I was lucky enough to hear Kevin Green, the outgoing CEO of REC, speak at the Recruitment Expo last week at Kensington Olympia. These events are a must for any entrepreneurial recruitment leader, providing insight into new technologies, listening to industry experts present and generally networking with people across the profession.
Green presented with his usual vim and vigour covering a host of topics in his allotted time. The war for talent was high on his agenda, points that resonated with us at Procurement Heads. He espoused how organisations look for three main qualities in tomorrow’s talent; strategic thinking, a change orientation with the ability to live with ambiguity and the ability to inspire and motivate others. However, there are barriers to securing people like this into your organisation, which Green went on to explain:
Currently there are less people in the labour market. With many Baby Boomers now retired, for the next 10 years the proportion of people in work will be far lower than in previous decades.
The young have a jaundiced view on big business and an increasing view that it ‘isn’t a force for good’. A survey in 1991 by Accenture found that 17% of young people wanted to be entrepreneurs – that number rose to 83% in 2011.
7% of everyone that works in the UK comes from the EU, circa 2.2m people. 37% of academics come from the EU and 14% of the NHS. With migration numbers already going down, we will need a pragmatic and balanced immigration system.
Green further argued that 38% of UK jobs are at risk of automation or 10m jobs. Technology will undoubtedly create roles, but an OECD study found that many mid-paid roles are already in decline.
Overall the Recruitment industry was worth £32.2 billion in 2017 and helped over 1m people into work and further growth is expected. Green explained how 2 recruitment models were best placed to grow in these conditions:
- Inch wide, mile deep specialists. This has long been phraseology that we at Procurement Heads use and it was reassuring to hear how our candidate-centric, relationship-focused approach is lauded as one of the ways that will continue to flourish.
- Low Cost, which needs skills, scale and great systems
This was fascinating 40 minutes with a charismatic and highly regarded leader. Many of us will be sad to see him go, but his legacy will live long. He encouraged everyone to ’talk up our industry’ and to be proud of what it constantly achieves – for that Kevin, we thank you, and remain positive about things to come.