Let’s make 2015 a year to remember – Kevin Green REC, CEO

As we enter the New Year, I thought it would be a good time to let you know about some of the great things on the horizon here at the REC and within the industry this year.

2014 was a very good year for the UK recruitment industry – we are now bigger than ever before, plus we are making progress with Industry Standards.

All REC data currently points to 2015 being a year of even more dynamic growth for our industry. The economy is strengthening, the jobs market is vibrant and employers want to hire more people. Individuals have become more confident about their career prospects and many are now looking for new jobs.

We predict the market will grow by nine per cent in 2015 which will make it feel as strong as many of us can remember.

This growth means that compliance is vital, and it’s important to show that our members uphold the highest standards. The REC online Compliance Test which was introduced in 2012 was completed by 92 per cent of our members so well done and thank you. That means that we have retracted membership status for over 200 recruitment businesses that haven’t passed the Test. In addition, in the last two years we have refused membership to 60 organisations who applied to join the REC but failed to demonstrate that they are compliant with our Code of Professional Conduct. The REC badge now means more than ever.

We will continue to raise the bar for our profession. Our members now all have to take the test every two years to remain in membership. During 2015 we will raise the pass rate for the Compliance Test, update all the questions, and extend the online test to include sub brands. We will also introduce a new online CPD tool for all IRP members so we can help every individual demonstrate their personal commitment to remaining up to date with regulations and issues affecting the recruitment industry. We will extend our qualifications offering so we cover even more of the industry career path.

One area that is likely to create uncertainty is the political situation, with campaigning for May’s general election now underway. The REC is an apolitical organisation and we will work alongside whichever party is in power. But this election will be very different for our industry because we are being brought into the political fray like never before. We will remain neutral and seek to build good working relationships with all politicians. This approach, along with our new Manifesto, will put us in a good position as we seek to influence policy makers over the next few months. We will be doing all we can centrally but we need your help. We are very keen to get as many prospective MPs to visit our members so they can see first-hand the important work our industry plays in making the UK’s jobs market so successful. If you want to get involved sign up here.

In 2015 not only will we be fighting on the industry’s behalf, the REC will be taking the Good Recruitment Campaign to the next phase. This campaign aims to promote good recruitment to your clients via business organisations such as the CIPD, CBI and the Federation for Small Businesses, and it will become even more visible this year. We have already signed up household brands to join the campaign including McDonalds, Royal Mail, PepsiCo, First Group and Kellogg’s. Please help us by talking directly to your clients about how they can get involved.

Our new activity for 2015 will be focused at recruitment businesses that want to grow. We will launch a campaign called ‘Scale Up’ on the 27th January, with the publication of new research, The Seven Secrets of Recruitment Entrepreneurs. This campaign is about the REC providing advice and guidance to business owners who want to take advantage of the good market by rapidly expanding. If you want hear more about the research and the campaign why not book your place at the launch event here.

If you can’t make this event I hope to see you at the many regional events we will be hosting throughout the year. You may also want to join us for our 2nd annual talent conference called TREC on the 23rd June.

It’s going to be a good year to be in recruitment. Let’s continue to be compliant, invest in our people and provide even more value to candidates and clients. If we can do this, 2015 could well prove to be a year to remember.

Kevin Green CEO, The Recruitment and Employment Confederation

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