Blog by Tom Hadley.

I have been thinking about what good recruitment looks like ahead of Symposium Events’ recruitment summit next week and with employers gearing up for growth and hiring intentions on the up, there has never been a more important time for businesses to think about the best way of bringing new talent into their organisations. The starting point is to recognize the importance of getting recruitment right rather than just simply keeping recruitment budgets tight.

The latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs showed vacancies increase at the sharpest rate in over six years. Our JobsOutlook survey – which tracks future hiring intentions – shows that over 50% of employers are planning to hire more staff over the next three months. The demand is there but the supply for many skilled roles is spread thin. In the words of one REC member at our recent Skills Summit “recruiters are having to pull rabbits out of the hat”.

All this means that employers are having to think carefully about their hiring strategies and underlines the importance of specific discussions topics at the ‘Recruitment Summit’ – particularly the focus on innovative approaches. The surge in hiring activity is also an opportunity to stimulate a debate on good recruitment practice.

So what does good look like, what are some of the building blocks to put in place? Recent feedback from leading employers and recruiters has underlined the need to ensure that:

  • Recruitment procedures are fair and ethical and help to promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace;
  • Recruitment best practice also applies to temporary, contract, fixed-term, zero-hours and part-time workers;
  • Flexible working arrangements are promoted as a way of attracting talent from diverse groups;
  • Those managing and delivering the recruitment process, whether internal staff or external providers, have received appropriate training and qualifications;
  • External recruitment providers are signed up to industry Codes of Practice and can  demonstrate a commitment to best practice;
  • Best practice is also embedded throughout the supply chain including where different resourcing models such as RPOs or vendor arrangements are in place;
  • Recruitment procedures help to address the challenge of youth unemployment, for example through the provision of apprenticeships and traineeships;
  • Latest trends and research on recruitment issues are monitored and applied as part of a process of continuous improvement.

A number of these areas will be covered at Symposium Events’ Innovation in Recruitment Summit next week and the REC will continue to drive a proactive good recruitment campaign over the coming year. As the main professional body for the UK recruitment industry, our aim is to ensure that our members continue to provide the best possible service through our compliance tools, qualifications, audits, legal support and jobs market research.

Our monthly survey shows that employer satisfaction levels with their recruitment partners stands at over 90%. Using intermediaries can add real value to the recruitment process and ensure that good recruitment delivers good business outcomes.


Tom Hadley is the Director of Policy and Professional Services at the REC. He and his team lobby key Government and EU officials on a range of employment issues, regularly meeting with MPs and advising on the labour market. His team highlights REC initiatives to promote industry standards, including audit schemes and the Diversity Pledge. They are also responsible for ensuring members uphold the Code of Good Recruitment Practice and are fully compliant with employment legislation.

Before joining the REC, Tom worked for the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), for the London-based recruitment consultancy MBA Training Research & Development, the European Commission and the French multi-national company Vivendi.