technology supports all changes in compliance and legislation to help our customers remain within the law. As technology that is developed by recruiters for recruiters, we understand the issues affecting the industry and work hard to ensure that our software supports best practice in all areas of recruitment. We also work closely with bodies such as the REC and the ARC, who do a great job working with agencies to enforce compliance.”

Calling all inclusive employers and recruiters: RIDI Awards open for entries

The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) Awards – which celebrate progress and recognise the success of organisations that are making headway in increasing the inclusion of disabled professionals – are inviting entries from employers and recruiters.

Last year the Awards attracted over 50 applications across award categories including Innovation in Assessment, Inclusive Partnerships, Employers Choice and Overall Candidate Experience. Previous winners included Sky Blue Carillon, CEB/SHL, E:ON, the BBC, Sainsbury’s and Eversheds in partnership with Guidant Group, as well as many smaller employers and recruiters.

Submissions close on the 31 July 2015. The awards are free to enter.

Commenting on the awards, Kate Headley, Director of Consulting at the Clear Company and spokesperson for the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative said:

“Around 11 million people in the UK are living with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability and I’d like to urge organisations which are taking a pro-active approach to aiding the inclusion of these individuals to get in touch and share their journeys and successes. While traditional recruitment processes can be a barrier to disabled candidates, small changes in approach can make a huge impact on accessibility and inclusion. I hope that this year’s winners will inspire other organisations to focus on their own strategies to boost diversity”.

An event showcasing the 2015 winners is also planned for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 03 December.

Top five challenges facing young job seekers

Youth unemployment remains stubbornly and worryingly high at around 1m. The Prince’s Trust, a charity, which supports young job seekers (up to the age of 30), last year predicted that youth unemployment will not fall to pre-recession levels until at least 2018 – a decade after the financial crisis hit the UK.

If the Trust’s predictions prove correct then hundreds of thousands of young people will still be unemployed for another three years or more.

A potentially viable way out of this seemingly endless spiral of despair is self-employment. Increasing numbers of young people are going down this route, a move encouraged by Employment Minister Esther McVey, who described it as a “good and worthwhile” option.

The New Enterprise Allowance, a government scheme, has helped over 4,000 young people aged 18 to 24 turn their hobbies into businesses since April 2011 and it looks set to help many more.

Here we look at the top five challenges facing young job seekers and how a proactive approach, which includes going it alone as a freelancer or business owner, can result in success.

Challenge No 1 – Lack of experience and skills

Young people are unprepared for the world of work, according to a 2013 YouGov survey of 635 employers. They lack skills such as communication, team work and the ability to work under pressure.
Honing these skills can boost job prospects and also prove useful in creating a viable career, as Amie Samba discovered. When she graduated with a degree in sports science and psychology in 2009, she struggled to secure a full time graduate job. This motivated her to make the most of her skills and within a year of graduating, she set up a business running sports sessions for children and adults. Her business, Run Fun Starz, now goes into small companies to set up fitness programmes for owners and their staff. In 2013 the business broke even and Samba was in a strong enough position financially to move out of her parents’ home.

Challenge No 2 – Long-term unpaid work experience

Young people who take the initiative and get the work experience required to gain employment in their chosen field often find themselves stuck working for free. For example before setting up Run Fun Starz, Amie found herself doing a lot of unpaid work, interspersed with short-term contracts which is another reason why going it alone seemed an attractive – and fortunately, in her case – viable option.

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Agenda Consulting launches ‘Employee Engagement Award’ for Charities & Not-for-profit sector

-The Royal Star & Garter Homes receive first award –

13 April 2015 – Agenda Consulting, helping not-for-profit organisations achieve their missions through better understanding their people, has launched an ‘Employee Engagement Award’ to recognise clients who have demonstrated high levels of employee engagement.

To qualify for an award, organisations will have participated in an Agenda Consulting Employee Engagement Survey. They will have achieved a response rate of 50%, and 80% of respondents will have agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I would wholeheartedly recommend this organisation as a good place to work,” signifying very high employee engagement.

Roger Parry, Director of Agenda Consulting said: “Our new award will recognise our clients who have demonstrated outstanding practice in employee engagement in the not-for-profit sector. Increasingly, not-for-profit organisations are surveying their staff and volunteers to measure their engagement and identify areas for improvement.

“An engaged workforce will deliver many benefits to an organisation including higher retention levels, reduced absenteeism and higher individual performance and we believe it’s important to highlight organisations that are doing it really well.”

The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a charity that provides nursing and therapeutic care to the ex-Service community, is the first recipient of the award.  The charity has been through a sustained period of change over the past ten years, including moving from one single care facilitate to new cutting edge homes.

Siobhan Creighton, Director of HR at The Royal Star & Garter Homes said: “The strategic transition was only possible with the support and dedication of staff across all disciplines and their commitment to employee engagement.

Key to success was focusing on three key elements of ‘engagement’: communicate the big picture and everyone’s part in the plan; make the time to consider people’s views and concerns; and treat people as you would wish  to be treated.  As Mangers, we also developed this ethos through leading by example.”

To monitor staff engagement the charity has been using staff surveys, which until recently were paper based. This year it partnered with Agenda Consulting to run its first ever online survey. The management team played a pivotal role in ‘active encouragement’ to ensure high participation levels as they wanted to find out how everyone felt so they could  address any issues and make changes in response to people’s views.

Siobhan added, “We are delighted with the survey results. We are committed to making positive changes where areas of improvement were identified. Our engagement result really demonstrates that staff want to tell us how they feel and they trust that we will act on the results.  We are really pleased to receive this award and want to thank everyone who participated,” adds Ms Creighton.

As recipient of the award, The Royal Star & Garter Homes will receive a trophy, an Agenda Consulting Employee Engagement Award logo which can used for marketing and to support recruitment, plus a listing in the awards section of Agenda Consulting’s website.

For more information about Employee Engagement awards visit:

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